Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nick and Stefs Steakhouse in Downtown LA

Met sound artist Mari Garrett last week at MOCA. She's one of the composers with the wulf. We checked out the William Levitt's exhibit because we're joining the wulf artists June 5th at MOCA and presenting a series of inter active sound pieces. It's a wonderful retrospective. Levitt's a phenomenal artists. Afterwards, Mari and I were hungry so we walked across the street to Nick and Stefs Steakhouse. We ordered the Baramundi or Australian Sea Bass which came with Italian parsley, turnips, corn and sunchokes. I had never heard of sunchokes. The whole dish was amazing, fresh, and slightly decadent. We sat outside. With a light sun, a warm breeze, it was hard to leave. So, we ordered desert; chocolate fudge marshmallow, creme brule and a special Nick and Stef blend called Symphony. I hate to use this corny adjective but it was a delightful lunch with wonderful company. 330 S Hope Street LA CA 90071, oh yeah, the creme brule was the best I'd ever had. In a shallow dish, the top glassy caramel was perfect. Mari said sometimes that part is a hard candy but this one crusted freely for every spoonful.

La Palapa in Highland Park

Mooey Moobau and I needed to meet about this project we're doing on the animals sent into outer space. He suggested La Palapa near his house which is located at 5560 Figueroa Ave, LA CA. First we ordered ice cream. They serve Thrifty's. Now, I know that's not a fancy cuisine ice cream but I grew up with Thrifty's (and Carnations) so I love eating it. I had Rock Road, simple no nonsense and delicious. We talked up a storm about our project and were still hungry an hour later so we ordered their special fruit shakes. MM got the Vampiro which is a beet-based drink. I got the Diablito, which is also juices but with mango ice cream, chili, melons and a chili stick. I didn't exactly understand what i was ordering but the name sounded so cool, especially with May 21 coming up. When it was ready, I stared at it and almost chickened out. Guess what? It's nowhere near as spicy as it looks. It's mostly salty and man it was really REALLY good. Have you ever had a salted plum? It shows up a lot in Asian desserts. Japanese eat it like a condiment. It's especially popular if you have an upset stomach. That's kind of what this drink is like.

Panera in Rancho Cucamonga

Never really spent time in Rancho Cucamonga and never had been to a Panera. They're all over the place, right? Rancho reminded me of Fountain Valley circa 1978. My daughter's team was in a basketball tournament there. They scheduled us for a 9AM game and a 4PM game. I'm pretty sure whoever was in charge of this tournament got some coaching from the chamber of commerce. A lot of down time in between games. So they have this mall/shopping center that is the strangest urban design I have ever seen. A lot of closed shops and cracked concrete with weeds growing out of them. It's like a deserted miniature golf course. We had time to see Thor, which wasn't that great but passed the time well. We were hungry afterwards, so one of the adults said Panera's and we all went. I was really impressed with the bread selection. I had a Cubana but it was with chicken. It wasn't that bad. I was still hungry after I ate that and a soup so I got a lemon scone with a mint tea, which was pretty good too. Mostly, I enjoyed talking with the other parents and watching the team interact with each other but I have to say, Panera is not too bad for a chain, especially if your only choice is, well, Panera. This one was located at 8055 Hare Avenue Rancho Cucamonga CA 91730.

Monday, May 16, 2011

On The Bun in Lomita

On The Bun is located at 2387 Lomita ave, Lomita CA and seems like a new local place on the up swing. Like the music of Meters, it's taking a familiar thing and making it original and pure. The hamburger, that's right. With rich and thick chili, the burger drips onto the table and the rings and fries were fresh, crunchy like sunshine and not greasy. They also had this cream sauce with green chili in it that was good on everything.

Wood Spoon in Downtown LA

Once upon a time (1992ish), i was a rookie for the LA Metro staff. Walking around the Union Station ghost town and the generally low down D Town, LA was sad, crying and broken. Then things started to change and today, the energy and up beat of D Town is intoxicating. Wood Spoon is one of many eateries to add to the mix and this Brazilian beat original is a pleasure to visit. That chicken pot pie is sneaky. It looks small but it will fill you up and that cinnamon water is outrageously simple, obvious and surprising. I gotta get me a carafe and some cinnamon sticks and try that at home. My friend let me have some of her potato croquette and sweet potato fries. Very nice, but I was already in love with the cinnamon water by then. Wood Spoon is located at 107 W 9th St., LA CA 90015.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cookbook in Echo Park and DR. Bob's ice Cream

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I was at Catasonic Records with Kaoru Mansour mastering our new CD, Ear Diorama Ear. Mark Wheaton mentioned that the new shop that sells local produce is down the street. He mentioned that they sell this ice cream called Dr. Bob's and it apparently is made through the farming/ cow program at Cal Poly Pomona. I stopped by the shop, called Cookbook. It's so awesome. They bake their own breads, they have local organic meat and local organic vegetables and a lot of cool stuff. I bought a carton of organic granola which I just finished yesterday. Delicious. Dr. Bob's Ice Cream is velvety smooth, not too sweet and super creamy. It only comes in a quart size so I ate the whole thing while in the Hollywood Freeway traffic on my way to Canoga Park for a meeting. I almost finished it. It was so good and made the gridlock bearable. Cookbook is located at 1549 Echo Park Ave. LA CA 90026.

Jacks N Joes near Downtown LA

Found out that Roark Art Supplies, after 30+ years, is closing. So sad. Rob and Howard are really great guys with a passion for the arts and helping artists. I drove there last week to say goodbye and out of the corner of my eye came across Jacks N Joe. It's a little hidden if you're going north on Figueroa, located at 2498 Figueroa St. LA CA 90007, 213-748-4565. The service is great, they were so friendly and welcoming. The menu is breakfast but with a twist. I ordered the Pudgie Elvis which is pancakes with peanut butter and bananas. The cakes were fluffy and delicious. The dripping peanut butter is awesome. the combo came with eggs and sausages with a healthy helping of potatoes. I couldn't finish it, it was too much food but really delicious. I can't wait to go back.

La Cervicheria on Pico

La Cervicheria, 3809 W. Pico Blvd LA CA 90019, 323-732-1253. Hmm, right around the corner and it took an invite from friends to go eat there. Bad community guy. I passed it by several times but a month ago I saw a couple get out of their SAAB and walk in. They looked very Westside. So I walk in around 7:40PM and artists Kyungmi Shin and Todd Gray are sitting with friends from Italy. It turns out they close at 8PM. Whoops! Todd ordered appetizers so we could at least sample the cerviche. It turns out that this place has rave reviews on the internet. I really enjoyed the cerviche we ordered but look forward to having a meal there someday.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bricks and Scones on Larchmont

There are so many places I've passed by for years, meaning to stop by. Of course, I spend a good deal of time shopping in Larchmont as well as riding my bike with artist Steven M Irvin to it but this place is a a block or two north of the popular block and we hardly ever are in this area. Finally, Steve and I decided to check things out. Located at 403 N Larchmont Blvd, LA CA 90004, 323-463-0811, it's got a sweet entrance, outdoor patio area. As you walk in, you see that it's a lot bigger than it first appears with a second floor dining area as well as a spacious first floor area where it appears everyone was on there lap tops taking advantage of free wi fi. We ordered the clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, scones of course, and some delicious coffee (free trade blends from Intellegensia). The scones, were outrageously fresh, crispy and flaky). Definitely going back.

Kitchen in Silverlake

The Kitchen in located at 4348 Fountain Ave, LA CA 90029, 323-664-FOOD. It's a cross between being a neighborhood cafe and an upscale eatery. Local to the hip west Silverlake community, right where Sunset Blvd meets Fountain Avenue. I got there early for lunch and ordered the albacore sandwich; fresh albacore tuna, Asian Pear, pickels, red onions, greens, wasabi mayo on a La Brea Bakery baguette. Delicious bread. Service is really friendly and helpful. I ordered the sandwich with fries but I could have had the garlic mashed potatoes. I've been there lang ago and had the most delicious potato garlic soup. Getting there early is good because I've driven passed this place several times and it's packed, with seating inside and along the sidewalk.