Another Wanderlust edition of #TBT…
Iconic Public Market…
…selling the prettiest flowers inside.
Porchetta sandwiches from Salumi’s…
…and ice cream at Molly Moon’s.
The Fremont Troll…
…and the prettiest skyline at Kerry Park.
A couple weeks ago, I went to a conference center called Oak Glen for my church’s annual retreat. It’s located in Yucaipa, land of plentiful apple orchards. My friends and I had a chance to check out Snow-Line Orchards, which was just down the street.
We heard about Snow-Line’s infamous apple cider donuts + fresh pressed apple cider and had to check them out, i.e. eat them.
I love me a legit autumn with pretty trees and colorful leaves. I believe if you visit in the earlier months, you can pick your own apples, but ’twas too late for us.
Eunice, Michelle, Sunghee, and me. 🙂 The rafters of the building had the names of various apple varieties painted on them.
Inside the store, there were… apples. A lot. And food products made from… apples. (-_-)
We taste-tested a ton of ’em. Uhm, perhaps my apple palette isn’t refined, because they were all good.
OH the donuts. Freshly made in front of us, they were miniature and warm and covered with cinnamon sugar.
They came in bags of 1/2 or 1 dozen. Also, mini apple/pumpkin pies, which supposedly were good but cold. Why wouldn’t they warm before serving? Why? (My friends asked. They said no.)
The apple cider came hot or cold; I tasted both and stood in the store for 5 minutes trying to decide which one I wanted because they were equally delicious. I went with the hot and was not disappointed.
Snow Line (and the rest of the apple orchards) is only about 1.5 hours away from LA, so it’s not too far of a trek if you want some fresh apples (and donuts and cider). There are tons of benches for picnicking, too. Catch is, I believe it’s only open during apple season (9/1 – 11/30) so you JUST missed it. D: Check out the website to plan a trip for next year? 😉
Snow Line Orchards
39400 Oak Glen Road
Yucaipa, CA 92399
Last Friday, my girlfriends and I checked out Badmaash, an Indian gastropub in DTLA. Its soft launch was just 6 months ago, but apparently it’s starting to gain traction– owner and chef, Pawan Mahendro, was featured as Chef of the Moment in LA Times just two days after we went!
I wanted to check out Badmaash (found on Yelp) because it sounded different than any other place in DTLA. Verdict– Overall delicious food. Smaller portions. But YES. I’ll definitely be back.
Chef Mahendro owns and runs the restaurant with his two sons. They feature traditional Indian dishes with a twist (but of course, would it be an LA restaurant if they didn’t?). The picture on the right shows a glimpse of their menu. Some popular dishes are their Chili Cheese Naan and their Spicy Lamb Burger.
Left: Next to the bar, they project Bollywood movies on the white walls. Right: I kind of sort of fell in love with this striped wall with triangular mounts for the lights. *swoon*
My friends and I ordered the Lamb Vindaloo, Chicken Tikka Masala (not pictured), Butter Chicken (not pictured, and a special for the night), Tandoori Shrimp, Rice Pilaf, and Naan. The vindaloo and masala were both moderately spicy, which was different than what I was expecting/used to, but still admittedly delicious. I really liked the butter chicken, which was a little less intense than the masala (didn’t have the almost-too-spicy kick). The rice and naan were pretty standard (but must be separately ordered at $3 a pop).
A few more (high-quality -_-) pictures of the interior that I found here, because I need to show you a better picture of that wall.
A Gilt deal for Badmaash came out just yesterday [expires next Wednesday (11/13)]! $59 for 2 people, which includes 2 drinks (wine, beer, or soda), 2 appetizers, 2 main dishes, 2 sides, 2 desserts, and 2 bombay-style masala chai teas. Check it out.
108 West 2nd Street #104
Los Angeles, California 90012
[Note: This is a scheduled post while I’m away in Korea!]
Too many restaurants in DTLA. A good problem to have, I suppose. My friend Meesh celebrated her b-day last month at Maccheroni Republic, and the two of us went back the other night and ordered the same exact dish we both got the first time.
Maccheroni Republic is an Italian restaurant tucked away on Broadway and has been open less than a year. You can choose to sit indoors or in the outdoor covered patio area (with white lights strung above!). The patio area is surrounded by greenery, hiding the (not so attractive) street view.
The weather was perfect the evening we went, so we sat outside. We both ordered the spaghetti vongole (“spaghettini with Manila clams in a garlic white wine broth”).
Left: A pretty wooden archway at the entrance of the restaurant. Right: More from the menu, boasting of daily homemade pastas.
We ordered the calamari and devoured that (and the bread + oil/balsamic) as an appetizer, even though we had just talked about how we should be careful with our cholesterol levels. Oops.
Left: A view of the DTLA buildings. Right: The spaghetti vongole, YUM! They give you SO many clams, which pleases me. While I was telling Meesh a story, she devoured 3/4 of her dish and I had to eat pretty much by myself the rest of the meal. Hahaa.
Indoor decor– exposed brick, antiquey furniture. Also– this restaurant is BYOB, which is always an awesome perk.
332 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, 90013
[Note: This is a scheduled post while I’m away in Korea!]
Added another Little Tokyo staple to my list of go-to restaurants in LA. Marugame Monzo, an udon restaurant with fresh noodles made right in front of you! Let the pictures speak for themselves.
Choose an udon, and choose tempura toppings. The second to last picture is of tempura hard-boiled eggs. They make it with the yoke just slightly undercooked (like Daikokuya‘s eggs, if ya’ll know what I’m talking about– which happens to be next door). I got the most basic udon (Kake udon) and it was a solid 4 stars with perfectly chewy noodles. They also have a bunch of different udons beyond the basic (e.g. curry udon, uni cream udon, squid butter udon), as well as non-udon dishes (e.g. pork belly bowl, beef tataki).
Looking at these pictures makes me want to go again (and again). Anyone?!
329 E 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The best is when you’re walking along and you stumble upon a cute coffee shop (or book store). In this case, a coffee shop.
My girlfriends and I were walking around Larchmont last month and stopped when we saw this new sign– “Go Get Em Tiger.” None of us had seen it before, so curious, we walked in. Turned out to be a recently-opened coffee shop.
I liked the minimalist decor– white walls, bright red fixtures, wooden stools (surprisingly comfortable). The set-up felt very wine-bar-ish rather than like a typical coffee shop. Several customers drank their coffee at the bar while chatting it up with the barista.
There were lots of different succulents in built-in shelves along the wall. The coffee came in a cute glass jar with a swatch of fabric tied around it (it’s all about the details), and the espresso with a shot of sparkling white tea as a palette cleanser. The coffee was good, the espresso strong.
Chalkboard menu. Definitely on the pricey side, though not surprising for this type of shop (and the location). Not sure if I would go out of my way to come here, considering I’m not a huge coffee drinker (I prefer tea), but definitely a cute place to check out if you are. Fun fact: Its sister store is G&B Coffee.
Go Get Em Tiger (GGET)
230 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
PS- FYI umm I wrote this post a couple of months ago and forgot to post it, which means the coffee shop is no longer super new. And I am no longer super cool for discovering it early on. Life fail.
Am I the only one who’s never heard of Rita’s? Apparently it’s an Italian ice/frozen custard franchise that’s allllll over the east coast, and is now popping up on the best coast as well (CA, NV, UT, AZ). When I heard a foodie friend talk about how it had opened in La Canada (which is nearby-ish), I wanted to check it out.
The store had 12 flavors of Italian (water) ice, though the website boasts 40 (!) flavors, so perhaps they rotate out their flavors. It also had 6 flavors of frozen custard– vanilla, chocolate, vanilla-chocolate twist, strawberry, light vanilla, and strawberry-light vanilla twist. Once again, the website has more flavors. Check them out here.
Rita’s is best known for the Gelati, which is a layering of frozen custard on the bottom of the cup, Italian ice in the middle, and topped with more frozen custard. You can read all the descriptions of their options above, but I got the Gelati with “Alex’s lemonade” Italian ice and vanilla custard. [[Read about who “Alex” is here— Rita’s partners with a charity dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancers– pretty cool.]]
I was actually surprised by how delicious it was. I’ve had both frozen custard and Italian ice in the past, but the combination was pretty ridic. The Italian ice was similar to shave ice (the legit kind, not an icy snow cone), and the vanilla frozen custard was kind of like a McDonald’s vanilla cone… but creamier. And better.
La Canada is in the boonies (sorry to all my LC friends– I know ya’ll have crazy LC pride), but there’s also a few more locations in SoCal, including Santa Monica, listed on their website here. I’m definitely going back. Maybe tomorrow.
Quick, Top 5 restaurants in LA!
Yeah. right. This question is pretty much impossible to answer. Anyone who’s lived in or visited LA knows the massively large selection and variety of food here. Skimming through Jonathan Gold’s 2013 list of 101 Best Restaurants gives you a good sense of that. “If you take into account Los Angeles’ superb produce, its breathtaking diversity and its imagination, it can be one of the most pleasurable places to eat on Earth.” – L.A. Times.
ON EARTH!! Indeed.
Regardless, if I absolutely HAD to make a Top 5 list, like someone was FORCING me (honestly, in what situation would this ever happen?! Just humor me -_-), I would probably choose not restaurants, but specific dishes. Likeeeeee the ‘Bife Tropicalia’ at Tropicalia Brazilian Grill in Los Feliz.
It’s tucked away in a small space diagonally across the street from The Alcove (a better-recognized restaurant in Los Feliz), and has authentic (to my knowledge?) Brazilian dishes. Like the Bife Tropicalia, above (get it with rice & beans, not french fries!).
A Korean-Brazilian friend first brought me here a few years ago (so there’s gotta be some level of legit-ness to the place), and I’ve come back over and over to order the same dish. I honestly can’t speak for the rest of the dishes, so Yelp might be more helpful (a solid 4 stars). Oh, except for the sangria. The sangria is also dangerously delicious.
Cute place, nice ambience, and usually no problem getting seated. Top 5 fo’ sho.
Last Wednesday, I cancelled all of my plans for the day to take a spontaneous day ‘trip’ (<1 hour away) with my girlfriends to Redondo Beach. On the agenda: kayaks + crabs (of the edible sort).
The four of us rented 2 double kayaks from Rocky Point, a company in a secluded area of R.B. (away from the touristy pier). Rentals were $35 per double kayak for 2 hours, though the guy manning the store said “take your time” as if he didn’t really care (he didn’t). There was also an option to do stand-up paddleboarding, but we decided to save that for another time. For me, a time when I wouldn’t mind possibly falling in the water. -_-
Though hot in L.A., the weather was PERFECT in the South Bay. As it was a weekday afternoon, we were the only ones on the water, sans a lone paddleboarder. I love that I have fellow unemployed/flexible-work-schedule friends. Yeee.
I don’t think we even lasted the full two hours. Man, kayaking is a work-out. Our arms were super sore after an hour or so. The website says, “An hour’s workout will burn about 400 calories, builds upper body muscles including pects and lats.” Guess I better come more often…
There were a bunch of seals we kayaked around. They were smelly. And very loud. They made sounds like… dying dinosaurs. Or what I would imagine dying dinosaurs to sound like. Still, pretty cute, in a weird not-objectively-cute-but-they’re-SEALS kind of way.
After kayaking, we headed over to the pier to have an early dinner at Pacific Fish Center & Restaurant. You know, that really famous Korean restaurant that serves ginormous crabs with mallets and paper plates and bibs. Okay, well if you’re Asian or have lived in a 50 mile vicinity of R.B., you know what I’m talking about. SO.RIDIC.DELICIOUS.
Before we had our crab, we had these steamed baby octopi. I know what half of you are thinking. SO GROSS. The other half… SO GOOD.
Left: A baby baby-octopus and potentially it’s mother. Or father. So tragic. Right: bottoms up! They taste a lot better than they look. Just close your eyes.
YUM. So much deliciousness to be had. We devoured this. And then, we walked along the pier and had churros with caramel sauce, at a place that claimed to have the WORLD’S-BEST-CHURROS. They were not the world’s best. False advertising. But they were good. AND then we had mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream gelato. Fatties for the win!
A perfect summer day! I love SoCal. 🙂 [[PS- My Cal hat was borrowed from Renee. Go Bruins. ;)]]
You guys. There’s this pretty awesome new restaurant-bar that opened in DTLA and I kind of don’t even want to post about it because it will get super crowded once everyone finds out and then and thennnn that would be not cool.
But I will. Because a friend introduced it to me first, and you guys are my friends… even you strangers. You’re very welcome.
Anyway, it’s called The Stocking Frame, and my friend Sunghee hosted her birthday party here a few weeks ago. She literally just stumbled upon it one day while walking to another restaurant. It opened a little over a month ago and I went back 2 days ago because… I wanted to. The space is huge with an amazeballs interior– exposed brick walls, high ceilings, wood frames, a fireplace, strands of white lights, and an open patio. As a reviewer on Yelp stated, it looks “like you can take at least ten Instagram photos with it looking like you’re always in a different place”– such truth from a clear Instagram addict.
I was able to take tons of pictures because the place is still pretty unknown to the DTLA crowd (and thus the restaurant was empty-ish both times I went). I’m sure that will change in a few months but until then, I will selfishly enjoy the quiet emptiness of the place.
I went for dinner but apparently they have a decent brunch menu as well. Food is trendy-new-American, if that makes sense. You know… roasted marrow bones, spiced octopus + pork belly tacos, butcher nachos with pork butt– that sort of thing. Their menus do change frequently, which is kinda cool.. except.. I REALLY wanted the pork butt nachos the second time I went (they were frickin’ delicious the first time) but had to settle for beef cheek nachos (pictured above)… they were almost as good.
The bar had some creative and unusual cocktail options as well as foreign wines and beers. I tried the “chihuaha” which had tequila with serrano chiles and citrus. Pretty good….I think (Shrug. I don’t have the most refined palette when it comes to alcohol.).
The above-mentioned Yelp reviewer was totally right. Instagram for dayzzz here.
My favorite part of the restaurant is the space next to the bar that opens up into the patio (pictured above right). There’s tons of seating with a small garden plot full of plants surrounded on four sides by wooden benches. It’s perfect for a warm summer night.
Some more random decor details– a sweet stained glass window. And a large flag at the entrance.
Anyway, I’ll definitely be back here again soon– if not for the food/drinks then for the atmosphere/cool space. The food was decent (probably 3.5-4 stars for everything I tried, minus the bone marrow, which was like.. a 2.5.) Worth checking out fo’sho.
The Stocking Frame
911 S Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015