Monday, December 22, 2008

Market Place Restaurant

Nestled away from the main strips of the Los Angeles Produce District, Market Place Restaurant is located at 213-622-7385. In the mid 90's, Collage Ensemble Inc. had a project through the CRA in this area and we had our final presentation at 5:00 AM at this place. It was bustling with business but this afternoon it was very quiet with the majority of customers from UPS. I guess if you want to catch it in it's prime, you would have to show up when it opens, at 4:00 PM.


Located at 3300 Airport Ave Santa Monica, CA (310) 397-3455, Spitfire Grill is directl across the way from the Santa Monica Airport. I ordered a steak salad and my son ordered the steak fajitas. Not bad, it's kind of what you might expect at an airport. Well, not that bad but it was mediocre. There wasn't anything about the grilled meats that stood out. I guess I may expect too much from a place that puts the word "Grill" in their title.

Shin Peking

Shin Peking is located at 3101 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90006, 213-381-3003. This is Chinese Food with a Korean sensibility. It's a little on the pricey side but still very affordable. last night, we had the Mongolian Beef, Fried Rice, Wont Ton Soup, Garlic Beef, Egg Rolls and Chow Mein. It was a very typical American Chinese food dinner. The food, although at times salty, was very good. I think it would be a slightly different experience if we ate it there but my kids feel asleep so I decided to get a take out. Sorry, no pix. i also have to get a shout out to the waiter there, he was very accommodating.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pico Seafood

My son had a game last night. Culver City HS vs Cathedral HS at Rogers Park in Inglewood. I got there early and hungry. I past up a lot of the regular fast food places but on one street corner, I saw the small sign through the night "Pico Seafood". Hmmm, what's this? It had an "A" in the window so I parked and walked in. it was raining and was pretty cold, for LA. 2 piece fish and 2 pieces of shrimp dinner with coleslaw and hush puppies for only $7. You get a choice of fish....catfish? Oh yeah! Fried catfish, shrimp, a roll......

Pico Seafood is located at 630 North La Brea Avenue Inglewood CA just north of Florence.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

La Estrella

Matt and I had been working in East LA for at least four years, passing by the little corner shack and thinking about eating there. The little building about a year ago turned a cobalt blue and looks fresher than years past. We finally made it to La Estrella, First Street just a block west of Soto Avenue, Boyle Heights. We each ordered the fish tacos and they were not only big and chunky but also filled with complex flavors including smokey red hot sauce. The chili buzz took at least an hour to go away. I highly recommend the blue box on the corner. They are related to the Estrella's in Pasadena on Foothill.

Monday, December 15, 2008


ELF, 2135 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, (213) 484-6829, has been touted as one of the most delicious vegetarian places in the city by many of my friends. I finally got an opportunity to have dinner there. They're only open at night. It's not a very big place, it's actually intimate and cozy. The people there were super cool. We had to wait a little bit for a table, they actually moved people around so they could accommodate our party of 4. There was a table open outside but it didn't have a outdoor heater like the other one. Too cold for dinner, so we got a great table inside. I had this amazing mushroom soup. It was rich, delicious and velvety. I'd have to say that everything there was delicious. My gratin was so yummy, cheesy and succulent. I am definitely going back. My friend P Knitty had been there before and new to bring your own wine. The combo of the wine, the salt, and standing for an hour and a half at the LA Derby Dolls game following our meal left me the next morning in a salt coma. Note to self, drink lots of water after a meal at Elf.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

El Pueblo Viejo

El Pueblo Viejo, 10309 West Washington Blvd, Culver City CA 90230, 310-842-9733 is an old school Mexican restaurant. My friends and I used to go there in the 80's. It's very affordable and always with large servings. We ordered tacos and burritos but they also have mole's, seafood and fried steaks. It's a little weired at first but the people who work there quickly make you feel at home.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Say Cheese

In the heart of Silver Lake or somewhere pretty near it is Say Cheese, 2800 Hyperion Avenue, LA CA 90027, 323-665-0545. Part cheese and culinary shop/ part restaurant, Say Cheese has been around for almost as long as I've been a parent. It maybe a little pricey but always well worth it. Quality and refined flavors is what it's about here. Today I ordered the Mariposa salad; sweet grape tomatoes, juicy greens, a raspberry vinaigrette and slices of pears wrapped in Prosciutto de Parma. Roasted walnuts and bleu cheese sealed the deal. Sweet! I ordered a hot tea for what made for a very relaxing lunch.


Other than being the name of one of my favorite Japanese pop bands, Spitz was a new place for me. Highly anticipated by my buddy Angelene, it finally opened it's place in Little Tokyo having come from humble beginnings in Eagle Rock. It also is a great example of how Little Tokyo has dramatically changed in the past decade or so. Cleaner, safer and expanding its ethnic diversity while still keeping it's Japanese community roots. (We're also anticipating that recreation center at some point). Spitz lunch menu centers around the kebab or as they specifically announce, the Doner Kebab. Located at 371 East 2nd Street, LA CA 90012, Spitz is a place where middle eastern flavors meet hip and healthy California food. Focaccia sandwiches, falafels, salads, lambs, feta cheese and side choices of regular or sweet potato fries, it was hard to make a decision. The interior is crazy. It's a barrage of copper and bronze tones with wacky assemblages alluding to the neighboring arts district. I'm going back at some point to try other items on the menu. It's also a fun people watching place. Sorry for the funky mobile phone pix. For better shots, check out their website

Monday, December 1, 2008

C and S Coffee Shop in Joshua Tree

I'm always surprised to hear that someone who lives in LA hasn't been to Joshua Tree. It's only 90 minutes away and is one of our greatest natural treasurers. In the Yucca Valley at 55795 29 Palms, Yucca Valley, CA is a great place to have breakfast. C & S Coffee Shop is an awesome blast from the past along the busiest street in the Joshua Tree area. My friend Midori ordered the biscuits and gravy. Warning: it's a full plate. Kio ordered the french toast and I had the chicken fried steak with home fries. It was awesome! The weather was amazing and we had a great time. It wasn't too crowded, like when we've been their in the spring or summer.