Thursday, September 27, 2012

Alma Restaurant


Los Angeles, CA. Cautiously walking across Downtown Los Angeles led a friend and I into this pop-up eatery that came strongly recommended by an eatTALK reader! The address was questionable since the street appeared quiet with very little indication that a business actually existed. Thankfully, we continued. Temporarily hoisted up was the signage indicating that we found Alma Restaurant, the talked about earth-inspired restaurant that uses the unknown for unique innovation.

The team was small, and we quickly learned who was who. The waiter, also their drink specialist, provided us with a menu while both of the artisan chefs remained in the open kitchen. The heavily industrial pop-up was consistent with a downtown loft style or a restaurant that opened its doors before it was finished. It looked completely unassuming, but the service, the flavors, and the presentation exceeded and overturned any doubt in unanticipated ways. With only 14 weeks behind them at this location, they were certainly starting strong.

Though I could go into detail as to the many unknowns that joyfully invigorated our senses, I will not. Instead, I will make a suggestion: impress your mouth with Alma's inspired use of ingredients and flavors, make a list of anything new, and learn about your food along the ride home.

Pictured Abovepadron peppers, squash blossom crema, fried shallot

house bread and cultured butter
corn and bacon beignet, beer and burnt citrus

smoked white sea bass with watermelon, seet and hot peppers

egg yolk, sunchoke cream, date and charred chicory

hay roasted potato with cabot cheddar, lovage, and savory crumble

sunchoke split, birch ice cream, nocino marshmallow

warm turkish fig, bitter honey, fig-leaf vanilla sherbert and walnut granola

Alma Restaurant
952 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Thursday, September 20, 2012

Aroma Coffee and Tea


Studio City, CA. An evening of small bites and conversation led my friend and I to round out the night with a warm beverage and cake at Aroma Coffee and Tea. He spoke of the cafe before but timing never suited either one of us to convert the talk into reality. Looks are a bit deceiving in this eclectic eatery. The tight-fitting entryway, the line out the door, and the humble display cases can make the wraparound patio unnoticed. Yet, once an order is placed, desserts chosen, and the quest for a seat occurs, one realizes how spacious the eatery is for extended conversations of any sort.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jones Coffee Roasters


Pasadena, CA. Ever stroll around the local industrial area and fixate on a hideaway spot that becomes the host to creative genius or a simple cup of coffee? I have a tendency to explore new areas, and not all of them introduce me to something to which I would likely return - and yet when I found myself in an area that is miles away from where I live, I came across such a place: Jones Coffee Roasters.
Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chichen Itza Restaurant


Los Angeles, CA.  On a non-descript street, on the fringes of downtown Los Angeles, is a colorful adobe building.  The building looks new and vaguely professional, like a hip architectural firm might be housed inside.  But you open the set of double glass doors and are greeted by the music of a live mariachi band, and you know you’re at the right place: Mercado La Paloma.

Mercado La Paloma is a modern-day, Californicized version of a Latin American marketplace, ringed with food and gift stalls.  The vibe is mostly Mexican – more than a few taco joints in here, and there is, of course, that band – but there’s also a Thai restaurant and a juice counter, and more than one place to get a hamburger.  But that is not why you are here.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Neveux Artisan Creamery


Los Angeles, CA. On one of those much-needed errand days, I found myself wandering along Melrose Avenue and into Neveux Artisan Creamery. It was absurdly hot outside and either I saw their sign or had ice cream on my mind. However it happened, I stopped, turned around, and followed a few area tourists inside to cool off and sample a potential afternoon indulgence.
Thursday, September 06, 2012

Indian Summer Gazpacho


I love gazpacho this time of year – tomatoes and strawberries are at their sweetest, the temperatures haven’t dropped yet; you can eat this soup and pretend it’s still July.  This version calls for only one tomato (or you can substitute 6 Tbsp of tomato juice) and the rest of the soup is carried by the berries – which add an interesting but not overpowering sweetness to the dish.  This is Strawberry Gazpacho but definitely NOT dessert soup; it’s a rather refined version of the traditional gazpacho.  Make it one quiet night at home and keep it in the fridge overnight to serve at the next evening’s dinner – it looks and tastes like you were slaving away all day.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Local Peasant


Sherman Oaks, CA. Ever find yourself wandering around a new area in search of the next great eat then realize: I'm really just thirsty, and not just 'any' thirsty. Welcome to The Local Peasant a gastropub located valley-side just off Ventura Boulevard, where one goes to Eat and/or Pub.

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