Archive for the 'Los Angeles' Category

Ice Cream Lab – Pasadena

Ice Cream Lab - Pasadena

I scream. You scream. We all scream for liquid nitrogen ice cream!

Ice Cream Lab, which first introduced its made-to-order liquid nitrogen ice cream in Beverly Hills in 2013, recently opened a second outlet in my neck of the woods—Old Town Pasadena. The Astronomer and I swung by to check out the new kid on the block during its debut weekend. We cannot resist an intriguing food and science mashup!

Ice Cream Lab - Pasadena

The opening menu, which was more concise than expected, featured four “Classic” flavors (vanilla bean, chocolate, strawberry, and cookies and cream) and three “Signature” specialties. All are made with either a custard or yogurt base.

Ice Cream Lab - Pasadena

Once we settled on our flavors, the shop’s “techs” used machines that looked like suped-up Kitchen Aids and -320 degree liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze the raw ingredients into ice cream. Very cool. Literally.

Note: The Astronomer, a scientist and proponent of safety, was surprised that the techs were not required to wear safety goggles and protective gloves. He feared for their eyeballs and exposed extremities.

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Chain Reaction: Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp® & Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl®

Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp®

My weekday lunchtime habits have changed as of late. Working at a restaurant group with nearly 2,000 locations, I’ve been thinking about and eating at more chain restaurants than I ever did before. Fueled by a desire to scope out the competition and by genuine curiosity, I’ve been exploring places that I used to pay little mind to.

So while I usually dedicate this space to touting the merits of under-appreciated mom and pop shops, I thought it’d be fun to change things up a bit and shed some light on two permanent fixtures in the American dining landscape: Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Humor me, yes? Thank you.

Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp®

First up, Red Lobster‘s Endless Shrimp®! For $17.99, I had my fill of six different shrimp preparations: Sriracha Grilled Shrimp, Parmesan Shrimp Scampi, Hand-Breaded Shrimp, Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp Linguini Alfredo, and Coconut Shrimp Bites.

Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp®

The offer also included a salad (not pictured and not eaten) and unlimited Cheddar Bay Biscuits®. Whereas the former was anemic and sad, the latter were tasty lil’ carbohydrate bombs. We asked for seconds, thirds, and fourths. No joke.

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{swoon} Grilled Cheese with Pastrami at The Hat

The Hat - Grilled Cheese with Pastrami - Los Angeles

A co-worker’s birthday brought me and my fellow worker bees to The Hat for a festive lunch. I’ve visited this 63-year-old palace of pastrami twice prior, but didn’t swoon until this time around. Hello, Grilled Cheese with Pastrami!

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Lunch at POT – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Pot | Lunch | Koreatown - Los Angeles

Now that The Astronomer and I are ten weeks away from welcoming our baby girl into the world, we’ve been thinking a lot about how our dining rituals of showing up without reservations and waiting in long lines will need to be revised quite soon. Not one to miss out on the latest hot spots, I’m hoping that lunchtime outings and dining early will keep me properly in touch with the L.A. restaurant scene with a child in tow.

Which brings me to POT, Roy Choi’s stupendous Koreatown spot that now offers lunch. While snagging a seat at dinnertime can be tough, lunch is a decidedly child-friendly affair with an al fresco dining option. God, I’m starting to sound like a mommy blogger…

Pot | Lunch | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The lunchtime menu is slightly abbreviated from the one offered at dinner, with scaled down portions and a few fun additions including Spam banh mi and classic bi bim bap.

Pot | Lunch | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The Astronomer and I started our lunchtime feast with an order of the “Stash” ($5), a sweet, salty, and umami-fied party mix of dried squid, peanuts, cashews, beef jerky, potato chips, dried pineapple, seaweed, wasabi peas, dried anchovies, and sesame seeds. I’d be the first in line to buy this stuff if it were bagged and sold by the pound. A killer beginning, for sure.

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