Showing posts with label echo park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label echo park. Show all posts

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Spending Bastille Day at Taix French Restaurant (Los Angeles, CA)

by guest blogger Bryan Tsunoda (discovering LA)

I look forward to eating out on the holidays of other countries because it is an opportunity to experience something new. For that reason, I enjoy eating out on the French National holiday of Bastille Day.
I was happy to learn that Taix was featuring bouillabaisse as their special that day. Given a choice or proteins, I veer towards seafood and within that food group, I prefer shellfish. Therefore, bouillabaisse satisfies that craving.

Visiting Taix is like taking a trip backwards in time. Driving into their lot, you are warmly greeted by a valet. Entering the restaurant, you walk down a dimly lit hallway. To your right is the bar and straight ahead is the maitre d' station. Inside the dining room are large comfy booths and frosted glass for privacy.

On Bastille Day, the male employees wore red felt berets. My server, however, was female and she wore a ribbon with the French national colors around her neck.

The Tour de France was taking place in France and Taix featured specials each race day. Even the highlighted wines were from areas near each stop on the tour. Also taking place through Friday is Dine LA and Taix is one of the participating restaurants.

When you sit down in one of their plush booths, you receive fresh sourdough bread and crudité. I ordered Claudia’s beet salad from the Dine LA menu and the special that day, bouillabaisse.
The beet salad was nicely plated. I like that the ingredients were chilled, the butter lettuce was crisp, the oranges were juicy, and the garlic vinaigrette complemented the beet salad.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Must Try: Allumette (Echo Park)

Allumette started as a weekly pop up in Echo Park's Allston Yacht Club, which the 24-year old Chef Miles Thompson (or is he 25 now?) called the Vagrancy Project. After a while, the AYC owners decided to redo the whole restaurant with Thompson in charge. So Allumette was born, and it is inarguably one of the best new restaurants in LA!

To start my hosted dinner, the chef sent out a house-made focaccia with potato mascarpone butter, which was so intriguing my mouth couldn't decide if it was potato, cheese, or butter.

Potato Mascarpone

Be sure to start your meal with one the crudos. There seems to always be a touch of sweet fruit to his dishes. The Pink snapper with kanzuri (Japanese chili paste with yuzu) and white soy is enhanced by cherimoya ($15).
Crudo

I loved the live scallop tartare, strawberry, truffle, elderflower ($17)
Scallop
Other than the strawberry, there were also small pieces of organic lime in the dish, sweeter with a more subtle tartness than what I was used to. Both lovely accompaniments to the scallop.

IMG_4852
The bar program at Allumette should not be overlooked. Serena Herrick, formerly of Harvard and Stone, has devised a wonderful cocktail list to please a range of palates. Fans of strong aromatic drinks should try the Negroni Sbagliato #2 (Punt e Mes, Aperol, Graham Beck brut, sage leaves) - $10

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

AYCE Pizza, Beer Flights, and More at Mohawk Bend

Mondays are happy days at Mohawk Bend with their all-you-can-eat pizza nights for only $15. But wait! For the rest of the year (2010), the AYCE pizza is only $12!! Even better!
The AYCE pizza nights take place in the Ramona Room which, when it isn't packed, makes for a good date night with its fireplace and arching tree (I'm not sure how crowded Mondays are now, though).

Instead of ordering, servers with trays of thin crust pizza fresh from the oven walks around and offers you a slice. Most of the pizzas on the menu will make its way out during the night, except for the Pig Newton (since Serrano ham is expensive, yo).

Pizza
We tried quite a few that night, including a vegan pizza, a Thai chicken pizza, the Private Idaho (with potatoes, bacon, caramelized onions, creme fraiche), and the Abe Froman (house-made Italian sausage, peppers, fennel, mozzarella). The vegan pizza made with Daiya cheese was not too bad, but of course I will stick with the spicy Thai chicken pizza. You can also get a green salad for $4 extra.

Mohawk Bend is all about beer, of course, so you'll need some to wash down the pies. 5-7pm are flight hours at Mohawk, featuring two beer flights at $9 each, but you can get these beer flights in the Ramona Room all night. If you're not into the flights, you can also get specially-priced cocktails.

While waiting for the rest of our party, LA OC Foodie and I got one each of the available flights: the Bitter flight and the Dark. As LA OC Foodie said, we were dark and bitter people.
Point the Way, Picket Fence Wheat IPA, Stone Cali-Belgique,  Mongo DIPA
Brekle's Brown, DDH 15th Anniv, Navigator Doppelbock, Stone IRS 2010


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mohawk Bend, Echo Park's Newly Opened, Extensive Watering Hole.

If you were keeping tabs on who has the longest list of beers on tap in LA, you might want to add Mohawk Bend to the list. Opened yesterday, this bar in Echo Park carries over 70 beers on tap, all but five are dedicated to California craft beers. They have a full bar which is also all-California, and a full dining menu.

70 Beers on Tap
For owner Tony Yanow and GM Paige Reilly, this isn't their first venture in California beers. They opened Tony's Darts Away in Burbank which also has a California-only beer list, and a local brewery is in the works.

The space was a theater, more than 20 years unoccupied. As you enter, you will see the open kitchen on the left, and the bar on the right.
IMG_2293

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Allston Yacht Club: Refining Echo Park Neighborhood Dining

The recently opened Allston Yacht Club offers something quite different from other places in Echo Park. A small-plate restaurant combining American, Asian, and African influences with a wine bar and an inventive cocktail program. All the plates are priced under $10, making it quite the affordable neighborhood destination.

Not that Echo Park is my neighborhood, so it wasn't like I just meandered over there one day.

AYC has gotten some buzz recently since the owners have started blogging about their restaurateur-ing experiences (Apparently they left their careers in the entertainment industry to open up a restaurant. You know, something more relaxed. Ha :P ). So when their PR person contacted me and invited me to check out the food, I took up the opportunity.

As soon as I entered my eyes were drawn to the yellow backdrop and the giant Hokusai waves. I want that for my room, please.
My friend and I started the night with cocktails. She got the Lena's Holiday (vodka, St Germain, cucumber, pear & ginger - $9)
The drink was on the sweeter side, though not overly so.

The server brought out a plate of cheese (Istara, Sheep, Basque) and saucisson sec by mistake instead of our brandade gratin. Oh well, we are not about to turn down cheese.

I quite enjoyed the firm and smooth Istara.

We never did get our brandade gratin, but there was more than enough food anyway.

Duck Confit with BBQ sauce and green papaya salad ($7)
The duck confit was tender and moist and the sweetness of the bbq sauce was balanced quite well by the tart green papaya. The duck confit preparation here changes daily, and at this price point it's very doable to come regularly and check out what's in store.

The next plate we got was the Merguez Sausage ($8)
Our favorite dish of the night. The lamb sausage was very flavorful and had a great texture that's complemented by the melange of vegetables.

AYC also offers side dishes to go along with your small "plates". We tried the Brussels Sprouts with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and bacon ($6)
This was my only disappointment of the night. The balsamic vinegar made the dish too salty and covered up the taste of the brussels sprouts themselves. We liked eating the bacon bits by themselves though, they were quite good.

We also tried the Spinach Tian, cooked in savory rice custard ($6). A warm and comforting dish, although the egg flavor came through much more than the rice.


The PR person came and talked to us and told us how much she loves the grilled cheese sandwich here. The sandwich preparation changes regularly and seasonally, sometimes incorporating truffles or apricots.

Of course, we had to order one.
No truffle in sight today, but the aromatic melted cheese on the warm, crisp, and buttery bread was very satisfying. My friend did note that it was a bit too greasy for her usual fare, but you know I do not mind it.

For dessert, I tried the Amandine, a South African almond-based cake
A light dessert that's prepared well with a strong almond flavor and crunchy texture.

I was waiting for my friend to finish her drink, so I tried a second drink too, the Ultraviolet Martini (gin, vermouth, lemon, violet syrup - $9)
A very well balanced drink and the aroma and subtle flavor of the violet syrup made this quite a unique drink. Loved it.

Instead of doing my own recap, here's a summary of AYC from my friend and dinner companion (who has her own blog Whiners n Diners):

" Enter the warm, inviting Allston Yacht Club and you will experience a variety of tastes as richly colored as the decor itself. Imagine a great blue Hokusai wave against a vibrant yellow backdrop as you sip delicately crafted cocktails like the UltraViolet martini, the Echo Park Mule or the Allston Sunrise. You can nosh on anything from an assortment of small plates to savory entrees influenced from a variety of world cuisines. Our favorites include the merguez sausage and barbecue duck confit with green papaya. You can also find the tastiest grilled cheese - it is known to take on different forms at times- from plain to truffle infused. The staff is welcoming, and with prices between $7 and $9 for large plates, why not just make AYC your go-to place? "


Allston Yacht Club
1320 Echo Park Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 481-0454
www.allstonyachtclub.com
Allston Yacht Club on Urbanspoon
Allston Yacht Club in Los Angeles

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