Monday, September 10, 2012


Recently Ann and I had the pleasure of dining at a wonderful new trattoria called Franco.  Upon entry you immediately encounter Chef Franco and his brigade hard at work preparing their succulent dishes. Hoping to one day become a chef it's always exciting to get a front row view of what truly goes on in the kitchen.

For our starters we choose 2 different salads.  The first was grilled octopus, cannellini beans topped with a lemon vinaigrette.  The second was a chopped salad with grilled vegetables and shrimp.  Both were enjoyable but the octopus was slightly overcooked which made it chewy.  For our next courses we sampled the chicken ravioli, lasagna Bolognese and pizza.  While the ravioli and lasagna were heavenly I found the pizza a bit dull.  I wasn't able to put my finger on exactly what was missing but felt it needed that one standout ingredient to really make it pop. I think one of the biggest problems was the thick crust.

As the beer and wine continued to flow we took the plunge and ordered our desserts.  While I'm not a huge fan of sweets I highly recommend giving the panna cotta and apple tartin a try.  Both were light and perfect for sharing with the table.  I promise you won't be disappointed. 

Overall the meal was delicious, the service was fantastic and I hope we can able to return soon for another meal.

Good to know: Currently Franco allows its customers to bring their own beer and wine without having to pay a corkage fee but phone ahead to make sure this is still the case.  Also, don't forget to check in on Yelp for a free dessert.

Buen Provecho!

Ann Eating Octopus....History in the making!!!

Ann, Chef Franco and Eden

Apple Tartin
grilled Chopped Salad

Octopus salad

Chicken Ravioli

Panna Cotta

Friday, August 31, 2012


As soon we entered A-Frame I knew it was going to be a great night.  Only 6PM and the place was packed to the gills. Here at this refurbished  IHOP, Chef Roy Choi is doing it right.  From the baby back ribs with the hoison chili glaze to the double cheeseburger topped with tomoto confeit, I believe this gem offers you a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and break bread with complete strangers.  The communal table may seem strange in the beginning but after a few minutes you're likely to begin chatting as if old friends.  The crowd is youthful, the cusine is excellent and the postive energy can be felt throughout the venue.  I highly recommend giving this place a shot but if you don't believe me just pick up the Septemeber issue of LA Magazine and check out who's on the Chefs of the Year list.

Insider tip:  Stop in on Saturday or Sunday from 12 - 3PM and indulge in the all you can eat fried chicken picnic for $18.  Add in an order of bottomless hite beer for an extra $10. 

Buen Provecho!

Chef Roy and Solano

Great Quote

Chef Roy

Baby Back Ribs

Swordfish Tacos

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


As the search continues for the Holy Grail of Mexican food in Los Angeles, Ann and I decided to stop at Tortilla Republic West Hollywood .  Previously Fat Fish, this one time sushi bar has upgraded itself into rather delightful cantina. 

After a long week of work I needed to unwind with a cocktail and decided to start with their signature jalapeno margarita. Not the best one I've had the pleasure of tasting but decent. Here the staff is extremely friendly and constantly checking to make sure you have everything you need.

We started with chips and guacamole.  The portion was a little on the small side and think it needed a bit more lime juice and a few serrano peppers added to the mix.  Not sure if it's just me but I think chips and salsa should be complimentary at all Mexican restaurants. 

For an appetizer we had carnitas taquitos and the main course was enchiladas suizas.  This part of the meal was much better.  Both dishes were well seasoned and cooked to perfection.  The rice and beans seemed a little cookie cutter but still did the trick. 

Normally most restaurants require all parties to partake in a prefixed meal but at Tortilla Republic they are extremely accommodating. If you're interested in trying the set menu but don't want that much food, don't hesitate to ask about sharing it. We did and it was a just the right amount.

Insider Tip: You'll get the most bang for your buck by stopping in for Happy Hour which runs Tuesday-Sunday 4-7PM and nothing on the HH menu is over $6.

Buen Provecho!