Just stopping by!
To share some recent hits...
It’s been a while, I know. I can’t promise a full return from hiatus right now, but I did want to pop into your inboxes to say hello. And share some places I’ve enjoyed lately…
I knew I wanted the dark chocolate tart for dessert hours before I approached the host stand at Horses for my 8 pm reservation. And I was right. It deflates under your spoon into a rich, pillowy bite and comes with a scoop of tangy milk sorbet. Before that, we split a spatchcocked Cornish game hen over warm dandelion panzanella and the cheeseburger with fries. We drank Gamay and Manhattans among colorful paintings of horses, worn mahogany walls, and an altogether brilliant bistro vibe. Horses is the best new restaurant in town, the best restaurant lover’s restaurant I’ve been to in a while. Funny enough, it’s also the closest thing I’ve found to a New York restaurant in Los Angeles.
Lakruwana is more than a Sri Lankan restaurant. It’s a museum filled with cultural artifacts, an ornately decorated dining room that transports you far away from New York City. And yet still, you’re there for the food: on weekends, an all-you-can-eat buffet overflows with meat curries, vegetables stewed until they’re sweet, cozy dal, starchy-smooth chunks of cassava, fiery sambals, and tender rice. It’s a must-visit, and for $15.95, a steal.
I think I could live off shrimp cocktail and fries. Is it just me or are old-school restaurants where everyone seems to want to be of late?
Lodi’s chocolate cornetto sends your taste buds into overdrive. One bite and your eyes are rolling back in ecstasy. Perhaps it’s the delicate lamination and accordion-like shaping. Maybe it’s house-milled grain, the top-notch chocolate. The whole is the sum of its parts. If you go for lunch, be sure to try the churned-to-order gelato for 2-3 — a purist’s take on ice cream, and a genius dish at that.
Spicy noodle soups will save you. Two places that exemplify this truth are MDK Noodles in Koreatown and Pa Ord in Thai Town — both LA.
Go to Nura. Get the mouth-melting green chorizo kofta, and the bountiful bread basket with dips. Get the grilled prawns glazed with sweet pepper, passion fruit, urfa biber, and mezcal, too.
The pierogies made at Pierozek, in Greenpoint, are exceptional. I’d stock my freezer with their mushroom-sauerkraut variety, and some potato-and-cheese for good measure, and steam them for lunch several times a week.
You might find yourself at Konbi for a sando, but you’d be wrong to overlook the sides. Noodley strips of yuba tangled with roasted cabbage and oyster mushrooms, pickled shiitake, sesame, and chili oil vinaigrette? Crunchy cooked broccoli tossed in green-yuzu ponzu and pistachios? These are the types of — vegan, for what it’s worth — dishes that you’ll come back for.
The best babka has a dense fudgy interior, like the best brownies. To me, babka doesn’t need to be flakey, like they make it at Breads. I do not love their version. Oneg, on the other hand, is a traditional Jewish bakery in Hasidic Williamsburg that makes opulently chocolatey babka that will change your life. It changed mine. I’m just sad I didn’t visit sooner.
Published (I’ve been busy working on a bigger project, so not a ton):
In Food52: How Carla Finley of Apt 2. Bread transformed her guest room into a bakery
On the dairy-free mozzarella that’s powering New York’s vegan pizza renaissance, for Veg Times
An interview with the designer of my favorite ceramic plateware — Hasami Porcelain — for Garmentory
A few — several, really — recommended reads:
Bret Easton Ellis for Departures: To Live and Dine in LA
Pete Wells for NYT: Going Back to Eat in Midtown, Where the Main Dish Is New York, New York
Hanna Raskin for The Food Section: The downside of friends and family
Christian Reynoso for LAT: You need to eat dates in the Coachella Valley right now
Noëmie Carrant for Resy: New York Has Incredible Mexican Food. Here’s Where to Find It.
Josh Lurie for LA Mag: Estrano Brings Punk Rock Vibes to the Pasta Pop-Up Scene