Tag Archives: Best Los Angeles Restaurants

The 10 Best Things I Consumed in 2017


As we bid adieu to 2017, let’s just focus on the good stuff. And by “good stuff,” I mean the food we consumed to tantalize our taste buds, lift our spirits and provide a bit of pleasure in these ever-changing and uncertain times. Keeping with tradition, here is my annual list of the ten best things I ate and wrote about during the past year:

Shul Lung Tang (Korean bone broth) from Han Bat


10. Shul Lung Tang from Han Bat. Is bone broth a miracle elixir that will cure all your ailments, align your chakras and balance your chi? Probably not, but there’s nothing better than a hot bowl of this soup on a cold rainy day.

Pork Chop “Niman Ranch” from Salazar


9. Pork Chop “Niman Ranch” from Salazar. The penultimate dish on my top ten list is smoky, fatty and juicy. As excited as I am about this pork chop, I’m equally excited about using the word “penultimate” in my post.

Flaky Bread with Labneh, Preserved Lemon and Honey from Kismet


8. Flaky Bread from Kismet. The servers at Kismet are flaky and so is the hipstery restaurant’s best dish: a melt-in-your-mouth pan-fried bread served with labneh, preserved lemon and honey.

Banchan from Genwa


7. Banchan from Genwa. We all like free things, and the ridiculous amount of complimentary banchan (side dishes of fermented vegetables, fishcake, seasoned peanuts, braised beef, scallion pancakes and other Korean delicacies) at this Korean BBQ joint has the additional benefit of being exceptionally tasty.

Ceviche Tostada from Holbox


6. Ceviche Tostada from Holbox. How do you make an octopus laugh? With ten-tickles. The Ceviche Tostada at Holbox is a lot better than that joke.

Macarons from Ladurée


5. Macarons from Ladurée. The French know a thing or two about creating incredible baked confections. I know a thing or two about eating them.

Marinated Short Ribs from Chosun Galbee


4. Marinated Short Ribs from Chosun Galbee. I know what you’re thinking: Where’s the beef? It’s right here at #4 and it’s amazing.

Fresh Uni in the Shell from Jolly Oyster


3. Fresh Uni in the Shell from Jolly Oyster. Fun fact: uni is actually a sea urchin’s gonads. These gonads are especially delicious when eaten right out of the shell at the Jolly Oyster stall at DTLA’s weekly Smorgasburg.

Pastrami Sandwich from Ugly Drum


2. Pastrami Sandwich from Ugly Drum. “Oy gevalt!”…is something you will not be saying when you eat this pastrami masterpiece (which is also found at Smorgasburg).

Carrot Mole Enchiladas from Trois Familia


1. Carrot Mole Enchiladas from Trois Familia. You haven’t really had carrot mole enchiladas until you’ve had the ones from Trois Familia. They are insanely good and the best thing that I consumed and wrote about in 2017.

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Filed under Beverly Hills, Frogtown, Koreatown, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Silverlake, South Los Angeles

The 10 Best Things I Consumed in 2016

best of 2016
As we prepare to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye to 2016, it’s time to look back at the LA gastronomic highlights of the year. If you haven’t tried all of these things, I’m sure they’ll still be around in 2017 for you to stuff in your pie hole. Here is my annual list of the ten best things I consumed and wrote about during the past year:

"Big Mec" Double Cheeseburger

“Big Mec” Double Cheeseburger from Petit Trois


10. “Big Mec” Double Cheeseburger from Petit Trois. The “Big Mec” is the only burger to make my list this year. It has foie gras in it, so basically they’re not playing fair.

Maguro and Toro

Maguro and Toro from Sasabune in Beverly Hills


9. Sushi from Sasabune in Beverly Hills. Sushi is an expensive habit. If you’re looking to save some money in the new year, don’t even try the insanely good and addictive sushi at Sasabune in Beverly Hills.

Bosam

Bossam from Kobawoo House


8. Bossam from Kobawoo House. If you read this blog regularly, you knew there was going to be some awesome Korean food featured on this list. This is it.

Noorook from Baroo

Noorook from Baroo


7. Noorook from Baroo. There are a lot of o’s in the name of this vegetarian dish and also a lot of ingredients, including something called “Job’s Tears,” which I’ve never heard of before but am going to start eating regularly.

Hot Chicken

Hot Chicken from Howlin Ray’s


6. Hot Chicken from Howlin Ray’s. I know what you are saying: enough with the healthy stuff on this list. So, here’s some deep fried awesomeness.

Foie Gras Funnel Cake from Otium

Foie Gras Funnel Cake from Otium


5. Foie Groas Funnel Cake from Otium. This is what carnies eat when they’re trying to act all sophisticated.

Nona Elvira's Lasagne Verde

Nona Elvira’s Lasagne Verde from Angelini Osteria


4. Nona Elvira’s Lasagne Verde from Angelini Osteria. This is the best lasagne ever. No exaggeration. It’s made with beef, veal and chopped chicken livers — each of the three major protein groups.

Garlic Cheese Bread from The Smoke House

Garlic Cheese Bread from The Smoke House


3. Garlic Cheese Bread from the Smokehouse. I updated my best restaurant bread list this year, and guess who came out the winner again. Yes, it’s of a color that doesn’t exist in nature, but don’t let that stop you from experiencing garlicky, cheesy nirvana.

Butter and Salt Doughnut

Butter and Salt Doughnut from Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee


2. Butter and Salt Doughnut from Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee. Is it “donut” or “doughnut”? I don’t know. Does it really matter? Go to Sidecar and prepare to be blown away.

Tempura Uni

Tempura Uni from Tempura Endo


1. Tempura Uni from Tempura Endo. I dare you to find anything better in this town to put in your mouth. It’s my favorite thing that I consumed and wrote about this year.

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Filed under Beverly Hills, Burbank, Downtown, Hollywood, Koreatown, Mid-City, Santa Monica

Jewish Deli Meets Pork Paradise


If UMAMIcatessen was the punchline of a joke, it would begin “A rabbi, a donut-maker and a pig walk into a bar.” Grand in scope and extremely ambitious, this highly anticipated deli adaptation of the uber-successful Umami Burger chain opened Downtown over the weekend and one cannot help but be impressed. Although you order at your table from a single menu, UMAMIcatessen is essentially four restaurants in one (plus a coffee bar and a cocktail bar), each with separate counters around the perimeter of its large industrial-chic dining room. These sub-restaurants are:

The Cure, whose name is no doubt a reference to the alleged medicinal qualities of its matzo ball soup. It features Kosher-style deli sandwiches such as pastrami on rye and turkey on challah. Other noshes include bagels with smoked fish, potato knishes and chopped liver.

Umami Burger, which features the restaurant chain’s awesome signature hamburgers. I almost always go for the amazing Truffle Burger made with housemade truffle cheese and truffle glace, or the equally excellent spicy Hatch Burger made with four types of green chiles and housemade American cheese. However, UMAMIcatessen has some burgers that you can’t always get at the other Umami Burger locations. These include the yummy Shrimp Burger with Yuzu-Kosho and burgers which are on the “Secret Menu” such as the delicious Spicy Bird, a turkey burger with hatch chilies, crispy onion strings, beer cheddar cheese and a spicy diablo sauce.

P!GG, which is a tribute to pork all around the world from San Francisco celebrity chef Chris Constantino, the Overlord of Offal. It features high-end prosciutto and other charcuterie, as well as lard fried snacks such as Crispy Pig Ears with parsley and lemon, Pork Corn (popcorn) with juniper and rosemary and tasty P!GG Style Fries with pickled peppers, ham puree and “brainaise,” a scrumptious sauce made with mayonnaise and pig brains! I also highly recommend the Little Gems Salad with pork cracklins and an incredible nduja vinagrette, made with Constantino’s famous spreadable pork sausage.

& a Donut, which serves six different varieties of gourmet donuts fried to order, including an amazing soaked Tres Leches Donut with cajeta and ceylon cinnamon and the sinfully delicious “FG&J,” a playful spin on a jelly donut, made with foie gras mousse, forest berry jam and crushed peanuts. They also have homemade soft serve ice cream and sorbet.

With so many great things going on, UMAMIcatessen is an incredibly fun experience; one that I will no doubt repeat often. It’s located at 852 Broadway, Los Angeles (Downtown).

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!

Mini Potato Knishes

Mini Potato Knishes


Little Gem Salad with little gem lettuce, cracklins & nduja vinagrette

Little Gem Salad with little gem lettuce, cracklins & nduja vinagrette


Shrimp Burger with Yuzu-Kosho

Shrimp Burger with Yuzu-Kosho


Spicy Bird Burger with turkey patty, crispy onion straws, hatch chilis, beer cheddar cheese and diablo sauce

Spicy Bird Burger with turkey patty, crispy onion straws, hatch chilis, beer cheddar cheese and diablo sauce


PIGG Style Fries with pickled peppers, ham puree & "brainaise" sauce

PIGG Style Fries with pickled peppers, ham puree & “brainaise” sauce


FG&J Donut with foie gras mousse, forest berry jam and peanuts

FG&J Donut with foie gras mousse, forest berry jam and peanuts


Tres Leches Donut fried and soaked to order with cajeta and ceylon cinnamon

Tres Leches Donut fried and soaked to order with cajeta and ceylon cinnamon



UMAMIcatessen (soft opening on 03 Mar 2012) on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Downtown

Seafood Splendor

Providence is the most elegant, sophisticated and (along with The Bazaar) most inventive restaurant in Los Angeles. It has won all kinds of awards including two Michelin stars. Unfortunately, the high price tag prevents most of us from eating there regularly. But if you can afford it and need a restaurant to impress an important client or celebrate a special anniversary, or if you simply want to splurge and enjoy one of the best fine-dining meals you’ve ever eaten in LA, this is the place. The decor is elegant but not stuffy; minimal yet comfortable. There is an awesome wine list and the service (led by charming maitre d’ and co-owner Donato Poto) is impeccable. The food is exceptional and exciting. Each dish is a work of art.  Simply put: this is a place where magic happens.

Chef Michael Cimarusti will start your meal out with a bit of complimentary molecular gastronomy; a plate of amuse bouches which on my last visit included a mojito gelee, a screwdriver cocktail gelatin bubble, a gruyere cheese puff, and a shooter of parsnip with port reduction on the bottom. The bread, which they will replenish throughout your meal, is excellent here, especially my favorite, a bacon brioche. The main theme at Providence is seafood and they serve some of the best and most beautiful seafood concoctions you will ever eat. I recommend ordering the tasting menu and putting yourself in Chef Cimarusti’s hands. However, if you instead decide to order specific items, make sure to get the Spot Prawns, which are baked in a block of salt and prepared tableside. I also recommend Bobby’s Block Island Scallops with Buckwheat, Dashi and Cabbage and the Spaghetti all Chitarra with Santa Barbara Sea Urchin and Green Onions. The menu is not strictly limited to seafood. If it’s available, I always order the Foie Gras Ravioli with Aromatics and Parmesan Black Truffle; it’s extraordinary. I highly recommend getting the wine pairing (remember, you’re splurging, so don’t hold back). Finally, make sure to save room for dessert. Adrian Vasquez is one of the top pastry chefs in LA; a true genius with sweets. Some of my recent favorites are his “Simple Apple Tart” with Hazelnuts, Cinnamon Calvados Ice Cream and Green Apple Sorbet and his Pumpkin Polenta with Candied Pecans, Mascarpone and Maple Syrup.  Enjoy!

Providence is located at 5955 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (on the border between Hollywood and Hancock Park; near Larchmont).

Quartet of cocktail-inspired amuse bouches

Quartet of cocktail-inspired amuse bouches

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Santa Barbara Sea Urchin and Green Onions

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Santa Barbara Sea Urchin and Green Onions

Spot prawns baked in salt and prepared tableside

Spot prawns baked in salt and prepared tableside

Foie Gras Ravioli with aromatics and parmesan black truffle

Foie Gras Ravioli with aromatics and parmesan black truffle

Pumpkin Polenta with candied pecans, mascarpone and maple syrup

Pumpkin Polenta with candied pecans, mascarpone and maple syrup

"Simple Apple Tart" with hazelnuts, cinnamon calvados ice cream and green apple sorbet

“Simple Apple Tart” with hazelnuts, cinnamon calvados ice cream and green apple sorbet

Comfortable and Elegant

Comfortable and Elegant


Providence on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Hancock Park, Hollywood, Larchmont, Mid-City