Showing posts with label hummus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hummus. Show all posts

Friday, August 26, 2016

Simbal is the Vietnamese Izakaya You Need to Try (Los Angeles, CA)

Simbal is a bit of a sleeper gem in Little Tokyo, which opened last summer and has since gotten plenty of critic accolades. The space is tucked away in Little Tokyo mall, but it's worth finding the place for Chef Shawn Pham's truly wonderful Southeast Asian food.

Simbal has been dubbed a "Vietnamese izakaya", so the small plates menu certainly has plenty of dishes that are meant to accompany drinks, like the Yin's wok fried seasoned nuts, anchovies, seaweed ($5)
Simbal
Chef Shawn Pham is doing some fun takes on Vietnamese classics, like he does with the Banh mi salad, with pickled daikon and carrots, Vietnamese sausage, head cheese, cucumber (banh mi, low-carb style?)
Simbal
Chef Pham has worked in some powerhouses such as the shuttered Sona, Craft, and The Bazaar, and Simbal's menu marries his fine dining experience with his four years in Vietnam. You'll see this in dishes like the beef tartare, larb seasoning, served with a puffy sesame bread.
Simbal

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Global Flavors at Tavern Road (Boston, MA)

The airy Tavern Road in Fort Point is a hip eatery that merges the neighborhood's recent emergence and the creative community who's long occupied the area. DiBiccari has a lot of connections to the art community in Boston (his uncle was an artist), so the artwork displayed in his restaurant is also done by local artists.

Tavern Road
Tavern Road's menu spans diverse global influences. Diners may start with some Sumac hummus and grilled beans with apple, sesame, and freshly baked pita ($8)
Tavern Road
In fact, diners should start with this amazing sumac hummus, along with the warm, fluffy pita. It's unlike other hummus you've had. The sumac and apple adds a refreshing tartness, and I am always partial to the nutty sesame flavor. I could't stop munching on the pita and hummus!

Chickpea frites, sweet and spicy tomato jam ($5)
Tavern Road
When I read the description, I was imagining falafels, but these cubes of ground chickpeas are surprisingly smooth and creamy morsels.

Maine Crab conserva, soffrito, fried pita, pickles, herbs ($12)
Tavern Road
Shifting direction to a jar of light marinated crab. The fresh pita makes another appearance here and is a great vehicle for the cool, fresh lumps of crab meat.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Amsterdam Falafelshop, a Cheap and Quick Lunch in Fenway-Kenmore (Boston, MA)

Boston University students are lucky to have Amsterdam Falafelshop close to them in the Fenway Kenmore area. This place is perfect for a quick, cheap, and satisfying lunch (or dinner).
The menu is simple: you get falafels either in a pita or in a bowl, either small or large. There's also fries. But after you order you can go crazy with the toppings.

Amsterdam Falafelshop

Amsterdam Falafelshop has an impressive topping bar with hummus, garlic sauce, fried eggplant, various salads, sauces, and all kinds of other goodies to bury your falafel under! If you order a pita, you can fill it with as much topping as you desire/ can fit in. If you order a bowl, then you pay by weight.
Amsterdam Falafelshop

A small pita with 3 falafels is $6, and if you're good with fitting in your toppings you'll already get a filling sandwich. That's why this place is great for students (and postdocs like me)!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Syrian Cuisine at Kareem's (Boston, MA)

When Wandering Chopsticks was visiting me in Boston, she heard about this Syrian restaurant that was only open on weekends that you need to have reservations to go to. The only time we could go was right after a full day of eating lobsters in Maine, so I wasn't really up for a full dinner but she really wanted to go, and I had just read about this Syrian dessert called kanafeh (or kanafa, kunafe, however you want to spell it) in a novel, The Golem and The Jinni.

Kareem's
The restaurant is tiny, and located in a residential neighborhood in Watertown. Other than the weekend-only dinners, it's only open for cooking classes. 

As with all Middle Eastern meals, we started with a hummus. We tried the Royal Hummus (with beets, $9)
Kareem's

Homemade pita
Kareem's

Friday, November 28, 2014

Chef Jose Andres' Zaytinya (Washington, DC)

When I go to DC, naturally I have to try one of Jose Andres' restaurants that I have not been to yet. Having tried Bazaar in LA and Jaleo, I went with Zaytinya, his Mediterranean restaurant.

IMG_8666
The restaurant was bright and lively, and the overall menu was surprisingly pretty reasonable (compared to The Bazaar, for example). The menu was pretty large, and there were so many things I wanted to try, but alas, my cousin and I could only eat so much. We'll just have to go back.

The restaurant sent out a couple of spreads with their fluffy, airy pita bread that's served warm. We got the Htipiti (marinated roasted red peppers, feta, thyme, $7.50) and Hommus ma lahm (hommus, spiced ground Jamison lamb, pine nuts, pickled wild cucumber, mint, $9)
Untitled
You know how sometimes the simplest things turn out to be the best? Same with these. I was glad they sent these out since I may not have ordered them otherwise, but my cousin and I loved both spreads. My cousin was particularly addicted to the htipiti. It was so flavorful, yet luscious thanks to the feta, and the fluffy, delicate pita was so good.

Our next course is something I must order every time I see it on the menu:
Seared halloumi cheese, dates, pomegranate, orange, mint ($9.50)
IMG_8677
I love halloumi cheese and I liked this rendition combined with the thick, sweet dates.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Grub: Top Chef Betty Fraser's Cozy Home

Top chef contestant Betty Fraser and grub gal pal Denise deCarlo outfitted a 1920's duplex in Hollywood into the home of their cozy restaurant, Grub. Their brunch service has gotten plenty of positive feedback and even won Citysearch's Best Brunch award.

They recently started their dinner service and wanted to get more word out, and since we met during The Food Event, Chef Betty invited me and a friend over to try out their dinner on the house.

Going to Grub felt like going to a friend's house during the holidays. From the patio seating to the warm interior decorated with christmas lights and a motley selection of artwork, Grub's feel is casual at its best.
Even though it was pouring outside, Grub had a steady trickle of customers who are obviously neighborhood locals. Not surprised, a charming place like this would be a neighborhood destination for sure.

Instead of bread, Grub serves a basket of vegetable sticks and pretzels with dip - a fun change.
Grub has a pretty cheap drink menu with $4.25 sangrias and lemon basil champagne cocktail that sounds absolutely delicious, but I decided not to indulge that night and went with a blueberry lemonade instead. They give you a big glass of this really refreshing drink for $2.50.

Per our waiter's recommendation, for appetizer we got "Our Famous Spicy Lemon Hummus" ($6.25)
I wasn't expecting to get hummus here, but this really was quite good. The hummus was full of flavor it was hard for me to stop eating it.

Grub has a pretty big dinner menu with a lot of 'green' and salad choices and sandwiches, but this night I went with their California Crab Cake ($16.95)
The crabcake was unexpectedly spicy! I ended up not eating most of it since I couldn't really handle the spice (me=weaksauce), luckily the greens helped keep the spiciness at bay. The highlight of this dish for me was actually the creamed corn - also spiced up. A bit of spice, plus the sweetness of the corn all molded together in cream was so good. (Disclaimer: I'm a total corn lover)

I did think the crabcake's portion was small especially compared to the steak. My friend ordered the Drunken Steak ($21.95)
Marinated in Stone Pale Ale and cooked to medium rare, this steak was super tender. It was a little bland for me to just eat the meat though, but the mushroom onion pan sauce took care of that.

We were stuffed but I've been eyeing their dessert menu. Their smallest item thought 1/4 of their Big-Ass ice cream cookie sandwich, so they split that for us.
Here's 1/8 of a Big-Ass Ice Cream Cookie sandwich:
Still pretty big and definitely pushed me over the edge! But talk about indulging, there's nothing better than chewy chocolate cookies and ice cream.

Grub also offers a big selection of sandwiches and burgers and a variety of their famous mac-n-cheese which I want to try next time.
And I definitely can't wait to try their award winning brunch.

Grub
911 Seward St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 461-3663
www.grub-la.com
Grub on Urbanspoon
Grub in Los Angeles

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