Links: e*starLA Elsewhere

Brodard Nem Nuong
Brodard Nem Nuong

Hello, Little Blog;

How are you? I’m so sorry to have neglected you all these months, but the truth is that I’ve been writing elsewhere. It’s been a great experience, so let’s put together some linkage on pieces I’ve written that are floating on the internet.

By the way, I actually have more interesting content to come through on this blog in the very near future. Promise. The blog revival: It will happen. In fact, check back in two days for some wine content from up in Sonoma County.

In the meantime, if you’re curious where else you can find my words, I’m excited to share articles I’ve written for LA Weekly, L.A. Times Food, Eater, and Thrillist:

  • Cool down with some nitro-infused teas made at Rubies + Diamonds — learn about it at LA Weekly:

High-Tech Coffee Shop Rubies + Diamonds Is Pouring “Nitro-Chilled Teas”

  • As it hopefully gets cooler (please pray for rain with me — thanks), you might be able to use this updated list (adding upon Jeff Miller & Zach Brooks’ list) for Thrillist:

Best Ramen in Los Angeles

  • For Eater LA, I waxed on how newcomer Daw Yee Myanmar Corner in Silver Lake could bring Burmese food mainstream:

Taking Burmese Food to the Mainstream

  • For the L.A. Times food section, I’ve been reporting on spotted trends, such as matcha-in-everything, unique sausages, and weed cocktails. My latest is on how you can put together your own Little Saigon food crawl:

This West Hollywood Restaurant is Making Weed Cocktails

Going full matcha: Where to find matcha-infused doughnuts, tiramisu and cocktails

Where to find a chicken Parmesan sausage and more unique links around town

How to have a Little Saigon food crawl complete with pho, spring rolls and plenty of Vietnamese coffee

  • And in non-food-related writing, I had the pleasure of writing for GOOD Magazine‘s sports section on Infinite Flow, a wheelchair dancing group in Sherman Oaks. It’s definitely worth a read, if I may say so myself:

Ballroom Dancing On Wheels: Inside the competitive and beautiful world of wheelchair dance

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Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

Gracias Madre
8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Roku Sunset
9201 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Cannibal
8850 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

Rubies + Diamonds
6115 Sunset Blvd #150
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Connie & Ted’s
8171 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Ramen Tatsunoya
16 N Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103

Daw Yee Myanmar Corner
2837 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Tentenyu
2012 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

The Best Things I Ate in 2015

Branzino, Maré

Los Angeles has been a phenomenal place to eat for the duration of 2015. In fact, it’s been really hard to keep up with everything going on in all parts of the city, but what a great problem to have. Better food is available in more neighborhoods, helping raise the standard of dining out in all parts. Hopefully all parts, anyway. We do have our native Roy Choi, doing what he can to make sure such positive change reaches otherwise forgotten neighborhoods, with his and Daniel Patterson’s project, LocaL.

But for all the Fig & Olives of the see-and-be-seen L.A. dining scene, there have been some indisputable favorites of mine to rise to the top. I see 2015 as the year we’ve surpassed the huffing and puffing about authenticity and what that even means for all the history and diversity we have in this city. It’s been exciting to taste how we’ve moved beyond all that to a place and time where chefs can confidently make their mark using flavors from all over the world as their paintbrushes.

So read on, and get to it. 2016 is just around the corner:

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Links: e*starLA Elsewhere in 2015

Catch & Release, Marina del Rey

Apologies for not updating the blog, but here’s a post to push its revival into the New Year. Here I come, 2016! This week, I’ll be posting a round-up of sorts on 2015 and noteworthy dishes at noteworthy restaurants.

In any case, feel free to catch up with a few of my freelance articles, and my comments forthwith, that I wrote for other online publications the latter half of 2015 here. Also, a plug to follow me on other social media channels, which I’ve been updating pretty regularly: Instagram, Twitter, and eventually Snapchat (@estar_la)!

Happy reading. I’ll catch you guys with another 2015 update tomorrow.

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Bánh Mì My-Tho
304 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801

Phorage
3300 Overland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Catch & Release
13488 Maxella Ave
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Langer’s Delicatessen
704 S Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Wexler’s Deli, GCM
317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Old Country Cafe
2 E Valley Blvd #1e
Alhambra, CA 91801

Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village
250 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776

Zankou Chicken
5065 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Great White Truffle Round-up of Los Angeles

White Truffles at SAAM, The Bazaar

It’s that wonderful time of year when it’s time to indulge in one of the true delicacies of the world. Forget the artificial truffle oil (redundant) of the ’90s – the real thing has a season and the time to enjoy white truffles is now.

Of course, at two to three thousand dollars per pound, it’s quite easy to break the bank while partaking. Fortunately, I’ve got a lot of options in different forms (cocktails! tasting menus! burgers!) and price points that will ensure you’re able to get your fungi fix.

Let’s start out with a cocktail by Matty B, why don’t we?

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My Top dineLA Restaurant Week Lunch Picks for Summer, 2013: July 15 – 26

RivaBella’s Nidi di Rondine

This summer’s dineLA Restaurant Week commences today and lasts 10 days – over two weekday stretches and one weekend. And since we’ve had a few of these by now, it’s probably time we got smart on maneuvering through the multitude of menus. The trick with dineLA prix fixe is that it may get people through the door, but it may or may not be quite the deal you had in mind. The danger is that you might just be stuck with fewer, albeit recommended, choices for about the same price you’d normally pay.

May I propose lunch? They tend to be better deals than dinner – often true between both offerings of the same restaurant – because there’s more incentive to increase lunch traffic with dinner reservations filling up more readily. So whether you’ve got a 9-5 in the area or are in a certain neighborhood for an audition or client appointment, there’s probably a great dineLA power lunch strategy wherever you end up.

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Five Upcoming Food & Drink Events You Won’t Want to Miss

LudoBites 4.0 Greatest Hits: White Asparagus Veloute, Mozzarella Mousse, Candied Olives, Fennel, Salmon Roe

Now would be a great time to finally and formally introduce you to my “Upcoming Events” column over on the right (–>). It’s but a few months old, but a great way to short-handedly let you know about the best things that are coming up as far as goings on in Los Angeles. It also means less pre-event write-ups, since you can get the skinny right in that column. (You’re welcome.)

For now, though, I’ve anticipated a slew of food events in our beloved city – especially while everyone’s trying to get everything wrapped up before the holidays. I believe the following, however, warrant special attention. Be sure to make your reservations & buy your tickets. Here they are, in order of date:

1. Now: LudoBites 10.0 Reservation Window Now Open (until 10:59 AM Thursday, November 29, 2012)

Right now we’re in the middle of a 24-hour window that first opened at 11 AM PST. So until 10:59 AM tomorrow (Thursday, November 29), you’ll get to enter the lottery for a reservation on one of 14 days (weekdays, December 4-21) of LudoBites 10.0 at Gram & Papa’s in Downtown LA. No guarantees that any of you will actually GET a reservation, but all we can do is try, try, try, right? (No seriously – don’t submit that form twice. It will make Krissy very mad. Just once, guys.) Protip: To increase your chances of getting a reservation, be sure to be as available as possible, since you have to fill out your available days and time slots. Or maybe that was obvious.

And if you don’t know what LudoBites is, by now, I’m afraid I can’t help you…or can I?

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Things Learned From Two Years of Going Metro and Bicycling in Los Angeles

Bicycling Los Angeles

People do walk in L.A., but – let’s be honest – they mostly still don’t. People drive alone, and they carpool. They vanpool and they shuttle. They ride their bikes. They Über or Taxi Magic all over town. And yes, we Metro railway. Do you ever get the feeling that just because we’re not New York, that’s the only thing they’re rubbing our noses in?

Which is not to say that I’m not envious of their subway access – and many other things. Yet having passed the 2-year mark living near a Hollywood Metro Red Line stop, I’ve learned a lot in the process about our own public transportation options. The Expo Line has opened during that time. And we’re looking forward to more.  Just experiencing the drastic transformation in how people choose to get around – myself included, and not only on the rail – have provided so many eye-opening revelations. So when Slate says that L.A. is being turned into “America’s next great mass-transit city,” we’ll take that little bit of validation. 

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Lessons Learned at Tales of the Cocktail

Ramos Gin Fizz at Sazerac Bar

With last week marking it my first time at Tales of the Cocktail, I figured I was somewhat prepared. Or really, prepared as I could be. There were tips gathered from friends who are long-time veterans, and jaw-dropping stories told that were too creative to have been embellished. The scared-yet-excited anticipation for my four-day initiation seemed healthy.

Of course, hearing about it and talking about it is nothing compared to living it, and … well, live it I did. And I came out! I survived! If we were to be honest about things, it’s always the case of “the more you know, the more you find out what you don’tknow.” As in the stuff they teach in 10 AM seminars.

I did a few of those, but I was always way more into real-life application:

  • Order a Ramos Gin Fizz at The Sazerac.
Sazerac Bar, Roosevelt Hotel

It may appear counterintuitive, I know. But without discounting their Sazerac (it is, of course, fabulous), you’ll want to start with the Ramos Gin Fizz first. It was the best one I’ve had in my life. That foam was at the most perfect density-to-fluff ratio. And the taste was of the glorious, refreshingly eggy essence only dreamed of, before.

And I guess it would make sense that this would be the place, since (according to their website) it was from this very bar that Huey Long, the governor of Louisiana (1928–1932), flew his top bartender to The New Yorker Hotel in New York so that he could teach them how to make a proper Ramos Fizz.

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The 2010 Easter Sunday Brunch & Dinner Round-Up

Photo credit to algo on Flickr

Where are you eating on Sunday? Hopefully you’re looking for a spot to brunch or dine at, because this particular round-up is one I can’t take advantage of myself since I’ll be in Mammoth. Whether you’re looking for bottomless bubbly, a buffet, a prix fixe menu or simply special dishes offered for the holiday, there are plenty of options all around town. Though I tried finding spots to represent the LA neighborhoods equally, apparently the Christians live on the westside as most of the specials I’ve found skew toward that side of town. It’s a curious thing, especially to an adoptive eastsider like myself.

Take a look below for your Sunday feast of choice on April 4, 2010:

Santa Monica: Whist at The Viceroy

Spend Easter by the beach. Whist at The Viceroy’s Executive Chef Tony DiSalvo (formerly of NYC’s Jean Georges) will be procuring an Easter feast to extend throughout the day but offered as two separate buffet menus: Brunch and dinner. Expect a shellfish station as well as a leg of lamb/prime rib station whether you do afternoon or night, but omelettes and grits in the first half and a risotto station in the second. The best part? The price includes access to the bellini station and house wine. Not bad for a such a snazzy place like Whist…

Whist Brunch & Dinner Menu

Brunch Buffet: 11 AM – 3 PM – $55

Dinner Buffet: 3 PM – 7 PM – $55

Children’s Buffet: $18

11 AM – 7 PM

$55 buffet incl. Bellini station, house wine

Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica
1819 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310.260.7511

Venice, Beverly Hills & Downtown: Chaya

From 11 AM – 3 PM, Chaya’s all over Los Angeles will be offering a 3-course prix-fixe Easter Brunch menu. It will cost $35 for adults and $15 for young adults (12 and under), who have their own menu. For the adults, though, bottomless mimosas are included – so I’d highly recommend making a reservation right away to secure your slot. You can do this through Open Table.

At Chaya Venice (full menu), who will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in April 2010, guests can enjoy unique selections such as:

  • Spring Jumbo Crispy Asparagus with Romesco Salsa
  • Roasted Beet Wedge Salad with Bacon, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes

11 AM – 3 PM

$35 prix fixe incl. bottomless mimosas

Chaya Venice
110 Navy Street
Venice, CA 90291
310.396.1179

Chaya Brasserie Beverly Hills (full menu), pick from an assortment of fresh brasserie-style fare including:

  • The CHAYA Classic Tuna Tartare
  • Cinnamon Roll French Toast with Farmer’s Market Berry Compote
  • Grilled Free-Range Chicken Breast with Apple & Fourme d’Ambert.

11 AM – 3 PM

$35 prix fixe incl. bottomless mimosas

Chaya Brasserie Beverly Hills
8741 Alden Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310.859.8833

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St. Patrick’s Day Round-Up of Round-Ups

Photo credit to sebastian.b (altuwa) on Flickr

I’ve been eyeing the St. Patrick’s Day specials going around Twitter all week and have finally decided on one – in Hollywood. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of other options available. Whether you’re looking for a few special Irish menu items, a pub to knock back a couple ales, Irish music or happy hour pricings (or any combination of the aforementioned) – these round-ups got them all:

Alternatives to Green Beer: St. Patrick’s Day Cocktails + 2 Cocktail Recipes – Caroline on Crack for LA Weekly Food

  • includes Drago Centro, 8 Oz. Burger Bar, Chaya, Comme Ca, The Edison, Pitfire Pizza, Rush Street, 25 Degrees

Pubs in Los Angeles – Google Maps

Where To Drink Green Beer – Elise Thompson for LAist

  • Elise of LAist put together this Google Maps mashup of pubs – because sometimes you just need to know where to get a pint of ale. Also check out her green beer post.

Where To Get Shamrocked – LA Times

  • includes Redwood Bar & Grill, Brennan’s, Bigfoot Lodge and even The Standard (er?)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – The Happy Hour Tour

  • includes Blue Palms Brewhouse, Henry’s Hat, Bodega Wine Bar, Liquid Kitty, Saints & Sinners, Cabo Cantina and Tom Bergin’s

Also, don’t forget Pourtal Wine Bar in Santa Monica, serving up $5 Vinho Verde (green wine that is ironically Portuguese) starting at 4PM. Verdugo Bar in Glassell Park is serving up Devil’s Pie late-night; wash it down with a brew on-tap. Hungry Cat in Hollywood – where I’ll be – is offering $4 Murphy’s Irish Stout Irish Slings and $6 Picklebacks (whiskey with a chaser of pickle juice). Also, Allston Yacht Club in Echo Park will be serving up Corned Beef Sandwiches for $6 each and pints of Guinness for $4. All food is $5 as they integrate St. Patty’s with their Wicked Wednesday.

Erin Go Braugh, Los Angeles!!