Posts Tagged ‘burgers’

Travelogue: Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Our third major stop in Greece was the island of Santorini. Yes, it’s touristy, but for good reason. It is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen and experienced. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back immediately!

Also known as Thera or Thira (you will find that many places have multiple names in Greece due to its history of invasions from other cultures), this is the island that you often seen in photos showing blue and white domed buildings perched high up on a cliff. That cliff is the side of Santorini’s famous caldera, which was formed by ancient volcanic eruptions.

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09

02 2014

Spend the night with Oscar at Public Kitchen & Bar

Public Kitchen & Bar

Public Kitchen & Bar. Photo courtesy of Public Kitchen & Bar.

What’s the next best thing to actually attending the Academy Awards?

Watching a live telecast while enjoying a meal at Public Kitchen & Bar, located in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel — the site of the first Academy Awards in 1929 – of course!

On Sunday, Feb. 24, the Oscars ceremony will be shown on large televisions around Public’s main dining room, so you’ll be able to see all the glitz and glamour while noshing on Executive Chef Tim Goodell’s three-course prix-fixe menu. For $99 per person, you’ll get Wagyu beef tartare with crostini and quail eggs; Dover sole with cauliflower, brown butter, pine nuts, golden raisins and capers; and lemon Napoleon with honey ginger ice cream.

Or, choose from a selection of à la carte items, including the Oscars Ultimate Burger & Wine combo with the restaurant’s signature burger topped with four-year aged cheddar, bacon, and bread and butter pickles served with a side of black truffle Kennebec fries and a glass of Cain Cuvée cabernet for $39.

Want to take in the splendor without being tied down to a table? Then head over to the hotel’s main lobby, where you can watch the ceremony on a 15-foot screen while partaking in a selection of fresh oysters and sushi.

And since this is Hollywood and all, champagne and bottle service with the likes of Cristal, Dom Perignon, Grey Goose and Patron will also be available to toast the winners — or play some really expensive drinking games — throughout the evening.

Public Kitchen & Bar
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 466-7000

Sunday, Feb. 24
5 p.m. – 12 a.m.

19

02 2013

Waking up in Echo Park with Brite Spot

IMG_3550

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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13

01 2013

Into the wild – game, that is – with Burger Lounge

Burger Lounge wild elk burger

Burger Lounge wild elk burger. Courtesy of Burger Lounge.

Burger Lounge, the San Diego-based chain that’s making its way into the Los Angeles area, has started offering a seasonal wild game menu with a different featured burger every two months (priced at $9.95 each and available at all locations). The first special, available this month and through December, is the grass-fed Minnesota bison burger with bleu cheese and pickled red onions.

Here’s the rest of the lineup:

January/February 2013: Grass-fed Texas wild boar burger with applewood-smoked cheddar, oven-roasted tomato relish and sriracha aioli

March/April 2013: Grass-fed elk burger with fontina, duck cracklings and jicama slaw

May/June 2013: Grass-fed BBQ venison burger with house-made BBQ sauce, crispy onion rings and smoked mozzarella

You may have noticed that all the meat on these burgers is grass-fed. That’s Burger Lounge’s thing: free-range, grass-fed meat, which applies to both the beef and turkey on the regular menu, too (the salmon burger uses wild Alaskan salmon). The company makes efforts toward environmentally sustainable choices, too.

As for Burger Lounge’s everyday menu offerings, don’t overlook the turkey burger, which is made with basil ground into both white and dark meat for a juicy, flavor-packed patty. It’s my favorite item on the menu. The salmon burger, with fried green tomatoes, sounds good, but the patty is too fishy-tasting for me. Whichever burger you get — even the very respectable house-made quinoa veggie burger — make sure to get a milkshake (they even come in small sizes!), which don’t contain any gross syrups, or a fair-trade Maine Root soda made with organic sugar cane.

Turkey burger

Turkey burger

Chocolate shake

Chocolate shake

Note: This meal was hosted.

12

11 2012

There’s an English pub in Hollywood town: The Blue Boar

The Blue Boar

The Blue Boar

The Blue Boar Public House, an English-style pub from Curtis Nysmith, tries hard to live up to its British theme. With its wrought-iron and dark-wood decor and traditional pub menu, Blue Boar is a far cry from the Nysmith-owned Capitol City sports bar that once stood in its place (you know, the one that had the humongous TV screen that could be seen from a mile away). The cocktails are pretty darn good for the vodka-and-Redbull Cahuenga Corridor neighborhood, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised there. But when it comes to the food, the menu is a bit hit-or-miss.

The Basset Hound cocktail, made with Bulleit rye whiskey, Travis Hasse apple pie liqueur, Liqueur 43 and black tea, is a good option, but ask for it made with less Travis Hasse to cut down on the sweetness. The London Eye with Hendrick’s gin and lavender bitters is simple but nicely balanced. All cocktails are reasonably priced at $10.

The Blue Burger and Chips is a really satisfying meal (and at $10, it’s a steal, too). The toppings are traditional — lettuce, onion, tomato and choice of cheese — but the juicy patty, fluffy brioche bun and savory garlic aioli really make this burger. And the fries! The fries are addictive to the nth degree. I ate way too many in one sitting. The Scotch eggs — hard boiled eggs encased in chicken sausage and deep fried — are kind of scary but also kind of good, especially if you’ve had one too many drinks. Speaking of hangover food, the English Fry Up, a terrifying plate full of fried eggs, English bacon, beans, fried potatoes, sausage (i.e, banger) and fried toast, is to be consumed only while under the influence or while recovering from such a state. Trust me on this one.

Blue Burger

Blue Burger

Basset Hound cocktail

Basset Hound

As Blue Boar takes up just a sliver of the old Capitol City space, Nysmith has plans for a Mexican cantina in the adjacent spot. I guess you can’t take the Hollywood out of…Hollywood?

Further reading:

Cocktail Quick Pick: Hollywood’s Blue Boar Pub by LAist

Note: This meal was hosted.

28

11 2011

Bottoms Up at Mohawk Bend

Mohawk Bend, Echo Park’s new restaurant in a converted movie theater with an impressive 72 beer taps, is a great place for a drink and light meal. Appetizers and salads, as well as a nicely curated beer list, are the stars here, and the atmosphere is lively if a bit crowded. But where Mohawk Bend excels, it overreaches in other areas, especially when it comes to burgers and pizza.

Mohawk Bend

Dining room at Mohawk Bend

Mohawk Bend

...and behind the curtains, the back room

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13

09 2011

The Veggie Grill will surprise, delight you

Chili Cheese Fries at The Veggie Grill

Just when you thought you had The Veggie Grill figured out – it’s tasty, but no, the meat isn’t real – The Veggie Grill surprises you. There’s a secret menu!

As with many secret menu items, these dishes are variations of items already on the menu. The one we tried were the chili cheese fries, which uses the restaurant’s signature sweet potato Sweetheart Fries topped with the Bean Me Up chili, vegan cheese and sour cream, and garnished with chopped tomatoes and parsley. This is a huge dish, so be prepared to either share it or to bring at least half of it home. The chili cheese fries are tasty but heavy. Who knew vegan food could be so substantial?

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05

07 2011

KCET’s Free Lunch at Lazy Ox Canteen

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of having lunch at Lazy Ox Canteen in Little Tokyo with some cool folks from KCET. Actually, they filmed me while I ate my lunch (it was a little awkward). See, this meeting was for a webisode of KCET’s Free Lunch, in which KCET buys you lunch and you talk about it. Anyone can do it — just leave a comment on one of their videos, and you’ll have the chance of being chosen for a gratis meal on the station. Cool, huh?

So, without further ado, I give you my small-screen debut.

I had the burger, which came with cantal cheese and green peppercorn mustard, as well as a side of fries dusted with dill. The burger was juicy and flavorful, and the fries were cooked perfectly. The dill was a really nice touch, too. I also ordered the roasted cauliflower with chili, mint and pine nuts, which I loved. There was also some lemon juice in it, too.

Lazy Ox burger

Lazy Ox French fries

Roasted cauliflower

You’ll notice in the video and KCET’s blog post that I waited a long time for my order to be taken. It was a bit ridiculous, though I couldn’t tell if they were just giving us space to do our thing, or what. The servers also didn’t want to be on camera, so that’s why it looks like I’m talking to no one. Oh, well, I had fun anyway!

30

06 2011

New burgers, bar concept at Daily Grill

Daily Grill's pepper bacon burger

The tried-and-true Daily Grill restaurants are shaking things up a bit with some new burger options, as well as a new bar concept soft opening at the downtown Los Angeles location March 8. Other food writers and I were recently invited to try out the new burgers — a wild mushroom and a pepper bacon — and take a look at new bar Public School 612′s menu. I left impressed with the new items, as my years-long memory of Daily Grill was more staid than current.

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03

03 2011

Dine L.A. Restaurant Week launch party

L.A.’s Restaurant Week is starting back up this weekend (Jan. 24 to Jan. 29, and Jan. 31 to Feb. 5), and to kick off the event, which comes just about three months after the last incarnation wrapped up, Dine L.A. (the city’s food arm of its tourism board, L.A. INC.) threw a party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Lots of chefs were there, some wearing their chef jackets (Ben Ford, Joachim Splichal) and others not (Ludovic Lefebvre, Marcel Vigneron), as was Mayor Villaraigosa, but what event hasn’t he shown up to? Anyway, the party was catered by the hotel’s Dakota Chop House, 25 Degrees and Library Bar. Here are some of my favorites.

By far the standout food items at the event were the drinks. The arugula gimlet, made with gin, lime, agave and micro arugula, was not only gorgeous but also very, very tasty — and I don’t like gin.

This photo was taken after I had been drinking it for a while; the micro arugula was originally sitting on top

This photo was taken after I had been drinking it for a while; the micro arugula was originally sitting on top

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19

01 2010