It’s a good thing I stopped when I did on Part 1, all those pictures and reminiscing about some of my favorite restaurants really made me hungry. Now that I am satiated; I am ready for part 2, are you? If you missed part 1 of Angelic Eating, you can read it by clicking here. But don’t forget to come back to read this post. When I started this Blog,I was intending only to write about travel and up to this point I have written none to very little about food or restaurants and I am not really sure why. After all no matter where you travel, your going to eat, it’s a big part of travel. I suppose I am a little apprehensive because I am no Food Critic, but then again I am no Travel Expert either. What I am is a guy who travels a lot and eats, so I suppose I am every bit as qualified as the experts, even more so if all I am doing is sharing my views and my experiences.
As much as I enjoy fine food, I also enjoy the cheap, fast food from time to time as well. But over the years I have come to appreciate the artistry and culinary mastery that some of today’s best Chef’s have. It is that mastery of food and flavors that causes me to seek out some of the finer places in the cities that I travel to. From this point forward I am going to begin to write notes, jot down memories of exceptional meals and restaurants and share them with you.
When I was younger I had food issues, I wouldn’t try anything that I felt was out of the ordinary, had funny names (Squash for one) or simply wasn’t visually appealing to me. Although I have not changed that completely, I am willing to try new things such as Pig Ears, Sweetbreads and even Calves Brains I just won’t make it an every day experience.
I am going to call 2012 the year of Food for me. I am looking forward to trying new things as I travel around the world, what do I have to look forward to you ask? Well, what do they eat in Hungary, Austria, The Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, France and Romania? I will find out as I plan to visit all these countries in 2012. However, right now it’s time to get back to the continuation of Angelic Eating, Part 2.
235 N. Canon Drive
Bouchon is the Legendary Chef Thomas Keller’s heavily anticipated return to Los Angeles. Thomas Keller is the Chef/Owner of world famous restaurants Per Se in New York and The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California. His ability to combine the freshest ingredients that to you and I would seem a mismatch is exceptional, the flavors, textures and exquisite techniques brings his food to life in a way that is unmatched in Los Angeles.
This restaurant has a warm, inviting casual french brasserie feel. A highlight is the restaurant’s Raw Seafood Bar, when your done there visit the adjoining Bar Bouchon for a night cap. This is considered an expensive restaurant, and reservations are recommended.
8439 W. Sunset Blvd
I really enjoy this restaurant mainly because it’s menu is designed for everyone, and it is not overly expensive. Sushi is not one of my favorite foods, although there are some things I enjoy. Katana does an excellent job of ensuring that people like me will have a memorable experience. The menu includes an extensive list of Japanese Skewers, which are fantastic. Little sticks of heaven just waiting for you. If Sushi is your game, you’ve come to the right place as well.
Some argue that Katana is the Cities first upscale Robata Grill, I don’t know if thats correct or not, but it’s surely one of it’s best.
609 N. La Brea Avenue
Chef Mark Peels experiment is retro glam. The Tar Pit is a throw back to the rat pack days, with it’s mature, restrained and subtle feel of Supper clubs from days gone by. Located just down the street from the famous Campanile. Although the food was good, it wasn’t as spectacular as Campanile, however the Bar and people who frequent this restaurant are the real draw. Old world cocktails mixed by the best mixologists in Los Angeles.
Enjoy dinner at Campanile, then head over to The Tar Pit for after dinner cocktails and experience the young, urban, hip vibe of this place, while your their order a classic Manhattan.
624 S. La Brea Avenue
Is a classic French – Mediterranean style restaurant with a fantastic courtyard to enjoy the simple, clean, fresh California cuisine with a mediterranean flare. Enjoying dinner here will make you feel that you are somewhere in the South of France. Chef Mark Peel is a master of culinary delights, this is one place that feels as easy and relaxing as it looks, a Los Angeles staple that must not be missed.
Reservations are recommended.
641 N. Highland Avenue
How can you go wrong when you have Chef Nancy Silverton and Chef Mario Batali opening a restaurant, you can’t! This is one of the finest Pizzeria’s anywhere, almost as good as Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix. Of course most people come here for the thin, crispy, light pizza and for good reason, copious amounts of flavor ooze from these pies as they are pulled from the wood burning oven. But don’t be misled, this restaurant does more than just the best Pizza’s in Los Angeles.
Try the Duck Confit straight out of the wood burning oven, it’s a little taste of heaven.
1850 Industrial Street
Church & State is one of those rare restaurants that succeeds when it probably shouldn’t. Located in an industrial area of Downtown Los Angeles, in the loading dock of what used to be The National Biscuit Company. The ambiance of this classic Bistro style restaurant is a breathe of fresh air in this part of Los Angeles. It’s a funky urban hangout in an unlikely, but very cool location.
Some of my favorites are the Tarte Flambee, essential a thin, crispy flat bread with caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon and cave aged gruyere cheese. While that will send your taste buds racing, you don’t want to miss the outstanding Charcuterie choices, Bone Marrow, Bouillabaisse, Pointrine de Veau (braised veal breast), Escargots de Bourgogne en Croute. You won’t be disappointed.
850 S. La Brea Avenue
All that is served here are Burgers, exceptional burgers, mouthwatering burgers along side some of the best thick, crispy fries and onion rings that are so light and airy. And for those of you who long for the day of drinking sugary sweet Coca Cola, well your in luck because at Umami you can purchase a Mexican Coke.
If your looking for an exceptional meal at an exceptional value, this is the place.
1001 N. Alameda Street
Philippe the Original is one of the oldest and best known restaurants in Southern California. Established in 1908 by Philippe Mathieu, who claimed the distinction of creating the very first “French Dip Sandwich”. As the story goes, in 1918 Philippe was making a sandwich when he inadvertently dropped a piece of the french roll into the pan of roasting juices still hot from the oven. A patron said he would take the sandwich anyway and returned the next day with some friends to order more of that “dipped sandwich”.
It is important to note that there is an etiquette to ordering your sandwich at Philippe’s. So when you enter, take a moment to watch and read how to order a sandwich. I liken it to that famous episode of Seinfeld, “The Soup Nazi”. This is a don’t miss stop on your culinary tour of Los Angeles. You don’t go to Philippe’s for an amazing meal, you go for the outstanding sandwich and to tell everyone you’ve been to Philippe’s.
As you can tell by now, there are so many wonderful restaurants in Los Angeles, each and everyone offers something unique and fantastic. Oh sure, you can visit some of the better known chain restaurants like Fogo De Chao, McCormick and Schmick or Cheesecake Factory, but please don’t do that. Give these privately owned, small business a try, you will not be disappointed. Although these represent a few of the finest places there are so many other outstanding locations that you may also want to try, such as.
Mr. Chow, expensive
Bar Marmont, great people watching
Chateau Marmont, even better people watching, expensive
Boa Steakhouse, expensive
Gordon Ramsay at The London, expensive
Il Sole, moderately priced
Osteria La Buca, expensive
Water Grill, excellent Seafood, expensive