With my girlfriend Kellie coming from Santa Ana and me in Pasadena, a lunch date in Gardena was logistically sound since it was approximately halfway* between our respective starting points. After debating a few Hawaiian and Japanese restaurant options in the area, I selected Eatalian Cafe for our meetup. Pasta. Forever.
Eatalian Cafe brings a slice of Italy to an industrial stretch of Gardena lined with manufacturers and repairmen. Owner Antonio Pellini initially planned to transform this former textile factory into a production facility for fresh cheeses, gelati, and baked goods; however, the sheer size of the space was so grand that a dining room was built into the plans.
Here at this cavernous temple of Italian cuisine, pastas, sauces, gelati, breads, and pastries are made fresh every morning.
Joining our party were The Astronomer and Kellie’s sis—the more the merrier.
To start, we shared the Emilia, grilled vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, onion, yellow and red bell pepper) topped with Parmigiano Reggiano and aged balsamic vinegar ($8.50). I loved the cheese’s salty granules, but the vegetables could’ve been smokier.
Continue reading ‘Eatalian Cafe – Gardena’
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)’
In honor of the Olympic Games, I present to you Olympic Noodle: the homiest of restaurants serving the homiest of foods.
In addition to notable noodles and delightful dumplings, Olympic Noodle is home to the best kimchi I’ve ever tasted. While I’d normally be pretty bummed with just one lowly radish banchan, the kimchi’s unparalleled excellence made up for it. So crisp, so well balanced, so moreish.
The Astronomer and I were joined by our friend Alex this afternoon, which meant we could order three dishes—the portions here are huge. Fresh-from-the-steamer mandu was the first to arrive.
Continue reading ‘Olympic Noodle – Los Angeles (Koreatown)’