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.

Feb 2017

Maple Block Meat Co. – Culver City

Maple Block Meat Co. - Culver City

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been eating my feelings lately. Ever since what’s-his-face won the election last fall, I’ve been drowning my liberal-leaning tears in all manner of comfort food. Over-eating as a consolation prize ain’t much, but that’s all I’ve got these days… that, and toddler cuddles. Both simple pleasures are appreciated.

Maple Block Meat Co. - Culver City

When it comes to comfort food, it’s hard to beat southern barbecue. I’ve been hearing nothing but terrific things about Chef Adam Cole’s Maple Block Meat Co. since it opened last August, particularly about the brisket. A weekday lunch with two friends meant that California’s “best” would finally be mine.

Interestingly, prior to smoking meats in Culver City, Chef Cole spent time in the kitchens of The Bazaar and ink.

Maple Block Meat Co. - Culver City

To start, the anchovy-spiked Pimiento Cheese Sandwich ($6) was calling my name.

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