Category Archives: Larchmont

Melrose Place


While looks aren’t everything, when it comes to food, it’s certainly true that we eat with our eyes first. Great chefs know this and no chef in Los Angeles is more talented in composing visually stunning plates than Kevin Meehan. At Kali, Meehan expertly arranges colorful edible flowers, delicate dehydrated lemon slices and wispy pea tendrils to create beautiful works of art.

Besides looking amazing, the seasonal California cuisine and drinks at Kali taste pretty awesome too. I recommend starting your meal with a “New Pad Thai” cocktail made with Green Chili Vodka, Aqua Perfect, Lime and Coconut Ice, and garnished with bean sprouts and a thin slice of carrot. Enjoy your cocktail with an order of Kali’s signature Black Barley “Risotto” with Fermented Garlic Tea and Fiscalini Cheese Crisp. For entrees, I recommend the Ribeye with Buttermilk Garlic Cream, Charred Onion, Potato, Mushrooms and Ash Sabayon, and the Duck Breast with Smoked Sunchoke, Sage, Squash and Coffee. For dessert, go for the hot sugary Buttermilk Doughnuts. You’re welcome.

Kali is located at 5722 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles (on the border between Hollywood and Larchmont).

Cocktails! New Pad Thai (St. George Green Chili Vodka, Aqua Perfecta, Lime and Coconut Ice) and On_the_DL (Vida Mezcal, Blood Orange, Salt & Pepper, Lime and Jalapeño)

Ridgeback Prawns with Citrus, Nasturtium, Pickled Kumquat, Chive Oil and Preserved Lemon Foam

Yellowtail Crudo with Charcoal, Avocado, Rice Chips, Nasturium and Charred Lemon

Beet Root Tartare with Whipped Creme Fraiche, Tender Garden Herbs, Black Garlic Vinagrette and Toast

Burrata Salad with Dill Pickled Carrots, Almond Granola, Mustard Frills and Whole Grain Toast

Black Barley “Risotto” with Fermented Black Garlic Tea, Wheat Grass and Fiscalini Cheese Crisp

Agnolotti with Smoked Parsnip, Egg Yolk Pasta, Fermented Turnips, Burnt Kale Oil and Almonds

Duck Breast from Liberty Farms with Smoked Sunchoke, Sage, Squash and Coffee

Black Cod with English Peas, Mint Oil, White Chocolate, Almond and Pea Tendrils

Ribeye with Buttermilk Garlic Cream, Charred Onion, Potato, Mushrooms, Ash Sabayon

Pork Loin with Tahitian Squash, Potato Gnocci, Raisin Gremolata and Swiss Chard

Duck Breast with Whipped Polenta, Fermented Blackberry, Fava, Coffee Oil and Kombucha

Bass with Preserved Lemon Steam, Tomato Raisins, Fermented Fennel-Kraut, Garden Herbs and Olive Foam

Buttermilk Doughnuts

Cool, modern and minimalist decor

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Filed under Hollywood, Larchmont, Mid-City

The 13 Best Donut Shops in LA

Best Donut Shops in LA
Loved by cops, Homer Simpson and pretty much everyone else, donuts are entering a renaissance here in Los Angeles. New donut shops are regularly popping up and offering high-end artisan versions of the traditional fried ring-shaped cakes. At the same time, long established shops have been expanding their menus and offering renditions of the latest donut crazes such as maple bacon or the croissant-donut hybrid known as a “cronut.” Excited by these dynamic donut developments, I set out against the advice of my wife and doctor on a mission to find the best donut shops in LA. Here are the winners:

Fresh Peach Stuffed Donut from The Donut Man

Fresh Peach Stuffed Donut from The Donut Man


1. The Donut Man (915 E Rte 66, Glendora). It’s not only the best donut shop in LA, but probably in the top five for the whole country. Located in Glendora on Historic Route 66, it’s well worth the long car trip, which I like to refer to as a “Pilgrimage to the Hole-y Land,” especially from February until Mid-September when they sell their famous fresh strawberry and/or fresh peach stuffed donuts.

Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Chip Donut from Stan's Donuts

Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Chip Donut from Stan’s Donuts


2. Stan’s Donuts (10948 Weyburn Ave, Los Angeles in Westwood). Since I’m a UCLA graduate, this Westwood mainstay is a sentimental favorite, but it’s hard to imagine anyone not falling in love with these donuts. I’m obsessed with the glazed ones generously stuffed with peanut butter and either fresh bananas or jelly.

Maple Bacon Donut from Primo's Donuts

Maple Bacon Donut from Primo’s Donuts


3. Primo’s Donuts (2918 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles in West LA). This little old-school shop on the Westside has sold consistently awesome donuts since 1956. Everything here is super fresh (it helps that Primo’s is only open in the morning and afternoon) and are made from super high-quality ingredients. The glazed Buttermilk Bars, which are slightly crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, are not to be missed.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Filled Glazed Donut from Donut Friend

Peanut Butter and Jelly Filled Glazed Donut from Donut Friend


4. Donut Friend (5107 York Blvd, Los Angeles in Highland Park). Located on newly gentrified, hipster-laden York Boulevard, Donut Friend is a place to unleash your inner pastry chef. You can design your own custom donut creation by selecting a base donut and picking fillings or toppings such as Nutella, maple or chocolate glaze, fresh fruit, chopped nuts, crushed Oreo cookies, bacon and even Sriacha!

Chocolate Raised Donut from Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts

Chocolate Glazed Raised Donut from Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts


5. Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts (6333 W 3rd St #450, Los Angeles in the Original Farmers Market). Bob’s is an LA instituion, and for good reason. They sell some of the yummiest donuts in town. I especially recommend their warm and uber-fresh Apple Fritters and, if you’re a chocolate lover, you can’t go wrong with one of their Chocolate Glazed Raised Donuts.

Mambo Italiano Donut from Glazed Donut Bistro

Mambo Italiano Donut from Glazed Donut Bistro


6. Glazed Donut Bistro (8807 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood). This brand spanking new eatery is dedicated to creative gourmet donut concoctions for grownups, such as the “S’more Please” with chocolate ganache, crumbled graham cracker streusel and house-made marshmallows, and the “Mambo Italiano” with pistachio glaze, homemade ricotta cheese, chocolate curls and a maraschino cherry. They also offer savory donut treats. UPDATE: Glazed Donut Bistro is closed. Selling donuts in fitness-conscious Boys-town was maybe not such a great idea.

Original Glazed Doughnut from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

Original Glazed Doughnut from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts


7. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (4034 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles in South Los Angeles). Yes, it’s a chain, but it’s better than 90% of all donut places in town. The Original Glazed can’t be beat. The freshest ones come from the South Los Angeles location where they are made right on the premises while you watch.

Original Croissant Style from Kettle Glazed

Original Croissant Style from Kettle Glazed


8. Kettle Glazed (6211 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles in Hollywood). Another new kid on the block, Kettle Glazed is a purveyor of small batch artisan donuts. Daily offerings may include Lemon-Blueberry, Vanilla Bean Glazed and different types of Cronuts. They also have gluten-free options.

Glazed Ube Donut from DK’s Donuts & Bakery

Glazed Ube Donut from DK’s Donuts & Bakery


9. DK’s Donuts & Bakery (1614 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica). This family run shop might have the biggest variety of donuts in the city. Pretty much all donut trends can be found here including several types of Cronut knockoffs. But they also create new varieties as well, including three types of donuts made with ube, a purple yam which is extremely popular in the Philippines.

Red Velvet Donut from S K's Donuts & Croissants

Red Velvet Donut from S K’s Donuts & Croissants


10. S K’s Donuts & Croissants (5850 W 3rd St, Los Angeles in Mid-City). This 24-hour joint produces a bevy of tasty treats. Most of the donuts are traditional but some are modern such as “Skronuts” (their version of Cronuts) and a not-to-be-missed Red Velvet Donut.

Maple Bacon Cronut from California Donuts

Maple Bacon Cronut from California Donuts


11. California Donuts (3540 W 3rd St, Los Angeles in Koreatown). This popular K-town stand is open all night and offers a pretty nice variety. It’s perfect for capping off a nice meal of Korean BBQ or a bowl of Spicy Crab Soup with a sweet treat.

Chocolate Rainbow Sprinkles Donut from Randy's Donuts

Chocolate Rainbow Sprinkles Donut from Randy’s Donuts


12. Randy’s Donuts (805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood). Located near LAX, Randy’s is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The 45-foot giant donut-shaped sign on its roof has appeared in countless movies and beckons all who pass by to stop and purchase some very tasty donuts. The assortment here is all traditional, including cake, raised, jelly and old fashioned varieties, as well as apple fritters and bear claws.

Strawberry Cruller from Donut Hut

Strawberry Cruller from Doughnut Hut


13. Doughnut Hut (2025 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank). Surprisingly, there are not many exceptional donut places in the Valley. But I do like Doughnut Hut in Burbank, not only for their traditional donuts (which I recommend purchasing and consuming early in the day) but for their cool retro-looking red and yellow hut. My favorite donuts here are the crumb cake and orange glazed ones.

Salted Caramel Donut from Donut Snob

Pecan, Caramel and Chocolate Donut from Donut Snob


Honorable Mention: Donut Snob (www.thedonutsnob.com). It’s not a brick and mortar shop, so it doesn’t qualify for my list. However, this company that delivers pricy but scrumptious gourmet donuts (which are similar to those at Glazed Donut Bistro) to your home or work, is worth an honorable mention. You can also buy them at Go Get Em Tiger, a popular coffee bar on Larchmont.

If you enjoy Consuming LA, please subscribe, like me on facebook, and/or follow me on twitter at the top right of this page. You can also find me on Instagram @ConsumingLA. And please forward to your friends!

Stan's Corner Donut Shoppe on Urbanspoon
DK's Donuts & Bakery on Urbanspoon
Glazed Donut Bistro on Urbanspoon
Randy's Donuts on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Burbank, Glendora, Highland Park, Hollywood, Inglewood, Koreatown, Larchmont, Mid-City, Santa Monica, South Los Angeles, West Hollywood, West LA, Westwood

500 Days of Scones

Scones
Last year I rejected the hackneyed New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and instead I boldly declared my resolution to eat more pie. That was so 2012. As we begin 2013, I feel we are entering a new era, an era of both frightening uncertainty and cautious optimism (and I’m not just talking about the Lakers). Accordingly, my resolution this year is to eat more scones!

There is something very warming and comforting about a scone, especially when accompanied by a hot drink on a cold day. First introduced to the world by the the Scots in the early 1500’s, the scone is more popular today than ever. There are two basic kinds of scones: the “cream tea scone” and the “drop scone” (aka “griddle scone”). The cream tea scone is light and fluffy and served with clotted cream and jam during a traditional English afternoon tea. I prefer drop scones (aka griddle scones) which resemble biscuits and are crispy and slightly browned on the outside, delicate and flaky on the inside.

My favorite scones in LA come from Rockenwagner Bakery/3 Square Cafe and Bakery, helmed by Austrian-bred master chef and baker Hans Rockenwagner. Rockenwagner’s scones are insanely good and his varieties include Triberry, Ginger, 5-Grain, Chocolate Chip, Blueberry, Bacon & Cheddar and my favorite, White Chocolate Raspberry. I’m also crazy about the Republic of Pies’ Bacon Scone, which is surprisingly sweet rather than savory. Another unique scone is Short Cake’s Campfire Scone, which tastes just like a S’more and is topped with toasted marshmallow. Below is my list of the top eight scones in the city. Happy New Year!

Raspberry White Chocolate Scone

Raspberry White Chocolate Scone from Rockenwagner Bakery/3 Square Bakery and Cafe in Santa Monica, Mar Vista and Venice


Chocolate Pear Scone from Clementine in Westwood

Chocolate Pear Scone from Clementine in Westwood


Bacon Scone from Republic of Pies in North Hollywood

Bacon Scone from Republic of Pies in North Hollywood


Maple Oatmeal Scone from Sweet Butter Kitchen in Sherman Oaks

Maple Oatmeal Scone from Sweet Butter Kitchen in Sherman Oaks


Blueberry and Jam Scone from Bricks and Scone (403 N. Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles)

Blueberry and Jam Scone from Bricks and Scones in Larchmont


Campfire Scone from Short Cake in The Farmer's Market

Campfire Scone from Short Cake in The Farmer’s Market


Ginger Apricot Scone from Susina Bakery & Cafe (7122 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles)

Ginger Apricot Scone from Susina Bakery & Cafe in Mid-City


Oatmeal Brown Butter Scone from Sycamore Kitchen in Mid-City

Oatmeal Brown Butter Scone from Sycamore Kitchen in Mid-City

3 Square Café + Bakery on Urbanspoon
Susina Bakery on Urbanspoon
Röckenwagner Bakery on Urbanspoon
Sweet Butter Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Fairfax, Larchmont, Mar Vista, Mid-City, North Hollywood, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Venice, Westwood

10 Best Sub Sandwich Shops in LA


Subs, Grinders, Hoagies, Po-Boys, Heroes, Submarines. Whatever you call them, they’re a central part of the national diet, especially for lunch. A long roll filled with deli meats and/or cheese along with toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes or peppers, and condiments such as mustard and olive oil sounds like a simple thing to make, but discerning eaters know that not all deli sandwiches are created equal.

When I started this blog, I declared the Godmother at Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery the best sandwich in LA. While I still believe this is true today, for other varieties such as a Caprese or Pastrami sub, I prefer All About the Bread on Melrose Ave., which was clearly inspired by Bay Cities but has shorter lines. Both places have unbelievably amazing, crispy and chewy artisan bread which is baked fresh every 20 or 30 minutes, use Boar’s Head meats and fashion extraordinary combos of bread, meat and cheese using the freshest and tastiest ingredients. While these two places are my clear favorites, there are several others in this city worth visiting. After an extensive amount of carb-loading research, here are my top ten favorite sub sandwich joints in LA:

All About the Bread

#1 (tie) All About the Bread (7111 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles near West Hollywood) The name pretty much says it all. I’ve loved every sandwich I’ve had here, but my favorite is the Buratta with Sundried Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Homemade Pesto, Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers. It’s one of the best things ever.

The Godmother from Bay Cities

#1 (tie). Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery (1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica) The insanely good bread is the secret to their huge success. My favorite sub is The Godmother (Genoa Salami, Mortadella, Capicolla, Ham, Prosciutto and Provolone) with “The Works.” I challenge you to find a better sandwich.

Dan’s Super Subs

#3 Dan’s Super Subs (22446 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills) It’s one of the only restaurants that I love in the West Valley. Their delicious bread has sesame seeds and is steamed for each order. Subs are completed with Dan’s signature chopped tomatoes and pickle spears. Not open on Sundays.

The Jose Andres aka “The Spanish Godfather” at Ink Sack

#4 Ink Sack (8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles in West Hollywood) Celebrity Chef Michael Voltaggio’s sandwich shop serves creative versions of classic subs. My favorite is The Jose Andres aka “The Spanish Godfather,” which is named after Voltaggio’s mentor and former boss at The Bazaar. It’s made with Serrano Ham, Chorizo and Manchego Cheese.

Storefront

#5 Storefront (4624 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles in Los Feliz) This Eastside hipster sandwich shop is the new kid on the block and was opened only a few weeks ago by the chefs of Salt’s Cure. I am already impressed with “The Mousa” (pictured above), their Italian deli meat sub which includes picked cayenne peppers.

The No. 3 from Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese

#6 Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese (223 N Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles in Mid-City) This gourmet wine and cheese shop has some of the city’s best Italian sandwiches, which are served on either a crusty baguette or soft ciabatta. They all come with a nice little side of olives and cornichons.

Mike’s Deli

#7 Mike’s Deli 4859 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles in South LA) There are very few tables and it’s generic and fast food-esque in appearance, but this simple deli makes simply great subs with top-notch ingredients including Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. A second location opened recently in Little Tokyo.

The Spicy Italian Sub from Mario’s

#8 Mario’s Italian Deli & Market (740 E Broadway in Glendale) A Glendale institution, Mario’s is an old-school Italian market with all sorts of imported goodies and a very popular deli. They cut their sub rolls in thirds lengthwise, so that there is a “mezzanine” layer of bread in your sandwich between two layers of filling.

Busy Bee Market

#9 Busy Bee Market (2413 S Walker Ave, San Pedro) If you’re in the South Bay, it’s the place to go. This unassuming deli counter in a small and rundown-looking neighborhood market turns out excellent subs on super-soft bread. But be warned: it’s cash only, take-out only, and they’re closed on Sundays.

“The Sandwich” from Roma Italian Deli & Grocery

#10 Roma Italian Deli & Grocery (918 N. Lake Ave, Pasadena) Enter this little Italian market, go to the counter on your right and ask diminutive elderly Rosario to make you “The Sandwich.” Watch as he prepares it with fresh meats and cheese and no toppings or condiments other than olive oil. Consume and enjoy.

UPDATE: I’m sad to report that Storefront has closed. If you enjoy Consuming LA, subscribe for free at the top right of this page and you’ll get an email once a week when I post. And please forward this to your friends, repost on facebook and retweet!

All About the Bread on Urbanspoon
Busy Bee on Urbanspoon
Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese on Urbanspoon
Roma Italian Deli & Grocery on Urbanspoon
Mario's Italian Deli & Market on Urbanspoon
Dan's Super Subs on Urbanspoon
Mike's Deli on Urbanspoon
Mike's Deli #2 on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Fairfax, Glendale, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, Larchmont, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Pasadena, San Pedro, Santa Monica, South Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Woodland Hills

Who Salted My Caramel?


Maybe it’s just a trend, but it seems as if in the past few years, most caramel desserts have become “salted caramel” desserts. Not that I’m complaining. I love the combination of salty and sweet. Salt enhances the rich, buttery flavor of caramel and takes it to a whole new level. Lately, I just can’t get enough of this delectable flavor. Here (in no particular order) are my ten favorite salted caramel desserts in Los Angeles:

Salted Caramel Cutie Pie from Simplethings Sandwich and Pie Shop

1. Salted Caramel Cutie Pie from Simplethings Sandwich and Pie Shop (8310 W. 3rd St, Los Angeles) This is my favorite of the dozen different miniature pies baked at Simplethings. It’s the perfect tiny dessert and I can eat a whole one in three bite. They’re available Wednesday through Saturday each week.

Salted Caramel Cupcake from Lark Cake Shop

2. Salted Caramel Cupcake from Lark Cake Shop (3337 W Sunset Blvd in Silverlake) Salted Caramel Cupcakes can be found at several bakeries in Los Angeles but this one is my favorite. It’s a moist white cake topped with an incredibly delicious not-too-sweet salted caramel frosting.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Sweet Rose Creamery

3. Salted Caramel Ice Cream from Sweet Rose Creamery (225 26th Street, Santa Monica) Sweet Rose Creamery in the Brentwood Country Mart makes some of the best small batch, artisanal ice cream in the city and Salted Caramel is my favorite flavor here. For maximum enjoyment, have them sprinkle sea salt on top.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich from Carmela Ice Cream

4. Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich from Carmela Ice Cream (2495 E. Washington Blvd, Pasadena) Carmela Ice Cream also makes amazing Salted Caramel Ice Cream; it’s one of their signature flavors. It’s especially good sandwiched between two dark chocolate cookies with sea salt sprinkled on top.

Salted Caramel Bar from Huckleberry Cafe and Bakery

5. Salted Caramel Bar from Huckleberry Cafe and Bakery (1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica) Dense and chewy with a delicious buttery crust, this is one of the best things on the menu at Huckleberry. It’s half candy, half pastry and the perfect companion to a latte or cappuccino.

Salted Caramel Macaron from ‘Lette Macarons

6. Salted Caramel Macaron from ‘Lette Macarons (9466 Charleville Blvd in Beverly Hills, 122 N. Larchmont Blvd in LA and 14 S. Fair Oaks Ave in Pasadena) French macarons are the “it” dessert right now and ‘Lette makes amazing ones including this delicate, sweet and slightly salty beauty. C’est Magnifique!

Salted Caramel Brownie from Sweetsalt Food Shop

7. Salted Caramel Brownie from Sweetsalt Food Shop (10218 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake) With a name like “Sweetsalt,” you pretty much need to have a good salted caramel dessert and this brownie lives up to the expectation. It’s fudgy and chewy, and baked with large dollop of salted caramel.

Caramels with Maldon Sea Salt and Toasted Cashews from Sunny Spot

8. Caramels with Maldon Sea Salt and Toasted Cashews from Sunny Spot (822 Washington Blvd in Venice) You gotta love a dessert consisting simply of yummy hunks of buttery candy sprinkled with chopped cashew nuts and maldon salt. It’s the perfect decadent way to end a meal at Roy Choi’s awesome Caribbean-inspired eatery.

Salted Caramel Cookie from Olive & Thyme

9. Salted Caramel Cookie from Olive & Thyme (4013 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake) The perfect marriage of chocolate and caramel. Thick and creamy salted caramel sauce sandwiched between two delicate dark chocolate wafers, one of which has a large hole to prominently feature the salted caramel goodness.

Salted Caramel Pot de Creme from Stella Rossa Pizza Bar

10. Salted Caramel Pot de Creme from Stella Rossa Pizza Bar (2000 Main Street, Santa Monica) While Gjelina, Bottega Louie and Mozza have their Butterscotch Budinos, Stella Rossa‘s pudding is a Salted Caramel Pot de Creme. It’s outstanding and a must-have even if you think you’re too full for dessert.

If you enjoy Consuming LA, please subscribe, like me on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter at the top right of this page. And please forward to your friends!

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Filed under Beverly Hills, Larchmont, Mid-City, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Silverlake, Toluca Lake, Venice