The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week, July 2019

The Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week, July 2019

Follow Eater editors as they share their favorite dishes around town
The editors of Eater LA dine out several times a week, if not per day, which means we’re always encountering standout dishes that deserve time in the limelight. Here now, the very best of everything the team has eaten recently.
July 1, 2019 Lamb prime rib at Bon Temps in Downtown Matthew Kang Lamb prime rib at Bon Temps in Downtown Bon Temps, the new Arts District restaurant from Lincoln Carson, is already buzzing with diners eager to see what the longtime chef is doing with his first solo project. The former Fifty Seven and Petty Cash space looks fairly transformed, with an elevated mezzanine dining area, a separate wine room, and more free-flowing first floor featuring the cocktail and raw bar. Bon Temps is situated right next to Firehouse, but it seems like it’s an amenity to the boutique hotel, which kind of works for both restaurants.
The star at Bon Temps right now, at least in the savory section, must be the lamb prime rib, served in adorable little medallion pieces. One thing diners will immediate notice from the plating here is how nicely everything comes out, to the proportions and garnishes to the overall refinement of the flavors. The lamb is mild but still patently gamey, which is a boon for anyone who loves the oft-forgotten meat. There’s a side of stacked soca and summer squash to give just the right midsummer seasonality to the dish. Bon Temps might play the part of approachable all-day Arts District restaurant, but the dinner menu has all the right pieces to earn a Michelin star right now. 712 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
Blood cake at Here’s Looking At You in Koreatown Cathy Chaplin Blood cake at Here’s Looking At You in Koreatown While I have a deep appreciation for dishes centered on offals, innards, and other less-loved bits, blood is oftentimes largely ignored on my end. I don’t have any bad blood towards the ingredient (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), it’s just never been fireworks between the two of us. On a recent night out at Here’s Looking At You, I tasted a blood-forward dish that was so incredibly delicious that it completely changed my mind about the stuff. Using pig’s blood as his muse, canvas, and binder, Chef Jonathan Whitener formed a loaf with the addition of cornmeal, butter, onions, garlic, chili flakes, and pork fat back. Sliced, pan-seared, and butter-basted to order, the blood cake arrived gloriously glistening. A fried duck egg, green tomato relish, and pickled mustard seeds provided the finishing flourishes. Rich, punchy, and delightfully different, every bite was bloody good (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). 3901 W. 6th St., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Vegan double cheeseburger at Burgerlords in Highland Park Farley Elliott Vegan double cheeseburger at Burgerlords in Highland Park The full arrival of plus-80-degree summer days means a lot of things for Los Angeles, including patio nights and Saturdays spent with toes in the sand. It also means, for the most part, eating a little more lightly than usual, be that with more salads or less bread or trying something new altogether, like the vegan burger alternative from Burgerlords. The charming Highland Park shop skews towards a classic beef burger for most of its diners, but don’t sleep on the made-from-scratch vegan patties — especially when doubled up with a bit of vegan cheese. It’s a rich, hearty meal, but there’s something about packing in vegetables instead of red meat (at least for one meal) that just feels right every once in a while. 110 N. Ave 56, Highland Park. —Farley Elliot
Uni ceviche at Holbox in Downtown Mona Holmes Uni ceviche at Holbox in Downtown It’s ceviche weather. Actually, the entire year is appropriate for ceviches, cold bars, and mariscos in Los Angeles. Gilberto Cetina’s minimal stand in Mercado La Paloma in Historic South Central is a block away from the 110, accessible, and perfect. Sit at one of the tables near the prep area to watch the staff breakdown an entire fish while sipping on bubbly lemonade. It’s a constantly changing menu, but if at all possible, try the scallop and uni ceviche. You’ll be asked to select your preferred uni just before it’s cut, scooped, and transformed into a bowl where the blend of scallop and uni are perfect together. With splashes of ocean and salt, dots of avocado, chiles, and lime. it’s simply a beautiful bite in a charming hall of restaurants and retail. Arrive early before this dish sells out. 3655 S. Grand Ave, Historic South Central. —Mona Holmes
June 24, 2019 Radicchio caesar salad at Alimento in Silver Lake Matthew Kang Radicchio caesar salad at Alimento in Silver Lake It’s been years since I’ve been to Alimento in Silver Lake, Zach Pollack’s supremely delicious neighborhood restaurant serving Italian cuisine through a California perspective. Though the pastas and the small plates are terrific, especially the fusilli with clams and smoked butter and the chicken liver pate, the one dish that stole the show was the radicchio caesar salad imbued with anchovy and Parmigiano. I loved how the salad resembled a full chop, with just the crunchiest bite-size pieces dressed extremely lightly, properly distributing every bit of that dressing. It’s not often that I write about salads, or how much I like a particular salad, but this radicchio caesar at Alimento is a true standout. 1710 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
Fish sauce caramels at Little Flower in Pasadena Red Boat [Official Photo] Red Boat x Little Flower fish sauce caramels It’s hard to imagine improving on Christine Moore’s legendary salted caramels. Sweet, rich, and delicately salty, the hand-made candies fly off Little Flower’s shelves just as fast as the kitchen can wrap them in wax paper. While tinkering with a beloved recipe can be a risky endeavor, sometimes it can yield something so awesomely innovative that it manages to surpass the original. A recent collaboration between Little Flower and Red Boat fish sauce offered glimmers of this kind of greatness. Through chef Cecilia Leung’s measured experimentation, pure fish sauce and a bit of Cambodian palm sugar were added to the caramel’s profile. Every candy—rounded in its sweetness and pungent in its saltiness—tasted perfectly balanced and supremely addictive. Only available online through Red Boat. — Cathy Chaplin
Oxtails at Alta in West Adams Wonho Frank Lee Oxtails and rice at Alta Adams Braised and smothered oxtails are pretty standard fare at soul food restaurants, so when a traditional dish takes an unusual turn, it’s kind of a big deal. And it’s not as if chef Keith Corbin is reinventing the oxtail wheel, he tweaked and fussed over the dish until it became a standout. With the help of Alta Adams’ sous chef Gwen Etta, the two bring salt, browning, aromatics, soy sauce, ginger, miso, onions, scallions, carrots, and oxtails together in a lovely way. No knives are required when cutting into the bones surrounded by gravy and fluffy rice, and what’s usually a rich dish is transformed into a lovely one, right in West Adams. 5359 West Adams Blvd, West Adams. —Mona Holmes
Caviar pancake at Angler in Beverly Grove Wonho Frank Lee Angler Sure, Los Angeles has a penchant for casual dining styles in places like strip malls and on street corners, but that doesn’t mean the rightfully-lauded chef Joshua Skenes can’t make his restaurant Angler work here. If anything, the semi-hidden Beverly Center location makes the place just as much a crown jewel as any tucked-away restaurant in a back yard or deep in the San Fernando Valley — except here, the final result is a multi-course meal that includes lots and lots of luxury. For starters, there is a seemingly simple banana pancake on the menu, it is used as a vessel for rich lobes of caviar spooned tableside. It’s a simple reintroduction to the glamorous life, and one of the best single bites of food anyone can enjoy in LA right now. Welcome to the city, chef Skenes. 8500 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. —Farley Elliott
June 17, 2019 Grilled cheese with pastrami at The Hat in Temple City Cathy Chaplin Grilled cheese with pastrami at The Hat in Temple City A couple years back, while in the thick of pregnancy-induced cravings, I created an off-menu beast at The Hat. Using the restaurant’s grilled cheese sandwich as the base, I requested the addition of pastrami to pair with the melty American cheese smooshed between two buttery slices of toasted sourdough. I adored the creation at the time but wondered if it was the hormones talking. On a recent visit to the palace of pastrami, I went ahead and ordered it again. The results? Simply, positively, absolutely divine. The cheese mellowed the pastrami’s intrinsic saltiness, while the golden sourdough bested the usual roll by a mile. A side of onion rings with ketchup made for a fantastically indulgent lunch. 5505 Rosemead Blvd., Temple City. —Cathy Chaplin
Pastries from The Manufactory in Downtown Farley Elliott The Manufactory It’s impossible to step into the Manufactory at Row DTLA and not leave with some kind of carb high. The restaurants, marketplace, and production facility are practically packed to the rafters with breads of different sorts, including a pretty impressive pastry collection in the back corner of the marketplace and served out of the takeout window in the mornings. The stuff given for dessert at Tartine Bianco is similarly special, including a particularly creamy and soft carrot teff cupcake. When it comes to breads and pastries, there are no wrong answers at The Manufactory. 777 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA. —Farley Elliott
Breakfast tacos at Hotel Figueroa in Downtown Mona Holmes Breakfast tacos at Hotel Figueroa in Downtown If executed correctly, brunch can be an all-day affair. Strategic planning requires choosing the perfect dining partners and outdoor patio. And while Los Angeles is full of beautiful places to brunch, few are as gorgeous as Hotel Figueroa’s Veranda. Veranda could easily be mistaken for a Mexico City restaurant, so it seems appropriate that the breakfast tacos rank high on the menu. Handmade blue corn tortillas arrive warm and filled with chorizo, red onion, salsa morita, queso fresco, and a soft scramble. There’s a creaminess that’s savory and not too filling. Accompany this with a guayaba cocktail, a poolside view, and high ceilings. After finishing the meal, wander through Downtown for the rest of the day. 939 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. —Mona Holmes
Aged duck at Bavel in Downtown Matthew Kang Aged duck with endives at Bavel Bavel continues to deliver one of the finest Middle Eastern dinners in Los Angeles, and this aged roast/grilled duck, served with a side of lightly dressed Belgian endive. The aging on this duck brings out such incredible flavor, with rich minerality and a balanced fattiness of the breast meat complemented by crisp endive. The leg spends time confitting in fat, so it’s a different texture than the kebabs, though the skin is equally crisp. This dish is a master class in simplicity, the elegance of Bavel’s flavor-packed approach, and a fine way to finish the savory portion of the meal here. 500 Mateo St., Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
June 10, 2019 Grilled dduk galbi at Majordomo in Chinatown Andrew Bezek Grilled dduk galbi at Majordomo There’s a lot to like about the new weekend lunch at Majordomo: an airy room, a mellower crowd, and a menu that feels fresh yet familiar all at once. Dishes like the kimchi-kissed ceviche and the grilled dduk galbi riff on local staples, like mariscos and kebabs respectively, in playful and delightful ways. The dduk galbi dazzles with its sweetly spiced Korean marinade and charred and caramelized edges. Served atop lemony Jasmine rice and alongside the jammiest kimchi eggs, the whole thing tastes like Raffi’s met Koreatown and the two proceeded to have a baby. When galbi met koobideh, a true LA love story. 1725 Naud St., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Chicken parm at Dear John’s in Culver City Wonho Frank Lee Chicken parm at Dear John’s in Culver City It’s always hard to balance out the classic LA restaurants with the shiny and new, but it’s even harder to find a marriage of the two so perfectly executed as to make everyone happy. That seems to be, surprisingly, the case with the long-forgotten Dear John’s in Culver City, which is now reborn with a throwback menu thanks to Hans Rockenwagner and Josiah Citrin. The place has an expiration date on it (the whole property is being redeveloped in just over a year and and a half) but in the meantime, the room is a raucous dinner haunt with just 14 lively tables. Most of the kitchen and floor staff come from Melisse, Citrin’s fine dining spot that is closing to re-concept, and so both the food and service are absolutely on point. That’s particularly true for the slightly unorthodox chicken parm, which is presented as a breaded and fried cutlet with cheese inside, with a ramekin of red sauce to accompany. The dish loses nothing in its new presentation however, and is just as delicious (and timeless) as ever. 11208 Culver Blvd., Culver City. —Farley Elliott
Blueberry cornmeal pancake at Michael’s in Santa Monica Mona Holmes Blueberry cornmeal pancake at Michael’s in Santa Monica A Santa Monica mainstay for 40 years, Michael’s is still kicking. Even as the neighborhood has changed throughout the last four decades, this spacious restaurant maintains a loyal following. Michael’s layout is still something to experience. The old-school feel is welcoming, and the entry’s airy lounge/seating area is plastered with some of the city’s best art collection. But the rear garden is where you want to be. If visiting during brunch, order the fluffy blueberry cornmeal pancake. You’ll only need one as the pancake is not dense; it’s a healthy size topped with a smear of butter, fresh blueberries, and warm maple syrup. The dish makes for ideal brunching, especially when accompanied by a perfectly sparkling rose. 1147 3rd St., Santa Monica. —Mona Holmes
Breakfast burrito from Chori-man in San Pedro Matthew Holmes Breakfast burrito from Chori-man in San Pedro I can’t remember the last time I had a chorizo breakfast burrito, but the creations at Chori-man in San Pedro are truly some of the most elemental and wonderfully constructed in the city. Humberto Raygoza packs in cooked chorizo with runny eggs, seasoned potatoes, and cheese down at his cheerful neighborhood restaurant. The chorizo, a red-tinted guajillo chile variant from Raygoza’s family recipe in Zacatecas, is loads better than any standard breakfast sausage. With a bit of June gloom to temper a normally sunny day, this burrito, paired with the completely average but somehow satisfying cup of $2 diner coffee, makes for a terrific meal in the charming bayside community. 2309 South Alma Street, San Pedro. —Matthew Kang
June 4, 2019 All the pastas at Pinocchio’s in Burbank Farley Elliott Pastas from Pinocchio’s in Burbank Los Angeles’s ongoing obsession with Italian food is very real, as evidenced by a generation of old school white tablecloth spots still thriving on the greater Westside — coupled with places like Felix, Jon & Vinny’s, Rossoblu, and Cosa Buona, of course. But what about the real gems like Pinocchio’s in Burbank, attached to Monte Carlo Deli? The steam table pasta spot often has a line out the door for sub-$10 plates of lasagna with meat sauce or eggplant parm, and the daily house wine comes in at an impossibly low price of $3.50. Forget the fancy stuff; time to feed the family at Pinocchio’s for a song. 3101 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. —Farley Elliott
Iraqi masgouf zbeidi at Al Tannour in Anaheim @GastronomyBlog Iraqi masgouf zbeidi at Al Tannour in Anaheim On a recent visit to Al Tannour in Anaheim’s Little Arabia District, I was treated to a fantastic rendition of Iraq’s national dish: masgouf zbeidi . The golden pompano—butterflied, splayed, and spiced just so—arrived hot off the grill with superbly crisp skin and plump flesh. While it is admittedly easier to eat a filet that’s been neatly sectioned and carefully deboned, the pleasures of diving into a whole fish cannot be matched. The masgouf zbeidi, with its plethora of nooks and unfamiliar bits, impressed with every bite—bones, eyeballs, and all. 2947 W. Ball Rd., Anaheim. —Cathy Chaplin
Butter chicken roti at Ghandi Roti in Toronto Mona Holmes Butter chicken roti at Ghandi Roti in Toronto With the exception of a few neighborhoods like Artesia, rotis are a rare find in LA proper. It’s a shame really, because these round flatbreads filled with savory Indian gravies is heavenly. While in Toronto last week, I stopped into the nearly three-decades-old Ghandi Roti. The space is sparse and perfect, and locals praise it as the city’s best butter chicken roti. The firm shell feels like a burrito, but with a completely different flavor profile and and slightly thinner composition. A fork and knife is required to make one’s way through the layers of saucy, spiced chicken. Owner Avtar Singh does not adjust spice levels, so the faint of heart should steer clear altogether. Luckily, Artesia staples like Akosha The Great Cuisine Of India and Paratha Grill serve quality butter chicken for those in LA. 554 Queen Street West, Toronto. —Mona Holmes
The crispy oyster mushrooms at Atrium Wonho Frank Lee Crispy mushrooms at Atrium in Los Feliz Atrium, Los Feliz’ gorgeous back-alley restaurant, is an ideal romantic place to bring a date, or someone to engage in an intimate conversation. Chef Hunter Pritchet is not shy about bringing bold flavors to the menu, and the crispy oyster mushrooms is one of those dishes. Pritchett’s skill comes in maintaining the mushroom’s crunchiness is shown in this dish, with a deliciously sticky eel sauce glaze gives the impression that you’re eating meat, but it’s all plant-based and topped with smashed cucumber and sesame. Steer clear of the chiles if sensitive, and order a cocktail to help clear the palate before the next plate arrives. 1816 1⁄2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. —Mona Holmes
Chicken shawarma plate at Mizlala in West Adams Matthew Kang Chicken shawarma at Mizlala Mizlala in Sherman Oaks is a fantastic restaurant but chef Danny Elmaleh decided to take his restaurant to the quick service realm in West Adams with a tight menu of Middle Eastern classics served in pita sandwich or plate form at very reasonable prices. The juicy chicken shawarma is an early winner, with a machine that slices the meat right off a spit. The plate comes with a generous smear of hummus, pickles, a side, and plush pita bread baked fresh. For around $15, it’s a fantastic lunch in the lovely patio that feels plucked right out of Tel Aviv. 5400 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
May 28, 2019 Cheddar and smoked ham toast at Alameda Supper Club in Downtown @GastronomyBlog Cheddar and smoked ham toast at Alameda Supper Club The Manufactory is easier to navigate in the evening when there are fewer dining options. While the informality of Tartine Bianco’s Market Bar might beckon on any given night, head toward the opposite end of the building for a drink at the Alameda Cocktail Club followed by a proper dinner at the Alameda Supper Club instead. Chris Bianco’s kind-of-sort-of Italian restaurant feels something like an effortlessly convivial dinner party complete with a menu that begs to be shared. It’s easy to jump right in to decadent pastas and amply portioned proteins, but take some time for a few “snacks” to whet one’s appetite. The cheddar and smoked ham toast, smothered with cheese and topped with grated ham, delivers all that’s rich, salty, and satisfying in three-and-a-half bites. It’s the kind of confident starter that sets the tone for the rest of the meal. 757 S. Alameda St., Suite 160, Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Cobb salad (with a side of patty melt) at Brite Spot Diner in Echo Park Farley Elliott Cobb salad at Brite Spot Diner Echo Park’s Brite Spot Diner is all the way back. The restaurant is once again keeping late night hours and beefing up its pie selections under new ownership (the folks from Ostrich Farm and Bar Calo), and there’s new energy about the place. The booths are still big and comfortable and the lighting just as midcentury modern as ever, but there’s a freshness to even staple diner dishes, like the oversized Cobb salad and hearty patty melt. It’s time to give one of LA’s more prominent aging diners another look. 1918 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. —Farley Elliott
Sorrel pesto rice bowl at Sqirl in Virgil Village Matthew Kang Sorrel pesto rice bowl at Sqirl This week it’s the return of a classic: Sqirl’s beloved sorrel pesto rice bowl. It seems that every time I go back to Sqirl the outdoor dining situation gets bigger. The Virgil Village restaurant manages to pack in the crowds this way, but it also leads to an entertaining way to spend a Friday afternoon in the sun. Back to the pesto—this bowl comes loaded with flavor thanks to Jessica Koslow’s excellent recipe of brown rice tossed with an indelible sorrel pesto. Tangy, acidic notes come through thanks to lemon, vinegar, and feta cheese, while the restaurant’s patented lacto-fermented hot sauce provides the final kick. With paper-thin slices of watermelon radish and a poached egg, it’s a dish that defies the meaning of a brunch dish. 720 N. Virgil Ave #4, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
Grilled octopus at Cal Mare in Beverly Grove Mona Holmes Grilled octopus at Cal Mare It’s late May, which means that all of Los Angeles is complaining about the seasonal chilliness. Comfort food is perfect for this time of year, and Italian always hits all the right notes. Cal Mare has plenty on its menu to soothe the soul, even after the mercury moves beyond 90 degrees in the coming weeks. The grilled octopus is combined with a chickpea preserve and bits of pancetta. It’s a simple dish, and chef Adam Sobel knows just the right amount of seasoning and acid to make it stand out. 8500 Beverly Blvd. Suite 115, Los Angeles. —Mona Holmes
May 20, 2019 Army base stew at Haemaru in Koreatown Matthew Kang Army base stew at Haemaru in Koreatown A truly bizarre dish that strikes right into the nostalgic heart of every Korean-American, budaejjigae , or army base stew, is a mashup of American canned meats and Korean ingredients, a result of the tragic Korean War and its aftermath. The story goes that American armed forces were throwing out things like Spam, hot dogs, bacon, and baked beans and hungry South Koreans were fishing them out and incorporating them into a stew. The version at Haemaru, properly served on the table with a butane burner, is about the finest version of this comfort food one can find in Koreatown.
Using the restaurant’s soulful bone broth, Haemaru builds this dish with a foundation of chopped kimchi, baked beans, onions, tofu, and those canned meats, topping the dish off with instant ramen noodles and a single slice of melty Kraft cheese. As you eat this dish, the flavor deepens, with the faux smoky flavors of the meats melding into the broth. By the end, it’s unrecognizable, a thickened stew that defines #uglydelicious. And for $28.99, it easily feeds three hungry bargain-seeking late-night diners. 3498 W. 8th St., Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
Chocolate chip oatmeal cookie at Everson Royce Bar in Downtown @GastronomyBlog Chocolate chip oatmeal cookie at Everson Royce Bar At Everson Royce Bar, booze and baked goods go hand in hand. It’s the kind of juxtaposition that speaks to those who can drink like sailors, but yearn for a bit of nostalgic innocence. Chef Matt Molina makes it all possible—and all within the confines of the most welcoming patio in the city. Start with an order of the flaky buttermilk biscuits served with honey butter. The salt-flecked biscuits, crisp-edged and impossibly tall, pair exceedingly well with any liquor-forward cocktail. Toward the end of the evening, probably around last call, place an order for a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie that’s toasty around the rim with puddles of molten chocolate throughout. There’s something wonderfully comforting, homey even, about indulging in some of the finest baked goods at one of the finest bars in town. 1936 East 7th St., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Hummus and lamb plate from Dune in Atwater Village Farley Elliott Hummus and lamb plate from Dune in Atwater Village What a wonder Dune is. The casual Atwater Village restaurant barely has any seating inside, and the communal tables outside towards the street are shared with at least two other businesses, so even grabbing a chair under an umbrella in the wind can be tricky. But folks simply don’t care; they show up, wait in line, and grab plate after plate of creamy hummus, freshly grilled pita, and piles of greens, with pickled veggies on the side for good measure. Some folks opt for the falafel, a crispy bit of business that is among the best in town, but the better option may well be the lamb meatballs, imbued with a rich and meaty heft and lots of sear at its edges. It’s hard to go wrong either way at Dune, which has quickly become a staple everyday restaurant for dozens and dozens of Eastsiders eager to eat well, and healthily, even if there’s no chair to sit down on. 3143 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village. —Farley Elliott
Neapolitan-style pizza at Antica Pizzeria in Hollywood Mona Holmes Neapolitan-style pizza at Antica Pizzeria in Hollywood From the sexy outdoor patio with a fireplace to the chilled-out interior and the Neapolitan-style pizza, there’s a lot of reasons to visit Antica Pizzeria in Hollywood. The pizza team—encased in a glass room off the patio with chairs for onlookers—pulls, stretches, and sauces for everyone’s delight before throwing the dough in the oven. The pies are huge and wonderfully satisfying with a spectacularly thin and chewy crust. The herbs shine through, with layers of flavor that can have diners in and out within a few minutes. But you’ll want to stay for the vibe. 1534 N. McCadden Place Los, Angeles. —Mona Holmes
May 13, 2019 Koji-marinated pork porterhouse at Tsubaki in Echo Park @gastronomyblog Koji-marinated pork porterhouse at Tsubaki To celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary, my husband and I booked a babysitter and a table at Charles Namba and Courtney Kaplan’s Echo Park izakaya. The menu of simply composed and deftly executed small plates didn’t let us down. There were pristine cuts of Amberjack sashimi to start, grilled chicken oysters somewhere in the middle, and the finest pork porterhouse to finish. I tend to avoid large-format proteins when dining out because they’re usually too hefty in size and price, but something about the promise of curry honey butter persuaded me to give it a go this evening. The koji-marinated pork came on the scene juicy, charred, and fanned neatly on a platter. The porcine notes took charge while the curried honey and fennel pollen gave us something to remember. 1356 Allison Ave., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Crispy mushrooms at Atrium in Los Feliz Wonho Frank Lee Crispy mushrooms at Atrium in Los Feliz Los Feliz restaurant Atrium has really found its footing of late. The place was packed to the gills on Friday night, playing hosts to early Mother’s Day revelers, locals eyeballing the cocktails, and date night-types who had heard there was a buzz about the semi-hidden space off Vermont. Everyone in their respective groups seemed to leave happy thanks to chef Hunter Pritchett’s menu of rethought basics, including the stellar crispy mushrooms, uni cacio e pepe, and a beguilingly simple grilled focaccia with kimchi butter and honey to start. It’s nice to see a neighborhood like Los Feliz embrace its new restaurant, even if that restaurant spends time serving a menu that’s just slightly left of center. 1816 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. —Farley Elliott
Grilled shrimp and pork vermicelli with crispy spring rolls at Saigon Noodle in Pasadena Matthew Kang Vermicelli with grilled shrimp, pork, and spring rolls at Saigon Noodle in Pasadena The ubiquity of LA’s better-than-average Vietnamese food is something not to take for granted. In Pasadena’s Old Town, it’s a godsend, especially for a reasonable price point and casual vibes. At Saigon Noodle, the vermicelli noodles are very good, especially after the requested additions of grilled shrimp and crispy spring rolls to the grilled pork bowl. Dress the noodles and lettuce with some fish sauce-based nước chấm and toss to complete. The wonderful contrast of meats, textures, freshness, and substance explains why this dish is such a winner for me. For a standard-issue Monday lunch just steps from the office, it’s a fine way to start the week. 28 North Raymond Avenue. Pasadena. —Matthew Kang
Chopped salad at Esters Wine Shop & Bar in Santa Monica Mona Holmes Chopped salad at Esters Wine Shop & Bar Esters Wine Shop & Bar is an ideal Westside spot with gorgeous art deco style, chef Jeremy Fox’s addictive lavender almonds, a massive wall of unique wines, and the chopped salad Calabrese. Sure, there are plenty of sexier options, including a guest chef burger night on the right day. But consider this overlooked item, which serves multiple purposes. My leafy greens intake is pretty dismal when dining out, but this salad jumped out because of the addition of cubed Hook’s cheddar and salami with garbanzos, pickled Fresno chiles, green Castelvetrano olives, cucumber, and cherry tomato. The next step is to get one of Esters’ knowledgeable bartenders to recommend wine; locate the right spot at the bar, banquets, or patio, and enjoy. 1314 7th Street, Santa Monica. —Mona Holmes
May 6, 2019 Breakfast burrito at Lucky Boy in Pasadena Matthew Kang Breakfast burrito at Lucky Boy in Pasadena Everyone knows that the best breakfast burrito is the one closest to you. Even so, Lucky Boy achieves something rare in the food world: consistency. It’s a miracle creation that somehow takes the kitchen of this Pasadena fast-food diner about 16 seconds to put together after ordering. The ratios are all there: fried potatoes/hash browns, egg, crisp bacon, cheese. The kicker here, I recently discovered from some longtime fans, is the addition of ranch sauce. Yes, it sounds slightly disgusting but truly the all-American sauce works. With the potatoes, the whole burrito takes on a luxurious tone, adding creamy richness and the bounce of dried herbs. Ask nicely for some pico de gallo to dab onto the burrito and a smirking cashier will hand some over in a paper tray covered with yellow parchment. It’s like a secret handshake. 640 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena. —Matthew Kang
Sergio Schwartz bagel at Father’s Office in Culver City Mona Holmes Sergio Schwartz bagel at Father’s Office in Culver City Chef Sang Yoon and pastry chefs Anthony Greco and Megan Potthoff have managed to rework bagels and lox in a way that’s quintessentially Los Angeles. Chef Yoon has cured the salmon with mezcal, while Greco and Potthoff have built a less puffy bagel with masa and jalapeno, whipped “cream cheese” from cotija cheese, then added pickled red onions, and radishes. The tanginess of Mexican cotija hits a slightly sour and beautiful note, the chewiness and flavor of the bagel is just right, and the entire effort is a refreshing moment for anyone looking to chefs who keep pushing innovation with their dishes. 3229 Helms Ave., Los Angeles. —Mona Holmes
Naan bread with “the works” at Otium in Downtown @GastronomyBlog Naan bread with “the works” at Otium The team at Otium knows a thing or two about how to get dinner started right. The cocktail list is equal parts potent and thoughtful, while the house bread — freshly baked naan — is as fantastic eaten straight as it is lavished with glorious fixings. With the days growing longer and the sun setting later, it’s hard to imagine a finer evening than one spent in the shadows of The Broad, slathering things like truffle butter, lardo, and chicken liver mousse on to hand-ripped hunks of naan, all while sipping something strong. If a cocktail isn’t quite enough to balance out the unctuous toppings, there’s salmon roe and even Royal Ossetra caviar to step up to the plate. 222 South Hope St, Los Angeles. — Cathy Chaplin
Poolside fare at the Highlight Room at the Dream Hotel in Hollywood Farley Elliott Poolside fare at the Dream Hotel in Hollywood One of the perks of living in Los Angeles is not just the sunshine, but the great diversity with which to enjoy it. A slew of new rooftop restaurants have opened up in recent years to mix in with our existing patio and beachside dining culture, and now it’s practically possible for anyone in any part of town to partake in a little Vitamin D with their lunch. Take for example the Highlight Room atop the Dream Hotel in Hollywood. On weekends, the place can be packed with pool-goers and young clubby-types looking to party, but the rooftop spot is surprisingly mellow for a weekday lunch involving tacos, a fried chicken sandwich, and a salad (of course). Bonus points for anyone who can manage to make their workday a half-day, and spend the rest of the afternoon lounging near the water. 6417 Selma Ave., Hollywood. —Farley Elliott
April 29, 2019 Thai BBQ skewers at the Songkran Festival in Thai Town Farley Elliott Skewers at the Thai Town Songkran festival Often the best meals in LA can seem to be the quietest at first, but they say a lot about place, people, and time. That’s certainly the case with the above tray of simple meat skewers enjoyed during a walk-around at last weekend’s Thai New Year celebration in East Hollywood. The blocks-long affair featured a couple dozen street food vendors hawking noodles and sweets and Thai teas, along with Muay Thai competitions, live music, art demos, and more. It’s not that each chicken and pork skewer was the best possible version of meat-on-a-stick cooked over charcoal, but rather that the simple act of eating it in the middle of a closed-down Hollywood Boulevard, surrounded by thousands of Angelenos in the fading Sunday sunshine, can make one feel like this big, sprawling city is also close, familiar, and effortlessly friendly. The skewers were delicious, but on their own they don’t scream out for attention on any “best” list; it’s the people that speak volumes.
Uni toast at Alexander’s Steakhouse in Pasadena @GastronomyBlog Uni toast at Alexander’s Steakhouse French toast made a rare dinnertime appearance at Alexander’s Steakhouse in Pasadena on a recent night out. In place of the usual maple syrup, whipped cream, and mixed berry compote was a savory onslaught of Santa Barbara sea urchin and A5 wagyu beef. The powerhouse of ingredients, perched atop crisp-golden brioche, teetered ever-so-delicately with each bite. Steakhouses are better known for solid standbys rather than culinary creativity, but that’s not the case with chef Florent Courriol at the helm. With stints at Amber in Hong Kong, as well as L’atelier de Joël Robuchon in Hong Kong, under his belt, it’s no wonder that the menu is really giving folks something to talk about. 111 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena. —Cathy Chaplin
Prime rib at Black Angus in Burbank Matthew Kang Prime rib at Black Angus While chain restaurants can be a mixed bag in terms of quality, some have their specialties nailed down, like the prime rib at Black Angus. This past weekend, the beefy chain featured the roast cut and the results were really good given the price point. The one pound cut cost $33 and came with two sides, a solid baked potato and nicely grilled asparagus, with little cups of jus and horseradish cream. The beef was exactly rare with a solid char on the outside. The accompany jus was a little thin on flavor, while the horseradish was nothing to write home about. But something about this whole package, a plate of solid fare for around $30 bucks, was a great find in a landscape of increasingly expensive LA dinner options. 235 South Ikea Way, Burbank. —Matthew Kang
Spiderman glazed donut at Colorado Donuts in Eagle Rock Mona Holmes Glazed donuts at Colorado Donuts Now that I’ve seen last night’s astonishingly dark Game of Thrones episode, and the gut-wrenching “Avengers Endgame,” I’m a bit wrecked emotionally. And with social media turning things up to 11, this morning’s been a rehash of key moments, arcs, and newly deceased and beloved characters. As a fan, it’s too much, which is why food is my savior today at Colorado Donuts in Eagle Rock where owner Jeremy Lee is serving up cute, well-made, and not-too-sweet Avengers donuts. Simple glazed donuts come painted with the shield of Captain America and the faces of Tony Stark, the Hulk, and Spiderman. 1 578 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock. —Mona Holmes
April 22, 2019 Spam fried rice at OMMA Rice N Chicken in Pasadena @GastronomyBlog Spam fried rice at OMMA Rice N Chicken The Slaw Dogs space on North Lake is now home to OMMA Rice and Chicken, a full-service cafe serving fruit smoothies and all manner of Korean favorites like kimbap , fried chicken, kimchi pancakes, and bibimbap . The food, prepared with care by the smiliest of cooks, delights with its simplicity. The Spam fried rice — glossy grains, scrambled eggs, and chopped vegetables, along with a fried egg and size-able slab of Spam — serves up pure comfort in a bowl. When the week’s been long and another marathon is on the horizon, there is no better fuel. 720 N. Lake Ave., Ste. 8, Pasadena. —Cathy Chaplin
Sichuan-style Dungeness crab at Sea Harbour in Rosemead Matthew Kang Sichuan-style Dungeness crab at Sea Harbour It’s easy to forget the wealth of excellent Cantonese seafood restaurants in Los Angeles, and the nearly two decade-old Sea Harbour continues to chug along with fresh crab pulled right out of the water. Dungeness crab isn’t quite at its peak this early in the season, but one could argue that the Sichuan-style seasoning, with a gentle simmering heat and red-tinted chili oil, does a nice job of making up for the skimpy but sweet crab meat. The only problem with ordering one of these is fighting over the best pieces, which in this case has to be the claws. 3939 N. Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead. — Matthew Kang
Carne asada at Sonoratown in Downtown Farley Elliott Carne asada at Sonoratown Having out-of-town co-workers descend on Los Angeles can always be reason to stress, particularly when they’re fellow food writers who expect to eat well — and often. One of the best eaters of the entire company is none other than editor-in-chief Amanda Kludt, who popped into the city for a few days to dine everywhere from Nightshade and Alameda Supper Club to Fiona on Fairfax. She already more than knows what she’s doing and where to go, so it was a relief to bring up Sonoratown as a quick second lunch option one day and have her heartily say yes. What followed was a walk-through of one of the city’s best newer taquerias , from the classic carne asada on flour tortillas to the endlessly delicious chivichanga with pulled chicken. A nibble of onion here, a splash of salsa there, some horchata and maybe a few tortillas to take home…it’s the kind of easy meal that can take the pressure off anyone, and lets out-of-towners lean into the kind of flavors and vibe that LA does so effortlessly. 208 E. 8th St., Downtown. — Farley Elliott
Blue crab handroll at KazuNori pop-up at Coachella View this post on Instagram A post shared by KazuNori (@kazunorisushi) on Apr 3, 2019 at 12:34pm PDT
As far as Coachella dining goes, it is incredibly difficult to recreate dishes in a tent in the desert with 100 degree temperatures. Unless of course the establishment is KazuNori. Its unassuming, expertly made handrolls are a great fit for those looking to increase their salt intake in the low desert. The pop-up experience was no different than at any of its LA locations. A brief wait for a seat, and only $25 for a five-roll combo with toro, yellowtail, bay scallops, lobster, and the clear standout: blue crab. Made right before my eyes, the blue crab creation offered a welcome break from just about every other average food vendor at the annual music festival. 421 S. Main Street, Los Angeles. —Mona Holmes
April 15, 2019 Kohada at Sushi Ginza Onodera in West Hollywood Farley Elliott Kohada at Sushi Ginza Onodera Los Angeles has no shortage of sushi, from high-end experiences tucked into strip malls to every corner spots doing omakase on the cheap. Towards the ceiling of that range is Sushi Ginza Onodera, the worldwide upscale phenomenon known for its clean lines, big price tag, and collection of Michelin stars. The LA location sits on La Cienega just a door down from E.P. & L.P., though it feels a world away from that (or any other nearby) scene. Step through for a serene evening where impressive fishes provide the show, particularly some lightly seared monkfish liver or wildly fresh kohada . 609 La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood. —Farley Elliott
Rosemary garlic roast pork at Parsnip in Highland Park @GastronomyBlog Rosemary garlic roast pork at Parsnip The end of braised meat season is around the corner, soon to be replaced by lighter fare, warmer temps, and blooming jacarandas. This happens every year, of course, but that doesn’t mean that a sweet send-off isn’t warranted. For one final hurrah, head to Parsnip and settle into a generously portioned bowl of slow-roasted pork shoulder plopped atop creamy polenta with an apple onion sauce. A double punch of pork and polenta can be too rich, but there’s nothing a bit of vinegary red cabbage and pico verde can’t solve. Now that the last of the season has been fully savored with Romanian comforts of the fall-apart roast variety, let’s bring on spring. 5623 York Blvd, Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Sausage egg and cheese sandwich at Eggslut in Glendale Mona Holmes Sausage egg and cheese sandwich at Eggslut Eggslut’s reputation as a formidable daytime eatery is based on a model that churns out breakfast sandwiches, coddled eggs, and burgers. Angelenos love it so much that they’re willing to wait up to an hour without complaint. It’s hard to imagine LA without Eggslut, even though it’s only been around since 2013. Founder Alvin Cailan keeps opening new locations, bringing the count up to five including outlets in Grand Central Market, Glendale, Venice, and The Beverly Center. He’s even moving beyond California with a spot at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas and another in London that’s opening this year. Whichever location one finds themselves, the sandwich to get is the sausage, egg, and cheese — pure melty goodness in a brioche bun with house-made turkey sausage, an over-medium egg, cheese, and a slightly sweet aioli. Unless arriving early, skip the Grand Central Market line and head to Glendale where the wait isn’t as insane. 252 South Brand Blvd., Glendale. —Mona Holmes
Seasonal risotto at Rossoblu in Downtown Matthew Kang Gorgonzola, radicchio, and labrusco risotto at Rossoblu April doesn’t seem like the best time to have risotto, but these rather blustery spring evenings means a wide bowl of comforting Italian rice porridge totally fits the bill. Rossoblu’s seasonal offering, part of a big set menu we had recently for a bachelor party, served fantastic flavor in just a few spoonfuls. Creamy, still al dente rice comes lovingly stirred with a gently sweet lambrusco wine, gorgonzola, and just-bitter radicchio for a balanced bowl. The gorgonzola’s punchy flavor gets a nice tempering from the wine and leaves. Then the rich Parmigiano-Reggiano brings it all together for a textbook example of what a great risotto can be in, even in perpetually sunny California. Order this before it comes off the menu. 1124 San Julian St, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
April 8, 2019 Green Tea Mille Crêpes at Lady M in Arcadia @GastronomyBlog Green Tea Mille Crêpes at Lady M A trip to the Santa Anita mall isn’t complete without a slice of Lady M’s super-fine green tea crepe cake. Slicing through 20 delicate crepes interspersed with matcha-infused pastry cream has a magical quality to it, quieting the din of shoppers, if only for a moment. It’s a tradition with my four-year-old, who might be even more enchanted by the cake than me. There’s something about forging memories within the confines of an indoor mall that makes me more than a little nostalgic for the days of dining at the Cheesecake Factory with my mom. Malls, mothers, memories…it must be a Southern California thing. 400 S Baldwin Ave E21, Arcadia. —Cathy Chaplin
3×3 at In-N-Out Burger Farley Elliott 3×3 at In-N-Out Burger Is there anything better on a road trip than a simple In-N-Out burger? Or maybe not so simple, depending on one’s preference for layers of meat and cheese, or grilled onions, or chopped chiles, or mustard-grilling or… The point has been made before, but it bears repeating: In-N-Out is America’s best driving burger. From the enduring roadside stand aesthetic to the inexpensive menu, fast service, and simple satisfaction with every bite, a burger here just matters more to the national burger conversation when it’s eaten in the sunshine just off some interstate. Don’t feel like debating the merits of the fries? Skip them altogether with a beefed-up 3×3 (add raw onion), and split a milkshake with whoever is riding shotgun. That’s what Southern California is all about. —Farley Elliott
Turnip with Spanish mackerel at Auburn Matthew Kang Turnip with Spanish mackerel at Auburn Auburn is turning out to be one of LA’s most promising new restaurants under the helm of fine dining veteran Eric Bost. The space is absolutely gorgeous, with a wonderful clean design and just the right accents. It’s a place that feels at once welcoming and different, stark in its minimalism but also cheerful enough from the pops of greenery and its open ceiling. You almost wish you could live in it. And living here would be even better if this was the kind of the food you could eat on a daily basis.
Bost serves this roast turnip dish that hides raw Spanish mackerel beneath, all of which settles into a shallow pool of aged pork broth. A fragrant allium oil dots the broth, and together the dish reminds me of something at San Francisco’s three Michelin-starred Saison: robust, brothy, and tempered by a subtlety that’s hard to describe. There’s a contrast of the fresh, meaty fish and the heft of those turnips that harkens a Japanese mentality. The turnip is emblematic of the rest of Bost’s food: focused and precise but ultimately pleasurable and delicious. Now the question is, will Auburn garner one or two Michelin stars of its own? 6703 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA. — Matthew Kang
April 1, 2019 Snickerdoodle pancakes at Kitchen Mouse in Highland Park @GastronomyBlog Snickerdoodle Pancakes at Kitchen Mouse It doesn’t get any more basic than venturing out for a plant-based brunch in Highland Park, but alas, here we are. With vegan-ish in-laws in town and bellies to be filled, Kitchen Mouse proved to be the perfect call this Sunday afternoon. While my mother-in-law dug into awesomely meaty jackfruit “crab” cakes and my father-in-law settled into a full English breakfast, my fork kept returning to my husband’s Snickerdoodle pancakes. Made from a trio of flours—oat, buckwheat, and corn—these pancakes proved heftier and denser than the average short stack in the very best way. The finishing touches, a dusting of cinnamon-coconut sugar and a dollop of cinnamon-coconut sugar butter, made for the kind of rich and decadent brunch-time sweet that forks are futile to resist. 5904 N Figueroa St., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Tacos de canasta at a street corner in Downtown Farley Elliott Tacos de canasta from a street corner in Downtown Los Angeles’s taco scene at the moment is focused on two very big ideas: Bright red birria , and lots of carne asada by way of Tijuana. And while each genre offers countless spin-offs across the city, in Downtown there’s one man doing something much simpler: t acos de canasta . The so-called basket tacos are also known more generally as tacos al vapor because they cook by being steamed slowly. In the de canasta case they’re cooked in transit after sitting, folded lightly, in a layer of cloth that’s covered with plastic wrap to keep the moisture in. The result is a plate of five smallish tacos meant to be slathered over with some pickled veg and salsa, and eaten with a fork (unless one is willing to get extra messy, which is always okay). And while al vapor tacos are not ubiquitous to Los Angeles right now, they can be seen fairly frequently for those in the know. Want some soon? Head down towards 4th and Los Angeles streets in Downtown, and look for the occasional man pushing a baby stroller topped with a basket full of tacos. It’s just that simple in LA. 4th and Los Angeles streets in Downtown. —Farley Elliott
Breakfast burrito at El Torazo in Long Beach Mona Holmes Breakfast burrito at El Torazo Figuring out where to eat in LA can be a tricky affair. The entire county has over 10 million people, and with thousands of restaurants to choose from, it can get overwhelming. But sometimes luck takes over and an unexpected experience brings a gem into the fold. The breakfast burrito at El Torazo, which happens to be located next door to a friend’s Long Beach home, brings an interesting twist with its chopped ingredients—crispy potatoes, bacon, and egg—wrapped in a seared handmade tortilla. It’s in a sleepy part of Long Beach where parking is scarce, but worthy of the inconvenience for any breakfast burrito lover. 2801 E. 10th St., Long Beach. —Mona Holmes
Veal wienerschnitzel at Spago in Beverly Hills Matthew Kang Veal wienerschnitzel at Spago Wolfgang Puck’s iconic Beverly Hills restaurant continues to prepare elegant lunches in the Golden Triangle, though it seems the crowd hasn’t changed much since the early aughts. Expect the odd sunglass-donning and Panama hat-wearing tourist couple, as well as a dining room full of ladies who lunch. There are still plenty of tables where Hollywood-types are making deals, but Spago still somehow feels inaccessible to the influencer set, which is fine by me. And while it’s probably due time to infuse a little freshness on the menu in the way of some more photo-friendly food, no one can deny themselves Spago’s classic veal wienerschnitzel. In a Keto and low-carb world, this gorgeous fried beauty looks completely out of place, but the fundamentals are here. Crisp breadcrumb coating, tender pounded veal, and everything you’d want on the side of this Austrian favorite. There’s still a sense that Spago hasn’t done anything new or innovative in the past few years, but maybe dishes like this wienerschnitzel are reason enough to return. 176 N. Canon Dr, Beverly Hills. —Matthew Kang
March 25, 2019 Lonestar Migas at Homestate in Hollywood Farley Elliott Lonestar Migas at HomeState Some mornings are easier than others, sure, but it’s hard to see any day going askew when starting with a hearty bowl of lonestar migas from HomeState. The restaurant group already has busy locations in Hollywood and Highland Park and is soon to add in Playa Vista to the mix, meaning a morning with scrambled eggs, cheese, strips of tortilla, and shredded brisket is close at hand. It’s always a smart idea to add a couple of flour tortillas to the mix (and some avocado on top), but either way these migas are an awesome way to at least start having a good day. Whatever happens after is anyone’s guess. 4624 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. —Farley Elliott
Apennine fries at Rossoblu in Downtown @GastronomyBlog Apennine fries at Rossoblu There’s something about an early evening hang that feels just right these days now that the sun lingers until just before dinnertime. The good folks at Rossoblu serve up a small menu from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily featuring choice cocktails and wines-by-the-glass, as well as salty-crunchy bites to pair with them. It’s a highly civilized affair that soaks up the season in the best way. While it’s easy to overlook the Apennine fries when there are grilled pork meatballs to be had, the expert move here is to order one of each. Sip a glass of sparkling rosé while digging into the ultimate fried spuds made from Kennebec potatoes, drizzled in balsamic vinegar, and speckled with deep-fried herbs. The texture will knock your socks off. 1124 San Julian St, Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Charred cauliflower at Tesse in West Hollywood Mona Holmes Charred cauliflower at Tesse Let’s be real, cauliflower isn’t the greatest vegetable. The crunchy texture is the only thing really going for it, and even though it seems like many LA restaurants feature this vegetable on their menu, it largely falls short. The lone exception is the charred cauliflower at Tesse. I’ll admit that my dining partner insisted on this dish, otherwise I would have missed the flavorful accompanying harissa, cucumber, and pomegranate which combines perfectly with the wood-fired cauliflower. It’s fresh, filling, and gorgeous to look at. 8500 Sunset Blvd. Ste. B, West Hollywood. —Mona Holmes
Don’t Think, Just Eat at Sugarfish Marina del Rey Matthew Kang Sushi at Sugarfish Marina del Rey Sugarfish is essentially a known quantity in Los Angeles these days, with fantastic quality fish and heavily seasoned rice that’s beloved across town. The newest addition to the menu called “Don’t Think, Just Eat,” is a solid shift away from its standard “Trust Me” or “Nozawa” menus with a lot more variation and interesting cuts for a very reasonable price. Here, the menu is $52 for two sashimi plates, 16 pieces of nigiri with all different preparations, and a lobster hand roll to finish. Although it’s the most expensive option on the Sugarfish menu, it’s also the best deal especially when you compare this to what a similar option would cost at a restaurant like Sasabune or Sushi Park. After tax and a fixed 16% service charge, it’s a hair under $70 per person at Sugarfish.
The sushi here doesn’t necessarily rank in the same playing field, and the results are a little obvious in the construction. Fish barely sits atop the warm rice, a signature Nozawa feature, instead of fitting in nicely. It’s mostly so the warm rice doesn’t overcook the fish, but eating the sushi, even with fingers, is an exercise in keeping the nigiri together. Also, the non-aged nature of the cuts means the flavor won’t quite stay long on the palate like what one might experience at Kura in West Hollywood or Q in Downtown. But considering the ubiquity of this omakase course, its fantastic price point, and nine-out-of-ten quality of fish, it’s hard to complain. For anyone wanting the proper step up in quality for sushi, this is the ideal place to start. 4722 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey. —Matthew Kang
March 18, 2019 Key lime pie at the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills Wonho Frank Lee The key lime pie from the Grill on the Alley Beverly Hills is a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s a bastion of wealth in sprawling Los Angeles; a destination for camera-toting tourists looking to gawk at handbags; and a home for classic restaurants that still find themselves with something to offer. That’s certainly the case with the Grill on the Alley, the 35-year-old mainstay for the rich, powerful, and often famous. One unsung hero of the place, though, may well be the key lime pie for dessert. It’s tart, tangy, and decadent without being too powerful, making it an ideal finisher for a warm pre-summer meal just steps from Rodeo Drive. 9560 Dayton Way, Beverly Hills. —Farley Elliott
Anchovies and butter at Otoño in Highland Park Wonho Frank Lee Boquerones y Mantequilla at Otoño The most exciting dishes are the ones that don’t play by the rules, delighting with palate-pleasing combinations that defy expectations. Chef Teresa Montaño’s boquerones y mantequilla brings together fruits of the land and sea with expert flare and funk. Pickled fresh white anchovies—meaty and tangy as all get out—are paired with whipped butter punctuated with tuna and anchovy. The oily and oceanic ingredients, carefully propped and slathered atop crusty loaves of Bub and Grandma’s bread, get better and better with each bite. 5715 North Figueroa St., Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Beef and broccoli at Native in Santa Monica Mona Holmes Beef and broccoli at Native It’s a shame Nyesha Arrington’s Native permanently closed yesterday. Her Santa Monica restaurant was a gorgeous addition to the Westside, with plushy seating, cozy nooks, and a killer, youthful playlist. Arrington’s menu leaned heavily on fresh produce from the adjacent Santa Monica Farmers Market. While her confit fingerling potatoes with dry-aged beef fat were very good, they came in a close second to the beef and broccoli. With bone marrow as the centerpiece, the dish also featured blistered garlic with a Thai shallot-hoisin sauce for the broccolini. Even though it was Native’s final day of service, Arrington’s staff still kept things professional with fantastic service and execution. 620 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica. —Mona Holmes
Slow-cooked short rib at Nightshade in Downtown Matthew Kang Roasted short rib at Nightshade Nightshade continues to grow its menu of Asian-inspired dishes with some shareable larger format fare like this blackened, slow-cooked short rib that very much resembles something one would find at a Texas barbecue joint. Served sliced and assembled atop the bone, think of this as a sort of mash between Chinese and Korean barbecue, with the pickles on the side. The rib meat boasts a slightly sweet, soy-like glaze that isn’t the least bit smoky, and Nightshade chef Mei Lin serves the hulking rib with butter lettuce to wrap like ssam .
Though the pickles do a sufficient job of cutting through the rich meat, which isn’t the least bit smoky, one wonders what a small bowl of fermented kimchi would do. Either way, the entry point of this sits around $75 depending on the weight, and shares nicely with a table of two to four. For a menu that tends to highlight vegetables, fish, or pasta, it’s great to have a substantial protein finish to a meal here. 923 E. 3rd St. #109, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
March 11, 2019 Sichuan pigs ears at Noodle Harmony in Monterey Park @GastronomyBlog Pigs ears at Noodle Harmony The namesake noodles at Noodle Harmony are certainly worth one’s while — the Chengdu-style dry noodles and dan dan mian are particularly good — but don’t overlook the small list of cold dishes also on offer. Eaten communally and heaped with things like jellyfish, cucumber, and bean curd, the cooling platters complement the tremendous strands. The “pork ear in chili oil dressing” makes for the best kind of starter, striking the ideal balance between flavor and heft, piquing appetites without diminishing them. The ears, snappy yet smooth, arrive perfumed with classic Sichuan ma and la with a hint of sweetness. 735 W Garvey Ave, Monterey Park. —Cathy Chaplin
Shrimp fries at Mariscos El Bigoton in East LA Farley Elliott Shrimp fries at Mariscos El Bigoton It’s hard to find a better bite or two in LA right now than the shrimp fries from the Mariscos El Bigoton truck in East LA. That’s not to say one should indulge in the entire $15 Styrofoam container as a standalone meal; it would be practically impossible and unadvisable health-wise. But for a few glorious forkfuls, the confluence of french fries and savory sauce and sauteed shrimp is mind-bendingly appropriate for a sunny weekend day. Pull up a stool, be sure to grab a complete bite (that includes avocado and cheese, naturally) and enjoy the glories of street food in Los Angeles. 5458 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles. —Farley Elliott
Roman-style artichoke at Cal Mare in Beverly Hills Wonho Frank Lee Cal Mare It would be a sin to forgo the pizza and pasta at Cal Mare, which are masterfully handmade by chef Adam Sobel and define the coastal Italian menu. However, it would be a greater misdeed to overlook the restaurant’s specials, like the Roman-style artichoke. This traditional dish is an understated star, with artichoke, mortadella, and pistachio carefully drenched with a flavorful salsa verde and a touch of citrus. It’s a layered and hearty dish that takes you by surprise, and easily pairs with wine recommended by Sobel’s attentive staff. 8500 Beverly Blvd., Suite 115, Beverly Hills. —Mona Holmes
Dumpling and rice cake soup at Spoon by H in Los Angeles Matthew Kang Dumpling soup at Spoon by H Spoon by H is the totally unsung but now highly blown up Korean restaurant on Beverly nearby La Brea Avenue thanks to one David Chang, who blasted the place on his Instagram and podcast as his favorite restaurant of the past year. On weekends, the place is absolutely slammed, but on weekdays it’s a bit more mellow. The food is basically Korean comfort food, the kind a grandma or mom would make, but with a heavy dose of pizzazz. Is it life changing? It depends on your experience with Korean food, and how much you would worship something like an amazing dumpling and rice cake soup ( dukmandu guk ).
What’s different about Spoon by H’s version here starts with wonderfully crimped and assembled dumplings placed into a garlicky, almost milky broth covered with vegetables, chili flakes, and fried wonton strips that feels more substantial that a homemade version. There’s a sense that Spoon by H is messing around with the Korean food canon in a thoughtful, measured way that would still appeal to the neophyte. The hype machine is truly on for Spoon by H, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t warranted. 7158 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
March 4, 2019 Smoky tacos al carbon at a stand in the Arts District Farley Elliott Tacos al carbon in the Arts District There’s always something new to discover around any corner in Los Angeles, especially for those willing to take side streets and spend a little time staring out the window. Case in point: The new tacos al carbon stand at the corner of Violet Street and Mateo in the Arts District. It’s little more than a pop-up tent, salsa bar, charcoal grill, and single table, but that’s all that one could ever need when dining out on quick-service cecina tacos imbued with lots of smoke. Lace over some avocado salsa and fiery roja for maximum effect, then drip with lime and hover over the plate. In Los Angeles, it can (and is) as simple as that. Tacos al Carbon at Violet and Mateo, Arts District. —Farley Elliott
Hakka mochi at Joy in Highland Park @GastronomyBlog Hakka mochi at Joy With noodles, rice bowls, and thousand-layer pancakes to be had, it’s no wonder that most folks stumble out of Joy properly stuffed and likely without dessert. But hold back a little on the savories because the hakka mochi is worthy of one’s precious gastro-real estate. Served alongside mugs of warm tea, the mound of mochi arrive dusted in peanut and black sesame powder. While the former tastes something like a sticky PayDay bar, the latter is just bitter enough to counter its neighbor’s nutty sweetness. Speared with a bamboo toothpick and eaten one-by-one, the flavors and textures delight until the sizable mound whittles into a mole hill and then disappears all together. 5100 York Blvd, Highland Park. —Cathy Chaplin
Gumbo ya-ya at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney Mona Holmes Gumbo ya-ya at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen After standing witness as friends were married in front of a Norwalk judge, the new husband and wife suggested we dine at the “Happiest Place On Earth” to celebrate. A quick drive brought us to Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, the Bourbon Street-themed eatery in Downtown Disney. Champagne was required, as was sitting outdoors at a table with mardi gras beads. With its dark roux and slow heat that only revealed itself 30 seconds after each bite, the gumbo ya-ya chicken was a pleasant surprise and made me reconsider whether solid food choices were available at Disney. With options like this, it’s entirely possible to get a small taste of Disneyland without paying the park fees. 1590 South Disneyland Drive, Anaheim. —Mona Holmes
Salmon ochazuke at Orsa & Winston in Downtown Matthew Kang Salmon ochazuke at Orsa & Winston Josef Centeno’s refined restaurant Orsa & Winston is perhaps the most underrated place to eat Downtown. The unassuming, elegant interior doesn’t try to grab one’s attention. Brunch is the easiest entry point to the menu (though weekday lunch is also really accessible), with easy-to-like dishes like a fantastic castelfranco and kale salad, imbued with a tart Meyer lemon vinaigrette and smoky bacon. A fluffy Tehapachi grain pancake is only bested by the Instagram-friendly Japanese souffle pancake topped with hyper-local honey (like, from Downtown) and Harry’s Berries since they just came back in season. But the salmon ochazuke successfully melds a homey Japanese morning dish with some of Centeno’s creative flair. He takes slow cooked salmon that still features a sashimi-like tenderness, topping it with steamed seaweed, spicy Calabrian chile, and a green tea dashi . Growing up, my mother made me something similar for breakfast — pan-fried salmon with barley tea-soaked rice. Centeno’s version seriously took me back to the purest kind of comfort food. 122 West 4th St., Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
February 25, 2019 Grilled salmon bowl at Urban Radish in the Arts District Farley Elliott Urban Radish The life of a food writer is a lot of things. It’s about sitting in front of a computer, or sitting in a car on the way to a conversation and then a computer, or eating a lot of food. It’s fun, rewarding, and often unglamorous, despite the Instagram shots. And it’s also the kind of thing that can compound over the years to become a real problem, physically and mentally. So, every once in a while, the cheesy breakfast burritos need to take a backseat to some wonderfully grilled salmon set on a bowl of greens from a place like Urban Radish, the healthy-eating oasis in the Arts District. The outdoor grill is hidden behind a row of water-circulating vertical planters brimming with kale and other greens. Look through the foliage to find one man and a stack of tickets. Skirt steak, salmon, chicken; it all hits the hot metal and gets served over healthy grains and greens to a slew of daytime diners who just don’t need another taco, sandwich, or bowl of udon. It’s not about being a perfectly healthy eater every day, it’s about making the right (and still delicious) choices sometimes, and learning to just live the rest of the time. 661 Imperial St., Arts District. —Farley Elliott
Ginger onigiri at Pikunico in Downtown @GastronomyBlog Ginger onigiri at Pikunico at ROW DTLA Here at chef Kuniko Yagi’s fried chicken spot, the signature clucks are served with house-made pickles, a trio of sauces, and a choice of fingerling fries or ginger onigiri . Don’t be tempted to pass over the seemingly straightforward seaweed-wrapped rice balls for the crispy spuds. While the potatoes are perfectly lovely, and the fried chicken too, it is the onigiri — glossy and glutinous — that deserves your attention. The gentle warmth of fresh ginger permeates each grain, while a sheet of nori holds everything together. Hand held and comforting, what more could one ask for in a side dish? 767 South Alameda St. Suite 122, Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Slack season noodles at Joy in Highland Park Joy on York [Official Photo] Slack season noodles at Joy in Highland Park LA’s surprise hail, snow, or graupel storm landed throughout the city last week, and with it came some very cool temperatures. Even though the mercury is slowly moving upwards, the lows will remain in the 40s for the time being. The right kind of food can assist with staying warm, like the slack season noodles with sesame scallion bread at Vivian Ku’s Joy in Highland Park. This traditional Taiwanese soup starts with a flavorful chicken and pork base, with minced pork, plenty of garlic, and hearty noodles with a slight bite added to it. Topped with a single shrimp and scallions, these noodles should be eaten quickly in Joy’s cozy dining room as if your warmth depends on it. 5100 York Blvd, Highland Park. —Mona Holmes
Squid ink bucatini at Nightshade in Downtown Matthew Kang Squid ink bucatini at Nightshade Mei Lin’s suave Arts District restaurant feels like a gem, tucked away from the street and shoeboxed into a big brick building. Inside, it glows with warmth from the kitchen and the dim lighting but feels modern with hanging indoor plants and royal green banquettes. The menu inches toward a more complete picture of Lin’s vision of craveworthy Asian-American dishes, and this latest addition of squid ink bucatini is no exception. Anyone who’s had zhajianmian , the Northern Chinese classic noodle dish with savory minced pork, will understand the context of this pasta. Instead of hand-pulled noodles, it’s tubular bucatini in an arresting black color, sauced with cuttlefish bolognese instead of pork, and simmering with the gentle heat of Korean gochujang. It’s truly a clever dish that might get overlooked by the mapo pork lasagna or shrimp toast. 923 E 3rd Street, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
February 17, 2019 Coconut waffle at Here’s Looking at You in Koreatown @GastronomyBlog Here’s Looking at You While most restaurants don’t put too much creativity into their brunch menus, relying on standbys like Bloody Mary’s and eggs Benedict to fuel weekend crowds, chef Jonathan Whitener is bringing fresh ideas and energy to the table. Take for instance his coconut waffle with koji , blueberries, ume (Japanese salty plums), and smoked maple syrup. At first glance, it looks like a fine enough Belgian waffle topped with whipped cream and a berry compote. But the first bite reveals that there is far more here than meets the eye. The coconut waffle, impossibly light and airy, delivers an avalanche of unexpected savory and funky notes, on top of the anticipated sweetness. This dish is far more interesting than it needs to be, going above and beyond the brunch-time status quo. Respect the waffle. 3901 West 6th Street, Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Brisket at Moo’s Craft Barbecue at Smorgasburg in Downtown Clay Larsen Moo’s Craft Barbecue In the ever-growing Los Angeles barbecue scene, the middle class is shrinking. Most places that have been around for years are, frankly, just okay, and others are downright bad. Of late, though, there has been a rush to the top from places like Ragtop Fern’s and Slab and Ugly Drum and Ray’s BBQ, with the family-run Moo’s Craft Barbecue reaching for the summit. It’s easy to see them planting their flag at the crest, thanks to insanely luscious brisket and pull-apart ribs, smoked to a Texas tenderness and offered with East L.A. sides and a smile. Check them out Sundays at Smorgasburg in Downtown; the line is worth it, if only for that barky brisket alone. 787 S. Alameda St., Downtown. —Farley Elliott
Smoked beef cheeks bowl at Guerrilla Tacos in Downtown Bradley Tuck Smoked beef cheeks bowl at Guerrilla Tacos The SoCal air is so chilly at the moment, so order Guerrilla Tacos’ piping hot bowl of smoked beef cheeks to stay warm. It’s a gorgeous broth with perfectly sized bits of meat that has been smoked for upwards of six hours using a blend of cherry, hickory, and oak woods. For the broth, chef Wes Avila brings together veal bones, dashi, ginger, scallions, and lemongrass. The tomato-based casero -style salsa packs some heat, so add your preferred amount of this salsa and meat to the thick, gordita -like flour tortillas. Pro-tip: save some tortillas for sopping up the broth. The bottom of the bowl comes with an added bonus: the incredible feeling of getting the chill out of your bones. 2000 E. 7th Street, Los Angeles. —Mona Holmes
Tacos at Tacos 1986 in Koreatown Matthew Kang Tacos 1986 Now that LA’s best new taco stand is situated in a highly visible location in Koreatown, it’s the best time to stop by during weekdays. Parking is a bit of a challenge, but circle around and street parking is usually never more than two blocks away. The tacos are getting more polished, better-seasoned, and better-constructed after the stand’s press-riddled first few weeks of operation. The carne asada picks up a little bit more smoky char while the adobada often gets more time on the flat top grill. The hand made tortillas are still excellent, as good as one would find in Baja. Ask nicely for the chicharron de queso con hongos , and a beautiful golden brown tortilla made of only cheese comes with the stand’s excellent mushrooms. The best part about Tacos 1986 is its accessibility, placed right in the heart of Koreatown, which itself is a crossroads for anyone traveling to Hollywood or Downtown, South LA, or Mid-City. What’s better than a taco pit stop? 611 S Western Ave, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
February 11, 2019 Chicken liver toast at Tartine Bianco in Downtown @GastronomyBlog Tartine Bianco Dining at a brand new restaurant certainly has its pitfalls, namely slower than optimal service, but it also has its immense thrills. When a late-night OpenTable search yielded prime seating at the less-than-two-week-old Tartine Bianco, it was impossible not to squeal just a bit and then take the plunge, even with all the potential pitfalls considered. While the menu is still a work-in-progress, the chicken liver toast is an early stand out and quite possibly the most thoughtful dish of the evening. The base of the matter, a crusty slice of the restaurant’s famous bread, sturdily held onto the pretty pink liver, as well as dollops of kumquat puree and blood orange segments. Balance comes among the varied components, hitting the brightest of notes with just enough richness to bring it home. 787 South Alameda St Unit 120, Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Roast duck with crispy rice at Majordomo in Chinatown Matthew Kang Majordomo Majordomo continues to churn out excellent large format dishes like this gorgeous roast duck served over crispy rice. Embedded underneath the rice are pieces of shredded duck, roasted turnips, and dates; a server pours duck-citrus broth over the whole thing tableside. The dish feels vaguely Korean, with its crispy rice, duck, and tender turnips that exude the fragrance of Korean daikon radish. The restaurant might eventually change the dish’s format in the future, with a cook slicing the duck breast in front of diners at their table. While this dish won’t replace the incredible smoked short ribs as the restaurant’s most impressive large format dish, it does provide a more approachable option for smaller groups. 1725 Naud St, Los Angeles, CA —Matthew Kang
Off-menu lasagna at Jame Enoteca in El Segundo Farley Elliott Jame Enoteca Jame Enoteca is well on its way to becoming a new kind of standard for the city of El Segundo. The corner strip mall option makes all of its pastas in-house and keeps a cozy but refined sort of vibe, which is exactly what’s needed in the squeezed-in neighborhood, bounded by LAX, the ocean, and a refinery to the south. Of particular noteworthiness (though all of the pastas seem to be pretty delicious) is the off-menu occasional lasagna with assorted foraged mushrooms. The skillet-style entree is big, rich, and crispy at the edges from a proper oven cook that doesn’t dry the whole thing out. Pair it up with some vegetables to start and maybe a glass of wine, and be well on the way to a very full and very relaxed time in the South Bay. 241 Main St., El Segundo. —Farley Elliott
New Zealand sea bream hand roll at KazuNori in Downtown KazuNori With open seating and rapid rounds of sushi hitting plates at the square communal seating area, KazuNori is the place to find some of the LA’s freshest fishes. It’s not uncommon to find a long line, which can be surprisingly short thanks to the restaurant’s efficiency. Choose from three to six hand rolls, which are made in plain view. And while many return for the blue crab hand rolls, the seasonal New Zealand sea bream hand roll shouldn’t be overlooked. The chefs transform the sea bream’s tender flesh and shiny silver skin into an elegant and perfect hand roll. Order a Sapporo and watch the chefs do their magic. 421 S. Main Street Los Angles. —Mona Holmes
February 5, 2019 Toothpick lamb at Chengdu Taste in Alhambra Farley Elliott Chengdu Taste It’s always nice to return to a standard-bearing restaurant and find it largely as it has always been: busy, happy, humming, and delicious. That was certainly the case with Chengdu Taste last week, when some Eater colleagues made the trip for all things spicy, tingly, and familiar. Despite the years of immense press and increased competition from other Sichuan restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, Chengdu Taste’s details continue to impress. The toothpick lamb is just as meaty, spicy, and craveable as ever, especially when paired against plates piled high with steamed vegetables and fish and peppers. The wontons are always a hit too, but there’s just something so classically alluring about that toothpick lamb. It’s nice to see old friends again. 3233 W. Valley Blvd., Alhambra. —Farley Elliott
Nanban fried chicken at Chateau Hanare in West Hollywood Matt Kang Chateau Hanare Chateau Hanare is one of the most underrated openings of the past year. This elegant standalone in West Hollywood comes from NYC restaurateur Reika Alexander who also owns En Brasserie in West Village. Alexander’s cuisine is classically Japanese, both fitting of a kaiseki meal in its ambition and subtlety, and izakaya- like with its more approachable dishes. Consider the nanban fried chicken, karaage -style chicken pieces served with a mound of creamy Japanese tartar sauce, shaved green onions, and a pool of ginger, carrot, and garlic-soy marinade. With so many refined dishes to try here, from the fresh tofu to the raw octopus with seaweed, it’s nice to dive into a heaping plate of fried chicken to bring everything back to earth. 8097 Selma Ave, Los Angeles. —Matthew Kang
Carne asada-inspired beef carpaccio at Atrium in Los Feliz Mona Holmes Atrium in Los Feliz On Vermont just south of Franklin, there’s a strip of Los Feliz restaurants that don’t turnover very often. Until Atrium came along last fall, these spots tended to stick around for eons and kept the neighborhood in a bit of a holding pattern. It’s amazing what owners Beau Laughlin and Jay Milliken did to the space and what chef Hunter Pritchett created with the menu. Pritchett’s flavors are unique and strong, just the way Angelenos like it. The beef carpaccio, inspired by the chef’s love of carne asada, is topped with crispy potato matchsticks, a thick salsa macha, and avocado crema. Those crunchy, salty, and savory layers makes for fun eating, but one plate might not be enough. 1816A N. Vermont Ave Los Angeles. —Mona Holmes
Cajun seafood boil at Boiling Crab in Alhambra Yelp Boiling Crab Here at the Alhambra outpost of this local chainlet, patrons wait up to two hours during peak dining times to get their hands good and dirty from the restaurant’s famous spice-rubbed crayfish. Before the main event arrives in a plastic sack, tables are covered in butcher paper and bibs are tied around necks. In addition to classic crayfish are king crab legs, snow crab legs, blue crab, shrimp, clams, Dungeness crab, and lobster; everything is sold by the pound. Crustaceans come spiced in original “Rajun Cajun,” lemon pepper, garlic butter, or “The Whole Shebang,” a delectable combination of all three. For those unaccustomed to eating mudbugs, just rip off their heads, suck out the juices, break the tails lengthwise, and pull out the meat. 742 West Valley Blvd., Alhambra. —Cathy Chaplin
January 29, 2019 The Humm Dog at NoMad in Downtown Amelinda B Lee The Humm Dog at NoMad While fancy, chef-driven hamburgers are all the rage around town, fancy, chef-driven hot dogs are a rarity. Chef Daniel Humm knows a thing or two about dialing up the humble hotdog to an 11. First comes a bacon-wrapped, all-beef, deep-fried hotdog, followed by a tangy celery relish made with half-sour pickles, pickled mustard seeds, and a bit of black truffle. Next up is a layer of melted gruyere cheese, and finally, the plushiest of brioche buns schmeared with truffle mayonnaise. The juxtaposition of digging into a suped-up hotdog in the NoMad’s formal library setting feels wonderfully fitting somehow. 649 S Olive St, Los Angeles. —Cathy Chaplin
Yellowtail Jalapeno Katsu Sando at Umi by Hamasaku in El Segundo Matthew Kang Yellowtail Jalapeno Katsu Sando from Umi by Hamasaku The katsu sando trend continues to grow unabated in Los Angeles, and it’s a boon for casual diners looking for a filling dish that doesn’t take itself too seriously. So consider the lunchtime special at Umi by Hamasaku, the South Bay offshoot of the well-regarded West LA sushi restaurant, which serves a panko-fried yellowtail with jalapeno, yuzu mayo, cabbage, and yuzu vinaigrette on Hawaiian sweet bread. Think of it as an upgraded Filet-O-Fish with delicious flakey fish and plush bread. The shoestring fries served on the side could’ve been crispier, but the star of the plate, that katsu sando, is worth swooning over. 860 South Sepulveda Blvd. #116, El Segundo, CA 90245 —Matthew Kang
The Faberge Egg at Belvedere in Beverly Hills The Belvedere [Official Photo] Faberge Egg at the Belvedere in Beverly Hills At the Belvedere restaurant inside Beverly Hills’ Peninsula Hotel, pastry chef Lia Benedetto created the showstopper Faberge Egg. The chocolate egg sits upright with perfect ovular holes, edible paint, and gold foil. A firm whack of a spoon sends it all tumbling down to reveal the insides, which on this night was filled with orange liquor gelée, blood orange mousse, dulcey crunch, citrus supremes, blood orange coconut sorbet, and chantilly cream. The egg’s flavors rotate as the seasons do. 9882 South Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills. —Mona Holmes
The pizza at Ronan on Melrose Wonho Frank Lee Marinara pizza with anchovies at Ronan With last week’s untimely closure of Sotto, Los Angeles has lost one of its most heralded Italian restaurants — to say nothing of a top-five pizza destination in the city. So what is one to do in the face of such a loss? Get as close to the original as possible with Ronan on Melrose. The restaurant, run by husband and wife team Daniel and Caitlin Cutler, is something of an unofficial spiritual successor to Sotto, as the Cutlers met and fell in love there before starting their own project last year. Daniel Cutler ran the pizza oven at Sotto for years, and is still turning out blistered pies with inventive toppings alongside a full bar. There are lemony meatballs, crudos, and other fun starters to round out any meal, but for those really craving cheese, dough, fire, and memory, it’s all about the pizza at Ronan. 7315 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. —Farley Elliott
January 22, 2019 Pigeon Pie at Game of Thrones dinner at Lately Mona Holmes Pigeon Pie from a Game of Thrones-themed dinner Chef Becky Reams partnered with string quartet Salastina to throw a Game of Thrones dinner last Saturday at her daytime restaurant Lately. The candlelit dining room was filled with sharply dressed diners channeling the Mother of Dragons, Robert Baratheon, and Littlefinger. To signal the start of each course, Salastina played gorgeous arrangements from the show. For the first course, Reams created a pigeon pie inspired by King Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding. The pithivier was comprised of two disks of puff pastry filled with chicken, bacon, celery, onion, aromatics, and bechamel. While the pie was satisfyingly savory, the music made the room swoon. 970 N. Broadway, Los Angeles. —Mona Holmes
Tom Yum Onion at Nightshade in Downtown GastronomyBlog Tom Yum Onion at Nightshade Everyone’s buzzing about Mei Lin’s newly opened Nightshade and for good reason — the food is fantastic while the space feels just right for the neighborhood. The menu is chock full of unexpected Asian American mashups, from the mapo tofu lasagna to the shrimp toast and best of all, the tom yum onion. Outback Steakhouse’s iconic appetizer gets the Top Chef treatment—expertly fried, Thai-spiced, and served with an airy coconut dip. It’s hard not to feel just a little giddy unfurling the onion’s copious layers. It’s best to share this dish with a group of four, but don’t hold back, two-tops. It’s worth waddling out of the restaurant for. 923 E 3rd St #109, Los Angeles, CA. —Cathy Chaplin
Breakfast at Jon & Vinny’s in Brentwood Crystal Coser Jon & Vinny’s It’s hard to overestimate just how popular the new Jon & Vinny’s in Brentwood will be. Or, in fact, already is. Fans and locals have been breathing on the glass, desperate for a glimpse inside, for the better part of the past two months, and now the white oak interior is buffed and shining. The star staff is shining too, turning out all-day menu items immediately, from olive oil eggs to pizzas and pastas and really, really awesome wines. A surefire breakfast winner is the BLT, a $16 beast on Gjusta bread that comes with lots of bacon, gorgeous tomatoes, and a runny fried egg. It’s best split with a friend (and some pancakes on the side), but can also be eaten alone for maximum mid-week breakfast decadence in Brentwood, on Fairfax, or — soon — around the globe. 11938 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood. —Farley Elliott
January 16, 2019 Lemon ice box pie at Dulan’s in Los Angeles Randoll C./Yelp Lemon icebox pie at Dulan’s in Hyde Park With rain pouring down all week long, friends participating in Whole 30 or “Drynuary,” and a new year in full swing, there’s only one thing to do immediately: eat comfort food. There’s plenty to choose from throughout the city, but this time Dulan’s will do. The choices are traditional and solid with mac and cheese, greens, fried chicken, and peach cobbler — but the lemon icebox pie is where it’s at. The combination of lemon juice, eggs, and condensed milk in a pie crust is reminiscent of key lime pie, but truly and uniquely a Southern masterpiece. Get a slice at all three locations for Dulan’s unless they sell out. 4859 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. —Mona Holmes
Armenian comfort food at Mini Kabob in Glendale Farley Elliott Mini Kabob In a world of big, buzzy openings, heatmaps, and waiting lists, it’s a true comfort to slide into a seat at Mini Kabob in Glendale. The absolutely tiny storefront south of the Americana has become something of a cult favorite, and for good reason. Platters of freshly grilled kabobs, lamb chops, and veggies always make for a great group meal, but at Mini Kabob it’s basically an all-hands-on-deck kind of family affair. Meats are offered with roasted eggplant ikra , thick smears of whipped garlic, lots of hummus, and plenty of lavash bread for pulling, grabbing, dipping, and enjoying. Places like Mini Kabob are the true heart and soul of eating in Los Angeles, especially on rainy days when a warm meal and good friends are of paramount importance. 313 1/2 Vine St., Glendale, CA. —Farley Elliott
Bun bo Hue at Nha Trang Noodle House Restaurant in San Gabriel GastronomyBlog Bun bo Hue at Nha Trang Noodle House Restaurant There’s been more rain this week than any other in recent memory and that means plenty of noodle soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pho and ramen are always solid standbys, but this week it’s been all about bun bo Hue , a spicy Vietnamese beef noodle soup with lemongrass. The stadium-sized bowls at Nha Trang are one of the best to be had this side of the Pacific. Mingling with the thin, slippery rice noodles are fist-sized pork trotters, cubes of congealed blood, and slices of pleasantly gristly beef. Comfort and warmth in a bowl. 311 E Valley Blvd., Ste. 103, San Gabriel, CA. —Cathy Chaplin
January 8, 2019 Smashed burger at Smosh Town in Pasadena Gastronomy Blog Smashed burger at Smosh Town in Pasadena One of the perks of this gig is being the first to know about new openings and happenings. Smosh Town set up shop over the holidays in the shadows of Gabriel’s Auto in Pasadena. While street-side tacos are a common sight around town, street-side burgers are quite the novelty. There are only two burgers on the menu: the Smosh Town Classic with raw onions, cheese, pickles, mustard, and ketchup, and The O’s Way with grilled onions and all the fixings. Both are priced at $7 and are made with Wagyu beef. Each burger comes with two smashed patties, crisp and caramelized around the edges, as well as two slices of all American Cheese. Burgers begin coming off the flattop at 7 p.m. and the entire operation closes once everything is sold out. Be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes for food to be ready depending on the size of the evening’s crowd. 250 N Hill Ave, Pasadena, CA. —Cathy Chaplin
Dungeness crab and garlic noodles at Crustacean in Beverly Hills Matt Kang Dungeness crab and garlic noodles at Crustacean in Beverly Hills Crustacean’s Dungeness crab, roasted, garlic-infused, and served out of the shell or cracked in shell, is truly a marvel for anyone who grew up eating this specialty at Cantonese restaurants. Crustacean’s version isn’t necessarily leaps and bounds better than what one would find in SGV or Orange County, but this version boasts quite a bit of finesse, from the pre-cracked shell (it’s always more fun to scoop the meat out of the shell, right?), to the excellent and endlessly-imitated garlic noodles on the side (which costs $15 extra). Crustacean is certainly pricey, with the Dungeness crab running $78 an order, though it’s generous enough for three adults or a nuclear family of four. With an updated, if slightly tacky, dining room, Crustacean still carries its mid-1990s character well, and it’s always a bonus to see the regal Helene An working the room on choice nights. 468 N Bedford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA. —Matthew Kang
Mario-style Fries at Howlin’ Ray’s in Chinatown Jakob Layman Mario-style Fries at Howlin’ Rays in Chinatown Having family in town is always a great excuse to retread old favorites, even if they haven’t fallen anywhere close to out of favor. That’s certainly the case with Howlin’ Ray’s, the unstoppable Nashville hot chicken paradise in Chinatown. The line, the Howlin’-level wings, the service…it’s all a rite of passage for folks coming through the city, especially when it’s a wide-eyed little brother from the wilds of upstate New York. And despite the allure of the simple fried chicken sandwich, the impressive move for newcomers will always be going off-menu, playing the part of insider and scoring a box of medium-heat Mario-style fries. Soaked in slaw, cheese, Comeback sauce, pickles, and cut-up chicken, the fries are a welcome mat to the city of Los Angeles, offered one bite at a time. 727 N. Broadway, Chinatown, CA. —Farley Elliott
December 20, 2018 Hot chicken tender sliders at Dave’s Hot Chicken in East Hollywood Farley Elliott Hot chicken tender sliders at Dave’s Hot Chicken in East Hollywood Sometimes, a line just feels like a line. It’s easy to walk past people queuing up for boba tea or avocado toast and, with a roll of the eyes and a light snicker, to dismiss the work being done inside. With Dave’s Hot Chicken on Western, the line can seem — from the outside at least — like a branding win, or a bit of Instagram magic. But inside the energy is palpable, a room filled with real people actually enjoying themselves outside of the saturation of social media. There are plenty of photos being taken of those hot chicken tender sliders, naturally, but the most important thing is that the food actually works for the intended audience. The well-spiced fries, the cheese-laced chicken, and the varying levels of heat all work here, to delicious effect. Add in some beer and a crowd that’s happy to be in the room, and this world starts to make a little more sense. At first glance a place like Dave’s may not feel like it’s for everyone, but stop and look a little closer next time. 970 Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA. —Farley Elliott
Dry-aged wagyu (and more) at Tamaen in Lomita Matthew Kang Dry-aged wagyu at Tamaen in Lomita Is there a better birthday meal than grilled beef? And does grilled beef get any better than dry-aged wagyu? Tamaen, a standard-issue Japanese barbecue joint all the way down in Lomita, is one of the few places to find the rare beef, though it’s served in a ridiculously small portion in a ridiculously grandiose tableside presentation. Is it worth the $150 for a total of seven ounces of meat? Probably not. A trip to In-N-Out might be a necessary post-meal “snack.” But in terms of pure beefy deliciousness, it’s hard to argue with Tamaen’s quality, which is virtually perfect.
One can see the influence of yakiniku in places like New York City’s Michelin-starred Cote, and a number of other high-end Korean barbecues sprouting up around LA’s Koreatown: that the more expensive wagyu and American dry-aged stuff is becoming more desirable. Here’s a recommendation: come to Tamaen, order a more reasonably priced meat set, and splurge for one serving of the dry-aged wagyu. Grill it gently on the tabletop fire to give it a tinge of smoky flavor and browning then dip into the sweet soy sauce. The bite bursts with glorious rice beef fat and finishes with the nutty, profound flavors of dry-aged goodness. It’s a beautiful time to be alive. Tamaen, 1935 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA. —Matthew Kang
Cha gio at Golden Deli in San Gabriel Boss and Boss E./Yelp Cha Gio at Golden Deli My husband and I managed to finally throw our four-year-old a proper birthday party this past weekend. It took place four weeks late, but it’s the thought that counts, right? Cooking for a crowd is something best left up to professionals, so to supplement the birthday cake that came out of our home kitchen, I turned to Golden Deli to handle the hard stuff. I wasn’t sure how well their wares would travel, but everything turned out stupendously, particularly the cha gio, which were blistered on the outside and somehow even more delicious dipped in fish sauce. So while the children bounced ‘till their heart’s content, the parental set piled plates high with cold vermicelli noodles, grilled shrimp paste, and the best cha gio in LA. Golden Deli, 815 W Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, CA. —Cathy Chaplin
The lamb burger at Belcampo Meat Co. in Grand Central Market Mona Holmes The lamb burger at Belcampo Meat Co. in Grand Central Market Grand Central Market’s magic is all about the selection. A group visit ensures that everyone will get what they want, since no one is required to eat the same thing. Vegetarians can head straight to Ramen Hood, while meat eaters wait in line for carnitas from Tacos Tumbras a Tomas or at Belcampo Meat Co. They have a six seat counter, but that’s no problem. Send your crew to grab their favorites, order the lamb burger and a beer, and grab a table in the main hall near G & B Coffee. Belcampo’s lamb burger is an imperfect, messy patty smeared with black garlic aioli and onion sprouts. And let’s be real, organic and grass-fed is the way to go for juicy, medium-rare meat, as the source comes straight from their farm in Mt. Shasta. Grand Central Market 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA. —Mona Holmes
December 12, 2018 Kanpachi ceviche at NoMad in Downtown Mona Holmes Kanpachi at NoMad LA When walking around Olive and 7th, make a detour through the NoMad. Better yet, if you have an extra hour or two, take a seat in the lobby dining room and order lunch. NoMad is gorgeous from the morning hours until nighttime, but taking in all those details with sunlight is worth a visit. Settle into one of the plush red and blue sofas and observe the exalted ceilings, art, and built-in bookcases. It’s not necessary to dress up, but many do while ordering rounds of drinks, NoMad’s custom French 75, bottles of wine, or the kanpachi ceviche. It’s served in a round bowl with a slow burn, but the freshness is what you’ll notice most about this dish. Scoop up a bite with a spoon, butter lettuce, or thinly-sliced watermelon radish, while finding something new to behold in Downtown LA. 649 S. Olive St. Los Angeles, CA. — Mona Holmes
Perrón taco at Tacos 1986 in Hollywood Matthew Kang Perron taco at Tacos 1986 in Hollywood LA is already the best taco scene in America, but it’s still miles behind a city like Tijuana, which is one of the best tacos cities even in Mexico. Tacos 1986 serves an excellent rendition of TJ-style tacos in the heart of Hollywood, which is a massive boon for taco fans who live far away from the amazing South LA tacos of Tire Shop Taqueria. With handmade tortillas and actual grilled carne asada, the perrón is a direct version of the famous bean and cheese-filled taco of Rosarito’s El Yaqui.
Tacos 1986’s version is a bit smaller and more manageable versus Rosarito’s massive flour tortilla taco, though 1986’s version sports a similar thin tortilla to match the original. Loaded with diced carne asada and a dollop of guacamole, it’s reminiscent of what Loqui used to serve in Culver City before it had to shut down its grilling operation due to neighbor complaints. Tacos 1986 is already drawing massive crowds for its social media-first approach to marketing, but the word of mouth is spreading quickly too. Get there early to beat those lines. 1200 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA. —Matthew Kang
Duck ham on rye at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica Cathy Chaplin Duck ham at Rustic Canyon Santa Monica Truth be told, I haven’t dined at Rustic Canyon since the days when Evan Funke was serving up drippy burgers on Monday nights circa 2011. However, I recently picked up a copy of current chef Jeremy Fox’s On Vegetables, and after zipping through the forward and skimming some of the recipes, I immediately made dinner reservations for two. I wanted to taste the cooking of a chef who had finally found peace and balance in a professional kitchen. The duck ham on rye with preserved kumquat and salted spruce, essentially an open-faced sandwich, was as thoughtful as it was delicious. The citrusy puddles delighted with each bite. 1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA. —Cathy Chaplin
Tacos at an unnamed stand in Highland Park Farley Elliott Tacos at unnamed taco stand in Highland Park With the holiday season comes a sprouting of Christmas tree sale sites, billowing bushels of suddenly green space occupying former parking lots and open bits of leftover land. There’s a particularly large site situated at Figueroa and York in Highland Park, alongside some midway-style games and other fun kicks for families to enjoy. And, almost just across the street, is Highland Park’s newest street taco setup. The unbranded stand carries all the significant signifiers: Bright string lights, a spinning trompo turning al pastor meat, and a separate table just for salsas and sides.
The bonus here is the drum-style open grill, where wide patches of carne asada cook fast over charcoal. The resulting setup is perhaps just as alluring (or more so) than the red and green streamers and holiday music from around the corner, at least to weary Angelenos returning home from a long trip abroad. Like any of the thousands of other largely unheralded street stands that operate nightly across Los Angeles County, this place does the classics well, and serves its community precisely where and when it’s needed most. Add in the adjoining churro guy who works Friday through Sunday nights, and the whole station becomes just another part of the fantastic fabric of Los Angeles, holidays or not. 6326 N. Figueroa, Highland Park, CA. — Farley Elliot

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On Spicy Food

tags: About Love , Manifesto , Taste
One thing I’ll be taking away from my time in the Capital Region is a love of spicy foods. I’m not terribly optimistic that the Midwest will be as friendly to fiery cuisines. But here in the land of hot wings, there have been a few places where even people with jaded, burned-out palates have been able to find stimulation.
Now, I’m not talking about the hottest wings ever. Those are just stupid . And there is a lot of macho bullshit that comes out when people try to test their mettle against the spiciest peppers they can find.
For the record, those aren’t the kind of experiences I’m chasing. Sure, I’ll take on the spicy ramen challenge for the good cause of drawing a little more attention to Downtown Troy. But I’m not going to a hot sauce convention to see how much pain I can take.
So what’s the draw of spicy food to me? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Intensely spicy food demands your respect. Truly, all food should get your undivided attention. However, we live busy lives. We rush through meals, and we eat thoughtlessly throughout the day. People shove burgers down their pie holes while driving on the highway. Meals are consumed in minutes. Some folks barely chew.
These are mealtime tragedies. We’re only able to eat so many meals in our lifetime. They should be filled with enjoyment.
Which isn’t to say you can’t enjoy great street food while standing up or walking. The taco lean and the pizza fold are two techniques everyone should know well. Because there are some places where the best in class food has to be consumed on the spot, even when there are no tables in sight.
But God help those who try to wolf down something with a significant Scoville score.
These are dishes that you have to take slowly and eat carefully. You can tell from the moment the food is before you, as the aroma alerts the eater of the fire within. So, it is important to be careful bringing the food to your mouth. Heaven forbid any of those potent pepper oils get on your lips or on your hands. As much as they may burn your mouth, your lips and eyes are far more sensitive.
Taking small bites is going to help a lot. As does chewing your food completely, and allowing the flavor and experience of the peppers spread across your entire mouth. Otherwise, you’ll be swallowing something that will burn all the way down.
Will you sweat? I know I do. And my skin may even turn a bit red. I know that when I combine fiery foods with a beer, my blood flow will increase, and I’ll get all flushed. But I do enjoy the flavors so much that I’m willing to ride out those feelings.
For some cuisines, this is simply how the food is meant to be prepared. So eating potent plates like these this in Sichuan, Jamaican, Thai, or Indian restaurants means actually getting to try the dish you ordered, as opposed to some watered down version of the food modified for American tastes.
I’m very happy that I have rediscovered my love for big intense flavors in some global cuisines. Clearly, they aren’t for everyone. However, for those who are curious how anyone can eat or enjoy these foods, hopefully this helped to provide a little context.
Of course there are just some people out there who are gluttons for pain. I’m not that brave or stupid. I hate pain. I don’t even like to sweat. But I do really enjoy getting to try a wide variety of foods from around the world. And if you’re careful, those intensely spicy dishes can be enjoyed in moderation. Just take it slow.
It also doesn’t hurt to have some carbs, or fat, or sugar on hand to quell the flames.

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Guest Chef from Fiji to Bring Island Tastes from South Pacific to Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort

Guest Chef from Fiji to Bring Island Tastes from South Pacific to Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort By 0
New Delhi, July 03, 2019: The coconut island of Koh Samui is about to enjoy the culinary skills of a guest chef from Fiji who brings 18 years’ mastery of cooking South Pacific fare.
Shailesh Naidu, the executive chef of the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort , started a six-month stint as ChefnB (overseeing kitchen and F&B) at Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort on 3 June.
By the end of the month, visitors to the Outrigger will have the option of two or three signature Fijian special dishes, in addition to the resort’s acclaimed range of Thai and international options.
Shailesh is most proud of his Indo-Fijian curries. “It’s been 140 years since the first Indians arrived in Fiji. Spices are still very highly used in Indo-Fijian kitchens. I enjoy cooking curries with aromatic flavours with my coach and critic [and wife] Rita, beside me.”
There are culinary parallels with Koh Samui. “I also love making seafood slow cooked in coconut milk with tropical island flavours such as lime, chilies, coriander and coconut as the main ingredients.”
He has been to Thailand before and admires Thai food. “It’s world renowned and highly regarded. It’s one of my favourite cuisines as the ingredients are the same or very similar to the food I grew up with.”
Shailesh says he’s also ready for the cultural challenges of working in Thailand where ‘greng jai’ [deference] and ‘my pen rai’ [never mind] are workplace realities.
“I come from a similar background with ‘greng jai’. In Fiji people are very humble to speak out. They are often too nice to say ‘no’.”
He believes ‘my pen rai’ won’t be a problem either. “It’s like we Pacific islanders say, ‘Set, no worries,’ or ‘It’s OK bro.’ So I’m sure I’ll be in the same boat as my Thai brothers and sisters.”
While adding a few Fijian special dishes over the next six months, Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort will continue its popular Thai cooking classes at its Blue Fire cooking school . The resort also recently introduced 16 in-resort activities – many of them food and beverage related – for guests
Corporate Comm India(CCI NewsWire)

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No, I Am Not a Venezuelan Prostitute and Other Tales from Trinidad and Tobago

My dad used to talk often of emotional intelligence.
Not of mine, per se, but of how the body remembers feelings and the senses can often bring those back in a heartbeat – without any cognitive thought going into them.
The past few weeks had been blue. Bluer than normal.
And June 17th 2019 was the 5 year anniversary of my father’s death.
No coincidence there.
This year was tough both in terms of scheduling and finances, but since making my own personal travel goals dad related, I feel compelled to honor him, and myself, and continue to make my biannual sojourns around the globe to share the best part of myself with him. My dad.
This year brings up to Trinidad and Tobago.
Not because I was jonesing for a Caribbean getaway or because I was confused on the dates of Carnival, but because it was the cheapest flight I could find during that time frame, it was relatively close, and it was a place I had not yet been.
After a painstaking journey from LAX to IAH to POS I was done. I was done shoved into a naugahyde seat, I was done with Americans who think pajamas are acceptable outerwear if they’re boarding a big metal bird and I was done with food that comes in single serving plastic pouches.
The last leg of my flight had been made much more pleasant by the fortuitous seating of aisle seat 30D being right next to Godfrey squared. The center square was occupied by an older gentleman, with the window taken up by his very quiet son, who was amiable and chatty and reminded me an awful lot of my dearly departed Grandpa Benevento, only with more melanin.
Grandpa Godfrey took such a shining to me that when we finally disembarked he offered me a ride to my final destination and, trusting my gut and my grandpa, I gladly accepted.
I travel light. I pride myself on the limited amount of crap I need to schlep around this planet, two homes notwithstanding and so, when my single canvas carryon was called out by the Trini TSA I was concerned. Well, that a lie. I didn’t give a shit -but when the 4th person mentioned my bag is contraband as, drum roll please…. Camoflauge is illegal in Trinidad and Tobago (and a few other Caribbean countries it turns out) my pulse quickened.
Instead of behaving like a civilized human being and going to the restroom to get my things together I instead, while in line at immigration, dumped the contents of my bag on the floor, flipped my bag inside out and tossed everything back in. A couple people verbalized their support of my decision as my bag would have been taken and tossed out once I reached security.
But there is always that one bitch. That bitch who feels the need to declare my American Privilege loud and proud as if I was causing some sort of Norma Ray scene and instead of keeping my mouth shut I replied.
I only wish I had replied with my fist and not my words.
But alas. Bag wide open and contents amiss I made my way into the balmy tropical evenings I have grown to love under the soft yellow light of an airport.
I was in Trinidad.
Grandpa Godfrey was all business as he packed bags of treats from the states for his family into the back of the economy vehicle, amiably piloted by Aaron, my newest best friend.
As I was tour guided around a darkened city, lit only by the dull yellow security lights lining the streets and university I was asked if I was hungry and, since I always am – we headed to Curep.
Evidently Curep is known for it’s doubles, a local dish that is like a channa masala taco, and for good reason. This messy street food was spicy and delicious and I immediately went for seconds when they were offered, followed by an ice cold apple soda on a steamy night. I was clearly a fish out of water and immensely grateful that I was afforded this opportunity to dine deliciously curb side in a place I would absolutely not have visited solo.
My tour continued from the back of the 4 door silver sedan as Grandpa Godfrey proudly boasted of the most profitable KFC is all the world – in Port of Spain. I can’t comment on the accuracy of that but it was packed – and it is open 24 hours, so who’s to say.
All 3 men walked me to the door as an act of chivalry to make sure I arrived safely at The Melbourne Inn before they drove off into the night, not knowing how much they had made mine!
With only a fan provided the room was hot and sticky when I finally rose to a late morning Caribbean sun.
I dressed, stepped out onto the, lets say veranda and a gust of wind immediately brought my dress up up and away. A quick costume change and I was good to go.
As I finally exited Melbourne Inn I was greeted with a city worker of some who show said only “buenos noches” – at 10am. I am not sure wy the only person in the whole world who doesn’t recognize my latinaness is my own boyfriend – but thats a tale for another time.
As I meandered I quickly recognize that POS, like any major city I’ve found, doesn’t possess the beauty or charm that people necessarily expect from a place, but rather municipal buildings, dilapidated store fronts quickly being replaces by McDonald’s and 24 Hour KFCs and refuse from what is likely an overpopulated province.
Queens Park Savannah seemed like a place to check out – so I did.
QPS has a couple of romantic tress and curiously placed cement benches lining Queens Park West, with the US and Dominican embassies nestled next to one another across the way, but mostly it is just a large soccer field without the goal posts.
Thankful for the ocean breeze to offset the 90+ day tropical temperatures, I took a moment and made note that food is needed, but even more, I have not had water in what is nearing 24 hours. I wish the bodega embassy was close by too.
I doubled back through the park a few times, trying to decide what my most strategic move would be when it dawned on me I was running on seriously low batt and needed hydration, stat. Thank goodness it was Friday, because as soon as I made my way East a large, bright reg TGIF filled the sky and led the way to water and a Diet Coke, for sustenance.
The only difference between this and any other Friday’s I have ever been to is that cricket was on the televisions at the bar and I was not only the only white person in the establishment at 11:30 am, but the only light skinned person.
These are typically not things I think about honestly, my own white privealge I know, but it was brought to my attention that perhaps my safety in these twin islands cozied up to Venezuela (who has evidently red covered on over about 400,000 refugees to this postage stamp sized country) might be an issue because I may stand out a bit.
And boom.
Mind blown.
In all of my travels my recognition of my own whitest has been minimal at best and that isn’t to say I am color blind, I just rarely take my own race into account, as I am afforded as a Caucasian American. Here I am making note.
Before long Gerald with a job interview sat beside me at the bar and told me he had an 11 year old son, told me he was at Friday’s waiting for a job interview and told me he was from San Fernando should I need a friend in the ‘hood. I am not sure why people like to share with me – but honestly – I am glad they do!
Port of Spain, though deemed the ‘New York of the Caribbean,’ ain’t nothing like New York and after I politely declined Gerald’s offer for a personal tour I went on my own walk about in search of food that isn’t served in an American chain restaurant – unless it’s Chili’s because they’re the best!
Not only were the streets devoid of establishments in which you actually sit to eat, they were also lacking friendly faces. Never before have I felt LESS welcomed to a new land. Luckily I don’t scare easily but distract almost always so the food court at the mall that I was passing for the third time suddenly seemed perfect and I climbed the two flights of stairs to dine on adequate Indian food and roti.
The food was mediocre but when a brazen 17 year old sat down across from me at the lacquered table and tried to chat me up the entertainment was well worth it. I had a chat with he and his friend, who, still in his school uniform, explained that had 20 siblings from his father and he unnecessarily emphasized how much his dad loved him even though his mom was not his dad’s wife – poor thing.
I thought about these two young men as I made my way to meet two others.
I had sent a message to my escorts from the evening before expressing my thanks for the ride and the kindness on my first night here and it just so happens we were both set to take the midday water taxi, so we decided to do it together.
While en route to purchase my ferry ticket an old man on the street reached out and touched me, and I was instantly repulsed both by his clear disregard for me as a human, but also by myself for not verbalizing anything but almost shamefully slinking away.
#metoointrinidad
The ferry building is small and in disrepair. It is also fraught with so many schoolchildren, creating the most beautiful amalgamation of brown, that I am asked to move seats as to not be the creepy adult surrounded by kids on a school trip.
I sat and read Eckhart Tolle quite and felt quite contented. I feel my best contented when I am in a foreign land. Most comfortable when uncomfortable.
It isn’t long before the Godfreys join me and Papa Smurf wheels and deals his way into some sort of upgraded ticket for all 3 of us.
The boat ride is brief and the view is literally nothing to write home about and before you know it all 3 of us have made it to San Fernando.
Senior Godfrey slept during the journey as I got to hear about my seat mates life and times in Atlanta, Georgia – a destination to which I have still somehow not gone.
San Fernando is a small town, streets lined with healthy looking dogs and street merchants hawking 14k gold jewelry and bedazzled bike shorts, ie – just my style.
Godfrey Senior has an old friend who founded a gym in the hood so we go and check out the underground establishment perched high atop a hill where they have your standard gym equipment in a large windowless room and a machine touted to tone the tush when really I just think it makes fat asses jiggle. I know it did mine.
We made our way back to the bus to Port of Spain at golden hour and I was met with more death glares only this time I had a temporary companion to confirm.
Our bus dropped us downtown where a night market of sorts was out in the streets but seeing as one vendor literally wouldn’t even serve me because of either the color my skin or the combination of that skin with men who fit in. We even tried the 24 hour KFC but it was way too packed. Cray.
A Chinese restaurant with bars in front of the counter and a cantankerous proprietor served a decent dish late night and I was sated. A shared ride home and a pleasant goodnight to my knights in shining armor and I was, once again, alone in a strange place.
Day three was a slow start, slower still when I realized I was going to have to schlep my inside out not camp camp bag wherever I went. I showered and I dressed. Depressed.
These trips allow me to honor my Dad. To feel connected with him. And as much as I can speak without tears about him now, or refer to him in the past tense and accept that – I am not over it. The pain has not diminished and all I feel is sadder when I look at our last email exchange or the cavalcade of YouTube clips I passed along in the weeks and months preceding his death and all I wish was that I had more. More time. More clips. More.
I wish the sound of his voice wasn’t so distant.
No amount of writing or traveling or crying will every convey who this extraordinary man was and/or what he meant to me specifically. All tangible or digestible information is an insult to the connection we had and the immense hole left by his absence, that will simply never be filled.
I think my desire to become a mother was only exacerbated by his absence. I think maybe part of me thought that would help and throughout my only pregnancy, which was both brief and tragic, I fully realized that no new Christopher could replace the old.
No one and nothing can.
And all I have to do is accept that. Over and over again.
I exit the Melbourne Inn and make my way downtown before heading to yet another boat
I am met with Spanish on the street and bask in my latin mystery and ignore any impoverished refugee or lady of the evening assumption it may imply.
I honestly cannot tell what people are yelling at me 98% of the time anyway, with the Trinidadian accent being more difficult for me to understand than Swahili, and the tonation, perhaps intentionally so well veiled that it is nearly undetectable. They are either saying I am an incomprable beauty from a land far far away in possession of both kindness and whit, or they’re saying go home whitey. Who’s to say.
I take the opportunity to duck into Trinity Cathedral finally and find respite from the rain in a cool, quiet and calm environment – perhaps that is why I like churches so much. There were not candles to light but it was nice to sit in the silence for a bit.
Though on the hunt for food I, instead, acquired a few trinkets for loved ones back home and marveled at the fashion in the windows, spilling out into the streets.
I wanted to buy every flashy, colorful, stretchy, sparkly item of clothing downtown, but refrained and headed to the water, remembering eateries with tables nearby.
to the inter-island ferry that will drop me off in Scarsbourough Tobago, a place I have heard is more mellow and friendly.
I lucked out with clear tables but no clear skies at this outdoor food court by the waterfront.My first stop was for some lemon passionfruit juice after which I was dire cted to authentic Jamaican cuisine just next door, served by Hattie McDaniels herself. Hattie was kind and patient while serving me black eye peas and jerk chicken which was especially welcomed given my less than warm reception on this island.
There was an interminable wait at the boat terminal just next door where I was seated next to a Trini sucking the life out of a mango pit and several dark skinned wide eyed young beauties awkwardly staring me down less out of hate than fascination with my inherent otherness.
Did I mention currently being dressed like Chquita banana?
The boat is boarded in sections and though I hear some rumblings about seasickness from a steward behind me I pay him virtually no mind as this boat is the size of an oil rig and the journey can’t possibly be that long. Or so I thought.
The rocking quickly lulls me to sleep but once I awake it is with a vengeance and it isn’t long until I am sweating, bobbing my head over on board boat toilets trying to take deep breaths. Motion sickness is no joke, yo!
When I deboard a cooky old character who introduces himself as Anthony and said he is from Trinidad but has never been to Tobago chats me up. He asks if I am Venezuelan. No. Columbian. No. Puerto Rican. No.
I love Anthony.
He teaches me the term lime as the sounds of the ocean meet the party of Scarsbourough on a breezy evening.
Perhaps it is a self fulfilling prophecy, as word on the street is that Tobago is more laid back and friendly than Trinidad – but I immediately feel more relaxed.
After the help of some strangers I get into a ride share, heading to my accommodation for the next couple of nights in Buccoo.
Being a female traveler, men often feel entitled to my time and attention and this often give me the opportunities for amazing adventures and great stories, but sometimes, like when I am sad or sick or just trying to take a moment to acclimate, I’d like to be left alone.
Putie means beautiful here and though I appreciate the sentiment, but a million people can tell you’re beautiful, but that doesn’t mean you believe them or feel it.
The Miller Guest House is pretty and blue and when I arrive check in is not available, but seating by the water with the sounds of Luther dancing through the night sky are.
I literally take the most romantic trips. Alone.
Very weepy, and not just because Whitney Houston’s power ballad just crescendoed, it is like my eyes have a mind of their own.
They served local seafood which I didn’t necessarily enjoy, but I certainly did eat and did so in style at their chic on site eatery.
Wifi was spotty and robbed me of my opportunity to fall asleep to the sweet sounds of Gilmore Girls, but I drifted off to strange dreams nonetheless.
I am awoken by the sounds of dishes being jostled, birds chirping and church songs being enthusiastically sung – things could be worse.
It was nearing 10 and it was time to make moves. My move today was Turtle Beach for Father’s Day.
Breakfast at the place that tried to seduce me just last night was apparently only available for large parties, since single people are the last group of people society is blatantly allowed d to discriminated against. My days old coconut cookies, which weren’t so great even a couple of days ago, canned pineapple juice and the sounds of the preacher across the bay on a Sunday morning fueled my tank and I was off.
After a run in with Winston, the owner and his adorable granddaughter who liked to proclaim everything was orange, I began what was meant to be 90 minute walk. In thongs.
The walk took forever, but just before the beach where Leatherback Turtles the sizz of small Volkswagons lay their eggs, there is a man who sells fresh fruit and cold water out of the back of his truck. In other words, a godsend.
Weather in North America, at least in the parts with which I am familiar, is monolithic. It is cold – wear a sweater. It is hot – put on some sandals. But in the tropics the sun is out and the rain is falling. All at once.
A storm sets in and you sit and wait it out on the beach because ou know it will pass and the sun will shine agin I can’t help but wonder if this type of weather pattern better prepares people for life. For the inevitable ebb and flow of existence
I spend many hours on the beach.
I pop into the local Starfish restaraunt, but it is closed so I call a cab.
Elvis picks me up at a 3 star resort kind enough to let me use their phone and brings me to a Chinese spot that seems not to follow the never be open rule so often implemented in various parts of the world/
He, of course, immediately asks where my husband and children and and when I say I have neither – he asks wha the goal is then. And all I can think to say is – to see as much of the world as possible.
At which point Evlis offers to marry and travel the world with me.
We’ve known one another approximately 8 minutes.
He quotes the Bible with something about many blah bola blah but few are chosen, explaining why he too is unmarried.
He then gives me MY Father’s Day gift when he hypothesizes that perhaps I have been getting less than love while here because everyone thinks I am Venezuelen and, therefore, a prostitute. It literally made my day.
Making Dad proud every damn day!
Once securely despited back at the Miller’s Guest House I shower and dress and go sit on the patio.
There is no rush – there is nowhere to go.
I sit by the water and write my dad a Father’s Day letter.
I had heard (and read) that Sunday school is the event that is a MUST in this tiny fishing town, hell – on the whole island – and it was happening just minutes away from me.
I am intimidated easily – but something about going to this lime alone, out of my element has me a little, well…. scared.
I finally force myself to go and feel like Mel Gibson with blue paint all over my face.
A couple of shops are open and Ra Nolan not only provided me with a handmade pair of fish scale earrings but a plethora of thickly accented wisdom. He told me I had a rasta heart, and asked if I had African blood and I felt it. I felt the power.
It was surreal.
I was too early for the party – but Ra Nolan had me feeling like that was meant to me – and he and I were supposed to meet.
By this time I am famished and decided known is best so I headed back ‘home’ to dine on fish and white wine while, tonight, Michael Bolton warbled over the piped in music. I believe it is this experience that gets you your card for the single middle aged woman union.
To finish off this gourmet mean I had what the waitress repeately called Napoleon ice cream but when I was served with three scoops of ice cream and not a short French soldier with an inferiority complex I was deeply dismayed.
By now Sunday school was underway and the sounds of steel drums led me to the action. When they played ‘Imagine,’ I felt glad I had come.
I’ve been reading a book about how talking shit about other people is a deficiency in your own ego, yada yada. Seriously – why do people have ‘vacation clothes?’ Are you a different person when you vacate your routine? These girls in flowey floral frocks look like they’re trying too hard and don’t even get me started on the table of college kids I pray to Allah I was never quite as obnoxious as.
Rant over.
I sleep restlessly as the lime isn’t squeezed dry till am.
Alex, my dive master, and his companion who’s name I never quite caught so I will call Captain Tobago picked me up early at Miller’s for my scuba sesh.
It was a rainy and grey day and no one else wanted to dive under such conditions so it was just the three of us, and Lucy – the boat.
I got 2 dives, the first of which was the most challenge I have ever had and , when back above water, Alex commented on it being so difficult because I was fighting so hard against the surge I almost laughed. Truer words have never been spoken.
The second dive on my private adventure gave me the opportunity to swim with turtles, which always makes me feel and also to see an Angel Back fish which Alex swore was so rare that it was a million dollar picture we had both looked at. I will say, however, for someone who has devoted their life to the ocean – the pure joy on his face, replete with mask, was priceless.
The rains were heavy as we left an I was shivering I was so cold and wet, but glad I had braved the weather on June 18th to swim with the turtles.
The boys brought me to get some doubles served out of the back of a minivan that paled in comparison to my Curep meal, but were delicious nonetheless.
The storm had really set in and it was sticky so I took a midday nap and it was delicious as well.
Buccoo bay was just outside my window so once I had a little recharge I took a walk on the beach. A persistent man named Diamond tenaciously offered me a ride on his boat to go fishing and though I thought the experience would be enjoyable – my gut was saying no – so my mouth did too.
If only I were 10 years younger and single – I would most certainly impregnant at least 70% of the locals.
I sat and swatted away insects as rhythmically as the sea rolled in while pelicans before me scale like petulant subtends over the last candy bar, or in this case, fish inward.
It is grey and not pretty, but relaxing.
I find myself worried about work. And I hate myself for that.
As I made my way back along the beach I felt compelled to hear a dad song and placed my phone in my bra (yes, I know that is bad for me) and on speaker. With no one around, I figure Ill have a moment.
As soon as I sat down a large wave camp up, the phone fell right out of my bra, and onto my foot with tough force to leave a mark – and into the sea.
I am grateful that even posthumously, my dad will not let me take myself too seriously.
I encountered a sweet older man who proudly displayed his fish to me and, when I expressed concern over it’s suffering, threw it back into the ocean. It was his only catch of the day. I felt pangs of guilt.
Diamond takes another swing, and misses.
I took some time to wander the village and popped into an old bodega broadcasting a televangelist in shades and offering black see toothpaste – so that was fruitful.
I know I am a city girl, but every time I am in a place like this I can’t help but wonder…
Two rhinestoned barrettes later and I see a bougie Italiani spot settled back from the street that is beautiful and has the price point to prove it.
I figure it is my last real night in this Caribbean paradise so I splurge, if not only to avoid the sad looks of the staff at Miller’s for a third consecutive solo dining experience at their lover’s hideaway.
Full of a wonderful meal I left satisfied and headed to the jetty. As I approached a buttery yellow mutt approached me. He appeared to be interested in treats, but when I explained to him I didn’t have any, he persisted, escorting me home. I’d stop to take a photo, and he would patiently wait beside me. I’d sit to ponder life and gaze at the moon. He would too. I’d started to believe that this K9 was my father speaking to me from the great beyond until he (or she) decided to go down on themselves for about 20 minutes. At that point the magic was a little lost.
Tonight was the night for my ritual. I tried to wait out the one dude off in the not so far distance, but when he seemed determined to sit there, smoke, and try to shoot the phone with his cell phone, using the flash I gave up and proceeded.
I was minutes into my ritual when Butter (aforementioned mutt) alerted me to stranger danger approaching and protected me. The “photographer,” as it were, came up to introduce himself and give me his card. I was clearly emotional. And clearly in the middle of something – but he approached me anyway – to do what he felt compelled to do. That was some disrespectful shit.
His name was Smokey. And he was a douche.
I did what I needed to do, and said goodbye to Butter at the gate.
My elaborate plans to see the entirety of the island on my last day were thwarted when I realized … I didn’t want to try that hard.
I returned to Turtle Beach because I knew that it would be almost vacant and I would have a day at the beach alone before having to go back and face the proverbial music.
Once again, a man inserted himself into my solitude, but luckily Diamond, again took no for an answer and Michael, who wanted to take me bird watching my last afternoon took the hint quickly enough. And by hint I mean me saying no repeatedly. Next up was Toothless Tobagan who was sporting a beret and carrying a machete who came up to introduce himself after hacking away at coconuts next to me. He told me I was built like a warrior – so perhaps he isn’t all bad.
Then. Suddenly.
Who cares about snakes on a plane when you’ve got… cows on a beach.
This was a first for me and I was thrilled. This was perhaps the greatest day of my life as I was able to commence with cows who I swear I was having major HT moments with. They were quickly shooed away and though our time was brief – I will always cherish it.
Miller’s was kind enough to let me shower despite my already having checked out as I knew that this journey was going to be a long one.
As I make my way out into the drizzle of late afternoon and bid Miller’s an adieu, a bunch of homies in maybe a Corolla holler and as I don’t see any other cab options – I hop in with them.
Tobago invented Lyft.
These kind and entertaining gentleman brought me to Cheg’s BBQ in Crowne Point where I would be catching a flight back to Port of Spain in a few hours. The cassava was ok – the other foodstuffs were not worth mentioning.
I walked down to the water and sampled my first Caribe as I watched young teenagers clumsily frolic in the ocean, and in love.
I passed a grown man eating an ice cream cone with remnants still on his face and wondered how the hell that was possible. Gross.
Sweating now, under the weight of my bag and the humidity I am even more aware that I will be showing up at the offie tomorrow in exactly what I put on in a small fishing village in Tobago the day before. Can someone say sexy?
Ever the youthful budget traveler I forego any other transportation options and walk to the local airport.
A disrespectful TSA agent, multiple delayed flights and an adult man offering me unsolicited opinions about abortions – it was almost like I was home already.
Tobago to Trinidad to Houston to Los Angeles to work and that was it.
My adventure was over and 5 years is officially in the books.
I love you, Dad Country #46. The end is nye.

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Disney World reveals full menus for 2019 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

NEW – Delirium Red Fruit Beer Stella Artois Hard Cider Chilled Coffee featuring Godiva Chocolate Liqueur Beer Flight also available
Dig into South American cuisine and culture with the Land of the Palms’ finest fare. Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato – Moqueca
Food: Moqueca : Brazilian Seafood Stew featuring Scallops, Shrimp and White Fish with Coconut-lime Sauce and Steamed Rice Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Tomato and Onions (GF) Pão de Queijo : Brazilian Cheese Bread (GF) (V) (KA)
Beverages: M.I.A. Beer Company Barbossa Black Beer, Doral, FL NEW – Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde, Portugal Quinta do Crasto Douro Tinto, Portugal Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça Brewer’s Collection
Wet your whistle with a glass or flight of Europe’s best brews—from Pilsners to wheat beers.
Beverages: NEW – Weihenstephaner Festbier Lager, Freising Hacker-Pschorr Hefe Weisse Naturtrüb Beer Flight also available Canada
Take your taste buds to the Yukon, with delightful dishes, lagers and wines from the Great White North.
Food: Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup served with a Pretzel Roll Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce (GF)
Beverages: NEW – Collective Arts Saint of Circumstance Citrus Blonde, Hamilton, Ontario NEW – Château Des Charmes Merlot, St. David’s Bench Château Des Charmes Equuleus Red Blend, St. David’s Bench Select dishes featuring Melissa’s Produce. The Cheese Studio hosted by Boursin® Cheese
Nibble delish cheesy dishes paired with the perfect vintage for an unforgettable nosh stop!
Food: Braised Beef “Stroganoff” with Tiny Egg Noodles, Wild Mushrooms and Boursin® Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce (KA) NEW – Black Pepper Boursin® Soufflé with Fig Marmalade (V) Maple Bourbon Cheesecake with Maple Bourbon Cream, Caramel and Pecan Crunch (V)
Beverages: Florida Orange Groves Winery Sparkling Blueberry Wine, St. Petersburg, FL La Crema Pinot Gris, Monterey Domaine Saint André de Figuière Rosé, Côtes de Provence Alta Vista Estate Malbec, Mendoza China
Introduce your palate to a diverse variety of popular plates and potables from one of the world’s greatest cuisines!
Food: Chicken Dumplings with Chinese Slaw (KA) NEW – Mala Chicken and Shrimp Bao Bun Black Pepper Shrimp with Garlic Noodles
Beverages: Mango Bubble Tea with Assam Black Tea and Milk (Non-alcoholic) Jasmine Draft Beer Happy Peach: Peach Liqueur and Dark Rum NEW – Kung Fu Punch: Vodka, Triple Sec, Mango Syrup and Orange Juice Byejoe Punch: Chinese Bai Jiu Spirit, Lychee, Coconut and Pineapple Juice NEW – Year of the Piggy: Light Rum, Triple Sec, Lychee Syrup, Lime Juice and Sprite The Chocolate Studio
Sate confectionery cravings with a trip to our one-stop chocolate shop for delectably dark and milky sweet treats!
Food: Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel (GF) Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart with Whipped Cream
Beverages: Twinings® Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea and Chocolate Shake (Non-alcoholic) (KA) Banfi Rosa Regale Sparkling Red, Piedmont Daou Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles Croft Fine Ruby Port, Portugal Twinings® Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Frozen Cocktail with Caramel Vodka Coastal Eats
Savor the ocean’s finest flavors along with wines grown near the Pacific coastline—you can almost feel the sea breeze!
Food: Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Avocado-Lemongrass Cream Baked Shrimp and Scallop Scampi Dip with Sourdough Baguette Pacifico True Striped Bass Tostada with Slaw and Fire-roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Beverages: NEW – Short’s Brewing Co. Mule Beer, Elk Rapids, Michigan A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris, Oregon ROCO Gravel Road Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Select dishes feature Melissa’s Produce. Earth Eats, Hosted by IMPOSSIBLE™ Foods
Turn your taste buds upside down with a medley of flavors that add a delish twist to healthy, hearty fare!
Food: The IMPOSSIBLE™ Burger Slider with Wasabi Cream and spicy Asian Slaw on a Sesame Seed Bun (V) NEW – IMPOSSIBLE™ Cottage Pie: IMPOSSIBLE™ Ground Meat with Carrots, Mushrooms, and Peas topped with Mashed Cauliflower, White Beans, and Mozzarella (V)
Beverage: NEW – Suja® organic kombucha green apple NEW – Suja® organic kombucha pineapple passionfruit NEW – Suja® organic kombucha mixed berry Suja® organic kombucha Flight also available Flavors from Fire, Hosted by ESPN’s College GameDay
Add some heat to your epicurean adventure with these spicy bites and specialty beverages that pair perfectly! Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato – Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak on a Smoked Corn Cake with Pickled Vegetable Slaw and Cilantro Aioli
Food: NEW – The Steakhouse Blended Burger: Blended Beef and Mushroom Slider with Brie Cheese Fondue, Arugula, and a Truffle and Blue Cheese Potato Chip on a Brioche Bun Smoked Corned Beef with Crispy Potatoes, Cheese Curds, Pickled Onions and Beer-Cheese Fondue Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato – Chocolate Picante Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak on a Smoked Corn Cake with Pickled Vegetable Slaw and Cilantro Aïoli Chocolate Picante: Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cayenne Pepper, Paprika and Mango-Lime Compote Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato – The Steakhouse Blended Burger
Beverages: NEW – Bell’s Brewery Porter, Comstock, MI NEW – Edmeades Zinfandel, Mendocino County Swine Brine featuring Jim Beam Bourbon
Mushrooms provided by The Mushroom Council. Select dishes feature Melissa’s Produce. France
Fall in ooo-la-la-love with the classic cuisine and finest wines of France— bon appétit !
Food: NEW – Fondue Savoyarde: Fondue of Imported Cheeses and Chardonnay served with Croutons Croissant aux Escargots: Escargot Croissant with Garlic and Parsley NEW – Boeuf Braisé à la Bordelaise, Pomme Dauphine: Beef Braised in Cabernet Sauvignon with Red Onions and Puffed Potatoes Crème Brûlèe: Crème Brûlèe with House-made Chocolate Hazelnut Cream (KA)
Beverages: Kronenbourg 1664 Pale Lager Draft Chardonnay, Maison de France Cabernet Sauvignon, Village la Tourelle, Bordeaux NEW – Kir à la Grenade: Sparkling Wine with Monin Pomegranate Syrup NEW – La Passion Martini Slushy: Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice Germany
Embark on an epicurean adventure to Deutschland, home of the heartiest food, drinks and appetites in the world!
Food: Schinkennudeln : Pasta Gratin with Ham, Onions and Cheese (KA) Roast Bratwurst in a Prop and Peller® Pretzel Roll (KA) Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce (V) (KA)
Beverages: NEW – Weihenstephaner Festbier Lager, Freising NEW – August Kesseler R Riesling Kabinett, Rheingau J&H Selbach Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Kabinett, Mosel Selbach-Oster 2016 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese, Mosel Villa Wolf Pinot Noir, Pfalz Riesling Flight also available Hawai’i
Traverse the Pacific for tropical flavors and island faves—sweet or savory, these mouthwatering morsels scream aloha !
Food: Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet-and-Sour DOLE® Pineapple Chutney and spicy Mayonnaise (KA) Grilled Tuna Tataki with Seaweed Salad, Pickled Cucumbers and Wasabi Cream inspired by AULANI Disney Vacation Club® Villas, Ko Olina Hawai’i Teriyaki-glazed SPAM® Hash with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions and spicy Mayonnaise Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts (KA) (GF) (V)
Beverages: Maui Brewing Company Bikini Blonde Lager Florida Orange Groves Sparkling Pineapple Wine, St. Petersburg, FL AULANI Sunrise: Vodka, DOLE® Pineapple Juice, and Grenadine Hops & Barley
Stay stateside for all-American craft beer, wines and the hottest tastes from coast-to-coast! Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato – Brunswick Slider
Food: New England Lobster Roll: Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled Roll New Brunswick Slider: Slow-braised Beef Brisket “Pot Roast Style” with Horseradish Cream and Crispy Fried Onions on a Potato Roll with Pickled Vegetables on the side Freshly Baked Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Icing (V) (KA)
Beverages: North Coast Brewing Co. Blue Star Wheat, Fort Bragg, CA 3 Daughters Brewing A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale, St. Petersburg, FL Heavy Seas AmeriCannon APA, Baltimore, MD Angry Orchard Rosé Hard Cider, Walden, NY Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles Beer Flight also available India
Introduce yourself to new flavors with ancient origins—the smorgasbord of Indian spices will whisk you off to faraway worlds! Credit: Disney – Madras Red Curry from India
Food: Warm Indian Bread with Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa and Coriander Pesto Dips (V) (KA) Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas and Uncle Ben’s® Basmati Rice (V) (GF) Korma Chicken with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Almonds, Cashews and Warm Naan Bread
Beverages:

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These Are The Different Comfort Foods In Asia

These Are The Different Comfort Foods In Asia The love for good food is universal. Comment
What’s your comfort food ? The answer will differ from person to person, and especially country to country. What we tag as our comfort food is often found in our local cuisine. These are in the flavors we’re most familiar with, in dishes that use ingredients most common in our area, and most especially, in recipes that have been loved even by our ancestors.
Comfort food brings warmth, that cozy feeling of home, thanks to flavors we intimately know. Thus, having a taste of other people’s comfort food tells a story beyond words can.
In this list, we take a look at the different comfort food you can find from all around Asia. Though the tapestry is incredibly rich, with every dish starkly different from the next, what you can be sure of is that they are all delicious! Double frying lets chicken hold flavor without losing crunchiness. Photo by Michael Angelo Chua 1 Korean Fried Chicken
Since the 1970s , when this style of fried chicken first popped up in the Korean market, a passion was born. This passion for the glazed, sweet, and spicy fried chicken paired with ice cold beer has spawned enough restaurants in Korea that it’s even made its way to our shores. Thanks to the advent of the K-wave, the world is well aware of just how perfect it is to eat on a late night. It really is one incredibly satisfying combo that hits all the notes on your palate, as the chicken is tender, crunchy, and coated with spices, then set alight by bittersweet alcohol. Every bite is an explosion of flavor. You really should try having some yourself. See Also This miso soup is simple, tasty, and best of all, fast and easy to make. Photo by Karishma Etong 2 Japanese Miso Soup
With a history going back as far as the 7th century, the Japanese have loved miso soup for a long, long time. They love it so much that 75% of all Japanese people eat it daily . At its core, miso soup is made of a soup stock called dashi and miso paste that make it packed with both umami and protein. See Also This milk tea is flavored with a delicious brown sugar syrup. Photo by Zoe del Rosario 3 Taiwanese Milk Tea
Milk and tea have been in existence since time immemorial, but the craze we’re all familiar with wouldn’t have come to be if not for the Taiwanese. You don’t have to spend an accumulative fortune though, to keep up with your milk tea addiction by making it yourself at home. See Also 4 Thai Tom Yum Soup
” Tom yam ” which roughly translates to “boiling, spicy, and sour,” is quintessentially perfect for Thai taste buds that love heat on their palate. Swirling in the steam that rises from this hot pot of soup, are a cornucopia of aromatics that weave in its steam that include kaffir lime leaves, ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, and lime juice. The fragrance, before it even hits your palate, is already a pleasure. It’s easy to understand how this delicious bowl of soup brings comfort to Thai people.
You’ll certainly love our version of creamy tom yum that comes with quail eggs. See Also 5 Vietnamese Beef Pho
Much like most of the food in this list, the love for this particular comfort food is historic , already woven into their culture since the mid-1880s. The meeting of Chinese and French cooking with the Vietnamese palate birthed the modern-day pho (pronounced “fuh”) that is both a dish in high-end restaurants and street vendors.
As a recipe so common around Vietnam, it actually comes in a wide variety of flavors and even noodles, differing from region to region. In our version of beef pho , silky rice noodles and sukiyaki-cut beef are enjoyed with soup infused with lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon bark, basil, cilantro, lime, and chili peppers. See Also 6 Indonesian Satay
Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand also clamor for satay , but Indonesia has gone above and beyond by declaring it as their national dis h. This skewered grilled meat is made distinct thanks to an infusion of spices and is perfectly paired with soy peanut sauce.
Much like most traditional recipes though, there are a wide variety of satay dishes ranging from region to region. We have tons of different satay recipes to choose from. In this satay recipe pictured above, chicken is marinated in soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper for that distinctive taste before it’s served or slathered with creamy, delicious peanut sauce. See Also 7 Singaporean Roti Prata
Roti prata is flatbread that is both Indian and Singaporean in origin, which is reflective of Singapore’s immigrant population. Although it can be eaten plain because the simple dough combines chewy, flaky, crispy, and tender textures in one bite, it’s also often served with curry for a vibrant boost in flavor, cooked with eggs, mushrooms, cheese, or even be turned into a dessert with condensed milk, red beans, bananas, or chocolate.
You can make roti prata at home! We recommend doing this on a weekend as there’s a lot of kneading and waiting involved. We have to say though, that the experience of making it and the delicious end result is very much worth it! See Also Roti Prata Recipe Apr 5, 2016
Food, when good and reminiscent of the taste of home, is synonymous to comfort. By tasting the comfort food from different parts of Asia and trying your hand at making them yourself, you really get an authentic spoonful of the best of that culture. Why not expand your horizons and inject these recipes into your own collection of favorite comfort food?
Looking for familiar flavors in your comfort food? Why not check out the different ways Filipinos cook their beef stews here beyond nilaga. These warm bowls of soup are perfect for cold nights. Perhaps you want something simpler for a rainy night or a sick day? Then this lugaw recipe is perfect for you.
Warm up more than just your tummy, warm up your soul as well with these heartwarming stories. Read up on how sinigang brought comfort to these OFWs , and how pandesal cured homesickness for this lola in Canada.
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10 superfoods from your Grandma’s kitchen that should be a part of your daily diet

What are best superfoods? [br][br][img src="https://img2.transcoder.opera.com/assets/v2/a433afba487a60324dab170b7b6f2e45?source=nlp&quality=uhq&format=webp&resize=720" aid="source=nlp&quality=uhq&format=webp&resize=720"][br][br]‘Superfoods’, ‘top ten foods’ – do these words catch your attention? For all of us who are aiming for better health, the idea of superfoods or power foods is quite captivating. Though there is no particular definition of what a superfood actually is, people usually consider superfood as food which provides a high level of desired nutrients and are linked to the prevention of disease. Unlike, many other healthy foods which contain two or three health benefits, superfoods are known to have more than twelve. Most of us hunt for powerful foods for weight loss, diabetes or healthier skin on the internet. While the internet may suggest a long list of foods that are essential for your health, a few traditional foods from your Grandma’s kitchen can do more good. Here is a list of top 10 superfoods that should be a part of your daily diet.readmore[br][br] Turmeric [br][br][img src="https://img2.transcoder.opera.com/assets/v2/a433afba487a60324dab170b7b6f2e45-1?source=nlp&quality=uhq&format=webp&resize=720" aid="source=nlp&quality=uhq&format=webp&resize=720"][br][br]Turmeric is used in almost all cuisines to add taste and deep yellow hue. Not just a spice, it has an array of health benefits as well- from healing wounds to preventing cancer. Turmeric also helps in balancing the digestive tract. Turmeric mixed in hot milk is a well known traditional home remedy to reduce pain, inflammation and throat infections.readmore[br][br] ​Yogurt [br][br][img src="https://img2.transcoder.opera.com/assets/v2/a433afba487a60324dab170b7b6f2e45-2?source=nlp&quality=uhq&format=webp&resize=720" aid="source=nlp&quality=uhq&format=webp&resize=720"][br][br]Yogurt is a dairy product made by fermenting milk. A bowl of yogurt daily can help prevent hypertension and diabetes. It also helps nourishing hair, enhancing complexion and aiding weight loss. Yogurt is versatile and can even be consumed as a snack. It aids digestion and increases metabolism. readmore[br][br] ​Ragi (finger millet) [br][br][img src="https://static.toiimg.com/photo/69960344.cms?width=500&resizemode=4" aid="width=500&resizemode=4"][br][br]Since long, ragi also known as finger millet or nachni in North India has been a part of the Indian staple diet. Found in yellow, white, brown and red colour, it possesses beneficial properties. It is said to be anti-ulcer, anti-diarrheal, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Not only this but also it helps keep bones and teeth strong, as it is a rich source of calcium. readmore[br][br] ​Makhanas [br][br][img src="https://static.toiimg.com/photo/69960343.cms?width=500&resizemode=4" aid="width=500&resizemode=4"][br][br]The crunchy and salty treat of roasted makhanas is loved by almost all of us. They are delicious, economical and easy to prepare and yet healthy. Makhanas also are known as fox nuts or lotus seeds which help in improving blood pressure and cardiovascular health. Not only this but they also cure insomnia and slow down aging. readmore[br][br] ​Jackfruit [br][br][img src="https://static.toiimg.com/photo/69960342.cms?width=500&resizemode=4" aid="width=500&resizemode=4"][br][br]Naturally sweet and with a distinct flavour, jackfruit is the largest tree fruit in the world capable of growing big and heavy. It is rich in protein and nutrients like vitamin B. It helps in lowering blood pressure and prevents skin diseases. Some people may define jackfruit as the vegan substitute for meat due to high protein content. readmore[br][br] ​Honey [br][br][img src="https://static.toiimg.com/photo/69960339.cms?width=500&resizemode=4" aid="width=500&resizemode=4"][br][br]From all the natural home remedies your parents made you try as a kid- aloe vera, ginger or amla, honey must be everyone’s favourite. No doubt honey adds a sweet touch to your favourite foods, but the benefits of honey extend way beyond taste. Honey is filled with antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress and inflammation while protecting you from heart diseases and cancer. Moreover, it has effective skin nourishing properties that heal wounds and burns. readmore[br][br] Ghee [br][br][img src="https://static.toiimg.com/photo/69960338.cms?width=500&resizemode=4" aid="width=500&resizemode=4"][br][br]From luscious halwas to dals and khichdis, ghee is one kitchen staple that adds heavenly taste to the food and also comes with multiple health benefits. Plenty of omega 3 fatty acid along with vitamin A, ingesting ghee helps you keep warm in winter. Moreover, nursing mothers are often given laddoos loaded with ghee, since they provide energy due to the presence of medium and short chain fatty acids. In India, spreading ghee over chapattis is a traditional practice. Studies have proven that ghee reduces the glycemic index of the chapattis to some amount, in addition to making it moist and easy to digest.readmore[br][br] ​Dalia [br][br][img src="https://static.toiimg.com/photo/69960337.cms?width=500&resizemode=4" aid="width=500&resizemode=4"][br][br]Dalia is a perfect choice if you are aiming for weight loss. Made from cracked wheat, it is high in protein, fiber and iron. Eating dalia as breakfast helps you feel fuller for longer hours and doesn’t allow excess eating. readmore[br][br] ​Jau (barley) [br][br][img src="https://static.toiimg.com/photo/69960335.cms?width=500&resizemode=4" aid="width=500&resizemode=4"][br][br]Barley is called the king of cereals for all the health benefits. It is added to soups and salads for rich flavour. Moreover, it is also used to process beer and other alcoholic beverages. It contains all the nutrients that are essential for optimum health ensuring the normal functioning of kidney, liver, urinary tract, bones, and joints. readmore[br][br]

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The Song of India @ Scotts Road – The Lesser Known Value For Money Weekday Buffet Lunch And Sunday Buffet Lunch

Area Tuesday, July 2, 2019 The Song of India @ Scotts Road – The Lesser Known Value For Money Weekday Buffet Lunch And Sunday Buffet Lunch The Song of India at Scotts Road has been known for its Michelin-starred fine Indian dining. While the exquisite Indian cuisine is what many seek for, The Song of India also offers fuss-free weekday buffet lunches ($36.90) and Sunday buffet brunch ($46.90). Salad and Chaat 3.5/5 Situated in a charming, old colonial bungalow, its tranquil site was simply perfect for a Sunday brunch. Starting my brunch with my usual greens, my good old salad plate was definitely spiked with much more zest and tang with elements such as Raita and Goan Brinjal Pickle . The popular street food Chaat was available too. Tomato Shorba 3.5/5 I fell in love with this super tangy tomato and coriander broth at my previous tasting at Melt, Mandarin Oriental Singapore. This Tomato Shorba was less thick, but it was equally punchy. Its sourness made my face puckered up at times, but that is what made it so addictive. Chillas 3/5 For some wholesome breakfast pancakes, there is a Live Chef’s Food Station that serves Chillas , a savoury pancake made with gram flour, spices and herbs. I like its chewy texture, which allows me to enjoy its spiced flavours more. Bhindi Tomato Malasa 4/5 Mirch Ka Salan 4/5 From the Mains, it was my first time trying Bhindi Tomato Malasa and Mirch Ka Salan , and I love them both! Although both were rather heavy dishes, there was a touch of tanginess in both dishes that balanced that richness. Mirch Ka Salan was especially memorable with its deep fried green chillies, which gave a kick of fieriness in every bite. That will leave you wanting for more. Lamb Roganjosh 3.5/5 Another item worth raving about is the tender and mouthwatering Lamb Roganjosh . Best served with its Vegetarian Dum Biryani . Butter Chicken 3/5 Fish Biryani 3/5 and Bengal Prawn Curry 3/5 Familiar dishes include Butter Chicken , and seafood options are available as well, such as Fish Biryani that was loaded with chunks of tandoori fish, and Bengal Prawn Curry . Dum Potato Banarasi 3/5 Kadai Panner 3/5 The range of mains also covers a few meatless dishes such as Dum Potato Banarasi and Kadai Panner . Sweets 3.8/5 Somehow, when comes to Indian cuisine, mixing in some sweets in between bites just makes the meal even more delish. I did that with Dried Fruit Rice Kheer and Baked Gulab Jamum . Both had the right level of sweetness. I usually shy away from the Gulab Jamum , but these cardamon sweet treats were perfect with my cup of Masala Tea . And to go with all that curries, other than rice, you have freshly made naans that made all things finger-licking good. The Sunday Buffet Brunch is also suitable for families as children under 12 dine for free. As it is Chef Mural’s philosophy and passion to spread the richness and diversity of regional Indian cuisine, menus are changed weekly to reflect a ‘journey through India’ through the dishes. The Song of India

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What you need to know ahead of the Bathurst Winter Festival

Cathedral of St Michael and St John Bathurst Regional Art Gallery WHAT OTHER EVENTS ARE ON?
Ignite the Night – Saturday, July 6
On Saturday night you can enjoy regionally sourced food and beverages and enjoy the region’s best culinary talents. There’s a carnival atmosphere with roving performances, an interactive magician, live music and local youth performers.
Entry to the event is free.
Kids’ Day – Wednesday, July 10
What a better way to spend the winter holidays than at the winter festival? The day starts with a kids’ skating session at 10am and stick around for an Upcycled Craft Workshop at the Ice Rink marquee. All Saints’ Cathedral will be hosing a barbecue lunch on the Cathedral Lawn or check out the Bell Tower Munchies. Alternatively, enjoy something from the pop-up food stalls.
There’s carousel karaoke from 12 to 2pm and get arty out the front of the court house with Pavement Chalk Art. There’s Children’s Free Play at Cheekii Kidz or see Sean Murphy at the Bathurst Library.
For those who want to go further, check out the Mayfield Garden Winter Festival, ride a pony at Barcoos or build a snowman at the Bathurst Snow Park.
If you’re old enough to stay out after dark, try the Rain Run in Court House Lane, then paint with special UV face paint. Go to the silent disco in front of the Courthouse. Photo: PHIL BLATCH.
Pop Up Paradise – Friday, July 12 and Friday, July 19
If wine and eating are your jam, get down to the winter festival on a Friday from 4pm. Experience food trucks, light shows and mulled wine while the sun goes down. Enjoy yourself at the silent disco and play among the winter playground.
Brew & Bite – Saturday, July 13
Another delicious food event with delicacies from pasta, Vietnamese cuisine, Indian cuisine, Indian barbecue and more. There will be local whiskey, gin and mulled wine. You can also enjoy the Enchanted Forest.
Entry to the event is free.
Bowman Dental Groove and Grill – Sunday, July 14
Live music and eating, what more do you need on a Sunday? The Groove and Grill is for local artists to have an opportunity to perform live. Food stalls will be cooking lunch and market stalls will be selling trinkets, homewares and much more.
The event is from 11am to 4pm.
Sunday Fun Day – Every Sunday of the festival
From 11am to 9pm, enjoy pop-up food trucks from pasta, dumplings, Mexican or a sweet treat.
Keep up-to-date with all things Winter Festival here. WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING? A Mid-Winter Festival: Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, Sunday July 7 at 3pm. Pianist Luke Moxey is joined by cellist Lianah Jaensch.. Cost $30 for an adult, $25 for a concession, under 18 is free. Get tickets from the BMEC. Arabesk Gypsy Jazz: on Friday July 12 at 6pm at The Victoria Bathurst. For just $20 enjoy an evening of jazz-driven global grooves. Book through The Victoria. Barcoo’s Farm Rides : Every day of the Winter Festival except Mondays from 1pm to 3pm. Get the experience at Barcoos Farmstay, 1080 Trunkey Road Perthville. Enjoy the horseride, warm up with hot chocolate and marshmallows on the campfire. $10 for a 10 minute ride. Bathurst Snow Park: Entire festival. Taboggans, snow people and playing in the snow park at 26 Corporation Avenue in Bathurst. It’s $10 a session. Bathurst Wholefood Co-operative: Friday, July 19 at 5pm. Enjoy the Christmas in July Canapes between 5pm and 8pm. BBQ on the Cathedral Lawn : Each Wednesday during the Festival from 11.30am to 1pm. Bell Tower Munchies: Monday to Friday during the Festival at All Saints Cathedral from 10.30 to 12.30pm. Enjoy hot chocolate, tea, coffee with warm scones, jam and cream. Cathedral Tour: Get to know the cathedral in Bathurst on Sunday, July 7 between 2.30pm and 4pm. FREE. Celebrate 130 years at 99 Keppel: on July 8,9,10,11, 15, 16, 17 and 18 between 5pm and 9pm. Take a walk through memory lane. See the tea members dressed up in full Victorian Era costuming with mulled wine. Childrens Free Play: between July 6 and 21 from 10am to 5pm. On Saturday between 10am and 1pm at Cheekii Kidz, 125 George Street, Bathurst. Country Coffee: at 161 George Street, Bathurst open until 8.30pm every night. Extended trading hours for the Bathurst Festival featuring after-dark boxed food and dessert bar. Cost between $5 and $20. Dinosaurs in the Dark: Tuesdays and Thursdays during the Festival, 7pm at The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum. Experience the Museum at night using only torchlight. Cost: $15 for adults, $7 for children, $10 for concessions and $35 for families. Bookings essentials 6331 5511. Evening at the Hub Espresso Bar and Eatery: Saturday 6, 13 and 20 from 6.30pm and 9.30pm. Live music and meal with a menu set. Call for bookings. Felt Embellishment: Saturday, July 6 from 10am to mid afternoon at 7 Lee Street, Kelso. You will learn how to embellish your felted articles. Cost is $10 and includes morning tea. Great Aunt and Smith and Jones at the Victoria: Sunday, July 21 from 6pm to 10pm. A beautiful evening of great music. Cost is $20 through the Victoria. Harry Potter Orchestra and the KeyStone Feast: Saturday July 20, doors open at 6pm for 7pm start. A wizarding world event with musical and culinary delight not to be missed. Keyston 1889 (formerly Carrington House, Bathurst) will be transformed into the Great Hall of Hogwards. Dine on delicious share platters, a specially prepared potion cocktail, listen to the Mitchell Orchestra, dress in your robes and bring your wand. Cost $49 to $140. Tickets here. Jacquec Broucher Recital: on Sunday July 7 at 2.30pm at All Saints Cathedral. KeyStone 1889 High Tea and Music: Saturday July 6 and Sunday July 7 Doors open at 1.30pm for a 2pm start. Live performances from the Adelaide Fringe Festival’s Ban SaM with full high tea. Kick Off and Kick On at Keppel: July 13 and July 20, a community, health and lifestyle movement, CHALM, beautiful dispolays of wholesoom food, drink, clothing and home decor. Live Band Karaoke: Friday, July 19 between 6pm and 10pm at the Victoria at 3 Keppel Street, Bathurst. Cost $5 Mayfield Garden Winter Festival: between July 6 and 21 from 9am at Mayfield Garden in Oberon. One of the world’s largest Cool Ckimate and navigate one of Australia’s largest box hedge mazes. Cost: Adult $35, Conc $30, Child $15. Book online at Mayfield Gardens. Movie Day at Gunthers Lane: Friday, July 19 doors open at 2pm for 2.15 start at Gunthers Lane. Watch Ice Age on the big screen. Event is free but seats are limited. Poets in the Park: Sunday, July 7 at 2pm at the Bathurst Winter Festival Precinct. An afternoon of sharing local talent. Cost is Free. Psychedelic Noir: An exhibition by Meg Allan and Mike Foxall. From July 5 to 20 showcasing quirky and sympatico sensibilities common to “lowbrow” art movement rarely presented in the regional arts scene. Cost: Free. Reptile Show Armada Bathurst: July 17, 28, 19 from 10am to 1pm at Armada Bathurst. Have a “hands on” experience seeing snakes and lizards up close. Cost: Free. Rydges Winter Special Menu: Saturday July 6 to Sunday July 21 from Midday to 9pm. Chicane Bar and Grill at Rydges Bathurst. Wind down after a long day with mlled wine, warm chocolate or lava pudding. Snowflake Biscuit and Decorating Workshop: Every Saturday during the festival from 3.30pm to 5pm at Bake, Table and Tea at George Street Bathurst. Bookings in store and essential. Cost $35. The Winter Gala: Friday, July 12, at the Bathurst City Community Club. Dance the night away with beautiful food. Promised an unforgettable evening. Cost $50. Tickets at the BCCC reception or here . Upcycled Craft Workshop: Wednesday July 10 and Wednesday July 17 between 11am and 1pm. Workshops are free and no bookings required. Next door to ice skating rink. VERTO Inspire Series- Peter Davidson: at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre on Tuesday July 16 at 8am. A Free inspiration talk session with Peter Davidson. Tickets at 1300 4 Verto. Winter School Holiday Program: July 8 to 18 at Bathurst Library. See the program here. Stay up-to-date with Winter Festival news by subscribing to our website for as little as $3 a week.

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New association for chefs in Seychelles offers platform for advancement and growth

Chefs in Seychelles now have a platform that brings them together, providing members with training through which they can take part in national and international competitions. (Seychelles Chefs Association, Facebook) Photo license Purchase photo Send to Kindle
( Seychelles News Agency ) – Chefs in Seychelles now have a platform that brings them together, providing members with training through which they can take part in national and international competitions.
The platform was made possible after a revamped Seychelles Chef Association was launched on Friday.
“Our aim is to connect the Seychelles Chef Association with the outside world. We need to bring international experience to the local and we have a lot of plans for members which includes training. We need everybody’s support to grow,” said Hamzeh Abu El Foul, the president of the association.
During his speech at the launching ceremony held at Kempinski Seychelles Resort , Baie Lazare, he added that most countries in the world have an association for chefs and Seychelles shouldn’t be an exception.
The executive committee of the association consists of eight members, three of whom are Seychellois. The association is affiliated with the Emirates Culinary Guild (ECG).
Erryl Morel, the Vice President Administrator of the association, said that the body has plans for members who are to join.
“It is a platform for all chefs in Seychelles, including the young ones, as we want to see the youth working in the industry promoted. Competitions are among our priorities and we want to start with two competitions per year,” said Morel.
He explained that “the winner of local competitions will have the chance to go to Dubai, where they will receive training and take part in other competitions.” The platform was made possible after a revamped Seychelles Chef Association was launched on Friday. (Seychelles Chefs Association, Facebook) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
Global Chef and East Coast Salon Culinary and Cocktail Competition are two of many competitions members of the association will be able to take part in. Chefs registered with the local association will also benefit from local trainings.
Richard Mathiot, a chef present at the launching, said that even if most of the chefs that came together to form the association are foreigners, “I do believe that we need to have a stepping stone somewhere.”
“I am calling on young Seychellois chefs to come and join the association as it is an opportunity for all. Cooking is a lifelong career where you get to see the whole world. By being a member of a chef association in your country, a chef can gather more professional baggage, without which one is not recognised,” said Mathiot.
The chairperson of the Board of Governance of the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA), John Stravens, said that chefs in Seychelles have realised that it is important that they come together.
“I welcome this idea of recreating and relaunching the Chef Association of Seychelles. Our tourism industry has a lot of angles and culinary is one that makes it happen as it is in human nature to appreciate good cuisine,” said Stravens.
Stravens also added that “it be great if we could combine the fine cuisine from overseas and our refined Creole food.”
Chefs working or studying in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – are being urged to join the association. All they need to do is fill the membership form and pay a registration fee of between $18 and $73, depending on their qualifications. More information can be obtained from the association’s Facebook page .

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