Tag Archives: los angeles

First Look: Petit Trois by Jo Stougaard

Read my L.A. Times piece about the Petit Trois opening here.

Petit Trois Opening Article

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SPAGO

It may be a surprise to some, but I don’t attend very many hosted (free) dinners. Like most food writers, I get email invites from restaurant PR firms often, and if I wanted to, I could eat gratis (lunch AND dinner) practically every day of the week.

SPAGO, Beverly HillsThe fact is, Peter and I are happy to pay for good food and love supporting chefs and restaurants, especially here in Los Angeles.

From a local burger joint to the best restaurant in town, we enjoy (and usually pay for) it all. We don’t have children (except our pups of course!), so our disposable income goes towards food and travel.

Throughout the year we’ll attend a few “friends and family” meals (restaurant pre-opening dinners), grand openings and the occasional new menu preview. In exchange for blog coverage (more importantly, twitter coverage), we have the pleasure of sharing a beautiful meal at the courtesy of the restaurant. NOTE: We ALWAYS make sure to leave a hefty tip for the staff.

Wolfgang Puck’s legendary SPAGO restaurant went through a major remodel in 2012, so I was thrilled to get an invite for Peter and myself recently.

About the remodel (from Spago’s website):
Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff’s legendary, flagship restaurant features a completely new menu and design. The master chef, along with Executive Chef and Managing Partner Lee Hefter, has re-invented the entire menu with his signature farm-to-table philosophy, heightening the iconic California cuisine Puck catapulted to stardom. Spago’s new design from Waldo Fernandez complements the food with its clean and simple aesthetic, incorporating natural elements to add an organic feel.

The California Tasting Menu was, as expected, quite exquisite. My favorite dish was actually the one I was LEAST excited about when perusing the menu. If you’re dining at SPAGO and see “Savory Oatmeal” listed anywhere, please do not dismiss it like I did. I still can’t stop thinking about the comforting texture (from the wild nettle), the subtle spiciness (from the ‘Nduja) mixed together with the uni’s awesomely, creamy funk.

Hoping to spoil mom for Mother’s Day? Check out the incredible brunch menu (with over 25 choices) here. Dishes include Ricotta-Lemon Blintzes with Wild Huckleberry Compote (for her sweet tooth) and Veal Filet Mignon Tartare with Warm Tarragon Vinaigrette. The cost is $70 per person for three courses (a bargain at SPAGO!), $35 per child (under 9 years).  This is the only brunch scheduled for the entire year and begins at 11am until 2:30pm, Sunday, May 11, 2014.

My photos from SPAGO’s Spring “California Tasting Menu”

Bread Service at SPAGO, Beverly Hills
Bread service includes the lavash cracker with pumpkin seeds.

Sterling Farm's White Sturgeon Caviar, SPAGO
Sterling Farm’s White Sturgeon Caviar with “Sunny side up egg” (egg white caviar, egg yolk jam), Rye Crisp, Potato Chip Espuma.

California Abalone, Nagatoshi Farm's Cucumber Sorbet at SPAGO, Beverly Hills
California Abalone, Nagatoshi Farm’s Cucumber Sorbet with Clarified Gazpacho.

California Abalone, Nagatoshi Farm's Cucumber Sorbet at SPAGO, Beverly Hills
Closeup shot.

White Nettle Savory Oatmeal w Uni  at SPAGO, Beverly Hills
White Nettle Savory Oatmeal w Uni, ‘Nduja Sausage, Mushroom Emulsion, Garlic Flower.

White Nettle Savory Oatmeal w Uni  at SPAGO, Beverly Hills
Another photo of the uni oatmeal.

"Arare" Rice Cracker Crusted Santa Barbara Spot Prawn at SPAGO, Beverly Hills
“Arare” Rice cracker-crusted Santa Barbara Spot Prawns, Thai Red Curry, Coconut Emulsion, Eggplant Compote, Cilantro Blossom, Basil Caviar. 

Hand Made Agnolotti  at SPAGO, Beverly Hills
Hand Made Agnolotti with McGrath Farm’s English Peas, Parmigiana Reggiano.

Genmai Tea Smoked Liberty Duck Breast at SPAGO, Beverly Hills
Genmai Tea Smoked Liberty Duck Breast with Burdock Root, Fava Beans, Wild Flowers, Miso Cured Egg Yolk Powder.

Sonoma Spring Lamb Rack at SPAGO, Beverly Hills
Sonoma Spring Lamb Rack and Braised Bell with Spring Vegetables, Cumin-Carrot Puree.

A few of the wines on Spago's Spring Tasting Menu
A few of the wines on Spago’s Spring Tasting Menu:
Caraccioli Brut Rose paired with abalone.
Wind Gap Trousseau Gris paired with savory oatmeal & uni.
Galerie Sauv Blanc paired with prawn.
Wenzlau Chardonnay paired with agnolotti.
Black Kite Pinot Noir paired with duck.
Araujo Cabernet paired with lamb.

Unfortunately I was too full for sweets! (Lucky Peter!)

SPAGO
176 North Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 385-0880
website

Dining date: 4/23/14

California (April 2014) Tasting Menu $145 pp
California Wine $75 pp

This meal was hosted.

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Faith and Flower

Faith and Flower restaurant opens tonight (3/31/14) in downtown L.A. It’s beautiful, quite plush but not too pricey for such a grand space.

Faith & Flower main dining room before openingTwo of my favorite dishes were the Eggs Benedict Pizza topped with Smoked Bacon, Spinach, Hollandaise Sauce and also the Oxtail Agnolotti with Bone Marrow Butter, Tangerine Salsa and Beef Tendon Chicharrones.

I still can’t stop thinking about the English Milk Punch Cocktail. It’s made with a milk clarification, which takes three days to make. Ingredients include Appleton & Bacardi 8 Rums, Bulleit Bourbon, Batavia Arrack, Pernod Absinthe, Pineapple and Sencha Tea. 

Read all about the opening here at L.A. Times.

I’ve posted lots of photos from last night’s preview dinner here. Enjoy!

Faith and Flower website

Follow Faith and Flower on twitter

Faith and Flower on FB

Huge CONGRATS to my friend (and co-owner) Stephane Bombet. You’ve done it again Stephane!

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Trois Mec

Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s Potato Pulp

Trois Mec, 1/27/14

I’ve had the pleasure of eating at Trois Mec restaurant several times, and before each visit I secretly hope the potato pulp is still on the menu. Ludo serves it with brown butter, bonito, onion soubise and salers cheese. Of course brown butter makes anything taste better, but it’s Ludo‘s brilliant use of bonito flakes (aka katsuobushi) that takes the dish to a whole new level. No wonder Jonathan Gold named it one of his 10 best dishes of 2013!

My new favorite (besides the potato) is the luxurious plate of avocado, citrus and crab. Check out the photos from a recent visit here.

Trois Mec
716 N. Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
There is no phone for Trois Mec.
For ticket inquiries email info@troismec.com
Website
Note: Trois Mec is an incredibly difficult reservation to get, but absolutely worth the trouble. If you’re interested, review the FAQ page here.

Read Jonathan Gold’s L.A. Times Trois Mec review here.

Follow Chef Ludo on twitter @ChefLudo

Ludo’s personal website

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Badmaash Indian Gastropub

I went for the Chicken Tikka Poutine.

Chicken Tikka Poutine at Badmaash

and

Spiced Mango Pork Belly at Badmaash
Spiced Mango Pork Belly

But I loved the traditional Indian dishes too! Badmaash is a fun spot with terrific food and great service. Worth a try the next time you’re in downtown L.A.

More photos here.

BadmaashLA
108 West 2nd Street #104
Los Angeles, California 90012
Telephone: (213) 221-7466

http://badmaashla.com

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HomeState

Texas Comfort Food in Los Angeles?
Why YES at HomeState!

MIGAS at HomeState

Lots of tasty photo HERE (including my new, favorite salad in town)

Photo above: LONESTAR Migas w crispy corn strips scrambled with eggs, shredded brisket, pico de gallo.

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16 Power Players of LA’s Dining and Drinking Scene

A nice shout-out for L.A. Bites Hunger!

16 Power Players of LA's Dining and Drinking Scene

Thanks Lesley Balla and Zagat!

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Photos from L.A. Bites Hunger

Thank you ALL for volunteering with us on August 10th!
Photos here and here!

@LAbitesHunger

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Filed under Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.)

L.A. Chefs Volunteering at L.A. Food Bank!

Read all about it over at L.A. Bites Hunger!

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Sunny Spot

An old Virgin Islands Clipping I've said for many years!When I was twenty-two years old, I had the ridiculous pleasure of living in the Caribbean for a few months. It was 1986 and my then-boyfriend Perry (a newly licensed pilot) scored a winter job flying for Air St. Thomas / Virgin Air (no connection to Sir Richard Branson). The small island-hopping airline was based in the U.S. Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, so we made our home above the hills in the capital city of Charlotte Amalie.

Our apartment in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands 1986Our upstairs apartment had a large kitchen (Perry did most of the cooking back then), and just one other room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the island.

Mr Wayman, our landlord built a ramp near the back door so our dog Warhol (who moved with us from the mainland) could run up the side of the mountain. We loved our tiny bit of paradise.

Always a photo buff, I spent most of my time photographing and getting to know the island. I loved pretending to be a “local” for those few months, and on Perry’s days off we would rent a small boat and head to the nearby British Virgin Islands.

Me at 22. At the beach, St. Thomas 1986Our favorite spot was Sidney’s Peace and Love in Jost Van Dyke Island’s Little Harbor, just 7 miles northeast of St. Thomas. Once docked, I would pick out a live lobster from a trap near the shore and the cook would grill it on the spot. Perry always ordered barbecue chicken (he didn’t like seafood) and we BOTH drank heaps of rum at the attached open-air bar. It was “serve yourself” at Sidney’s, and also “total the bill” yourself if you weren’t too drunk. An honor system that you just didn’t mess with in the Caribbean.

Heading to the beach. St. Thomas

My favorite shop on St. Thomas was called Sunny Caribbee, where I picked up island spices, oils and trinkets for the kitchen. There was an elementary school nearby and I loved listening to the students pounding on steel drums in the afternoons.

We left the Caribbean when Perry was offered a job with United Express, the commuter division of United Airlines. He now lives with his wife and kids near San Diego. (More about Perry here)

Walking into Roy Choi’s Sunny Spot for the first time made me smile from ear to ear. I flashed back to 1986 and was suddenly transported to my carefree, twenty-two year old, vagabond self.

After several visits (including dinner and brunch) I still get that happy feeling when I walk in the door. It’s a mini-holiday, a few hours of vacation. A delicious and less expensive trip to the sunny Caribbean, that’s for sure.

Sunny Spot, Venice
Don’t Worry… Be Happy!

Sugar Cane Fried Pig's Feet at Sunny Spot
Sugar Cane Fried Pig’s Feet

Muh-F*K*N Mofongo at Sunny Spot Venice
Roy Choi’s take on Mofongo! Muh-F*K*N Mofongo: Plantains, Bacon, Garlic, Black Pepper

Cocktails at Sunny Spot Venice!
LET’S PARTY!
Left: Fleur-De-Lis: Gin, Hibiscus, Honey, Chartreuse, Lemon
Middle: Death in the D.R.: Dominican Rum, Lime, Honey, Absinthe, Champagne
Right: Dry Harbour: Pot Still Rum, Lime, Absinthe, Habanero Pineapple Shrub

Cuban Torta at Sunny Spot Venice
Cuban Torta: Pork Terrine, Prosciutto, Provolone, Pickled Jalapeño, Mustard

"What A Jerk" Wings at Sunny Spot
“What A Jerk” Wings: Double coated, double fried

Bridgetown Swizzle at Sunny Spot
Bridgetown Swizzle: Barbados Ru, Averna, Falernum, Lime, Angostura

Diablo Prawns at Sunny Spot
Diablo Prawns w Rum Glaze, Garlic Butter & Herbs

Yucca Fries at Sunny Spot Venice
Yucca Fries w Banana Thai Basil Ketchup

Jamaican Roasted Lamb at Sunny Spot
Jamaican Roasted Lamb w Lettuce Wedges & Pickled Mango

Whole Roasted Red Snapper at Sunny Spot
Whole Roasted Red Snapper w Ginger Oil, Cilantro, Chili Vinegar

The Silver Goblet at Sunny Spot
The Silver Goblet: Coconut Ginger Sorbet

House-Made Caramels at Sunny Spot Venice
House-Made Caramels w Maldon Sea Salt, Toasted Cashews

The back room at Sunny Spot, Venice
The “bird cage” table in the back dining room

The back room at Sunny Spot, Venice
Dinner in the bird cage: Me, Peter, Evelina & Greg

Savory Festival Bread at Sunny Spot (Brunch Menu)
Brunch Menu Festival Bread w Goat Butter, Guava Jam & Rum Honey

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Brunch Menu Bloody Mary: Vodka, Dirty Sue, Tomato, Jamaican Jerk Spice

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Brunch Menu Banana French Toast: Rum Coconut Whipped Cream, Caribbean Spiced Maple Syrup

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Brunch Menu Sunny Spot Egg Plate: Korean Style Baked Eggs, Jerk Seasoned Potatoes, Mo Jo Glazed Grilled Pork Belly

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Brunch Menu Eggs, Sausage & Grits: Fried Eggs, Jerk Sausage Patty, Anson Mills Grits, Maple Syrup

Brunch at Sunny Spot
Take a seat!

Sunny Spot Venice!
Sunny Spot

More photos at Sunny Spot

More photos of the Caribbean

Sunny Spot
Website
822 Washington Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 448-8884

An old Virgin Islands Clipping I've said for many years!

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