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ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen | Hollywood, CA

this is known as the asian chipotle (i didn’t coin this term…i wish i did).

ShopHouse | HollywoodShopHouse | Hollywood

you walk in:

  1. pick your protein.  your choices are chicken, steak, pork meatballs, or tofu. we went with the meatballs because they look moist!
  2. choose your base.  noodles, rice (white or brown), or lettuce.  i chose noodles but requested some lettuce on top.  stella chose rice.  the lady helping us even suggested noodles and rice.  look, i’m all about cross contamination but that seemed a little too sacrilegious… even for me.
  3. choose your sauce (choice of two curries and a tamarind vinaigrette).  normally i would do red curry but since stella already ordered the red, i went with the green curry so that we could sample everything.  the red curry is considered “spicy” and the green curry was considered “medium spicy”.  since this is more of a southeast asian fusion establishment, we assumed spicy would be toned down for the masses.  major underestimation by us.  the red curry was pretty darn hot.  not stupid hot but definitely a lot hotter than one would expect.  the green curry was great and had a good kick to it.
  4. choose your toppings (veggie and garnishes).  i would’ve liked to try the broccoli but it wasn’t available.  green beans and corn it is! also, the green papaya slaw was a good addition to my bowl.

ShopHouse | Hollywood

my bowl: noodles, meatballs, green curry

ShopHouse | HollywoodShopHouse | Hollywood

stella’s bowl: rice, meatballs, red curry

ShopHouse | HollywoodShopHouse | Hollywood

  • service:  service was enthusiastic and eager to recommend good combinations.  like chipotle, you walk up and pick what combination you want.  i will note that it was definitely a turn off when a worker told me they don’t allow photos.  this is not a fancy place. why can’t i take photos?  there are so many photos of this place on the internet…
  • ambience:  very simplistic, clean, minimalist decor.  we dug the wall of sriracha.  nice casual spot with a few outdoor tables (for those really nice sunny days in la).
  • parking:  metered parking.  a pain, i know.
  • overall:  we were pleased with both our bowls.  simple concept but great execution.  bowls are very, very tasty and at a reasonable price. winners would definitely be the meatballs and the curry sauces.  this is a great addition to the hollywood restaurant scene.

Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen
6333 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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By |May 23rd, 2014|Food, Restaurants|1 Comment

Chaumont | Beverly Hills, CA

Chaumont | Beverly Hills

we put chaumont bakery on our to-eat list after reading about its opening a little less than a year ago. cute back story:  owned by a young french couple.  everything is baked on premise.

while beverly hills is not my usual hang out, we were passing through and decided to finally dropped by!

Chaumont | Beverly Hills Chaumont | Beverly Hills

even though we wanted to order everything, we ended up ordering:

  • strawberry tart
  • strawberry short cake

on presentation alone, these pastries are amazing!

Chaumont | Beverly Hills Chaumont | Beverly HillsChaumont | Beverly Hills Chaumont | Beverly Hills

verdict: pastries were delicious!  we put these babies down in less than 2 minutes. (we have no self-control) pastry cream was a winner.  not too sweet.  crust was crispy (great texture) and buttery.  i mean… i can go on and on…

Chaumont | Beverly Hills Chaumont | Beverly Hills Chaumont | Beverly Hills

  • pastries:  we are fans and will definitely come back for more.  side note: everyone raves about the croissants… next time we will definitely have to try them!
  • service:  patient and nice.  we took awhile deciding what to order… they didn’t mind.
  • parking: i’m not a huge fan of parking in beverly hills in the first place.  it’s expensive and always crowded.  we luckily found an open metered spot a block away. not bad.
  • ambience:  we dug the decor (you will too).  simplistic and elegant. lots of natural light.  white walls.  there are a number of tables but is not a large place. seating could be an issue during peak times.
  • overall:  this place has won us over.  stupidly charming.  delicious pastries. we will be back soon.

Chaumont
143 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

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By |May 19th, 2014|Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Dessert, Food, Restaurants|0 Comments

Crème Caramel LA | Van Nuys, CA

Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys

i don’t know if you know but crème caramel (aka flan) is one of my favorite desserts. naturally, i was super excited when we found out crème caramel la opened up in van nuys / sherman oaks!  since our first visit, we have been back a ton of times (yep, this place won me over and is now one of my favorite dessert joints).

the shop is small with limited seating inside and a couple of table outside (just in case you can’t wait to take your dessert home).  the nice thing about this place is that they provide samples of their dessert.  get your wallet ready because you will be buying more than one item.

so far we have tried / loved the following:

  • vanilla crème caramel – their staple.  freaking uh-amazing.  creamy, smooth, and 100% satisfying.
  • mango crème caramel – the hint of mango is a nice touch.
  • lemon blueberry crème caramel – so great. i repeat. so great.
  • upside down ube pie – this is kyle’s favorite one.  crumble adds a great texture. ube is wonderful.
  • bread pudding – solid bread pudding.

Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys

with the exception of their staple menu items (crème caramel, upside down ube ie, and bread pudding), the menu changes on the regs.  they are always trying new things, which we appreciate.

like i said, they provide samples of their dessert! see the sample display below.

Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys

crème caramel is a winner. did i mention that it is not too sweet?

Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys

here’s the upside down ube pie.  delicious.

Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys Creme Caramel LA | Van Nuys

if you are a flan lover, you will appreciate how silky smooth this is.

  • parking:  street parking.  you should have no issues unless it’s food truck night.  there is additional parking in the back but we have never had to use it.
  • ambience: don’t expect anything fancy.  this is a small place (so not ideal for large groups) but still cute.
  • service:  we love the staff.  everyone is so sweet and extremely eager to help.
  • overall:  desserts are a little pricey $4-5 each… but i think they are well worth it.  the plus side is that if you buy 4 (or a certain amount) you get a little discount!  this place is a gem and you will be happy you were introduced.

Crème Caramel LA
14849 Burbank Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91411
Neighborhood: Van Nuys

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By |May 13th, 2014|Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Food, Restaurants|0 Comments

The Apple Pan | West Los Angeles, CA

The Apple Pan | Los Angeles

apple pan made our “to try” list after we read about it in hamburger america (which we now have as a book on our coffee table). it’s one of those staple la burger joints that has been around since the 40s.

the restaurant is relative small with bar-type seats (not ideal for large groups).  since this place has been around for quite awhile, it is extremely popular.  during peak times, expect a little bit of a wait.

The Apple Pan | Los Angeles

we ordered the hickory burger ($7) and a root beer ($1.75).  we laughed when the soda came out.  you are pretty much drinking out of a paper cup (which is pretty efficient for the restaurant since they don’t have to wash any dishes).

The Apple Pan | Los AngelesThe Apple Pan | Los AngelesThe Apple Pan | Los Angeles

onto the burger:  as simple, old school burgers go, the hickory burger is good.  it’s on the smaller side…and comes with a ton of lettuce. actually, a ridiculous amount of lettuce.  the meat is good. bun is average (you better eat this quickly because the burger will fall apart). sauce is ok.

this is no umami burger (on the gourmet side) but it is still is good in its own right.  i can understand why some people love it (because its nostalgic) and why other hate it (because it is overhyped).  is it the best burger in los angeles?  no, i don’t think so.  is it the best burger in the nation?  far from it. but it is still good and it’s been around for ages.

The Apple Pan | Los Angeles

  • parking: street parking.
  • ambience:  small dinner. uber casual.
  • service:  you are in and out pretty quickly. service is quick. not too friendly.
  • overall:  like i said.  this is no umami burger (the fancy) and it is definitely not in’n’out burger (the best california casual).  however, it is still a good burger.  it’s part of la’s history and i understand why it is a staple. it’s not going to make it on “my top burgers” list but if you are hungry, in the area and looking specifically for a burger… i would go to apple pan.

ps. cash only, folks.  oh, and apparently we failed and did not get pie.  apparently pies are pretty good here.

The Apple Pan
10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Neighborhood: West Los Angeles

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By |May 12th, 2014|Food, Restaurants|2 Comments

Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks and Hoagies | Silverlake, CA

 Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks

when stella is in town, we go on day long food adventures.  (no wonder she hates us)  after ricky’s fish tacos, we decided to drop by boo’s because kyle had this place bookmarked for awhile and it seemed like an opportune time to go (it was across the street and meg and stella are always down).

 Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks

we ordered one philly cheesesteak to share among the four of us and a side order of fries.

the sandwich was ginormous.  how else do you describe this beast?  the general consensus was that it was pretty darn good.  came out hot (actually, super hot) and cheesy. lots of flavor .  as you can imagine, the sandwich gets a little soggy due to the intense amount of cheese melted on this baby.  so try to eat it fast.

 Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks  Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks  Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks

obviously this sandwich is on the heavier side so you really have to be in the mood to eat this.  you probably will want to food coma on a couch afterwards and binge watch episodes of k-town (we aren’t ashamed. that is what we did).

i have to point out that i found this sandwich so much better than the philly cheesesteak i tried in philly (i was not a fan of genos… at all).

 Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks

  • ambience:  casual. no frills just hefty sandwiches. outdoor seating is also available in case it is a beautiful day.
  • service:  amazing/friendly.  not sure if we were talking to the owner but he was super excited that we were first timers.  he explained the menu and gave a solid recommendation.
  • parking: we parked at a meter.
  • overall:  good sandwich place.  if you are looking for a cheesesteak sandwich, i would recommend trying boo’s.

Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks and Hoagies
4501 Fountain Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Neighborhood:  Silver Lake

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By |May 7th, 2014|Food, Restaurants|0 Comments