The Year in Delicious: Top 10 Savories of 2014

The Year in Delicious: Top 10 Savories of 2014

Goodbye, 2014. Hello, 2015! It’s time once again to reflect upon the dishes that defined my year in delicious. While The Astronomer and I didn’t travel abroad in 2014, domestic jaunts to Honolulu, Las Vegas, Chicago, and San Francisco, as well as local explorations around Los Angeles, made for some memorable face stuffage. A rough bout with “morning” sickness kept me on the gastronomical sidelines for quite a few months there, but thankfully I managed to rebound, finishing out the year on the tastiest of notes.

Thank you for reading Gastronomy (for the past 8 years!), and without further ado, here are the 10 best savory dishes that I ate this year…

POT at the Line Hotel - Koreatown - Los Angeles

“Beep Beep” from Pot at The Line Hotel in Los Angeles, California

A decadent melange of sea urchin, yuzukosho, and Kewpie mayonnaise served over rice, dreamt up by Chef Roy Choi. The yuzu’s tang and spice played off the richness of the uni and mayonnaise with aplomb.

Pig & The Lady - Honolulu

Coffee Can Bread from The Pig & The Lady in Honolulu, Hawaii

Chicken liver mousse always hits the spot, but add to it pickled grapes, pink peppercorns, candied almonds, and chrysanthemum leaves, and you’ve got an unstoppable combination of flavors and textures. This was one of a slew of damn delicious dishes at Chef Andrew Le’s eclectic Honolulu spot. These grindz had me feelin’ fine. (Full review to come!)

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Falafel Arax – Los Angeles (East Hollywood)

Falafel Arax

Before diving into the best dishes of 2014 for my annual roundup, I have one final restaurant to review: Falafel Arax.

Falafel-Arax - East Hollywood - Los Angeles

The Astronomer, my mom, and I made our way here for dinner while Baby Girl was still stuck in the hospital. While we would’ve preferred to bring our sweetie home straightaway, we couldn’t have asked for better dining options around the hospital. We’re all about the silver lining around here.

Falafel-Arax - East Hollywood - Los Angeles

For well over 25 years, Falafel Arax has been dishing up Armenian delights in the heart of East Hollywood’s Little Armenia. Our dinner began with a requisite helping of beet-stained pickled turnips and potent pepperoncinis.

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House of Pies – Los Angeles (Los Feliz)

House Of Pies - Los Feliz - Los Angeles

Traditionally during Thanksgiving, The Astronomer and I drive to San Diego to feast with family. This year we spent the holiday in L.A. due to our little one being stuck in the NICU. After failing to score a reservation at Bouchon, our first choice, we opted for a Turkey Day celebration at House of Pies since it was located around the corner from the hospital. Plus, I’ve always been a little curious about the place.

House Of Pies - Los Feliz - Los Angeles

Opened in 1969, House of Pies is a family owned and operated Los Feliz institution. There was a serious line snaking out the restaurant’s door when The Astronomer and I arrived, but thankfully it was for folks picking up pies to go and not for those dining in. We were seated right away at a table by the window in the less-charming-and-cozy-than-anticipated dining room.

House Of Pies - Los Feliz - Los Angeles

All of House of Pie’s “Dinners” include a choice of soup or salad to start. I chose the salad with Thousand Island dressing. While the leafy greens were mostly limp, the possibly-house-made dressing had some zip!

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Gettin’ Figgy (Pudding) with Good Girl Dinette

Figgy Pudding

It’s the season for peppermint-, pumpkin- and gingerbread-centric sweets, but not for Good Girl Dinette‘s Diep Tran, who marches to the beat of a different drummer boy. At her Highland Park restaurant, it’s all about figgy pudding, the oft-overlooked and under-appreciated Dickensian delight.

Get your belly in the holiday spirit with my latest piece for the Los Angeles Times‘ Daily Dish: “Good Girl Dinette’s Diep Tran brings us all some figgy pudding.” Happy holidays and bon appetit!

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