Eating Out: Âu Lạc

The Boy and I needed somewhere to dine before going to see a show at The Ahmanson downtown, and a quick Open Table search led us to Âu Lạc, a vegan restaurant within walking distance of the LA Music Center. Apologies in advance for the poor pictures, it was a bit dark in there so the quality’s not as good as I might hope.

Mint Margarita

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The Best Dumplings in the San Gabriel Valley

OK, so I know that if enough people paid attention to this blog, that title would cause quite the uproar. It’s true – I have not tried every dumpling in the San Gabriel Valley. Not even close. In fact, for the purposes of this (delightful) taste test, we simply did a portion of Lucky Peach’s A Dumpling Crawl of LA’s San Gabriel Valley. So yes, there likely are better and brighter dumplings out there. But here are those we tried, ranked and rated for your dining knowledge.

Xiao Long Bao Continue reading

Eating Out: Wanderlust Creamery

The Boy and I had an hour to kill in the Silver Lake this weekend, and true to form we went straight to Yelp and tried to find something good to eat. We ended up at Wanderlust Creamery in Atwater Village and I’d consider it a rousing success.

Ice Cream

Wanderlust Creamery is, I’ll admit it, one of those chic and pricey ice cream shops. Great light, white and wood decor with some greenery, your typical “hipster” joint. But the hipsters bring the good food with them, and I’m cool with that. Continue reading

Eating Out: Otium

Last weekend, the Boy and I joined my mother downtown to see Fun Home at the Ahmanson (it was great – highly recommend!). We went down a little early to take photos for our weekly photo challenge, then met Mom at Otium near the Broad Museum for an early pre-theater dinner.

We got there around 5:00, before dinner actually started at 5:30 (the show was at 6:00) but decided to hang out, order some cocktails (including the Bartender’s Choice, pictured above, which was a yummy citrusy mezcal concoction based on my request for something refreshing with mezcal), and fill up on their “Snacks” menu until dinner started. Continue reading

Eating Out(ish) in PA: New Year’s Eve Dinner

This year, the Boy and I celebrated the arrival of 2017 with my Mom’s family in Pennsylvania, and instead of eating out we feasted on an incredible nine-course meal courtesy of my talented Aunt Libby, who did the whole thing without help and without the benefit of a kitchen sink, since her kitchen was currently being renovated. Yep. No sink, nine courses. Although those of you who weren’t present will never be able to track this meal down to relive it in real life, I figured I’d be remiss not to brag about it – I mean, share it – with you.

New Year's Eve Dinner Menus

Note that the menus changed a bit from what was written to actual execution, but who even cares…oh, and shout out to Dad for all the wine pairings! Seriously, why do I even bother with reservations? Continue reading

Eating Out in New York: Zenkichi

We were recently in New York for a whirlwind trip to see my dear friend get married, and despite the crazy schedule, we still managed  – as we always do – to sneak in a good meal (or four…but this particular one was outside of the wedding festivities). The place was a recommendation of the bride-to-be herself, and quite a good one. It’s in Brooklyn, it’s called Zenkichi, and woe be to the one who tries to return from a bathroom trip there without assistance from the staff (I’ll explain that part later).

Zenkichi Menu

The restaurant is located behind an unassuming fence, and the inside is dark, with many winding hallways leading to individual booths enclosed by roll-down screens. It’s cozy and romantic, and gives the feeling that you might be outside at night.

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Eating Out in SF: To-Go Dim Sum at Good Mong Kok

As I mentioned, the Boy and I headed up north to celebrate his birthday earlier this summer. We ended up having one afternoon to spend in San Francisco before we flew home, which we mostly spent wandering as it was quite a gorgeous day. True to form, our wandering involved food, because what’s a vacation without it?

San Francisco's Chinatown

We had dallied with the idea of dim sum, but we knew it would probably be tricky given our tight-ish timeline and lack of a reservation (it was a Sunday). However, Yelp soon enlightened me to the existence of something I had never heard of before – to-go dim sum. Continue reading

Eating Out: Hyperion Public

It’s Restaurant Week in Los Angeles right now (more accurately, Restaurant Fortnight – it’s two weeks long) – and the city’s food lovers are going wild! I’m out-of-town most of this week (side note: I got a new gig) and so we celebrated/bid me farewell with a Restaurant Week night out at Hyperion Public in Studio City over last weekend.

Hyperion Public is a pub-style place with an appropriate accompanying menu, and their Restaurant Week offering gave us an appetizer, entrée, and drink for $29. Not bad, right? (Also, we did the math, and no matter what we ordered we would each save at least $5 and often closer to $10 ). It’s a warm space with a little patio, casual but classy.

We started with “The Pretzel,” served with Dijon mustard and “OMG Dip.” Buttery and soft, I thoroughly enjoyed this, and the “OMG Dip” was tangy and cheesy and generally excellent. For the other app, we ordered the croquettes (duh), crispy balls of potato and cheese served with spicy tomato sauce. The croquettes were YUM-my, though I wish the sauce had been served on the side as it quickly started to sog up the crispy outsides.

The Pretzel

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Eating Out: The Cannibal

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you’re well aware that I love food. You’re probably also aware that if I had unlimited time, money, and stomach space, I would be systematically eating my way through Los Angeles’s dining scene. I don’t have any of those things, but it doesn’t mean I don’t still try my damndest to do so. So, on a day when we needed lunch and there was nothing in the house, it didn’t take too much convincing to get the Boy and me over to Culver City’s up-and-coming hot spot The Cannibal.

The Cannibal

The Cannibal, which originates from a location in New York City, is a self-described “butcher’s restaurant” where the focus is on the meat. The full restaurant, at least for now, is only open for dinner, but there is a butcher shop/sort of deli counter where you can get a curated selection of sandwiches, salads, and the like. That’s what we tried (so I can’t speak to the restaurant – yet. I did ogle some awesome-looking charcuterie boards being assembled, though). Continue reading