Umami Burger | Hollywood, CA

Umami Burger | Hollywood Umami Burger | Hollywood Umami Burger | Hollywood

umami burger has been a favorite of mine for awhile now. it went from 2 little locations to now 11 locations, a delicatessen, and a truck (and it keeps on goin’)! to me, best burger = the socal burger at umami. (i am currently being challenged on this statement by a few people. more on that below).

i’m a big fan of the juicy juicy, well seasoned meat (they dont let you choose how well you want it cook because it comes medium rare) and the bun (oh so soft). anything that melts in your mouth is a done deal. i am not denying that it is a tiny burger and that it is pretty expensive for what you get. but i’d pay $12 for this little piece of heaven any day. dont take my word for it, go try it!

Umami Burger | Hollywood Umami Burger | Hollywood Umami Burger | Hollywood

i love burgers. i love umami. but i am open to trying what others consider that “best burger ever.” on my list to try (and compare with my favorite): pie and burger, back abbey, golden state, stout, and rustic canyon. that way, i can actually list my top 5 burgers. am i missing any?

Umami Burger
1520 N Cahuenga Blvd, Suite 7
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Neighborhood: Hollywood

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By | August 6th, 2012 | Food, Restaurants | 7 Comments

Vicious Dogs | North Hollywood, CA

Vicious Dogs | North Hollywood Vicious Dogs | North Hollywood Vicious Dogs | North Hollywood

so we started hot dog thursdays (as many of you know) but since kyle’s schedule is abnormal (some months he doesnt have one thursday off), we went on a friday. that counts, right?

Vicious Dogs | North Hollywood Vicious Dogs | North Hollywood

this is probably our favorite hot dog place at the moment. it’s down the street from us, its quick, its delicious, and the staff is amazing! they also have cool wall art for sale! my favorite is the orignal sweet and spicy dog (trust me, get this). kyle usually gets a hot link and picks a random topping style. this time, he went with mardi gras (recommended by the staff. yes, i’m telling you they are amazing). also pictured here is the pastrami dog, which e said was good too (better than two famous: fab hot dogs in reseda and pinks. yep. i said it. fighting words. do i hear a challenge?).

Vicious Dogs
5231 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Neighborhood: North Hollywood

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By | August 4th, 2012 | Food, Restaurants | 4 Comments

Cold Noodles @ Corner Place | Cerritos, CA

from what i have heard/understand/experienced, corner place has the best cold noodle soup (“dong chi mi gooksu”) ever! fact. just googling “korean cold noodles dong chi mi gooksu”, the first or second result says “best cold noodles.”

Corner Place

when the temperature tuned 85+, a friend and i decided to meet up in cerritos (a half way point between me and lake forest) just to have some cold noodles (and shop. and eat dessert. and catch up on her guatemala adventures). i would like to put it out there that (i) this was obviously my recommendation since i have been craving it for awhile now (ii) she turned down my other suggestion to go to lucille’s bbq because we always overeat when we go there and then hate ourselves afterwards (this has happened more than once). hope you can enjoy these cold noodles one day (with some kalbi and some bahn chan?! heaven. ps. there is more than 1 location. lucky us.

Corner Place Corner Place Corner Place

Corner Place
19100 Gridley Rd
Cerritos, CA 90703

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By | July 28th, 2012 | Food, Restaurants | 0 Comments

Picca | Los Angeles, CA

Picca | Los Angeles Picca | Los Angeles Picca | Los Angeles Picca | Los Angeles

six people. 6:45pm reservation at picca. dinela. two hours and forty-five minutes later, thirty dishes down! boom. for dinela, we decided to go to picca, a trendy peruvian restaurant in west la. for a fabulous $45 a person (not including alcohol), you get to enjoy two appetizers, two main dishes, and a dessert.

Picca | Los Angeles Picca | Los Angeles Picca | Los Angeles

since we were a table of six, we were able to order almost everything and even double up on certain ones! here is what we tried:


  • ceviche criollo – seabass, rocoto leche de tigre, sweet potato, canchas
  • pan con tuna – grilled bread, spicy tuna, rocoto sauce, yuzu mayonnaise
  • causa snow crab – snow crab, yuzu kosho guacamole, huancaina. one of my favorites. it was amazing!
  • causa chicken – sous-vide chicken, celery, cilantro, mayonnaise, huancaina. aka chicken salad.
  • anticucho corazon – beef heart, rocoto pesto. very tasty!
  • anticucho tomatoes – cherry tomatoes, honey-serrano glaze, burrata black mint pesto
  • anticucho salmon – miso anticucho, pickled cucumbers, micro greens
  • chicharron de pollo – crispy marinated chicken, salsa criolla, rocoto aioli. this is pretty much a fancy chicken nugget.

main dishes

  • bisteck a lo probre – skirt steak, fried egg, pan-fried banana, chickpeas tacu tacu. sounds weird. banana and meat. but i liked this dish a lot. however, you do have to eat it all together or else it tastes a bit salty.
  • lomo saltado – sautéed beef filet, roma tomatoes, red onions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, banyuls vinegar, kennebec fries. tried this dish at mo-chica. i’m a fan.
  • arroz chaufa de mariscos – peruvian fried rice, clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, pickled ginger
  • seco de cordero – braised lamb shank, canario beans, cilantro beer sauce
  • artichoke – pisco and anji amarillo butter, aioli. this is just an ordinary artichoke dish.
  • sudado de pez espada – peruvian “bouillabaisse” swordfish, yuyo
  • chicharron de costilla – crispy pork ribs crostini, sweet potato puree, huancaina, salsa criolla

dessert choices – flan or alfajores (cookies)

Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles
Picca | Los Angeles

verdict: very good! (although not all are winners). trust me when i say you will be stuffed and satisfied. favorite dish was the snow crab appetizer, pan con tuna, and the bisteck a lo pobre! the main menu is so extensive, i think i will need to come back and try certain dishes not on the dinela menu.

since the sun set while we were eating, there wasnt enough light to keep using my dslr so i had to switch to my point and shoot canon s95! however, i couldnt take pictures of all our food (trust me, there were a lot more dishes). haha.

Picca | Los Angeles Picca | Los Angeles Picca | Los Angeles

picca down, so many more food adventures to go! shout out to the dinela crew. to old friends and the loveliness of new ones. cheers!

9575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Neighborhood: West Los Angeles

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By | July 24th, 2012 | Food, Friends, Restaurants | 7 Comments

Huckleberry | Santa Monica, CA

huckleberry. a ridiculously cute cafe in santa monica that i have been wanting to try for awhile now. i do not think that my pictures do this place justice.

Huckleberry | Santa Monica Huckleberry | Santa Monica

huckleberry has a pretty extensive breakfast menu ranging from pastries to hot sandwiches. it gets pretty crazy here on saturdays and sundays… be ready for long lines. we ordered:

  • an egg sandwich
  • breakfast burrito
  • breakfast porridge
  • fig pasty

Huckleberry | Santa Monica

jen got the egg sandwich was a fan. it looks delicious.

i got the breakfast burrito (despite my distaste for eggs but willingness to try and try again). umm, best burrito ever? it comes with creme fraiche (yep, it’s faaancy). the burrito itself is not too eggy. the salsa adds a great kick. it’s so good, i don’t know what to do with myself. really.

Huckleberry | Santa Monica Huckleberry | Santa Monica

the breakfast porridge was pretty delicious! knowing me, i wouldn’t have ordered this myself but i’m glad my friend did! healthy choice.

Huckleberry | Santa Monica Huckleberry | Santa Monica

as a treat, we all split a fig puff pastry. this is extremely pleasant. not too sweet and great with a cup of coffee. i’m excited to go back and try other pastries!

  • ambience: like i said, ridiculous cute. i loved coming here for brunch. i could see why this is a turn off to some people because there is a line on the weekends. but i don’t really mind. plus it moves fast!
  • service: pleasant service. pretty efficient getting people through the line.
  • parking: metered street parking.
  • overall: i’m a fan. my favorite breakfast burrito to date. pastries are solid. would recommend to anyone.

1014 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Neighborhood: Santa Monica

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By | July 23rd, 2012 | Coffee, Tea, & Bakeries, Food, Restaurants | 10 Comments