Feb 2017

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse – Los Angeles (Highland Park)

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse - Los Angeles (Highland Park)

If flaky pastries are just what you crave, then it’s time you get baked at Mr. Holmes’ place in Highland Park. Here, laminated dough, which requires a laborious process of folding butter into dough numerous times to create very thin alternating layers, is elevated to an art form. Every bite brings a rush of richness and hundreds of flaky, airy layers.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse - Los Angeles (Highland Park)

The original Mr. Holmes was opened by Chef Ry Stephen and business partner Aaron Caddel in San Francisco in 2014. In the past two years, Bakehouses have popped up in L.A., O.C., and even Seoul, Korea.

To fully take in the Mr. Holmes experience, my girlfriends and I picked out half a dozen of the shop’s greatest hits to share.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse - Los Angeles (Highland Park)

First up was the intriguingly savory California Croissant ($5) stuffed with smoked salmon, ginger, wasabi, and seaweed. I liked how the nori permeated every bite, but would’ve preferred the smoked salmon in a silky state rather than in its shelf-stable cooked one.

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Feb 2017

Cento Pasta Bar – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Cento Pasta Bar - Los Angeles (Downtown)

When it comes to work perks, birthday lunches rank somewhere near the top. It’s always a real treat to ditch our cubes for the afternoon and sit down for a celebratory meal. In honor of my 35th last week, I elected to lunch at Cento Pasta Bar, a two-year-old pop-up inside Mignon, a wine bar Downtown.

Cento Pasta Bar - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Behind the bar is Avner Lavi, a former pasta cook at Bestia and Sotto, two of my favorite noodling spots in town. Here at Cento, it’s a one man show. Chef Lavi takes orders, prepares food, banters with diners, and busses tables. It’s an easygoing vibe, but formal enough to avoid feeling like a dinner party at a friend’s house.

With the new minimum wage looking to shake up the dining ecosystem in the near future, this could be a new model for how restaurants operate.

Cento Pasta Bar - Los Angeles (Downtown)

The setup wasn’t ideal for our party of eight, but we made it work by flanking both sides of the bar.

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Feb 2017

Spring Restaurant – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Spring Restaurant - Los Angeles (Downtown)

L.A. winters aren’t particularly harsh, but the one we’re currently experiencing is the coldest and wettest in recent memory. Thank goodness—we could really use the rain! On a recent chilly evening, The Astronomer and I sought light and warmth at Spring Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles.

Spring Restaurant - Los Angeles (Downtown)

As we stepped into the airy and expansive dining room on the ground floor of the Douglas Building, The Astronomer and I were transported to the South of France, just like the restaurant’s website promised.