One of the best parts of summer in Los Angeles are the outdoor festivals. This month, LA Food Fest had its eighth incarnation at the spectacular LA Memorial Coliseum amid the gloomy June morning, and I was ready with a pair of #stretchypants and a dream to consume as many foods as possible.
Lines are a big part of this type of event, from the line getting in, to the lines waiting for vendors. Patience and a sense of adventure are musts for those excited for the opportunity to sample so many different types of foods.
The crowds weren’t too crazy because of the ample space the location offered and the strategic organization of the vendors by the event organizers. There were lots of folks, but for the most part, it wasn’t overwhelming.
I decided rather than attempt to feature every single morsel of food, a task that could make a nice relaxing day overwhelming; I would try to find my top five favorites.
First, on the list, the was the Curried Shrimp Soup from Soup Bazaar, a Downtown LA spot which had recently revamped its menu and will be opening a new location just off the busy Spring Street. Soup Bazaar was one of the first vendors I tried, and I was blown away by the flavorful curry coconut milk base against the tender shrimp.
Breakfast isn’t my favorite meal. I know, I know, I’m a monster. And of all the fast breaking fare, pancakes are my least favorite. That’s why when I tried the Oatmeal Pancake from Breakfast by Salt’s Cure, I knew it had to be good because it was one of the best things I ate all day. Light, but substantial, covered in butter and cinnamon sugar, I decided right then and there that I would be visiting for breakfast very soon.
Inside Local Fixture, you’ll notice a lot product selections throughout the store that is thoughtfully put together. (Note cards, candles, trendy mugs, socks, jewelry, back packs, and other novelty items)
The star of the shop is their coffee bar, serving up Stumptown Coffee and The Art of Tea. Clean and simple decor. Their coffee is amazing, and the staff is absolutely wonderful. If you have a sweet tooth, they also have yummy pastries to go along with your coffee.
One thing I like about this place is that it feels cozy. It’s spacious, it’s trendy, it’s unique- it’s a place i can find myself coming to everyday. There’s a succulent wall outside that’s very Instagram-worthy, and plenty of space inside for you to either catch up on work, or chit chat with an old friend. The people here are very welcoming, and they have great taste in music!
When you’ve got a hankering for rooftop fabulousness and world class bites; get in your car and head over to The London. Do not pass go or collect $200. Valet park, get in the elevator and push the button for the rooftop bar, Boxwood.
Even though my recent dinner at Boxwood on the Roof was haunted by fog that would not burn off, I was kept warm and cozy by heat lamps and the incredible company of my fellow diners. I can only imagine how gorgeous it would be on a clear night! Executive Chef Anthony Keene sent us a number of tasty morsels from his new menu that is largely New American with some fun street food inspiration.
The cocktail list is inspired by English rockers such as The Who. Their coordinating cocktail, “Behind Blue Eyes”, a concoction of fresh blueberry, mint, lime, and vodka. My favorite was the unlikely “Rebel Rebel,” a margarita with a float of Pinot Noir wine on top.
Located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Hollywood is the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex. Full of superhero impersonators and street vendors, it’s a fun spot to hang out, and people watch. But tucked away on the third level is an area called The Deck that’s brimful of delicious eats.
During my recent visit to The Deck, I had the chance to experience several different eateries including Jinya, Pokinometry, Fist of Fusion, and Mamacita.
This build-your-own ramen spot pleasantly surprised me. I’m pretty picky when it comes to ramen and was skeptical about the idea of creating my own ramen to eat on the go. But the broth was good, and the sauces and toppings were tangy. I also tried the rice bowl but preferred the ramen. The rice bowl certainly had its merits (and the fried chicken was delicious), but this is definitely a ramen spot. PSA: you can add the fried chicken to the ramen!
If you keep up with my posts here at GOF, you know that Tavern was one of my old stomping grounds when I lived in Brentwood. Tavern has one of the most beautiful patios in all of LA, but it maintains an easy-going vibe. The Larder at Tavern, their cafe, serves coffee, tea, pastries and grab-and-go items. Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite or having a dinner date with your significant other, Tavern is one of the most consistent restaurants in LA. Today, I explore a different side to Tavern, a more down home cooking side.
Recently I attended an exclusive media preview for Tavern’s 4th Annual Low Country Boil, which will take place Sunday, June 25th. Chef de Cuisine, Amy Deaderick hosts this boil which the Tavern owners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne fully endorse. This annual boil is very personal to Deaderick, who grew up in South Carolina. Memories of her childhood and the Carolina culture inspire every course.
For $65 per person, this one-time event will be set in The Larder at Tavern, serving up three courses and dessert. South Carolina-based musicians Josh and Leslie Robertswill be providing live acoustic folk-country tunes to really set a “dining by the shoreline” ambiance. The Communal tables are covered with newspapers and -warning- you may get wet, so come out in your “eatin’ dress”.
When I hear the word “tavern”, my mind takes me back to a bar scene from the TV Show, Cheers. Picture a dimly-lit, confined space with bar stools that make you slouch and not much else to look at. While there’s certainly a time and a place for divey spots like this, there’s also a time and a place to step it up a notch.
Case in point: recently opened Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, a modern neighborhood restaurant. The spacious, extended patio overlooks the Loews Hotel, JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot and Santa Monica Pier. I checked out JFAT on Ocean Avenue’s Day at the Races earlier in May and tasted the Southwestern Dip and Mint Julep. This time around I tasted a lot more.
Poke is a personal favorite of mine. I have flashbacks of being in Oahu and walking along the beach. The addition of papaya to this Spicy Ahi Poke added more island flair to this appetizer. After one bite I found myself compulsively searching airfare prices to Hawaii.
On the last visit, Meagan and I pestered Head Bartender Sam into creating a caffeinated cocktail for her. Sam took us up on this challenge and instantly concocted the Caffettoso: espresso, Amaro Averna, Kahlua, and vodka with lemon zest. We’re very pleased to see this drink, which will keep you wide awake during your boozy brunch, has since been added to their brunch menu!
O+O’s Bottomless Brunch Menu (Saturdays and Sundays 11 AM – 3 PM) might just be one of the best damn brunch deals in all of Los Angeles! For $20 per person, not only do you get bottomless Mimosas, Aperol Spritzes and Bellinis, but your table also gets one tasting platter, including an ample amount of Italian cheeses, olives and other delicious starters. It’s one per table, but that’s still a fantastic package that’ll keep you full if you’re sipping the day away.
Their mimosa is a combo of prosecco and blood orange juice, while the bellini is prosecco with peach puree… but the Aperol Spritz is my favorite. Nothing beats this combo of prosecco and blood orange juice with a bitter Aperol kick.
Ah, Thanksgiving. Some of us love it, some of us dread it, some of us decided to stop celebrating over political differences with family members.
Either way, there’s something for everyone to relate to in Thanksgiving, a comedy performing as a part of Hollywood Fringe, LA’s favorite annual, open access theater festival.
Thanksgiving follows Chloe Patterson, who invited her perfect fiancé to what she what she hopes is the perfect Thanksgiving, despite her very imperfect family. She’s got a solid plan in place to combat any and all hints of dysfunction, providing for every possible contingency — except the unexpected dinner guest: a very unfiltered, Las Vegas stripper. Scabs are picked, secrets are revealed, and fights erupt as this group struggles to make it through another holiday unscathed.
I attended the preview for Thanksgiving, and that alone was a packed house, so make sure to purchase your tickets now! The actors in this show are all from Samovar Subway Ensemble, and I thought the casting was fantastic. Each actor held their own with their performance, but the chemistry they all brought amongst each other is what made it so special to watch. The writing of this show is not only full of belly laughs but full of heart as well. All around, this is a very solid production.
There are only going to be five performances for this show- Saturday 6/3 at 7:45 pm
Friday 6/9 at 9:45 pm
Sunday 6/11 at 3:45 pm
Saturday 6/17 at 1:45pm
Friday 6/23 at 7:45 pm
Since August of 2012, Girls on Food has grown from a team of 2 bloggers to a team of over 40, all over USA, Canada, and Mexico. My goals are to host someday a GOF convention, where we can all hang out but in the meantime, your favorite girl-gang will be hosting foodie events regionally.
Our first ever blogger meet-up was hosted by Smoke’s Poutinerie (thanks to our friends at All Points Public Relations) in Hollywood.
For those not quite sure what poutine is, it’s a French-Canadian dish that originated in Quebec; French fries get topped with cheese curds and a light brown gravy. It’s a hot, savory and cheesy dish. And while a lot of Americans aren’t familiar with it, it’s growing in popularity after being referenced on South Park and now with Smoke’s Poutineries popping up nation-wide in the US.
The owner of this Smoke’s franchise location, Alan Goldstein admits he’s been educating LA-locals on poutine, since the opening in 2015 but that’s all right with him. Even if some of the newer customers walk in a little confused, they walk away educated, full and happy.
GOF bloggers who attended this party were TinTin, Tania, Sara, Christina, Julieta, and Libby. Now usually, we’re a little more demure with our wardrobe choices, but considering Smoke’s is all about 80’s glam rock and flannel, we decided we’d take a more fun approach with this one. Nobody wants to chow down on poutine in Herve Leger. And besides, who doesn’t love an 80’s/flannel party?
Tickets are still on sale for the LA Food Fest! Check out their site here. We hope to see you there!
We were given a glimpse at all the goodies that are in store for the LA Food Fest, June 10th, 2017, 2 – 7 PM at LA Memorial Coliseum, 3911 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037.
Get out those #stretchypants! The LA Food Fest always features award-winning chefs and restaurants, plenty of food stands, food trucks and carts, a beer garden, cocktail bars, coffee, desserts… basically everything under the sun!
For the $65 general admission ticket, LA Food Fest offers 100+ food and beverage vendors. For the $95 VIP ticket, attendees are given early entry and access to the VIP Lounge.
We were at LA Food Fest last year and this year, we’re even more excited because many foodie businesses we’ve featured on GOF in the past are going to be there serving up bites. It’s always good to see your friends! There will also be some new faces, and we’re excited to see them as well.
The type of businesses I love to feature on Girls on Food is family-owned businesses where the food is so tasty, that they’ve earned an opportunity to expand and are on the brink of something bigger. Pasta Sisters in Los Angeles embodies just that- their dine-in deli and pasta shop is growing into a second, and much larger, location in Culver City this coming Fall.
While I eagerly await their future 90 seat Culver City location to open in the Helms Bakery (it’ll be walking distance from me!) I decided to stop into their main shop on W. Pico Blvd. and try the famous spaghetti dishes I’ve been reading so much about over the past two years.
Their current location, in an unassuming strip mall, is small, but it gets packed! I came in on a weekday around 4 pm, all the tables were full, and there was a line for the to-go food. As I was taking images of the interior, a regular customer of theirs was curious to know what I was photographing. I told her about the write-up, and she let me know that Pasta Sisters supplies their pasta to a nearby school on Fridays for their lunches. This may have been the first time I was impressed with a restaurant for doing good before I tasted just how good the food was.
Summer is right around the corner, and although I’m not excited about the swimsuit aspect (too many tastings!) I am very excited about the upcoming Macy’s Culinary Council cooking demonstrations! The first one Girls on Food will be covering is Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s cooking demonstration at Macy’s Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, CA.
Price: FREE! RSVP here to ensure a spot and receive a $10 Macy’s gift card when you check in!
Culinary Council is a collection of spectacularly talented chefs, pastry chefs, and food professionals that travel throughout the country and hold various tastings and demonstrations in Macy’s all over the U.S. Check with your local Macy’s to see if any are happening near you! (more…)