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!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


With so many new restaurants opening in LA, it's often difficult to choose where we should visit next.  Well I think we made the right decision in venturing into Laurel Hardware.  Once the local favorite fix it store has now become a hip, vibrant and trendy hot spot.  

As you enter, the first thing you notice is the open kitchen.  Generally I love this type of layout but thought it made the restaurant a bit detached from the back area and outdoor patio.  Perhaps this is what they were going for but feel a completely open space would be a bit more inviting.  

To kick things off Ann and I headed straight to the bar for a delicious cocktail.  Since we are fans of the Moscow Mule we decided to try the Mule's Apprentice (kaffir lime & mandarin blossom vodka, fresh lemon and ginger beer).  Good flavor but didn't seem too different from the original.  

After approximately a 30 minute wait and 1 drink in the system we were seated.  Since we were able to take a peek at the menu ahead of time we had a good idea of the exact dishes we wanted.

I highly recommend starting with the blistered baby tomatoes (burrata, plum honey and shiso olive puree).  This dish will definitely leave you wanting more and excited about the rest of the meal.  

For our main courses Ann picked the burger and I went with the pork cheeks.  Since I had some beef the day before I decided not to partake but from the look of Ann's face I can say she was pleased with the flavor.  The pork cheeks were quite tasty and topped with a 63.5 degree poached egg. 63.5 because at this temperature the perfect poached egg is served. You can't argue with science when your meal is cooked perfectly.  And if you’re interested in finding out more on the science of food, take a peek at The Modernist Cuisine.  You’ll be truly amazed. 

Overall we had a great time and super meal.  We will definitely return soon to sample the rest of the menu.  

Insider Tip: Although reservations are suggested you can definitely walk in during the week and land a table.  Don't be deterred by the hostess giving you a wait time of one hour because it normally translates into 30 minutes max.

Buen Provecho!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Everyone should try this place once.  I've lived in Los Angeles for 11 years, pass Pink's on a daily basis but never thought to stop in for a meal.  I guess I equated it with the bacon wrapped hotdogs you might find at 2am being sizzled on a propane cookie sheet as you exit a bar or club on Hollywood Blvd.  I've had the pleasure of eating these Frankenstein weenies before and never felt quite right the day after. 

However, I can now say I misjudged this fine establishment. They haven't been around since 1939 for nothing.  While I don't recommend eating this every day, I do suggest you put the diet on the backburner and allow yourself to indulge in a delicious over the top hot dog once in a blue moon.  My choice was the Emeril (a 9" stretch with mustard, onions, cheese, jalapenos, bacon and coleslaw) with a side of bacon ranch fries.  As I took the first bite, I was overcome with a feeling of euphoria.  The combination of flavors was a work of art.  So simple yet pure genius.  This guy definitely knows his stuff.  I can't wait to return and try something new.  I just hope it lives up to my first experience.

Quick Tips

Do yourself a favor and skip the sides.  They will most likely go to waste.  The dog is plenty and will definitely satisfy your hunger. 

Arrive before 1PM and the wait should be minimal.

Buen Provecho!