Briana Valdez’s HomeState has been garnering a whole lot of buzz since opening late last year. It seems that everyone’s ears perk up at the mention of queso and Frito Pie. Mine certainly do.
Ms. Valdez, who moved from Austin to Los Angeles in 2000, previously worked at Bouchon in Beverly Hills.
I made my way here on a quiet Sunday with my favorite Texan in tow. After growing up in Austin, Esme knows her Tex Mex and barbecue, and I wouldn’t have wanted to dine here with anyone else.
Fun fact: Esme blew my mind sometime back in 2003 (while we were studying abroad in Rome) when she informed me that a barbecue isn’t a barbecue unless there’s brisket. Needless to say, the grilled hot dogs and hamburgers of my youth did not constitute a proper barbecue.
The adorably appointed dining room was totally packed during our visit. We placed our order at the front counter and grabbed a table outside, and the bulk of the spread was brought soon after. A few forgotten items took a bit longer.
Continue reading ‘HomeState – Los Angeles (East Hollywood)’
To celebrate my recent birthday, I asked The Astronomer to take me to Trois Mec. I’ve wanted to dine here since the restaurant opened last year, but my busy schedule and the restaurant’s tough-to-snag tickets kept me away until now. It was definitely worth the wait.
The “three friends” behind Trois Mec are Chef Ludo Lefebvre, who takes care of the food and beverage program, and Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of Animal and Son of a Gun, who manage the front of the house. While service was on point this evening, I quite missed having Krissy run the show a la LudoBites. Ah, memories…
As a nod to their partnership and the restaurant’s name, Trois Mec’s logo features the letters “L”, “D”, and “S” intertwined.
After years of popping up ’round town, making due with others’ dining rooms, kitchens, and equipment, Ludo at last has a permanent space to call home. As a longtime fan of the chef, I was absolutely tickled to see him finally settled and in his element.
The Astronomer and I were seated at the bar overlooking the kitchen, which meant we had front row seats to watch the evening’s cooking and plating action.
Continue reading ‘Trois Mec – Los Angeles (Hollywood)’
There is no shortage of tongue-singeing spots in Thaitown, and Nong Sriyana’s Spicy BBQ measures up with the best of ‘em. The Astronomer, Mom, and I stopped in for a low-key dinner prior to catching a show at the Pantages. Thai food and musicals—that’s how we do.
We came for the house-special Northern Thai offerings, which are listed toward the back of the cheery, spiral-bound menu. Every dish was helpfully accompanied by a photo. Using a 2008 write up by Jonathan Gold as my guide, I ordered too much food as usual. My dining mates never seem to mind.
Dinner started off with a sweat-inducing bang! The nam prik num, a smoky, spicy, and undeniably addictive “dip” made from roasted chilies, burned so, so good. To balance the flavors and heat, we dug in carefully and with plenty of sticky rice and fresh vegetable crudites. If you like pleasure spiked with pain, this dish is for you.
Continue reading ‘Spicy BBQ Restaurant – Los Angeles (Hollywood)’
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.
Continue reading ‘Yai’s On Vermont – Los Angeles (Hollywood)’