Tag Archives: los angeles

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
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


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.

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


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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!


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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!
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
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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Eats On My List

I don’t know about you, but my restaurant “to do” lists (yes, plural) are enormous. I keep various copies (sorted by location & cuisine) on my phone and desktop computer, just to remind myself that I need to venture out of my comfort zone more often. I know there’s nothing wrong with me going back to my favorite restaurants again and again, but one of the reasons I love Los Angeles so much is the availability of authentic, ethnic foods.

Just getting starts! Chung KingMy go-to food critic is Jonathan Gold (L.A. Times), so it’s not surprising that he’s the source for most of the restaurants I add to my lists. When Jonathan wrote for L.A. Weekly, his “99 Essential Restaurants” guide was my foodie bible, and the only paper issue I regularly saved. Many of my food blogger (and twitter) pals come from diverse culinary backgrounds and I constantly learn about exciting (mostly strip mall) joints from them as well.

Obviously there are many wonderful places to eat in Southern California, and I cannot count how many times someone has blurted out, “WHAT? You haven’t been to (insert Sawtelle ramen house, newest pizza parlor, or a thousand other restaurants here)?”…

The simple fact is that I will never get through my restaurant lists, and that’s fine by me. It’s more fun knowing that I can plan a tasty adventure with friends anytime I’m craving it.

Photos below from:
Chung King Sichuan, Wang Xing Ji, Elite Dim Sum (Chinese)
Ramayani (Indonesian)
Cafe Fusion (Taiwanese)

Chung King Sichuan (San Gabriel)
Shared with Danny (he speaks Mandarin), Remil, & Hanh

“Chung King’s brand of Sichuan cooking, sizzling with four or five kinds of chiles and smacked with the cooling, numbing sensation of Sichuan peppercorns, lies halfway between dentist’s-chair Novocain and the last time you could afford a lot of blow.” ~ Jonathan Gold
Please read Jonathan Gold’s review of Chung King

Fried Chicken Cubes w Hot Pepper, Chung King
Fried Chicken Cubes w Hot Pepper at Chung King

Boiled Fish Slices in Hot Sauce, Chung King
Boiled Fish Slices in Hot Sauce at Chung King

Crispy Rice w Seafood, Chung King
Crispy Rice w Seafood at Chung King

Quick Fried Pig Kidney Slices, Chung King
Quick Fried Pig Kidney Slices at Chung King

Chinese Bacon w Garlic Sprouts, Chung King
Chinese Bacon w Garlic Sprouts at Chung King. More photos on Flickr

Wang Xing Ji (San Gabriel)
Shared with DannyRemilHanh, Craig, Esther, Wes & Peter

“The first American branch of a popular dumpling house in Wuxi, a city just outside of Shanghai, offers giant pork dumplings bursting with flavor, as well as smoked fish, crab and pork buns, and spare ribs” ~ Jonathan Gold (Read full article)

Wang Xing Ji
Look for this Wang Xing Ji JUICY DUMPLINGS sign

Juicy Pork & Crab Dumpling at Wang Xing Ji
Pork XLB aka Xiao Long Bao (juicy indeed!) at Wang Xing Ji

Salt and pepper crispy cakes at Wang Xing Ji
Salt and Pepper Crispy Cakes at Wang Xing Ji

Salt and Pepper Crispy Cakes at Wang Xing Ji
Inside the Salt and Pepper Crispy Cakes at Wang Xing Ji

Hand-tossed Crispy Onion Pancake at Wang Xing Ji
Hand-tossed Crispy Onion Pancake at Wang Xing Ji

Preserved Egg w Tofu at Wang Xing Ji
Preserved Egg w Tofu at Wang Xing Ji

Juicy Pork & Crab Bun at Wang Xing Ji
Juicy Pork & Crab Bun at Wang Xing Ji

Hanh enjoying the Juicy Pork & Crab Bun at Wang Xing Ji
My friend Hanh going for the HUGE Juicy Pork & Crab Bun at Wang Xing Ji. More photos on Flickr

Dim Sum at Elite (Monterey Park)
Meals shared with DannyRemilDarin, MarilynWes (he speaks Cantonese) & Peter

Check out 10 Best Dim Sum Restaurant in Los Angeles by Clarissa Wei

Elite Restaurant
There is usually a LONG line for dim sum at Elite, and it’s worth it.

Dim Sum at Elite
Mushroom Dumpling with Shrimp at Elite

Dim Sum at Elite
Silver Fish w Spicy Salt at Elite

Dim Sum at Elite
Pork & Shrimp Shu Mai at Elite

Dim Sum at Elite
Crispy Shrimp Rice Noodle at Elite

Dim Sum at Elite
Macau Egg Custard at Elite

Dim Sum at Elite
Deep Fried Dumpling with Minced Pork at Elite.  More photos on Flickr

Ramayani Indonesian (Westwood)
Meal shared with Fiona (she speaks Indonesian), Hanh, Vivian & Peter

Ramayani Indonesian
Ramayani entrance, close to Santa Monica Blvd.

Ramayani Indonesian
Martabak: Pan-fried flour tortilla filled with beef, onion and eggs. Served with pickled vegetables at Ramayani Indonesian

Ramayani Indonesian
Nasi Gorend: Pork Fried Rice at Ramayani Indonesian

Ramayani Indonesian
Beef Rendang: Slow-cooked in red chili, garlic and coconut gravy at Ramayani Indonesian

Ramayani Indonesian
Sayur Lodeh: Vegetables in coconut milk soup. (Sayur means vegetables) at Ramayani Indonesian

Ramayani Indonesian
Ikan Bumbu Tumis: Whole pomfret smothered in a spicy lemongrass, onion, shrimp paste & tomato sauce at Ramayani Indonesian

Ramayani Indonesian
Otak Otak: Gourmet Fish Cakes grilled in Banana Leaves at Ramayani Indonesian

Cafe Fusion Taiwanese Cuisine (Arcadia)
Meal shared with owner Arthur Chen & Eddie
Note: This meal was graciously hosted by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles. Many thanks to Amy Wang & TK Lee!

Taiwanese at Cafe Fusion
Entrance to Cafe Fusion. Note: It’s NOT really “fusion”. The owner just didn’t change the building name.

Taiwanese at Cafe Fusion
Smoked Shark at Cafe Fusion

Fresh Water Clams at Cafe Fusion (Taiwanese)
Fresh water clams, cooked in soy sauce, lemon juice, wine, garlic & chile at Cafe Fusion.

Eel Noodles at Cafe Fusion (Taiwanese)
Eel Noodles at Cafe Fusion.

Amaranth at Cafe Fusion (Taiwanese)
Amaranth is also called Chinese red spinach

Squid at Cafe Fusion (Taiwanese)
Cold Squid w Ginger Slices

Taiwanese at Cafe Fusion
Steamed Whole Black Cod w/ Taiwanese Tree Seeds. More photos on Flickr

Restaurant Addresses:

Chung King Sichuan
1000 S. San Gabriel Blvd.

San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 286-0298

Wang Xing Ji
140 Valley Blvd., No. 211 (upstairs)
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 307-1188

Elite Restaurant Website
700 S Atlantic Blvd

Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 282-9998

Ramayani Indonesian Website
1777 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles , CA . 90024
(310) 477 3315

Cafe Fusion Taiwanese Cuisine
510 E Live Oak Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006

(626) 447-6488

Follow Jonathan Gold on Twitter!

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Bäco Mercat

I thought Josef Centeno’s Bäco Mercat (in downtown L.A.) was simply a sandwich and soda shop.

I was SO very wrong…

The original Baco
Of course we begin with the Bäco flatbread sandwich: Pork Belly, Beef Carnitas, Salbitxada (Catalan sauce of tomatoes, almonds and garlic). Peter and I first tried Chef Centeno’s Bäco when he opened the Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo.

Bäco Mercat is the home of the “bäco,” the signature flatbread sandwich that was developed by chef Josef Centeno. The original bäco was the crispy pork belly and beef carnitas with caraway pepper. Since then, the bäco bread has taken center stage and works as a vessel for all things delicious: pork, beef, poultry, seafood and vegetables. (more on the website)

Sugar Snap & Pear Salad
Sugar Snap & Pear Salad w grapefruit, burrata, dill walnut.

Baby Back Ribs
Half Rack Baby Back Ribs w chili vinegar.

Pork Belly Cavatelli
Pork Belly, Soujouk with Ricotta Cavatelli.

Caesar Brussels Salad
Caesar Brussels Salad, Pecorino, Anchovy, Garlic.

The Toron Bäco at Bäco Mercat
Toron, with oxtail hash, pickle, cheddar and “tater” (it’s like a big homemade tater tot)!

Black Rice Risotto at Bäco Mercat
Black Rice Risotto: Squid, Fine Herbs, Creme Fraiche.

Pulled Confit Goose Leg,  Bäco Mercat
Pulled Confit Goose Leg with blood oranges, arugula and pickled cherries.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Szechuan Peppercorns, Whipped Cream, rice balls.

Pop,  Bäco Mercat
Bäco Ginger, Orange, Juniper Soda Pop!

Bäco Mercat
Absolutely charming (and casually romantic!) inside and out. Peter and I will be spending many, many evenings downtown this summer!

Bäco MercatMore food photos on Flickr

Please read Jonathan Gold’s Bäco review at L.A. Weekly

Bäco Mercat
408 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-8808

Follow @BacoMercat on twitter

Bäco Mercat on FaceBook

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