Tag Archives: studio city


Ceremony (Studio City) Scouting Report for L.A. Times

Fan of the movie, “Chef”? Check out my L.A. Times Food Scouting Report here.


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Filed under Eating Out, L.A. Times

Hoe Cake

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!

Hoe Cake at Barrel & Ashes

Barrel and Ashes Website

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth on Twitter

Barrel and Ashes on FaceBook


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Filed under Eating Out, Little Bites

Joan’s On Third, Studio City

Joan's On Third, L.A. Times


Read my opening report here

More photos

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Filed under Eating Out, L.A. Times, Little Bites

The Gadarene Swine (L.A. Times)

Gadarene Swine Scouting Report, L.A. Times

Read the scouting report here

More photos here

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Filed under Eating Out, L.A. Times

Black Market Liquor Bar

PHOTOS: My first bite of Black Market Liquor Bar in Studio City

Black Market Shrimp
Peel & Eat Lemon Pepper Shrimp, Oranges, Crystal’s Aioli

Black Market Cocktails
Blackberry Cobbler: Genever, Blackberry, Lemon, Sugar

Red Hot and Bothered: Jalapeno-infused vodka, strawberry, blood orange, agave syrup and ginger beer

Black Market Fried Cauliflower
Fried Cauliflower, Lemon Aioli

Black Market Grits Collard Greens
Crispy Collard Greens, Benton’s Ham, Cheese Grits, Soft Egg

Black Market Mussels Fennel
Mussels, Fennel, Chili, Garlic Baguette

Black Market's Deep Fried Fluffer-nutter, Fresh Bananas
Deep Fried Fluffer-nutter, Fresh Bananas

Peter and I went early in the evening and we both enjoyed Chef Antonia Lofaso’s menu. Thankfully the new hotspot is just around the corner from our house!

Black MarketBlack Market Liquor Bar
11915 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 446-2533

Dining Date: 7/9/11

Read all about Black Market on LAist (by my friend Lindsay William-Ross)


Filed under Eating Out

Jinya Ramen ‘Round the Corner

I love bargain hunting, especially stores like Marshalls or Ross. They’re like super organized thrift shops but without the musty smell of used clothing. The Marshalls on Ventura (in Studio City) is just a few blocks from my house, so I frequent that location the most. My first stop is always the kitchen goods, and I’ve picked up some beautiful Le Creuset pieces (at half-price) over the years.

Ramen JinyaLast summer, I noticed a new ramen shop had opened just across the way from Marshalls, but didn’t take time to stop in for a bite, until I read Jonathan Gold’s review in July (link below).

Jonathan wrote:
“Best of all was an odd, strong-smelling tonkotsu ramen, whose pork broth had been pumped up with industrial quantities of dashi and dried fish, a broth on steroids, a broth that seemed to be trying to establish the record for the most umami per milligram. Can tongues pant? After a few bites, you may feel as if yours had just run a half-marathon without bothering to notify the rest of your head.”

I know. He’s genius. And now I’m hooked on Jinya…

Ramen Jinya
Tonkotsu Ramen: Pork Broth, Chashu, Flavored Egg, Green onion

Ramen Jinya
Spicy Ramen: Chicken Broth, Chicken meat ball, Spicy bean sprout

Ramen Jinya
Chashu Ramen: Choose chicken or pork broth, Chashu, Egg, Green onion

Ramen Jinya
Jinya Ramen: Chicken Broth, Chicken meat ball, Spinach, Green onion

Tokyo Premium Tonkotsu Ramen at Jinya
Tokyo Premium Tonkotsu Ramen: Pork Broth & Bonito Soup, Flavored Egg, Spinach, Green Onion

Hakata Ramen (PORKY heaven) @ Jinya
HAKATA ~ Pork Premium Rich Flavor ~ Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen

Vegetable Ramen @ Jinya
Vegetable Ramen: Chicken Broth & Japanese soup stock, Mushroom, Baby leaf , Spinach

All my Jinya photos on flickr

Ramen Jinya
11239 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
Tel 818-980-3977

Read Jonathan Gold’s Review

Le Creuset


UPDATE: Jinya is on Jonthan Gold’s 99 Essential Restaurant List!


Filed under Eating Out

Bokado (now closed)

Bokado is a new Spanish restaurant, bar, and gourmet market, conveniently located ten minutes from my home in Studio City. I first read about it on LATimes.com last month, then added it to my lengthy “to do” list.

Bokado Brasserie, MyLastBite.comThe LA Times wrote:
The casual space blends the comfortable grace of a Basque asador (grillery and roast house) with a congenial full bar where updated pintxos (tapas) include spicy patatas bravas, artisanal cheeses and oysters Rockefeller.

When my husband Peter came home early from work last week, we decided to go out for a light dinner and drinks, because it was way too hot to cook, and almost too hot to eat! 

Bokado, which means “little bites” in Basque, sounded perfect. When we arrived, the outdoor patio tables were already filled, so we went inside (where it was nice and cool) and grabbed seats at the bar. The interior is modern but also really charming, with the small gourmet market (or gourmet counter really) at the entrance.

Bokado, MyLastBite.comAs we walked in, we couldn’t help but stop and admire the red-hot standing Berkel slicer near the front window. Someone once told me that the reason chefs prefer this motorless, hand-cranked meat slicer is because the blade doesn’t heat up when slicing paper-thin pieces of meats like prosciutto. On electric-powered slicers, the blade can become too hot, which in turn changes the flavor of the meat.

After we settled in our seats and ordered, I noticed that Bokado owner Frank Leon was in the house, graciously stopping at every table to say hello. Frank also owns La Loggia, a nearby Italian restaurant that we’ve gone to for years, and next to La Loggia is a tapas bar conveniently called “Next Door”, which Frank owns as well.

The tapas (or pintxos) we had at Bokado were delicious and filling, but we still need to go back for a full dinner. I really liked the bar atmosphere because it was light and relaxing, so I’m sure we’ll be spending a lot of summer evenings there with friends.

On our way out, we stopped to take a closer look at the goodies for sale at the cute, little market. The entire back wall was stacked with gorgeous baguettes, and the refrigerated display case held bottles of truffle oil, cheeses, meats and small containers of imported ingredients including quince paste. I like the flavor of quince because it’s not overly sweet, but have never purchased the paste to use at home.

When I asked to buy a container, the gals behind the register couldn’t find a price list anywhere, because as it turned out, they weren’t ready to actually SELL any of the market items yet! Peter and I just laughed and said we’d pick it up on our next visit, but owner Frank overheard the conversation and insisted we take home the quince paste as a gift. Thanks Frank!

Bokado Brasserie, MyLastBite.com
The Entrance. Outdoor patio area is to the right (see first photo above)

Bokado Brasserie, MyLastBite.com
Gourmet Market

Bokado, MyLastBite.com

Bokado, MyLastBite.com
Charming Decor

Bokado Brasserie, MyLastBite.com
Bar Menu

Bokado Brasserie, MyLastBite.com
Beer List

Bokado Brasserie, MyLastBite.com
Roasted Olives and Chilies. 

Bokado Brasserie, MyLastBite.com
Mac and MANCHEGO Cheese, Chicken Croquettes

Bokado Brasserie, MyLastBite.com
Charcuterie with Pan Con Tomate

Quince Paste from Bokado Market, MyLastBite.com
My Quince Paste!

Note: This restaurant is now closed

12345 Ventura Blv.
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 752-9222
Full Bar
Note: Bokado is open for breakfast and lunch too!

(no website)  

Bokado on LATimes.com


La Loggia

About Pintxos

About Quince

More photos of Bokado on Flickr

Bokado on Urbanspoon


Filed under Eating Out

The 900 Degree Oven

Gangadin, MyLastBite.comMy favorite Indian restaurant is currently featured on the cover of “Studio City Lifestyle” magazine. I wish I could find an online version of it, so I could share the entire article with everyone, but here’s a paragraph from the cover story printed on page four.

Gangadin Indian Cuisine is owned by Manmeet Singh Sahni and family. Manmeet takes pride in serving home style cooking. Every dish is cooked from scratch with no MSG, preservatives or animal fat added. “We specialize in outstanding, flavorful Indian Punjabi cuisine,” says Manmeet, “including homemade and exotic curries, fresh baked breads from the hot tandoor and meats marinated in delicate spices and herbs.”

Peter and I have been regulars at Gangadin for years, and we even served their food at our wedding back in 1996. Our favorite dishes include: Chicken Korma (tender pieces of marinated chicken, spices, onions, yogurt, and assorted nuts), Saag Paneer (cubes of homemade cheese, spinach and spices), Chicken Tikka (boneless chicken marinated in homemade yogurt and spices, grilled in the tandoor) and the most flavorful Garlic Naan bread (garnished with freshly chopped garlic and also baked in the tandoor).

Gangadin Restaurant, MyLastBite.comLast week we stopped in for dinner with David Gussin (executive sous chef at Akasha) and his roommate, Dan. It was their very first visit to Gangadin and we were so pleased that they loved the food as much as we do.

After dinner, owner Manmeet and his son Sangmeet let us check out the tandoor clay oven in the restaurant kitchen. It’s amazing how quickly the naan bread bubbles up and cooks along the super-heated oven wall.

I’ve never made Naan bread at home but definitely plan on trying it soon. While researching various recipes, I came across a great “Learn To Make Naan Bread” video by Manjula Jain (link below).

Gangadin Restaurant, MyLastBite.com Gangadin Restaurant, MyLastBite.com
Photos: Naan being made in the 900 degree tandoor

Gangadin Restaurant, MyLastBite.com
Gangadin Chef Kamaljeet Singh making the naan

Gangadin Restaurant, MyLastBite.com

Gangadin Indian Cuisine
12067 Ventura Place
Studio City Ca 91604

Website (with menu)

More Gangadin

Video: Naan Bread Recipe by Manjula

Manjula’s Kitchen


Anyajit: A Chef in the Making

India Sweets & Spices

Gangadin on Urbanspoon


Filed under Eating Out, Little Bites

Laurel Tavern

Me, My Dad, Stepmom, Nephew in Glasgow by MyLastBite.comI love pub food. My father lives in Bridge of Weir, a small village near Glasgow, Scotland. Whenever I visit him our last night out is always at a local pub called the Fox and Hounds. After a few pints of Velvet beer we head Family Dinner in Scotland by MyLastBite.comupstairs to the Huntsman restaurant. Now, I’m a huge fan of fish-and-chips and bangers-and-mash type pub food. But the dishes upstairs at the Huntsman are always extra special… the amazing local salmon, aged sirloin, charred crayfish & scallops. The casualness of the pub, combined with the first-class meals upstairs just make for a really special evening.

The Fox & Hounds by MyLastBite.comI always wished I had a local pub near me that felt like I was back in Scotland, but not the coerced feeling I get when I visit an “authentic British pub” in Los Angeles. Too many union jack flags and portraits of princess Di, with terrible versions of scotch eggs and shepherd’s pie. Like Disneyland these theme pubs are fun to visit every once in a while, but they could never be a regular hangout for me.

Laurel Tavern. I love the name. It sounds like it’s been on Ventura boulevard for years, but it’s only been open for a few days. Last night we (my husband Peter, and my best friend Laur) went for drinks and dinner. Walking in and taking a seat near the back felt so comfortable. Like we’d been going there for years.

I was expecting the usual American bar food… burgers, maybe a grilled fish taco… Burgers yes (delicious) but Pork Belly Skewers and Marrowbones on the menu? Woa. I think I’ve found my kind of pub! Casual? Yes. Inviting? Yes. Delicious? Yes. Now if only I could get my parents and little brother to fly out from Scotland for dinner tonight… it would be perfect.

What we ate:
We started with the Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata ($10) then had the Grilled Artichoke filled with Lemon Garlic Walnut Pesto ($10). The Hickory Burger with Caramelized Onions, Tillamook Cheddar and Hickory Sauce ($9). Everything was terrific but my two favorites were the Crispy Pork Belly Skewers served with Lime Wedges and Cilantro ($6 we ordered two) and wait for it…. Hand-cut Fries cooked in HOT PORK FAT ($6). I’ve had fries cooked in duck fat (Citrus at Social) but not PORK FAT! Brilliant! Those were so good and filling that I wasn’t able to order the Roasted Marrowbones… or the Chorizo Fondue… or the Pork Belly Sandwich. I’ll be trying those on my next visit.
Pork Belly Skewers at Laurel Tavern my MyLastBite.com
Slow-roasted Crispy Pork Belly Skewers.

Steak Fries cooked in Hot Pork Fat at Laurel Tavern by MyLastBite.com
Hand-cut French Fries cooked in hot PORK FAT, seasoned with sea salt and pepper.
Heirloom Tomatoes, Burrata at Laurel Tavern by MyLastBite.com
Heirloom Tomatoes with Luscious Burrata.

Updated 10/12/08 We went back for dinner and loved the Chorizo Fondue!
Chorizo Fondue at Laurel Tavern by MyLastBite.com
The Chorizo Fondue and the Pork Belly Skewers are my current favorites.

Roasted Marrowbones at Laurel Tavern by MyLastBite.com
Lovely Roasted Marrowbones

Laurel Tavern
11938 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91614
(818) 506-0777

The Fox and Hounds (in Scotland)

More Laurel Tavern Photos


Filed under Eating Out

Artisan Cheese Gallery

Artisan Gallery’s Cheese Tasting at Mistral Restaurant…

My Favorite Bite? La Tur Cheese.
A high butterfat, creamy cheese made from pasteurized goat’s, sheep’s AND cow’s milk. (Tallegio is always a favorite, but this was my first taste of La Tur.)

Artisan Cheese Tasting
Cheeses in above photo, starting from the top:
Pata Caba (Goat’s Milk from Spain), paired with Temprinillo
Cabrales (Cow’s Milk from Spain), paired with Temprinillo
La Tur (Goat, Sheep & Cow’s milk from Italy), paired with Prosecco
Taleggio (Cow’s milk from Italy), paired with Prosecco
Couer Gouramand-Marrons (Goat’s Milk & chestnut paste), Paired with Sancerre
Ossau Iraty (Sheep’s Milk from French Pyrenees)


The Artisan Cheese Gallery
12023 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Phone: 818-505-0207
Owner & Fromagier (aka cheesemonger!) Melody Dosch
E-mail: melody@artisancheesegallery.com

Mistral Restaurant (where the cheese tasting was held)
13422 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 981-6650

Dining Date: 6.22.08

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