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A.O.C. | Mid-City West, Los Angeles

we love when stella visits la (which is actually pretty often since she’s a norcaler who secretly loves socal) because it means we get to eat 6x a day.  we always try to do something “active” when she is here…but we fail every time. every time!

we decided to grab brunch at a.o.c. (it has been on our list for awhile now).  what we got:

  • duck confit hash w/ wild mushrooms & poached eggs ($17) – dish that stood out the most.
  • spanish fried chicken & cornmeal waffle w/ jamon butter & maple syrup ($16)
  • meyer lemon french toast with pistachios, strawberries and candied meyer lemon ($15)
  • roast turkey, mozzarella, green harissa, avocado focaccia sandwich ($14)
  • two eggs w/ bacon, fried potatoes & toast ($12)
  • pork belly, peaches, ricotta salata focaccia sandwich ($15)

note that brunch is served until 3pm.

AOC Los Angeles

the duck hash was yummy.  duck was moist.  the eggs didnt overpower the dish.  i really like this dish.

AOC Los AngelesAOC Los Angeles

i got the fried chicken and waffles (cornmeal waffles) based on the recommendation of our waiter.  i asked for the syrup and butter on the side since i’m more of savory kinda gal and i didnt know how much i would love drenched waffles.  (if i had my way, i would eat waffles with just butter…and if i was feeling a little cray, some lightly sweeten whipped cream).  anywho. fried chicken was delicious!  the chicken was very moist inside and had a good crunch on the outside.

when you eat the chicken with the cornmeal waffle, you really do need the syrup.  it needs the sweet kick.  (my bad).  ok, so i wasnt a huge fan of the cornmeal waffle.  its a strong texture and pretty overpowering.  i put some butter on the waffle but couldnt taste it.  kyle really liked it though.  best fried chicken and waffles?  no.  (my favorite fried chicken and waffles) decent?  yes. get this dish if you are a fan of cornmeal.  this was the heaviest of all the dishes we got.

AOC Los Angeles

the turkey focaccia was refreshing and pretty healthy.  stella got this sandwich since she had a big eating fest the day before.  if you are looking for something light, get this one.

kyle got the pork belly focaccia w/ peaches.  the peaches are different but a good different.    note that this sandwich is on the sweet side so some people may not like this. we were fans.

AOC Los AngelesAOC Los AngelesAOC Los AngelesAOC Los Angeles

onto the drinks!!  this place has a pretty bar… actually the decor of this place is wonderful.  lots of natural light.  hopefully you get to sit in their patio area…beautiful.  white walls with dark wood and arch accents.  you will love this place.

getting a res at noon on a sunday was hard.  good thing they take walk-ins for their communal table.  only con about the communal table is that it is a high table with stools (no back support).

AOC Los Angeles

mimosa with peaches…do it.  it is bomb.  beer selection was good.  obviously they also have a lot of wine selections since this is also known as a wine bar.  shout out to our waiter christiaan who is also the mixologist here.  thanks for the recs!

AOC Los AngelesAOC Los AngelesAOC Los AngelesAOC Los AngelesAOC Los Angeles

  • service:  aoc has great service.  friendly and fast. 
  • parking: valet ($6) pretty pricey if you ask me. if you are lucky, you will find street parking (metered but free on sunday)
  • ambience:  clean. beautiful accents.  light and laid back.  loved coming here on a sunday.
  • overall: aoc is an amazingly cute place.  brunch was good… drinks were great.  brunch here is on the little on the expensive side but if you compare it to other brunch places, it’s pretty market.  for the two of us, our total was $65 (including tax and tip).  we didnt mind though. good food, great company.  we cant wait to come here for dinner!

AOC Los Angeles

AOC

8700 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Neighborhood: Mid-City West

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By |August 21st, 2013|Food, Friends, Photography, Restaurants|6 Comments

Milk Jar Cookies | Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles

Milk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los Angeles

stella came to visit this weekend so that obviously means some food adventures were gonna go down!  we went to milk jar cookies on wilshire after sunday brunch at aoc (to be posted later).  this place is uber cute.  come on, it’s called milk jar cookies.  how can it not be cute? if you need a mental picture of what this place will look like, think: pastels, lots of milk jugs, and cookies on milk glass cake stands.

Milk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los Angeles

for the six of us, we got a dozen cookies for $30 (we used a 10% coupon we got for checking in)…$2.50 per cookie is pretty market for cookies these days (go milk jar cookies!).  we also got a glass bottle of 2% milk (i mean who eats cookies without milk).

oh, and they proudly serve fosselman’s ice cream… ya know, for those who live for ice cream sandwiches.

Milk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los AngelesMilk Jar Cookies | Los Angeles

food: 12 cookies.  we pretty much got every flavor.  cookies worth mentioning:

  • banana split (has chocolate so i did not taste) – this was a big hit.  it was still warm and gooey. 
  • white chocolate raspberry – this was my favorite.  perfectly paired with milk.
  • chocolate raspberry
  • mint chocolate
  • rocky road
  • cinnamon sugar

so these cookies are thick.  not you’re average flat cookie. psh. who eats flat cookies when you can have fat ones?  all of the cookies were crisp on the outside and so soft on the inside (my favorite kind of cookie).  some might find these a little doughy so i get if some people dont become fans but i enjoy them.

cute details:

  • if you decide to get milk with your cookies (obviously a good choice), you get milk glasses with pastel striped paper straws.  (the straws you see in every wedding on pinterest)
  • milk jars everywhere (even the lamps)
  • fresh flowers on each table
  • paper flowers

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  • parking:  street parking.  since it was a sunday, all meters were free.  (score)
  • service:  guys were nice.
  • overall:  we will be coming back to you, milk jar cookies for some cookies and cold milk (obvi).  if you are in the area, i would recommend stopping by and checking it out.

Milk Jar Cookies

5466 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Categories: Dessert, Bakery, Coffee & Tea

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By |August 18th, 2013|Baking, Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Dessert, Food, Restaurants|6 Comments

The Sandwich Smith | Downtown Los Angeles

we were pretty excited when we heard about the sandwich smith opening up in little tokyo.

the food:

i ordered the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with garlic aioli, lettuce and grilled onions.  it was huge and fell apart when I tried to eat it.  you could easily just split a sandwich with someone and you would be fine. first bite of my sandwich was good.  since there was so much mayo, i got sick of the sandwich pretty fast.

Sandwich Smith | Los AngelesSandwich Smith | Los AngelesSandwich Smith | Los Angeles

kyle got a much heavier sandwich on their doughnut bun with the habanero lime dressing.  again, it the sandwich was ok…short of amazing. we wish the bun was better.  the habanero lime dressing wasn’t too spicy either.

Sandwich Smith | Los Angeles

one thing I would also like to point out is that the sandwich smith operates using the counter ordering style (where there is a sheet of ingredients and you make your own sandwich).  this may attract some but deter many others.  there wasn’t a special list of sandwiches for you to choose from.  i think having a signature sandwich is what keeps people coming back.

Sandwich Smith | Los Angeles

we got the macaroni salad as a side per the recommendation of the cashier.  it was tasteless.  we had to add salt and pepper (lots of it) in order for it to be decent.

Sandwich Smith | Los Angeles

atmosphere:  décor is modern and open.  it has so much potential.

Sandwich Smith | Los AngelesSandwich Smith | Los Angeles

  • parking:  this place is at the heart of little tokyo in downtown.  if you are lucky, you will find metered street parking (free on sundays).  if you are like us, you will have to pay for one of those outdoor parking lots or structures for $5-8.  not ideal but its downtown.  I wouldn’t expect anything less.
  • service:  service was very friendly.  it was us and two other people in the restaurant that morning.  they were pretty patient with us after we told them it was our first time.  they also let us taste a few things before ordering it… we appreciated it.
  • overall:  the sandwich smith was okay.  sandwiches were decent.  to be honest, this it will be hard for this place to compete with places like mendocino farms for the downtown la lunch crowd.  the sandwiches here are heavier, moderately priced ($10 a sandwich) and short of outstanding.  not to mention, there is great japanese food in little tokyo.  so, if you are little tokyo, you probably already have your sights set on ramen, shabu shabu, or sushi.   long way of saying…no one should go out of their way to come here and that there is a slim chance we would come back here.

The Sandwich Smith
362 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Little Tokyo
Cuisine: Sandwiches

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By |August 8th, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|0 Comments

FishBar | Manhattan Beach, CA

it has been beautiful weather lately so we decided to go to manhattan beach for our first beach day of the summer!  since we don’t hang out in south bay too often…that just means another food adventure for us!

we went to fishbar in manhattan beach for brunch/lunch looking for a light meal (light…yeah right).  what we ordered:

seared ahi tuna tacos – recommended by our waitress.  this was good. keep in mind that the sauce is a sweet chili kind of sauce…so it is an asian inspired taco.  get this if you are looking for something light and tasty.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

new england clam chowder – this one i really enjoyed.  one of the best clam chowders I have had (no, really.  It rocks and everyone a our table agreed). one of the perks of being married to kyle is that he loves to get clam chowder every where he goes…just like how i like to get the lobster roll everywhere I go.   anyway, I have had my fair share of clam chowder… and this is definitely great.  tastes great. temperature was great.  nothing in it was overpowering (ahem, like bacon).  not too thick but not watery (nasty) and there was a decent amount of clams in it.  my favorite thing that we got.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

baja fish taco  – our friend really enjoyed this.  fish was fresh and did not have a ton of batter on it. ja feel? ja definitely feel?

FishBar Manhattan Beach

lobster hash – i didn’t really taste this one since i am not a fan of eggs… but our friend said it was one of his favorite meals.  this is one of the heavier items you can order here.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

bloody mary – this was fishbar’s big thing.  an award winning bloody mary.  yep da bomb.  the presentation itself is pretty impressive.  It comes with a piece of bacon in it… you know you’ve scored a solid drink if there is bacon in it! you must get this.  oh, for happy hour…I know they have a great deal on this. (oh, and that’s goldman)

FishBar | Manhattan BeachFishBar Manhattan BeachFishBar | Manhattan Beach

lobster roll – (yep) this was good.  i thought it was outshined a little bit by the other dishes but kyle actually really liked the lobster roll here.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

french toast bread pudding – to be honest, i don’t know why we got this since we were all stuffed and we had to stay sexy for the beach (that was a joke. there is no sexiness going on up in here).  i do enjoy a good bread pudding.  was it good?  yes.  was it the best?  no, but it is still good.  i’m used to enjoying bread pudding as one hot, solid piece (mushed together?).  mushed together is probably not the right word…but this is more like monkey bread where there are distinct pieces of the bread held together by probably butter?  this was also on the drier side compared to other bread puddings out there.  topped with berries and a sweet sauce, this was a nice dessert to share.  note that this is not the best thing for you if you are working on that physic.

FishBar Manhattan Beach

  • atmosphere:  fishbar is laid back…like much of the rest of manhattan beach.  pretty good amount of tvs at the bar…so I could definitely see myself watching a football game here if I were a local. decent size restaurant.  I think you can easily roll in with 6-8…however, since it has a lot of booths, I can see rolling in with more than that…would be somewhat difficult unless you wanted to split up.  just pointing it out.
  • parking:  a mess.  parking in manhattan beach is just always an ordeal.  we were on the prowl for a 40 minutes before we found something pretty far away.
  • service:  our waitress was pretty amazing.  attentive. fast…and funny.  spot on with the recommendations. we appreciate it.
  • overall:  we had a great time at fishbar.  this is a great, laid back seafood restaurant near the beach.  perfect for the sunday we went here. good seafood and great service.  we will be coming back here.

FishBar

3801 Highland Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Neighborhood: Manhattan Beach

Cuisine: Seafood

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By |August 1st, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|1 Comment

Café Beaujolais | Eagle Rock, CA

we just found this place while trying to figure out what to eat on a sunday night.  cuisine:  french.  occasion:  date night.  we decided on this place since it got great reviews for both food and service. plus, we don’t have a french local restaurant to call our own…why not?

Café Beaujolais | Eagle RockCafé Beaujolais | Eagle RockCafé Beaujolais | Eagle RockCafé Beaujolais | Eagle Rockhere is what we ordered:

bay shrimp and scallops in béchamel ($9) – this was delicious.  we’ve never had béchamel before…it was described to us a a white sauce and the mother of all sauces.  sounds heavenly, right? delicious and perfect size.  can i eat you every day?

Café Beaujolais | Eagle RockCafé Beaujolais | Eagle Rock

french onion soup ($9) – good but was outshined by the seafood béchamel.  when i come back, i would probably try one of their other appetizers.  that top of the soup is layered on with a thick, thick cheese.

Café Beaujolais | Eagle RockCafé Beaujolais | Eagle Rock

oven baked halibut in champagne sauce and a parmesan crust ($24) – this was good. don’t skimp out of the orange bitters, it goes very well with the parm crust and the fish.  i do have to say that i was pretty done half way through…since this is actually not a light dish (you know how halibut usually is?).  the combination of the parm crust (which is actually thicker than i expected probably because the fish is dependent on the parm flavor) and the champagne sauce… delicious but heavy.

Café Beaujolais | Eagle RockCafé Beaujolais | Eagle Rock

flamed filet mignon in port sauce and blue cheese ($25) – this one surprised me!  meat was tender and the port sauce was pretty awesome.  we asked for medium rare.  it was more toward the medium side than the rare side but it was still very tender.  i would definitely get this again probably without the blue cheese since i’m not a huge fan. kyle loved this one and cleaned house.

Café Beaujolais | Eagle RockCafé Beaujolais | Eagle Rock

three things that i would want you to know about this place:

  1. plating was very pretty here.
  2. things i would get again without thinking twice:  the béchamel and the filet mignon.
  3. keep in mind:  if you go here, expect a simple, comforting french meal. flavors were very simple and everything we got was good (french onion soup) – very good (béchamel).

Café Beaujolais | Eagle RockCafé Beaujolais | Eagle RockCafé Beaujolais | Eagle Rock

atmosphere:  cheerful / laid back. i think everyone here speaks french. authentic, eh?  we opted to sit outside since it was still light outside at 7:45pm!  hence we only glanced inside the restaurant, which was dark with dim lights.

Café Beaujolais | Eagle Rock

service: friendly and efficient. sometimes when you sit outside, you get forgotten by your waiter.  nope, not here.  they checked on us every 7-10 minutes and made sure our water glasses were filled.

there’s a sign at the entrance letting you know that they take their time cooking. when i saw this, i took it as a warning sign (i was starving…and a little borderline hangry).  however, the timing of the apps and the main dishes were great.  no complaints.  thought it flowed nicely (the timing and transition from the appetizers to the main dishes).   you know, if you’re into that sort of thing.

parking:  street parking wasn’t an issue.

overall:  we had a wonderful meal.  our bill came out to $73 for the two of us.  definitely not an every day meal but not bad considering how much food we got, the superb quality and the great service.  we want to come back and try all the other things on their menu…and we want to bring our friends.  i think this would be a perfect place to enjoy a bottle of wine with friends.

oh, one tip:  try your hardest not to eat too much of the bread they put at your table… you will get full and regret it.

1712 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
Neighborhood: Eagle Rock

Cafe Beaujolais on Urbanspoon

By |July 12th, 2013|Food, Restaurants|5 Comments
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