Posts Tagged ‘brussels sprouts’

Waking up in Echo Park with Brite Spot


I’ve passed by the 64-year-old Brite Spot diner in Echo Park numerous times, usually on the way to Dodger Stadium. I never thought much about it other than noting the sign was pretty cool. But when I heard that Dana Hollister, owner of One-Eyed Gypsy and Villains Tavern in the Arts District downtown and Cliff’s Edge in Silver Lake, had recently remodeled the restaurant and revamped the menu, I was intrigued.

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01 2013

Hello, lover: Jean-Georges New York

Roasted Brusells sprouts at Jean-Georges

Roasted Brusells sprouts at Jean-Georges

I went to New York, and I fell in love.

In love with Jean-Georges restaurant, that is.

The eponymous New York fine dining establishment from Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten offered the most elegant and flawlessly executed meal I’ve ever had. What else would you expect from a place with three Michelin stars?

I started my meal with a plate of beautiful roasted Brussels sprouts, avocado, pistachio and mustard vinaigrette. These were some gorgeous Brussels sprouts, and they didn’t tase bad, either.

The sea scallops with caramelized cauliflower and caper-raisin emulsion were hearty yet delicate.

Sea scallops

Sea scallops

The yellowfin tuna ribbons with avocado, spicy radish and ginger marinade is the most straight-up delicious version of the tuna-and-avocado dish I’ve ever tasted.

Yellowfin tuna

Yellowfin tuna

My absolute favorite dish was the crispy confit of suckling pig served with corn “pudding” and smoked bacon marmalade. O.M.G. Perfectly cooked and prepared. There are no words, really.

Crispy confit of suckling pig

Crispy confit of suckling pig

Special thanks to my aunt and uncle for treating me to this meal!


12 2012

Upstairs, downstairs: Simmzy’s offers upscale food in a comfy space

Simmzy's Long Beach

Simmzy’s Long Beach

Want to have a nice meal with good food and drink but don’t want to deal with having to dress up? Then Simmzy’s is your place.

Founded by brothers Mike Simms, who also owns Tin Roof Bistro and M.B. Post, and Chris Simms, owner of Lazy Dog Cafe, Simmzy’s is a casual pub with an upscale menu — a gastropub, if you will. Chef Anne Conness works it out with creative (but not too creative as to be off-putting) dishes, such as the Bacon & Date Mascarpone Pizza and the addictive Blue Cheese Haystack (shoestring fries smothered in blue cheese dressing, garlic and spicy sauce).

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07 2012

The baco finds a home: Baco Mercat

Bäco Mercat, the new downtown Los Angeles restaurant from Chef Josef Centeno (of Lazy Ox Canteen fame) centered around his flatbread sandwich/pizza/taco creation, is a restaurant years in the making. Centeno first introduced the hybrid bäco as a staff meal at Meson G in Hollywood, where he was executive chef, and later put it on the lunch menu at Lot 1 in Echo Park. It occasionally shows up at Lazy Ox, too. Now the bäco has a home of its own, and it’s settling in nicely.

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01 2012

Restaurant Row’s best bang for your buck: Gonpachi Beverly Hills

Gonpachi's courtyard

Gonpachi's courtyard

Restaurant Row on La Cienega Boulevard has been long known for its large, overly expensive eateries — Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Benihana, Woo Lae Oak, The Stinking Rose. But the Row’s Gonpachi Beverly Hills, though large, is one of the best values on that strip with its incredibly fresh-tasting sushi-grade fish and satisfying hot dishes, including robata.

I was recently invited to dinner at Gonpachi to try out its new menu. I hadn’t been to the restaurant for years, and only for happy hour, so I was excited to go back. The courtyard is lush with foliage and a koi pond, and the interior is reminiscent of the film Kill Bill (which was filmed at the Tokyo location of Gonpachi). All this really sets the scene for the fine meals served here.

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09 2011

Delicious new menu: Fraiche Culver City

Eggplant caviar and smoked trout rillettes

Culver City just got a little cooler: Chef Benjamin Bailly, formerly of Petrossian in West Hollywood, has taken over the helm at Fraiche. And he has revamped the menu to blend French (he’s from France, natch) and Italian influences. Perhaps the best part, at least for me, is the reasonable prices for the high quality food: nothing is priced more than $28 on the dinner menu, with most items coming in under $20.

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing the dinner menu myself — along with Caroline of Caroline on Crack — at the invitation of Chef Bailly. Herewith, some of my favorites.

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12 2010

New addition to the Westside: Pitfire Pizza

The L.A. mini chain Pitfire Pizza is about to get just a bit bigger with a new location in Culver City, and even though it’s not officially open for business yet (official word has it opening in about a week), the food is already pretty solid. I guess that’s easier to do when you’ve had some practice at your North Hollywood, downtown and West Los Angeles locations. But the Culver City location has a new kind of pizza oven, so there!

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01 2010

Getting fancy at The Grove: Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro

I must have walked by Morels at The Grove countless times and barely gave it a second look. I mean, just look at its name: Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro. It just sounds so hoity toity and not exactly my cup of tea. So when Morels invited a bunch of food bloggers (including Esther of e*starLA and Matt of Dig Lounge) and writers for a tasting meal, I figured I might as well try it since I haven’t been in the seven or so years since The Grove opened. And I was right; the restaurant is fancy but not prohibitively so, though some of the prices are pretty high.

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10 2009