Read my latest hot dog roundup for the L.A. Times here. Thanks!
Brisket. It’s all about Aaron Franklin’s brisket for me. Like most who trek to Franklin BBQ in Austin, tasting his beef was a life-changing experience. You can’t imagine, while you’re waiting in line for hours in the hot Texas heat, that it could possibly be worth it. It was.
The one-day popup was held on April 10th, downtown at Nick’s Cafe. Along with Franklin’s heavenly brisket, APL served Niman Ranch pork shoulder. Both were, as expected, phenomenal.
Franklin is currently promoting his new book, “Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto” and at some point I’m going to attempt to make his brisket at home. Peter’s been doing a lot of cooking on our Big Green Eggs, so this is sure to be a joint project. Check out Aaron’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel here.
If you don’t have it yet, definitely check out Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue CookBook
Watch BBQ with Franklin video clips here
Read my scouting report for L.A. Times here. Do order the lamb belly!
The Bashu Fish at Fang’s Kitchen in Monterey Park is wonderfully numbing and spicy. Jonathan Gold (L.A. Times) wrote, “The fragrance of chiles, garlic and pickly spice is overwhelming. But the flavor is impossibly mild, a bit of tingling from the Sichuan pepper and a bit of heat from the red chiles…” (full review here).
I’ll be going back to enjoy it again SOON. My lips are already trembling…
Read Jonathan Gold’s review of Fang’s Kitchen here.
306 North Garfield Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91755
I admit it. I have a Hoe Cake problem.
Ever since Barrel & Ashes opened a few blocks from my house, I cannot get enough of chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s masterpiece (seriously, it’s THAT GOOD). It’s sort of like a thick (fluffy) pancake combined with cornbread and bread pudding — not too sweet with a savory finish, and it goes perfect with a side of smokey brisket. Peter and I often order just that (1/2 pound of brisket and hoe cake) to go. The hoe cake is best served at the restaurant though, piping hot in a cast iron skillet.
Barrel & Ashes recently began serving brunch, and YES the hoe cakes are on the menu. I cannot wait to go in and try the “Hangover Hoe Cake”, which comes with fried egg, chili, cheddar, green onions and Fresno chili.
Go get ’em!
Barrel and Ashes Website
Chef Timothy Hollingsworth on Twitter
Barrel and Ashes on FaceBook
Peter and I both love chef Josef Centeno‘s cooking. With four restaurants in downtown L.A., we often have a hard time deciding which one to eat at. There’s Baco Mercat (home of the bäco) and Bar Ama (with the best queso in town). High-end Orsa & Winston is currently offering a fantastic Yakitori-Ya menu (through March 2). Josef’s newest eatery, Ledlow, recently won a rave Jonathan Gold review. All the restaurants are within walking distance of each other at 4th and Main, and all are simply fantastic.
After twenty years together, it’s not easy to surprise my husband of 18 years. But for his birthday last month, with the help of Josef and his fiancee (my friend) Betty Hallock, we did just that. I joked to Betty that I wished I could take Peter to all of Josef’s restaurants for his birthday and she said they had actually been thinking of organizing a restaurant crawl.
I was thrilled when Josef offered to select the evening’s menu, which included two dishes and a drink at each location. To make things easier, since it was four different kitchens and staff, I paid for the evening ahead of time and left a tip at each (45 minute) stop. Many thanks to Betty and Josef for helping me surprise Peter!
Photos from our December 2014 “Centeno Crawl” below:
STOP 2: Orsa & Winston
STOP 3: Bar Ama
STOP 4: Ledlow