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.
Posts Tagged ‘Silver Lake’
Is third time the charm for Ben Bailly? Bailly recently joined Cliff’s Edge as executive chef, where he was brought on to revamp the menu after stints at Petrossian and Fraiche Culver City. Cliff’s Edge is Bailly’s third restaurant since arriving in Los Angeles, and his food complements the Sliver Lake location nicely. The menu is elevated but not stuffy, which seems to speak well to the discerning hipster neighborhood.
During a recent visit to Cliff’s Edge, I enjoyed both the cocktails and the food. I really liked the Bitter Pill (Zaya 12 year rum, Fernet Branca, brown sugar, fresh lime juice, egg whites, orange oils), which had great depth of flavor. The Gold Rush (Buffalo Trace bourbon, honey syrup, fresh lemon juice, orange oils) and Question Mark (Bols Genever gin, lavender simple syrup, fresh grapefruit and lemon juice, Peychauds bitters, flamed grapefruit oils) were also winners, mostly because I love the bourbon-citrus combo as well as lavender in general.
As for the food, the Whipped Ricotta with lavender (again!), honey and olive oil is a must to start. It’s fluffy, creamy and fragrant. The Crispy Polenta served with mushrooms, egg, and Pecorino Romano cheese, as well as the Seared Scallops with lebne yogurt cheese, cauliflower, Vadouvan spice and salsa verde, are solid savory options.
The Skate Wing served with sunchokes, brown butter, pine nuts, lemon and capers was hands-down my favorite main dish. It was reminiscent of a fish and sunchoke dish that Bailly served at Fraiche that I also enjoyed. The Lamb Cheeks with celery root purée, rapini and hazelnut gremolata is another good choice.
The Chocolate Torta is what you should order for dessert. At once light, smooth and decadent, this cake is one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve had in a while. I don’t normally order the chocolate cake at restaurants, but I would definitely do it here.
Note: This meal was hosted.
…What? You thought absinthe, that storied liquor that made Picasso cut off his own ear, made people go nuts? Well, you can rest assured that absinthe does not make you crazy. I know, because I had some and lived to tell about it, right here, right now on this very blog.
I had this absinthe courtesy of The Liquid Muse Cocktail Club, which I’ve blogged about before, at Bar Keeper in Silver Lake. This was a great event — fun, informative, and in the coolest location. This meeting of the club was sponsored by Lucid absinthe and came with its own absinthe expert, who explained the origins of the liquor and its infamy. Apparently, you have to drink a ton of the stuff to “go crazy,” and it was banned because the wine industry didn’t want the competition, not because it was dangerous. So there you have it. Now that absinthe has been un-banned, you can enjoy the liquor made from sugar beets, fennel, anise and grand wormwood any time you want.
Weekends just don’t come around quickly enough. To celebrate the coming of this weekend, here are some events to consider:
Friday: Harveys, purveyors of fancy seat belt hand bags, is continuing its search for the most arty of designs to feature in its Melrose Avenue store and to feature on one of its bags. From 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., stop by the store to help narrow the entries down from 10 to three. Hot dogs, party punch and raffles will sustain you through what promises to be an arduous voting process.
Saturday: D.O.G. pet boutique on La Cienega in West Hollywood is hosting a custom jewelry event for your furry friends. Bring you four-legged friend to the Bling Your Bitch event (not the best name, I know) between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to check out the myriad charms, crystals and pearls available to create your own doggie jewelry, which can be coordinated to some you make for yourself, too. Prices start at $12 for the Gems4Paws-designed bling. Oh, and there’s champagne!
Sunday: The 23rd Annual Great Chefs of Los Angeles is themed “Go Green, Go Organic” and will feature more than 30 L.A.-area chefs and their food, including the Dragos, Benjamin Ford, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Neal Fraser and Akasha Richmond. Enjoy all the food and alcohol you can handle from 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at CBS Studio Center in Studio City. There will also be auctions to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California. Tickets are $150, but you can get them for $75 through Goldstar.
And if you haven’t had enough, stop by Stinkers Truck Stop‘s one-year anniversary party. The oh-so-ironic Silver Lake bar will be having drink specials, a DJ and swag giveaways from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Because you need to close out the weekend right.
You’re probably wondering, “What? You’ve never been to LAMill before?” Well, no. I’ve blogged about its newest drink offerings before, but it’s in a part of town that I don’t go to often, and when I do, I tend to get lost (Silver Lake, how you vex me!). And while I enjoy and appreciate a good cup of coffee, I don’t necessarily seek it out.
Then I saw a tweet from fellow foodie H.C. of L.A. and O.C. Foodventures describing something called Blanco y Negro at LAMill, and I said to myself, now I have a reason to try LAMill. The mixture of coffee, coffee granita and vanilla bean ice cream was too much to resist.
So with H.C. as my guide, I went to LAMill about a week ago for the first time, and it didn’t disappoint.
So I have this thing about mini food. I love it. Not that I like small portions, per se. It’s just that I prefer my food to be small and bite-size, if possible. (See preference for mini burgers in previous post.) If it’s not rude (you know, depending on the dining situation), I’ll cut up all my food into bite-size pieces before eating it. Yeah, I’m OCD like that.
So when I saw that a food establishment dedicated to serving small food recently opened in L.A., I got really excited. (I hear it’s been open for a couple of weeks; my bad for being late on this one.) Mini Bites in Silver Lake, at the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Virgil Avenue, offers pairs of mini burgers, burritos, and grilled chicken and steak sandwiches. And they don’t skimp on the accoutrements. Mini burgers come with with grilled onions, pickle and spicy ketchup, with add-ons including cheese, bacon, jalapenos and sauteed mushrooms. Mini burritos come with either chicken, steak, veggies or scrambled eggs, and bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and provolone (provolone?). They’ve also got fries and onion rings to go with. I’m so there. From Thrillist.
LAMill Coffee in Silver Lake is introducing two new drinks today, one whose description sounds crazy, and the other less-crazy but not coffee-based.
The Caramel Corn drink combines peanut milk, a shot of espresso, and layers of popcorn- and sea salt-infused whipped cream topped with caramel sauce. I told you it sounds crazy, but also intriguing…
The other drink is called Sweet Basil Julep, and while there’s no bourbon (darn!) there is muddled basil, lemon, brown sugar and white tea poured over crushed ice. Sounds refreshing for summer.
Both drinks cost $5 (I’m told there’s only one size).