Archive for the 'New American' Category

Commissary at The Line Hotel – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Commissary at The Line Hotel | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The second half of my second trimester of pregnancy has been good to me. After a rough start, I can finally hold down food without the aid of modern medicine, I have a great deal more energy, and best of all, I’m able to stay awake past 8 PM. I’m not sure what the next couple of months will hold, but for the time being, life rocks.

While the good spirits are running high, I plan on cramming in as much good eating and restaurant explorations as possible. For our first dinner out on the town in a few months, The Astronomer and I made it a priority to check out Chef Roy Choi’s Commissary, his latest (and final) dining venue at The Line Hotel in Koreatown.

Commissary at The Line Hotel | Koreatown - Los Angeles

Located on the hotel’s second floor rooftop, Commissary is a greenhouse with a focus on fruits and vegetables. Roy’s been layin’ off meat for years now, and Commissary is a reflection of how delicious and satisfying a plant-based (but not necessarily vegetarian) diet can be at its best.

The restaurant’s space is full of light: pure sunshine during the day and urban twinkly at night. There’s a shimmering pool nearby and superb vibes all around.

Commissary at The Line Hotel | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The restaurant’s illustrated menu (see topmost image) is divided into five price points and comes with a supplementary decoder to describe various preparations and additional ingredients. The Astronomer and I both found the menu to be whimsical and fun, even though it wasn’t the most streamlined.

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Longman & Eagle – Chicago

Longman & Eagle - Chicago

If I had to pick a favorite meal from this trip to Chicago, top honors would go to Chef Jared Wentworth’s Longman & Eagle. It’s a whiskey bar that happens to have really good fucking food. What more could I ask for?

Longman & Eagle - Chicago

Recipient of a Michelin star for four straight years and counting (2011 to 2014), Longman & Eagle is my kind of place.

The food is creative and delightful, while the mood is perfectly chill. Best of all, the fare is more than fairly priced. It’s impossible not to fall hard for L&E’s charms, especially with a few $3 whiskies working their way through one’s system.

Longman & Eagle - Chicago

Behind the stoves are Executive Chef and Partner Jared Wentworth and Chef de Cuisine Matthew Kerney. The forward food is sometimes dreamed up while under the influence:

I think smoking a little weed makes the creative process better, especially for food. But it’s all based in classical French techniques, and then I start putting twists on things from there. – Jared Wentworth

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Little Goat – Chicago

Little Goat - Chicago

I’ve got a thing for fancy diners, so I made time to visit two of Chicago’s best while in town.

First up, a late brunch at Chef Stephanie Izard‘s Little Goat. I’d dined at her more formal Girl & the Goat on a previous trip and had a ball—Pig Face, anyone? I expected nothing less than a stupendous time at her latest venture.

Little Goat - Chicago

Opened in 2012, Little Goat serves done-up American diner classics with a smattering of new school hits. Like Girl & the Goat, the diner is perpetually packed. The Astronomer and I waited 25 minutes for two seats to open up at half past three on a Sunday afternoon.

Even though I was slightly annoyed with the wait, Little Goat’s sunny interior, full of natural light, bright accents, and happy diners, made it difficult for my frown to stick around.

Little Goat - Chicago

Twas impossible to stay upset with this cute little goat face staring back at me. 

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Avec – Chicago

Avec - Chicago

While it might seem silly to down four doughnuts just before dinner, it was necessary for survival in Chicago, where no reservation policies are the norm at the most popular spots in town.

Case in point: we arrived at Avec at half past seven on Saturday night and were finally seated near 10 PM at one of the cramped communal tables. Such is the life of a foodist in the Second City. #FirstWorldProblems.

Avec - Chicago

Opened in 2003, Avec serves a Midwestern interpretation of Mediterranean classics in small plates fashion. “Taking its cue from the regions of Southern France, Italy, Portugal, and the coast of Spain, Avec’s cuisine reflects the aromas, flavors and colors of the Mediterranean,” according the the restaurant’s website.

Chef Koren Grieveson helped open the restaurant in 2003, earning the James Beard Award for Best Chef Great Lakes in 2010. In 2013, Perry Hendrix, took over the kitchen.

Avec - Chicago

To start, an order of Avec’s famous chorizo-stuffed medjool dates with smoked bacon in a piquillo pepper-tomato sauce ($12). These meaty mouthfuls were sweet, spicy, and tangy all at once. Beautiful stuff, and maybe even worth a two hour wait. Maybe.

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