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Republic of Pie | North Hollywood, CA

republic of pie is one of my places to just hang out. we normally come here for pies and a coffee but on nice mornings when we can make it in, we go for the chicken pot pie! it comes in a small, cute cup.  it’s great. make sure you get it!

Republic of Pie | Toluca LakeRepublic of Pie | Toluca LakeRepublic of Pie | Toluca LakeRepublic of Pie | Toluca LakeRepublic of PieRepublic of Pie | Toluca LakeRepublic of Pie | Toluca LakeRepublic of Pie | Toluca Lake

  • tip:  they have live music on the weekdays!  love it!  favorite pies are the chocolate bread pudding (a la mode of course) and banana cream pie (also a la mode).  
  • parking: street parking. 
  • atmosphere:  homey, library, coffee shop, all in one. 
  • service:  always amazingly friendly. 

Republic of Pie
11118 Magnolia Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601

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By |April 17th, 2013|Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Dessert, Food, Restaurants|2 Comments

Blue Cow Kitchen | Downtown Los Angeles

Blue Cow Los Angeles

this is the vietnamese chicken salad at blue cow kitchen in downtown la.  the geniuses behind mendocino farms created blue cow, an upscale full-service lunch spot that is great on a nice, sunny day.  so this salad is  my favorite thing to get here.

second favorite thing to get: country fried chicken rolls (ahem, hawaiian rolls).  delicious!

350 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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By |April 17th, 2013|Food, Restaurants|2 Comments

Sweetsalt | Toluca Lake, CA

Sweetsalt Toluca LakeSweetsalt Toluca Lake

adorable place to have brunch in toluca lake. when we come here, we usually order the shrimp po’ boy.  its not like your average shrimp po’ boy (ya know, the deep fried shrimp kind).  this one has cajun shrimp with crumbled chips and a great spicy aioli.  woo! we’ve tried the lobster roll, truffle chicken, pesto chicken panini, and the short rib sandwich but we always come back to the po’ boy.

we tried the tomato soup this time… probably not again. oh yeah, and each sandwich comes with a nice little salad w/ champagne dressing. this salad always makes me feel uber healthy.

Sweetsalt Toluca Lake

i think you guys know that we are always on the search for great breakfast burritos.  well, sweetsalt has a pretty good breakfast burrito that comes with pretty awesome salsa (which i think makes this burrito).

Sweetsalt Toluca LakeSweetsalt Toluca Lake

  • atmosphere:  very cute. 
  • service: everyone is always nice here.  you order at the cash register, sit down. they bring your food out to you and  you get water on your own.  
  • parking: street. we never have a problem.
  • overall: always a nice choice for brunch on saturday/sunday.

Sweetsalt
10218 Riverside Dr
Los Angeles, CA 91602
Neighborhood: Toluca Lake

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By |April 15th, 2013|Food, Restaurants|2 Comments

Asian Fusion @ Asia de Cuba | West Hollywood, CA

Asia De CubaAsia De CubaAsia De Cuba

asia de cuba is our favorite restaurant in la right now.  we went here for our anniversary last year and fell in love. when a deal on gilt came up for a pre-fix dinner for two at this wonderful place, we obviously had to get it.  so, asia de cuba (in the mondrian hotel) sits on top of a hill in west hollywood, overlooking la.  excellent location.

the night we came, it was cloudy out but still warm enough to sit outside.  love it.

Asia De Cuba

our deal ($110) was a four-course dinner for two. for our starters, we chose (i) ropa vieja of duck and (ii) crispy octopus ajillo. the ropa vieja of duck was topped with hoisin sauce served in lettuce cups. note to self, must get this again.  the duck was moist, sweet with a little spicy kick.  this is a little wrap so its not heavy…however, it is a messy.

Asia De CubaAsia De Cuba

the amazing view.  too bad it was cloudy out.

Asia De Cuba

the crispy octopus ajillo w/ caramelized onions and sake pickled lychee was highly recommended by our waitress.  this is something we never have ordered but we are absolutely glad we did.  they werent lying when they named this crispy.  it really is! not dry crispy.  moist on the inside, crispy on the outside.  how do they do it?! for someone who loves crispy texture…this was awesome.

Asia De Cuba

note that the plating here is amazing!  so we took a gazillion photos! (yep, i’m one of those)

Asia De CubaAsia De Cuba

calamari salad “asia de cuba”.  this is their signature salad.  calamari, hearts of palm, bananas (yeah first time for us too), cashews and sesame orange dressing.  refreshing.  calamari and cashews give it a nice crunch.

Asia De Cuba

we were weirded out by the bananas at first but the tastes blend so well.

Asia De Cuba

after appetizers, we were given a great palette cleanser: coconut sorbet! delicious!

Asia De Cuba

the view is so amazing.  here’s another shot.

Asia De CubaAsia De Cuba

lobster mash was great (mastros, you still win my heart for best lobster mash).  we got this because we thought it would go well with the gambas gigante mai tai a.k.a. giant prawns in red thai curry, rum, and coconut cream.  the curry was good.  we wished it was hotter (temperature and spiciness).  side note: its hard for us now that we have been to thailand…curry was so good there.  now every time we have curry, we compare it to our thailand adventure!

anyway, curry was good. prawns were gigantic.

Asia De CubaAsia De CubaAsia De Cuba

our second main and one of our favorites: char siu beef short ribs w/ chili orange salsa!  this is absolutely amazing (and it’s amazing every single time we have it). this is definitely another must get dish! taste – think explosion of flavor.  presentation – impressive, clean and very colorful.

Asia De CubaAsia De CubaAsia De Cuba Asia De Cuba

dessert – mexican donuts.

 

tip:  other things that we love here that we couldnt order because it wasnt part of the tasting menu – miso cured alaskan black cod (fish was perfectly prepared) w/ grilled shishito peppers and plantain fried rice topped with avocado salad aka guacamole (asian cuban fusion…get it?!)

  • overall:  obviously we are big fans of this place.  we recommend this to anyone looking for a nice view of la and great food.  price point is on the high side so this is definitely a special occasion kinda night.  
  • ambience: dining room inside is all white.  large windows overlooking la.  
  • service:  great service every time.  we have never gone there when it’s ridiculously packed so you get a lot of undivided attention. 
  • parking: valet only.

Asia De Cuba
8440 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Neighborhood: West Hollywood

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By |April 14th, 2013|Dessert, Food, Restaurants|2 Comments

Blue Dog Beer Tavern | Sherman Oaks, CA

we heard blue dog beer tavern had great burgers and have been waiting to try it.  good thing we have awesome friends who went to try it with us.  we came here on a sunday, a little after 11am (opening time).  this was a great time for us since we beat the crowd.

what we ordered:

  • the dickens – onion rings, aged cheddar, swiss cheese, and root beer bbq sauce (i’m a sweet bbq lover) $12  
  • the fire starter – beef patty, pepper jack cheese, crispy onion strings and a fiery dose of deep-fired jalapeños  and honey chipotle dressing. $12
  • black ‘n bleu burger – beef patty blacken, bleu cheese, bacon and bbq sauce.  $12
  • blue dog burger – grilled mushrooms, bacon, caramelized onions, swiss cheese, root beer bbq sauce
  • ice cream sandwich $7

blue dog beer tavern, think dogs. lots of them. everywhere (even on the menu).

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

thoughts on the dickens burger.  it was a good burger.  greatest? no, but still a good burger.  i had to get this one because its everything i love: bbq sauce and onion rings.  i liked the bbq sauce and onion rings but nothing stood out.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

i take that back.  one thing that did stand out was the bun (same bun on all the burgers we ate).  great bun.  soft, but not too soft that the whole thing get soggy and falls apart.

the fire starter (below) was very, very good in my opinion.  loved the jalapeños and the chipotle sauce.  would definitely get this again.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

black ‘n bleu burger.  according to our friend, it was pretty good as well.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

each burger comes with salad or fries (regular or garlic).  for those who know me, i never opt for the salad.  anyway, for some reason, i always think that garlic fries are going to be awesome.  8 out of 10 times, i am wrong.  i love garlic but most of the time, the garlic is way to strong for a social setting and you are battling bad breath all day and into the next day.  so, these garlic fries are intense.  just look at my one bite.  yeah, intense.

unless you like popping cloves in your mouth, stick with regular fries.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

blue dog burger.  pretty much the dickens but instead of fried onion rings, caramelized ones and some nice bacon.  our friends thought it was just okay.  (they are still huge fans of golden state)

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

onto the ice cream sandwich.  i was crushed that there were no non-chocolate desserts.  but everyone said we had to get this delicious ice cream sandwich.  they were right.  it was a hit and devoured in 5 minutes.  definitely must get this.

awesome story about dessert: our server over heard kyle making fun of me for not having any dessert to eat so he came out with a bowl of vanilla ice cream just for me!! i instantly fell in love with this place.  blue dog beer tavern, i thank you for being so freaking awesome and for the consideration.

Blue Dog Tavern Sherman OaksBlue Dog Tavern Sherman Oaks

overall: blue dog beer tavern, great joint to watch sports.  great place to hang out with friends and enjoy a burger and some beer.  you wont be disappointed…especially with the ice cream sandwich.  price point is on the high side, especially for a burger but one can argue this is on the gourmet side.

tip: small parking lot so you might have to search the streets for parking.

Blue Dog Beer Tavern
4524 Saugus Ave
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Neighborhood: Sherman Oaks

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By |April 10th, 2013|Dessert, Food, Restaurants|1 Comment
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