Sunday, September 18, 2011

BERRYLICIOUS!













These days, LA has so many sustainable and organic bakeries that eventually they all start to look the same. After reading the menu online, I chose to go to Huckleberry for a little breakfast. Even though it proved to be a little overpriced, I thought I would give them an honorable mention since their pastries were very scrumptious.

What We Ate:
Seasonal Apricot Crostata $7.75
(Flaky pastry, sweet and tart apricots, & a creamy vanilla custard filling)

Banana Poppy seed Muffin $2.75
(The banana flavor was not overpowering and the muffin was very moist!)


What We Drank:
Soy Latte $3.75
Arnold Palmer $3.25

What They're Famous For:


Niman Ranch maple-bacon Biscuits $3.75
(I wasn't in the mood for bacon, but I have heard these are to die for!)

Huckleberry Cafe
1014 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
www.huckleberrycafe.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

¢5 CENTS?!



Oh the joy! I have a passion for many things in life. One of them is my love for good wine. The blissful marriage found between food and wine sparked me to try as many wines as I can! I do have to be honest about one wine I find completely unnecessary and overly sweet and that is Gewurztraminer. I would rather have a cupcake people!

The BEVMO 5 cent wine sale happens twice and year and most people have never even heard of it. For my sister-in-law's baby shower I ended up buying 20 bottles of Toques et Clochers Crémant de Limoux NV champagne under the 5 cent wine sale and saved big time. This champagne was also voted one of the top ten best party wines and champagnes by food and wine magazine! BEVMO came up with a clever way to have people from amateur wine enthusiasts to expert sommeliers get some great deals. If you buy one bottle of wine you get the second one for 5 cents only. You have to check and see which wines participate but be adventurous and try something new! You might find yourself becoming a fan of a wine you never though you liked (unless it's a gewurztraminer and then I have nothing to say to you).



Friday, September 2, 2011

London after Five

It is finally Friday, and you are probably in need of some yummy cocktails to start your weekend off right. Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at the cool and collected London Hotel in West Hollywood is cooking up a mean happy hour!

Even though this hotel is a little stiffer than I would like, you cannot deny a good deal. "London after Five" features $5 cocktails and appetizers, as well as $5 valet (which is a steal compared to most valet places after 8:00pm!)

Last time I visited this gem of a happy hour, they had $5 Veuve Clicquot champagne (which is absolutely unheard of!) We also ordered a Spicy Tuna Roll which unfortunately left me a little disappointed. First of all, I needed a magnifying glass to find it on the plate. Second of all, it was mostly seaweed and not so much tuna. Thankfully the champagne saved the day!

Their "London After Five" menu does change every month. Here is the current summer menu:

Cocktails:

Summer Fun
Sky pineapple and lemonade

Not So Long Island Ice Tea!
Absolute Apeach, St. Germaine, and passion fruit tea
Served in highball over ice with a strawberry

Bubble Mojito
Fresh mint, rum, champagne

Sake Sangria
Chilled sake, fresh fruit

Appetizers:

Spiced Olive Jar with Grilled Cheese
Crisp Flatbread

Dungeness Crab and Bulgur Wheat Croquette

Mini Lobster Burger
Ginger & Scallions

Grilled Beef Yakitori

Spicy Tuna roll (I would advise you not to think about ordering this one!)


Happy Hour Monday- Friday 5:00pm to 7:00pm.

London West Hollywood Hotel
1020 North San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069-3802

www.thelondonwesthollywood.com

Friday, August 26, 2011

My Love Affair with Good Deals...


The internet really is the best place to find the best deals. Who hasn't heard of Restaurant.com or Groupon.com? One of my new favorite deal finders has to be BlackBoardEats.com. Once you create a free account, you will begin receiving daily/weekly deals.

Unlike the other discount sites, BlackBoardEats.com focuses mainly on giving you 30% off your bill at restaurants in Los Angeles. The great thing about it is that you do not have to pay for the pass codes to get the deals!! You will have 24 hours to obtain the pass code for the specific offer. Then you must provide it to the restaurant when making a reservation. The discount will automatically show up on your bill. These codes have different expiration dates, so make sure you keep that in mind!

Here is a list of past deals I found on BlackBoardEats.com:

30% off at Campanile

$35 prix fixe menu at Jar

30% off dinner at The Foundry on Melrose

Free bottle of wine & Dessert at EVA Restaurant

30% off High Tea at Jin Patisserie

Free chef’s Asian appetizer sampler at Crustacean

Try it out!

www.blackboardeats.com

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rick Bayless' Red O


If you are a TV show food fanatic like I am, you have probably come across Top Chef Masters on Bravo. This show made award winning chefs not known to the masses incredibly popular. Rick Bayless (Winner of Top Chef Masters Season 1) is a Chicago based chef who specializes in Mexican Cuisine.

What we ate:

Pork Belly Sopes with Black Beans, Salsa Negra & Sesame Seeds $13.

Beef Short Rib Tamales with Smoky Chipotle Chiles, Corn Husk $12.

Grilled Chicken Cazuela with Roasted Poblano Peppers, Caramelized Onions & Yuca in a thick Crema $14.

What We Drank:

Topolo Margaritas $12.

In California, we have very high standards when it comes to authentic Mexican food. I know a few people who have been to this restaurant and left disappointed because they expected more traditional Mexican cuisine.

I honestly loved the food. The Sopes were crunchy, the pork belly tender as it could be and the 3 pepper sauce could easily start a fire (in a good way). The Cazuela was creamy, spicy, and full of flavor.

One thing you have to keep in mind is that when it comes to traditional Mexican items such as Guacamole and Tamales, no matter how much you try to modernize them or add contemporary twists to them, they will still just be Guacamole and Tamales. This is where the problem lies.
Our Tamales were delicious, but I could have had those anywhere.

The other dishes we had really gave me a sense of what Rick Bayless' flavors are like, and truly showcased his creativity.

If you are looking to go on a weekend, don't even bother with a reservation, arrive early enough (around 7:00pm) and you can snatch a table at their Garden Patio or Tequila Lounge. These are available on a first come first serve basis.

Red O Mexican Cuisine
8155 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046-7016
www.redorestaurant.com

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lola's


It is the middle of the week, the day we all like to call hump day, and it's time to celebrate the fore coming Labor Day weekend!!

Lola's is best known for their martinis, and claims to be the original birthplace of the "Apple Martini"! To my surprise and enjoyment, I found the trifecta of deals at this place. Here it goes:

Happy Hour 5:30- 7:30pm
offers $5 martinis, and $5.50 appetizers. My tops picks are:
  • Vertigo Lemon Drop Martini
  • Greg's Down Right Dirty Martini (classic!)
  • Baked Artichoke w/ Emmental Cheese in Filo Pastry (Yeah, I know!)
  • Skewers of Shrimp, Bacon-Wrapped Scallops & Swordfish with a small side of couscous.
$23 Prix Fixe Summer menu gets you a martini of your choice, an appetizer, and an entree! (Wednesdays and Thursdays only)

and last but not least...

Late Night Happy Hour 10:30pm to 12:30am (cocktails only).

So if you were planning a date with your couch and a frozen meal, I would encourage you to think again!

Lola's
945 North Fairfax Avenue

West Hollywood, CA 90046

www.lolasla.com

Friday, October 15, 2010

CECCONI'S

Photo Courtesy of Zagat

The charming and plush decor of a restaurant can sometimes give you the impression that the host will be rude, the service uptight, and the food ridiculously overpriced. This is not the case at Cecconi's. Their lavish dinning room is inviting and warm, the staff are as friendly as they can be, and while some of the food is not exactly a bargain, it is definitely worth the price.

Let's talk beets:

Apparently I used to love beets when I was a little girl, but then I grew up and they started to freak me out. I considered them bland and unnecessary (I can already picture all the dirty looks I'm getting!). I was proven wrong with the delectable Roast Chino Farm beets & burrata Salad. Red and yellow beets mixed with the buttery melt-in-your mouth burrata made this a heavenly dish. You can order the small portion for $12, and the large one for $18.

We also had the Kobe beef tartare with quail egg, Wood-oven roast scallops with pancetta & rosemary and Pappardelle with lamb & purple artichoke ragout. The pappardelle was nothing to write home about. It was a rich and flavorful dish, but with no real outstanding qualities. These dishes all range between $18 to $20.

Even a place like Cecconi's is conscious of our suffering economy and offers a budget friendly "Happy Hour". The Aperitivo is offered Monday to Friday, from 5pm to 7pm. When you order cocktails at the bar you will receive complimentary snacks from the chef. These can be anything from Wood-oven baked meatballs to slices of Pizzette or mixed olives.

Cecconi's
8764 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310)432-2000
www.cecconiswesthollywood.com