Saturday, December 8, 2012

Murakami Sushi.

Salmon, Albacore Eel, and Masago. You want to go to here.

Alright Hollywood, turns out you've been holding out on your sushi game on me until now. Murakami sushi, hats off for being having the freshest fish in town. Your sashimi bowls are incredible and so are your salads. The photographs really say it all. A must try.

7160 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Sashimi Salad.

Ikemen. (NOW CLOSED)

There's not much one can say about good ramen... but Ikemen has got it down. "Home of the dip ramen" they say. I've tried the Zebra garlic dip- ramen and concentrated broth separated, waiting for you to unite them like the One Ring and its Master. Pretty tasty but I personally prefer good ol' fashion Tonkatsu ramen, whether it be their regular or specialty. Be sure to add the poached onsen tamago and zebra garlic seasoning for that extra kick.
Tonkatsu Specialty ramen.

Simple and clean, with good ingredients- perfect for this season and rainy days. This place has the tiniest parking lot in the world though, so be prepared! I promise it's worth the aggravation. I daresay I prefer this over Ramen Jinya. Please don't hate.

1655 N La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Huckleberry Ferry: A Very Expected Journey

Monsieur, my Croque Madame, si vous plait!

I've written about Huckleberry before and their Prosciutto Gruyere Croissants are still to to die for, but I think I've finally found an entree that is just as divine- The Croque Madame. Simple, French, and extremely tasty, it's basically a ham and cheese sandwich with cheesy bechamel, topped with sunny-side up eggs. But order it here and it'll knock your socks off. It even comes with a side salad with spicy mustard- so voila, there you have it, the perfect brunch. Making you wait in line in front of all their goodies is a good tactic too.

Well played, Huckleberry.... well played.

This is easily my favorite brunch spot. It can get pricey though, but still very much worth it.

1014 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401

No... what are you doing? Please stop.

Got the Gottsui Glows.

This is what love looks like after a long night of karaoke on Sawtelle.

2119 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Porto's Bakery's Strawberry Cheesecake Croissant.

Sweet sweet diabetes, just take me now.

(multiple locations!)
3614 West Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505

Iguanas Ranas means Taco Noms. (NOW CLOSED)

Actually translates to "iguanas frogs", odd, I know, but as long as they have good tacos, I'm in. And I'm really picky about my tacos... as in I don't usually eat them.

Add some guac salsa to those specialty tacos... oh yeah.

Their specialty tacos are perfectly balanced in taste and adding their homemade salsas (strawberry salsa- what?) makes them even better. I've tried the Al pastor, Barbacoa, and Tinga (shredded beef with chile chipotle) and to top it off they have a rare Orange drink at their soda fountain that some people grew up with as kids. I'm not familiar with the name but it's rare, whipped, frothy and extremely sweet. A perfectly good combination for a taco run that hits the spot.

138 N Brand Blvd
Suite 100
Glendale, CA 91206

Cereal Killin'.

I had some Trader Joe's cereal one morning and I thought it looked beautiful. That is all.

The Pan vs. The Republic. OF PIE.

Hey all, it's been awhile- lots to catch up on. But it's the holidays, so let's talk PIE.

Apple Pan Hickory burger and fries- add some pepper to that ketchup!

Banana cream pie at Apple Pan- practically perfect in every way.
On the Westside, we have the well-established Apple Pan- casual,crowded, counter style dining. Excellent burgers, excellent fries, but an even more excellent banana cream pie. Burger of choice has the be the Hickory, but the pie really steals the show. There are other flavors and options of course, but those are my personal go-to's.

Republic of Pie's Banana Creme.

Now by the NoHo area, you have the Republic of Pie, so no question as to what they're all about. Their banana cream pie was more presentable and definitely delicious, but I prefer the "fresh-out-of-oven-made-by-grandma" feel of Apple Pan's. I also tried something like a chocolate pudding pie (picture) and that really... took the cake.

Both places are still recommended for some good ol' American pie action though.

10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

11118 Magnolia Blvd
San Fernando Valley, CA 91601

Republic of Pie's chocolate "something-or-other-I-forgot-tasty-though"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Daichan Kaiten Sushi.

Garlic seared albacore- heavenly.
Well, I've finally found my new sushi spot, and it's not just any ol' Japanese sushi place, but conveyor belt sushi!

Everything is fresh and delicious, and coming in at rush hour is even better because the sushi chef makes 3-4 of everything anyone orders!

For a kaiten sushi, the prices are good, about $5-6 per plate, for 2-4 pieces. It's very easy to control how much you spend and best of all, you get to try all sorts of things!

Service is friendly and fast, plus it's on Sawtelle, which means lots more to see, eat and karaoke. I've been going again and again.

Tuna on crispy rice.
11301 Olympic Blvd
Ste 203

Los Angeles, CA 90064

Tallyrand Restaurant.

Thanksgiving sandwich with mashed potatoes & stuffing, all covered in gravy. Also, with a side of cranberry sauce.

Where it's Thanksgiving everyday!
This place has a more vintage Coco's vibe, but go for the Thanksgiving/mashed potato & stuffing cravings.

1700 W Olive Ave
Burbank, CA 91506

Pa Ord Noodle.

Delectable Thai noodle place in Thai Town. I should've had what Alyx had, just look at it.

I'll be back.

5301 Sunset Blvd
Ste 8

Los Angeles, CA 90027


Time for a gratuitous picture of an In-and-Out Animal style cheeseburger.

 (multiple locations in CA!)


Crispy Chickin' Plate- fried chickin', cauliflower mash potatoes, mushroom & rosemary gravy on steamed kale.
And now for something completely healthy!

Alas, I usually can't get enough people to go with me to this awesome vegan place, but there's something about kale and the lack of food coma that keeps me coming back. Pictured above is my absolute favorite and my usual at $9.95, a delicious and filling meal. The blackened chickin' is also quite good.

The self serve teas and lemonade here are brewed fresh daily and completely mixable. They're a little on the sweet side, but it's alright to indulge.  You're at Veggie Grill.

(multiple locations!)
8000 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Porto's Bakery.

Tuna puff pastry.
Let's face it, I don't really need to make an entry about Porto's, they're here as an honorable mention. Great sandwiches for about $4, amazing smoothies and pastries, cookies, and cakes... you can usually find me at their Burbank location at least once a week.

My favorites:
Tuna salad croissant
Ham & Cheese croissant
Caprese sandwich
Ham& Cheese Omelette croissant

Potato balls
Chicken croquettes
Spinach croissant (elusive after 6 pm)

Strawberry banana smoothie
Guava smoothie

Triple chocolate mousse (heaven)

Was finally able to snag the Ham&Cheese omelette croissant for breakfast (til 11 am). I think I cried, it was so delicious.

(multiple locations!)
3614 West Magnolia Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91505

Tuna salad Croissant.

Spinach croissant and triple chocolate mousse.

Fuku Burger.

(Hello again! I have a lot of entries to get through, so I'll keep these to the point.)

 Fuku Burger: pricey $9 burgers in a cool, trendy Hollywood burger joint. Hip decor.

I recommend the Tamago (Egg burger) and the spicy Karai burger (pictured left). Flavors are tasty and different from your average burger, but overall, not a mindblowing burger experience.

Their jazz fries are their main attraction for me though (with gravy and crack sauce). They're pretty addictive and perfectly crispy, just the way I like my fries.

Jazz fries- gravy and crack sauce.
1634 Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gottsui got-a-me.

(Wow, I really do eat a lot of Japanese food...) Gottsui IS the best okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) spot. (Suck it, Glowfish truck, I'm still angry at you for making me wait 50 minutes for my food without so much as an apology.)

Cheese Potato.
Let's cut to the chase. Order the Cheese potato- potato, shrimp, eggs and grilled cheese with ketchup and mayo = HEAVEN your mouth. I could order two of those for a meal and be perfectly happy. It literally made me shed tears of joy.

For my first time, I decided to play it safe and order the Gottsui Okonomiyaki, which has shrimp, pork, egg, squid, and potato. See for yourself, it's gloriously delicious. I really don't have anything else to say, after writing this I'm gonna go get some more. And probably a side of karaoke at Max.

2119 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Eyy girl, I brought you some Daichan.

Fried Hawaiian Chicken & Hijiki Rice.
 Daichan is another one of our regular haunts because everything on their extensive menu is delicious. This is truly Japanese soul food at its best, and when you look at all the traditional Japanese knickknacks and paintings covering ever part of its walls, you get the impression your own Japanese grandma is making food for you in the kitchen.

Have some hot tea when you sit down! Lots to choose from for only a dollar each and free refills! My favorite is the Hoji cha for that roasted taste. As for appetizers, their veggie gyoza is delicious and so is their potato croquette. They have Hawaiian Poki bowls, which are favorites of my coworkers, piping hot udon, and rice plates, which is what I ordered the last time I was there.

The Fried Hawaiian chicken is my favorite of all the things I've gotten at Daichan. Perfectly crispy yet juicy, and it comes with a side of noodle salad, veggies, rice (order their special Hijiki rice, tasty brown rice cooked with seaweed), and a watermelon slice. It's a lot of food, definitely worth the price, plus your mouth will be thanking you.

I always get dessert here because Daichan has made me a Dorayaki fiend. The Japanese pancake with a red bean center is heated up perfectly and makes me dizzy with joy as I eat it. I'm also sure their Japanese cheesecake is just as wonderful, but I have yet to pull away from my Dorayaki to try it.

Extremely friendly service, cute atmosphere, amazing food... Daichan will always have a special place in my heart.

> Daichan
11288 Ventura Blvd
Ste F

Studio City, CA 91604

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eat at Linn's.

If you're looking for a place to grab some noms around the Hearst Castle area, you should definitely stop by Linn's in the small town of Cambria. We thankfully discovered it by chance.

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche.
There was a little wait, but it was worth it since we could sit by their cute bakery and have some coffee. Our server was very friendly and commended us on our choices- the Hearst burger made with free-roaming cattle raised at the Hearst Ranch, and the spinach-mushroom quiche for me. They were extra-freaking-delicious. Until this day Mike won't stop reminiscing about this burger and my quiche was perfectly fluffy and flavorful. I'm convinced it's the best quiche I've ever had.

According to Yelp, other things to try here are the Four Cheese Macaroni (with cheddar, asiago, mozzarella, parmesan, red bell pepper, bacon), Salmon quiche, Crab Eggs Benedict, and ollalieberry lemonade.

> Linn's Restaurant
2277 Main St
Cambria, CA 93428

Sushi Hiroba. (NOW CLOSED)

Meanwhile, on the search for the best sushi in LA...

We tried Sushi Hiroba for Valentine's via a Groupon-type thing. It wasn't a bad experience but the sushi and its portion sizes could have been better.

Seven Samurai Roll.
What this restaurant really has going for it is atmosphere- dark wood decor, conveyor belt bar with cute, colorful plates (they sometimes put food on), specialty rolls with movie and pop culture themes.

Mike had the Seven Samurai roll- Panko shrimp, spicy tuna & jalapeno topped with albacore, tuna, avocado and a mountain of crispy onions with swet garlic ponzu. It was only a little better than the overpriced Marilyn Monroe salmon roll I ordered at the recommendation of our server (meh).

Green Tea Tempura Ice cream.
What we truly enjoyed was their green tea tempura ice cream. It was just as tasty as it looked, incredible.

We probably won't be back here unless there's another online offer, although I'm tempted to come back for more ice cream...

> Sushi Hiroba
776 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ramen Jinya, all the time, ya.

Tonkatsu Black Special.
Ramen Jinya is hands down my favorite Ramen joint- authentic, food high-inducing deliciousness. Nothing beats their Tonkatsu Black Special: Pork broth with pork chashu, spinach, green onions, fried onions, dried seaweed, garlic oil, and special flavored runny egg (heaven in your mouth). I usually like pairing that with their iced matcha green tea.

Tan Tan men.
That's my usual, but a few visits ago I wasn't feeling like ramen so I tried their Tan Tan men, their spicy no soup ramen (originated in Sichuan- Noodles with rich spicy sauce, minced pork, ground prok, Tokyo negi, bokchoy, red bell pepper, and chilli oil). It is a definitely a tasty alternative to their broth ramen.

However, DO NOT, BY ANY MEANS, ORDER THEIR VEGETABLE POTAGE RAMEN- thick soup with a salad forest on top. Just don't do it, there are may more ramen dishes worthy of your palate here- like the Tonkatsu Red, the spicy version of the Tonkatsu Black special. $10.50 is a small price to pay for ramen heaven.

> Ramen Jinya
5174 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(also coming soon to Sawtelle!)

 p/s: At the time of this entry, I have been to Ramen Jinya almost once a week for the past 2 months and I'm so glad I plan to go again today because writing this entry has been torture.

My Habit, The Habit.

The burger business is booming- just take a look around Hollywood! But pricier and fancier doesn't always equal better, and that's where burgers at The Habit come in. Their basic Charburger with pickles, mayo, melted cheese, fresh tomato and lettuce on their juicy beef patty with carmelized onions hits the spot every time. And as a bonus, their onion rings are perfectly crispy! I'm sure we know how hard it is to find onion rings that don't come apart when you sink your teeth into them... The Habit also has shakes and malts, which I hear are also top notch.

Whenever I don't feel like joining the crowds at In-n-Out, you'll find me here. The Habit has definitely become my burger habit.

> Habit Burger
(Multiple locations!)
103 E Alameda Ave.
Burbank, CA 91502

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Din Tai Fung Super Lunch.

Spicy dumplings. (delicious.)
Shimp & Pork Shaomai.
If we want to talk about epic mealtimes, this was it. Din Tai Fung, home of the steamed dumplings. I'm not going to to say much. I think I'll let the pictures do the talking. Some of the dumplings had broth in them and were enjoyed with vinegar and ginger, others were desserts. Some were spicy, and there were also noodles and rice with meat dishes on the menu. Everything was so epically delicious, I shed tears. This restaurant is a must visit. Make a reservation and GO RIGHT NOW.

Din Tai Fung
1088 S Baldwin Avenue,
Arcadia, CA 91007

Steamed pork dumplings.
Pork chop fried rice.

Sesame noodles. (THE BEST)
Pork Buns.
Fried rice cake?
Black sesame dessert buns.
Red bean dessert buns.

Akasha for dineLA.

Chopped chicken liver.
Akasha is one of  my favorite fancier restaurants in Downtown Culver, so when I saw it was participating in dineLA, it was too good to pass up. So we made reservations for a triple couple date on half-price wine Wednesdays and feasted to our hearts' content.

Albacore & grapefruit crudo.
Duck leg ragout.
I've eaten at Akasha before so I knew everything was going to taste incredible. Each set 3-course meal started at $34, with 3 options in each category. This was our chance to try chicken liver, so my boyfriend Mike ordered it and it came with capers and grilled ciabatta. I also had never tried liver before and it was very rich, but not bad at all. I ordered the albacore and grapefruit crudo with blood orange ponzu and daikon sprouts and that was quite tasty as well.

For the main course, we both ordered the duck leg ragout with green garlic gnocchi and parmesan, which was also very rich and delicious. And finally for dessert, I went with a Pineapple upside down cake with coconut-lime sorbet and passion fruit sauce (not pictured). 

A fancy meal for an "unfancy" price in downtown Culver. Definitely a night to remember.

9543 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232