Friday, May 30, 2014

New Menu at Roadhouse LA with Chef Kyle Schutte

About 3 years ago, I encountered chef Kyle Schutte's cooking at Vu. He called it "progressive comfort food" and I still remember his chicken fried watermelon. He had a short stint at Corner Door and I'm glad he's finally found another home at Roadhouse - that barbecue restaurant at The Improv.

One of the favorites during my dinner was the Root beer-cured bacon, soft scrambled vanilla scented eggs ($12)

Root Beer Bacon
This is made with housemade root beer syrup and the thick bacon is brined for 2 days then smoked for 12 hours.

Chicken Fried watermelon with pickled rind ($6)
Fried Watermelon
Yes, the dish I had at Vu made another appearance here! These are quite interesting and worth a try if you've never had it before.

I really liked the Punjabi Poutine with thick cut fries, coconut curry spinach, grilled cheese curds, queso fresco, goat meat and goat gravy ($12)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Chaya Downtown Introduces Kaisen Seafood Menu

Following its popularity at the San Francisco location, Chaya Downtown recently launched a Kaisen (seafood) menu.

We had a tasting of the Kaisen menu (and more), starting with the Uni and oyster shooter (Pacific oyster with sakura shio ponzu, ikura, momiji, seaweed). To the right is an amuse bouche of crispy uni tofu (made with uni puree), topped with soft scrambled egg and Santa Barbara uni. Yep, the uni is also mixed inside the tofu, not just on top!

Sea Urchin
What a perfect plate of starters for an uni lover like me.

The Kaisen platter is $62 for a small or $120 for a large one. Served in a beautiful box filled with ice, the platter is certainly eye catching. Want to impress a client or a date? Get one of these!
The platter includes Shigoku and Kusshi oysters, sushi rolls, and a bunch of ceviche and other raw seafood dishes.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tips for Lining Up for Franklin BBQ (Austin, TX)

Breakfast Taco
1. Bring breakfast or snack, or be sure to eat breakfast beforehand. You might think you want to come hungry to eat barbecue, but trust me, you won't be eating for a while (I got there at 9:25 AM and didn't eat until 2 PM!). Me, I brought a breakfast taco from Cenote.

2. You can either be sure to get some or you can take a gamble. To be sure, get there early by 9 am and be prepared to wait up to 4 hours. Or you can take a gamble and stroll in around 12 or 1 pm. You'd only have to wait an hour or so and there's a chance there will be some brisket left for you (maybe even ribs).
The line at 9:25am is already around the block
3. When I was there, they had a guy renting chairs for $5. Remember, you might be there for 3-4 hours, though you can always sit on the ground.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Smoke, Oil, Salt: A New Spanish Wine Bar on Melrose

A new Spanish wine bar has taken over the old Angeli Caffe spot on Melrose, with a kitchen helmed by Perfecto Rocher (formerly of Lazy Ox Canteen).

We started dinner at Smoke, Oil, Salt with olives amb bitets (olives, toasted almonds, Manchego cheese, $6) - a great starter!

Followed by a traditional pa amb tomaca il llangonisses (Catalan tomato toast, homemade red and white sausages $6)
I like the fresh taste of the tomato on Catalan toast, compared to Italian tomato sauce, and the homemade sausages are quite flavorful.

Vegetarians can opt for the truita de carxofes (artichoke omelet, Meyer lemon aioli, $11)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dami Sushi and Izakaya (Buena Park, CA) and $100 Gift Certificate Giveaway!

by guest blogger @bstunoda
PS. Be sure to scroll to the end for a giveaway!

At an Izakaya restaurant, drinking is primary and eating is secondary. People go to izakaya restaurants to socialize much in the same manner that the Spanish drink wine and eat tapas. Like the current trend in dining, small plates dominate the menu and the plates are meant to be shared.
Dami Sushi and Izakaya is located in the brand new Village Circle on Beach Blvd in Buena Park. After entering the restaurant, I found it to be beautifully decorated in modern Asian design. A high open ceiling, beautiful lattice wall coverings and effective lighting gave diners a comfortable experience.
DSCF1852 DSCF1863
Whole grain salad
The dish wasn’t calling my name, but I tried it anyway. It consisted of endive, black rice, Indian millet, lentil, kidney beans, fresh mozzarella in a soy vinaigrette. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the ingredients worked together. I think the soy vinaigrette brought all of the disparate flavors and textures together quite nicely. I’d choose this salad over most green salads as the kidney beans and lentils gave it quite a bit of substance.

Jawanmushi was next up and it turned out to be a version of chawanmushi (steamed Japanese egg custard).

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Famed San Fernando Valley hangout Sportsmen’s Lodge gets a major facelift

by guest blogger @iam_robot

17.55.27Sportsmen’s Lodge, once known as San Fernando Valley’s fixture for fine dining and celebrity scene, is banking on high-priced makeovers to boost more visitors and to compete with newer, much more contemporary venues opening up blocks away.

The hotel – located strategically on Ventura Blvd and Coldwater Canyon Avenue - opened 52 years ago and was a popular hangout spot for movie writers, stars, producers – Clark Gable, Katherine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Humphrey Bogart are frequent guests.  Rumor has it, these celebrities were very fond of the trout-fishing lake. They were given rods and bait to catch their fish and make dinner, courtesy of the lodge’s restaurant. However, in 1971, fishing activity at the lodge was shut down by the Department of Public Health due to the San Fernando earthquake.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Provence Menu and Paul Sanguinetti's Cocktails at Kendall's Brasserie

I've always only thought of Kendall's Brasserie as that pre-theatre and opera restaurant. Sure, it's a Patina restaurant, but I never really tried to visit the restaurant sitting below the Ahmanson and Dorothy Chandler. Their cocktail menu has gotten a big revamp, as well - more on that in a bit.

Well, recently I finally made it in to try their limited-time Provence menu. I started with the Chabrirou Gratinée (Baked Goat Cheese on Potato Salad, Mixed Frisée-Arugula Salad, Picholine Olives - $15)

Goat Cheese
How can you go wrong with warm baked goat cheese? You can't!

Brandade Cake (salted cod and potato cake, fennel, arugula salad - $16)
Cod Brandade

The cocktails here have gotten a huge upgrade since Paul Sanguinetti (Ray's and Stark Bar) took over the menu. He has a few special ones for the Provence menu ($12 each).
I started with the St. Tropez Swizzle (Absolut Elyx Vodka, Imbue Petal and Thorn Rose Vermouth, Chamomile Syrup, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fever Tree Soda Water, Crushed Ice)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

5th Annual LA Street Food Fest on June 28 + Last Year's Recap

Summer is coming, and that means so is LA Street Food Fest! Can you believe this is their 5th year? On June 28, the 5th LA Street Food Fest returns to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and you can already buy your tickets

This time, the festival starts at 4pm for VIP ticket holders and 6pm for general admission, so at least it won't be that hot! The ticket price includes free parking, all the food you can stomach, cocktails from six bars with LA's top mixologists, Ice Cream Social, craft beer from Eagle Rock Brewery and more, and this year also brings in an Iced Coffee Experience featuring a dozen coffee brands. Keep an eye out on for the full list of participants.

If you've never been, check out last year's recap below from One More Bite Blog, who attended the event as my guest blogger:

Ever since my first Artisanal LA and Unique LA experiences, I'd been a fan of the events put together by show founders and 'buy local', small business supporters Shawna Dawson and Sonja Rasula. (NOTE: Sonja Rasula was only involved in the first Artisanal LA event, all subsequent Artisanal LA and LA Street Food Fest events have been organized by Shawna Dawson).

But I'd somehow never made it to another always-sold-out-show by the duo, LA Street Food Fest. Maybe it was the cognitive dissonance of a $50 admission price paired with the theme of "street food" even if it was AYCE once you got when Gourmetpigs had to go out of town last minute and kindly offered to give me her media pass, I jumped at the chance! (The experience totally changed my mind and I am definitely planning to attend the next one paid or not!)

It was a scorching day at the Rose Bowl but - and even as organizers made the smart decision to cap the event at 5000 attendees, to make for a better experience where you would NOT find most stalls running out of food early like at some other events - that didn't stop a massive crowd from waiting with palpable eagerness outside the gates, literally rounding the Bowl, just before they opened.

With the sun blazing overhead, plus that lovely motto 'life's to short, eat dessert first' in mind: the first section I hit was the ice cream social. Float Pasadena served up two kinds of floats: Puckerin Peach with sparkling lemonade and peach ice cream and Red Cow with Boylan's red birch beer and vanilla bean ice cream.  Both refreshing and adorable with their candy-cane-striped, environmentally friend paper straws.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dishcrawl Hits K-Town, with a Giveaway!

Dishcrawl is the newest walking food tour in town (they're actually nationwide), and next Wednesday on May 21 they are hitting Koreatown. The tour will visit 3 different restaurants, but the itinerary is kept a secret. The only one I can tell you is that they will be visiting Escala, the new Colombian gastropub from Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage! It's not your typical Koreatown restaurant, for sure, and it already garnered many good reviews with dishes like pork skin guacamole and pork belly tamale. 
To promote the Koreatown tour, they've offered to give away one ticket to the crawl! The tour takes place next Wednesday, May 21 at 7pm. The meeting location will be disclosed 2 days before the event. Note that the giveaway is only for 1 ticket (valued at $45), though, not a pair, but I'm sure you'll meet some cool people there. For more information about the Ktown crawl, check here.

To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Revisiting Wood and Vine with a New Chef

Hollywood favorite Wood and Vine recently recruited a new chef who has revamped the menu. Worry not, though, as the popular cheese and charcuterie platter will still be around. Chef Marc Johnson used to work at Waterloo and City, so the charcuterie here is something to anticipate.
There will be potted items like chicken liver mousse with blood orange marmalade, which I was kind of addicted to.

He's making terrines from game meat, including a rabbit terrine with pistachio and pickled carrot puree, head cheese, and a wild boar terrine with pecans and apple chutney.

For appetizers, he plays with vegetables and fruits like Beetroot, horseradish, kumquat, sourdough, amaranth


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tartine for Lunch at Esterel (Sofitel Los Angeles, Beverly Hills)

The restaurant inside the Sofitel Los Angeles hotel in Beverly Hills is now Esterel, a French-focused restaurant that kept the sleek interior of its predecessor.

The bread basket is generous and even included gougeres!
I came to try their lunch menu (although I tried them during dinner), which is mainly composed of a selection of tartine - open faced sandwiches - named after. Each tartine is served with a green salad and some fries.

There is a tartine for everyone here. There's the vegetarian friendly Beverly Garden (marinated heirloom tomato, cucumber, burratta cheese, artichoke, pesto, fleur de sel ). Executive Chef Marius Blin combines many ingredients to get
The creamy burrata is topped with crispy crumbles of potato chips.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 8: Oliverio's 2nd Annual Sorprendente

This is a rather last minute announcement, but Sorprendente returns to Oliverio at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills for a second time this Thursday, May 8! I went last year and quite enjoyed their summertime poolside celebration, so I thought I'd share while there's still time.

Last year, mimes served unlimited cocktails and wines
My favorite part is the Truffle Brothers Truffle Station. There's truffle spread to go with your bread, truffle honey with your cheese, and shaved truffles on pizza, shaved truffles on fresh handmade pasta ...
Truffle all night long!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Trying Grimaldi's Pizza in El Segundo

New York's famed Grimaldi's Pizzeria has now gone nationwide, including an LA location in El Segundo. I've never tried the original, but decided to make the easier trek to South Bay!

Grimaldi's offers three types of pizza in three different sizes, calzone, and some salad starters. You pick your own toppings for each pizza.

My favorite was the white pizza with garlic ($10 for a personal size). It was just so deliciously garlicky! We got it topped with tomato slices ($2) and spicy chicken sausage ($4).

White Pizza
If you love garlic as much as I do, this is definitely the one to get.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

C+M Coffee and Milk, Now Open in Westwood

Despite being home to Bruins, Westwood doesn't really have a lot of good coffee options, but now Patina Group has brought their C+M Coffee and Milk concept. The new cafe is located at Westwood Gateway, at the corner of Sepulveda and Santa Monica.

C+M brews Intelligentsia coffee. On a hot day, you might want to try their affogato which uses their housemade milk sorbet - slightly lighter than ice cream, drizzled with caramel and chocolate syrup. There are also shakes and "milkwiches", an ice cream sandwich made with their vanilla milk sorbet.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Chowzter Tastiest Fast Feast Global Awards in London

Last week I had the good fortune to be in London for Chowzter's 2nd Tastiest Fast Feasts global awards. I'm working with them on the Los Angeles "fast feasts" picks which you can check out here. My LA pick, #19 sandwich from Langer's, won their North American award last year.

Focusing on the local and authentic, unlike Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurant List, Chowzter's picks are much more affordable and approachable - doner, pad thai, and Paseo's caribbean roast sandwich in Seattle were among the winners. The winner for Tastiest Fast Feast in Asia is a stuffed lechon in Manila. The lechon is Philippine's national dish but at this particular restaurant you can get it stuffed with truffles! Truffle-stuffed lechon! I want, so bad ...

The basic criteria is that it can't be from a fine dining restaurant, nor chains. Instead, we try to find hole in the wall restaurants, food trucks, shacks, and street stalls. Some mid-range restaurants are allowed, as long as they're just that good!
I also want this roast goose from Hong Kong ...
Seeing all the winning dishes really stirred up some wanderlust.

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital