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Best Burgers: Los Angeles

as many of you know…i have a thing for burgers.  i love them.  i crave them (it is what i want to eat when i come home from an international trip. or in the case of italy… i needed to go to have a big mac during my 14 day trip).   so i thought i’d compile a list of my favorite burgers…in los angeles.

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so, i dont discriminate between the good ‘ol simple fast food burgers or the (sometimes tiny) gourmet burgers.  to me, a good burger is a good burger.  please note that these rankings do not give any consideration to price, size, or general value of the burger.  it is solely based on taste and awesomeness.  if i had to choose, here are my favorite fast food burgers:

  1. in-n-out – hamburger w/ grilled onions
  2. mcdonalds – big mac
  3. carl’s jr. – double western bacon cheeseburger

done.

as far as non-fast food / gourmet burgers go, here are my top 5:

  1. umami burger – socal burger. my absolute favorite burger
  2. father’s office – the one and only burger they have. many, many people think that this should be #1. i get it. but i disagree.
  3. upper west – my most delicious veggie burger i have ever tasted. obviously i had to include a veggie burger for all those vegan/veggie burger lovers.
  4. pie ‘n burger – the best simple burger…  don’t underestimate it. you will lose.
  5. sixth street tavern – a new one added to my list a month ago. i was simply blown away by the bistro burger. burger 1, linh 0.

click here to see my full list of favorite burgers! what are your favorites?

cheers!

By |October 7th, 2013|Food, Restaurants|0 Comments

Top Pot Doughnuts | Seattle, WA

Top-Pot-DoughnutsTop Pot Doughnuts | Seattle

we are back from vacation (seattle and then vancouver) and it is food posting time!  as some of you may know, in the past couple of years, we have based our travels on food (italy and thailand) and more recently football venues (candlestick park and now seattle centurylink field)!  we were only away for 10 days (5 days in seattle and 5 days in vancouver)…but we ate. a lot.

one of our first stops:  top pot doughnuts in belltown since a ton of people have been raving about it! quick tip – we loved staying at the renaissance in downtown (a little less than a mile away from centurylink field) since everything was a max 15 minute walk away. (a review of seattle to come later) anywho.  top pot doughnuts.

Top Pot Doughnuts | Seattle

we ordered a raspberry glazed cake doughnut, a double trouble doughnut (chocolate cake w/ chocolate glaze) and a cup of black coffee.

Top Pot Doughnuts | SeattleTop Pot Doughnuts | SeattleTop Pot Doughnuts | SeattleTop Pot Doughnuts | Seattle

doughnuts were moist! i really enjoyed my pink doughnut…only thing is that we wished the doughnuts were warm.  we wanted it to melt in our mouths. coffee was good.  nothing too amazing but still a good complement to the doughnut.

kyle tried to dip it in his coffee. nope bad idea. too soggy.

Top Pot Doughnuts | Seattle
Top Pot Doughnuts | Seattle
IMG_3241a1Top Pot Doughnuts | Seattle
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  • atmosphere:  this is an extremely cute joint…that reminds you of the library in beauty and the beast.  (yup)
  • service:  very friendly.  we loved our cashier. small line when we got there around 9 am on a saturday but it cleared pretty quickly.
  • overall:  good doughnuts.  some may find the cake donuts on the dense side.  i didnt really mind this.  good breakfast joint. we read that this was the best doughnut in the nation… we didnt think so but it is still pretty good. dont expect anything earth shattering.

Top Pot Doughnuts
2124 5th Ave
(between Lenora St & Blanchard St)
Seattle, WA 98121
Neighborhood: Belltown

Top Pot Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

By |September 30th, 2013|Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Food, Restaurants, Seattle, Travel|1 Comment

Doughnut Dolly | Oakland, CA

Doughnut Dolly | OaklandDoughnut Dolly | Oakland

oh, doughnut dolly in oakland, why were you not around when i was in college?  at $3 a piece, you have a variety of flavors to choose from.  the filling flavors change on the regs but the naughty cream is a constant.  we went here on a saturday morning… the line wasn’t too long.

my favorite is the naughty cream filling (which is similar to the cream filling you would find in a cream puff).   pris and stella enjoyed the raspberry lemon jam and the dark chocolate fillings.

Doughnut Dolly | OaklandDoughnut Dolly | OaklandDoughnut Dolly | OaklandDoughnut Dolly | OaklandDoughnut Dolly | Oakland

my doughnut was perfect with a black cup of coffee.  don’t expect the most exceptional coffee…but a still a good pair with the doughnut.  note that the raspberry lemon is on the sweeter side…so you definitely will need the coffee to offset.

so, i am a fan of this doughnut. the doughnut is soft and fluffy and the cream filling is a plus!

Doughnut Dolly | OaklandIMG_2189a1Doughnut Dolly | Oakland

  • atmosphere:  very cute doughnut shop that will steal your heart.  on top of that, the alley that it’s located in is stupid cute. i wanted to spend all day here. go oakland!
  • parking:  only street parking.
  • service:  one woman shop.  very nice and quick service.
  • food:  doughnuts are great.  i would come back here. i didn’t know this at the time of ordering but you can actually request mixed flavors.  i’m sure the naughty cream / coffee is amazing!

Doughnut Dolly
482 B 49th St
Oakland, CA 94609

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Blu Jam Cafe | Sherman Oaks, CA

Blu Jam CafeBlu Jam Cafe

after running around balboa park in the morning (kyle and i did 4.5 miles, while b did his 8 miles. he’s hardcore), we went to blu jam cafe in sherman oaks for our big breakfast after sweat city. thank goodness one opened up near b since we have been putting off trying the one in hollywood because it is packed…all the time.  two things they are known for: crunchy french toast and the french pressed coffee.  amazing.

Blu Jam CafeBlu Jam CafeBlu Jam CafeBlu Jam Cafe

the french pressed coffee.  yeah, so it’s $5…but so very very worth it.  if you are a coffee lover, you must get this.

don’t get turned off by how many people are here in the morning… the text-you-when-your-table-is-ready really helps.  it never feels that long and plus you can just take a walk up and down ventura blvd.

Blu Jam CafeBlu Jam Cafe

crunchy french toast is their signature dish…and rightfully so. the bomb dot com. brioche french toast with a crunchy corn flake crust served with fresh fruit and vanilla bean sauce.  i freaking love this sauce.  you would think that it’s too sweet…nope. just perfect.

Blu Jam Cafe

despite hating eggs, we got the migas.  spicy eggs scrambled with jalapenos, chipotle, beef chorizo sausage, red bell peppers, tortilla chips and cheese.  served with salsa, chips and tortillas.  this tastes great.  doesn’t taste too eggy to me (kyle wasn’t a fan but he still ate it for the protein).

Blu Jam Cafe

pulled pork special.  very tasty.  cant even tell you whats in it…but it was good.

Blu Jam Cafe

  • service: very friendly.  greatest part is that you can leave your cellphone number when you sign in so that they can text you when your table is ready! i love that la restaurants are catching on what nyc has been doing for years! go la! we come at prime time (10am on saturday) but service is always great despite the hecticness. 
  • parking: there is a small parking lot on the side of the restaurant but you will probably have to find street parking (most of which are metered…free on sundays).
  • ambience:  nothing special but very clean.  ample seating inside, outside in the front and then a side patio area which is really cute.
  • overall: we love this new breakfast spot.  i dont need to say much about blu jam cafe since its hollywood location is one of the hottest spots in la.  so the hype is real.  we love it and we love that it’s in the valley.  we will be back.

cheers!

Blu Jam Cafe
15045 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Neighborhood: Sherman Oaks

Categories: Breakfast & Brunch

Blu Jam Cafe on Urbanspoon

By |September 8th, 2013|Food, Photography, Restaurants|1 Comment

Prosecco Trattoria | Toluca Lake, CA

Prosecco Trattoria | Toluca LakeProsecco Trattoria | Toluca Lake

after i came back from a pretty long trek to the east coast and kyle was just coming off a 72 hour shift, we thought… lunch date time! our decision to prosecco trattoria was last minute (and by last minute, we mean but driving down riverside and pulling over).  thank goodness for that guy who puts up with my indecisiveness when im hangry (hungry and angry, get it?).  this ended up being the perfect decision since i think i have found another top ten dessert! more on that later…

Prosecco Trattoria | Toluca LakeProsecco Trattoria | Toluca LakeProsecco Trattoria | Toluca LakeProsecco Trattoria | Toluca Lake

i’m not a huge drinker but after a long week… we just needed a glass of prosecco. isnt that a big glass of wine? or should i say a very full pour?  we thought so too.

Prosecco Trattoria | Toluca LakeProsecco Trattoria | Toluca Lake

they have great olive oil.  kyle and i both agreed.  this reminds me of italy.  oh, we miss you, italy.

Prosecco Trattoria | Toluca LakeProsecco Trattoria | Toluca LakeProsecco Trattoria | Toluca LakeProsecco Trattoria | Toluca Lake

kyle got the farfalla with sweet italian sausage and porcini mushrooms in tarragon cream.  (apologies for the picture.  kyle had a truckload of parmesan cheese dumped on top of his pasta before i could take a clean picture.  rookie.)  he loved this.  pasta was al dente.  this is on the heavier side but he loved it.

Prosecco Trattoria | Toluca Lake

on the day that we went… i want to say there were 6-8 specials.  yep, we were a bit overwhelmed when they were recited to us. one of the many specials was this dish:  scallops with a cantaloupe puree sauce.  i love scallops and i wanted to get this dish but i was scared that the cantaloupe would make the dish uber sweet (good thing our waitress reassured me that it was not).  great, great choice. go me! scallops were done perfectly!  they were nicely glazed and went very well with the light cantaloupe sauce!  yum.

Prosecco Trattoria | Toluca LakeProsecco Trattoria | Toluca Lake

the panna cotta ($6) was glorious.  awesome texture. not too sweet…and berries so that you meet your daily suggested serving of fruit.  i could eat this all day. all day.  nice presentation, huh?  this officially is now on my top 10 desserts.

Prosecco Trattoria | Toluca Lake

  • service:  our waitress was very knowledgable and had some great recommendations. staff as a whole was charming and attentive.  we came here at an odd time (late lunch/early dinner) and were the only ones in the restaurant.  i would assume service would still be great when it gets busy for dinner.
  • ambience:  very cute place.  it’s one of those places that surprises you when you walk in.  when we would drive by on riverside, our reaction was “oh, another italian place” because from the street, this place doesn’t wow you.   inside is obviously an italian theme but not over the top. fresh flowers.  quaint and homey but still very classic and elegant.  go toluca lake!
  • parking: street parking.  some free spots but mostly metered.
  • overall:  this is a great restaurant.  the scallops were amazing. the pasta was everything we wanted it to be. great place to take a date but also great for big groups since they have a larger, darker back room.  also, get a prosecco (or wine they have a large selection) and unwind.  this place is a bit pricey.  $70 lunch (thanks to my $30 scallops). yikes, i know…but sometimes you just have to treat yo self. yolo.

Prosecco Trattoria
10144 Riverside Dr
Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Neighborhood: Toluca Lake

Prosecco Trattoria on Urbanspoon

By |September 7th, 2013|Dessert, Food, Photography, Restaurants|3 Comments