Posts

Showing posts from 2009

Bar Americain

Bobby Flay has done it again. Delivered another delicious and memorable evening. His friendly staff greeted us warmly and even his sommelier was super helpful and non-intimidating. We enjoyed the impressively towering "The Raw Bar Selection" and completely binged on the most delectable fresh seafood that I've had in a long time.

There's something so decadent about having that amount of oysters and crayfish and shrimp and clams and crab and mussels to nibble on and slurp until you have to lay back in your chair and rub your tummy. No bickering over the last raw oyster, no jostling for the last drop of habanero hot sauce or stone ground mustard mayo dip, and when I mentioned that I love minionette sauce, they brought me extra. It was a dinner to remember.

But I must back up -- we began the evening by celebrating our engagement with a bottle of VEUVE CLICQUOT PONSARDIN and dove into the asparagus chopped salad with Vermont cheddar and meyer lemon vinaigrette. And in an e…

WARMING UP WITH SOUP

Now I am beginning to understand the allure of soups. I never tend to order them when I'm out and I certainly haven't made them. BUT I appreciate them when I order at a restaurant and they come with my entree. Say with my sandwich at lunch or my sushi. So last night upon arriving home from a weekend in Vegas - with the larder bare, I asked Hudson if he wanted dinner. He did. It was a cold blustery night and without thinking I grabbed a bin of mushrooms from the veg drawer in the fridge, an onion, a head of garlic and a pot.

OMG! All my years of staring at Food Network is beginning to pay off. I tell you! Chopped onion and garlic, sweated them in some olive oil. Dumped in the mushrooms. Poured in a glass of water. While it was simmering I added salt, pepper and herbs. As I got out the stick blender I knew it wouldn't be the right consistancy to have that luxurious feel that cream of mushroom soup needs to keep from being a disappointment.

I grabbed a can of organic white bean…

No 'Q' No Taqueria

3224 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

I'm so happy to live down the block from No "Q" No. Now I get to feel all virtuous and pedestrian as I walk over for my delicious home made Mexican fix. I think I'll eventually work my way down the entire menu - but I'm addicted to their beef tortas! Perfect buns! Flavorful meat! Crisp toppings! Every meal I get has to include the luxurious beans & rice. My mother-in-law was visiting and when she was in the mood for lunch, I hopped down for a big bag of goodies. We had quite a feast and still we wanted more. Not heavy like some south of the border fare.

See you there!

Ivy

Guelaguetza

3337 1/2 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 427-0601

What can I say? Guelaguetza makes me happy and full!

That's more than I expect from a restaurant. Cheerful staff, warm colorful atmosphere, elbows on the table crowd, live music, never a wait and HELLO! Who knew that this Norse gal had an affinity for Authentica Comida Oaxaquena? I've tried a few times to order something other than the Clayuda with the string cheese, but it just proves too tempting. I have branched out and enjoyed the quesedilla with huitlacoche and I must say that I didn't expect a grayish black truffle/fungus that grows on corn would be that delicate and lovely.

The other day we had a bunch of friends stop by for the afternoon, and I called in a big TO GO order. They had everything hot and ready and I looked like a rock star.

Grab your friends, sip a margarita, tap your foot to lively music and order tons. It's affordable and DELICIOUS!

See you there!

Ivy

Pho 36

Pho 36
1147 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 766-5329

This is my GO TO meal during the week. For over a year I've been heading to Pho36 for excellent noodle dishes, yummy egg rolls, fresh summer rolls and Vietnamese Iced Coffee to perk me up.

Normally I park at the front door, but when the barbecue place in the same mall is packed, street parking has never been a problem. If I'm doing Take Out, I sip my coffee while my order is wrapped up. But when I'm dining in, they've always got something interesting on the TV, and the service is great.

Not having tried the tendon and tripe (more traditional) Pho offerings, I can say that all of the pho soups I've ordered were hearty, satisfying while still feeling healthful and light. They have wonderful vegetarian options and their toppings of nuts, cilantro, sprouts and sauces are my favorite part of Vietnamese cuisine.

See you there (almost any night of the week!)

Ivy

THE LARCHMONT BUNGALOW

I'm not a political gal by nature. I've been staggeringly lucky in my life to have not been oppressed (more than my share) and I find it very easy to play by the rules. When I'm confronted with others who are being oppressed, I'm happy to lend a hand and sign a petition, etc.

What does this have to do with food? Well, last weekend I was hungry for breakfast so Hudson took me to The Larchmont Bungalow. We stopped on the sidewalk at the entrance and noticed that price tags were fluttering from the tables and chairs. The door had a paper sign that read "Buy a table or chair and get a free LOBSTER". Hmm, we thought that odd.

The friendly staff explained that The Bungalow isn't zoned for a dine-in restaurant so they were pretending to be a retail store/take-out establishment. Wink wink, nudge nudge. The place is really lovely and diners were relaxing and eating in the cozy atmosphere in front of the fireplace, and seemed a shame to be challenged by the local cou…

PRONTO PIZZA?!? GET OUTTA MY WAY!

2190 W. Washington Blvd.
Suite E
Los Angeles, CA 90018
(323) 766-8868

"Holy Cow! Where has Pronto Pizza been all of my life? Recession-proof family dinner! Who knew? Don't let the $5 price tag fool you into thinking this is the typical nasty cardboard pizza with tasteless sauce or wilted toppings that is served on all of the other corners in the neighborhood.

We ordered a veggie pizza and hung out talking to Derek, the owner, and in just minutes, were presented with a big fragrant box, weighed down with more pizza than we could shovel in for dinner.

The mushrooms, onions, peppers* olives and tomatoes were bursting with freshness. The cheese was delicious, but the crust blew me away! Beautiful chewiness with light crusty edges and a soft interior. This is what real dough made into real pizza is meant to be.

We tried to be virtuous, but this pie made me want to wolf down 1/2 the pie! You can go crazy at Pronto, add garlic sauce, meat, and even nibble on cheese bread or chicken wings…

Vegan Village

4067 W. Pico Blvd
LA, CA 90019
(323) 766-9773

I don't know where I got the idea that vegan = super healthful, but I've been certain thats the case for as long as I've know what vegan is. In my mind it went like this, Normal Diet = Sometimes good/sometimes bad, Vegetarian = Healthy foods, Vegan = Pristine diet that makes the rest of us look like sinners. I understood that vegans don't eat any animal products, but somehow I got it all twisted that they were getting better food as a result.

Wellll, thank you Vegan Village for educating me! I walked over for dinner recently with my vegan pal Doreen and the vegetarian Hudson to check out this spot I always drive past. Hello soul food! We had vegan beer. Is it necessary to state this? I don't want to go out on a limb here, but isn't all beer vegetarian? They also have vegan wine... uh ditto that last question. I don't know of any meat barley or grapes. But I digress.

We had a big selection of fried onion rings, fried…

Atomic Cafe– The Food You Want to Eat

Atomic Cafe
5001 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 935-6789
FREE WIRELESS
Mon - Sat 8am-8pm
Sun 9am - 5pm

Atomic Cafe would be the perfect place to run and grab takeout if it wasn’t so darned inviting to dine in…or even outside on their sidewalk tables. Clean, hip, and a tad futuristic, I wanted to hang out the moment I walked inside. Even on a Saturday night just before closing, the food was fresh and the staff was attentive, kind and helpful. The kind of service that makes a place you feel not only welcome… but valued.

Speaking of value, their breads are to die for and handmade daily by neighboring Normandie Bakery. It was an unexpected delight to find such artisnal breads and crusts… which leads me to their pizza! You can have your own personal 10” with a sensational herbed crust that is baked on stone. Build your own with any topping adding just $0.49 each, or do what we did and try their BBQ Chicken Pizza. Wow! Hard to believe the flavor whollop of that combination. I didn…