Month: March 2012

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe

This meal took place right after my family and I ate at Plan Check. So………….I thought we were gonna go light but knowing us (our eyes are hungrier than our tummies) I should’ve known better.

Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe is located in Santa Monica. The space was actually quite nice and the atmosphere was very causal. The counter was lined with baked goods like croissants, chocolate croissants, cakes, tarts…etc and behind the counter were beautiful looking breads all sitting on shelves. The thing to do here is get in line. People behind the counter will take your order and after you pay they will give you a number. They’re not big on people sitting down first since the tables are for paid customers. But there was a sort of hostess, after you pay, to find you a table.

I wasn’t sure what my sister had ordered but I asked for a chocolate croissant. Eventually we were given a table outside on the street. Once the food started coming, I regret eating way too much just 30mins before that.

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When I first heard about UMAMIcatessen, I thought it would be similar to FoodParc where you can go to different stations for different foods. When I arrived, I was totally wrong. It was basically a regular old restaurant but just that they have few different sections that you can order food from (from a waiter). Located in downtown LA, UMAMIcatessen was tailored to the working crowd in the area.

If you’re not familiar with Umami, you will be soon as they are planning to open a restaurant here in NYC. They do pretty good burgers (a little small for me) and damn good tater tots.

On this trip I tagged along as my sister was there to shoot photos for her friend Joy of Oh Joy! You can check out the post here.

Check out what we ate after the jump..
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Dinner At Sip Sak

If you read my posts on Serious Eats: NY you may remember that I reviewed the take-out Turkish restaurant Bi Lokma. Bi Lokma is run by Orhan Yegen, the outspoken Turkish chef who makes no bones about calling his food the best Turkish food in new York. I met up at Sip Sak, Yegen’s sit-down restaurant, with my friends Robyn, Melissa, and Max for dinner the other night — Max, who has spent lots of time in Turkey, thinks it lives up to its reputation. We shared a salad plate, which was the highlight of the meal for me: smoked eggplant salad, fried eggplant with tomato, yogurt with cucumbers, spinach salad, olives, cheese wrapped in filo, and the most interesting tabbouleh I’ve ever tasted (I think the bulgur was toasted; it was almost crispy). The vegetable platter was a rehash of the food I’d eaten before, and not nearly as exciting. Yegen himself came out several times to the dining room to charm his guests, though reportedly he can be a terror if you say the wrong thing to him. Better to keep your head down, eat your food, and enjoy it.

Sip Sak — 928 Second Avenue

Plan Check

Plan Check

This month old restaurant is doing something fantastic. Located on Sawtelle Blvd in West L.A., the atmosphere and staff were causal and friendly. The menu was not overly complicated and had just the right amount of items. Definitely go with a group so you can try out many of the dishes/sandwiches/burgers. So sit back, grab a beer (I had a delicious Strand Brewery 24th St. Pale Ale), eat delicious food and enjoy the LA weather.

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Market Watch: Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day

There was a disappointing lack of greens at this morning’s St. Patrick’s Day Greenmarket, outside of a little spinach and some collard greens. Baker’s Bounty did have this giant mound of Irish soda bread for the holdiay, and at only $3/each I took the splurge. The bread was more crumbly and more cake-like than other Irish soda breads I’ve eaten, and I was surprised to see that it was leavened with yeast, instead of, you know baking SODA. Still, it had the beguiling combination of caraway seeds and raisins, and made a very filling breakfast.

Brussels Sprouts With Honey And Mustard

Brussels sprouts w/ honey and mustard

Last month when I ate at Allswell, Howard and I shared a plate of fried Brussels sprouts with honey and pecorino. That dish was so good that it inspired me a week later to sort of make my own. Instead of frying the Brussels sprouts, I pan-fried them. Then I added a giant spoonful of Edinburgh Beer and Black Peppercorn mustard and drizzled a whole lot of honey. I really think Brussels sprouts do work well with all sorts of flavors. The dish that I made was sticky, sweet, earthy and tangy.

Scarpetta and the $24 Spaghetti

The first time I ever heard about Scarpetta was a mention of its signature dish: a $24 plate of spaghetti. Nothing particularly fancy; there are no truffles, no imported platinum serving dish… Just (allegedly) the best plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce you’ve ever tasted. In thinking about my visit to Scarpetta with my friends Jeff & Eva, I knew I just couldn’t bring myself to actually spend $24 on spaghetti. Then my friend Melissa told me she thought the spaghetti was absolutely worth it — and I still couldn’t imagine ordering it. Then I had what I deemed to be a good idea, “and such ideas are not three a penny.”* My idea was this: we could order the spaghetti as an appetizer, and all partake of this amazing dish for a mere $8 per person.

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