Tag Archives: restaurants

eat this cafe in hollywood

My friends and I went for brunch earlier this month on a rainy Saturday. It’s hard to imagine rain when we’ve been getting 90+ degree weather just this past weekend. The weather has been so bipolar lately! Despite the weather, some friends and I checked out a brunch place in Hollywood, Eat This Cafe and enjoyed our experience.

inside

Here’s what we ordered (and shared):

Open-faced egg sandwich w/cranberry walnut bread ($11)

Open-faced egg sandwich w/cranberry walnut bread ($11)

french toast

Grand Marnier French Toast ($12)

Truffle cheese and egg panini ($12.50)

Truffle cheese and egg panini ($12.50)

I think we all agreed that the French toast and truffle cheese and egg panini were the best dishes (corned beef hash not pictured). They also have a popular crab eggs benedict but we didn’t try it this time. LA has plenty of weekend brunch spots but this is one of the memorable ones. Others underwhelmed or seemed overpriced. This one hit the spot and they had decent coffee. I also like that they have a self-serve flavored water.

Since it’s a small place, I would suggest coming w/a party no bigger than 4. I think we waited about 30 minutes but we came around 11:30am. Street parking on adjacent streets.

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chaya in downtown LA

Students are heading back to school and work is picking up meaning it’s the end of summer. I’m fortunate enough to leave the office while it’s still light outside. I had a chance to catch up with Christine (of blog, feedmysole) and try a popular happy hour spot, Chaya, in dtla. Their sake sangria ($8) hit the spot and their grilled Mexican corn ($8) was very flavorful. I also recommend their beef tongue skewer ($3), very tender.

Best surprise of the night was running into my friend Su who works at a law firm in the same building 🙂

1st collage

food collageoutdoor seating

boston: part 1 (good eats)

I was in Boston for about a week earlier this month for a work conference and came the weekend prior to explore/play. My friends (and talented colleagues) and I hung out and had some amazing food. I have so many pictures to share that I’ll devote another post to the sights of Boston. It was actually my second time here but first time really experiencing it on foot. Here are some food highlights:

Our first night in Boston, we took a short bus ride to this Asian fusion restaurant, Myers+Chang. I’m a bit weary when I hear fusion but it was a much needed pick-me-up after a 5+ hour plane ride. Our favorites were the papaya salad, Indonesian fried rice (below, top right, bottom left), and their dan dan cold noodles in a peanut sauce. Despite being a busy Friday night for the restaurant, we had ice waters (noticeably sweating from the humidity we’re not accustomed to) and seated at the window within 10 minutes.

The highlight was meeting Chef Joanne Chang as she came by and asked us how the food was!!! She even liked MY Instagram pic! I’ve been a big fan ever since she beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network’s  Throwdown with her signature sticky buns (keep reading).

We went to Cafe Luna for Saturday brunch in Cambridge (top left, bottom right). I ordered their lemon ricotta stuffed mascarpone pancakes with lemon curd. Probably one of the best brunch dishes I’ve ever had. These were so light and fluffy, perfect for the hot day with my iced chai latte. Julie had the lobster eggs benedict (bottom right). Doesn’t it look savory and decadent? She was saying how fresh the lobster was in her dish. We were very impressed by this small sidewalk cafe (which was packed on a Saturday morning, as good ones should be). The owner was so friendly and kind to us as we learned he’s originally from OC.

brunch and meyers

Day 2 continued: Flour Bakery in Cambridge. A few blocks from Cafe Luna is one of 3 Flour Bakery locations. The first one opened in 2000 and has become an integral part of the city. Chef Joanne Chang has not only the bakeries, her restaurant, and also 2 cookbooks to her empire :). Despite our stuffed bellies, we HAD to sample their desserts. They’re famous for their sticky sticky buns (below). OMG! Very gooey and a generous amount of pecans. I also had a chunky lola cookie (choco chip oatmeal cookie w/coconut and pecans), which was even better! I found the cookie recipe online and baked them last weekend (foolproof!).

I bought home some goodies from this bakery including coffee beans and their signature granola, both taste so good I wish I bought more. My parents really liked their coffee beans for a smooth taste (says a hint of chocolate, but I can’t tell). What’s interesting about Chef Joanne’s background is she graduated from Harvard w/a dual Bachelors in economics and mathematics to work as a management consultant only to realize her true passion was becoming pastry chef. If you’ve ever baked, you understand the art and science of baking. How cool is that?

flour bakery

We also explored the South Boston as our conference was a short walking distance to this up-and-coming area (NPR just did a story on this area). We found this gem of a restaurant, Sportello, one of Chef Barbara Lynch’s restaurants (she has 8 or 9 eateries and mentored the last Top Chef winner). The concept of the eatery is casual Italian diner with countertops covering most the restaurant and an open kitchen + bakery. It’s so cute and inviting. Most notable was their handmade gnocchi and tagliatelle with bolognese sauce. The simplest dishes are the hardest to pull off and they make it look effortless. Shout out to our server Ethan who was amazing.

sportello

I love exploring new cities because you stumble upon places that locals frequent like Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, a few doors down from Sportello. A simple cafe with high quality coffee. Their iced coffee hit the spot on those hot summer days. We also made room for cannolis at Mike’s Pastry in the North End after a full meal. $3.50 for a pistachio cannoli in a small, always crowded Italian pastry shop (cash only).

mike's pastry

Hope this gives you a little taste (no pun intended) of good eats in Boston. Stay tuned for Boston part 2 later this week. Too much good content to cram into one post.

berry and yogurt smoothie | 26 beach

I had a nice loooong 4th of July weekend in Malibu! Maybe it’s a sign of age that I actually like that it wasn’t scorching hot. Either way, I’m always craving fresh and fruity drinks in the summer. I came across this recipe in Gordon Ramsay’s cookbook, Healthy Appetite. His name conjures up images of a yelling, f-bomb dropping chef from the tv show, Hell’s Kitchen, but browsing through this book actually showed a completely different side to him. Did you know that he used to have a weight problem (occupational hazards of being a chef) but learned to adapt a healthy lifestyle which includes running marathons. Found some simple, flavorful recipes with vibrant photos and tips on how to eat more veggies, oats, grains, etc.

berry smoothie pic 2

 

Berry and Yogurt Smoothie (adapted from Healthy Appetite)
1 cup of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
8 TB low-fat plain yogurt
1/3 cup milk
3-4 TB of honey

Place all the ingredients into a blender and whiz until smooth, adjust the sweetness as desired.

 

 

 

I also tried a new restaurant on the west side this past week with my friend Hannah called 26 Beach. They’re actually famous for their burgers but I went there for brunch and had their Polar Bear, 2 croissants and a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fresh berries and sauce… delicious! You CAN eat ice cream for breakfast =) Also, a very cute, girly restaurant, great for bridal showers and such.


26 beach patio ed 26 beach interior ed