Archive for the 'Restaurant Review' Category

Petit Trois – Los Angeles (Hollywood)

Petit Trois - Hollywood

Following the tremendous success of Trois Mec, Chef Ludo Lefevre, along with partners Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of Animal and Son of a Gun, opened Petit Trois directly next door.

Whereas Trois Mec is quite formal, requiring pre-paid reservations and featuring pre-fixe menus, its sister restaurant takes the opposite approach. Both, it must be noted, are truly fantastic places to dine.

Petit Trois - Hollywood

The Astronomer and I made our way to Petit Trois for a late lunch on a Sunday afternoon. While all the seats along the kitchen-facing counter were taken at half past two, the ones along the opposite wall were free for the taking. We grabbed two stools and settled in for a feast of French bistro classics.

Petit Trois - Hollywood

Seated beside us was a stuffed rooster. The chef’s got a thing for le coq.

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Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant – El Monte

Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant - El Monte - Los Angeles

Even with an endless parade of new restaurant openings in Los Angeles, my current obsession is an unassuming eight-year-old Vietnamese spot in El Monte. My friend Thien introduced me to Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant a few weeks ago, and I’ve already been back three times since. This place is really something dac biet.

Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant - El Monte - Los Angeles

Whereas most Vietnamese restaurants in town serve a menu of the country’s greatest hits, like pho, bun, and the like, Kim Hoa Hue specializes in Central Vietnamese fare, specifically the cuisine from Hue. As Vietnam’s former imperial capital, Hue is renowned for its sophisticated cuisine, developed by the cooks of the royal court.

Kim Hoa Hue Restaurant - El Monte - Los Angeles

On each of my visits here, my dining companions and I feasted like kings. Never missing from our spread was the Hue Combo ($6.25), a sample platter of delicate delights: banh beo (steamed rice cakes topped with shrimp and cracklins), banh nam (rice cakes embedded with shrimp and steamed in banana leaves), banh bot loc (shrimp and pork dumplings), cha (steamed pork forcemeat), and banh uot tom chay (rice sheets stuffed with minced shrimp).

While my mother and grandmother were particularly fond of the banh beo during our lunch, it’s impossible for me to choose a favorite—winners all around, I say.

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Lu’s Garden – San Gabriel

Lu's Garden - San Gabriel

With the holidays officially in full swing, chances are you’re going to need a breather from stuffing your face. Rather than skip a meal, or even worse, embark on a juice cleanse, I’d recommend heading to Lu’s Garden for a virtuous bowl of porridge with all the fixings. You’ll feel positively rejuvenated afterward. Promise.

Lu's Garden - San Gabriel

A colleague introduced me to Lu’s a few weeks back for lunch; she’s been dining here for as long as she can remember. I enjoyed our outing so much that I returned the following day with my girl Shay in tow.

For first-timers, it can be a little confusing how the place works. Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by a tremendous steam table brimming with all manner of vegetables and proteins.

Lu's Garden - San Gabriel

Select three items from the steam table for $8.25 or four items for $10.75. The cost is the same for vegetarian and meaty dishes.  At dinner, diners are required to order a la carte from a menu.

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Alimento – Los Angeles (Silver Lake)

Alimento - Silver Lake - Los Angeles

Was it just me or did this past summer drag on forever? With 2014 on track to be the warmest year on record for Los Angeles, I was starting to lose hope that we’d ever see fall and winter this year. Fortunately, it’s been cooling down in recent weeks (by SoCal standards, I mean), and there’s even rain in the forecast!

With temperatures finally and consistently dipping below 80 degrees, it’s high time to indulge in comfort fare. Hello, Alimento.

Alimento - Silver Lake - Los Angeles

Chef Zach Pollack opened Alimento this past June in Silver Lake after years behind the stove with Chef Steve Samson at Sotto. Whereas Sotto focused on Southern Italian fare, the food here is inspired by Northern Italian cuisine. The menu is divided into three sections: Plates, Pastas, and Platters.

Alimento - Silver Lake - Los Angeles

The Astronomer and I were joined by our friend Stassi for dinner this evening. Between the three of us, we shared four “Plates,” two “Pastas,” and a dessert.

The first Plate to hit the table was the chicken liver pate served with house made bread, coarse salt, and quince mostarda ($10). This dish was adored by all and was as delicious as it was beautiful.

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