Showing posts with label beverly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beverly. Show all posts

Friday, April 4, 2014

Getting Lebanese Food in West Hollywood at Open Sesame

Open Sesame is a popular Lebanese restaurant in Long Beach and they have now opened their LA location on Beverly Blvd, in the former Eva space. They've revamped the small space quite nicely to fit the theme.
Addictive, pungent garlic dip is served right off the bat. It's also great with the appetizer of fried potatoes, sauteed with cilantro, garlic, roasted chili and lemon juice. That dip is great with anything, really.
The cocktails here are worth a look, some of them utilizing middle eastern components like rose water and tamarind. I tried the Tamarind cocktail with tequila, tamarind syrup, agave, grapefruit liqueur, rose water, lime.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Petty Cash Taqueria: Kraken, Pig Ears, Mexican Spirits You' ve Never Heard Of

The new Petty Cash Taqueria is a collaboration between the north and south side of the border. Beloved chef Walter Manzke's pig ear nachos sit on the same menu as Tijuana's popular Tacos Kokopelli's kraken tacos. Bill Esparza tries to spice up the spirits program with little known Bacanora from Sonora (it's a sister of tequila made from a different type of agave). You will see a giant jug of a clear spirit sitting on the bar. It will either be this bacanora or something equally as interesting they managed to get their hands on.

Manzke's pig ear nachos appeared at Colonial Wine Bar for a pop-up once and people raved. Now, you can get it anytime here. The nachos and pig ears are topped with a runny egg and crema poblano ($12)

Crispy nachos, chewy pig ear, just enough going on here. There's a reason why this dish is so popular, try it for yourself!

A perfect snack for a big party is the Cheesy Churros with green Mole-corn dip ($5)
Cheesy Churros
Yes, savory Churros covered in cheese!
(The texture wasn't quite "churros" but it's certainly a puffy fried dough, so that counts.) There are plenty of churros in one order, but it was so hard to stop eating them.

The cocktail list isn't as big as Playa's was but there are still interesting drinks to try like the Oaxacan Old Fashioned (made with tequila and mezcal). I went with a lighter Banana Hammock (Petty Cash rum blend, banana infusion, lime, tamarind, cassia, dehydrated banana chip, $10)

A sweeter tiki drink that's a crowd pleaser. The sour tamarind is not that strong here, getting mostly the sweeter banana.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Eva Restaurant: Sunday Family Dinner, and Free Wine?

It's not everyday you walk into a restaurant greeted by the chef and his baby girl in his arm. Plus that baby girl is the restaurant's namesake herself, Eva.

Between receiving LAist's Sam Kim's email saying "What are you doing for dinner?" and us joining him and MyLastBite + hubby at Eva was about 40 minutes. We were there for Eva's Sunday Family Dinner - a $35 family-style prix fixe that included, yes, included, wine.

Here's what we had for dinner:

Heirloom Tomatoes with Crushed Basil
Delicious, juicy heirloom tomatoes lightly dressed to accentuate the natural flavors of the tomatoes.

Risotto with Shrimp Scampi
Good texture on the risotto and good flavor on the shrimp.

Fried Chicken
These are great fried chicken with crispy skin and the meat is tender and juicy. "Succulent" is a great way of describing it. I did want more ... maybe I should've asked for another piece.

Creamed Corn
Quite the addictive side dish, creamy and the sweetness of the corn really came through.

Braised Short Ribs
The braised short ribs were quite good, tender and flavorful. I did, however, at that point feel that the meal was overall too heavy and wasn't perfectly tied together. I thought that the fried chicken and the short ribs belonged to two separate meals.

Chef Gold came by and asked us if we wanted some egg cream. Egg cream? We had no idea what an egg cream was, but sure, we'll take 3.
According to Wikipedia, it apparently contains neither eggs nor cream, but instead is a concoction made of milk, chocolate syrup, and soda.

For desserts: chocolate and banana cupcakes.

Probably because we were sitting with MyLastBite who knows the chef well now, Chef Gold brought to us a plate of Cuttlefish with Matsutake Mushrooms & Kyoho Grapes
Eating cuttlefish apres-dessert is strange, perhaps, but it matters not because the cuttlefish was delicious and wonderfully chewy.

Eva Restaurant
7458 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 634-0700
Eva Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ita-Cho: Standard Japanese, Unusual Dessert

This was a long overdue post - this dinner was on the same night as my first visit to Milk. I couldn't decide where to go one night and decided to try out Ita-Cho, an izakaya type restaurant on Beverly. The plus for me is that it was across the street from Milk :)

Ita-Cho was relatively empty, but they did have quite a few tables filled. They actually have quite a few interesting items on the menu. I ordered the octopus karaage:
The octopus was pretty tough and the batter falls apart whenever I try to take a bite. It was a little bit greasy but pretty tasty nonetheless. Nothing particularly memorable, but good.

We also got the broiled hamachi kama (yellowtail collar). I mean, don't we all lo~ve yellowtail collar?
This was my favorite dish of the night. A solid and well-done dish! The hamachi kama was so tender and flavorful.

For dessert, I was surprised to find that they serve fresh cherimoya fruit. It was $3 for one fruit, though, which is expensive compared to grocery store price but I guess this was "one dessert dish".
It was a good cherimoya - the ripeness is just right. They sure did pick a good one.

All in all, I thought Ita-Cho was nothing particularly special, but they do a solid job and have interesting items on the menu. The prices are also reasonable. If it was close to where I live I would go there frequently. As it is, it's a bit far for me to come back frequently, but I may just come back there when I want some more Milk ice cream :)

7311 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2534
Phone: (323) 938-9009

Itacho on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jian BBQ Pre-Opening Night!

Jian BBQ is a high-end Korean place on Beverly Blvd that will open its doors to the public on May 26th. Lucky for me I got to tag along to their pre-opening tasting night for friends and families.

They had beautiful woodwork inside the restaurant, but the wall of the bar was laid out with pachinko machines and there's a giant statue of a black anime robot -- I'm not sure what the reasoning is here, but I thought the pachinko machines were pretty interesting.

Now, on to the food! We had a loong tasting meal ahead of us! I was sitting with a group of Koreans so I relied on them to tell me if the dishes would be too spicy for me or not. Luckily most of them were not! (Although the restaurant can make them spicier too if you ask them - but they are mainly catering to the white clientele).

We started with a whole bunch of appetizers. This is the yun aw jun (salmon with jalapeno, wrapped in a thin dough)
Good salmon, tasty. Nothing special here though.

Then the awww mandoo (halibut, snow crab, napa cabbage, doo boo)
This was served with their "JIAN gochujang sauce" which actually was not spicy at all. Again well done and tasty, but better dishes are to come.

Next is the yook hwe (beef tartar, korean pear, baby arugula, quail egg)
Now THIS was excellent IMO. Tender, fresh beef! There's a wonderful citrus-y flavor and the combination with the korean pear was very, very good.

The came my favorite korean dish, jap chae!
This jap chae was very very good, one of the best I've had yet. I do wish they had put more mushrooms and vegetables in it, but the taste was excellent. Not too oily or peppery either.

Next is the yuja yun aw hwe (salmon tartar)
Standard salmon tartar here. Good fresh fish.

Then the doo boo kimchi. Now it's starting to look spicy, but it actually was not that spicy.
The dooboo (in a thin fried layer of dough) is underneath all that kimchi. Excellent doo boo (tofu). I actually liked this dish despite the fact that I do not normally eat kimchi. The koreans on my table really liked it too (although they did wish it was spicier).

Next is the cheese ma ri, which is basically mozzarela sticks? Not very Korean, but it was pretty good.

Then the ga ri bi ti gim (scallops fried in shredded filo)
The filo tends to fall apart, making this a bit hard to eat since the scallops were also hard to bite off. Quality scallops. I do like fried food. Nothing to rave about here though.

Finally we're done with appetizers (all those were appetizers?? We were soo~ full already).

Next is the korean bbq. They brought us some pan chan - the standard kim chi etc.
One thing worth mentioning about this bbq is that there is no vent above us! This grill is built so that the smoke would be all sucked back down underneath! As we were cooking we could definitely see that the smoke does not rise but enters into the holes on the side as you see in this picture.
This makes the whole experience less smoky and smelly :)
So we had kal bi, bul go gi, and shrimp. The shrimps were very good, and so was the kal bi. I was never much into unmarinated bul go gi though .. They also served the lettuce salads instead of plain lettuce or rice paper to wrap it with, though, which was a bit of a bummer.

Oh we're not done yet .... We also had the eun dae gu jo rim (braised cod). Served with braised radish and some fried tofu.
Everyone loved this dish. It was a lot of people's favorite. It was a little salty, but the fish was amazingly tender and flavorful. And I love those little tofu.

We also had the kim chi chigue - which again, was a lot less spicy than usual. It was still a bit spicy so I only had a bite. I thought it was delicious. This girl on my table claims that it was one of the best she's ever had and that kim chi chigue is her favorite dish -- so I guess we can take her word for it? :)
We had mochi ice cream for dessert. What to say? Mochi ice cream is mochi ice cream.
I do wish they had served a more unique dessert - we did not get to see the real regular menu, so don't know what they will actually be serving.

We all really enjoyed our meal here. Overall, everything we had was solid and well done - some more "standard" than others. They do cater more to the non-Korean clientele with the less spicy dishes, but I think they still retain a lot of authenticity. I did not get to see the real menu so I don't know how much they plan on charging.
Assuming they have reasonable prices, I would definitely come back for the jap chae, the cod (eun dae gu jo rim), and the beef tartar :)

Jian BBQ

8256 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Jian Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

When I Eat Spicy

Just to get it out there, I CANNOT eat spicy food. Yes, I am Indonesian. Call me weird. Call me weak-sauce. Call me whatever. I just can't handle it. Occasionally though, I will sit through and suffer and drink gallons of water so I can have a particular dish.

Soon tofu is one of them. I always ask for Mild, but it ends up too spicy for me anyway. But plain would just be WRONG! Favorite soon tofu place in LA? That'd be Beverly Soon Tofu.

Your meal here starts with the regular and not so regular banchan: a silky smooth tofu with sesame, plus the usual plates of kim chi, bean sprouts, etc. Barley tea is served in metal bowls free of charge.

Then the soon tofu comes sizzling hot into which you immediately add an egg, rice, and then mix things up.
The ingredients used at Beverly Soon Tofu is higher quality than most and you can taste it, especially in the tofu and meat.
I personally prefer the small bowl (which comes with the kalbi or bulgogi combo), because that size is just perfect for one egg. 2 eggs in the bigger bowl is too much. On a good day the mild is not so spicy and I can finish it pretty quickly :P otherwise it's bite and drink for me ...

Still, every so often I want some "comfort food" and for some reason I feel like going to this place and suffer through the spice so I can have this bowl of goodness :P

Beverly Soon Tofu
2717 W Olympic Blvd Ste 108
Los Angeles, CA 90006-2642
Phone: (213) 380-1113

Beverly Soontofu on Urbanspoon

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