Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Between Two Pieces of Bread

The Sandwich: a meal between two pieces of bread. Every culture has one. There's the Italian panini, the Mediterranean gyro, the Vietnamese banh mi, the Mexican torta...I think you get the point. The sandwich is one of the classic American lunches. I'm sure you've all grown up on the ham and cheese or tuna salad or maybe the peanut butter and jelly. No matter the type, the sandwich is somewhat a nostalgic meal for all of us. And for all of you that might just think the sandwich is simple and boring, I beg to differ. The following are some of my favorites. And since I'm feeling especially generous today, I'm letting you in on one of my "secret" sandwich destinations.

Best Simple Sandwich (but with the highest of quality ingredients)

Larchmont Wine and Cheese Shop

223 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, 90004 (MidCity)

Hours: M-W 10am-7pm, Th-Sa 10am-8:30pm
Prices: Half $4-$5, Full $7-$9

Bleu's Favorite: Number 5 - Prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, arugula, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar on ciabatta

Best Deli Sandwich

1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, 90401

Hours: Tu-Sat 9am-7pm, Su 9am-6pm

Prices: Small $4.25-$9.35, Large $5.80-$12.60

Bay Cities Deli's The G-dmother [Flickr]

Bourbon and Bleu's Favorite: The G-dmother - Genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, prosciutto, provolone. We order it with "The Works with Hot Peppers" - mayo, mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, italian dressing, and hot or mild peppers.

Good to know: Always a crazy line during peak hours, but you can order ahead on their website and grab it from the pick-up counter (allow 45 minutes).

Best Gourmet Sandwich

300 S Grand, Los Angeles 90071 (Downtown in the California Plaza)
Hours: M-F 11am-3pm

Prices: $7.75-$9.75

Mendocino Farm's Chicken MBT [Flickr]

Bleu's Favorite: Chicken MBT - Chicken, fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, tomato, balsamic vinegar, and mixed greens on ciabatta

A notable vegetarian option: Drunk'n Goat in Paris - Goat cheese marinated in herbs de provence, cranberry chutney, brie cheese, balsamic roasted onions, green apple, and mixed greens on wheat bread

Best Mile-High Sandwich
Langer's Delicatessen
704 S Alvarado, Los Angeles, 90057 (Downtown)
Hours: M-Sa 8am-4pm

Prices: $9.25-$17.25 (there's also a super fancy $23.95 sandwich with pastrami, corned beef, and tongue...oh my!)

Bourbon's Favorite: The Number 19 - Pastrami, swiss cheese, and coleslaw with russian style dressing

Best Ice Cream Sandwich

926 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles, 90024 (Westwood)
Hours: M-Th 10am-12am, F 10am-1am, Sa 12pm-1am, Su, 12pm-12am

Prices: Because you really can't beat a $1.25 fresh made ice cream sandwich....

Diddy Riese [Flickr]

Bleu's Favorite: 2 chocolate chip cookies with cookies n' cream ice cream. yummmmmmm

Best Secret Sandwich

Al Gelato

806 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, 90035 (Beverly Hills)

Hours: Tu-Su, 10am-12am

Bleu's Favorite: Ham and swiss on white bread, with mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomato. The key to this sandwich is the bread. It's all homemade daily, and it's fantastic. You must order the white, no skimping and ordering the "healthier" wheat. This is the kind of sandwich where you look and it you think "Ok, this sandwich looks good, but Bleu, why is this your secret sandwich?" And then you take a bite, your eyes light up, and you understand. Just heed my advice, order the homemade white bread!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spitz and the Glorious Doner

le TI've been to Spitz a few times over the past year, and every time I whine, "Why have I waited so long to come back here?" I swear, if I lived in the Little Tokyo area, I would eat here at least once a week. It's really that good.

The restaurant is located in Little Tokyo, nearby Sushi Komasa (my favorite sushi place ever, but we'll discuss in a future post). It's got that whole unfinished, warehouse look, and it's run by a young staff, so it's the perfect atmosphere for us young people. Not stuffy in the least bit. The place is separated into 3 main areas: dining, bar, and patio. You order at the counter, grab your number, and then take a seat wherever.

Red Sangria with Cardamon and Cinnamon [Flickr]

In terms of drinks, you're looking at wine, beer, or sangria. The most recent time I went, there were red, white, and rose options of sangria. I went with the cinnamon and cardamon red sangria, which was great and had quite the kick to it. Bourbon was happy with the short list of unique beers, from which he ordered the Craftsman Poppysfield Pale Ale. Spitz also hosts the "least un-happy hour" (haha) Monday-Friday 3-7PM and ALL DAY on Saturday and Sunday. The deal includes $3 beer, $4 sangria and $1 hummus and pita strips. yum.

The main food options consist of the Doner, salad, or plate (meat entree with all the fixings). I've personally only ordered the Doner, which I would recommend entirely and is what the restaurant is known for. The Spitz Doner is basically a healthy gyro or wrap, with your choice of meat, veggies, and cucumber sauce. I say healthy, because the meat is not overly greasy, the veggies are fresh, and they don't overload on the sauce.

The Classic Doner with Lavash Bread and Sweet Potato Fries [Flickr]

Here are the details:

Bread options: focaccia or lavash
Meat options: Classic (lamb and beef), chicken, falafelite (chickpeas with spices), or veggie

Each donor comes with homemade tzaziki sauce, chili sauce, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, and green pepper

Prices: $6-$6.47 for just the doner, $8.50-$9.24 for the doner meal with drink and 1 side

For all you sweet tooths out there, Spitz is also known for their top rated gelato. The flavors change constantly, but I ordered the peanut butter chocolate, and it was phenomenal.


Monday, September 28, 2009

DineLA Fall 2009

Restaurant week is coming yet again to Los Angeles. For all of you that are well practiced at this week of dining deals, please excuse me while I fill the newbies in:

Approximately 100 restaurants in L.A. will be hosting a Restaurant Week menu (in addition to the normal menu). The menu includes an appetizer, entree, and dessert, per person, and typically offers about 2-3 options in each of the aforementioned categories. Depending on the price point of the restaurant (deluxe $, premier $$, or fine $$$), there is a specific set price -- not including tip, tax, or drinks -- for each menu. Some restaurants offer the menu at lunch and dinner, while others serve the pre-fixe only at one or the other. So make sure to call the restaurant or check the DineLA website ahead of time, so you're not disappointed when you arrive to your reservation.

The important facts:
Dates: Oct 4-9 and Oct 11-16
Prices: Lunch ($16, $22, or $28); Dinner ($26, $34, $44)

While I do completely encourage each of you getting out there and trying a restaurant or two (or twelve...), I do feel obligated to make my disclaimer that I always tell people, especially the not-so-big eaters: Would you normally order an appetizer, entree, and dessert? Just for yourself? If you answered yes, then fabulous. Restaurant week is for you. If not, sometimes you get wrapped up in the whole idea of a "good deal," that you forget you normally would have only ordered a $20 entree and been good to go. (Versus paying $44 for the whole sha-bang). My solution? Not everyone has to order off the restaurant week menu. One person can order the 3 courses, while the other simply gets an entree. This may not be entirely kosher, but it sure saves a few dollars.

Now onto a few of my recommendations. My qualifications - not only is the restaurant supposed to be delicious, but it's also a fabulous deal (i.e. bang for your buck)

1. The Deluxe Category (L $16, D $22)

Sugarfish by Sushi Nozawa - Sushi/Japanese Cuisine (Marina Del Rey, Brentwood)
Ketchup - American Cuisine (West Hollywood)
Taste on Melrose - California Cuisine (West Hollywood)
Corkbar - California Cuisine (Downtown)
Essex Public House - California Cuisine (Hollywood)
BLD - Contemporary Cuisine (MidCity)

2. The Premier Category (L $22, D $34)

Rivera - Latin America Cuisine (Downtown)
Fig - California Cuisine (Santa Monica)
Chaya - California/Fusion Cuisine (Downtown, Beverly Hills, Venice)
Cube Cafe and Marketplace - Italian Cuisine (MidCity)
Campanile - California Cuisine (MidCity)
Anisette Brasserie - French Cuisine (Santa Monica)

3. The Fine Category (L $28, D $44)

Spago - California Cuisine (Beverly Hills)
Mr. Chow - Chinese Cuisine (Beverly Hills)
Jiraffe - California Cuisine (Santa Monica)
Craft - Contemporary Cuisine (Century City)
Arroyo Chop House - Steakhouse Cuisine (Pasadena)
The Bazaar by Jose Andres - Eclectic Cuisine (Beverly Hills)

Get on over to Open Table and make those reservations before everyone else beats you to it.

Update: Carrie from dineLA let me know that there's actually 260 restaurants participating this year. wow! so get on over to the site and make some reservations :)


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bar Measurements

Manhattan [Flickr]
A great bar, like a great cocktail, needs to have the right ingredients. So I thought I would start out by giving my rundown of some key attributes to look for in any bar you walk into. Hopefully these points will let you know when it is safe to order a classic like the Blood and Sand, or if you should stick to the Jack and Coke.

Fresh Juice: Bars that make their juice fresh will be more likely to put them on display or store them in the ice wells below the bar, versus keeping them in the fridge. Also, plastic containers can impart taste into the juices, so another quick check is to see if the juices are being stored in glass containers. Fresh juice can make a huge difference in a cocktail, so don't be afraid to ask if they squeeze their juice daily. Bars that do will take pride in that fact.

Kold Draft Ice
Quality of Ice: This is arguably the most important aspect to a great drink. The ice needs to be made just right to ensure very little taste interference, minimal ice chips when shaking and slow dilution to maintain the integrity of the spirit. The long time favorite for bars has been Kold Draft, but the more recent trend of custom built ice companies like Névé Ice are making a big impact on customers and connoisseurs alike. The best ice will be larger cubes; the greater the mass the slower the dilution. Look for one-inch by one-inch cubes or larger, and if it looks like the ice you get at McDonald's, then you might want to avoid a stirred drink.

Drink Preparation Methods: One of the biggest let downs for me is bellying up to a bar with high expectations, only to see the bartender violently shake a manhattan or muddle fruit into an old-fashioned. Now as a humble bar patron, you can't really expect to lecture on bartender on the preparation method or complain when you are served a drink made their way. After all, the bartenders job is to serve drinks in an effective and efficient manner, with more emphasis on the latter. So what can you do? Observe. Has anything been stirred? Are they shaking drinks with the goal of making slushees? Above all else, just tell 'em how you like it when you order (up, neat, stirred, bruised, rocks, etc.).

Unique Items: Another indicator of cocktail development at a bar is the "accoutrements" used in a cocktail list. For instance, if you see something other than Angostura Bitters or Vermouth used as an aromatic (e.g. Peychaud bitters, Chartreuse, Absinthe), chances are the bartenders are proficient in cocktail balance and composition. Also, more temperamental ingredients such as egg whites indicate an appreciation for the classic construction of cocktails. As much as the unique items serve as an indicator for potentially good libations, there are equal indicators for options to avoid. Any bar where most of the drinks have ingredients that include the word "pucker" or are consistently topped with coke or sprite should be avoided like the plague for fear of bad drinks and worse hangovers.

Hopefully these topics will help guide you towards more enjoyable cocktail experiences, where quality trumps quantity. If all else fails, order a beer.

"May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty. And our ale never turn musty."-Irish Toast


Monday, September 21, 2009

Pop Champagne and Dessert Bar

Tea Gardens at Huntington Library

After a lovely Sunday afternoon at the Hungtington Library Gardens with my friend Ashley, we met up with her roommate, Kaelin, at Pop Champagne Bar in Pasadena. While it's waaayy off the beaten path for South Bay folk and Westsiders (myself included), it is such a great find. It's definitely going to be my new recommendation for "girls' night out."

The restaurant itself is so fun in its design. It has a dark wood interior with plush oversized purple booths. The table tops are all shadow-box style, and they're filled with feminine little trinkets that are entertaining to look through while you're there.

Shadowbox Table Tops

The menu is completely affordable - no food over $20, and the entire backside of the menu is dedicated to desserts (20+ options). They also have happy hour on Sundays from 4-7PM with $4 mimosas/bellinis, $5 champagne of the day, and 20% off the beginning bites. AND -- if you follow them on Twitter -- you can ge their Speakeasy Sundays password. Basically, towards the end of the night on Sundays, they will pour any of their open bottles for $5 a glass with this password. Um, I wouldn't mind getting some Laurent Perrier or Veuve for $5, would you?

Blueberry Lavender Crepes and Churros with 3 Dipping Sauces

Since I was the only newbie (Ashley and Kaelin have been there half a dozen times), I sat drooling over the dessert menu for the first 10 minutes. Ashley and Kaelin swear that every dessert they've had there has been amazing. We decided to start with the Brie Toast with Chardonnay Soaked Raisins as a savory option. I was surprised because for some reason I expected the dish to be warm and gooey, but the cheese and raisins were (purposely) cold. It ended up being just right, and actually tasting more like a dessert then an appetizer. For our dessert picks, we settled on the Blueberry Lavender Crepes with homemade vanilla ice cream (special of the day) and the Churros with spiced warm chocolate, dulce de leche, and creamy stawberry dipping sauces. The crepes were lovely. The lavender really brought out the berry flavor in the fruit and the crepe itself was light and fluffy. But, for me, the churros stole the show. Nice and crispy on the outside, so soft and creamy on the inside. And it was rolled in sugar, for that fun granular texture. My favorite combo was dipping the churro in both the chocolate and dulce de leche together. Yum. Plus, it came with 5 churros, which is pretty good for only being $8.

33 E. Union St.Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 795-1295
Twitter: PopChampagneBar

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Burger

One of my coworkers brought this article to my attention about different types of burgers. It really got me thinking about all the amazing hamburgers in the LA area. Now I know a burger is a very personal thing, so I've included my favorite (25 Degrees) as well as those of my friends and other foodies.

25 Degrees Burger #3 [Flickr]

The burger: Three main options -- 1) Carmelized onion, prelibato gorgonzola, crescenza, bacon, arugula, thousand island 2) Roasted tomato, crispy prosciutto, burrato, pesto 3) Mezzo secco jack, green chili, chipotle, avocado

The price: $12

The location: 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, 90028

Hungry Cat
The burger: "Pug Burger" with bacon, avocado, and blue cheese

The price: $16

The location: 1535 Vine St, Los Angeles 90028

Father's Office Burger [Flickr]

The burger: dry-aged sirloin topped with applewood-smoked bacon compote, maytag blue and gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and arugula on a french roll

The price: $12

The location: 1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, 90403

Bar Marmont
The burger: "Damn Good Burger" with homemade ketchup and fries

The price: $16

The location: 8221 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90046

Apple Pan Burger with Tillamook Cheese (50 cents extra) [Flickr]

The burger: Diner-style "Hickory Burger" with their own sauce, mayonnaise, pickles, lettuce

The price: $6.50

The location: 10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, 90064

Or, if all else fails, go immediately to your nearest In N Out ($2.79 for a double double)


Saturday, September 19, 2009


Riddle me this: 1 jar nutella, 1 drink too many, and 1 petite hand. Waking up the next day to a half empty jar of nutella (and remnants of nutella on my fingers). I think you get the picture.

So now you know my secret. I have a problem. A problem called nutella. So much that I've asked my family, my friends, and Bourbon to keep me away. But what do they do? Buy me nutella cupcakes. And, damn, they were good.

After a long week at work, Bourbon surprised me with not 1, but 3, nutella cupcakes (and a red velvet for good measure) from Sprinkles.

Sprinkles Nutella and Red Velvet Cupcakes

The new cupcake is a vanilla cake -- perfectly light and fluffy laced with Madagascar bourbon vanilla -- with a chocolate hazelnut frosting. For all you Sprinkles' frosting haters out there (shame on you), you'll be pleased with this frosting. They put less on the cake and it's not as thick/firm as their other frostings; definitely more whipped.

Get 'em quick! Nutella cupcakes at Sprinkles till Sun, Sept 27.
9365 S Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, 90210
M-Sa 9-7; Sun 10-6

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Taco Secrets

I love Mexican food. I mean, who doesn't?! But you know what I love better? Great Mexican food at even better prices. Here's a list of some my friends' and my favorite places to hit up...

Beef and Pickle Hard Shelled Tacos from Malo
Happy hour all Monday night. $1-$3 gourmet tacos with cocktail specials. The beef and pickle tacos are fantastic!

Address: 326 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90029 (Silverlake)

El Tarasco
Great late night (or post beach day) greasy food. The boys usually get the steak burritos, but I'm a fan of the quesadilla. Most items are $5-$7, you can also go to their website and print coupons.
Address: 316 Rosecrans Ave, Manhattan Beach 90266 (They have multiple locations but I go to the South Bay one)

Al Pastor Sope

King Taco
I dream of their al pastor sope and their horchata. And their salsa. OMG their salsa. All food items $2-$6.
Address: 45 E. Washington Blvd., Los Angeels 90015 (several locations as well)

La Taquiza
If you're ever in the USC area, this place is a must go. They make a mulita, which is basically 3 stacked slightly crispy tortillas with cheese, guacamole, and your choice of meat mixed in. Also, if you're in a (slightly) healthy mood, the california salad is great. It's nachos (the not healthy part) with salad, avocado, chicken, and veggies on top (the healthy part).
Address: 3026 S Figueroa, Los Angeles 90007

Poquito Mas slogan

Poquito Mas
My friend Ashley and her boyfriend Aaron LOVE this place. They're crazy about the $1.75 poquito taco, the carnitas burrito, and the simmered chicken quesadilla.
This place also got a 21 for food on Zagat (which isn't typical of inexpensive Mexican restaurants)
Address: 2635 W Olive Ave, Burbank 91505 (with other locations)

- Bleu

Food Progression

Remember progressive dinners and block parties when you were little? Starting off at one place for the appetizer, moving on to the get the idea.

WELL Food GPS is putting on a little progressive dinner of its own. But this time you don't have to eat gross jello molds and weird pasta salads.

For all you Westsiders:

Wednesday, September 23
The progressive dinner will cover Whist at the Viceroy, the Dining Room at Hotel Shangri-La, and Anisette Brasserie.
It starts at 7:30 PM at Whist and it's $39 per person

For all you Downtown peeps:

Thursday, September 24
You'll be visiting Ciudad, Provecho, Rosa Mexicano, and Rivera (splurge and buy yourself a cocktail there, Julian Cox is an amazing bartender)
It starts at 7:30PM, as well, at Ciudad and its $49 per person

FYI: if you sign up for both you get $5 off. And, cool, you pay beforehand so you don't have to worry about money for the night. Click on the Food GPS link above to sign up

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Food Truck Mania

So I thought everyone knew about the L.A. food truck craze. In fact, I thought everyone was pretty much overwhelmed by the vast amount of gourmet, affordable food literally rolling up to their doorsteps everywhere. But yesterday, at work, I found myself having to explain to my co-workers that food trucks were the new trend. And explaining that, no, food trucks were not necessarily synonymous with taco trucks.

According to LAist's round-up as of Sept 9, 2009, Los Angeles currently has (or is expecting very shortly) 32 gourmet food trucks. I rounded up my opinion of the 5 you have to visit. Please post if you have a favorite I haven't listed, or if you try something fabulous at one these trucks:

You can follow all these trucks on twitter in order to locate their whereabouts

Kogi BBQ
The original fancy L.A. food truck
Menu: Asian/Mexican flare..tacos (Short ribs and pork are amazing), sliders, burritos, quesadillas, and now the spam meatloaf (hmm?) and chocolate tres-leches cake
Prices: Generally $2-$6
FYI: Kogi BBQ also has a kitchen at The Alibi Room in Culver City. I believe the food is about $1-$2 more, but you skip the insane lines.
Twitter: Kogibbq

Nom Nom
Menu: Vietnamese banh mi (chicken, grilled pork, BBQ pork, veggie) and tacos
Defined: Banh mi is a sandwich generally on a skinny baguette with mayonnaise, jalapenos, cilantro, and pickled carrots and onions. (Personally I think the BBQ pork goes best with those flavors)
Prices: $5 sandwiches, $7-$10 combos
Twitter: nomnomtruck

Cool Haus
only natural I list this...I am an ice cream addict.
Menu: 5 ice cream sandwiches (I think the Oatmeal Cinnamoneo with oatmeal cookies and cinnamon ice cream sounds delightful)
Prices: $3-$3.50
Um, Cool!: The wrapper is made out of rice paper and can actually be eaten too!
Twitter: Coolhaus

Grilled Cheese Truck
The truck is expected to be rolling out in Oct. YAY! Who doesn't love a gooey grilled cheese?!
Menu: 4-5 grilled cheese sandwiches. The menus not finite yet, but they've been rapidly posting ideas on Twitter like "butternut squash gruyere melt with balsamic reduction and thyme" and "Hawaiian bread, roasted banana spread, nutella, pb, and marshmallow")
Prices: no news on the price front (and I did quite the research), but I will report when I hear!
Twitter: Grlldcheesetruk

The Gastrobus
Menu: Sandwiches (steak, pulled pork, veggie, smoked bacon) and sweet potato fries -- i've read these fries are amazing.
Prices: $6 sandwiches, $2.50 fries
Twitter: gastrobus

Enjoy your meals on wheels, kids!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

435 N Fairfax

Animal: the speakeasy of restaurants. So hip, there's no sign over its front door. So trendy, "435 N Fairfax" is what shows up on your credit card bill. The place is as close to NYC dining in LA as you can get in the upscale restaurant scene -- think, no more than 40 people seated. The ambiance can best be described as bare, simple, and clean.

And guess what? They've got the food (and drink) to back it up. And the service, oh the service.

The servers are young, but oh-so-much in the know about food. Although our server did inform us he was an aspiring actor (shocking!), this man could tell you everything and anything about the entire diagram of a pig and the preparation of every dish on that menu. Plus, and this is a big PLUS, he wasn't pushy. He encouraged family style (that's how the restaurant is set up), he organized our ordering so that items came out in the proper (and most delicious) order, he didn't balk at us for bringing our own wine (recession, recession), AND he didn't rush anything.

Now for the real matter at hand...

The menu is set up with mostly small dishes, a few entrees, and a half a dozen or so desserts. The wine and beer is international, selective, and affordable. Corkage is $15. The menu changes on a daily/weekly basis, but here's how our night went down:

-amberjack, nectarine, citrus, mint, chili ($15)

-pork belly, kimchi, peanuts, chili soy, scallion ($12)

-poutine, oxtail gravy, cheddar ($15)

-melted petit basque, chorizo, grilled bread ($11)

-foie gras, biscuit, maple sausage gravy ($22)

-flat iron, artichoke hash, truffle parmesan fondue ($25)

-bacon chocolate crunch bar, s&p anglaise ($7)

The waiter brought us out the amberjack and pork belly first. The amberjack was all it was talked up to be. A considerably large portion of cubed pink amberjack with just the right kick of heat. The nectarine added a nice sweetness, and the mint literally tasted like it was just picked from the plant (perhaps?). The pork belly was delicious – perfectly caramelized and melt-in-your-mouth in the center (it single-handedly converted Bourbon over from short ribs). The kimchi (think fresh asian coleslaw; not the malodorous kind), peanuts, and scallion all added a nice crunch to offset the silken pork.

Off to a good start, it was time for round 2: The Poutine and the Petit Basque. The poutine is basically fancy chili cheese fries (no, we’re really not kidding). Homemade fries covered in the good stuff (oxtail gravy) and then given quite the healthy hit of Vermont-aged white cheddar. Bourbon thought he died and went to heaven. Match that with the Petit Basque – basically a sweet and nutty sheep's cheese fondue with delightfully seasoned bits of chorizo mixed in. For a dipping utensil: homemade olive oil-rubbed bread.

Entrée time – Flat Iron and Foie Gras (yeah, we ate a lot. One of those nights where you just have to sleep it off). The flat iron could definitely hold its own, as well. Properly cooked meat. And you could practically lick that truffle parmesan fondue up. YUM. Now the foie gras we ordered was actually the

small plate, but the waiter suggested bringing it out towards the end of the meal because of its richness. And he was right. If you are a lover of those savory and sweet combinations, this is the dish for you. And it literally tastes like when you get pancakes and sausage and slather on maple syrup. It was that good. And that rich. Throw in their homemade biscuit and it was practically dessert.

As if we weren’t already stuffed, we went for it. The bacon chocolate crunch bar. Easily one of their most famous dishes. Again, its’ got that whole savory/sweet thing going for it as well. It’s literally two slices of chocolate (almost a cross between fudge and ganache) with a heavy crust of fresh bacon bits on either side. It’s divine. Sometimes the plain chocolate mousse desserts are boring and fall flat. The bacon adds salt, texture, and depth.

Overall, an amazing night. One of our favorite food experiences yet (the length of this post might have given that away), which is why we thought it appropriate to share it first with you all.

A few notes:
We may have overordered (blasphemy?). Especially if you order drinks, we’d probably recommend getting 3 small dishes, 1 entrée, and a dessert for a couple. If you order like that, it’s actually extremely affordable, especially given the quality and quantity of food. Also, keep in mind that Animal does NOT tolerate substitutions of any kind. Be adventurous and leave happy.

--Bourbon & Bleu

So here's our deal...

One part Bourbon (SoCal guy who loves a big meal and a good drink)
One part Bleu (SoCal girl who's obsessed with farmers' markets and ice cream)

2 dashes of cocktail knowledge from a top whiskey bar in LA
Stir in a family history of professional cooking

Infuse with a budding food and cocktail culture

Garnish with the biggest (and smallest) new restaurant and bar openings in LA 

That's our recipe for navigating through LA's best (and worst) eats and drinks

...We'll keep you posted