Wednesday, December 19, 2012

LA Eats and Eats

A few weeks ago the lovely Ms Carol came to LA, and I'm so happy we had a chance to catch up on lots of things that have happened since our DC days, over several amazing meals at spots that have been on my must-eat list for awhile.

Thursday night we snagged reservations at Michael Voltaggio's Ink, which is one of the best new restaurants in LA. We skipped the prix fixe menu and ordered a variety of things from the menu.  I'm glad we did.

We started with the ham and manchego biscuits with almond butter.  Remember how I love Spain and Spanish food?

I'd read  several reviews that said to order the carrot dish, and it came out steaming cold with coconut ice and cardamom soil.

Lots of pork here - pig ears, brussels sprouts, apple.  I have to order brussels sprouts if they're on a menu.

I'd also read that the corn porridge was a must-order.  It comes topped with homemade ranch doritos.

There's the chef!  We had a good view from our table, and Carol managed to sneak in a few words to him when he came outside as we were leaving.

Pork belly with pork rinds, charcoal oil, and petrified yams.

Dessert tasted like you're eating a fire.  Roasted apple, caramel, walnut with burnt wood ice cream.  So interesting in your mouth.

That's only meal number one of four!

As I walked back to my car down Melrose, I realize that Ace of Cakes, Mr Duff himself, has opened a cake shop on a corner.  Super cute place, looks like a lot of fun decorating your own cakes.

Meal two with Carol - downtown brunch at Baco Mercat.  It's definitely on my favorites list now, and I hope to return soon.  We had our waiter order for us, cause we're adventurous like that.  He didn't steer us wrong.

Remember how I love brussels sprouts?  Carol does, too.  Strong flavors with anchovy and pecorino.  Also had the hamachi crudo with avocado and a cheese fritter.  Delicious.  Doesn't it just look beautiful?

Our waiter usually encourages people not to split their signature bacos, cause they're too hard to cut up, but we wanted to anyway.  We had to try more things!  We had the 'toron' with oxtail hash, cheddar, horseradish and pickle.

I usually don't order dessert but I'm glad that Carol and I did for every meal.  We had two here: an apple crisp with ice cream that was really good, even though I don't love warm apples (yes, this means I don't care for apple pie - I'm not American) and a banana creme rice pudding that was alright.

Quick break for a sky picture - the sky was really, really orange one night.  Very strange.

Saturday night we went to Chego with Collin.  It's delicious and close to home, and since I've been there a few times, I didn't take photos.  But Carol did.

Sunday night dinner - Son of a Gun, since we couldn't get a reservation at Animal.  Carol took a few more photos here.

We started with a kale Caesar salad with walnuts and then trout crudo with peppers.  I'd been a crudo kick that week.  Then came the fried chicken sandwich with a spicy slaw.  I've really come to love the right kind of slaw over the years.

More pork! In cheek form, with cauliflower.

Dessert - frozen lime yogur with a toasted meringue.  Small, but tasty.

Later that next week, Darryl was in town again for work and we met up for a late dinner.  I still had to try Pizzeria Mozza, and after a bit of a wait, the hostess ushered us into the private dining room with only one other couple.  Score!  I sort of fell in love with our waiter that night, too.  He was charming and friendly, and full of delicious recommendations.

We had to start with some meatballs.

A bruschetta with burrata, Swiss chard, onion, and balsamic.  Delicious.

Crispy goat cheese (yum) with lentils.  So good.

Some cauliflower dish.

At this point we were getting full, and the pizza hadn't even arrived.  It had to be re-fired twice, so we got some fried little balls to tide us over while we waited.

Finally, the fennel sausage, red onion, and scallion pizza.  Great recommendation, I'd get it again.

After all that food, I was full for a week.  So happy I got to cross a few places off my list and find some favorites. LA, you've got some more things for me to love.

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