Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ramen Yamashita in Culver City

Several told me about this place. Best ramen in LA? in Culver City? I had to check it out. I hooked up with fabulous artist Jennifer Moon and off we went. We ordered the Shoyu Ramen, Ikura (Salmon eggs) and takoyaki. I also ordered extra garlic for my ramen. The Ikura was served on a bed of rice that had seaweed mixed in. This was really delicious. The takoyaki was great and fun as takoyaki often is. The ramen was a little disappointing. The soup was good, the noodles oddly like somen noodles but what was a real downer is the chashu tasted like it had freezer burn. OUCH! Everything about the ramen was great except for that chashu. It was a real bummer. What makes me happy is when all of the chef's attention to detail is apparent and there's an orchestration of the subtle and the accented. Unfortunately, bad chashu accented this meal in the wrong way. It was a real bummer but I would go back for that Ikura dish!!!

Coffee Company near LAX

This place is near LAX. I've passed by it several times in the past three years but I finally walked in this week. The thing about my job is I drive all over LA County and so I see all these places to eat but it often takes me a while to get to them. The name of this place is called Coffee Company, so I assumed they'd be really into roasting, brewing and pouring that black hot beverage that's gained so much momentum in the past 15 years here in LA. Well, I asked for a coffee and they poured it from a thermos. YIKES! So, anyway, that's that…….

The Library Coffee Shop in Long Beach

I was meeting an artist in Long Beach and I asked her where's the best coffee and Long Beach and this is the place she suggested. Library Coffee House, 3418 E. Broadway, Long Beach CA, is a two room cafe with an old wood interior with shelves of books and lots of sitting area. I got there a little early so luckily I brought a book and sat down and started reading. I'm currently reading "Bug Music; How Insects Gave Us Rhythm And Noise", by David Rothenberg. It's a very fun read. We ordered Americanos and shared two desserts. I'm not clear if the coffee was great but I had a great conversation, maybe it was in part due to the coffee. It's hard to say.

Technique Restaurant in Pasadena

Several friends told me about this restaurant in Pasadena that is the showcase for the students of the Pasadena Cordon Bleu. Technique Restaurant, 525 E. Colorado BL Pasadena CA 91101. I ordered the crab cakes and split pea soup. The cakes were tasty with a crunchy shell. The flavor wasn't memorable but decent. The split pea was tasty with just a bit too much salt. I wonder if that was salt or salt from the bacon? It's hard to tell. The restaurant is divided in two. There's a sit down area that's allegedly more expensive and the cafe area where I was. It could be that the other half has the better food so I'd like to go back and check that out another time.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Spice Station in Silverlake

So, not sure if I mentioned this but, when I received the grant to go to Barcelona, I was looking forward to eating "real" paella but during the five weeks I was there, I never had any. Everyone I met said it was tourist food or they felt it was too heavy for them. I never wanted to order it for myself because it's always made for three or four people. Anyway, when I started getting homesick for Barcelona about three weeks ago, I decided to try to make it myself. My friend recommended Spice Station for all of the spices you need, especially Saffron. Spice Station is located at 3819 W Sunset Blvd, LA CA 90026. What an amazing place. I can't wait to go back. It's like an alchemists studio.

Naples Sushi in Long Beach

The word "Omakase", is a powerful word. Yes, it means that you are asking the sushi chef to choose the course of sushi for your meal. You are putting great trust and commitment to the mastery of the chef in front of you. Perhaps, it's the greatest compliment you can give to a sushi chef because it's at the beginning of the meal. So my son and I walked in to Naples Sushi (peculiar name) and decided to go this way. It turned out to be the perfect direction. Not knowing anything about this place, we chose the most popular sushi chef because as the evening continued, there was a line for this chef while the others hardly had customers. I mentioned that my son is now 21 so he could order a beer, which he didn't, interesting. So, in hindsight, this may had been a cue for the chef. He treated us so well and brought out an amazing array of fish both raw and cooked. The chef was generous and the fish was fresh and very delicious. Naples Sushi, 5662 E 2nd St, Long Beach CA 90803

Home in Silverlake

A couple of weeks ago, I took my friend Heidi to lunch for her birthday and we went on a bike ride. I wanted to go to Spain but it was closed so she suggested Home at 2500 Riverside Drive Silver Lake CA 90039. I had passed by this place for years, so it was very wonderful to finally get a chance to eat there. i ordered the chicken and waffles. This was really good. Great, meaty and tender chicken. Tasty but not too salty fried crust and the waffles were also nice and not too sweet. I think Heidi liked her eggs benedict. There's this stairway in back of the restaurant, which we walked up. It leads to a ledge that may have had a house on it at sometime. It was a nice view.

Taza Coffee Shop in Echo Park

Finally made it in to Taza. My favorite part of my visit was seeing the staff or maybe she's the owner, greet all the regulars. That's what it's about. Taza is right across the street from the Echo and Two Boots and Origami Vinyl. My cappuccino was delicious. I think I'm going to stop ordering espresso. It's just never as good as the espresso experiences I had in Barcelona. I'm going back to the Americano (ja ja ja). Got a compliment on my bike, my new one, a 1974 Schwinn. It rides so powerfully. Those gears are precision and I like the slightly larger tires for this cracks in the road.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Natural Sister Cafe in Joshua Tree

Natural Sister Cafe is in Joshua Tree at 61695 B 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree CA 92242. I ordered a delicious veggie sandwich and soup. I'm sorry i don't have pix of this either or I can't find them but as soon as i do, I'll post them. the reason i went to J Tree was to return to Integratron for a Sound Bath. I was writing a grant and needed to remember the sound bath, which is what inspired the sound art I've been working on for the past three years.

Garage Pizza in Silver Lake

I finally made it to Garage Pizza, 4339 1/2 W Sunset Blvd Silverlake CA 90029. The pizza was delicious. i bought it by the slice and a side of 6 buffalo wings. I enjoyed the pizza but the wings were wonderful. I was told that BW originated in AZ. I was there for a wedding once. i arrived a day early to help set up the reception, which was in the grooms families house. The entire backyard was transformed and it took us a full day, ending around 10pm. The ordered non huge buckets of BW from the alleged original shop that started BW. They were so amazing with cold beers. We ate every single one and each bucket was left with about two inches of red chili grease at the bottom. Sorry, i can't find the pix of my Garage Pizza meal.

DTLA Cheese at Grand Central Market

When I first heard that a cheese shop was opening at grand Central Market, I thought they were joking, although I loved the idea. Well, here it is. I am really liking this transformation. The selection and quality at GCM is just amazing. I love going there for lunch. DTLA Cheese has a wonderful selection of everyday and high end cheeses from all over the world. They also have delicious sandwiches and roasted potato and cheese dishes. Fabuloso!