Archive for the 'Los Angeles' Category

La Azteca Tortilleria – East Los Angeles

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

As much as I love exploring the San Gabriel Valley’s restaurant scene for my weekday lunches, I was thrilled to discover recently that East Los Angeles is a stone’s throw from my office. Easy access to some of the city’s finest Mexican food is most definitely a lunchtime game changer.

For my inaugural midday jaunt to the Eastside of town, I wrangled a crew of fellow food lovers and headed to one of my favorite spots: La Azteca Tortilleria.

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

When the shop’s original owners, Alex Bernal and his wife, Maria Rodriguez, retired in 2010 after three decades of making tortillas the old-fashioned way, from scratch and in small batches, their good friends Juan and Candalaria Villa purchased the business and continued the tradition. It’s a painstaking process, to be sure, but the results are truly fantastic.

La Azteca Tortilleria - Boyle Heights - Los Angeles

The difference between a store-bought tortilla and the handmade wonders here is like night and day. While the former cracks as it rolls and tastes like the plastic it’s wrapped in, the latter is hefty yet plush and is capable of curving around copious amounts of pork, cheese, beans, or most likely, all three.

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Q Sushi – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Q Sushi - Japanese - Downtown - Los Angeles

I had the pleasure of dining with my mom at Q Sushi a few Fridays ago. She’s been taking care of June while The Astronomer and I are bringing home the bacon, so this meal was a small token of our gratitude. Bà Ngoại is the best!

Q Sushi - Japanese - Downtown - Los Angeles

Chef Hiroyuki Naruke, who ran a six-seat sushi bar in Tokyo’s Roppongi district prior to relocating to Los Angeles, serves a hyper-traditional, omakase-only sushi experience at Q. I am a total purist when it comes to sushi, so I knew that Q and I would get along swimmingly from the start.

Priced at $165 per person, the omakase typically begins with a slew of tsumami (small appetizers), followed by a perfectly orchestrated parade of sashimi and nigiri sushi courses. All in all, it’s a 2.5 hour feast comprised of 20 or so courses that passes by much too quickly.

Q Sushi - Japanese - Downtown - Los Angeles

Taking care of Mom and me this evening was Chef Rui. He seemed a bit chattier than Chef Hiro, which was a good thing, because I had plenty of questions up my sleeve (per usual).

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Maude – Los Angeles (Beverly Hills)

Maude - Los Angeles (Beverly Hills)

It’s avocado season here in Southern California, and Maude, Curtis Stone’s critically adored restaurant, is celebrating in grand fashion with a month-long tasting menu dedicated to the super-luscious, downright buttery ingredient.

Maude Restaurant - June 2015 - Avocados

Maude’s menu changes with the seasons, focusing on “one key ingredient” each month. [See what the restaurant is cooking for the rest of this year.]

Our ten-plus course dinner featured California-grown Hass avocados in every single dish. Sometimes avocado was the star of the plate, while other times it elevated the ingredients surrounding it. As a lifelong avocado lover, it was a pleasure to experience the fruit in a plethora of forms, both classic and innovative—avocado leaf ice cream, anyone?

Maude Restaurant - June 2015 - Avocados

Named after Curtis Stone’s grandmother, Maude is a jewel box of a restaurant with just 25 seats and an impressive open kitchen. The space and service were warm and welcoming with the ideal touch of sophistication.

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Test Drive: Munchery Meal Delivery

Munchery - Los Angeles

Munchery, a meal delivery service operating in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City, recently launched in Los Angeles, and I was delighted to take it for a test drive. With The Astronomer and me balancing working full-time with a new baby, mealtime solutions that are convenient, tasty, and healthful are very welcomed in our household. Dinner at our doorstep? Yes, please.

Munchery - Los Angeles

Whereas Seamless and UberFresh deliver restaurant-prepared meals, Munchery’s food is made “in-house” at a central kitchen. The menu, which changes weekly, is created by a team of chefs who have worked in some very impressive restaurants including Providence, Hatfield’s, and Craft.

To place our first order, I logged on to Munchery’s website, chose the dishes that we desired, and selected the time and date of the delivery. Munchery currently delivers from 4 to 9 PM, Monday through Friday. There’s no order minimum or subscription commitment. The cost of delivery is $4.50 for on-demand (arrives in about 30 minutes) or $2.95 for schedule ahead (up to seven days in advance). Orders can also be placed via Munchery’s mobile app.

Munchery - Los Angeles

The food arrived on time, fully cooked, chilled for freshness, and packaged in materials that were either recyclable or compostable.

Every dish included clear instructions for preparation and assembly.  Most items required a few minutes in either the microwave or oven and the application of sauces and garnishes. Easy stuff.   Continue reading ‘Test Drive: Munchery Meal Delivery’

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