Oct 2019

Auburn – Los Angeles

Auburn - Los Angeles

Auburn is the newish restaurant from Chef Eric Bost, a North Carolina native who spent the last decade in the kitchens of Alain Ducasse in Paris, Guy Savoy in Las Vegas and Singapore, and most recently, République in Los Angeles. Here in the former Hatfield’s space, he’s striking out on his own in stunning fashion.

Auburn - Los Angeles

The Astronomer and I came in for drinks and bar bites before catching the Death Cab For Cutie show at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this summer. While I would have preferred to sit down for a proper meal in the main dining room, our perfectly informal introduction to what is otherwise a pretty formal restaurant proved to be just as great.

To start, a “Green Banana” cocktail with mezcal and eucalyptus amaro for me ($19) and a Normandy cider for The Astronomer.

Auburn - Los Angeles

We ordered eight of the ten items on the bar menu this early evening. First up was a warm loaf of country bread served with luscious avocado butter ($9).

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Oct 2019

Bill’s Burgers – Los Angeles (Van Nuys)

Bill's Burgers - Los Angeles - Van Nuys

Bill Elwell has been plugging away on the flattop grill since he bought this Van Nuys burger stand in 1965. Regulars from the early days know it as Bill’s Hamburgers, while newer fans refer to it as Bill and Hiroko’s. The latter addition is a nod to Hiroko Wilcox, Bill’s lovely wife who helps him run the place.

Bill's Burgers - Los Angeles - Van Nuys

Grab a seat at the L-shaped counter to watch the master at work—the best spots are the two stools closest to the grill. Patio seating away from the meat and grease is also available for those who prefer some solitude with their lunch.

Bill's Burgers - Los Angeles - Van Nuys

With hamburgers, sandwiches, and hotdogs on hand, the menu is extensive for a two-man show but not overly so. Most everyone orders a burger.

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Sep 2019

68 Hours in New Orleans: Laissez les bons temps rouler

New Orleans

The Astronomer and I traveled to New Orleans together this past July. After dropping off June with her grandparents in Birmingham, we made the five-hour drive through Mississippi and spent 68 hours eating, drinking, and exploring the city. While we missed our little lady during our time apart, it was quite lovely to revel without worrying about nap times and such.

French Quarter, New Orleans

Since it was my first trip to New Orleans, I focused the itinerary mostly on the city’s incredible dining institutions. Folks have been eating well here since practically forever, so it was important on my inaugural visit to get a sense of the city’s rich culinary history. I can’t wait to explore newer establishments, especially the Vietnamese food scene, on another trip.

Central Grocery – French Quarter

Central Grocery - New Orleans

We arrived in the late afternoon and stopped into Central Grocery in the French Quarter for one of its famous muffuletta sandwiches. I have had my share of mediocre Italian sandwiches, as well as expertly made ones, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. (more…)