Monday, October 26, 2009

Great food at the right price

Lets talk food. Good food should not always be expensive. Some of my favorite places are low key, not trendy and family style. I love the HUMMUS BAR in the valley they have it all right. This is hands down the best Israeli food that I have had in Los Angeles. I love the food and the service is always great. Friendly Israeli staff who love family and make the experience a memorable one. First they come out with an amazing array of small sample plates of Harif, pickled veggies and garbanzo beans with Tahini (no charge). They serve this giant Laffa Bread that just keeps on coming (no charge). I highly recommend the Middle Eastern Kebab, the ground beef with fresh herbs and onions is super tasty. The chicken thigh skewer is tender, juicy and has great spices added to make it a winning dish. The Israeli salad is great. I can't say enough good things about this place, the only thing I that needs work is the Hummus. I recommend they pick up Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Hummus and replicate the hummus taste in their restaurant. Located in Encino, address 18743 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91356 (818) 344-6606

SUNNIN CAFE is the best Lebanese restaurant on the Westside. It is a total dive, you will hear lots of swearing in Arabic so brace yourself. The food is good and cheap. They have a great Fattoush Salad made with the traditional flavors and pieces of crispy pita. I enjoy the Kefta kebab plate with the ground beef, which has a great grilled flavor. The Chicken Kebab plate is served with tender pieces of chicken filet marinated in garlic, grilled on skewers, served with Rice, and Lebanese Salad. The hummus is delicious, just the right amount of tanginess. The Spicy Kefta baked in a spicy tomato sauce with herbs, is a must try dish. Located on the in Westwood. 1779 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024-5646 (310) 477-2358

Pizza, pizza is such a personal choice. I like thin crust and extra crispy. I enjoy going to JOE'S PIZZA in Santa Monica. Great fresh mozzarella, sweet light tomato sauce and yes crispy. Know that's what I am talking about, it takes a New Yorker to open up a pizza place in LA to show us great pizza. Cheap and awesome.
Joe's Pizza of Bleecker Street. Located in Santa Monica at 111 Broadway, Santa Monica CA 90401 310-395-9222

Sunday, October 18, 2009


In the last few weeks I have had some great breakfast around town at various restaurants. I will list my favorite and not so favorite picks. These are some great places that mainly serve organic produce. I will not recommend a place based on trend, it is all about the food.

AXE located on Abbott Kinney is a great place for breakfast with great food. I had fried eggs with mozzarella, chopped basil and tomatoes with ricotta with grilled bread. It had just the right amount of mozzarella, fresh creamy ricotta and fresh crunchy bread. Great coffee too! 1009 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291-3372 (310) 664-9787

URTH CAFE I enjoy the Mexican Omelet which has three eggs topped with Roma tomatoes, mild green chilies, red onions, jack cheese, cilantro served with an organic mixed greens salad dressed in urth vinaigrette (tangy) and fresh crunchy sourdough bread. It has a great myriad of flavors: the mild heat of the chilies, the fresh salsa and the right amount of gooey cheese flavor in your mouth. I love this dish, I recommend it with egg whites in order to taste the different tones of flavors in your mouth. Another dish to try is the two eggs poached with Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper, served with fresh baguette. This is a great dish when done medium, simple with great flavor. Unfortunately sometimes the dish comes out too well done and then the dish is worthless. This is the place for true coffee lovers. They have traditional Italian roasted espresso. I am all about the pastries, I recommend you try the cinnamon twist and the croissant. 8565 Melrose Avenue, (310) 659-06288

LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN Parmesan & Pesto Omelet is a must. I enjoy the nutty flavor of the Parmesan combined with the fresh pesto, yum. Don't leave with out having the hot chocolate and dip your pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) inside your drink. The hot chocolate is not too sweet and perfect with the flaky, light, crunchy and creamy croissant. I would say they have one of the best chocolate croissants in LA... outstanding. You can always order the bread basket and spread the noir chocolate spread all over your bread and you will be in heaven. It is too bad this restaurant lacks variety in their menu. Otherwise I would frequent it more often.

HUCKLEBERRY CAFE in Santa Monica is a great addition to the 'hood. I like the pastries and they always have different varieties to choose from. I love the coffee, which is from CAFFE LUXXE... strong European Italian coffee, espresso and cappuccinos. I have yet to find a breakfast item (othe than the pasties) I like at Huckleberry, but I haven't given up. 1014 Wilshire BlvdSanta Monica, CA 90401 (310) 451-2311

CAFFE LUXXE on Montana has great Italian coffee and they serve Bread Bar's pastries. Great place for a pick me up. 925 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403 (310) 394-2222

AMANDINE PATISSERIE it is a European influenced patisserie with Japanese influence. It is a great place for a large variety of baked goods, rolls, bread, pastries and cakes. Dive into their delectable pastries, which are always flaky, crispy, light and delicious. The croissants and the coco twists are a must. Unfortunately the coffee is just OK. 12225 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025 (310) 979-3211

LA GRANDE ORANGE: I have been there several times and they just miss the mark each time for breakfast. The egg dishes are just OK, coffee OK. The restaurant is fairly new and perhaps they will get it together at some point. I love the build out and the feel of the place. I would recommend it for a drink and appetizers prior to hitting the town at night. 2000 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405-1010 (310) 396-9152

I will keep you in the loop of all my new adventures to all the great eats in LA.