Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a food website/blog that views the New York City + Los Angeles dining scenes through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated, critical, adorably quirky, and culinary-obsessed thirty-something year old.

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Entries in Restaurant reviews (282)


(Honolulu) Reviewed: Azure

Restaurant: Azure

  • Cuisine: Regional American
  • Location: The Royal Hawaiian (Hotel), 2259 Kalakaua Avenue - Honolulu 96815  
  • Pricing: $$$
  • What's delicious: Everything
  • Perfect for: Al-fresco dining, date night, small groups, foodies, views


For someone who has grown up vacationing in Oahu, my family and I have amassed quite a number of special haunts and go-to eateries over the years.  In Kailua, we love Island Snow for shave ice, Saeng's for Thai, and Buzz's Steakhouse for Mai Tai's - ahi poke - and the freshest local fish.  And in Honolulu, no trip is complete without a visit to Tanaka of Tokyo for the best teppanyaki this side of, well, Tokyo.

Prior to spending this past Labor Day weekend in Honolulu, I realized something: This would be my first time visiting the island without my family in tow!  With a limited number of dinner reservations to plan, would I set one night aside to making a pilgrimage at Tanaka of Tokyo?  Or, at 35 years old, was it time for me to make my own culinary footprints and memories in this land of nostalgia?   

Ultimately, I never ended up dining at Tanaka of Tokyo.  However, I'm happy to report that I corralled a pretty solid list of my own go-to eateries.  One that particularly stands out is Azure at The Royal Hawaiian.  Not only was it the best meal of my trip - it's the best meal I've had in recent memory.


Amanda and I arrived at the sprawling pink resort just before 8pm - post the Hilton Hawaiian Village's weekly fireworks show/extravaganza (held every Friday night at 7:45PM) - and meandered our way to the restaurant through the property's lush courtyards and richly-appointed public spaces.

Upon arrival at Azure, Amanda and I could not help but be taken by the restaurant's stunning, Spanish-Moorish interior decor and tranquil aura.  With breaths taken and mouths agape, we were promptly ushered to our lovely two-top, located merely feet from the sand of Waikiki Beach. 

Photo captured via the restaurant's websiteWith menu prices on the steeper side, Amanda and I decided to gorge on the (gratis) bountiful bread basket, split an appetizer, each order an entree, and drink our dessert. 


For an appetizer, we chose the Azure Sashimi.

First, Hawaiian yellowfin ahi (tuna) was blanketed by a slice of Japanese hamachi (of equal size).  Prior to being rolled like a pseudo burrito, a dollop of guacamole crowned the raw fish.  Served as a set of three, the sashimi sat atop a shallow pool of fragrant ginger vinaigrette. 

From the freshness and quality of each ingredient (namely the seafood) and the overwhelming success achieved from the melange of contrasting flavors (guacamole and ginger vinaigrette) - to the fried pineapple frond used as a garnish - every aspect of this dish married magnificently together, thus creating the pinnacle of culinary perfection.  It was, unquestionably, one of the best seafood dishes that I've ever experienced. 


For my entree, I chose the "Black Magic" Spiced Moonfish (Opah).

Artfully perched atop a generous helping of Nozawa Farms' sweet corn-pudding were two moonfish filets, liberally rubbed with the Azure's "Black Magic" spices.  Black and white sesame seeds, micro greens (providing for, if nothing else, a fabulous color contrast), and ginger/sesame vinaigrette completed this gorgeous plate.

Another solid win/slam dunk for Azure (and my taste buds)!  I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the "Black Magic" spices did not completely overpower the incredibly flaky, delicate fish.  How that was successfully achieved, I would love to know! 

"Amanda," I gasped, "do you realize that we've not spoken to each other once since our entrees arrived?"  She returned my inquiry with a puzzled gaze before looking down at her plate and smiling.  "Lindsay," she chuckled, "the conversation can wait, girl!  This food is too delicious to be interrupted!"  She was right.


If you find yourself in Honolulu in the near future, you absolutely must pay a visit to Azure.  Having dined all over the island, I can confidently say that this is one of Oahu's best restaurants (and restaurant experiences) and my personal favorite. 


Aloha and until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


(NYC) Reviewed: Dinner at Fushimi

*This post was written by Edgar A. Castillo and edited/formatted by The Lunch Belle.  Unless otherwise noted, all photographs were captured by Edgar A. Castillo.*

Restaurant: Fushimi

  • Cuisine: Modern Japanese
  • Location: 475 Driggs Avenue - Brooklyn 11211  
  • Pricing: $$
  • What's delicious: Sake, tuna appetizers (gyoza, tartar), Chef's sashimi, "New Style" Sushi
  • Perfect for: Happy hour, date night, corporate events


For my review of Fushimi, I brought along one of my best friends, Glen, who, aside from being a big fan of Japanese food, had previously hosted his birthday dinner at the restaurant!  Let's just put it this way: Glen loves sushi as much as I love tacos.  Now that's love! 

Glen and I arrived early and were met with great joy by Sunny, General Manager of Fushimi's 8,750 square foot third location.  He quickly ushered us to a spacious booth, which was adorned by ornate silkscreen designs.

Kicking off our VIP dining experience, our server presented us with warm, moist hand towelettes before suggesting that we inaugurate our “friend date” with an ice-cold glass of Ty Ku Cucumber Sake.  We certainly were not disappointed with this incredibly refreshing and light adult beverage, which proved picture-perfect for that sweltering summer eve.



Spicy Tuna Gyoza (served atop guacamole!)

Surely, they must have put this amazing morsel of Japanese + Mexican fusion on the menu just for me, right?  I was not expecting to find my favorite Mexican condiment at a Japanese restaurant – of all places - but even more surprising was the fact that Fushimi’s version of guacamole was some of the best I’ve sampled of late…and that’s not excluding Mexican cafes and taquerias!

The plump gyoza was stuffed with cabbage, ginger, garlic, carrots, parsley, sake, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and fresh tuna before being lightly battered and fried.  Absolutely delicious!!

Tuna Tartare

The presentation of this dish was fantastic!  Crowned with minced chives, a dollop of caviar and avocado, the tartare had a je nais sais quoi smoky flavor that, while mysteriously familiar, was also incredibly sexy and new.

Upon inquiring, I was informed that the smokiness came courtesy of furikake, a popular Japanese condiment mainly used as a seasoning for rice.  It is composed of toasted sesame, bits of nori, bonito flakes, dried vegetables, dried egg, puffed and toasted rice, salt and spices.


We took a quick TV-style timeout from all of the delicious eats to re-up on our cocktails.  Glen chose a frozen beer (half a pint glass of Sapporo served chilled, topped with frozen/Slushee-style Sapporo).  I, on the other hand, went with peppy and sweet Coconut Saketini (coconut rum, Ty-Ku Coconut Sake, coconut flakes).

This was followed by a prompt pit stop to the coolest bathroom ever...possibly even rivaling the stalls at now shuttered Bar 89!

Photo found on Yelp

Chef’s Signature Roll (king crab & king salmon)

Note: As this particular roll is part of a rotating/seasonal menu, please check your with your specific location for the most up-to-date latest specials.

Seared king salmon crowned each piece of the generously-sliced roll, which contained Alaskan king crab, inari (seasoned deep fried tofu), mango, cucumber, and avocado.


Main course(s)

Chef’s sashimi

Note: Selection changes daily

This “omakase” style portion of our meal was a total education for me!  Each piece of fish had different toppings/pairings and was served as a pair; perfect for sharing!

Having never tasted uni (sea urchin), I chose it as my first selection from Chef’s platter.  The creamy flesh had a delightfully buttery texture and, quite literally, melted in my mouth.

The other samplings included:

  • Tuna (guacamole, Maui onion, and peach salsa)
  • King Salmon (topped with yuzu jelly, scallion)
  • Hamachi (dressed with yuzu soy vinaigrette, slice of jalapeno)
  • Tonburi (mountain caviar)
  • Ikura (cucumber stuffed with crab tartar)

New Style Sushi: Today’s seasonal sushi selection with “new style” toppings

  • Sweet raw shrimp (mango cucumber salsa)
  • Eel (avocado and arima sansho -- I can’t get enough avocado, and am pleasantly surprised at the inversed relationship of the edible vs. garnish. This particular selection was my personal favorite!)
  • Uni (“match stick” cuts of mountain yam)
  • King Salmon (creme fraiche and yuzu gelee)
  • Yellowtail (chopped jalapeño and yuzu soy vinaigrette)

Every intricate cut had its significance, and the flavors resonated with the love of the craft as intended by Chef.  Each unique piece was truly marvelous!




You wouldn’t think that I’d have to travel to a Japanese restaurant in Brooklyn to enjoy one of the best versions of tiramisu that I’ve ever had – and that includes Italian cafes in/around NYC and a recent trip to Italy!  I’m telling you, this tiramisu is worth the trek over the bridge/under the tunnel/via the airplane.  It was *that* delicious!


The various cultural integrations, as well as modernizations of traditional cuisine on Fushimi’s menu, are some of the many characteristics that allow the restaurant to stand out among so many other Japanese/fusion/sushi competitors.  

With a rotating menu boasting the freshest seafood – a keen attention to culinary detail – plus amazing service and a warm ambience, Fushimi is a strong winner.


Until we eat again,

Edgar for The Lunch Belle


(Honolulu) Reviewed: Buho Cocina y Cantina

Restaurant: Buho Cocina y Cantina

  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Location: 2250 Kalakaua Avenue, Level 5 - Honolulu 96815  
  • Pricing: $$
  • What's delicious: Cocktails, queso fundido (newer version made w/ white, stringy cheese), tacos, chips + salsa + chunky guacamole, enchilada plate (great rice & beans, to boot)
  • Perfect for: Rooftop/al-fresco dining, happy hour, homesick Californians & Texans, date night, group dining/imbibing


Prior to my recent jaunt to Oahu, I spent hours upon hours scouring and cross referencing dining websites for the best places to eat in Honolulu.  In a locale especially famous for its regional/Hawaiian and Japanese cuisines, you can imagine my curiosity after having read about Buho Cocina y Cantina, a contemporary Mexican restaurant/bar perched high above the palm tree-fronds and Waikiki Beach...

Having made reservations at more, shall we say, "Hawaiian-centric" restaurants for the majority of our meals, I figured that Buho would be a welcome distraction.  My interest (in the restaurant) was further piqued when I learned that Chef Silva was a Mexico City native.  Music to mis orejas!  And a *much easier* sell to my travel sidekick, Amanda, who trepidatiously agreed to accompany me to a (gasp) Mexican joint.  In Hawaii.

Given my preference for beach-side dining, I've not been to many restaurants in Honolulu where I've had to utilize an elevator.  However, once the doors opened to reveal Buho's spectacular 12,300 square foot-rooftop, Amanda and I were overwhelmed by its stunning 360-degree views - indoor and outdoor seating enclaves - the gorgeous and diverse clientele - and a sizzling Latin aura/vibe.  "This place is fantastic!" Amanda exclaimed.  "Can you imagine how awesome it would be to come here on a date?"

Buho's gorgeous al-fresco dining terrace: Photo credit to Honolulu PulseSunset - and a killer view - at Buho: Photo credit to The Waikiki Shopping PlazaTo properly kick off our meal - and holiday, for that matter - Amanda and I each ordered a tequila-based cocktail: A muddled-strawberry concoction for her and, for me, a classic/traditional margarita.  Salud!

While much of the literature I had read prior to my arrival boasted of Buho's "stylish spins" and "remixes" on Mexican food (think dishes made with "right now" ingredients like pork belly and kale, plus menu items like Quinoa-Stuffed Chile Rellenos), I had absolutely no interest in ordering any of the like.  What?  I'm a traditionalist!  That means no kale salads - no quesadillas made with goat cheese - no jalapeno poppers - and, for the love of God, no fried calamari or French fries!  At least not while dining at a Mexican restaurant. 

On that note, I'm going to share some of our favorite traditional dishes from Buho's dinner menu:

Homemade chips, salsa, plus guacamole

Note: Chips/salsa and chips/guac are listed separately on the menu

Although it wasn't nearly as spicy as we would have preferred, Amanda and I could not keep our hands off of the warm, salty, house-made chips and roasted salsa roja.

While I personally found the guacamole to be perfectly flavored and balanced, its texture was incredibly chunky and red onion-heavy, thus leading me to assume that it could potentially pose as a turn off to those less keen on the crunchy, pungent bulb.


Queso Fundido

FYI: Make sure to order this version (white cheese with or w/o chorizo) as opposed to Buho's yellow queso, which I found to be grainy and bland.  Yes, I really said "grainy."

If you were to ask me which three dishes I'd like for my final meal on Death Row, "queso fundido" (a.k.a. "melted cheese" for all of you gringos out there) would unequivocally slide in to either the first or second of the three slots. 

As if this bowl of molten, stringy white cheese wasn't delicious enough in its naked state, Buho crowned theirs with a mound of fragrant, house-made chorizo.  Three warmed flour tortillas and a small dish of pico-de-gallo served as both accompaniments and crucial ingredients in which to make "queso fundido burritos."


Tacos: Smoked Brisket, Fresh Fish of the Day

From the moist, non-gristly smoked brisket topped with a crunchy red cabbage slaw, buttery chunks of avocado meat, and spicy, pickled jalapenos - to the incredibly fresh and tender ancho-battered fish crowned with the red cabbage slaw, sweet and savory mango pico-de-gallo, lime, and creamy chipotle aioli - Buho absolutely knocked these tacos out of the park.  Wow!

Photo: Smoked Brisket TacosPhoto: "Fresh Fish of the day" Tacos.

Jidori Chicken Enchiladas

In any other instance, I would have ordered cheese enchiladas, but our server insisted that we sample the chicken (enchiladas).  "Jidori is to poultry what Kobe is to beef," he proclaimed.  Done!  I was sold.

Visually, this entree could not have been more attractive; I mean, just look at the gorgeous contrast of colors (in the photo, below)!  In terms of taste, I loved every aspect of this dish, save for the chicken component.  How ironic, right?  Enveloped within the soft folded corn tortillas, the meat - albeit flavorful - came in grilled chunks and was not bound by cheese.  Healthier without a doubt, but if cheese (a binder) is left out of the enchilada, the chicken should be shredded to retain its form and, most importantly, its moisture.    


From its central location, visual appeal, and breathtaking views - to the fantastic service and assortment of both contemporary and traditional Mexican dishes, Buho proved itself amongst the dizzying sea of regional fare-restaurants, houses of predictable cuisine (Italian and American), and state-side chains.  Without a doubt, its arrival has been a much-needed addition to Honolulu's dining - and imbibing - landscape.    


With aloha and until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle



(NYC) Reviewed: A fall media supper at 'Thelma on Clinton'

*This post was written by The Style Gourmande and edited/formatted by The Lunch Belle*

Restaurant: Thelma on Clinton

  • Cuisine: New American
  • Location: 29A Clinton Street - NYC 10002  
  • Pricing: $$
  • What's delicious: Chicken liver mousse, Braised Short Ribs & Bone Marrow, house-made chocolate truffles
  • Perfect for: Neighborhood gems, solo dining, tasting menu, cocktails/craft beer


As soon as I entered Thelma on Clinton (let’s proceed by calling it “Thelma,” for short), I already felt at home.  The interior décor is casually sophisticated, with hardwood flooring throughout, a communal chef's table and banquette seating, white-washed exposed brick walls that are lined with wine (bottle) storage, and overhead lighting that won’t put you to sleep.  Honestly, if I were living in the vicinity, I would make a daily pilgrimage.  Thelma is one of those special boutique restaurants where you can enjoy a solo dinner – likely surrounded by your neighbors - at the fabulous bar that centers the dining room. 

Photo by The Style Gourmande

Photo found on Zagat dot comUpon my arrival, I was warmly greeted by Chef Melissa O’Donnell (I’m mildly obsessed with her, by the way), who offered me a beverage of my choice.  When I explained that I don’t drink alcohol, she suggested one of her signature mocktails: Strawberry Basil (a.k.a. the Stanton Street Spritzer) or Blueberry Ginger (a.k.a. the Clinton Street Cooler), each concocted with Chef’s handmade fruit jams.  “Actually,” Chef playfully prompted, “why not try both?”  Sweet (but certainly not cloying) with a righteous tang at the end, both mocktails were refreshing and delicious. 

Strawberry Basil mocktail: Photo by The Style GourmandePost my mocktail sampling, I had a couple of minutes to chat 1x1 with Chef.  I was super curious about the story behind the restaurant's name and what her inspired her culinarily/in the kitchen.  "Thelma is the name of my grandmother," she said.  "New York City inspires me in the kitchen, and the restaurant draws from the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side without straying from a classic approach to cuisine."  And just like the city in which we live, her offerings are simple (but exceptionally well-executed) and straightforward. 

Of everything our intimate group of eight savored, my three favorite dishes of the evening were as follows:

Chicken Liver Mousse

Chicken Liver Mousse: Photo by The Style GourmandeButtery, rich, and gamey, the chicken liver mousse was the perfect compliment to the salty, crunchy crostini.  This appetizer was so delicious, in fact, that I wanted to grab the whole damn platter and hide in a corner somewhere!

Caramelized Onion Risotto

Caramelized Onion Risotto: Photo by The Style GourmandeI love anything risotto.  Thelma's version was super creamy and cheesy, and the caramelized onions added a fabulous jolt of color, flavor, and texture.  What more could I have asked for? 

Braised Short Ribs with Bone Marrow

Braised Short Ribs with Bone Marrow: Photo by The Style GourmandeDuring our 1x1 chat, Chef mentioned that she changes her menu on a seasonal basis.  So when she recently removed the Braised Short Ribs with Bone Marrow entree from the summer menu, the restaurant patrons revolted!  Literally.  There were so many complaints, in fact, that she had no choice but to re-add this wildly popular dish!  And after relishing in my first bite, I understood why the clientele went bananas!  The beef was so tender that it virtually melted in my mouth.  The rich broth that served as a pseudo moat around the meat was so outstanding - even on its own - that I almost asked for bread to sop up all of it's savory glory.  Wow!

Perhaps the best surprise of the evening was post the entree course, when Chef treated us to a bowl of her transcendent, homemade chocolate truffles.  And Champagne!  Talk about ending the night on a sweet note...

House-made chocolate truffles: Photo by The Style Gourmande...

Until we eat again,

The Style Gourmande for The Lunch Belle


(NYC) Reviewed: Otto's Tacos' third location sizzles in Hells Kitchen

*This post was written by Edgar A. Castillo and edited/formatted by The Lunch Belle*

Restaurant: Otto's Tacos

  • Cuisine: Mexican fast-casual
  • Location: 705 9th Avenue - NY, NY 10019  
  • Pricing: $
  • What's delicious: Tacos, horchata, churros
  • Perfect for: Taco cravings, work day lunches, late night cravings


Upon entering Otto’s Tacos’ third location in Hells Kitchen, I immediately noticed three things:

  1. This brand new stunner was at least twice as large as its East and West Village siblings.
  2. That kick ass Star Wars-inspired mural on the back wall (as seen in photo #2, below)!
  3. Twelve seats’ worth of street-side al-fresco dining!

Photos courtesy of Otto's TacosAs someone who eats tacos for almost 50% of his meals, I’m quite versed with this territory (in other words, this ain't my first taco rodeo).  Otto’s successfully provides this familiar fare, while also including a handful of newer options, including both shrimp and vegetarian (made with mushroom) tacos, masa fries, and house-made horchata.  And speaking of horchata, Otto's version is absolutely spot-on: Refreshing, sweet (but not too sweet), and blended with the perfect amount of cinnamon and spice.  It's a hands down winner and completely reminiscent of my childhood (minus the piñata swinging back to wallop me on the head).

Horchata: Photo by Edgar A. CastilloOh, and did I mention that they have Dr. Pepper on tap?  They have Dr. Pepper on tap!!!


Here's a run down of what I ate:

Los tacos

  • Shrimp: Plentiful, juicy, and drizzled with an amazing serrano crema
  • Carne asada (marinated beef): Decent amount of spice with incredible succulence.  The beef fell apart in my mouth - not through the tortilla - which was key!  Beyond tender and, without a doubt, my favorite taco of the trio.
  • Carnitas (slow-roasted pork): Crowned with green chile, chopped onions, and fresh cilantro, this taco certainly stood out.

Photos captured by Edgar A. CastilloChips and guac

What is typically one of my favorite aspects of the meal, the guacamole stopped short of its potential, lacking in both spice and flavor.   

Save for room for churros

Save room for churros, I tell you!  There’s no better way to wrap up a wonderful Mexican meal at Otto's than to savor an order of these deliciously sweet and doughy treats.  Served warm (read: hot) and accompanied by a cup of dulce de leche (caramel sauce) for dipping purposes, you'll thank yourself for saving some "tummy room."  Heck, skip the bland chips and guacamole all together and order two rounds of these babies!  They're that good.

Churros: Photo by Edgar A. CastilloI couldn’t finish this recap without giving a shout out to Diomi, the employee who guided me through the ordering process and accommodated me during my visit.  He’s been with Otto’s “pretty much since day one” and does this taqueria much justice!


Until we eat again,

Edgar A. Castillo for The Lunch Belle


(Los Angeles) Reviewed: Rustic Canyon

Restaurant: Rustic Canyon

  • Cuisine: Seasonal American (menu changes frequently depending on what's fresh/in season)
  • Location: 1119 Wilshire Blvd. - Santa Monica, CA 90401  
  • Pricing: $$-$$$
  • What's delicious: Brined & Roasted Chicken
  • Perfect for: Foodies - date night - small groups - food origin/status/organic-conscious diners


Rustic Canyon, the crown jewel and namesake of its small umbrella of sister restaurants and culinary concepts, has long been on my queue of places to try in LA.  And I'm proud to report that, as of last weekend, I was finally able to cross this seasonal American stunner off of my list.  It only took me 14-months!

Situated within a bright and airy modern space (think floor-to-ceiling windows and a room height that soars upwards of 20 feet), the restaurant's aesthetic is as natural - yet visually attractive/tantalizing - as its food and drink offerings.

Photo found on www.lamag.comUpon arrival, Elaina and I were promptly seated at a cozy two-top that hugged the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking bustling Wilshire Blvd.  To whet our appetites, we were rather quick in ordering a round of cocktails: A cosmo for her and the "Dirty Gibson" (Aviation Gin, Dolin dry vermouth, house-made cocktail onion, and onion brine) for me.  While the "house-made cocktail onion and onion brine" sounded sexy on the menu, I found the flavor to be a bit off-putting.  Don't get me wrong, I love onions - whether fried in rings or freshly-chopped and scattered atop my Mexican food - just not in the 'sippable' form.  In the future, I'll stick with my go-to: A "filthy" Hendrick's Gin martini on the rocks.  Served with as many olives that will fit on a toothpick.  And a "double shot" of olive juice on the side.

In an effort to sample more menu items, Elaina and I split everything we ordered.



Summer Bean Salad

Blue Lake and Romano beans (both similar in shape and texture to the green bean) were dressed with salted, chopped almonds and sweet pluot segments (of the plum family) before being tossed in a tangy blue cheese dressing.

Elaina and I loved the texture that came courtesy of the crunchy beans and almonds, plus the sweet/salty flavor contrast that resulted when the pluots kissed the blue cheese.

Summer Bean Salad.

Grilled 'Le Grand' Nectarine

When I hear the word "summer," I automatically think of nectarines.  So when I spotted this salad on the menu, I demanded that it be included in our appetizer order.

Perched atop a fluffy "cloud" of homemade ricotta cheese were loose leaves of fragrant basil and arugula, fried polenta "croutons," and slices of perfectly-ripened nectarines that had spent just enough time atop the grill to gain their coveted "marks."  Drizzled olive oil, freshly-ground black pepper, and sea salt completed the dish. 

Although the flavors were bold and exciting, it was the texture of the nectarine's warm, melt-in-your-mouth flesh against the cool ricotta cheese that was truly transcendent. 

Grilled 'Le Grand' Nectarine.

Pappa al Pomodoro

As if the sound of "...a rich Tuscan tomato stew" wasn't seductive enough, add "...thickened with pieces of day-old bread."  And, for $3 extra, an ice cream-scoop of burrata cheese!

"This stew is so thick that you could eat it with a fork," our waitress chuckled.  So, you can imagine her surprise when Elaina and I asked her for a few slices of grilled bread for dipping purposes...

Pappa al Pomodoro.


Brined & Roasted Chicken

Plated atop a bed of creamed corn kernels and Vadouvan curry jus was the juiciest, moistest chicken that I've had to date.  The bird was oddly crowned with warm romaine lettuce leaves (Sorry, I just don't understand the "cooked lettuce" trend.  It's off-putting!). 

Never one to order chicken at a restaurant (What?  It's fcuking boring.  You may as well order tofu, for god's sake!), I was completely blown away by this dish's unique preparation (brining prior to roasting).  Like I said in the paragraph above this one, I've never had a more moist piece of poultry, save for a fried turkey at Thanksgiving.  While breading and deep-frying is typically favorable, the brining method is much more heart - and waistline - healthy.

Brined & Roasted Chicken

Aside from the fact that Rustic Canyon's food/drink is exemplary, it's dishes are composed of ingredients sourced from farmers and ranchers who practice sustainable agriculture.  And that, to me, is a beautiful thing. 

In my 14-months of living in LA, this is one of my most favorite meals and, certainly, a restaurant in which I plan to return.


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle