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The 10 Best Things I Consumed in 2018


It’s that time of year for blogs to make predictions, present year-end wrap-ups and bestow awards. In keeping with the custom, here’s my annual list of the ten best things I ate and wrote about during the past year.

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


10. Deep Fried Fluffer Nutter with Fresh Bananas from Black Market Liquor Bar. More chefs need to find ways to incorporate marshmallow fluff into their food.

Hamachi in Monochrome, Sweet Pea in Pastel from Dialogue


9. Hamachi in Monochrome, Sweet Pea in Pastel from Dialouge. Three words: Off. The. Hook.

Pappardelle with Ragu Bolognese “Vecchia Scuola” and Parmigiano Reggiano from Felix


8. Pappardelle with Ragu Bolognese “Vecchia Scuola” and Parmigiano Reggiano from Felix. Q: What do you call a fake noodle? A: An impasta. The Pappardelle at Felix is incredible and deserves better than that joke.

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


7. Black Barley “Risotto” with Fermented Black Garlic Tea, Wheat Grass and Fiscalini Cheese Crisp from Kali. Fermented garlic tea and wheat grass aren’t ingredients that usually come to mind when reminiscing about the best things you’ve eaten during the past year. Surprise!

Butterscotch Budino with Sea Salt and Rosemary Pine Nut Cookies from Pizzeria Mozza/Chi Spacca


6. Butterscotch Budino with Sea Salt and Rosemary Pine Nut Cookies from Pizzeria Mozza/Chi Spacca. Fun fact: the word “Budino” originally referred to a type of medieval sausage. Now it’s just the Italian word for what we Americans call pudding.

Grilled Heritage Pork in Koji, Pickled Daikon and Leek from Shibumi


5. Grilled Heritage Pork in Koji, Pickled Daikon and Leek from Shibumi. Those familiar with this blog knew there was going to be something Japanese on this list and also something on this list which is primarily pork. The exciting news this year is that these two things are combined!

Beef & Bone Marrow Pie from Chi Spacca


4. Beef & Bone Marrow Pie from Chi Spacca. Think about the best pot pie you’ve ever eaten and how much you enjoyed it. Now multiply that feeling by ten.

Momotaro Tomato with Bagna Cauda, Lap Xuong and Creme Fraiche from Here’s Looking at You


3. Momotaro Tomato with Bagna Cauda, Lap Xuong and Creme Fraiche from Here’s Looking at You. A lot of people don’t know that a tomato is actually not a vegetable, but a fruit. This is the best fruit dish in LA.

Peanut Butter Meringue Pie from Pie ‘n Burger


2. Peanut Butter Meringue Pie from Pie ‘n Burger. I have nothing against apple, cherry or pumpkin, but it’s amazing to me that peanut butter is not the most popular pie flavor.

Foie Gras Halva with Creamy Pâté, Date Paste, Black Sesame and Buckwheat Loaf from Bavel


1. Foie Gras Halva with Creamy Pâté, Date Paste, Black Sesame and Buckwheat Loaf from Bavel. This dish combines the flavors of two of my favorite things: fatty goose liver and the the candy you buy at the cashier counter when you leave a Jewish deli. It’s the best thing I consumed and wrote about in 2018.

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Filed under Downtown, Hollywood, Koreatown, Mid-City, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Studio City, Venice

14 Best Peanut Butter Treats In LA


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 favorite peanut butter treats in Los Angeles (in no particular order).

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cream Cookie from Xtreme Desserts

1. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cream Cookie from Xtreme Desserts (11990 Ventura Blvd., Studio City) A peanut butter cream cheese filling sandwiched between two soft chocolate chip cookies with chocolate ganache drizzled on top. One of the best things ever!

Peanut Butter Meringue Pie from Pie 'n Burger

2. 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

3. Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream from Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream (1525 N. La Brea Ave. in Hollywood) 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!

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.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Macaron from 'Lette Macarons

5. Peanut Butter and Jelly Macaron from ‘Lette Macarons (9466 Charleville Boulevard in Beverly Hills, 333 S Alameda Street in Downtown and 14 S. Fairoaks Ave. in Pasadena) The exciting marriage of a simple childhood favorite with a refined French pastry. Tastes really good too!

Peanut Butter Chip Cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes

6. Peanut Butter Chip Cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes (9635 S. Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills) 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

7. Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cakewich from Cake Monkey Bakery (available in all Umami Burger locations as well as other restaurants and gourmet shops) Yummy yellow cake sandwich filled with peanut buttercream, housemade marshmallow and coated with bittersweet chocolate.

Pnut Butter Puff from The Groovy Gourmet Pnut Butter Bar Truck

8. Pnut Butter Puff from The Groovy Gourmet Pnut Butter Bar Truck Los Angeles has its own peanut butter-themed gourmet food truck and this sinful confection is their speciality. It’s like a large fluffy peanut butter beignet and is topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwich from Down Beat Cafe

9. Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwich from Down Beat Cafe (10202 N. Alvarado St. in Echo Park) This funky hipster coffee shop bakes the best crispy peanut butter cookies in the city. They take two cookies and make a sandwich with a filling of peanut butter. Super delicious.

Peanut Butter Icebox Pie from Magnolia Bakery

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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 and Jelly Bar from Joan's on Third

13. Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar from Joan’s on Third (8350 W. 3rd St. in Mid-City) Joan’s on Third makes amazing baked goods and this dense peanut butter bar with jam on top is no exception. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty, and excellent with a cold glass of milk.

Peanut Butter Pinkberry

14. Peanut Butter Pinkberry (numerous locations) Pinkberry hit it out of the park with their rich and luscious peanut butter flavor! Try it with the peanut butter crunch topping, strawberries and a dollop of jelly. They don’t carry this flavor at all locations (what’s with that?!), so call first.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

HONORABLE MENTION: 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 $1.75, the price can’t be beat!

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Diddy Riese Cookies on Urbanspoon

UPDATE: The Groovy Gourmet Pnut Butter Bar Truck is no longer on the streets. Xtreme Desserts closed their Studio City store, but you can find their Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cream Cookies at many LA locations including Crave in Sherman Oaks and Studio City.

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Filed under Beverly Hills, Downtown, Echo Park, Food Trucks, Hollywood, Mid-City, Pasadena, Studio City, Westwood