Archive | August, 2011

5 Foods Friday: Breakfast!

26 Aug

If I absolutely HAD to pick my favorite meal of the day it would probably have to be breakfast.  I can definitely take down a breakfast burrito or some crispy hashbrowns and bacon with over-easy eggs at anytime – day or night.  Aside from a massive breakfast being the best hangover cure in the world, I think there’s no better way to get a nice kick-start to your day (as long as you don’t eat too much and slip into a food coma…)

Based on a mix of personal experiences and restaurant recommendations by some of my trusted fellow foodies – I’ve compiled a One Delish Dish list of the 5 best places in LA to get a great breakfast:

1.  BLD

BLD = Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner.  Clearly this place serves all three meals, but BLD really shines in the breakfast/brunch department.  Their blueberry ricotta pancakes are amazingly fluffy, moist and flavorful and their chorizo home fries are the best, especially when they’re cooked extra crispy!

2.  Salt’s Cure

This famous West Hollywood spot has excellent brunch that’s served out of an open kitchen so customers can get an insider’s peek into the culinary magic.  With most of the menu changing weekly, the consistent customer favorites are the Duck Hash, 2x2x2 plate, famous house-made sweet rolls and the house-cured thick-cut bacon.

3.  Blu Jam Cafe

Blu Jam on Melrose is always packed on the weekends and has an extensive menu that’s sure to please the sweet or savory palate.  From their Crispy French Toast to their famous Blu Jam and Salmon eggs benedicts, this place is definitely a breakfast must have around LA.

4.  Gjelina

For me, Gjelina lives up to its hype as the dinner spot to hit up in Venice.  But in addition to dinner, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding Gjelina’s unique and gourmet twist on a standard Sunday brunch.  Some great brunch dishes at Gjelina are the fried egg sandwich, poached egg over polenta w/bacon, smoked salmon and asparagus scramble and my personal favorite, a crispy fried egg w/prosciutto, romesco, arugula and lemon.

5.  Flake

This low-key breakfast spot in Venice has all the classic breakfast staples, a great Acai bowl for all the LA health nuts AND my fave… some tasty breakfast sandwiches that are exploding with great flavors and textures.  Their famous Super Cro-Jo sandwich is complete with soft scrambled eggs, gooey melted Gouda cheese, thick crisped bacon, fresh greens and tomatoes, all on a fluffy croissant.  Flake’s diehard customers agree that the best part of this sandwich is the spicy sauce – an irresistible Sriracha mayo concoction that you could pretty much eat with a spoon.

Now that I’ve sufficiently made myself hungry, I think I’ll either find a restaurant that serves breakfast for dinner or go make myself a nice hearty veggie, cheese and chicken apple sausage scramble with a side of hashbrowns – topped off with Tapatio of course. 

Where’s your favorite place to grab a big and tasty weekend breakfast?

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5 Foods Friday: 5 Things to Eat at Outside Lands

12 Aug

For music, food and general San Francisco enthusiasts like myself, it really doesn’t get much better than the Outside Lands Festival.  With  great musical performances, an entire giant tent dedicated to wine and seeminlgy endless food offerings, my visit to SF’s annual music, food, wine and art festival is long overdue.  After disecting the “Taste of the Bay Area” lineup for this weekend… I’ve carefully chosen my top 5 must-try festival foods.

1.  Arepas – Pica Pica Maize Kitchen

Indigienous to mainlyVenezuela and Columbia – Arepas are a moist and tasty corn dough treat that are typically stuffed with melted cheese and meat.  They are easy to eat and walk around with and keep you full for awhile, a perfect festival food!

2.  Hawaiian Poke and Baja Shrimp Ceviche – Pacific Catch 

Typical poke consists of cubed raw yellowfin tuna that is mixed with soy sauce, sesame oil, seaweed and chili pepper.  It is full of dynamic flavors that serve to enhance the natural taste of the fresh tuna.  Pacific Catch has a famous restaurant in the Marina District of San Francisco that I’ve been wanting to try –  so as long as all this fresh raw fish is kept firmly on ice, I will most definitely be trying the poke and ceviche at this festival food stand.

3.  Uhhmazing chicken, beef and carnitas tacos and burritos – Gordo Taqueria

When I lived in the Bay Area during college, Gordo’s was THE spot to hit up for some real Mexican food that reminded me of my hometown, San Diego.  Gordo’s is a huge must for me!

4. Po’boys (Shrimp, BBQ Pork, Southern Fried Chicken) – Criolla Kitchen 

Even though these may get a little messy and difficult to eat while walking around a festival, good po’boys are crispy and always packed full of flavor.  The perfect po’boy must be eaten right away and it’s all about the freshness of the bread roll.

5.  Filet Mignon Sliders, Portobello Mushroom Sliders, BBQ drumsticks – Up & Under

I have a strange obsession with sliders and pretty much anything that’s cute and mini-sized (i.e. mini Tabasco bottles).  Sliders with filet mignon and portobellos + BBQ drumsticks…who can resist? I’ll take 2 of each please.

This weekend at Outside Lands, I will eat my heart out and dance my ass off.  I’ll be sure to report back with photos…

5 Foods Friday: 5 Best Things in LA to Eat with your Hands

5 Aug

On whole, I find utensils pretty overrated.  Since the foods I enjoy the most are the ones where I get to toss the spork aside and use my hands, I’ve decided to do my first 5  Foods Friday post – a weekly themed list of my top 5 fave foods/places to eat.  This week’s theme: Best things in LA to eat with your hands.  Before eating, please wash those hands first, your cell phone probably has more bacteria on it than a gas station toilet. Yummm.  So with that said…let’s eat!

1.  Umami Burger

This place is definitely an LA staple and on any given night you’ll find crowds of people waiting to get the infamous Truffle, So Cal, or Umami burgers into their hot little hands.  For blue cheese fanatics, the Port & Stilton burger is a must.  The juicy beef patty is loaded with Stilton blue cheese and caramelized onions – which serve as a perfectly sweet contrast to the sharp, full-bodied cheese. 

If the rich and amazingly flavorful burgers aren’t enough for you, Umami also has housemade, crispy cheesy tots, onion rings and they even make their own ketchup, roasted garlic aioli, jalapeno ranch and spicy diablo sauce.  Wash it all down with fresh watermelon juice or a deliciously sugary glass bottled Coke.

Umami Burger: Juicy Beef (ground in-house), Roasted Tomato, Parmasean Crisp

2.  Cielito Lindo: Taquitos

Located on the corner of Downtown’s Olvera Street Marketplace, this famous little stand sells the most incredible taquitos I’ve ever tasted.  They are freshly made to order, pan fried to a perfect crisp and topped with an amazingly flavorful  salsa verde and avocado sauce.  The true flavor of the taquitos and fresh tortillas aren’t drowning under heaps of shredded lettuce, they look simple but once you bite into one, the sauce perfectly enhances the taquito’s juicy meat and crispy yet soft texture.   At $6 for a tasty combo plate, Cielito Lindo really can’t do any wrong.

3.  Haru Sushi & Roll Cafe: Lava Stone & Albacore Onion Roll

I know you “technically” should be using chopsticks for anything sushi related, but sometimes the rolls get just a little too big and crazy, and I’m forced to view these delish pop-ems as more of a finger food.  Haru is undoubtedly one of my favorite spots in LA for a sushi feast.  The Lava Stone (crispy rice topped with spicy tuna, black caviar and avocado), Albacore Onion roll (spicy tuna roll covered with albacore, topped with lightly fried onion strips)
and the Yellowtail and Jalapeno Carpaccio are my consistent go-tos on the menu.

4.  Mendoncino Farms: Korbuta Pork Belly Banh Mi

This place has superb sandwiches and super fresh ingredients that never fail to impress.  Along with the DTLA masses, my favorite sandwich here is the Korbuta Pork Belly Banh Mi.  It’s not a completely traditional Vietnamese Banh Mi, but this version does great justice to the original.  The sandwich has tender braised and caramelized kurobuta pork belly, housemade pickled daikon and carrots (which balance the subtle sweetness of the pork), cilantro, cucumbers, jalapenos and chili aioli all on a grilled ciabatta.  The only drawback is that once you’ve experienced all these explosive flavors on your palate, you’ll crave this sandwich on the daily.

5. Fugetsu-Do Bakery: Mochi 

Even though I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, I have to give a shout out to Fugetsu-Do Bakery in Little Tokyo for their amazing Mochi (small gooey Japanese rice cake deliciousness).  This 100 yr-old Japanese bakery in Downtown LA remains family owned and makes the best Japanese desserts – no Mochi compares to the lightly sweetened treats made here.  Their specialty is the strawberry mochi with a crunchy peanut butter filling.  Even though this flavor combo may sound a little off, the amazingly chewy texture of the outside strawberry mochi perfectly compliments the soft peanut butter filling.  Plus, you get to hang out with possibly the sweetest woman in the world…

 

Now go roam the LA culinary streets and dig in!  It tastes better that way.  Stay posted for 5 Foods Friday next week!  Also feel free to leave theme suggestions if you so dare.

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