soft serve | mb post, manhattan beach

black sesame soft serve mb post manhattan beach Black sesame soft serve with mochi cakes and puffed rice from MB Post

Sometimes, all you need is a little soft serve.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

tres | lilly’s taqueria, santa barbara

lilly's taqueria santa barbara tacosAsada – Adobada – Lengua

Posted in travels | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

tonkotsu ramen | ikemen, hollywood

ikemen tonkotsu ramen

I feel like I spent most of January sick, bedridden with the flu, then mopey and miserable with a lingering head cold (which I’m finally starting to come out of).  Last week, all I wanted was a hot bowl of ramen, followed by DVDs in bed.  Finding the ramen was easy.  I took a seat at the counter at Ikemen in Hollywood and ordered a bowl of premium tonkotsu ramen with onsen tomago (poached egg).  Nice unctuous au jus, but wimpy shavings of chashu pork topping.  Finding a DVD rental place, on the other hand, was not so easy (even in Hollywood, really?).  Eventually, I found my way to Video Journeys, an amazing gem of a video rental store with a super friendly staff and a nice stock of hard-to-find-on-DVD flicks, including Black Cat, White Cat (score!!).  Already amassed some late fees, but that’s ok.  It was well worth it.

Posted in noodle time, out & about LA | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

mackerel tartine | gorge charcuterie & wine bar, weho

mackerel tartine gorge charcuterie wine bar west hollywoodEVOO poached wild French mackerel, Arugula, Parmesano reggiano, Rustic baguette

I really wanted to like Gorge Charcuterie & Wine Bar, but my $22 weiner with limp, heavily salted, oil-drenched veggies (aka the Gorge sausage entrée) left little to be desired.  Perhaps I ordered wrong (although I ordered the namesake schlong at the recommendation of our waiter… thanks, dude).  On a brighter note, Dani gave me a few bites of her mackerel tartine appetizer, which I thought was the best tasting plate of those we tried, but that’s about it.  OK, next…

Posted in con mis amigos, out & about LA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

starters | stonehill tavern, dana point

2012-10-20 18.24.19Canapés

2012-10-20 18.24.35Shellfish

My brother recently bought his first (way beyond starter) home in San Clemente, so I’ve been trekking down to South Orange County a lot more these days.  When he received the keys, we celebrated at Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in nearby Dana Point (you know, that place you go to to get to Catalina Island).  For starters, we ordered the canapé and shellfish tastings.  More pretty in presentation than anything particularly profound on the palate (#soboredwithfinedining), but worthy of white table cloth time for a celebratory meal.  Congrats bro, on the sweet, new pad!

Posted in travels | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

paella night | chez amina

2012-12-06 21.19.02Paella & salad

2012-12-06 21.20.58Goat cheese-stuffed zucchini blossoms

2012-12-06 22.01.42Gianduja (hazelnut chocolate) budino

Week night dinner sesh with my old college roomies.  A couple weeks ago, Amina invited Dani and me over for paella night.  Amina’s an ah-maaaazing cook.  Those fried zucchini blossoms of hers were to die for!!  For dessert, I made gianduja budino, a rich, creamy hazelnut chocolate pudding, topped with condensed milk and a crispy-crunch-milk-chocolate-nougat candy bar I picked up at a Brazilian market on Venice Blvd.  We ate, drank wine and cracked each other up all night long.  So good to catch up with my girls.

Posted in con mis amigos, out & about LA | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

pre-t lunch | gjelina, venice

smashed english peas toast burrata mint pesto gjelina venice Smashed English peas on toast with burrata & mint pesto

Stinky and Tim were passing through town over the Thanksgiving holiday, so I got to catch up with them over lunch at Gjelina.  It was the day before Turkey Day, so we tried to keep things light and fresh, like this little green dream of peas on toast (nevermind the kale salad, grilled king oyster mushrooms, two pizzas and two desserts we easily demolished).  The Lugos will be back next month, staying right here for a week of winter beachage, bikage and hikage.  Love it when I get to spend time with my Bay Area buds.  Woohoo, can’t wait!

Posted in con mis amigos, out & about LA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

oooohmakaze | shunji, los angeles

shunji los angeles (Top to bottom, left to right) Sweet potato-stuffed shrimp, prosciutto roll, creamy sesame tofu with tofu skin ribbon, a piquant cherry tomato, purple yam-blue cheese marble with dried persimmon, ankimo (monk fish liver) with caviar, octopus.

shunji los angelesSquid in squid ink, uni, truffle & quail egg yolk

Checked out Shunji in West LA recently.  Superb stuff from Chef Shunji Nakao.  Wowow!

Posted in out & about LA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

bitty bites

chocolate truffle and shortbreadHeading to dinner at Dunsmuir Flats.  I’m bringing these bite-sized chocolate truffle and shortbread squares that I made today for dessert!

Posted in con mis amigos, out & about LA | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

ganjang gaejang | soban, los angeles

blue crab ganjang gaejang soban los angeles koreatown

Lila was in town last weekend, visiting from SF, so I took her to Soban for some of the best ganjang gaejang (soy-marinated raw blue crab) in town.  I love this place but, man, the no-alcohol policy sucks big time.  This, alongside the galbi jjim and jjigaes, deserve to be served with some ice cold, watery Korean beer (Hite!).  Someday…

Posted in con mis amigos, out & about LA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment