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Lindsay

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Entries in Los Angeles (29)

Tuesday
Jun232015

Los Angeles: My favorite plates and bites

Do you realize that I have been living in LA now for *gasp* over a year?  My anniversary was on May 29th!  And, to say that I've eaten my way through the city would be quite the understatement.  "Gorge," on the other hand, would be much more fitting. 

Without further ado, my dear readers, this post is dedicated to the ten best items/plates that I've eaten in the last 365 days.  In the City of Angels.

Enjoy!

. . .

*Items listed in no particular order

 

1) Salt & Pepper Caramel Donut, ICDC

2) Cherry Pie, Sweet Lady Jane

3) Rigatoni with Truffle Meat Sauce, Capo

4) Everything. On. The. Menu. Sugarfish

5) House Special Maine Lobster, New Port Seafood

6) Avocado Toast, Terrine

7) Mexican combination plate (cheese enchiladas, crispy beef taco, rice and beans), Gilbert's El Indio

8) Chile Relleno Burrito, La Azteca Tortilleria

9) Chocolate Croissant, Love Catering

10) 'Everything bagel' with a schmear of scallion cream cheese (...because this is the closest I'll get to NYC in LA), Brooklyn Water Bagel

...

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

Wednesday
Feb252015

Reviewed: Brunch at Terrine

Restaurant: Terrine

  • Cuisine: France meets California (New American with a French accent)
  • Location: 8265 Beverly Blvd.Los Angeles 90048
  • Pricing: $$
  • What's delicious: Hand-crafted cocktails, Avocado Toast
  • Perfect for: Al-fresco dining - dine at the bar - group dining - brunch - cocktails

...

Having not been in Los Angeles over the span of a weekend in almost two months, there was no better way to celebrate my return than with a hearty Sunday brunch.  After going back and forth about where we should dine, Carmen suggested Terrine.  "My friends raved about it!  I'll see you there at noon, okay?"  Okay.

In typical fashion, I arrived at Terrine about 15-minutes prior to our noon reservation, as I like to take that slice of "me time" to pony up to the bar and order a drink, study the menu(s), chat with the bartender, and absorb the restaurant's atmosphere, vibe, and design... 

With an impressive space large enough to boast a full bar - plus a sizable outdoor patio - Terrine offers a dining enclave for everyone.  Exposed brick, an expansive copper-topped bar, high ceilings giving way to two walls of windows, plus shabby-chic mismatched silver and tableware truly evoke the feeling and aesthetic of a France-by-way-of-California "brasserie." 

With 10-minutes to spare, I snagged a highly-coveted bar stool and ordered a Winter Champagne Cocktail.  Crafted with hand-chipped ice, bubbly, and a "winter fruit" liquor, the beverage was crowned with a fragrant slice of orange rind prior to presentation.  

Carmen arrived promptly at noon and we were immediately whisked to a table.

To begin, we chose to split an order of the Avocado Toast.  Heavily-buttered, grilled country bread was liberally topped with chopped avocado, briny capers, tarragon "salsa verde," crunchy Maldon sea salt, olive oil and Meyer lemon, and paper-thin radish slices.  The potpourri of contrasting flavors and textures was absolutely incredible!   

Terrine: Avocado ToastWhile awaiting the arrival of our entrees, my second cocktail arrived.  The Lime Daiquiri's famous trinity of fresh ingredients - sugar, rum, lime juice - melded together in perfect harmony.  

Terrine: Lime DaiquiriWith so many delicious-sounding entrees on the menu, I was completely overwhelmed and asked that our server "surprise me" with one of her favorites.  She presented me with the Spicy Fried Chicken + Grits.  

Encircled by a sweet and savory moat filled with butter-thinned maple syrup and coarsely-ground grits were two pieces of "spicy" fried chicken.  While I thoroughly enjoyed the accoutrement, I did not find the batter on the fried chicken to be spicy in the least and, to add further disappointment, there was barely any edible meat/flesh.      

Terrine: Spicy Fried Chicken + GritsFrom their cocktail program, knowledgeable and friendly staff, great indoor/outdoor atmosphere, and food, I was very impressed with Terrine...and I say that aside from the disappointing fried chicken and the fact that I walked away from our meal slightly hungry!  In all seriousness, though, I have not experienced such intense flavors (fried chicken aside) since dining in San Francisco and NYC! 

Get. Here. Now. 

...

Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle

Friday
Sep192014

LOS ANGELES / Review-on-the-quick: Tacos Por Favor

Restaurant: Tacos Por Favor

  • Cuisine: Mexican (fast casual)
  • Location: 1408 Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles
  • Pricing: $
  • What's delicious: Eh...
  • FYI: Small salsa bar stocked with some of the most delicious Mexican "jardinere" in town

After enjoying one too many cocktails at The Bungalow, I was craving some sober-me-up fare.  As Mexican is my go-to comfort cuisine, I headed to the closest "hole in the wall" spot that I could find.  With the positive reviews I had read on Yelp and Menupages (What?  I haven't found my favorite local blog, yet!), I figured that I was in good hands...

Service aside - because everyone who was working there last night was lovely - I was pretty disappointed with my meal.  Granted, the hard-taco shell was homemade, but the beef that it enveloped was cubed; not shredded, like the employee who took my order had promised.  The red sauce on my cheese enchiladas tasted like ketchup, and the jamoncillo was dry, as was the cinnamon/sugar cookie.  Sigh, at least the Mexican Coke was satisfying.

Do you have any favorite fast-casual Mexican go-to's?  I'm in dire need!

Thursday
Sep182014

LOS ANGELES / Reviewed: Terroni (downtown location)

Restaurant: Terroni

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Location: 802 S Spring St, Los Angeles 90015
  • Pricing: $$
  • What's delicious: Pizza; Aperol Spritz cocktail; make sure to ask for a side of the red chiles for your pasta and pizza (game changer!)
  • FYI: Unless the public lot across Spring Street is full, don't overpay for valet.

You know you truly adore someone when you drive downtown - during rush hour - for a dinner date...

Terroni resides within a historic bank building, so you can only imagine the ceiling heights that reach to the heavens, the oversized windows, and the interior detailing that seems to have gone away eons before any of us took our first breath.  Rounding out the space is a fully-stocked bar that hugs the center of the dining room like a coiled snake.

Having become slightly obsessed with California wines, I was taken aback when trying to decipher which Italian red would be most similar to my beloved Napa cabernet.  Our hurried server promised to send over one of the expert wine staff to aid me in my decision.  Ten minutes and no sommelier later, I marched up to the bar, myself, and ordered a glass of Brunello.  By the time I returned to our table, I was greeted by a new server and much happier fellow diners.

After placing our food order, we were gifted with gratis sliced bread and a dish of fragrant olive oil.  Shortly thereafter, our shared appetizers arrived.

Fiori di Zucchine Stuffed with parmesan and house made ricotta cheese, four squash blossoms were deep fried to a perfect golden brown and crowned with flash-fried zucchini slices and fresh basil leaves. 

While I love the concept of cheese-stuffed fritters, I am confident that these would be much more unctuous and moist if, instead, they were stuffed with marscapone cheese or a blend of ricotta and marscapone.

Funghi Assoluti Tossed with parmesan cheese, sweet balsamic, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic, baked oyster mushrooms were served warm over a cool bed of spicy arugula greens. 

Our table devoured this salad within what seemed like seconds!  I highly recommend this dish for a group of folks with mixed dietary restrictions; the mushrooms are rich and meaty (although, obviously, meatless) and the savory flavors are exciting and bold.

Spaghetti al Limone Handmade spaghetti noodles were enveloped in a rich sauce composed of lemon and olive oil, before being tossed with spinach, onions, and briny capers.  Salty ribbons of parmesan cheese topped this mound of beautifully tangled pasta.

We thoroughly enjoyed this tangy, zesty "primi" that surprised us with exciting textures and an array of savory flavors with every bite.

"San Giorgio" pizza Oh, the beautiful things that an oven capable of reaching 900-degrees can do for a pizza!  Sadly, I do not have a picture of this masterpiece, but trust me when I say that this was the best pie I've had in recent memory.  Or yet, in my LA culinary adventures, for that matter!  Terroni's philosophy is NOT to pre-slice their pizzas, because "...in Italy pizza is served uncut to preserve its integrity and keep it hot."

A pillowy, charred crust gave way to robust tomato sauce, stringy mozzarella cheese, spicy Calabrese salame, and quartered mushrooms.  It was nothing short of dynamite!

 

As a newcomer to LA, my goal is to not repeat the same restaurant twice.  However, I can not stop thinking about this meal; there is just no way that I will only eat here once!!