All posts tagged “eats

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The Butcher’s Daughter

The Butcher’s Daughter, located on ~uber~ hip Abbot Kinney, is one of the prettiest restaurants I’ve ever been to. With another location in NYC, this vegetarian based restaurant has beautiful decor, a relaxing atmosphere, and great healthy food options.

Once you step in, you’ll already want to throw up from how pretty/hipster/Instagrammable this place is. The interior is all wood, with a ton of natural lighting, gorgeous plants and greenery, and hip furniture.

Even my water was growing a plant.

There is bar seating in the center, tables all around, and even a private table outside in the back. It is spacious, bright, warm, with beautiful gold and marble tables.

I don’t typically go to places that are 100% vegetarian, but after sneaking a peek at the interior, I had to try it out. The menu ranges from breakfast items to sandwiches, salads, bowls, pizzas, and more. The items and ingredients are very healthy, with gluten free options as well.

We started with a pressed juice flight, which they squeeze in house with fresh ingredients like carrots, beets, greens, and ginger. My favorite was the pineapple-jicama-lemon juice. They also offer many smoothie variations, teas, and coffee.

Below is the Surfer’s Breakfast, a breakfast burrito with black bean mole and vegan sour cream (whatever that is).

I channeled my inner (or outer) basic-ness and ordered the Angeleno, which was an avocado toast with strawberry corn salsa, burrata, and chili oil. I’m not used to having a sweet element, like strawberries, on my avo-toast (I usually prefer a poached egg), but the spiciness from the chili oil and salsa, combined with the fresh and very large chunk of burrata, made for one of the best avo-toasts I’ve ever had. Add a little fresh lime, and I was done within minutes.

It’s a very popular spot, and will often have a wait, but GO. It is peak hipster-dome here, from the incredibly gorgeous decor to the delicious and fresh food.

1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291

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The Waffle

This post is a couple months late and I’m very behind on collecting LA brunch spots since I moved, but here is my very first LA brunch: The Waffle.

The Waffle, located on Sunset Blvd (right by one of my offices, which I later found out), is set up like a diner, and gets fairly busy on the weekends. They serve breakfast ALL DAY, which is always a win.

They offer many of the usual breakfast items, like the classic eggs + bacon + potatoes combo, but their speciality is creating all sorts of Belgian waffles.

The waffles can be ordered with fruit, with savory flavors like the Cornmeal Jalapeño, or with sweet flavors like Chocolate and Tres Leches. They can be ordered as combos (with the beautifully colored home fries and fruit) or a la carte.

They even have a gluten-free option, which was great and tasted just like a normal Belgian Waffle!

The stealer of the show was the S’mores Waffle, which was a special during our visit. The waffle itself had graham cracker crumbles and chocolate inside, and was doused in chocolate sauce and topped with a heaping dollop of marshmallow fluff. I stole some of the sweetness to cover my GF Waffle and damn, that marshmallow fluff is a game changer.

I would definitely go back to The Waffle as they have a ton of options, the waffles are amazing, and they have DOUBLE SIZED MIMOSAS for only $6. You can’t beat that.

6255 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Cassava

Cassava is truly a gem tucked into the corner of Balboa and 36th in the Outer Richmond. The amazing duo Chef Kris Toliao and Yuka Ioroi created Cassava as a unique space that serves California cuisine with a Japanese twist, focusing on a variety of different grains and spices. They have an amazing dinner menu, with dishes like Duck Confit with Heirloom Polenta, Oven Roasted Mary’s Chicken, and my favorite Seared Chinook Salmon. While dishes can be ordered by the item, Cassava also offers a prix fixe dinner menu at $42 per guest, which currently comes with these delectable courses:

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I had the incredible pleasure of being invited for dinner and every single dish was amazing! The items change seasonally, but I still remember the pumpkin panna cotta I had during the fall of last year. I recently went back to Cassava for brunch, and had just as amazing of an experience that I had for dinner.

For an appetizer, we ordered the baked burrata and poached egg, with celery root puree, sautéed swiss chard, and brussels sprouts that is spread onto a crisp toast. The dish is full of garlicky goodness and warm cheese that literally melts in your mouth.

Above is the Barbecue Pork Ribs “Hash,” with potatoes, quinoa, and a poached egg. The dish is well balanced with greens and tomatoes, and the spice mixture reminds me of the tastes of curry flavor and za’tar.

The Pork Shoulder and Fried Egg Open Sandwich is one of Cassava’s greatest creations, with a juicy 12 hour braised pork shoulder, arugula, olive tapenade, and a fried egg served on top of a large hunk of bread. The portions are generous, and the rich pork flavors make me want to eat this for every meal!

Along with the American and Californian dishes, Cassava also pays homage to classic Japanese dishes, such as the traditional Japanese breakfast. It comes with rice, pickled vegetables, salmon, miso soup, and a poached egg in dashi. I don’t eat rice often for breakfast, but this healthy and well balanced meal is a standard breakfast in Japan. I loved every bit of it, and could not get enough of the salmon! Mixing and matching each component of the meal gives you the ability to enjoy each item in multiple different ways.

Cassava is full of amazing flavors and dishes, always using the best ingredients for a fresh and healthy meal. I would go here for any meal, and definitely recommend it for your next brunch or dinner date!

Big thanks to Yuka and the Cassava staff for always being so friendly and hospitable 🙂

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3519 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121

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Coqueta

Coqueta, the Spanish restaurant created by Chef Michael Chiarello, has easily become one of my favorite spots in the city. With its unbeatable location on Pier 5 overlooking the Bay Bridge, its exquisite selection of cocktails and wines, and its mouthwatering tapas, Coqueta is the perfect place for a special occasion or entertaining clients and relatives.

Coqueta’s drink menu features a multitude of wines and cocktails, including gin drinks, tequila, rum, whiskey, etc. The cocktails are all light and fresh, with beautiful fresh flowers and fruits as well as subtle spices and flair. The drink on the right is the Barça Gin & Tonic, with fresh grapefruit and thyme, and the drink on the left is the Salt “Air” Margarita (above).

The menu is split into two sections: hot and cold. The cold side features pintxos and tapas such as Deviled Eggs and Lacinto Kale Salad, as well as my personal favorite, the Salmon Ahumado, which is a slice of smoked salmon laid on top of a layer of queso fresco smeared on a crunchy bite of bread, with a drizzle of truffle honey.

The ultimate starter, of course, is the ham & cheese plate, or in fancier terms, the ‘charcuterie’ plate. At Coqueta, diners can order any combination of meats and cheeses they desire, with choices such as the Jamon Serrano (below), Chorizo, Salami, and cheeses such as Manchego (below). The plate comes with Marcona almonds, an olive oil torta, and little breads with tomáquet.

The winning dish of the entire meal, however, may have been the ‘Pulpo a la Parrilla,’ the wood grilled Mediterranean octopus with fingerling potatoes and Pimentón olive oil. The octopus was tender and slightly charred, while the potatoes were savory and soft.

For an entree, we ordered the special of the day: the suckling pig with romesco sauce and a small side salad with watermelon radish and citrus. While the pig was a bit on the dry side, the outer layer of skin was sweet and flavorful, and the jus, with the romesco sauce and flakes of salt, added the perfect level of moisture to the succulent pork.

We also ordered ‘Esparragos Trigueros,’ which were juicy with hints of lemon, laid in a bed of romesco sauce that paired well with the entree.

The dessert could not have been better. We started with the ‘Bizcocho de Arroz con Leche,’ which is a warm molten arroz con leche cake with arroz con leche ice cream and huckleberries. The cake resembled a volcano, that revealed an eruption of rice pudding when sliced through the middle. The cake was sweet, warm, and not too rich in flavor, creating the perfect balanced dessert.

The Manchego Cheesecake, however, with caramel popcorn, was amazing, but a bit too rich. It was very sweet with the outer layer of caramel, but with the thickness of the manchego cheese, proved to be a little too on the decadent side. For sweets and cheese-lovers, this dessert is the way to go!

Whether it’s date night or your parents last night in town, Coqueta is an amazing place to go for dinner and drinks, or even a cocktail with some small bites. You can’t go wrong with the Barça Gin & Tonic, or go big with the massive paella!

Pier 5, The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94111

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Brown Sugar Kitchen

Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland is the soul food restaurant run by Tanya Holland of the Melting Pot, a show on the Food Network. What started as a small restaurant in a rarely visited area of Oakland is now a hot spot for one of the best Chicken & Waffle breakfasts in the Bay Area.

Brown Sugar Kitchen isn’t like the other Bay Area brunch spots with Benedicts and Pancakes. Brown Sugar Kitchen has a limited brunch menu, featuring a variation of Chicken & Waffles (or just chicken, or just waffle), and other items such as a Veggie Scramble and their Daily Special, which was the Pork Hash with Poached Eggs.

The Pork Hash with Poached Eggs was flavorful and had a small spice kick, which, covered in the yolk from the poached eggs, created a filling and savory breakfast. Other menu items included granola, BBQ shrimp & grits, side dishes such as sausages and eggs, and giant beignets.

The Beignets were gone within seconds. Since they weren’t too greasy or heavy, the sweet layer of powdered sugar and the fruity jams (Raspberry & Marmalade) that they were paired with created a dessert-like appetizer that didn’t make anyone feel too guilty before indulging in their Chicken & Waffles!

The Chicken & Waffles were everything I’ve dreamed of (yes, I dream about Chicken & Waffles) and more. The waffles were made out of cornmeal, which, while it was still airy and buttery, weren’t too heavy or overly sweet. The dollop of butter on top was mixed with a hint of brown sugar, lending a sugary but also molasses-y note to the waffle. The chicken, fried to perfection (one dark one white meat), was the perfect balance of savory and spice, fried with a Cajun seasoning that flavored them through to the bone. All of this with the Apple Syrup drizzle (tasted like cinnamon apple pie) created one of the best Chicken & Waffle dishes I’ve ever had. It wasn’t too heavy or greasy, and I didn’t feel overly stuffed afterwards (so naturally it left me wanting more!).


With mimosas, plenty of side items and sweet/savory options, Brown Sugar Kitchen is definitely a place I would recommend if you find yourself in this part of Oakland. The Chicken & Waffles is a MUST, and goes great with your morning coffee or mimosa!

2534 Mandela Pkwy
Oakland, CA 94607
 

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Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery

Only 3 weeks into its opening, Wise Sons Bagel & Bakery, a derivative of the Wise Sons Deli in the Mission, has accrued a large social media gathering and become an Instagram hot spot, attracting customers from all over the city. With its NY style bagels and drool-worthy Lox photos, its no wonder there was a large line outside of the building this weekend.


Of course, I ordered the Lox Bagel, open faced, on Sesame. Lox bagels are already my go-to for a breakfast splurge, and the photos I had seen only made it that much easier to decide what to eat.

The selection of bagels may seem limiting, only because they don’t have sweet options like Blueberry or Chocolate, but they do have the classic bagel staples, which go with any of the numerous shmears they have. The different toppings make up for the lack of bagel choices, ranging from regular cream cheese to almond butter, fruit, avocado, and smoked salmon shmears. For a bigger breakfast, they make sandwiches, such as the Egg & Cheese Breakfast sandwich, Veggie Sandwiches, and the Smoked Salmon sandwich.

They also serve Intelligentsia Coffee, a popular coffee company in NYC, Chicago, and LA.

For someone who is obsessed with Lox sandwiches, I was easily won over by the thick amount of salmon and the perfect amount of cream cheese, capers, and the sprinkle of dill. However, I felt like the bagel itself was a bit hard, and didn’t have the same fluffiness that bagels usually have. It could be that I’m not used to this style of bagels, but overall the sandwich was very tasty and worth waiting in line for!

I would definitely go here again, and it is gaining a lot of popularity – it’s been open for less than a month but is already on the list for many foodies in the city, and they’ve run out of bagels by 2PM most days!

1520 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
    

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Lardo

Lardo offers exactly what you think it would offer… juicy, heavy foods. Keeping up with their slogan “Bringing Fatback,” Lardo serves sandwiches, fries, and other greasy foods that give Portlanders the opportunity to “Pig Out.” Lardo’s pride is their flavorful, stuffed sandwiches – which they… Read More