Archive for February, 2007

It’s Just the Truth

February 28, 2007

If I could eat one and only one food for the rest of my life it would be Shrimp.


Milk Does a Body Good (not your teeth)

February 27, 2007

Milk is clean space, with tables inside and out. Most people were eating salads and sandwiches (the sandwiches looked good, the salads looked average). Homemade ice cream is the centerpiece of the dessert menu which includes ice cream sandwiches, milk shakes and malts. There are also bonbons, cookies, brownies, specialty sodas and basically any variation of tooth-decay-promoting sweet you can think of.
I chose the peanut butter and banana malt, because bananas are healthy… (that’s sarcasm getting lost in the translation to text). Topped with fresh whipped cream and a few malt balls, it was very tasty. It wasn’t as sweet as I expected, with well-blended mix of peanut butter and banana. It probably could use some chocolate to tie it all together.

By summer Milk should have lines down the street a la Diddy Riese and Pinkberry (before they opened their 433 new locations). Also, there’s rumor that they will have a bacon ice cream concoction. I’m looking forward to trying it, whatever it is…

Bar 107

February 26, 2007

Downtown LA has been the mecca of gentrification for the past few years. New bars, lofts and restaurants have been opening every week with many more to come. Unfortunately for all the new spots, Bar 107 (one of the original gentrified downtown destinations) is still my favorite bar downtown (and possibly in all of LA). Not just because they serve Miller High Life (the champagne of beers) on tap. Not just because they serve tallboys of PBR (“Fuck Heineken! Pabst Blue Ribbon!”). Not just because they ring a bell when the bartender is tipped well. And definitely not because Roller Derby Doll Emma Geddon arm-wrestled my friend after we spent a long day at Santa Anita and bar crawling downtown. (May I add that Emma was drinking Jameson and Sambuca and chasing it with Guiness).
I love Bar 107 because of the loud punk music. I love Bar 107 because I’ve been there after midnight when a patron brought their dog… to the bar. I’ve been there with Harvard Business School students and I’ve been there on Cambodian rock music night. I’ve been there when all the guy’s jeans were tighter than the girl’s jeans and I’ve been threated to be “fucked up” by a guy who found Jesus and swore he wouldn’t “fuck people up anymore.” The mystery and the music, the bimbos and the booze…it’s never a bad time at Bar 107.

Square One

February 20, 2007

I’ve eaten at Square One eight times in the last three months. It’s a testament to the quality of food (and the amount that I eat breakfast and lunch out on the weekend).
Before I work down the menu, I’ll note that the soups are always fantastic and I’m a big fan of soup (chickpea, tomato, kale and gruyere pictured here) with any meal. Also, the braised oxtail and braised short ribs are no longer on the menu, because it took too long to prepare them in conjunction with the big brunch crowds and quick-fix breakfast items.
chorizo, tomato, jalapeno, onion and mozzarella omelet: the eggs are always fluffy, portion sizes are good. the chorizo and jalapeno combine for an excellent kick, which is partially tamed by the eggs and cheese.
bacon, tomato, mozzarella and spinach omelet: Nueske Farms Wisconsin Applewood thick-sliced bacon can make or break this omelet. I lived in Wisconsin and judging by the average weight, I trust that they know good bacon. The only problem with the thick-sliced variety is that you can get large chunks of fat- which I don’t complain about, but may not appeal to some breakfast-goers.
shitake, oyster mushroom and feta omelet: terrific flavor, just a bit too much liquid from cooking the mushrooms.
garlic/lemon thyme chicken sausage, roasted tomato and gruyere: there’s nothing light about this one. the flavor is intense and rich. perfect with a side of potatoes.
three slices brioche french toast with bourbon pecan topping and vanilla whipped cream– this is dessert. if it’s your birthday and you a decadent breakfast, this would be the choice. sweet and syrupy.
sauteed mustard and collard greens, with mushrooms and shaved gruyere on grits served piping hot in a skillet– there’s an egg on top as well…. between the greens, cheese and grits, this is another filling breakfast. the flavors blend well, just don’t burn your mouth.
pressed egg sandwich with two scrambled eggs, tomato, arugula and aioli on toasted brioche– the bread and texture of the eggs make the breakfast sandwiches at Square One a cut above anyone else’s.
grits with bacon and cheese– i like the grits better topped with cholesterol than on their own, but i still find them bland in general.
The fruit salad, roasted potatoes, hot/iced teas, etc. are all top rate as well. I haven’t had any of the desserts yet, but there’s still plenty of time.
I like the mom-and-pop nature of Square One. Phil, the owner, has a friendly disposition
and obviously knows that good food keeps people coming back. My qualm is that there isn’t a designated host/manager. Phil is always running around (slightly manic but always in good spirits) seating diners, serving food, bussing tables, chatting with customers, etc. I’ve seen him run down to the bodega to buy more jalapenos at 11am on a Sunday. He needs a right hand, someone who can seat diners and bus tables while he takes names and maintains order in the kitchen. Also Phil needs to buy three more umbrellas for the patio.
The point of this post is that on most weekends you’ll find me (and probably the Charlie Manson-looking guy) at Square One.

Got a Secret

February 16, 2007

Sometimes LA can be tough because it’s a huge megaopolis. On a daily basis, however, it gets easier as my world shrinks to the two mile radius of my office and apartment. Said two mile radius happens to house many terrific restaurants, but it also is the home of countless offices and ultimately their employees. These employees have expense accounts and love to “do lunch” and dinner.
So when a superb (albeit expensive) strip mall-based, omakase sushi bar opens within said radius, I can’t help but want to keep it a secret. Although there are many great restaurants (and sushi bars) in the area, great new restaurants open infrequently.
So I’m gonna post about Sushi Park, just so I can say I did but that’s it. I’m not gonna rave about the variety and quality of the fish. I’m not gonna namedrop the celebrities that were there. I’m not gonna weigh whether they high price is worth it. Basically I’m not gonna ruin it. Because it’s nice when you don’t have to book dinner three months in advance like some new restaurants . It’s nice when the sushi chefs and servers know your name. It’s nice when there isn’t a $15 valet taking cars from blackberry-addicted sleaze balls in shiny suits. And because there are so many places in LA that die at the hands of their own hype , it’s nice to have Sushi Park to myself… for now.

You Wear What You Eat

February 16, 2007

Buy it here .

Vegas FM Research

February 14, 2007

With the Las Vegas Food Marathon fast approaching, I’ve been doing research to find the best restaurants and dishes.
Lotus of Siam is a unanimously voted selection. Lindo Michoacan and Bonito Michoacan are top contenders as well. I don’t know if it’s marathon-worthy, but Rosemary’s seems to get high marks for off-the-strip dining. Vegas’s Chinatown has a few choices and just west of Chinatown is Joyful House, which seems good. There are a lot of dessert choices including Ritter’s Frozen Custard, Glacier Ice Cream and Jean-Philippe Patisserie. Then there are all the restaurants on the strip Michael Mina, Nobhill, Bartolotta di Mare, Bouchon, etc (where we’d probably just choose from one that has a strong bar menu). Much more info to come…

It’s Just the Truth

February 9, 2007

Whether they’re called chickpeas, garbanzo beans, ceci beans, bengal grams, Senegalu telugus or channas, I love them. Here and here are two good reasons.

Super Sausage Bowl

February 6, 2007

Fryer said that the European Deluxe Sausage Kitchen was the best place to get food for a Super Bowl party. Yelp and Chowhound confirmed.I went early Saturday morning to pick up a variety pack which included Spicy Italian, Pork Bratwurst, Veal, Lamb, South African Beef, Chicken Cilantro and many more.
I also got the beef Biltong (moist, lean and chopped). 10 sausages, 1 pound of biltong, total price $33.25.“Biltong is a South African dried meat (mainly beef, game, or ostrich) typically made from raw fillets of meat cut into strips following the grain of the muscle, or flat pieces sliced across the grain.”
“It is similar to beef jerky in that they are both spiced dried meats, but differs significantly in typical ingredients, taste, and production process. The word biltong is from the Dutch bil (“rump”) and tong (“strip” or “tongue”).”
I ordered it moist as opposed to dry thinking that it would dry out by game time, but I would have preferred dry from the start. It is very tasty, but the consistency was a bit too soft.

The sausages were outstanding. They were huge, flavorful and quite different from one another.

I’ll definitely go back when it’s BBQ season if not sooner.