Haiku Review

Shibumi is a Japanese word which refers to an aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty. The LA restaurant Shibumi more than lives up to its name. Hidden away behind a signless facade and located on the ground floor of a parking structure in Downtown LA, the dimly lit restaurant has a cool minimalist vibe.

The food is modern Japanese and it’s across-the-board excellent; small plates of understated elegance featuring highly nuanced and subtle flavors. To describe my three favorite dishes at Shibumi, I’m going to employ another Japanese creation that also features simplicity and understated grace: the Haiku.

White Miso Almonds
Creamy, crunchy perfection
My new obsession

Hello yummy pork
Perfectly seasoned and grilled
Get in my belly

Sakura Mochi
Cherry leaf-wrapped sweet rice treat
Best happy ending

Shibumi is located at 815 S. Hill St., Los Angeles (Downtown). My book of food haikus will be published later this year.

Lotus, Sweet Potato and Young Burdock Chips

Steamed Rice Bread stuffed with Mushrooms and Pine Nuts

Rice Balls with Cherry Blossom and Green Peas

Grilled Heritage Pork in Koji, Pickled Daikon and Leek

Holstein Beef Strip, Fresh Wasabi and Nara-zuke Pickle

Japanese Chizu-keki (Cheesecake) and Pear

Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Mochi

Hidden away at the bottom of a parking structure in Dowtown

Dimly lit with a cool minimalist vibe

1 Comment

Filed under Downtown

The Room Where it Happens

Thomas Jefferson is experiencing a pop culture renaissance these days. As the preening, scheming villain of the hip-hop musical Hamilton, Jefferson is portrayed in a surprisingly less-than-flattering way. But I was equally surprised recently to see homage paid to Jefferson at Felix, one of the hottest new restaurants in LA, where a portrait of our third President hangs on the wall of its temperature-controlled “Pasta Lab” and the kind of pasta machine used by Jefferson sits on display.

Jefferson apparently was a master gourmand and a huge fan of pasta just like Felix’s talented chef, Evan Funke. But while Jefferson preferred Macaroni and Cheese, Funke wows patrons with Pappardelle Bolognese, Rigatoni All’ Amatriciana and Gnocchetti with Oxtail Ragu. All are handmade and exceptional.

Although the pastas are the standouts at this Abbot Kinney Italian Trattoria, the anti-pasti (appitizers), pizzas and meat dishes are also excellent. I especially love the spicy Diavola Pizza with Pomodoro Sauce, Smoked Fior di Latte Cheese and Salame Napoletano. For dessert, I strongly suggest you order the super moist Olive Oil Cake with Cara Cara Orange Crema, or you may find yourself asking “What did I miss?”

Felix is located at 1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles (in Venice).

Ricotta con la Vignarola

Misticanza Salad with Lettuce, Radish and Herbs

Pappardelle with Ragu Bolognese “Vecchia Scuola” and Parmigiano Reggiano

Sottadita D’Agnello (Lamb Chop) with Peas and Herbs

Olive Oil Cake with Cara Cara Orange Crema

The Pasta Lab

The Dining Room


Filed under Venice

My New Best Friend

If Here’s Looking at You (HLAY), the new small plate hotspot in K-town, was a person, I’d want us to be best friends. HLAY collects old books and is a fan of classic films; in addition to its Casablanca-inspired name, its yummy cocktails are called things like “Cutting Room Floor,” “Femme Fatale” and “Dickensian Villian.” Gregarious, creative and quirky, HLAY is a blast to be around.

Most importantly, HLAY knows a thing or two about amazing eats. HLAY’S Beef Tartare with Red Chili, Ramps, Yolk and Turnip is raw awesomeness. Its Momotaro Tomato Salad with Bagna Cauda, Lap Xuong Sausage and Creme Fraiche is a playful and incredibly delicious take on a BLT. And its Pork Belly with Vadouvan, Pistau and Dates is fatty and fabulous. Yep, HLAY and I are going to be seeing a lot of each other.

Here’s Looking at You is located at 3901 W. 6th St., Los Angeles (in Koreatown).

Beef Tartare, Red Chili, Ramps, Yolk and Turnip

Yellowtail with Wakame, Soubise, Kiwi, Serrano Chili and White Soy

Momotaro Tomato, Bagna Cauda, Lap Xuong, Creme Fraiche

Sprouted Broccoli with Ginger, H.O.P., Seeds and Nuts

Pork Belly, Vadouvan, Pistau and Dates

Hamachi Collar, Hot Paprika, Apple and Snake Peas

Beef Cheek with Daikon, Dashi and Aleppo

Yuzu Sherbet, Saffron, Sesame and Koji Cream

A Happening Spot in K-town

I’ve been hunting for a cool place like this to eat.


Filed under Koreatown

14 Best Peanut Butter Treats in LA for 2018

I am a peanut butter fanatic, a peanut butter fiend, a peanut butter junkie. I am nuts about peanut butter and I love it more than almost anything else. If a restaurant or bakery has a peanut butter dessert on the menu, I automatically order it. And I always keep a jar at home in the fridge for snacking or adding to other desserts. After years of dedicated research, I share with you my 14 current favorite peanut butter treats in Los Angeles (in no particular order).

Peanut Butter Meringue Pie from Pie 'n Burger

1. Peanut Butter Meringue Pie from Pie ‘n Burger (913 E. California in Pasadena) This is one awesome pie. Creamy and delicious peanut butter pudding in a delcious butter crust topped with meringue. They serve it every other day, alternating with Butterscotch Meringue Pie.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream from Mashti Malone's

2. Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream from Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream (1525 N. La Brea Ave. in Hollywood) This frozen treat is rich and creamy with chunks of peanut butter and chocolate. It’s surprising that a store famous for their Persian rosewater ice creams and sorbets would make the best peanut butter ice cream in the city, but they do!

“Old School” Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Sandwich from PBJ.LA

3. “Old School” Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Sandwich from PBJ.LA (317 S. Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles) The hippest new stall in Grand Central Market is a purveyor of old school goodness, including this round sandwich of house-made peanut butter and house-made jam on two slices of soft crustless white bread which have been pressed together around the edges to form a pocket.

The Huell from Stan's Doughnuts

4. The Huell from Stan’s Doughnuts (10948 Weyburn Ave. in Westwood) Stan’s actually makes three amazing peanut butter doughnuts: a Peanut Butter & Banana Doughnut, a PB&J Doughnut and “The Huell,” with chocolate chips and peanut butter, named after local TV celebrity Huell Howser.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cake with McConnell’s Double Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream from Charcoal Venice

5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Cake with McConnell’s Double Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream from Charcoal Venice (425 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey) If this rich, moist layer cake made with chocolate and peanut butter wasn’t decadent enough, it’s served with a generous scoop of McConnell’s incredible Double Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream.

Peanut Butter Popcorn from California Frozen Poppers

6. Peanut Butter Popcorn from California Frozen Poppers (7138 Shoup Ave, West Hills) If you’ve never had frozen popcorn, this is a good place to start. The Peanut Butter flavor at this awesome store is crunchy, salty and perfectly sweet.

Peanut Brittle Cookie from M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica

Peanut Butter Cookie from M Street Kitchen

7. Peanut Butter Cookie from M Street Kitchen (2000 Main St, Santa Monica) This is my favorite peanut butter cookie in town. It pairs well with a nice glass of milk.

Peanut Butter Chip Cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes

8. Peanut Butter Chip Cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes (9635 S. Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills) This is my all-time favorite cupcake. Chocolate chip-studded peanut butter cake with peanut butter frosting covered in chocolate sprinkles. They only have them on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cakewich from Cake Monkey

9. Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cakewich from Cake Monkey Bakery (7807 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles) Happiness is a yummy yellow cake sandwich filled with peanut buttercream, housemade marshmallow and coated with bittersweet chocolate.

Peanut Butter Icebox Pie from Magnolia Bakery

10. Susie’s Nutty (Whoppie Pie) from SusieCakes (Locations in Los Angeles, Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Studio City, Brentwood, Manhattan Beach and Marina del Rey) Who wouldn’t love two chewy peanut butter cookies sandwiched with peanut butter buttercream?

Susie’s Nutty (Whoopie Pie) from SusieCakes

11. Peanut Butter Icebox Pie from Magnolia Bakery (8389 W. 3rd Street in Mid-City) This is one of several peanut butter offerings from one of my favorite bakeries in the city. It has a super light, creamy and delicious filling which sits atop a denser crust. I can devour a slice in about five seconds flat.

Peanut Butter Stuffed Mochi from Fugetsu-Do

12. Peanut Butter Stuffed Mochi from Fugetsu-Do (315 E. 1st St. in Little Tokyo/Downtown) This sweet shop has some of the best mochi in town and my favorites are these soft and chewy mochi disks stuffed with peanut butter. It’s the Japanese equivalent of an Abba Zabba bar!

Deep Fried Fluffer Nutter with Fresh Bananas from Black Market Liquor Bar

13. Deep Fried Fluffer Nutter with Fresh Bananas from Black Market Liquor Bar (11915 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City) Top Chef’s Antonia Lofaso has created this dessert sandwich of peanut butter, marshmallow and bananas on sweet brioche, which is covered with panko bread crumbs and deep fried until golden. It’s wicked good!

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich from Diddy Riese

14: Diddy Riese Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich (926 Broxton Ave. in Westwood) There always seems to be a line outside Diddy Riese, which bakes up delicious cookies. I love their ice cream sandwich made with Dreyer’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream and peanut butter cookies. At $2.50, the price can’t be beat!

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


Filed under Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Calabasas, Downtown, Hollywood, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, Mid-City, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Studio City, West Hills, Westwood, Woodland Hills

Great Danes

Denmark is ranked every year as the happiest country in the world. With the amazing food scene they have there, this is hardly a surprise. My daughter and I recently visited Copenhagen for the first time and, in addition to falling in love with this beautiful Scandanavian metropolis, we had one of the best and happiest meals of our lives at a mind-blowing restaurant called Kadeau.

Dinner at Kadeau involves a fifteen course tasting menu celebrating the tiny Danish wilderness island of Bornholm, where Kadeau’s sister restaurant resides and from where many of the ingredients have been sourced and harvested. There are savory tarts of king crab, tomato, caramelized cream and sugar kelp, as well as flower-shaped ice bowls cradling mini apples spiced with black currant leaf, rhubarb root and silver fir. There is homemade bread roasted with herb butter infused with cherry wood embers, as well as hay-roasted slices of celeriac on beds of white asparagus sauce which are whimsically (and, yes, deliciously!) peppered with wood ants.

Every dish is amazing and the experience is transcendent; a brilliant blend of creative culinary mastery and Danish hygge (the cozy enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures). Service is impeccable and, if you play your cards rights, you can get a tour of the kitchen, hang out with the friendly chefs and hear about the philosophy of the restaurant. Dinner at Kadeau is, just by itself, worth the trip to Copenhagen.

Smoked Mackerel, Cockles and Wild Carrot


Preserved Vegetables, Cherry Blossom and Salted Gooseberry

Sauerkraut, Parsley, Oysters and Lyme Grass

Smoked Salmon, Figs and Rosehip Vinaigrette

Roasted Bread, Herb Butter Infused with Cherry Wood Embers

Tart of King Crab, Tomato, Caramelized Cream and Sugar Kelp

Scallop, Horseradish and Scots Pine Flowers

Celeriac, Buttermilk Whey, White Asparagus, Woodruff and Ants

Barley, Parsley Seeds and Cured Duck

Cured Danish Beef, Kale, Hemp and Bone Marrow

Chicken Wing, Black Garlic, Beach Onions and Leek Flowers

Ymer, Buttermilk Fudge, Potato and Chamomile

Plum, White Currant and Schnapps

Honey Cakes made with Bees Wax

Caramelized Buttermilk Tart topped with Pinecones

The Library Lounge where your adventure begins with a pre-dinner cocktail

The Dining Room

The Kitchen

The Chefs


Filed under Outside Los Angeles