Monday, January 14, 2019

Happy Hour Detour

One of the good things about Los Angeles is that there are always good options no matter what time of day or which neighborhood you prefer. Simply driving until you I saw a string of potential eateries on Washington, the original idea was to eat at Hatchet Hall, but it wasn't open yet, but a few steps away there was a blackboard sign for Detour Bistro advertising happy hour from 3-7pm. It was a good omen to see that there were quite a few customers at 4 pm on a Wednesday. The clientele was a mix of mostly 30 somethings, eating as much as they were drinking, and after perusing the menu and seeing what was arriving at the nearby tables, I wanted to try several bites.

The fish taco can be either seared or fried, and thankfully they use wild yellowtail that was perfectly cooked and nicely complimented by the fresh vegetables on the commercial corn tortilla.
The tempura romanesco was the hit of the evening with a nice crunch, accented with a spread of olive hummus.
The grilled caesar needed more grilling and more anchovies in the dressing, but it had quality parmesan and some nice accents of cherry tomatoes and radishes.
The spicy wings were the nicest surprise of the evening, with enough heat and complexity to entice those who have been bored to tears with the usual treatment of this popular finger food. If you only get one dish here, get this and / or the tempura romanesco and you will be very happy.
For those who wish to drink craft cocktails, they have several originals, as well as the usual full bar and some decent wines, so it is worth making a detour if you are in the area.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Nanban-Ken Yakitori

A small family run restaurant is always my preferred choice Nanban-kan has been a yakitori (grilled skewers) favorite of mine for years, so I was happy to introduce a local to this hidden treasure that almost literally requires a treasure map to find. Most skewers are in the $4 range and include 2, so you can mix and match several to match your appetite and sense of adventure. With choices ranging from chicken hearts and tongue, to the pork belly wrapped asparagus and seabass, I chose a bit of everything :) My favorites were the chicken hearts and sea bass, with the asparagus coming out third, I found the beef tongue a bit tough and dry, but still decent.

My friend ordered the comforting chicken and rice dish since he was getting over an illness. It came with a colorful array of pickles and miso soup, so a perfect remedy for those with sensitive stomachs or a compromised immune system.
 The stuffed shitake mushrooms were filling but not vegetarian since they were stuffed with ground chicken.
We tried the daily special of yellowtail collar and found it a bit over cooked but very fresh. The owner is the hostess who rules the roost with a very fair system and a warm smile, making sure clients who reserved were seated promptly, but those who arrived late were asked to wait. Walk-ins were offered the front tables with the same impeccable service as the main dining room. I was very happy to to found quality and service still prevail in this small enclave of hospitality and great Japanese grilling.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Mid East Tacos, Mama Musubi, Ugly Drum, Milk

First stop at Smorgasburg was of course at Mid East Tacos, because I always support my friends, especially those who cook well :) They have upgraded and expanded tremendously since they started in the beginning of the year, and I am thrilled and happy to have witnessed and tasted the evolution. 

Their grill is now TWICE as big, and their corn tortillas are the best I have eaten (made by hand in the back of the stand). Since the grill is helmed by Paul and the recipes come from Armen, this is a must stop for at least ONE taco, if not the trio of beef, chicken, and falafel.

 With my "backstage pass" went behind the stand to see the set up.
 Paul and his skewers.
 It takes a team to prepare the tacos and burritos
 including the woman who was making all the corn tortillas on the spot!
After some tacos and a walk around, it was time for a small snack of Mama Musubi's Kelp with upgraded rice.
Ugly Drum was the designated main stop, with a short stack, some burnt ends, and pickles. They had a new horseradish mustard from a fellow vendor that was fantastic.
 Burnt ends could have been a meal by itself.
The short stack was plenty for two people to share, especially with the burnt ends. As a bread fanatic, I was very impressed by the Bub and Grandma's they used for the sandwich.
Milk was there so I had to try their confetti cookie. Thankfully it came in its own package to take home since the incredibly moist and perfectly sweet cookie had to be saved for later.
 Food marathon completed, for now :)

Monday, December 24, 2018


Going to Smorgasburg should be considered the same way you would consider training for a marathon; walk the route, start slowly, pace yourself, know when and where you want to go all out if you want to finish painlessly. 

After more than 2 years, the vendors and crowds have multiplied, but on an overcast day, there was still plenty of space in the 4,000+ space (FREE) parking garage. There is no way to sample everything even if you stay the entire time they open on Sundays from 10 am- 4 pm, so choose a handful of places and then plan to return.

Today's post will be a visual tour of the vendors, and tomorrow's post will be on the places that got some stomach real estate :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Mosaic Tile House Venice Part 2

The artists live and work in the Mosaic Tile House, so the kitchen is fully functional, and their studio in the back is where they create their tiles and where their bigger pieces are displayed.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Mosaic Tile House Venice Part 1

Even though I have lived in Los Angeles for decades, I had never been to the Mosaic Tile House in Venice until recently. Today and tomorrow's photo posts will be a kaleidoscope for your eyes, a challenge for your brain, and a feast for your imagination. Enjoy the adventure on Saturdays between 1-4pm $20 for adults $15 for seniors and children under 12 get free admission.

 Wrenches, pliers, anything you can imagine are incorporated.

 Yes, those are spoons!

 The details are amazing.
Walls, ceilings, and floors are all part of the canvas.
The artists appear in the artwork throughout the house :)