WILD at Canelé – Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

Wild at Canele - Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

I had the best lunch last Thursday. In addition to the great food and even better company (Sarah! June!), it was a last hurrah before maternity leave draws to an end. These past four and a half months have been a glorious introduction to motherhood, and I am thrilled for what’s to come.

But first, lunch.

Wild at Canele - Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

I’ve been desiring a meal at Ria and Matt Wilson’s pop-up WILD for weeks now, but only got my act together with my return-to-work date looming in the distance.

Prior to popping up at Canelé, Matt spent time in the kitchens at Bouchon Las Vegas, Son of a Gun, and Sqirl, while Ria cooked at The Mansion Las Vegas, Daniel Boulud Brasserie, Canelé, and Sqirl. Killer resumes, the both of ‘em.

Wild at Canele - Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

WILD, as defined by its Instagram blurb, is “playful, experimental and knows no cuisine boundary.” Matt and Ria’s anything-goes-so-as-long-as-it’s-delicious-and-seasonal approach means that the menu changes from week to week (sometimes even day to day), dabbling in different genres, techniques, and cuisines along the way. You never know what you’re going to get…

The duo are clearly having a blast at WILD, and I love how you can taste their collective energy in every bite.

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Jonathan Gold’s Scouting Report #6: The District by Hannah An

The District by Hannah An

In the mood for fancy Vietnamese? Well, I’ve got the place for you. Filing my sixth Scouting Report, “Elegant Vietnamese dining in West Hollywood at the District by Hannah An” on the Los Angeles Times‘ Daily Dish.

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Kang Kang Food Court – Alhambra

Kang Kang Food Court - Alhambra

Lucky Peach recently launched an online edition, and I’ve been following along as the merry band of writers explores essential topics in food, like dumplings, pizza, and obsession. It’s good reading, all of it.

A charming piece by Chef David Chang (See: Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Momofuku Milk Bar) led me to Alhambra’s Kang Kang Food Court. An expertly curated one stop shop for China’s greatest culinary hits? Yes, please.

Kang Kang Food Court - Alhambra

While neighboring Chinese restaurants specialize in region-specific cooking, the thrill of Kang Kang lies in the diversity of its offerings. In addition to breakfast staples like soy milk and deep-fried crullers, the expansive menu includes “Taiwanese Food,” “Food in Northern China,” “Food in Eastern China,” and “Food in Southern China, Hong Kong & Asia.”

Per Mr. Chang’s recommendations, my lunch date and I stuck to Taiwanese and Shanghainese dishes on this visit.

Kang Kang Food Court - Alhambra

After placing our orders at the front counter, we grabbed a seat in the large dining room. Soon enough, food began to hit the table…

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The Pig & The Lady – Honolulu

The Pig & The Lady - Honolulu

Our final meal in Honolulu turned out to be my favorite of the entire trip. From start to finish, The Pig & the Lady impressed us with its fun, fearless, and thoroughly delectable Southeast Asian-inspired fare.

The Pig & The Lady - Honolulu

Chef Andrew Le and his mother, Loan “Mama Le” Le, initially launched The Pig & The Lady as a pop-up restaurant and farmers market stand before finding a permanent home in Honolulu’s Chinatown. While Chef Le trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Mama Le is strictly self-taught. When the two collaborate in the kitchen, pure deliciousness happens.

The Pig & The Lady - Honolulu

The restaurant’s porcine theme is echoed throughout the space, from the napkin holders to the menu. The wet snouts and curly tails set a playful tone all around.

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