THINGS I ATE: A Whole Bunch of Good Stuff

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Over the past several months, I’ve been snapping pictures of food with the intention of writing about it on this blog. Now it’s December 31st, and I have a small backlog of meals to share. Rather than generate a post for each one, I’m just going to dump the photos here.

Long story short: all this food was good, and if you find yourself in LA, be sure to try these restaurants out. Continue reading

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THINGS I ATE: Hot Dogs and More at Dog Haus

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At a recent food event at the LA Times, I managed to sample (read: GORGE UNABASHEDLY) some offerings from local hot dog impresario Dog Haus, and needless to say, I was hooked. Imagine my delight when I was invited to a media-comped lunch at Dog Haus this past weekend. Normally, I wouldn’t trek all the way out to Pasadena for a hot dog — not even a super tasty one nestled comfortably in a warm Hawaiian roll — but as luck would have it, I was in the area to visit the Eat My Blog bake sale (which raised over $5,000 for Philippines — woohoo!). It was as if the hot dog stars had aligned.

After the jump, check out some pics of the hot dogs that my friend Jessica and I enjoyed in the Dog Haus biergarten…

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THINGS I ATE: Pretty Much Everything at The Corner Door

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It’s Autumn in Los Angeles. Well, actually, it’s Autumn everywhere. Except the Southern Hemisphere. It’s Spring down there. I think. The point is that we — as a global community — are in a different season than we were, say, two months ago, and to celebrate the leaves changing color from green to slightly less green, The Corner Door in Culver City, CA has trotted out some autumnal cocktails. What better reason to head all the way down to this nifty gastropub for a media-comped meal, replete with cinnamon smoke and beignets.

Photos after the jump…

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THINGS I ATE: Food and Adventure in Kauai

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I’ve spent so much time this summer blogging about Big Brother and podcasting about Bravo that I’ve hardly had time to post about food, but I can assure you that I have been eating. I’ve been eating a lot. Perhaps too much. Nevertheless, way back in July, I had a glorious jaunt over to the island of Kauai (that’s in Hawaii, for all of you who are geographically challenged), and in between luxuriating in the sunshine and falling off rocks in the mountains, I managed to enjoy a bite or two at some of the local eateries.

After the jump, check out what I ate and a few vacation pictures to boot. Warning: long post!

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THINGS I ATE: Korean Grub at Kobawoo House

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Kobawoo House in Koreatown is hardly a discovery. The place has been packing in eager diners for years and years, with hungry patrons lining up to taste the restaurant’s famed pork belly bossam (not to mention the expert seafood pancake also found on the menu). What exactly is bossam? It’s basically meat that gets rolled up in pickled radish or cabbage. That’s the simplistic, white-man’s version at least. Don’t worry — I have pictures.

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THINGS I ATE: Meat Cakes at Beijing Pie House

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For about a year and a half, I’ve been wanting to try Beijing Pie House — a Chinese eatery in the heart of Monterey Park, CA. The restaurant boasts dumplings the shape of overgrown hockey pucks that squirt searingly hot liquid at the most benign of pokes, and as we all know, benign poking is truly my forte. Nevertheless, while it took me many months to finally visit BPH (as I’ve decided to call it), I finally gathered up a group of friends, including Sly and Abe, and headed East for a dumpling-tastic adventure.

Our group entered the restaurant tentatively — not because we feared what was inside but more because it was so deathly silent we momentarily assumed we had wandered into a library or perhaps funeral home. Not only was there no music, but the diners all spoke in hushed tones, almost as if the bright fluorescent lighting had beaten them into submission. I suppose I naturally assumed the restaurant would be loud and convivial as patrons burned their tongues and lips and chins with scalding hot dumpling liquid. But no. If people were in pain, they bore the brunt of it in steely silence.

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THINGS I ATE: Dinner at Stella Barra in Hollywood

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After a recent viewing of Star Trek: Into Darkness, my friend jash and I felt the need to wildly decompress from two hours of explosions, Spock bangs, and futuristic 9/11 imagery. And so we too stepped into darkness by taking in dinner at the dimly lit Stella Barra on Sunset Boulevard. Attached to the ArcLight and cousin to Stella Rosa in Santa Monica, the new restaurant has a reputation for awesome pizza and killer cookies. Naturally, this was right up my (Kirstie) alley. That was a bonus Star Trek reference, in case you were wondering.

jash and I kept the order simple. He ordered a glass of wine and a spinach and kale salad with pecorino ramona, Medjool dates, shaved radishes, and mustard vinaigrette. I too wanted to be healthy, but resistance was futile. I wound up requesting a fennel bianco pizza, which featured fennel, burrata, rosemary, torn basil, and olive oil. The friendly waiter then informed us that the policy of the restaurant is that when something is ready, it’s ready, and the food will arrive as such. It seemed like a strange approach, but I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal — that is, until jash’s salad arrived five minutes later (sans wine), and we had to wait an additional fifteen or twenty for my pizza. Yes, we were warned of the policy, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

As for that salad, it was very tasty, but teeny tiny. We’re talking side-salad size. At $10, it veers into “overpriced” territory. More appropriately priced was my pizza ($15), which was strong flavor-wise, but was so soggy and oily in the middle that the slices were near impossible to hold. Still, structural issues aside, I enjoyed the burrata and fennel, and found I was able to crisp up the slices a bit more the next day when I flung the leftovers in a skillet and heated them up for five minutes.

Eventually, the waiter discovered that he had neglected to bring jash’s wine, and to apologize, he gave us a free chocolate chip Rice Krispie treat cookie that may as well have descended directly from heaven. This cookie was far and away the best part of dinner, and I would truly consider going back to Stella Barra for the cookie alone.

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THINGS I ATE: Thai Food at Night + Market

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For a while now, my friend Sly and I have been wanting to try the fare at Night + Market, a much buzzed about Thai restaurant within a restaurant on the Sunset Strip. The eatery has garnered all sorts of praise from local critics and bloggers (Jonathan Gold recently listed Night + Market as one of the top twenty restaurants in LA); so it’s shocking that it took us so long to get our asses over to Talesai, the home of Night + Market.

Luckily, with our trusty buddy IndianJones in town for business, we had the perfect excuse to go on a Thai adventure.

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THINGS I ATE: Bites at Badmaash, Rattlesnake at Wurstküche

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There’s not enough Indian food in Los Angeles. We have oodles of Korean restaurants (no complaints here), and there’s a Mexican spot on nearly every corner. Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese are also omnipresent, but alas, when it comes to Indian, our options are few and far between. My go-to place is Crown of India, located in a scenic strip mall often populated with vagrant trannies and the occasional meth head. Half the thrill is wondering if your car will still be there when you emerge from thali paradise.

Therefore, when I heard that Bread & Butter PR would be hosting the launch of their digital division at Badmaash, a new Indian gastropub Downtown, I was totally stoked to go. I’m always on the prowl for Indian food in this city, and even though the party would not promise to be a full-on meal, even just a few tasty hors d’oeuvres could make my evening. And so with my friend Kambra in tow, we headed to Badmaash where I proceeded to take pictures of everything BUT the food. I’m a real pro like that. I guess I’ll just have to go back!

Pics of Badmaash and bonus stuff from Wurstküche after the jump…

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THINGS I ATE: Hwe Dub Bap at A-Won; Also, Dessert at Cafe Mak

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For a few years now, I’ve been hearing about the Hwe Dub Bap at A-Won Japanese Restaurant here in Los Angeles. This Korean dish, which is basically sashimi piled on top of lettuce and other veggies, has been thoroughly documented by the local media, blogs, and various Yelpers over the years. However, I’d never actually tried it before. I certainly had come close — going so far as to actually sitting down at the restaurant with every intention to order the dish. The thing is that A-Won also specializes in albap, a rich rice bowl topped with a beautiful assortment of caviar, and try as I may, I simply am not one who can ever resist a giant bowl of fish roe.

This weekend, however, I finally decided to MAN UP and go for the much-heralded Hwe Dub Bap. I had spent much of Saturday afternoon ambling about Disneyland (as one does), and while there had been a midday corn dog to stave off a wave of violent hunger pangs, the shocking truth is that it simply was not enough to sustain me. By the time dinner at A-Won rolled around, I knew a meager bowl of fish roe simply would not due. Delicious, yes. But enough to counter a ravenous post-Disneyland appetite? Hardly. And thus, the landmark decision by me to eschew my beloved albap for hwe dub bap was made.

This was a good thing.

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