Showing posts with label abbot kinney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label abbot kinney. Show all posts

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Shuhari Matcha Serves Green Tea and Japanese Snacks on Abbot Kinney

Tea lovers, and especially matcha lovers, head straight to Shuhari Matcha on Abbot Kinney.

Shuhari serves a selection of green tea as well as savory snacks and green tea-based desserts and drinks, like this The Matcha Sundae ($8.50).
Shuhari Matcha
The sundae is made with matcha ice cream, chocolate sauce, corn flakes, and dried raspberries.

Shuhari Matcha Cafe is an interesting business, as they partly funded by the Cool Japan Fund, a joint public-private fund that promotes Japanese culture.
Shuhari Matcha
On a warm LA day, get one of the yuzu matcha sparkler ($5). This was one of my favorites. Lightly sweet, and the yuzu complements the bitterness of the matcha well. They also have other flavors for the sparkler that I'm looking forward to trying next time.
Shuhari Matcha

Monday, January 20, 2014

Vegan Sunday Suppers and Carnivorous Comforts at Willie Jane (Venice, CA)

Los Angeles vegans rejoice, Willie Jane has started a 3-course Meatless Sunday Suppers for $26 pp. Chef Govind Armstrong does have vegetables and herbs growing at the urban farm next door, Cook's Garden, so you can imagine how delicious and fresh his vegetables will be.

I tried out the vegan supper one night, and dinner started with a Hearts of Palm and Vegetable "Crab" Cake, miso remoulade, edamame hummus

Vegan "Crab" Cake

This was vegan? Chef Armstrong got the flavors and textures of crab cakes right on point with the hearts of palm. I couldn't even tell it was vegan, and it was in fact better than most crab cakes I've had!

Many people love Govind Armstrong's shrimp and grits. At least for the entree, you can try his grits. The entree is a plate of Anson Mills grits with romanesco cauliflower, "chorizo" aioli, cabbage chip
It's hearty full of flavor - you won't be missing the meat with the mushrooms around in this dish.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pork Belly's (Venice, CA)

A couple doors down from a juice bar on Abbot Kinney is Pork Belly's, specializing in sandwiches made with meats smoked in-house by their competition BBQ pitmaster, Eric Solton.
There's no seating inside this small store, but you can eat on the wooden counter on the wall of graffiti and they're working on some outdoor seating.

Their signature sandwich is The Belly Up: Smoked BBQ Pork Belly topped with homemade coleslaw on a brioche roll ($8.95)
Generous amount of thick pork belly slices encased between brioche buns. It's decadent, for sure, but the slaw does a surprisingly nice job balancing the fattiness so that it's not too heavy on your palate.

If you're still afraid the pork belly will be too fatty for you, try The Chop: Brisket smoked for over 12 hours in their in-house smoker then chopped. Topped with homemade BBQ sauce and Cole Slaw on a brioche roll ($8.95)
This is easier to eat than the pork belly. With the shredded brisket you don't need to tear off a chunk of meat with each bite. The sauce is nice, slightly tangy. Again, the slaw balanced out the sweet BBQ sauce nicely so you can keep eating.
Oh, every sandwich also comes with a mini chocolate chip cookie, so watch out for it when you open the wrapper! The cookies are freshly baked and chewy.

Smoky Balls: Pork & Beef meatballs smoked then thinly sliced. Served with homemade tomato sauce, peppers and onions on a grinder roll, topped with melted cheese ($8.95).
The meatball had a very interesting texture, closer to meatloaf than the usual meatball. It's not as flavorful as the first two sandwiches but it had a subtle smokiness.

They also serve something which they claim are "like chili cheese fries but better". They're tater tots topped with either brisket (called Chop Tots) or chorizo (called Slop Tots) and melted cheese ($4.99)
Better than fries indeed! I only tried the slap tots but will need to try the one with brisket next.

You can still take your vegetarian friends here, where they can try the veggie sloppy joe or a grilled cheese sandwich.

Another side to get is the Fried pickles served with sriracha aioli ($3.95)

I think this is my first time having fried pickles but I really liked them, especially with that sriracha aioli.

There's no beer or wine here, but I have to admit I did enjoy the freestyle Coke machine with over 100 choices of soft drinks or lemonade. So. many. choices.

Pork Belly's offers something different in the Venice area and a quick, satisfying to-go lunch stop. To make it extra quick, you can also place your order online for pick up.
On Mondays and Thursdays they have ribs after 1:30 pm but unfortunately I was there too early to try it.

It's not just a lunch stop but they're also open late at night on the weekends (until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays) and the food would be so good on those drunken nights and prevent hangovers!

Pork Belly's Sandwich Shop
1146 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90291
(424) 777-8875
Pork Belly's Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon
Disclosure: this meal was hosted 

Monday, March 2, 2009

AK in Venice: The Swedes and Pork Schnitzels

We walked into AK on a Tuesday night with no reservation. I thought, Tuesday night, how bad can it be? Wrong. AK was packed (and yes, LOUD). Luckily they had room at one of the two communal tables. I love communal tables because I can eavesdrop on other people's convo ... no, I mean, I get to meet new people. Yeah.

Anyway, on to the food. The place being as loud as it is, there's not much conversation going on on my end ...

We went healthy with the appetizer, and got the "in the raw": alfalfa sprouts, lotus roots, seeds and nuts, with blood orange poppy seed dressing ($11).
To sum it up, it tastes very healthy yet still tasty. Very refreshing. Everything being mostly roots and seeds, it had a nice crunchy texture.

Since I've heard that they do the European dishes best, I went with their pork schnitzel. That's Kurobuta pork Schnitzel, by the way ($24).
Delicious. Loved it. What? It's just a cutlet you say? This is kurobuta cutlet, and a darn good one at that! Tender, flavorful, delish. Do be careful while eating in the dark - I think there's a herring or something on the top there that I couldn't quite see - but it's _salty_. I can eat this everyday for 2 weeks or so, and you guys should too. Or at least try it.

My dinner companion went with the rib-eye, medium-rare. Served with crispy popover and bearnaise sauce ($34).
This was very tender, probably the most tender steak I've had in a long while (with the exception of Ad Hoc's skirt steak - to be reviewed) !

We also shared some sweet potatoes as a side dish.
These are quite sweet, they border on dessert for me but my friend loves sweet potatoes. They're moist and juicy and was quite good, actually.

For dessert (of course I had to have dessert), I had the chocolate ganache tart ($9) served with praline ice cream.
Rich and tasty, although does not particularly stand out from similar desserts at other places. At least I know it's solid and thus the other desserts could potentially be great. Desserts are important to me :P

I don't care if the place is loud, I will definitely be back here. Hopefully I will try their other entrees, but I'm not sure if I can bring myself to NOT order their kurobuta pork schnitzel. Maybe after the 3rd time ...

AK Restaurant
1633 Abbot Kinney Road
Venice, CA 90291

AK Restaurant + Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gjelina, Unpolished ABK Gem

We went to try out Gjelina, a new hopping place on Abbot Kinney. It was a Monday night buy they were super packed. The main dining room was extremely, extremely loud and it made me think twice about eating there. We were told that it would be a 30 minute wait but after about 15 minute one of the hostesses said that she had a couple of non-counter options for me.

She took me to the back room and the patio, which was A LOT quieter - thank god ...
I chose to sit on one of the couches they had on the patio. Very cozy, the patio is very nice.
I have to agree that the service still needs a lot of work. The waitress was very pleasant, the food came pretty quickly, so why do I say that? Well ... it's the order that the dishes came in :(
We ordered: a platter of cured meats, the arugula and sweet corn salad with grape tomatoes and ricotta, the grilled Monterey Bay squid with rocket salad, and the Mushroom Toast.

First came the Mushroom Toast (not the salad first?)
Easily my favorite dish of the night. The portions here are pretty small, but then again they are priced accordingly (pretty much tapas-size). I wasn't that interested in it in the beginning and if it wasn't for the reviews I would not have ordered it, but this dish was amazing.
Giant mushrooms that are amazingly flavorful. The sauce is slightly creamy and is just great!
Don't share this with more than one other person ... otherwise you will be fighting over it!!

Then next came the Grilled monterey bay squid, with rocket and chimichurri
The squids were great, not too chewy and the sauce is wonderful, but the arugula/rocket is a bit bitter for my taste ...
The chimichurri didn't add much in my opinion (besides relieving the bitter taste in my mouth).

After this dish we realized we won't have enough food since the portions are small, so we ordered the grilled shrimp. In the meantime, our cured meat platter came. It consisted of:

Duck confit
My fave from this dish. Very good (although it doesn't top the one I recently tried at Bar Tartine's in SF).

Salami, made in NY
Pretty good, but I'm no expert.

Homemade Elk Terrine with Cherries
Now, this was an interesting piece. It was pretty good and gets a plus for uniqueness. Plus I've never had elk and I liked this terrine quite a bit.

The platter was served with their homemade mustard sauce which I thought was delicious.

The shrimps came pretty quickly after, which just made me wonder if they had completely forgotten about my salad ... Anyway I chowed down on my shrimps first:
The waitress had mentioned that the shrimps were "huge" but they really weren't. Three of these lads divided by two people left you wanting. The shrimps were pretty good, and the sauce was also tasty, but I don't know if three pieces were worth our $12.

So this is where I started going ... "Uhm ... where is my salad?" The waitress apologized and said that it'll be right out, but it still took a while. In the meantime, someone brought over another one of the shrimps. We told them we had ours already (although we were eyeing these since we were still hungry!)

Well, finally, the long awaited salad came!
There was not that much sweet corn and I'm a corn lover so that's a minus ... and again, the arugula is too bitter for my taste. I wonder why ... I usually love arugula :( Note to self: no more arugula from Gjelina. Get mushrooms instead! After that long wait for it, it was rather anticlimactic.

Soo ... salad, and then dessert! Funky way of dining, I'd say.
Again, the portions are small so we weren't full and wanted one dessert each. We were eyeing another table who had the peach cobbler and the flourless chocolate cake, so we went ahead and ordered those. The waitress said that these two are the best, but I saw a chocolate walnut pudding on the menu that looked really2 interesting. Must try next time.

The peach cobbler ($8) is one of the best I've ever had!It's pretty small and the crust is nothing special, although good. The deal clincher is the peaches though! For a fruit dessert, the fruits really make a big difference and a lot of places don't seem to pay that much attention to it, but the peaches they used here were excellent (at least for tonight)!

The flourless chocolate cake was also good
Rich and dense. The chopped nuts add a nice touch to the whole thing.
I think I've had my share of flourless chocolate cake though and would probably have been happier with the chocolate walnut pudding or such ...

Overall, I thought Gjelina is pretty good, with the mushroom toast and peach cobbler being the highlights of my meal. I would only go if I can get a patio or back room seating - I'd go deaf in the main dining room. The couches are pretty cozy and would be nice and romantic for a couple, although eating from the coffee table was a bit of a challenge. Service needs a lot of work, but hopefully they will work out all these kinks.

1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291 (310) 450-1429

Gjelina on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ABK gems: Abbot's Pizza

Abbot Kinney boulevard certainly offers a variety of excellent food establishments (others that have been reviewed here are Jin Patisserie, 3 Square Cafe), and luckily there are still cheap eats like Abbot's Pizza. I haven't come here much since I normally do not crave pizza, but that day we happened to park right in front of the shop, and we couldn't help but go in.

The first thing that got our attention was the salad pizza. It was literally, like a salad on top of Abbot's bagel crust pizza, as you can see yourself. Lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and sprinklings of blue cheese on top of a lightly cheesed pizza slice. And it was surprisingly tasty. Not to mention it's a lot healthier than most things you could eat. We really really liked this slice of pizza.
For the other slice we got tomato and basil. This too was good, although we preferred the salad pizza. They gave us 2 slices since they said these slices are smaller. All of these = $9! Quite a bargain if I may say so. With so many interesting options to try, and a good experience so far, I will definitely come back to try more. Or just get that salad pizza again.

Abbot's Pizza

1407 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
Phone: (310) 396-7334

Abbot's Pizza Company on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why I like my own birthday ....

My birthday has become an annual excuse for me to order a whole cake ... for myself (minus a couple slices)!

Last year unfortunately I was back home in Indonesia, but this year I get to have my favorite cake again. And lots of it ...

I ordered the Spring Bouquet from Jin Patisserie in Venice, who always does a really nice job decorating it also. This cake is made with mango and strawberries and cream, with layers of meringue. Some people are shocked that I don't get a chocolate cake for my birthday, but this cake is just that awesome!
I ate half of it myself :">

A picture update. This is the Poire cake that I also like to get.
A layer of light and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with layer of white chocolate mousse, with poached pear flambee.

Jin Patisserie
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA

Jin Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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