Archive for February, 2011

Dominick’s Best Kept Secret Brunch

February 27, 2011

Did you know Dominick’s serves brunch? They have been for the past five months. While you’ve waiting in line to eat in the kitchen/closet that is Salt’s Cure or sitting in traffic at King’s Road or stuck inside at Comme ça, you’re missing out on a better brunch.

Take the fireplace, quiet sunny patio and a plate of blueberry ricotta pancakes at Dominick’s and you just made your Sunday.

Photo by E*STAR LA

The wild boar bacon is thick cut and chewy. The smokiness isn’t overpowering and it’s not to fatty.

The simple tomato, basil and goat cheese fritata is a bit small, but very light and flavorful.

The olive oil fried eggs and potatoes is a plated hangover solution far superior to a lonely mimosa or bloody mary.

While Dominick’s brunch can’t top Square One’s, it’s still a great option for the neighborhood.

Also, both Dominick’s and Little Dom’s are celebrating Mardi Gras this year with a special Cajun-inspired dinner menu from March 5 8th. New Orleans native Chef Brandon Boudet will be serving:

Gumbo $5
Muffaletta Sandwich $8
Roast Beef Po’Boy $6
Red Beans & Rice $5
Jambalaya $6
Crayfish Pie $5
Eggplant Pirogue with Shrimp Sauce $8
Beignets $4
Bread Pudding $5
Mini King Cakes $4


The West Hollywood Cafe Food Marathon

February 23, 2011

If Four Cafe was in West Hollywood I’d eat there five times a week. As it’s not I’m left with other sandwich/salad spots that range from stellar to sub-par.

V Cafe on Melrose is one of the best. It’s very similar to Four, with a short list of fresh salads (lentil, brussels sprout, arugula, daikon, beet, etc.) and sandwiches (turkey, caprese, tuna, paninis).

The seasonal deli case, rotating cookies and good coffee make this the top go-to lunch spot in the neighborhood.

As Tender Greens is overpriced, a less expensive and less flavorful options is Fresh Bites on Sunset. The food was fine, it just didn’t have the cohesiveness of flavor or “freshness” if you will…

They can’t touch V Cafe in terms of quality, but if you’re stuck on Sunset it will suffice.

Simplethings Sandwich and Pie Shop is the newest addition to the West Hollywood cafe collective. They’ve claimed high praise on their high rent strip of 3rd Street.

I like their sandwiches and sides, but the big draw is their pie. The Missouri Mud Pie was great. However, the feeling I had at Simplethings was I’d rather just go to Joan’s on Third.

And I typically do for salads, sandwiches, sweets and cheese, because no one in the neighborhood can beat them.

It’s like an infinite sea of cookies, cupcakes, bready brilliance.

V Cafe
8164 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Fresh Bites
7950 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046

8310 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Joan’s on Third
8350 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Saint Amour is French for Buttery and Delicious

February 21, 2011

Do 300 sit-ups. Run 3 miles. Take a shower, grab 3 friends and go to Le Saint Amour in Culver City.

Enter the warm, comfortable dining room. Order a few Blackberry Kir Royales with Heidsieck Monopole Champagne.

Feel the burn in your abs from the sit-ups? Don’t worry. You’ll thank me later.

Start with a dozen light, Kumamoto Oysters with Champagne Mignonette.

Then choose from their house made Country Pate, Duck Rillette, Galantine avec Pistachio or Toulouse Venison Sausage. Or order all of them.

Now, as the warmth of your drunkness is settling in, order the Moules Marinieres & Frites.


Order extra bread and begin sopping up the stupidly good butter broth left at the bottom of the moules bowl.

Now excuse yourself for a moment and send me an email from the table. Don’t mind the sheen of butter this leaves on your iPhone/Blackberry. Tell me you’ve had better mussels in LA. You can’t because you haven’t. Now back to dinner.

Order the Beef Bourguignon.

Revel again in the buttery richness. After all that butter and salt, you can order a Lemon Mousse with Tangerine Sorbet and Blood Orange Granite if you want.

Or another order of fries.

By this point you’ll be extremely satisfied. You may want to thank me but you should instead thank Chefs Bruno Herve Commereuc and Walter Manzke. They are responsible for the terrific French food (the latter consulted on the menu after a successful run at Church and State).

Life’s better with butter. So live a little.

Saint Amour
9725 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

Un-Happy Hour for Anti-Valentine’s Day

February 8, 2011

I’m lucky to have a Valentine. I’m even luckier that she doesn’t want an overpriced cheesefest of a celebration this weekend/Monday. Because this weekend/Monday may be the worst restaurant weekend of the year.

Countless couples who don’t ordinarily dine out, are going to spend their hard earned money on a meal that will almost definitely fall short of expectations. Good for the restaurants who are hurting financially. Bad for the poor waiters/waitresses who will bare the brunt of the scorn.

To avoid such trouble, last year we had a great Valentine’s dinner at a nondescript restaurant in the bottom of an office building in New York. Great meal, great service, no hassle. I suggest finding such a restaurant if you have to go out.

Or better yet, skip the whole weekend and celebrate Anti-Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, February 15th at The Mark for Events (on Pico near Test Kitchen).

They’re hosting Un-Happy Hour from 6-8pm with 2 for 1 drinks and free appetizers (BBQ Beef Bites,  Goat Cheese and Sour Cherry Crisps, Skewered Artichoke Hearts with Garlic Aioli, Hearts of Palm in Baby Red Pepper, Spicy Tamarind Wings, Pear and Blue Cheese Kiss Crostini, Bitter Sweet Chocolate Mousse).
From 8-midnight you can order $5 plates including: Chop Veggie Salad, Tamarind Chicken Lollipops, Angus Sliders, Soft Chicken Taco, Calamari Rings and Chips, Spicy Tuna Tacos, Mac and Cheese, Molten Hot Chocolate Cake.

The Mark will host more parties like this in the future, so if you need a convenient venue go check it out.

The Super Chinese New Year Bowl

February 3, 2011

What a winning combination! This might be the best week ever.

The restaurant that best embodies The Super Chinese New Year Bowl is Green Zone. I mean, it’s Chinese, it’s actually a football term- it’s a TV away from being the place I spend my Sunday afternoon.

Photo by Mike

Do you think I would get weird looks if I wore my cheese cowboy hat?

(I went to school in Wisconsin, so yes, I actually do own one of these.)

Happy New Year

If Gourmet Doughnuts Are the New Cupcakes…

February 2, 2011

…WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY? I’ve been waiting for gourmet doughnuts to take off since Fritelli’s.

In the meantime, Zelda’s in Venice will have to suffice (thanks to Alex for the tip).

Their donuts are homemade, not gourmet. I used to get similar sweets from Lil Orbits at the LA Auto Show when I was a kid.

The donut making magic is a simple process that you can watch from start to finish. Dough is oozed into a bath of hot oil where it fries. The goodness float along like drunk spring breakers at the Mandalay Bay pool, before being dropped onto a cooling tray. They are bagged, covered in sugar and cinnamon and eaten hot and fresh. They’re perfect.

When I win the lottery that donut thing will be the second machine I buy (after a ’55 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing). Whichever comes first, gourmet doughnuts to LA or winning the lottery, I’m here. Waiting. With my bag of Zelda’s donuts.