South Lake Avenue Appreciation Week rolls on with a stop at Du-par’s. Known for its pancakes and pies, this classic L.A. diner took over the Hamburger Hamlet space last year. Pi Day gave The Astronomer and me the nudge we needed to finally give it a go.
James Dunn and Edward Parsons, who combined their surnames to create the restaurant’s name, opened the first Du-par’s at the Original Farmers Market. There are currently three locations around town, as well as outlets in San Diego and Las Vegas. All Du-par’s are open 24 hours.
The Pasadena location is quite expansive, even boasting a fireplace, but we opted to join the pies in the atrium because it felt festive there given the occasion.
Continue reading ‘Du-par’s – Pasadena’
Traditionally during Thanksgiving, The Astronomer and I drive to San Diego to feast with family. This year we spent the holiday in L.A. due to our little one being stuck in the NICU. After failing to score a reservation at Bouchon, our first choice, we opted for a Turkey Day celebration at House of Pies since it was located around the corner from the hospital. Plus, I’ve always been a little curious about the place.
Opened in 1969, House of Pies is a family owned and operated Los Feliz institution. There was a serious line snaking out the restaurant’s door when The Astronomer and I arrived, but thankfully it was for folks picking up pies to go and not for those dining in. We were seated right away at a table by the window in the less-charming-and-cozy-than-anticipated dining room.
All of House of Pie’s “Dinners” include a choice of soup or salad to start. I chose the salad with Thousand Island dressing. While the leafy greens were mostly limp, the possibly-house-made dressing had some zip!
Continue reading ‘House of Pies – Los Angeles (Los Feliz)’
With its tremendous reputation, tiny space (just 1,400-square-feet), and no reservation policy, Au Cheval is one of the more difficult seats to snag in Chicago. After failing to score a table without a tortuously long wait several evenings in a row, I decided that dining right when the doors opened at 11 AM was my best bet. Sure enough, I was seated without a hitch at that early an hour.
Opened in 2012 by restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff (Gilt Bar, Doughnut Vault, Maude’s Liquor Bar, Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf), Au Cheval is the quintessential upscale diner. Sodikoff and Executive Chef Jason Vaughan (L20, A16) have dreamed up a sensational menu featuring updated diner classics and globally-influenced fare. The execution is phenomenal, surprising and delighting diners at every turn.
Joining The Astronomer and me for our super-early lunch was our friend Britta. More bellies means more smiles and more food—everyone wins!
Continue reading ‘Au Cheval Bar & Diner – Chicago’
I’ve got a thing for fancy diners, so I made time to visit two of Chicago’s best while in town.
First up, a late brunch at Chef Stephanie Izard‘s Little Goat. I’d dined at her more formal Girl & the Goat on a previous trip and had a ball—Pig Face, anyone? I expected nothing less than a stupendous time at her latest venture.
Opened in 2012, Little Goat serves done-up American diner classics with a smattering of new school hits. Like Girl & the Goat, the diner is perpetually packed. The Astronomer and I waited 25 minutes for two seats to open up at half past three on a Sunday afternoon.
Even though I was slightly annoyed with the wait, Little Goat’s sunny interior, full of natural light, bright accents, and happy diners, made it difficult for my frown to stick around.
Twas impossible to stay upset with this cute little goat face staring back at me.
Continue reading ‘Little Goat – Chicago’