Monday, June 26, 2017

Maru Coffee on Hillhurst

Maru is located at 1936 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027. I so wanted to like this place. It's beautifully decorated, designed and presented. However, I had some tough stuff about this place. 1) the coffee doesn't come that hot, 2) The cups are served in wonderful looking custom ceramic cup but they are too heavy and/or irregularly weighted and 3) The window doesn't have enough shade in the afternoons and so it gets too hot to enjoy yourself, it gets too hot near the window. The staff is wonderful, they have a minimal but high grade level of items on sale. Sorry, I think mornings are a better time to visit.

Mom's BBQ on Imperial HWY

Stumbling through gateway into the South Bay, I took a wrong turn and found myself in the midst of Mom's BBQ. What a find? Delicious, tender food. 1050 Imperial Hwy, Los Angeles, CA 90044

Neveux Atisan Creamery on Melrose

Neveux Atisan Creamery,7407 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Using Yelp to find an ice cream shop that was open, I found Neveux Atisan Creamery. The portions a bit small bout the made daily ice cream is well worth the compromise. Creamy, fresh and poignant.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Night Market in West Hollywood (Sunset Strip)

I had heard much about Night Market, 9043 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, so it was great to finally to visit. (Mind you, I'm still healing from Pok Pok leaving). The interior is super fun and in the arena of my aesthetic. We ordered a good combo of dishes. I think I walked in with a prejudice. it's on the Sunset stip so I an suspicious of "tourist" food places. I have to say that I was genuinely surprised by the level of spices, freshness and wonderful service. I'd definitely go back. BTW, this is the 1400th upload for CafeLALA. Thanks everyone for your continued support and interest.

Portsmouth in Whittier CA

These past few weeks, I have been very lucky to have been invited to the Cerritos College Printmaking Artist Residency Invitational. It's the inaugural session and I have been having a BALL!!!! I've designed two series of works. One is based on my research at the Smithsonian Museum of American History two years ago when I was invited to research the history of the hearing aid. The other series is based on this idea of the binary and feminism. Two diverse topics but each very connected to "listening"...yes, that's right. Anyway, Whittier being close by, I paid a visit to artists Nathalie Sanchez and fellow Cerritos fellow, artist Wayne Perry. They introduced me to Portmouth, in DT Whittier. What an amazing and expensive place. Well, you get what you pay for at this place. The dinner was fabulous, FABULOSO!!!! The wine, pictured here, I had never heard of (no surprise there) but MANN it was delicious. DT Whittier is very different than it was when I first visited it in the mid 80's. It's filled with hip shops and bars, etc. After dinner, I was in a food coma but I parallel-ed a Craigslist but to this journey. We walked several blocks to the dudes house and BOOM, I was a proud owner of Harmony guitar circa 1940's. It's fixer-upper but it should be cakewalk. I sense the guitar has a dark history. Anyone know a Shaman? Portsmouth, 13103 Penn St, Whittier, CA 90602

Restore in Atwater

My first time at Restore, 5201 W San Fernando Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90039. A very modest almost humble shop that is connected to a very cool antique shop. BTW what is used, what is previously owned and what is antique? Ha ha. Well, this place or laces is Restored. The coffee was delicious. i got an espresso but it was the sandwich that was very satisfying. Along with a no nonsense side salad, fresh juice on a paper plate, this place is kind of like a coffee shop/ man cave with chef gem.

Scottish Bakehouse in Martha's Vineyard, MA

My first time on Martha's Vineyard, aptly named by a British military officer who found it so lovely that he named it after his daughter. Also home of the Aquinnah Native Americans who once occupied the land from one end to the other but now, well, you know the story. It's a national moral conflict. I went with a colleague in the arts field. The ferry ride across is really wonderful. I love this form of transportation. I remember the first time I took the ferry from Jersey to Manhattan in the 80's, so fun and last year the one from Hiroshima to Miyajima. This time, it was the kind that transports cars as well so it reminded my of 8 1/2 by Fellini, which inspired me to down the music of Nina Rota. But I digress. My friend is glutton intolerant so he found this bakery on the island that looked promising. Even though we were there for just 24 hours, he bought a box so that he could gorge. It's rough to be glutton troubled because depending where you live, there's often no or little resources. Scottish Bakehouse is pretty awesome. Everything is freshly baled and in the morning, it's a glutton-free heaven. There's no pour over coffee or espresso though. (did I say that?) My breakfast burrito was wonderful. 977 State Rd, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

Monday, June 19, 2017

Slavko's in San Pedro

My cousin recommended I try Slavko's, 1224 S Pacific Ave San Pedro, CA 90731 when i announced our event via FLOOD, SoundPedro at Angels Gate Cultural Art Center. For one reason or another, I ordered two lunches. I was reading the menu and basing the portions with the price. When I went to get my order, the server asked, "Is this all for you?". Be for warned! These are generous portions. The fried potatoes are amazing and that fried chicken was wonderful but the fried fish was the THING! The sauces are excellent. Be adventerous and be hungry!

Surf City Squeeze at Baldwin Hills Mal

Surf City Squeeze is a juice chain. Our closest one was discovered when we went to the Baldwin Hills Mall to see Wonder Woman, 3650 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, LA CA 90008. This was a Banana Matcha shake that was refreshing, not too sweet and rich. I liked it but Ms. Lea did not. Ms. Lea loved the movie, I thought it was pretty good.

Tacos Jalisco in San Pedro

Mark, Nisa and I had an exhibit up at the Angel Gate Cultural Art Center in San Pedro. The day we installed the work, I was driving back and stopped at Tacos Jalisco's for lunch. They are located at 1202 S Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731. I ordered the Chicken Mole, which was so creamy and rich. The rice and beans on the side and Jamaica on ice really made feel great. It looks very family run. Gracias Tia.

Trejo Donuts in Hollywood

Danny Trejo is a superstar. He's branched out into the LA food scene with a big bang. There's a taco place on LA Brea and most recently a donut shop, Trejo Donuts is located at 6785 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Can we call him a local favorite? He's pretty international at this point, yet, we get the benefit of his imaginative cuisine at just a bike ride away! The donuts are fancy FANCY. I liked Abuelita, a glaze type but my favorite was Nachos. Nacos is a donut, bread, cheese pastry and airy wonder. I think the thing that sealed the deal for me was seeing Man One's portrait of Trejo on the side of the building. Very very sweet!

Valerie Confections

3360 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90004. Does that address sound familiar? It was formerly L'Artisan Du Chocolate (my favorite chocolate shop). Apparently, the owners decided to retire and if you ever had a chance to speak to them in length, you know it's a well deserved retirement. I will miss them and I will miss their chocolates but I'm grateful they were available. It will be one of my favorite culinary memories. Today, our hometown champ, Valerie, has taken over the space with an array of chocolates with less the French flame and more a parallel with the LA Cuisine vernacular that you might see in Silver Lake or North Santa Monica. A very large chunky bar of amazing chocolate with berries and vanilla goes for $15ish. Iate it with a mature pace. It took me around five days. A box of 9 assorted velvety chocolates will run you $20+. It's a lot but not unusually so. Here's a measure of extravagance, we bought a box for a Dodger game. The evening was definitely highlighted when we got some coffee after the 7th Inning Stretch and devoured the box as the Boys in Blue won the game. I love LA, indeed.