Showing posts with label pop up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pop up. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Viento Pop-Up at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza

by guest blogger @btsunoda

With the exception of Las Vegas, hotels usually don’t make an effort to attract diners that aren’t already guests of the hotel. There are only a handful of hotel restaurants that I can think of that I dined at without being a guest. The Breeze Restaurant in the Hyatt Regency Century City Plaza Hotel is attempting to change that perception. The Breeze kitchen has experimented with a few different themes and I had a chance to sample their new pop-up restaurant located just off the lobby.

I learned that the Hyatt Regency team will rotate the kitchen in six month pop-up efforts, each one operating under a different name. I had the opportunity to attend the initial pop-up named “Viento”, a Latin small plates concept.
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During the dinner hours, Viento serves tapas such as pork belly sliders and mini duck sopes, alongside larger dishes like mole platters and Achiote Salmon. They also change the restaurant’s interior design by swapping out tables, chairs, and decor elements as needed. DSCF7723

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Akinto Pop Up at Wink and Nod (Boston, MA)

The food program at Wink and Nod is a series of longer-term pop-ups that rotate every six months. The current pop up is Akinto by Chef Patrick Enage, offering modern South East Asian inspired cuisine to diners in Boston. I was quite excited since it offers a big diversity in the food scene in Boston, which typically doesn't have much Indonesian, Filipino, or other South East Asian food.

I finally got to go try it with Urban Foodie Finds, and we started with some Pork Hash Sisig, quail egg yolk, calamansi, soy ($6.50)

Akinto
This was good but it felt a little dry, although I enjoyed the flavors. However, I really loved our next dish:
Prawns with squid ink lo mein, Khmer red curry broth, mango ($15)
Akinto

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vietnamese Brunch Pops Up on Melrose with BEP Kitchen

Every other week starting this Sunday (April 21), you can get an awesome Vietnamese multi-course brunch on Melrose. Connie Tran's BEP Vietnamese Kitchen will be popping up at Franco on Melrose. There's only one seating at 11:30 am where you'll partake in an 8-course brunch, mostly served family style, for $37.

Boiled Peanuts
I attended a media preview last week, starting my morning with some spiced boiled peanuts. I remember as a kid I loved boiled peanuts and would buy them at the zoo (I think they were meant for the elephants). I just love the texture! Here, suck on the shells a bit to get the flavors!

Chef Connie Tran explained to us the philosophy behind a Vietnamese meal. She said there is always a "water" component, which in our meal was the chao sang: rice porridge, lardon crisps, poached egg, sage brown butter

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This one was not served family style but a small individual bowl for everyone. Egg lovers will rejoice over the high egg:porridge ratio here.

After that there will be 1-2 proteins but one of them will always have vegetables. More on that later, though, as she modernizes and expands things a bit with her own take.

Our second course was a beautiful salad of starfruit, fennel, burrata, bibb lettuce with lemon balm dressing
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Common Grains Soba Pop-Up

Have you ever had fresh, hand kneaded, hand cut soba? If not, get to the Common Grains soba pop-up shop at Breadbar while you can, because it is nothing like other soba you've ever had.

Sonoko Sakai is one of LA's soba masters, but you'd normally only be able to taste her soba if you take one of her soba making classes (which I have and highly recommend). Now, as part of a Japanese educational program, Common Grains, she and another soba chef, Mutsuko Soma are serving up soba at BreadBar in Century City until January 22.

Juuwari Soba
The soba here is made with 80% buckwheat flour (organically grown and stone-milled) and 20% wheat flour, but you can also try the Juwari soba made with 100% buckwheat flour. Kneading pure buckwheat flour without no binder is that much harder, trust me.

I recommend trying either the zaru soba ($12) or juwari soba ($13.50, pictured above) so you can fully taste just how much better the soba is here, but understandably it is still cold out and you might want a bowl of something warm. Get one of the seiro soba, served with a bowl of warm soup that you can dip your soba into.
Pork Seiro Soba

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Of Rice and Soba: "Common Grains", An Upcoming Delicious Education Program

Know what makes good food even better? Insight into the culture and what goes into its making. The upcoming Common Grains events will provide just that for Japanese grains, including Japanese rice and soba.

The Common Grains program will kick off with an onigiri making contest at the Japanese American National Museum’s annual Oshogatsu festival. The contest is part of the museum’s New Year celebration of the Year of the Dragon.
Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Sunday, Jan 8, 2012. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Then, you can try delicious artisanal soba at the Common Grains Soba Pop-Up Restaurant and Sake Bar at BREADBAR Century City.
These aren't your run of the mill soba, but one made by artisan soba makers Sonoko Sakai and Mutsuko Soma. The soba is hand made using freshly stoned and milled buckwheat. I've participated in Sonoko's soba making class before, and trust me, her soba is nothing like you've ever had before (unless you've had them in Japan).
BREADBAR Century City, 10520 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067. 
310.277.7770
Tuesday, Jan 10 – Thursday, Jan 19, 2012. 5-10 p.m.



After having her soba, you're going to want to make them yourselves. Well, you can attend the Common Grains Artisan Soba Demonstration and Tasting at Mitsuwa Marketplace, where guests will also have the opportunity to purchase fresh soba and homemade dipping sauces that can be prepared at home.
Mitsuwa Marketplace, 21515 S. Western Ave., Torrance, CA 90501
Thursday, January 26, 2012 – Sunday, January 29, 2012, demonstrations at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.
No cost to attend the soba demonstration, $18 for fresh soba for two with homemade dipping sauces

There's also the Soba and Rice Workshops at Tortoise General Store
The workshops will showcase different preparations of rice and soba for guests to learn how to cook healthy, simple Japanese meals at home.
Tortoise General Store1208 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
The workshops will take place on multiple dates:
Saturday, Jan 21, 2012 / Sunday, Jan 22, 2012 / Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 / Sunday, Feb 19, 2012. 
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
COST: $65 pp for the two-hour workshops
RSVP to Tortoise General Store at 310.314.8448

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ramen Bull Pops up at BreadBar with Beef and Oxtail Ramen

BREADBAR and Chef Noriyuki Sugie of Ironnori brings back ramen to BREADBAR's 3rd Street location. Not the pork-based tonkotsu ramen, but beef ramen, dubbed Ramen Bull. The menu is simple but diverse (as far as beef go). There's the oxtail, beef tongue, spicy ground beef, even a vegetarian ramen.

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Oxtail Ramen
I was recently invited to taste chef Nori's ramen creations. I had gotten there early and my +1 was running late, so I ordered a plate of Corned Beef ($6) to munch on.
Corned Beef
The slices of corned beef was topped with charcoal oil, adding to the flavor. Texture-wise, I prefer the tender beef tongue that comes next.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Magnum Pop-Up with Joseph Mahon and David Haskell

Oftentimes pop-up restaurants leave you to your own devices as far as booze-pairing goes. The team of chef Joseph Mahon and sommelier David Haskell (dubbed 'Magnum') promised to be different -a full tasting menu with pairings, and their own back-of-house and front-of-house team.
Joseph MahonIMG_5116

Chef Joseph Mahon was the latest Bastide "alum" and trained under Daniel Boulud and David Bouley in New York before moving back to California to work at David Myers' Sona. David Haskell had also worked in New York, including Le Cirque, before opening Bin 8945 in West Hollywood, which he then sold a couple years back. The pop-up was held at Biergarten in Koreatown. Koreatown?? Considering David Haskell's notorious love for Korean food, it wasn't that surprising. Mahon's menu turned out to be quite influenced by Asian cuisine (kimchi included). The pairing was also a nice mix of wine, beer, sake, and soju (hey, we're in Koreatown).

I was accompanied by Eating LA whose birthday, like mine, was coming up. It ended being a great pre-birthday dinner for both of us (read her post here).

Haskell visited each table for each course to explain the pairing that he had chosen.
The first course was Carrot Pudding  with orange granita and shaved peanuts.
Paired with: NV Jules et Michel Beauchamp: Champagne, France: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier

IMG_5118
Haskell wanted to use the strawberry notes from the rosé combined with this course to invoke the taste of a creamsicle.

#2: Coconut Soup (mussels, tapioca, cilantro pistou, lime)
Wakatake "Onigoroshi", Junmai Daiginjo: Shizuoka, Japan
Coconut Soup with Mussels
Yes, it did say "tapioca" on the menu but nonetheless I was surprised by the texture it gave; the soup was a very pleasant surprise filled with great mussels. This dish along with a few others that night were nice examples of how seamlessly Chef Mahon can incorporate influences from Asian cuisine.
The richness of the coconut soup balanced out the slight bitterness of the sake.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ludobites 4.0 Quickie

There probably isn't another restaurant that almost all of the LA bloggers repeated go back to other than Ludobites. Partly because of the temporariness of the pop-up, partly because of the constantly rotating menu, and partly just because we all love it.

Ludobites 4.0 is currently popping at Gram & Papa's in downtown LA (their venture "east" ... ish). While the space is small, which makes keeping afloat hard when 20 ppl who snagged multiple reservations decided on a no-show, the (although also small) open kitchen is nice. Now we can stare at Ludo and the sous chefs while they cook. And yes, Ludo can stare at you too when your courses come, so snap those photos fast.

With the blogger/twitterverse shooting praises for particular dishes, one visit is never enough, because you'd go online and say "I didn't get to try that one!"

What I did get to try:

Burgundy Escargots, Garlic Flan, Green Jus, Violet Flowers ($13)
Typically served with garlic and parsley butter, Ludo whips them up instead in garlic flan (which is still deliciously rich and butter). Crunchy chewy snails in creamy, garlicky goodness. My companion didn't really dig snails or garlic. All the better for me.

Scallop, Almond Puree, Pickled Grapes, Capers, Curry Oil & Cauliflower Ice Cream ($14)
Firm yet tender scallops, crisp cauliflowers and the juices of the pickled grapes bursting in your mouth.

Carrot Salad, Saffron Anglaise Cream, Pearl Onions, Blood Orange, Orange Powder ($10)
I was skeptical at first (because why would I order carrot salad?) but this was not only gorgeous looking but tasted really good. The thinly shaved carrots had so much flavor and a great texture. Combined with the citrus from the blood orange slices, this was one great salad.

Seared Foie Gras "Pina Colada" ($29)
There were a lot of great flavors going on here, but I did think the foie gras was seared too long. A good portion of the foie was seared to a crisp and while I usually enjoy that this was a little thick. I'd like to give this another try though.


Squid "Carbonara", Pancetta, Poached Egg (63'), Parmesan Snow, Chive Flowers ($18)
A unique and delicious take on the pasta carbonara, using slices of squid as the "pasta." This was one of the other bloggers' beloved dish and I can certainly see why. The creamy "pasta" dish is taken to a new level using the chewiness of the squid.

Ham Soup, Bread, Swiss Cheese, Radish, Cornichon, Guiness ($12)
This "Parisian Ham Sandwich in a Bowl" as Krissy introduced it, was another much-lauded dish amongst the bloggers. The ham soup with bits of bread and swiss cheese floating about is two great comfort foods conjoined.

The fact that the last 2 dishes are by and large the favorites of the popular votes to me said something about the taste preferences of the current audience, though. Same as the popularity of bacon. Something rich and heavy over a wonderfully executed Poached Monkfish, Jardiniere de Legumes, Vadouvan ($24)
The monkfish itself was firm yet moist and sweet. It was served with peas and carrots, the spring vegetables that probably classically define the term "jardiniere." Vadouvan, Ludo's favorite spice, brings together each ingredient in the dish in spice and cumin-laden bond.

Two desserts were offered, so naturally we got both.
Rose macarons, Organic Strawberry & Lychee ($12)
This dense and chewy macaron had a nicely sweet fragrance and was complemented well by the crisp fresh strawberries. The lychee essence was somewhat lost among the other flavors.

Dark chocolate soufflé, vanilla whisky ice cream, hot chocolate cream ($13)
I don't know why it's so hard to find a real soufflé in this city (stop serving me chocolate molten cake when your menu says soufflé!), but Ludo's is certainly a bonafide soufflé.
The soufflé: a gorgeous "rise", fluffy, soft and moist.
To top it all off: whisky in your ice cream for a kick.

If I wanted to be done with Ludobites I will have to quit reading blogs and twitter.
In the meantime, I still have a long list of dishes to try: poached jidori chicken, egg & potato mousseline w lobster, etc, etc ...

LudoBites @ Gram & Papa's
227 E 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 624-7272
www.ludolefebvre.com/ludo-bites
LudoBites @ Gram & Papa's on Urbanspoon

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