Apr 2019

Otoño – Los Angeles (Highland Park)

Otoño - Highland Park

My heart sank when I heard that Teresa Montaño was closing Racion, her six-year-old Basque restaurant in Pasadena. The Astronomer and I adored her cooking and were sad to see the place go. Fortunately, the chef has found a new home in Highland Park with Otoño, which opened last August.

Otoño - Highland Park

The narrow restaurant was filled to capacity when my girlfriend Liz and I came in for a weeknight dinner. With every stool taken at the bar and every seat occupied in the dining room, it’s plain to see that the neighborhood is stoked for the chef’s Spanish-inspired fare.

Otoño - Highland Park

To start, a glass of sangria for each of us ($12 each). Liz honed in on the “Los Angeles” with rosé, cucumber, passion fruit, and amaro, while I picked the “Madrid” with red wine, brandy, orange, coffee, and cacao. My sangria, wonderfully savory and balanced, was so seriously good that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

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Apr 2019

Joy – Los Angeles (Highland Park)

Joy - Highland Park

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Diana and I met up for a late lunch at Joy in Highland Park. This newish spot on York Boulevard is the second restaurant from Vivian Ku of Silverlake’s Pine & Crane. Judging from the line snaking out the door and the happy faces gathering about, the restaurant is resonating well with the neighborhood.

Joy - Highland Park

The long line of eager eaters moved impressively fast, and we were at the front before we knew it. After narrowing the field to four dishes, two teas, and a dessert, we settled into a table to await our order.

Joy - Highland Park

Dishes hit the table not long after. The Spicy Shrimp Wontons ($6), delicate parcels swimming in chili oil, were straightforward and good.

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Mar 2019

Tartine Bianco – Los Angeles

Tartine Bianco - ROW DTLA - Los Angeles

Dining at a brand new restaurant has its pitfalls, namely slower than optimal service and a kitchen working out kinks, but it also has its thrills. When a late-night OpenTable search yielded prime seating at the less-than-two-week-old Tartine Bianco, curiosity got the best of me and I immediately took the plunge. So, following lunch at Pikunico, I returned to ROW DTLA the same day for dinner. #targetdemo

Tartine Bianco - ROW DTLA - Los Angeles

The all-day restaurant inside of The Manufactory was humming along when my girlfriend Thien and I arrived. It took a while for us to be seated even with reservations, but that was to be anticipated given the circumstances.

Tartine Bianco - ROW DTLA - Los Angeles

Similar to the original San Francisco location, the menu here is largely comprised of smørrebrods and tartines served on Tartine bread. Unique to the Los Angeles location are flatbreads from Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco fame. We started with a flatbread topped with honey, ham, and rosemary that was utterly fantastic.

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