Monday, February 22, 2010

Jin Patisserie - Life's a Box of Macaroons

 say hello to world's mischievous rainbow

Life isn't a box of chocolate, instead a box of macaroons, colorful ones. You'll never know what flavor you will get until you take a gentle baby bite of it. Though all is mysterious, surely at Jin Patisserie each macaroons is exquisitely crafted with love and filled with luscious cream. I've tried all of their flavors, and some held a special place in my heart, particularly ume, pistachio, sea salt caramel, tea, and vanilla flavors.

americano coffee, macaroons, poire cake, and a cup of peche mignon. Chinese green tea scented with pieces of fruits, vineyard, peaches, melon, passion fruits, and wild strawberry flavors.

Not only they're famously known for the French macaroons, but this little gem at Abbot Kinney has wide tea and dessert selections. All created by Kristy Choo, a Singaporean born who studied at San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy and pour all her creative passion to the patisserie. She always around the shop with all smiles and looks so low key. Exactly like her concept of Jin, so sit back at the little garden with a cup of tea and plenty of macaroons. You're all set...

Poire cake. poached pear flambe wrapped dark chocolate and pear william creme.

vanilla, ume, tea, yuzu, and pistachio.

Jin Patisserie
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 399-8801

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gjelina - (Pronounced: "Ja-leena")

 sipping mimosas on one sunny LA afternoon 

I think this was one of the best unplanned/laid back Saturday ever. When we decided to rely on pure luck walked into Gjelina with no reservation, we got ourselves in within seconds. To celebrate the VIP parking spot in front of the restaurant on the always crowded Saturday Abbot Kinney, we cheered with their bubbly mimosas and enjoyed the wooden dark feel of the ambiance.

To start with, a bowlful of chickpea stew is belly-warming and tangy yogurt flavored soup. I recommended to share this dish because every spoon is so mouthful, leaving you pretty full before you get the chance to enjoy the next delicacy.

Chickpea Stew with Greens, Cous Cous, Spiced Yogurt & Harissa

One of the most memorable dish is the grilled pears with burrata cheese and prosciutto served on a  board. I have to say it's the most decadent prosciutto platter that a restaurant could offer. It deserves a review of its own!
Grilled Bartlett Pears, Burrata, Prosciutto, Arugula & Radicchio. Foodgasm on a board!

We ended with the butterscotch for dessert and it was the perfect mixture of solid sweet caramel and salty aftertaste on your tongue. Don't get yourself too carried away and make funny foodgasmic faces while eating this pot of heaven.

Butterscotch Pot de Crème with Salted Caramel & Crème Fraiche

1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 450-1429

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Scoops - Tongue Twisted

pistachio, jasmine tea on top // hazelnut coffee on the bottom

Have you ever feel you like something so much that every time you go to the same place you want to order the same thing? Thankfully, Scoops rotate their flavor everyday or else, you'll be stuck with your same favorite flavor and you'll be missing out big time! Scoops has big and mixed up flavors that you can't think of but they're awesome! Like oolong tea and salty chocolate?! yummycraveness!! This time I tried the pistachio/jasmine tea and Oh My My, it's to die for! Seriously tasty and freshly calming - okay that doesn't sound right together but expect to be dumbstruck when you enjoy Scoops...

712 N Heliotrope Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 906-2649

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

SugarFISH - Back To Basics

Cut to the chase, simply sushi. The minimalist and clean decor give an immediate unpretentious vibe and that's exactly what chef Nozawa delivers: sushi and nothing fancy.

Chef Nozawa is taking sushi back to basics by offering three core omakase selections: Trust Me, Trust Me/Lite, and The Nozawa. Each consists of the best hand picked fresh fishes and the amount of sushi pieces differs the sets from one another. Relying simply on the freshness quality of the fish, warm Japanese rice and Nozawa's knife cuts, the home-made soy and ponzu are just added complimentary elements. 

Presenting, naked fish from the Nozawa omakase menu:


 tuna sashimi, ponzu, and green onion.

 salmon sashimi and sesame seeds.

albacore, ponzu, and green onion. no soy is necessary. the best sushi out of the bunch.

 yellowtail sushi.

 halibut sushi.

 "daily special" - unagi sushi.

 toro hand roll. eat this immediately to enjoy the seaweed at its best.

 crab hand roll.

 of course we added uni sushi, since it's not on Nozawa set. and... the uni just melt in my mouth. it sealed the deal.

11640 W San Vicente Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 820-4477

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Bazaar - Avant Garde Tapas

Being a fan of the SLS Hotel for occasional drinks at their lounge, I've finally experience a different level of brunch prepared by The Bazaar. With intimate indoor offering modern minimalist or outdoor terrace with ethereal wooden nuance, The Bazaar created ambiance of Spanishness in vogue.

The menu is a mixture of traditional and modern twist of the small plate movement, where liquid gelee and nitrogen plays a whimsical role in creating magical dishes and unbelievable taste. Now, buckle up for an extraordinary gastronomic ride and feast for your eyes.

not your everyday caprese. the name says it all, manage to scoop the cherry tomatoes, basil puree, crackers and liquid mozarella onto the spoon. the encapsulated mozarella cheese into the tiny balls will burst in your mouth. the taste is fresh and as magnificent as the idea. 

 foie gras sandwiches. three minis buttery toasted brioche sliders with smooth textured duck liver.

12 tiny eggs sunny side up. Huevos ala Cubana "Andy Garcia". 12 quail eggs, chives, bacon on top of crispy rice cake. the combination of warm egg yolk and the crispy rice cakes are so lip-smacking but 12 is too much to share for two.

Olive oil pancakes with maple syrup and mixed berries. 5 stacked fluffy pancakes drizzled with olive oil and warm maple syrup are the most scrumptious savory pancakes I've ever tasted. just melts in your mouth. I lust for these every time I wake up in the morning.

nitro coconut floating island. with caramelized bananas, passion fruit sauce, and vanilla. break the icy nitro shell and enjoy a cloudy ball of coconut cream. feels so sunny tropical on a winter time. such a whimsical delight! 

The Bazaar
SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
465 S La Cienega Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 246-5567

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lala's Argentine Grill - Not So LalaLand

Hmm... this one is not gonna be easy. Don't get me wrong, I totally like the whole concept, decor and the cool vibe of this Argentine restaurant. From the get-go, this place is definitely famous for their steak. Wide variety of the menus is also a plus but meat dominates the list. The food is not terribly bad, but unluckily, let's just say I had a bad piece of steak.

weird thing I prefer to eat this whole basket of bread and uber tasty dipping oil rather than the steak.

spinach-onion and ground beef-onion empanadas. definitely a kick-ass appetizer. the crust is very crunchy and fillings are all well seasoned and satisfying.

Entraña al Champignon. Grilled Certified Angus Beef skirt steak, topped with sautéed mushrooms in a light red wine cream sauce, and fries. the infamous steak really let me down. not only they tasted bland, this piece was a bad cut and hard to chew.

Costilla. grilled choice ribeye steak. still cannot believe that this place is raved for the steak, because this one is even worse than the champignon. bland was an understatement.

Panqueque de banana con dulce de leche. Warm caramel crepes and diced banana, with caramelized sugar on top. this one is a yummy dessert for those of you who wants of to get the sugar rush. after three bite of the sweet chunk, I think I'm high...

Lala's Argentine Grill
7229 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 934-6838

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ord Noodles - Porky Galore

Krrissspy pork....I'm a total sucker for major fatness of crispy pork. So wherever I could find them piggy, I will hunt them down! Thai food is no stranger for their crispy pork and word on the street is Ord Noodles handle the business like a BADASS!! Wait, crispy pork and noodles?? Good news keep on comin'.

As a noodle lover, Ord Noodle is one of the best noodle that I crave for the same way I do for Indonesian noodle. If you like spicy, this place will keep up with you 'till your tummy can't handle it. Selection of thin egg noodle, thick rice noodle, and thin rice noodle are available for your choice. Don't let the bowl size fool you, the small portion is only a fistful of noodles, so don't think twice just get the large size times two. 

everything pork. thin egg noodle with ground pork, bbq pork, pork balls with dried shrimp and peanut. and of course extra crispy pork.
thin rice noodles with bbq pork, spare ribs, dried shrimp and peanuts.

the inglorious basterds!

Besides their noodles, the crispy pork and Chinese broccoli over rice is the next best thing in this Thai joint.

Ord Noodles
5401 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 468-9302

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sunnin - Old & New

beef kefta kebab platter. Finely ground beef with chopped onions and parsley, seasoned with a blend of spices, grilled on a skewer served with hummus, rice, Lebanese salad and pita bread.

The first time I visited Sunnin, it was hole-in-the-wall which had no more than six small tables with "intimate" kitchen full blast of order yelling, long waiting, and paper plating. I'm not a fan of the place, but the good food and reasonable price, I'm in! 

The second time I visited Sunnin, it moved across the street to a new and improved spot. With larger space, cozy settings and cleaner look. Although I'm a fan of the new place, it causes price increase and slower service. blah~

combo grill. beef kebab, chicken kebab, and kefta Kebab, served with hummus, rice, Lebanese salad and pita bread.

I'm always here for the kefta kebab and hummus. OMG, their hummus is the best, hands down!! Their kefta kebab is good, but not as delish as Shamsiri's, another Mediterranean restaurant one block up from Sunnin. Sunnin's kefta kebab is tasty but a bit dry. I recommend to put the green hot sauce on your kebab to make your experience at Sunnin more sizzling.

Sunnin Lebanese Cafe
1779 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 477-2358