Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gjelina - 2nd Time Around

Not too long ago, I had an amazing lunch at Gjelina. I was all about spreading the words that this place rocks big time and invited my friends for another round of brunch. Though I order different meals than the last time, Gjelina consistently bring the best flavor to the plate. It's official, not only Abbot Kinney is my favorite neighborhood but also held my favorite brunch/lunch place. Even better, we got the the cozy patio seats.

There's no way I'm gonna skip this Grilled Bartlett Pears, Burrata, Prosciutto, Arugula & Radicchio. It's awesomeness!

Gnocchi with English Peas, Miatake Mushroom, White Wine & Creme Fraiche. creamy amazing.

PEI Mussels Chorizo, Tomato Confit, Garlic, White Wine & Grilled Bread. dipped the toasted bread to the tasty wine sauce.
uuhhh I forgot which pizza this one is, but it's good. the thin sliced pizza has crispy crust.

Strawberry/Rhubarb/Cornmeal Crisp with Toasted Almond Gelato. I didn't really expect this one to be good, since this particular dessert at Craft is my least favorite. Gjelina's definitely outbeat Craft's. 

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

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SanamLuang - Heavy Weight Supper

When the clock hits 2am, and that tummy of yours growl, you know SanamLuang Cafe is calling. Portion wise, this Thai joint is perfect your midnight heavy weight supper. Carbs lover, rejoice! The menu varies around rice elements: rice platter, fried rice, and rice noodles.

What not to love is all of their stuff are greasy, but you can request to be light on the oil and don't expect top notch ingredients, this place is cheap. After glasses of Patron, hittin' the floor and you crave for muchies, this place will take you 'til 4 am! You won't complain...

beef and chicken fried rice.

 pad see ew - fried flat rice noodles stirred with eggs and beef.

SanamLuang Cafe
5170 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 660-8006

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


pics via adsoftheworld
Wow. Macaroons are now available at McCafe in France. Not really digging the idea of traditional delicacies getting mainstreamed. Nevertheless, genius execution on the ads.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Al Gelato - BitterSweet

cappuccino ice cream with bits of coffee crunch. my favorite bitter/sweet gelato.

Enough with strawberries or orange ice cream that only tickles your mouth. In Al Gelato, the darkest in the ice cream color palette is the best of 'em all. The thing might look unappetizing but the taste is a blend of strong bitter coffee, little touch of sweet, and crunchy coffee bits. perfecto.

creme brule is super sweet by itself so a scoop of cappuccino perfectly tone it down.

Al Gelato
806 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 659-8069 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Houston's - Guilty Pleasure

Normally, I'm hardly obsessed with food from chain restaurants. But, I would go nuts for Houston's two particular things...

Spinach and artichoke dip. creamy and rich. dipped with hot tortilla chips.
Barbeque ribs. Slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs, with hand-cut French fries and coleslaw

10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Ste 45

Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 557-1285

Monday, March 8, 2010

LAMILL - Silverlake, CAffeinated.

In this era of recession, who's willing to drive all the way from west LA to Silverlake for a cup of coffee? Or pay some good amount of dollar for a shot of espresso? Well, let me break it down why Lamill coffee is not your average cup of Joe; it's a magical gourmet experience in a cup from the people who are most passionate about their beans and loyalty.

When I walked into Lamill, my attention wasn't to the sleek espresso counter, it was a split between the teal faux alligator seats and the dazzling vintage chandelier. Not only the chic and comfy space got people hooked, dog-friendly patio, free parking and wifi are additional rejoice for people who spend 5 bucks on a shot of coffee and a jelly donut.

select your extraction: hand dripped ice coffee. Japanese Hario extraction brewed at your table with customized ice.
select your beans: Brazil Serra Do Boné 
the end product in a glass with added cream.
Taste: Dark chocolate, with texture of cashew butter, orange, sweet dried fruit and a floral finish.

One of the many things that differentiates Lamill from other coffee shop is that you can actually chillax on your seat. Having their all-rounded and knowledgeable waiters explains everything you wanted to know about Blanco y Negro or their clover extraction brewed at your table is really worth the dime. 

Caramel Corn. Fresh peanut milk & espresso topped with popcorn infused cream and caramel sauce. I truly enjoyed this sweet yet bitter blend. 

Coffee and jelly donut. Strawberry essence layered with donut-infused milk and topped with espresso. don't underestimate this tiny shot, a must for all early birds and those who need to be revived.

tea champagne. booze and tea?! cheers to that...

butternut squash soup with croutons and espresso powder.* WOW in a bowl! the creamy soup is the highlight of my day... yummycraveness!

Chipotle chicken salad* /Apple, currants, scallions, almonds, celery served with sliced ciabatta perfectly sweet and tangy.

Arctic Char Tartare* / Quatre épices, crème fraîche, capers, hard boiled egg, toasted house-made brioche.

ABLT* / Pork belly, arugula, tomato, preserved black bean. you know I will not resist pork belly. I almost can't handle succulent fat porky, grilled cippolinis, and yukon gold chips on one plate.

Buckle up, kids! the savory and sweet delicacies menu in Lamill is designed by two-Michelin Stars Michael Cimarusti and Adrian Vasquez, Providence's very own chefs. Dessert fanatics, if you're not up to gulping some caffeine, you can't go wrong with the desserts.

Passionfruit Gelee / Lychee-shiso sorbet, coconut-soy milk soup, basil seeds. yes this dessert was on my Providence escapade. balanced sweet, sour, and refreshing. it's a whimsical delight that you must savor.

I don't know why I never hung out at Silverlake, but now is not too late for a start.

*sample size only. 

1636 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 663-4441

Thursday, March 4, 2010

LA Food Truck is Easier to Find With Google Maps

Hooray! Google Maps and Truxmap collaborate for real time food truck locations. Although claimed to be 99.9% effective, it's nice to have a search all engine with hours of operation, live traffic, twitter feeds, and yelp reviews at the same time.

Monday, March 1, 2010

LA Weekly 2nd Annual Gold Standard

40 hand-picked restaurants by LA Weekly Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, gathered for an annual food fest. Packed with hungry people, food editor and blogger, everyone were enthusiastically tasting, taking notes, photographing, and boozing LA's finest eclectic dishes and bottomless wine/beer.


The event was held at the Petersen Auto Museum from 1PM-5PM, for $60 GA and $80 VIP. Angelenos hustle and bustle around the room mostly with plastic forks ready, and the impatient ones just use their hand to chow down the dishes. Although plentiful of food were overflowing and endless, a few of the restaurants wrapped their table at around 3PM.
Alcazar Express - Angeli - Babita Mexicuisine - Beacon - Bistro LQ - Bulgarini - Ciudad/Border Grill - Good Girl Dinette - Huckeberry Cafe - Hungry Cat - Jar - Jitlada - Kogi BBQ - Kyochon - La Casita Mexicana - La Mill - Let's Be Frank - Little Dom's - Ludo Bites - Loteria Grill - Lou - Meals By Genet - Mo Chica - Moles La Tia - Mozza - Natraliart - Nickel Diner - Palate - Pollo Ala Brasa - Saffron Spot - Sona - Tiara - Upstairs 2 - Wurskutche

  Ludo Bites


Nickel Diner's Donut hole glaze and bacon bits


 Top Chef Master and Jar's Chef de Cuisine, Suzanne Tracht 


Border Grill's non-alcoholic mojito

Tiara's cupcake

Art Institute's

Bulgarini's pistachio, white wine, chocolate


Urth Cafe's espresso maker keeps on working!

At the end of the day, it was a great event that at least must be explored for once if you're in LA. Great food and great people: we met Jar's Suzanne Tracht and Ludo Bites' Ludo Lefebvre, both were Top Chef Masters contestants. Just come hungry and you'll leave in food comma.

Judging Mr. Craftsman

Proud to be a sucker for Top Chef, I was so ecstatic to visit Tom Colicchio's restaurant. For namesake, we're dying to try Tom's crafts and see if the critic is a true craftsman.  Now, the table has turned and it's our time to be the judge.

I was digging the dinning room. It was a modern architecture with a touch of woods and beige color. hundreds of Edison bulbs are dangling all over the ceiling, we appreciate the wonderful settings of the color scheme.

The serving was a family style, so we were enthusiastically shared all the dishes. Amusingly, Craft is very generous with amuse bouche: complimentary bite size hors d'oeurve to tickle our taste buds. In our case, three time's a charm!

Three first courses, five main courses, two side dishes, two desserts, and three amuse bouche later...

artisan bread. sourdough and dark squaw bread. warm and crusty.

First courses:
1st complimentary amuse: butternut squash topped with pumpkin seeds.

Peruvian octopus with pineapple cubes, jalapeno, and yogurt. perfectly grilled to tenderness on the inside. 

roasted foie gras. even though this foie gras was delish, I still would prefer to eat Animal's foie gras on any given day. 
Pork Tortellini & Medjool Dates. pretty bland, my least favorite appetizer.

Main Courses:
Venison saddle, cocoa nib & cipollini. medium cooked, juicy, and divinely cooked.

organic farm chicken. flavorful chicken but for me it was just decent. 
This one got me drooling over and over. Diver sea scallops. perfectly seared with buttery taste, making the boring-looking sea creatures the most succulent thing on the table. Must try!
35 Day Dry-Aged Sirloin. the lightly seasoned, medium cooked meat is rich of flavor. One of my favorite dishes. 

Side dishes:
 Au Gratin. creamy, cheesy, heavy loaded sliced pie potato. yumm...

Yukon Gold Purée. soft textured and light. the boys find it unsatisfying, but for the girls it was a dreamy feeling.

2nd complimentary amuse: yogurt panna cotta with sour gelee. the best stuff keeps on coming! the gelee is very sour but when you get to the vanilla bean, hmmm.... can't beat this on the house dessert.

rhubarb cobbler & mexican vanilla ice cream. my least favorite dessert: uber sour and boiling hot rhubarb. thank goodness for the vanilla ice cream on the other side of the island, my tongue was rescued...

chocolate banana tart, macadamia nuts, dates & coconut sorbet. decadence on a plate, highly recommended!

3rd complimentary amuse: caramel popcorn...+
white macadamia cookie, apple hazelnut cookie

and a home made granola for each of us!

Overall, Craft is pretty outstanding.  Not only the food was mouthwatering, the portion was surprisingly generous. In terms of the restaurant design, it's officially one of the most ravishing layout. Seeing Tom Colicchio himself in person throughout the dinner was another bonus added to the stellar experience. And who can say no to plenteous of amuse bouche?

10100 Constellation Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 279-4180