Tatsu Ramen | Los Angeles, CA

Tatsu Ramen Los Angeles

two things: (i) we were looking for somewhere to eat on a friday that did not require reservations and (ii) we wanted noodles. enter: tatsu ramen. a location opened up on melrose (cross street is la brea in west hollywood).

one thing that will stand out about this place: the ordering concept. i find it very efficient. there is a large electronic menu on the wall right when you enter along with 3-4 ipads. you place your order and pay on the ipad. (you even order your water on this ipad!) a receipt will print out for you to present to the host/hostess, who will then seat you.

Tatsu Ramen Los Angeles Tatsu Ramen Los Angeles

what we ordered:

  • soul ramen – this is their signature ramen! tonkotsu broth, black garlic oil and sweet umami sauce (mvp right here). this is customizable! beef, pork, chicken or tofu, green onions, mushrooms. i like it the way they suggest!
  • bold ramen – this is their most popular ramen! tonkotsu broth with 11 ingredients. yep! 11. customizable: egg, pork, chicken or tofu, green onions.
  • pork bowl – we got this because we really loved the one at daikokuya and have ordered it everywhere we go. plus, we were starving and felt like we needed more than just ramen. (we later realized that the bowl was overkill… too much food)

Tatsu Ramen Los Angeles

mmm. the pork bowl was a pleasant surprise. it looks super dry but it was delicious! i would order it again.

Tatsu Ramen Los Angeles

ramen bowls are huge and not for the weak…

this is the bold ramen (spicy). presentation is pretty, ain’t it?

Tatsu Ramen Los Angeles Tatsu Ramen Los Angeles

here’s the soul ramen… my favorite.

Tatsu Ramen Los Angeles Tatsu Ramen Los Angeles

food: i’m a big fan of tatsu ramen. actually, i think it’s my current favorite! sorry, ramen jinya! christine and goldman were fans too. i think about the soul ramen a lot (i mean, who doesn’t?). broth game is solid here. i will say that it is a little different from other ramen broths in la (oh, you sexy city you!) and that is what i appreciate about it. it’s not just salty… it also has some subtle sweetness! i dig it.

another point of view: my husband said his ramen (bold ramen with the 11 ingredients) was okay and not the best. he prefers tsujita (like many, many people do). so feelings are mixed. i liked the soul ramen over kyle’s choice.

atmosphere: this location is relatively new. decor is modern/pretty… did i mention clean? lots of natural light. high tables that can fit 6-8 people if you are rolling deep including bar seating. definitely casual dining.

service: staff is very attentive here since they aren’t busy taking orders. water service is great… you will never be thirsty.

parking: tatsu ramen shares a parking lot with two other restaurants. it’s tiny. i would not rely on getting a spot here. i have heard that there’s 1 hour parking out back… i haven’t tried this. another alternatives: there are metered spots on melrose. if you are lucky, you can score a free spot on one of the side streets. just make sure you read the parking sign carefully regarding enforced times, exceptions, etc.

overall: in my opinion, ramen is good here and reasonably priced. soul ramen is my favorite and would order this if it is your first time (it’s what they are known for). yes, there are mixed feelings about this place but i would still urge you to try this place if you are on a ramen eating adventure like we are.

Tatsu Ramen
7111 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046

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By | September 9th, 2014 | Food, Restaurants | 0 Comments

Dog Haus | Pasadena, CA

Dog Haus Pasadena

when i heard that dog haus was joe’s faaaavorite eatery in all of pasadena… i repeat…out of all the restaurants in pasadena, this is his gem… i moved this one up the “to-try” list. after months of scheduling conflicts, we finally scheduled a short golf outing (on what seemed like the hottest day of the year) followed by a hot dog eating sesh.

here’s what we ordered: (my advice for first-timers… umm. order everything! #noregrets)

  • the little leaguer – think chili dog with fritos
  • tae kwon dog – bulgogi glaze, cilantro aioli, kimchi, fried egg, and chili powder
  • sooo cali hot dog – arugula, spicy basil aioli, crispy onions, avocado, tomato
  • kung pao cajun – cajun andouille, kung pao sauce, bell peppers, green onions, water chestnuts, peanuts
  • the fonz – hot italian sausage, pastrami, mozzarella
  • the love boats (tots) – tots with chili and slaw
  • fresh cut fries

Dog Haus Pasadena

this place offers a ton of sauces. i immediately fell in love. we tried them all. make sure you try the curry ketchup!

Dog Haus Pasadena

this is the little leaguer. (apologies for the photo quality. we were sitting right under a red neon sign) a chili dog…with fritos on top. how do you not order this?! simple concept but oooh so good. the chili is really good. fritos added great crunch. trust me. you will crave this.

so all dogs, sausages and burgers come on a hawaiian roll. (reason #2 why i love this place) the hawaiian roll is toasted… yep. even better!

Dog Haus Pasadena

if you were eating with joe (pictured below), he would convince you to order the little leaguer. this is his favorite.

Dog Haus Pasadena Dog Haus Pasadena

mo ordered the tae kwon dog. don’t be freaked out by the kimchi on a hot dog. it’s great and more people should be doing it.

yes, we are overly excited. we just finished golf. we were starving… and food just arrived.

Dog Haus Pasadena

oh love boat, you are amazing and everything i hoped you would be. crispy tots with some nice tasting chili. oh! and some slaw to make you feel somewhat less guilty about your eating option since you’re eating veggies.

Dog Haus Pasadena

we ordered the sooo cali dog because it was the most popular menu item. however (full disclosure), i was on the fence about this one since i thought it was just a “safe” option and didn’t have high expectations. i thought it would be bland. arugula? psh. who wants arugula on their dog?

i was so wrong. this ended up being our favorite! the spicy basil aioli was what we loved the most! ugh, it was so tasty! the fried onions added texture and the avocado was a nice touch. the sooo cali dog was sooo uh-mazing (get it?).

Dog Haus Pasadena Dog Haus Pasadena

umm, don’t mind joe’s face (he didn’t know he was in the shot). it’s his first time eating out with me. that’s his “i want some of that” face… because it’s that good!

the kung pao dog sounded bomb. (how asian are we?) umm… it was pretty freaking great. mmmm. tip: eat this quickly. the kung pao sauce started making the bun soggy and hard to hold.

Dog Haus Pasadena Dog Haus Pasadena

the fonz. of course kyle would get this one. it has pastrami… his favorite. the guys were fans.

Dog Haus Pasadena

  • food: amazing hot dogs. i understand why thousands and thousands of people reviewed this place and why it is so packed… all the time. pretty large menu. we sampled 5 items and loved them all. now we want to try everything on the menu! (yep, even the burgers since i heard they were bomb)
  • service: friendly service. there are a lot of folks working on getting your food ready pronto. we appreciate that.
  • ambience: casual and clean. i’d say small-to-medium size. a number of high tables can fit parties of 6-8 people. there’s also some outdoor seating as well. also! this location is working on a liquor license!
  • parking: there are multiple locations but this one was chosen because there is ample parking here. no worries if the lot (small) is full, there is a ton of free street parking! you’re welcome.
  • overall: we are huge fans. huge. i’d come back here for the soo cali dog and tots alone. i’d say this goes head to head with vicious dogs in noho as favorite hot dog in la. so if you are craving a hot dog, i’d suggest this place in a heartbeat.

joe, thanks for the introduction. i owe ya one.

Dog Haus
105 N Hill Ave
Pasadena, CA 91106

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By | September 1st, 2014 | Food, Restaurants | 0 Comments

Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks, CA

Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks

the hubby and i came here for dinner. we were pretty excited about this new establish poppin’ up in sherman oaks! what we ordered everything that they are known for:

  • tipsy style burger w/ a side of fries – cheddar, lettuce, roasted tomatoes, grilled onions, dill pickle, and thousand island
  • bourbon brined fried pickles w/ jalapeño ranch
  • good talk dad milkshake – vanilla ice cream and salted caramel

Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks

the good talk dad milkshake is a solid milkshake. kyle loved it. i would definitely agree that it is a great milkshake but the caramel was a little too sweet for me… so i couldn’t have too much of it.

Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks

the burger: we wanted to love the burger. the waitress recommended that we get this burger (this was not our first choice) since they are known for this. we thought the burger was okay. the burger patty itself is not flavorful and the bun is not my favorite. onions and roasted tomatoes added some flavor but we found ourselves taking the sauces from the fries and dunking our burger in it.

Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks

fried pickles were also just ok. we wanted them to be crispier. there are definitely places that do this better.

Tipsy Cow | Sherman Oaks

  • food: the food was just okay. the only thing we really liked was the milkshake since the burger was a let down.
  • service: the service was ok. nothing we can really rave about.
  • ambience: i really like the interior of this place. subway tiles, high ceilings, and wooden tables. good hang out to grab a drink.
  • parking: metered parking on ventura. could get difficult during peak dinner hours.
  • overall: i’m not too eager to recommend this to anyone at this point. food is just meh. since it has a good looking bar i’m sure happy hour is a better time to go.

Tipsy Cow
15005 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 94103

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By | August 24th, 2014 | Food, Restaurants | 1 Comment

The Churchill | Los Angeles

The Churchill | Los Angeles

we came to the churchill to enjoy some sunday mimosas! what we ordered:

  • blistered sweet corn pizza with gluten-free pizza dough – pancetta, serrano chilies, sundried tomatoes, asiago
  • the churchill burger – cheddar, caramelized onions, pickles, bacon
  • pork meatballs with tomatoes and basil
  • wild mushroom pizza with tomato confit, fontina, asiago, basil
  • vegan pizza (custom made by the kitchen)

so the blistered sweet corn pizza (pictured above) was my favorite! so, so good. great flavors, crispy crust… mmm.

The Churchill | Los Angeles

kyle orders meatballs everywhere he goes… the churchill was not going to be an exception. in our opinion, the meatballs were good but not worth $11.

The Churchill | Los Angeles

mimosas were endless (can’t even tell you how much it costs). the burger was just ok. the bread is not the greatest. i’d definitely recommend getting a pizza over the burger.

The Churchill | Los Angeles

the wild mushroom pizza was not what i expected. i thought the mushrooms would be sautéed… or at least have a little more flavor. where is the tomato confit? all i saw were just tomatoes. go with the blistered sweet corn pizza.

The Churchill | Los Angeles

so our friend is vegan…good thing the churchill had a veggie burger on their menu! however, the waiters got some orders mixed up and the table next to us received the last vegan burger! fail. the waiter told us that the kitchen was going to make a vegan pizza and listed some ingredient, including vegan cheese.

the kitchen actually forgot the order and never made it. after realizing they didn’t make the order, they made the pizza with real cheese! after pointing that out, they gave our friend a pizza with literally dough, onions, arugula and mushrooms… with no sauce. lol. double fail.

  • food: the only thing i would order again would be the corn pizza. with that said, since the rest of our order was just ok, i am on the fence about coming back here.
  • service: ehhhh. given the whole vegan situation… i would say staff here is pretty sub par. we got there relatively early for brunch. the place was not packed so the fact that they forgot an order, made the wrong order, and then served pretty awful food is ridiculous. who runs out of the veggie burger right when they open?
  • ambience: the churchill is very cute. chill vibe. nice patio area. tons of space up and down stairs.
  • parking: standard third street parking… metered.
  • overall: food was overall unimpressive but it is a nice place to enjoy mimosas on sundays!

The Churchill
8384 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

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By | August 17th, 2014 | Food, Restaurants | 0 Comments

Olympic Provisions | Portland, OR

Olympic Provisions | Portland

kyle picked olympic provisions because he wanted to try their charcuterie plate and because it was featured in GQ magazine.

Olympic Provisions | Portland

we ordered:

  • ploughman’s platter ($14) – their charcuterie plate. two salami, pork terrine, cheese, pickled egg, bread and a glass of draught beer.
  • croissant and scrambled eggs ($10)
  • capicola and salami cotto sandwich ($9) – lettuce, pepperoncini, red onion, aioli, italian dressing on a hoagie roll.
  • steak and egg benedict ($13)

Olympic Provisions | Portland Olympic Provisions | Portland Olympic Provisions | Portland Olympic Provisions | Portland Olympic Provisions | Portland

  • food: everything we got was just okay. nothing too memorable. bloody mary was pretty awesome though.
  • ambience: cute, clean, open space. it was actually a great stopping place to grab a beer (just wish we loved our food a little more)
  • service: okay. not too much interaction besides putting in our order.
  • overall: would i recommend it? not really. out of all of our meals in pdx, this was my least favorite. it was missing any sort of wow factor. portland has so many great options, i would pass on this one unless you are in the area and just want to grab a beer.

Olympic Provisions
1632 NW Thurman St
Portland, OR 97209

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By | August 12th, 2014 | Food, Portland, Restaurants, Travel | 1 Comment