Tag Archives: food porn

Josef Centeno Crawl

4th & Main Downtown L.A.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:

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
STOP 1: Bäco Mercat
Peter was shocked and so thrilled to find the first “Happy Birthday, Peter” menu waiting at our first stop, which was Baco Mercat.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
The Moxie Cocktail at Baco Mercat: Bourbon, cynar, lime juice, agave, mole bitters.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Caesar Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino, Anchovy, Garlic at Baco Mercat.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Hamachi Crudo, Avocado, Hash Brown, Abkhazian Chile Spice at Baco Mercat.

STOP 2: Orsa & Winston

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
The menu waiting at Orsa & Winston.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Breakfast In A Shell with Coddled Egg, Pancetta, maple syrup at Orsa and Winston.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Satsuki Rice with Parmesan Cream, Geoduck and Uni at Orsa & Winston.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Clos du Tue Boeuf Chenin Blanc at Orsa & Winston.

STOP 3: Bar Ama

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Peter’s birthday menu at Bar Ama (stop 3).

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
The Nacho Cocktail (tequila blanco, chile-lime shrub, campari, citrus, honey) at Bar Ama.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Slow Roasted Beef Belly with Pomegranate, Cotija and Tomatillo at Bar Ama.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
“Mom’s Green Enchiladas” with Tomatillo & Chicken at Bar Ama.

STOP 4: Ledlow

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Final stop for birthday cake & soufflé at Ledlow.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Grand Marnier Soufflé at Ledlow.

Peter's Birthday Crawl 2014
Pastry chef Margeaux Aragon made a birthday cake too! Chocolate Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting at Ledlow.

December 2015 Selfie
20 Years Together (we met in Nov 1994). Happiness Selfie (Dec 2014).

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Obsessed With Food?

Me too.

Follow me on Instagram.

I photograph my EVERY last bite.

InstagramNov2014ForBlog

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Perfecto Rocher’s Paella

I can’t stop thinking about this lobster paella by Perfect Rocher. It’s only available on Sundays at Smoke, Oil, Salt on Melrose in Hollywood.

Read Jonathan Gold’s review here, and do go if you’ve never had authentic paella. It’s simply life-changing!

Perfect Rocher's Paella Sunday

Paella de Llamatol with Patagonia Shrimp, Garlic Lemon Aioli, Bomba
Photo by Jo Stougaard

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MyLastBite on Instagram & Pinterest

MyLastBite on Instagram & Pinterest

Recent trips to Thailand, England and Scotland have kept me busy editing thousands of (mostly food) photos. Hopefully I’ll be back to regular blogging at the beginning of the year, but until then I’m still posting daily on Instagram and Pinterest.

Thanks so much for your ongoing support! Cheers, Jo

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Ludo Bites America!

If you love watching chefs on TV as much as I do, check out “Ludo Bites America” on the Sundance Channel this Tuesday (7/19/11), as it stars my friends Ludo and Krissy Lefebvre!

Sundance writes: Classically trained to remake the classics, Ludo Lefebvre is a 5-star French chef who’s writing his own restaurant rulebook. Now, Ludo is on a mission to blend his extraordinary culinary talents with everyday eats. He and business partner/wife, Krissy, are hitting the road to reinvent American cuisine. From Carolina barbeque to New Mexico chiles, each episode finds Ludo and Krissy setting up their innovative touring restaurant at a local eatery desperate for fresh ideas. (More on the Sundance website)

Ludo Bites America (previews) on the Sundance Channel

My photos (over 300) of Ludo & his FOOD

LudoLefebvre.com 

Ludo’s Fan Club (yup, I’m the founder)

Follow Ludo on Twitter

Follow Krissy on Twitter

LudoBites 5, MyLastBite.com

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Meeting Bourdain

Last spring, when it was announced that Anthony Bourdain would be touring to promote his new book, I immediately hopped online and checked on ticket prices. June 16th was the date he’d be gracing UCLA’s Royce Hall stage, reading from “Medium Raw”, his his most-recent tell-all memoir. At $175 each, the tickets were pricey BUT included a meet and greet after-party, with food provided by Wilshire Restaurant.

Meeting Bourdain had been one of my life-long dreams, although instead of a book tour, I’d rather it had taken place at some gritty bar in New York (or Tokyo). “No Reservations” (his show on the Travel Channel) is my absolute favorite, and I’ve been a fan since his “Cook’s Tour” show aired on the Food Network.

To me, Bourdain is the ultimate BAD BOY chef (aka pure HOTNESS), and my heart was racing in anticipation for days before the event…

So was $175 ticket worth it?

HELL YES!!!!

V.I.P. Tickets (worth every penny!)
V.I.P Tickets

Bourdain signing my books!
I look so calm… but my heart was racing, I was sweating and shaking!! So, how does one spend an extra few seconds with Tony? By purchasing EXTRA books of course!

I can die now...
Absolute Joy.

Meeting Bourdain
During the V.I.P. post party we munched on Chef Andrew Kirschner’s treats from Wilshire Restaurant. Top Photo: Hamachi Crudo. Bottom Photo: Braised Pork Cheek Crostini with Bacon Tomato Jam and Cipollini Marmalade.

Bourdain V.I.P. Pass
Um yea… I slept with it.

More photos on Flickr

About Anthony Bourdain

Bourdain on Stage“No Reservations: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain”
June 16, 2010
8:00pm – 11:00pm

Royce Hall at UCLA,
340 Royce Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095

“Kitchen Confidential”, Bourdain’s MUST-READ for food lovers!

No Reservations on Travel Channel

A Cook’s Tour (video clip)

“Medium Raw” by Anthony Bourdain

Meeting BourdainMy favorite quote from the book:
“Everyone should be able to make an omelet… Perhaps omelet skills should be learned at the same time you learn to fu*k.” (page 62)

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Party at the Ox!

Most of the time, when Peter and I go out to dinner, it’s just the two of us at the table. While catching up on the day’s activities, we order cocktails and share a few dishes, trading plates after eating EXACTLY half. I think we’re pretty lucky because after fifteen years together, we still love hanging out, especially when we’re trying a new restaurant. Just look for the couple having the most fun in the room… it’s probably us!

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1Every once in a while we go out with a group of friends, and two of our most recent gatherings have been at the Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo. The first visit was on January 14th after we attended an earthquake fundraiser at TiGeorges Haitian Restaurant on Glendale Blvd. Peter and I, along with our neighbor Nelson, met up with Charles and Robert to find a very successful charity event, but no food (they had just sold out). So after we all made donations, we decided to head downtown and check out the Lazy Ox.

We didn’t have reservations, but hostess Janna (who is gorgeous and super sweet) let us takeover a long, communal table. The giant mirror across the way made it perfect for checking out the entire room.

Our servers were both fantastic. At first “Q” took our orders and helped us decide on a few dishes from the $5 happy hour menu, then Rolando stepped in with recommendations from the regular menu. Having just come from the Haiti charity event, we were all in such great spirits and it showed in what we ordered. Lots of wine, lots of sharing and lots of laughs.

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1I started talking to Rolando about his “day job” at Sage Mountain Farm, and was fascinated to learn that he personally delivers his vegetables to the Lazy Ox. His passion really showed in the way he spoke about the produce, and it also made me slow down and pay more attention to the  food on the plate in front of me. Rolando also works with several other L.A. area restaurants including Locali in Silverlake.

Our second dinner at “the Ox” (as everyone now seems to be calling it), was a couple of weeks after the first. Another group dinner with friends Bob and Andrew, who were entertaining visiting relatives. Another fun night sharing almost unending plates of (albeit daring to some) delicious food.

My favorite bites so far have been the Bӓco (if you go, order this FIRST!), Pig’s Ears, Chicharones Skewers, Braised Beef with Cream of Wheat… oh HECK, just look at the photos below because I’ve fallen for everything on Chef Josef Centeno’s menu!

Peter and I will be back soon, if we can get a reservation that is! Rave reviews (links below) and a recent mention on Jonathan Gold’s “99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die” list will make it a bit more difficult to party at the Ox, but it’s definitely worth the effort!!

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
The Bӓco: Grilled flatbread, crispy pork belly, arugula and poblano sauce

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
Truffled Potato Croquettes. Only $5 on Happy Hour Menu

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
Patatas Bravas with Smoked Paprika

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
Sea Bream is brick oven roasted, head on, with herbs, lemon, purple baby scallions, and chimichurri

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 1
White Soy Marinated Yellowtail with crushed avocado, crispy hash brown and creme fraiche

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Crispy Pig Ears with Horseradish Cream

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Whipped Jersey Cow Ricotta with Sea Salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Toasted Peruvian corn, with spices and lime called cancha

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Pork Chicharones Skewers with poblano sauce at Lazy Ox Canteen. $5 on the Happy Hour Menu.
Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Chicken Livers with Whole-Grain Mustard & Pancetta Crisp $7

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Charred Octopus with Pickled Shallots, Lima Beans and Smoked Paprika $15
Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Salt Cod Brandade Fritters with Grated Mojama & Lemon Vinaigrette $8

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Braised Beef Paleron (pot roast) w/ cream of wheat, kumquats and red wine $23
Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder with Turnips, Quinoa and Walnut Chile Tarator Sauce $21

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Hand-Torn Egg Pasta with Sunny-Side Egg, Brown Butter & Fines Herbs $11

Lazy Ox Canteen visit 2
Sopapillas

All my Lazy Ox Canteen Photos on Flickr

LAZY OX CANTEEN
241 S. San Pedro St.
Little Tokyo, Downtown L.A. 90012
(213) 626-5299
http://www.LazyOxCanteen.com

Dining Dates: 1/14/10 & 2/6/10

99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before you Die by Jonathan Gold

Jonathan Gold’s Review on L.A. Weekly

L.A. Times Review

Jonathan Gold discusses Lazy Ox on KCRW’s Good Food

Check out Anne Fishbein’s BEAUTIFUL photos!

Haiti Fundraiser at TiGeorges’ Chicken

Sage Mountain Farm

Follow the Lazy Ox on Twitter

Lazy Ox Canteen on Urbanspoon

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