Jan 2017

Destroyer – Los Angeles (Culver City)

Destroyer - Los Angeles (Culver City)

When work brought me to the Westside of town last week, I stopped in to Destroyer for a late lunch in between meetings. I have missed Chef Jordan Kahn’s intricate cooking (and pretty plating) ever since his “punk Vietnamese” spot Red Medicine closed and was eager to be reunited.

Destroyer - Los Angeles (Culver City)

Here at Destroyer, Chef Kahn serves a pared-down menu that’s vegetable-forward and Scandinavian-influenced. The restaurant is only open on weekdays for breakfast and lunch.

Destroyer - Los Angeles (Culver City)

Soon after placing my order and finding a seat, the cardamom bun arrived. Not too sugary and sweetly spiced, the bun showed a kind of restraint characteristic of Nordic pastries. While I usually prefer my breakfast buns ooey-gooey and super-sweet, this delicate little number was welcomed.

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Jan 2017

9021Pho – Los Angeles

9021Pho - Los Angeles

I appreciate a good food pun as much as the next gal (see: @DianaTakesaBite), but never liked 9021Pho because it encouraged the mispronunciation of an often mispronounced dish.

PSA: In case you’ve been informed by food puns gone wrong, it’s “fuh,” not “faux.”

9021Pho - Los Angeles

Chef Kimmy Tang opened the first 9021Pho in Beverly Hills in 2009. Since then, the mini-chain has expanded to West Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, and Glendale shutdown completely.  I visited the outlet in the Glendale Galleria while at the mall for work. It was dinnertime and Thien and I were hungry, so we ducked in for a bite.

9021Pho - Los Angeles

Thien and I went halfsies on a sandwich and a bowl of pho. The charbroiled pork banh mi ($11) came stuffed with cucumber, lettuce, pickled carrots and daikon, jalapeños, and cilantro.

The baguette, lightly mayo’d, could’ve been fresher, but overall, it was a palatable banh mi. The sweet potatoes on the side were a little limp, however.

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Jan 2017

YakiYan – Los Angeles (Hacienda Heights)

Yakiyan - Hacienda Heights - Los Angeles

If you’ve resolved to eat less meat in 2017, you should probably stop reading now. YakiYan is quite possibly the meatiest meeting place to open off of the 60.

Yakiyan - Hacienda Heights - Los Angeles

YakiYan, which has been operating in Taipei since 2004, opened its first U.S. location in Hacienda Heights this past December. As a yakiniku concept (Japanese barbecue), YakiYan takes great pride in serving the finest meat, locally sourced whenever possible. It’s all about pedigreed proteins around here.

The Astronomer and I stopped in on opening night to give the restaurant a go. Full disclosure: YakiYan is backed by my employer, Panda Restaurant Group. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Yakiyan - Hacienda Heights - Los Angeles

To start, we each ordered a cocktail. For me, the Bloody Ox ($12) with Cimarron Blanco tequila, beet juice, yuzu koshu, and lime. For him, a Red Crowned Crane ($12) with Royal Gate vodka, ginger, lime, and lychee. Both were well-balanced and refreshing—just what we needed prior to the parade of grilled meats.
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