My first dinner at chi SPACCA was this past May in honor of Mother’s Day. Mama appreciates fine charcuterie (paired with finer wine, of course) and I had heard very good things about the house-cured meats served at this latest addition to the Mozza family.
The kitchen is headed by Chef Chad Colby and overseen by Nancy Silverton and her partners Joe Bastianich and Mario Batali.
The space, which was formerly the site of Scuola di Pizza, is dominated by the open kitchen, which is in turn dominated by a massive grill.
chi SPACCA is best known for its generously portioned proteins, like the 42 ounce Tomahawk pork chop ($80) and 50 ounce costata alla fiorentina ($210). Both are grilled on an open flame and are perfect for sharing with groups.
I stuck mainly to the menu’s smaller format dishes on my two visits due to not having enough mouths around the table. A third visit, with a posse, is definitely in order.
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Yay for Yai, Yay for Yai! It’s a really great place for eating Thai!
As my mind was shifting from deep sleep to mild consciousness early this morning, this cheery poem crept into my head. It was an admittedly strange way to wake up, but hey, that’s how introductions to blog posts get written sometimes!
With two locations around town, one on Vermont and the original on the edge of Thaitown, Yai’s is a favorite of my friend Natasha. She suggested we dine here to catch up on life’s happenings, along with our friend Lien.
I am a creature of habit when it comes to Thai restaurants, mostly because Pa Ord and Ruen Pair are so damn good, so I was excited to test drive a potential new favorite.
Natasha was in a noodle soup kind of mood this evening, so an order of boat noodles ($5.95) was a must. The version served here arrived tripe- and liver-less to our dismay, but somewhat made up for it with plenty of squeaky meatballs, thinly sliced beef, and pork cracklings. Rumor has it the original Yai’s, whose clientele is mostly Thai, doesn’t skip out on these tasty odds and ends.
Innards aside, the broth was warming and tasty, especially after Natasha doctored it up with the slew of table-side condiments. Still, Pa Ord’s bowl reigns supreme for me.
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The residents of Beachwood Canyon are incredibly lucky to have a place like Beachwood Cafe to drop into for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The space couldn’t be any more adorable, while the cooking is thoughtful and satisfying.
Owner Patti Peck took over the former Village Coffee Shop last March and, along with Chef Minh Phan, converted the one-time greasy spoon into a cozy neighborhood spot serving farm-to-table fare. The Astronomer and I, along with a gaggle of girlfriends, dined at Beachwood Cafe on an uncharacteristically rainy Friday night. The damp weather demanded just the sort of hearty fare that Chef Minh executes superbly well.
Previously, Chef Minh (left) attended Le Cordon Bleu, served as the Pastry Chef at Axe in Venice, and spent time in the kitchens of Gotham Tavern in Portland and the Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga Canyon. That’s our friend-in-common Diep Tran on the right.
To start, we sipped sparking wine cocktails accented with pink peppercorns and star anise.
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Heat lamps and steam tables don’t usually signal deliciousness, but expect the unexpected at Ganda Siamese Cuisine. Ever since Saveur magazine’s chief editor proclaimed the food served at this Thaitown spot to be “the most authentic Thai food in America” a few dozen issues back, I’ve been meaning to scope it out. Book research was just the nudge I needed to pass over my dependable darlings Ruen Pair and Pa-Ord and finally give Ganda a go.
Chef-owner Sue Klinmalai rotates the selection of curries, braises, and stir-fries available each day, but expect to find two dozen or so dishes that are carefully made and intensely flavored. The array of offerings can be a bit daunting for the uninitiated, so feel free to ask the gals behind the counter for further details since most of the dishes aren’t labeled.
For just under $20, The Astronomer and I were treated to one of the boldest, spiciest, and most deeply flavorful meals in town. We shared a three item combination served with steamed white rice.
The crispy catfish (pla duk pad ped) is the restaurant’s most popular dish, and for very good reason. This central-Thai specialty, dry-braised in galangal, Kaffir lime leaves, and a plethora of spices, delivered on all fronts—crisp, sweet, savory, and spicy.
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