Archive for the 'New American' Category

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Orsa & Winston – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Orsa & Winston - Downtown - Los Angeles

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but Los Angeles’ fine dining scene is appealing to me more than ever before. Maybe Chef Ludo spiked my champagne when I dined at Trois Mec a few weeks back? Really though, what’s not to love about pretty plates, perfectly paced? Just feelin’ fancy…that’s all.

Orsa & Winston - Downtown - Los Angeles

My most recent fine dining explorations took me to Chef Josef Centeno‘s Orsa & Winston, which is “named after two little dogs” according the the restaurant’s website. My date this evening, the lovely D Takes a B, and I settled in for a five-course menu comprised of Crudo, Soup, Grain, Meat, and Sweet for $60.

The 20-course Super Omakase for $195 will have to wait for an occasion when I’m feelin’ fancy and flush.

Orsa & Winston - Downtown - Los Angeles

To start, a refined cheesy broccoli situation consisting of taleggio, broccoli panna cotta, and crispy bits of rye bread. This amuse bouche certainly amused.

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Trois Mec – Los Angeles (Hollywood)

Trois Mec - Hollywood - Los Angeles

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.

Trois Mec - Hollywood - Los Angeles

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.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre at Trois Mec

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.

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Cooks County – Los Angeles

Cooks County - Los Angeles

I am currently writing from Cook County, Illinois. Chicago, to be exact, where I’m spending the week ever so delicately balancing work commitments and gastronomical pursuits. As timing would have it, I’m overdue to write about my mom’s birthday dinner at Cooks County. What a coincidence!

Cooks County - Los Angeles

Opened in late 2011, Cooks County is a sweet ‘lil neighborhood spot serving up seasonal fare that comforts and delights.

The kitchen is headed by Chef Daniel Mattern. He spent time at Campanile, Lucques, AOC, and AMMO here in Los Angeles, and Clarklewis in Portland, before opening Cooks County with his partner, Pastry Chef Roxana Jullapat. She also spent time at Campanile, Lucques, AOC, AMMO, and Clarklewis. What a coincidence!

Cooks County - Los Angeles

We started off the night with four appetizers. The first to arrive was the Spretzel ($3) with mustard dipping sauce. Made of spelt flour and garnished with coarse salt, the pretzel was good but not outstanding. Had it been baked to order, the pretzel would’ve really been something. The mustard, on the other hand, was excellent.

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Portland Odds & Sods: Pine State Biscuits, Olympic Provisions, Le Pigeon, Nuvrei, Tasty n Alder

White Stag Sign - Portland

With just 40 hours in Portland, my girlfriends and I managed to cram in 10 solid dining destinations without a hitch. From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, we filled our drizzly days with savories, sweets, and seemingly everything in between. Not to mention lots of walking to balance everything all out, or so we hoped.

While BakeshopBlue StarPok PokNong’s Khao Man Gai, and Salt & Straw delighted me most this trip, these five spots had their charms as well: Pine State Biscuits, Olympic Provisions, Le Pigeon, Nuvrei, and Tasty n Alder. The best of the rest—PDX style:

Pine State Biscuits

Pine State Biscuits - Portland State University Farmers' Market - Portland

Pine State Biscuits launched their kitchen at the Portland Farmers Market in 2006. Even with a  brick and mortar location on Belmont Avenue, which opened in 2008, the trio behind the operation continues to lug their stoves to the farmers market each Saturday to feed the hoards of hungry fans.

Pine State Biscuits - Portland State University Farmers' Market - Portland

We dug into “The Reggie,” a fried chicken, bacon, and cheese situation, topped with a whole lot of gravy.

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