Showing posts with label los angeles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label los angeles. Show all posts

Friday, June 21, 2019

Alice Eatery at 1 Hotel West Hollywood

The 1 Hotel West Hollywood is now open on Sunset Blvd, a rebrand of the previous Jeremy Hotel, and with it comes new restaurants! Alice Eatery is an all-day restaurant and marketplace concept run by The h.wood Group at the 1 Hotel.

The food and cocktails at Alice Eatery are from Chef Lord Maynard Llera and bar director Justin Campbell from The h.wood Group while the chef de cuisine overseeing the day to day operation is Broken Spanish alum, Geter Atienza.

The menu is French American. Since 1 Hotel is an eco-friendly luxury hotel brand, the restaurants of course also use locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. During my recent visit I tried the Grilled calamari, cucumber, green apple, red bell pepper, green papaya ($17)
Alice Eatery
This was a nice appetizer on the lighter salad - basically a salad with grilled calamari which had a great texture.

On the heavier end of the appetizer is the Beef tartare with smoked egg yolk, violet mustard, tomato ($24)
Alice Eatery

Saturday, June 15, 2019

LQ Foodings Supper Club Still Serve Some of LA's Best French Food

Some of LA's best French food can be had at LQ Foodings, a supper club by Laurent Quenioux who owned Bistro LQ a few years ago in LA. He holds this multi-course supper club dinners at a private home in Highland Park or other locations throughout the city.

I haven't had LQ's food in a while but I regularly get the news about the supper club. I finally decided to go recently, swayed by the possibility of an uni sausage (which didn't happen as the menu changes all the time, but the dinner was still great!) and convinced estarLA to go with me. It's a six course menu for $74 (wine and cheese is extra and a 20% service charge is due at the night of the event), which is pretty good for a tasting menu in LA. We all sat at a large dining table, a communal dining experience filled with food lovers, both new and long-time fans of Laurent.

We went for the spring dinner series and started with a Wild troll salmon sausage, fennel pollen emulsion, English peas, Timut peppercorn meringue, fennel
Bistro LQ
A great, light start to the meal - I loved the texture of the salmon sausage.

Devil's Gulch Ranch rabbit "carnitas rillette" roll, yellow beet, apple vinegar gelee, arthicoke "a la grecque", black trumpet mushrooms
Bistro LQ
Yes, it's rabbit meat that's been braised "carnitas" style!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Woon Kitchen: A Family Affair in Historic Filipinotown

Woon Kitchen recently opened in Historic Filipinotown (a.k.a. HiFi), adding another reason that HiFi is one of LA's latest food hotspots. Woon Kitchen started as a pop-up, building a loyal fan base by showcasing their mother's (Julie Fong, aka. Mama Fong) homestyle Chinese cooking around town. The new HiFi shop is small but cute and has some patio seating. There's a small but affordable menu plus a few specials, as well as beer and wine

To start: each table gets a bowl of peanuts roasted with sea moss (that apparently they get from a special dealer in SGV)
Woon
One of their best known dishes is the beef noodle, which is what they're known for from their pop-up days. It's a stir fried chewy noodles with marinated flank steak, bok choy and shiitake mushrooms ($11).
Woon
The stir fried noodles have a sweeter sauce and the texture of the noodles is nice and chewy, the beef slightly charred. For me, while I didn't eat these flavors exactly as a kid, the taste certainly reminds me of homeocoking.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

LA's Cochon 555 Moves to Downtown on June 2, 2019

If you're unfamiliar with Cochon 555, this event is an annual staple in multiple cities around the country. Cochon 555 is a food event and competition meant to highlight heritage pigs. In each city, 5 chefs partner up with 5 pig farmers and prepare some nose-to-tail pork dishes. The winner from each city is crowned Prince of Porc and will move on to compete in the big finale. What that means for us is an afternoon filled with pork (and booze). For this year, the Los Angeles event will take place on Sunday, June 2 at City Market Social House.

This year's participating chefs include Kat Hu and Justin Yi (Hock+Hoof) with Marin Sun Farms, David Johns (Mason) with Rancho Llano Seco, Jason Mattick and Ivan Marquez (Broken Spanish) with Marin Sun Farm, Ben Diaz (Nixo Lounge) with Peads and Barnetts. Brian Redzikowski from Kettner Exchange who made this (adorable!) pork bun (Pic Mac Bao) last year will also be returning to compete, this time partnering with Cook Pigs Ranch.
Cochon555 2018
There'll be a lot of more food than from the competing chefs, though. There'll be a tartare bar, cheese bar, oyster bar, and even a veggie bar. Some of my favorite bites last year besides than the Pic Mac Bao is this lechon kawali from Maynard Llera (H.wood Group)
Cochon555 2018

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Farmhouse Brings Farmer-Owned Restaurant to Beverly Center (Beverly Hills, CA)

There's a lot of farm-to-table restaurants these days, especially in California, but how many have a direct connection to a farm? Farmhouse, located at the Beverly Center, is actually owned by local farmer Nathan Peitso from Kenter Canyon Farms. Just to give you a perspective on the farm, I read that more than 20 years ago chef Alice Waters was getting lettuce from Kenter Canyon Farms (founded by Nathan's mother) for her salads at Chez Panisse, so yeah.

Now Nathan Peitso has opened a true farm-to-table restaurant in Beverly Hills, with Chef Craig Hopson heading the restaurant.

While eating in Beverly Hills is not known to be cheap, you should know that Farmhouse has a seasonal Harvest Menu that is three courses for $48 per person. You can choose from 3-4 options from each course. This is quite a nice deal to have in this area!

We ended up ordering a la carte but with a mix of items that were available on the prix fixe menu and not. We started with the Beets and burrata with pomegranate vinaigrette ($16)
Famrhouse LA
This is a classic combination - and isn't the presentation just beautiful? You can tell from the photo how fresh the beets were.

Lightly cured albacore, marinade of vegetables, chili, coriander, citrus
Famrhouse LA
Despite the chili and coriander garnish, the flavors didn't overwhelm the albacore.

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Peruvian-Italian Menu at Los Balcones Hollywood

Los Balcones has been revamping both their locations and each one is different. I recently reviewed the Mestizo cuisine at Los Balcones Studio City and now I checked out the Los Balcones in Hollywood. The Hollywood location has recruited Chef Michelangelo "Miguel" Aliaga to helm the kitchen.

Chef Aliaga hails from northern Peru but he started his cooking career in Florence, Italy. In LA, he's worked at various Italian restaurants including All'Angelo and Cecconi's. Now, at Los Balcones he's able to combine his two roots. Los Balcones' menu still has the classic Peruvian dishes you'd expect to see like lomo saltado and ceviche, but he's also melding Peruvian and Italian cuisines in others.

During my visit I mainly stuck to the Peruvian-Italian dishes so I can try what the chef is getting creative with, except for the beef heart anticucho I got for the appetizer. I just have to get beef heart anticucho when I see it.

Anticucho (grilled beef heart, panca pepper, potatoes, rocoto sauce, $16)
Los Balcones Hollywood
When they do it well like they do here and the beef hearts are tender, you can't go wrong.

Agnolotti de seco (homemade ravioli stuffed with lamb and cilantro sauce, finished with rocoto aioli, $20)
Los Balcones Hollywood
A classic pasta dish but with distinctly Peruvian flavors with the rocoto aioli. This is a great representation of how the two cuisines work together.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Tokyo Hamburg in Koreatown Dishes Out Japanese-style Hamburg Steak

What is hamburg? In Japan, don't confuse hamburg ("hambagu") with hamburger ("hambaga"). Hamburg / hambagu is actually like Salisbury steak. Hamburg steak is a patty of ground beef that originated in the town of Hamburg in Germany, but has become very popular in Japan (after German immigrants brought it there) since the 1950s.

In LA, there's now a place in that specializes in this. Tokyo Hamburg at the edge of Koreatown, as the name suggests, serves Japanese style hamburg. Here, the ground meat comes seared on the outside but still raw inside. It is served with a sizzling stone on the side, and diners are supposed to take small pieces and cook them on the sizzling stone. ($13.99 for the original hamburg)
Tokyo Hamburg

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Milk and Eggs, a New Kind of Grocery Delivery Service

These days, it's hard to find time to go grocery shopping. Thankfully, there are a few grocery delivery services out there. I recently got to test out Milk and Eggs, a service where you can order farm fresh food online and they'll be delivered to the LA and OC area. What's different about Milk and Eggs is that they get their food from the farms, butchers, bakers - basically the foodmakers directly instead of sending someone to buy your food from other grocery stores.
Milk and Eggs
They're delivered in these reusable bags (which they'll pick up on your next order). If you want to save money, they also have curated farm sampler bags.
Milk and Eggs

Monday, April 29, 2019

New Spring Dishes at Veggie Grill

I've never been to Veggie Grill previously. Since I'm not a vegetarian, I don't really seek out vegetarian restaurants, especially a chain. But I recently tried some of their new spring menu items and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

We started with some spring pea guacamole. This spring I've been all about the peas - they've just been so good. This pea guacamole - served with plantain chips - was no exception. It was fresh and sweet thanks to the in-season peas.
Veggie Grill
There's also the Spring Farm Salad with pea tendrils, baby kale, rosemary "chikin", campari tomatoes, dates, watermelon radish, croutons, feta "cheese", sunflower seeds, and avocado dressing
Veggie Grill

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Killer Shrimp, a Marina Del Rey Favorite for Over 30 Years

Even though Marina Del Rey hasn't really been LA's foodie destination, there's one place that's been consistently busy since they opened 30 years ago. The restaurant shut down for a bit, but thankfully reopened. Killer Shrimp got their popularity from their namesake dish (more on that later) and has expanded into a spacious space with a harbor view in MDR.

So, the killer shrimp. The original signature dish is a bowl of shrimp in spicy cajun-style broth and served with a French bread. Now, you can choose shrimp, crab, lobster, or all of the above. I tried the one with shrimp, crab, and lobster for $38.
Killer Shrimp
The shrimp and dipping the bread into the spicy tomato-based broth is definitely the best part, though!

They now have a full menu beyond the killer shrimp dishes now. We tried the scallop "sashimi" appetizer (it was seared, so not technically a sashimi)
Killer Shrimp

Friday, March 15, 2019

Masters of Taste Returns to Pasadena's Rose Bowl to Help End Homelessness

This year's Masters of Taste will return for their 4th annual festival on Sunday, April 7 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The event started to benefit Union Station Homeless Services has really grown in the past years.

I recently attended a preview event featuring some of the culinary, beverage and dessert masters from the upcoming event. All of the food and drinks we had that night were from restaurants or brands that will be serving at the event.
The bartenders at Raymond 1886 created this cocktail for the welcome reception: Kami of Dawn (Ki No Bi dry gin, lemon juice, yuzu syrup, passion fruit, green chartreuse, coedo marihana
Masters of Taste preview
Because of the rain, we got to enjoy our preview dinner inside the Rose Bowl's visitor locker room. It was pretty cool!
Masters of Taste preview

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Totoyama: Sushi and Ramen in the Heart of Hollywood

Let's face it, Hollywood Blvd is not typically what comes to mind when thinking of a place to eat, unless I happen to be catching a show at the Pantages or drinking nearby. But recently I was invited to check out Totoyama Sushi and Ramen, a casual Japanese spot in the same complex as Greenleaf and Pressed Juicery. There's no Hollywood glitz at Totoyama, but the space is nice and comfortable, and the food was surprisingly good and prices were affordable!

Totoyama usually offers an omakase with 10 pieces of nigiri and miso soup and edamame for $48, but they also had a sampler of Japanese fish. I got the Japanese fish sampler combo for $58 which included 4 different 2pcs nigiri and one piece of uni.
Totoyama
I thought it was quite a good deal 9 pieces which included uni! Each sushi was dressed individually. I believe I opted for the aji (mackerel), kanpachi, sea bream, and since they were out of one item I had the salmon.

My friend got the spicy miso ramen ($13) which had a rich and flavorful broth, and pretty spicy. Too spicy for me, but she quite enjoyed it.
Totoyama

Monday, December 10, 2018

Los Angeles Coffee Festival Recap

Last month I recently attended the first Los Angeles Coffee Festival in downtown LA. The festival combines coffee, tea, cocktails, coffee wares, and art. There were coffee and cappuccino samples from various companies like Bluestone Lane Coffee, Verve, Klatch, Intelligentsia, Counter Culture, and more.
LA Coffee Festival
In addition to coffee, I tried a couple of chai brands and tea. There was also a session for making espresso martinis with Grey Goose vodka and Mr. Black coffee liqueur.
LA Coffee Festival

Saturday, November 24, 2018

An LAX Layover at Hyatt Regency LAX and Unity LA

On my last trip to Maui I had about a 4-hour layover at LAX, and I figured it would be the perfect chance to check out the Hyatt Regency LAX and their restaurant, Unity LA. Hyatt Regency LAX runs a complimentary shuttle to/from the airport and hotel (it's also the shuttle that services QuikPark, which is right next door).

There are separate parts to Unity LA. The main restaurant is only open for dinner (and breakfast buffet), but the bar area is open all day and serves a full food menu, although different than the main restaurant menu. The Unity LA menu showcases the different cultures and neighborhoods of Los Angeles. One of the main cultures, of course, is Mexican.

We started with some tortilla soup, because it's been a while since I've had one.
Unity LA
Their quesadilla ($14) comes with a salsa that the manager said was made with a secret family recipe handed down by one of the cook's abuelita, so of course I had to try it! We loved this smoky chile de arbol and tomatillo salsa.
Unity LA

Monday, September 17, 2018

Luna Grill Brings Fresh Med to Santa Monica

by Bryan Tsunoda @discovering_LA

While Mediterranean food is extremely popular in LA, it isn’t well entrenched in Santa Monica. Leveraging their successful expansion in the LA area, Luna Grill recently opened up their fresh Mediterranean concept on Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica and I attended their recent grand opening event.

Luna Grill differentiates themselves from many other Mediterranean restaurants by sourcing their produce locally and obtaining meat that is preservative free with no added growth hormones. One of their principles is to serve food that avoids additives and preservatives and that is real, pure food. You can feel good about eating Mediterranean cuisine. According to the Mayo Clinic, a traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease, a reduced incidence of cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases and has shown reduced incidents of cancer. Their research has also shown that the diet results in a lower level of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Now on to the food.
Hummus is available in regular or in a spicy version and I selected the latter.  
The spicy hummus is house made with a blend of chickpeas, tahini, cilantro, lemon and cayenne pepper and served with a generous amount of fresh pita slices. The addition of cilantro and cayenne pepper nicely elevates traditional hummus.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Holbox: LA's Best Yucatan-style Mexican Seafood

Holbox is not that new anymore in LA, but just in case some of you are still not familiar with it, I'm letting you know that it's the place to get the best Yucatan-style seafood in LA. Holbox is a stall inside Mercado La Paloma in Downtown LA (which also houses Chichen Itza). Despite the casual environment, Holbox puts out the highest quality seafood at reasonable prices.

Among the many great things to try there is the pulpo (octopus) taco. The Spanish octopus is braised then fried and served on a handmade corn tortilla and squid ink sofrito ($12)
Holbox LA
The texture of the octopus is perfect and the flavors are spot on. Definitely order this.

Kumiai oysters from Guerrero Negro Lago in Baja California.
Holbox LA

Monday, May 7, 2018

Omakase at the Hidden Sushi | Bar (Encino, CA)

I heard about a sushi bar in Encino with a name pretty impossible to google: Sushi | Bar. This is Phillip Frankland Lee's hidden omakase-only sushi bar behind Woodley Proper in Encino. Sushi | Bar has two seatings per night and only seats eight people at a time. Reservations for the night opens at 10 am that morning on their website (EDIT: Sushi|Bar now takes reservations up to 2 weeks in advance!)

Sushi | Bar is hidden inside Woodley Proper. You check in at Woodley Proper and wait at the bar with a welcome cocktail before the party is escorted to the secret room. Sushi | Bar is not a traditional Japanese sushi restaurant. Phillip Frankland Lee and his team serves up a creative 17-course omakase of sushi with unusual garnishes and preparations.

We chatted with the sushi chefs and other diners and the 17 courses and their drink pairings come and go in rapid succession. I wasn't able to take detailed notes of every single preparations and photos of all the dishes, unfortunately, but here are what you might expect out of this wonderful and unique omakase experience.

We started with a West Coast oyster with whipped nigorizake and caviar, among other ingredients. I opted for the drink pairing which mixed in sake, beer, and cocktails - starting with sake to pair with the oysters.

There's the Purple Peruvian scallop with noc chuom and leche de tigre
Sushi Bar

Oo-toro, pineapple, brown sugar, wasabi, soy
Sushi Bar

White prawn from the Gulf of Mexico marinated for 3 days in chermoula. The prawn was oasted, then topped with dehydrated matcha, kelp, wasabi, and soy
DSC00049
The prawn was paired with a cocktail made with Japanese whisky, port, lemon, matcha, kelp, soy - the three ingredients matched the garnish on the prawn sushi itself.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

LA: Taste of the Eastside, April 29, 2018 + Giveaway!

You know it's spring in LA when it's time for Taste of the Eastside! The food festival is coming back for another run on April 29, 2018 to the Los Angeles River and Gardens. The festival showcases restaurants in the Eastside neighborhoods including Eagle Rock, Silverlake, Highland Park, Los Feliz and beyond.

This year's participating restaurants include Melody, Oki Poki, Malo Restaurant, Daw Yee Myanmar Corner, Cliff's Edge, Momed, Cento Pasta Bar, and more. There will be ice creams from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, Pazzo Gelato, and McConnell's Fine Ice Creams. Drinks will be served by Frogtown Brewery, Green Bar Distillery, Silverlake Wine, Eagle Rock Brewery, and others.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Belly Up to Eight Korean BBQ for 8 Flavors of Pork Belly

Eight Korean BBQ focuses on pork belly, and has locations in Buena Park, Koreatown, and Singapore. The main attraction here is the eight flavors of pork belly. If the concept sounds familiar to you, that would be because the Koreatown location was Palsaik which also served eight flavors of pork belly. Palsaik is now rebranded (and with much much better service!) and with new menu items.

We got the Combo A, which comes with the eight flavors of pork belly plus a seafood stew and mozarella kimchi fried rice for $56.99. It was plenty of food for 2 people and probably would feed 3-4 depending on how much you eat.
Eight Korean BBQ
The eight flavors were: hot, miso, curry, herb (mostly rosemary), garlic, black sesame, original, and wine. The black sesame one is a new addition (it replaced the ginseng) and I'm pleasantly surprised how well the sesame flavor worked with pork belly. I think the sesame was my favorite this time around, but the garlic and hot flavors are also great.
Eight kbbq
We also ordered the Flower Pork Belly ($22), because it looked so cool! Although we thought it looked more like a hedgehog than flower, but either way it made for a great photo and more fatty pork belly for us to eat.
Eight kbbq

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Sakana Sushi Lounge (Downtown LA)

by @discovering_LA

I recently visited Sakana Sushi Lounge in DTLA. It is located on 9th street just east of FIDM. Fortunately, Joe owns a lot of parking lots in downtown LA and I was able to find parking a block away from the restaurant. Sakana Sushi Lounge has a hip and modern decor. Effective use of wood, glass and color make for a classy interior. The dining room seating is a combination of comfortable tables and booths. Decorative steel chain curtains give window seat customers some additional privacy.

We started with deviled eggs.

The eggs were soaked in soy sauce and were topped with a nicely whipped mixture containing the egg yolks. The salmon roe on top gave it a nice presentation and boost of flavor.

The tempura cauliflower is the perfect dish for vegetarians. The cauliflower is coated with tempura batter and lightly fried. It is topped with sriracha aioli. The serving size is quite generous and this could almost make a meal for one.

A nice assortment of nigiri followed: hamachi, toro, uni, hotate, sake and kazunoko.


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