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.
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.
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
The Boy and I took a whirlwind trip to Vail a couple of weeks ago (my first time in Colorado, though it won’t be my last this year) since his new job (woooo!) sent him there on a conference and said I could tag along. Both of us were working, but we still managed to squeeze in a couple of hours of skiing and a few delicious meals, including this one at Sweet Basil in Vail Village.
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
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.
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
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).
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.
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?
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
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.
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, 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
Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a gumbo expert. And then, let me also preface it with a quick tale of over-ambition and complete disregard for how long it takes to do something. The quick version is that the Boy and I got an idea into our head to start another blog, one where we would try to find the “best” versions of food and drink in a given area. In other words, an excuse to eat a bunch of stuff. In the planning for this blog, we came up with all sorts of rules – we had to try at least five of something, they couldn’t necessarily be the five most convenient to us (some wiggle room there), etc.
We also, after much back and forth, came up with an elaborate and completely unscientific ratings system of 150 total possible points:
- Taste (worth 50 points)
- Value (worth 30 points)
- Texture (worth 20 points)
- Creativity (worth 20 points)
- Presentation (worth 20 points)
- Convenience (worth 10 points)
To get to these point totals, we would rate each item on a scale of 1-10 and use multipliers, i.e. Taste had a 5x multiplier, Value a 3x multiplier, and so on. Whew. Summary of this story is we realized it was going to take us WAY too long to get enough posts ready to launch this separate blog, so instead any related endeavors would be housed here (foodstuffs) or on the Boy’s blog Boozy Newsie (drinkstuffs).
And without further ado, let’s get to rating the gumbos of New Orleans…noting, of course, that on our trip we did not have time to try every gumbo available, so we may have missed a hidden gem. Continue reading