Showing posts with label build your own. Show all posts
Showing posts with label build your own. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

VERTS, a New Fast Casual Mediterranean Grill Opens in Downtown Boston

VERTS started in Austin, Texas about five years ago. In that short period of time, this chain of healthy, fast casual Mediterranean grill has grown to 35 locations around Texas and it has now made its way to Boston as its first non-Texas location.
I recently attended the opening party of the Boston location, in the Financial District, to check out the food that makes this chain so fast-growing.
VERTS is a build-your-own concept, and you can choose between rice bowl, quinoa bowl, pita wrap, or salad.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

PizzaRev Brings DIY Pizzas to Van Nuys

By: guest blogger @iam_robot

If you spend much time in the busy intersection of Van Nuys/ Burbank Blvd, you have probably run out of lunch options. For me, once a week trip to Chipotle or Jersey Sub is probably more than enough & after a while, everything on the menu tastes the same.
Tucked in a busy strip mall with mom and pop businesses & other fast food joints, PizzaRev officially opened their Van Nuys location last Friday.

With its hip & modern d├ęcor, PizzaRev is offering artisanal pizza where you get to pick your own ingredients for an all-inclusive $7.99 (there are some premium ingredients that come with an extra charge)!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

643 North: Polenta Pizza and Craft Cocktails in Chinatown

While Italian restaurants and craft beer and cocktail bars are abound in downtown Los Angeles, 643 North occupies an unusual location: Chinatown. You might be confused driving there through a desolate part of Chinatown, but don't worry, it's there. Plus they have a free parking lot to the left, perks of a cheaper real estate.

Actually, 643 North isn't really an Italian restaurant although the menu leans a bit in that direction. They also have other items like these Crab sliders (blue crab patties, chipotle remoulade, daikon sprouts, brioche, $13)
You shouldn't miss their pasta, though, especially the Ossobuco ravioli (braised veal, housemade ravioli, baby heirloom tomatoes, broccolini, Parmesan broth, Parmesan cheese, $17)
I was expecting a heavy dish, as ossobuco typically is, but this is light and lovely. The al dente ravioli sits in a bright parmesan broth, letting diners experience ossobuco in a different way. This was one of the highlights of my meal.
I was also pleasantly surprised with the cocktails here, created by Adam Acuff from Far Bar, which is more known for their beers rather than cocktails (643 North also has a good beer list). All cocktails are $12 and include drinks like Smokey the Pear (High West Campfire, St Germain, spiced pear syrup, lemon bitters) which was nicely balanced.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Build Your Own Pizza at PizzaRev (Studio City, CA)

If you're particular about the toppings you want on your pizza, try Pizza Rev in Studio City where you can select the cheese, toppings, and sauce for your individual, customized pizza.

It's similar to 800 Degrees in Westwood but cheaper. In fact, at Pizza Rev your very own crafted pizza will cost $7.95 despite how many toppings you put on, although there are some premium options that cost extra like gluten free crust or burrata (or vegan "cheese").

You go down the line and ask for or point to the toppings you want. It's hard not to go overboard when everything is in front of you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Honey, Bees, and Outdoor Dinner at Fairmont Newport

It's a little known fact that some of the Fairmont hotels have started honey bee hives on their rooftops, wherever it was possible. This has included the Fairmont in Newport Beach, Seattle, and San Francisco (where you can also try the honey beers made by a local brewery with their honey). I was invited to a dinner at Fairmont Newport a few months ago and got to check out the rooftop bees with a view of the sunset! The hives at Fairmont Newport and maintained and harvested with the help of Backyard Bees.

Rooftop bee hives
We had a honey tasting in the small room on the rooftop. Little did I know just how different honey can taste, until you compare two side by side. The black pan was harvested from these hives in June. This early summer honey is more floral than the August harvest. Both of them were excellent, by the way, and I'm glad they gave us a little jar to take home.
After some cocktails and arancini, we had an al fresco dinner in their beautiful garden, a picture perfect spot for a small wedding with the white gazebo in the back.

Fairmont Newport

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Exploding Stomachs at the Counter

A friend of mine told me about The Counter a while back, where you can build your own burger and shake. I never got to try it until yesterday, where I suddenly felt a craving for a nice burger and shake.

The Counter in Santa Monica has a clean, modern look to it, with lots of colorful and fun paintings on the wall.

I like this burger painting they had at the corner.

It was already 4 pm when we were having this "lunch", and since it seems like it was going to be the only meal of the day, I decided to go all out and ordered a chocolate banana malt.

The malt took a while to be served, but it was definitely yummy. Thick and rich, at the bottom of the glass you will even find lumps of banana.

We also got a side of sweet potato fries, which were cooked just right - crispy but still moist inside, not burnt, and not overly greasy. It is served with a chili-mayo type sauce which was not at all spicy.
I ordered the burger of the month: Crab Cioppino Burger.
A moist crab cake seasoned with saffron, etc, served with baby greens, tomatoes, crispy pancetta on top, with lemon basil tartar sauce served on the sauce. Unfortunately the crab cake was so moist it is so easily breakable, even when you're only trying to bite into the burger. But no matter what, eating your burger here will be messy.

Definitely had a hard time eating the crab cioppino burger while trying to keep it all together. The tartar sauce and the pancetta went nicely with the crab cake.

We also got a BYO beef burger. This is a 2/3 lb beef burger, on honey wheat bun with gruyere cheese, crispy pancetta, avocado, hard boiled eggs, lettuce, and sprouts.
We had gotten the sauce of the month which was the lemon basil tartar sauce but it didn't go nearly as well with beef as with the crab cake, so ketchup was better for this one instead. I think we both liked the beef burger better overall, although the crab cioppino burger was definitely good. Perhaps it was just getting all the toppings you wanted.

We were completely stuffed and I couldn't really finish my burger ... the fries definitely went into a to go box ... Stuffing two meal into one is not that pleasant at the end of the meal :P
But although stuffed, we were satisfied and would definitely come back for more.

The Counter
2901 Ocean Park Boulevard
Santa Monica CA 90405

Counter on Urbanspoon

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