Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

Sips and bites at Stocking Frame

Mary's chicken tacos

Mary’s chicken tacos at Stocking Frame

The Stocking Frame in downtown Los Angeles is a great go-to no fuss, no muss restaurant and bar. It’s just trendy enough to please modern palates, but it’s not so trendy that it’s a turn-off. The space is large, so there’s plenty of room to enjoy food and drink with friends, too.

I’ve been here a couple of times, and so far I like the food better than the cocktails, which are fine but nothing special. A recent seasonal menu included a nice concoction of Bulleit rye, Nux walnut, Cynar and sea salt, as well as a fun mix of a spiced mezcal punch with lime and mint. The bourbon, Apple Jack and winter spice drink, which I thought I would like, was a bit too sweet for me.

rye, bourbon and mezcal drinks

From left: rye, bourbon and mezcal drinks

During happy hour (Stocking Frame refers to this as “Mid Day”) from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, you can choose from an abbreviated menu that includes the most delicious chicken tacos (two for $4) topped with a spicy mole sauce (pictured above). These are my favorite food offering here, so too bad they’re available only in the middle of the day.

My second-favorite item that I’ve had here so far is the Pig & Egg BLT with maple pork belly and chipotle mayo. It’s available only on the lunch menu.

The SF Pie with sopressata, wild mushroom and jalapeno is a decent pizza, though I wouldn’t say it’s a standout. I had this at lunch, but it looks like Stocking Frame has been tinkering with its menus because now it seems to be available only at dinner. And the beer cheese with crispy chicken skin, which was on the dinner menu last time I visited, is tasty, though it might be a bit on the salty side for some. I wish the pieces of toast that come with this were bigger, too.

Beer cheese with crispy chicken skin

Beer cheese with crispy chicken skin

Stocking Frame seems to be still finding its footing, with menu change-ups and a back room space whose purpose was still to be determined at last visit. Hopefully it figures out its identity soon, as it’s one of the better options abutting the South Park area.

23

03 2014

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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29

07 2012

New chef, amazing desserts at Enoteca Drago

Strawberry Short Cake at Enoteca Drago

Strawberry Short Cake at Enoteca Drago

Beverly Hills’ Enoteca Drago, one in Chef Celestino Drago’s stable of Italian eateries, has a new chef de cuisine on board. Garrett Mukogawa, a Drago protégé, has designed a new menu that incorporates Asian flavors and some of classics from the now-shuttered Drago Santa Monica.

Where Mukogawa shines is in the small plates, including the burrata salad, made with mozzarella, green lentil, roasted beets and asparagus, and the lamb belly with honey comb, goat cheese espuma and pickled fennel. An off-menu item of sweet corn agnolotti in brown butter and sage was divine.

When it comes to the mains, stick with the pizza. The Bomba, an enclosed puffy tent of mozzarella, caramelized onions and black truffles, is delicious in its simplicity.

But if you’re going to visit Enoteca Drago, you need to have dessert. Pastry Chef Mario Ortiz works wonders in all mediums, from the chocolate hazelnut crunch bar with the inventive orange black pepper sorbet and marmalade to the butterscotch espresso pudding with rosemary tuile and fleur de sel. But the strawberry short cake, served with Chambord gelato and a sweet balsamic reduction, is a revelation; I’ve never had a flakier, more satisfying biscuit with this dessert.

See more photos from Enoteca Drago:

Note: This meal was hosted.

01

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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09

01 2012

It’s All About the Crust: Urbano Pizza Bar

Selvatica Pesto Pizza at Urbano Pizza Bar

Selvatica Pesto Pizza at Urbano Pizza Bar

What goes nicely with beer and other libations? Pizza, of course!

Urbano Pizza Bar, conveniently located next to Library Bar at 6th and Hope streets, offers a great food option. With pizza crust that’s perfectly chewy and crisp at the same time, as well as good side dishes and respectable beer and wine lists, Urbano is a new go-to for downtown revelers.

Chef Brad Winnaman, best known for his baking skills with stints at La Brea Bakery and Campanile, has created a menu focused on Neapolitan-style pizza and some stand-out bread, which obviously includes the crust and extends to grilled bread topped with crushed tomato sauce and/or hearty meatballs. Winnaman has had help from Top Chef alum and The Gorbals chef Ilan Hall, who was on-hand the night we visited.

Urbano Pizza Bar

Urbano Pizza Bar

Ilan Hall

Ilan Hall

Our favorite pizzas included the seasonal Scimmietta made with pureed pumpkin spread across the crust topped with applewood-smoked bacon, scallions and goat cheese, as well as the Selvatica (shown above) made with basil pesto, slow-roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, fresh basil leaves and burrata. While the Selvatica was more traditional in flavor, the Scimmietta was a nice departure from the norm.

We were also impressed with the side dishes, especially the Mozzarella Trio and charred corn with balsamic butter. The Mozzarella Trio includes burrata with roasted tomato and basil pesto, smoked mozzarella with grilled radicchio and crushed tomato, and mozzarella with cherry tomato and basil oil. All were complementary combinations. And the charred corn took on a whole new dimension of flavor with the balsamic butter, which melted all over the corn and created a savory, creamy, smoky concoction.

Mozzarella Trio

Mozzarella Trio

Charred Corn with Balsamic Butter

Charred Corn with Balsamic Butter

Hall plans to continue helping out with the menu for a while longer, but rest assured Winnaman’s delicious bread will be a staple at Urbano. Paired with a glass of California central coast wine or a pint of locally brewed beer, such as the Craftsman 1903 Pale Lager, you’ll have a tasty meal.

Note: This was originally posted on LAist. This meal was hosted.

26

09 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

Travelogue: California’s Central Coast, Part 2

The Lone Cypress in Carmel

The second part of our drive up the California coast started with a stop in Cambria. After a beautiful drive on Highway 46 from Paso Robles, we came upon the cutest little town and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean in Cambria. We found a kind-of-crappy-but-good-enough-for-one-night motel called Mariners Inn for about $80 — a price that couldn’t be beat considering the place practically sat right on the water. Listening to the waves crash at night was delightful.

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13

06 2011

Oliverio anniversary menu

Oliverio's Budino di Polenta

Oliverio, the delightfully sleek yet comfortable restaurant at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, is celebrating its first anniversary by offering a special prix fixe menu through Nov. 20:

  • Appetizer: Tartare di Tonno (tuna tartare, rice cake, shallots) or Tartufo pizzetta (black truffles, goat cheese)
  • First course: pumpkin agnolotti with butter and sage or Ossobucco di Vitello (braised veal osso buco, saffon risotto)
  • Second course: Branzino Acqua Pazza (sea bass, vegetables) or Pollo Alla Diavola (chicken breast and thigh, roasted potatoes, sauteed greens)
  • Dessert: Budino di Polenta con Spuma de Limone (lemon polenta pudding cake, lemon sabayon, passion fruit sauce)
  • Glass of wine, red or white
  • That’s four courses AND a glass of wine for $40 per person. This is an amazing deal, especially when you consider that the chicken dish normally goes for $24 on its own. The tuna tartare on a crispy risotto cake, the truffle pizzetta and the budino are some of my favorites. Check out my previous post on Oliverio’s happy hour menu for more dining recommendations.

    09

    11 2010

    Good food, good cause: Osteria La Buca

    Fig pizza

    In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Osteria La Buca is donating a portion of its proceeds earned through the end of October to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to support breast cancer research. Because many of the restaurant’s friends and family have been affected by this disease, they decided to team up with Komen and painted the exterior of the eatery pink to draw even more attention to the cause.

    So you have one more week to eat here for a good cause, or go anyway because the food is good! Some of the dishes I enjoyed at a recent media dinner were a pizza with multi-colored cherry tomatoes, figs, a leafy green (kale, I think) and mozzarella cheese; asparagus spears topped with parmesan and a fried egg; osso buco risotto; and tiramisu.

    Tiramisu

    Asparagus spears with parmesan and egg

    Note: This meal was hosted.

    25

    10 2010

    Sidewalk escape: Della Terra

    Della Terra barThis is the first post from ShopEatSleep contributor Houri Parsi, a long-time friend and budding food blogger.

    I discovered this new restaurant on Beverly Boulevard a couple of months ago and kept finding myself coming back, if only for the cute waiters and sophisticated owners. Eventually, I invited my friend Maya to have dinner with me there so she could write about it on her blog. But then, because I am a) an over ambitious control freak, and b) an overambitious control freak, I suggested that I write it myself as a guest blogger. So, with much ado, here is the review of one of my new favorite dining destinations in Los Angeles.

    To start things off, let me tell the regular ShopEatSleep readers a little about me. Unlike this blog’s author, I am not a fan of Los Angeles. I’m from San Francisco, which makes me bougie enough to say things like, “No thanks, I only smoke in Paris…,” and, “I make it a point to go Europe once a year, and I always stop in New York on the way.” My smug preference for cities with smug dining options makes L.A. a frustrating sea of places that require an hour of research to find and 40 minutes of promising your friends on the Westside that you will give the two hours of their life back to them if they could please just meet you east of the 405.

    Then…Della Terra fell into my lap. It fills the void for a spot between a welcoming sidewalk café and a fancy place where you want to match your clutch with your heels. And since I know Maya is always watching the price points for her in-this-economy readers, I should mention that it’s a classy place you can go to without breaking the bank. With the exception of the steak au poivre, which clocks in at an impressive $27, everything else on the menu safely sits between $10 and $20. And most of it is consistently good.

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    30

    09 2010