Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving tomorrow with your family and friends. 

Eat, drink, and be thankful.

And on the following day, enjoy all of those delicious leftover sandwiches!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Difficulties of Sandwiching

Greetings, Readers!

This week I am busily reviewing all of my past sandwich reviews in order to rank some of my favorites. I am writing a guest blog for Deli Fresh Threads to discuss LA sandwiches. 

I have to admit that it's kind of difficult. For one, I wouldn't say there is a definitive LA sandwich. For those who haven't been to the city before, we are more like a city of cities, each with their own cultures and styles. 

So if there is an LA "style" it's that there is variation, and so this post will be filled with plenty of variety. I hope you'll check it out when it's up. 

For now though, make sure you check out his blog here and enjoy the writings of a fellow sandwich lover. 

Also, if you haven't been following me on Twitter, click here for daily updates!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An Ace Up My Sleeve

Greetings, Readers!

I hope you have all recovered from the festivities of National Sandwich Day like I have.

To celebrate this special day, I decided to have some lunch with family at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Ace opened earlier this year on Broadway in the historic United Artists Building. Originally built in 1927, the building has been updated but still keeps a lot of its old school charm and feel. Broadway has been going through a bit of a revitalization over the years and this is a gleaming anchor of the district.

The rooftop bar provides not only excellent drinks but a great view of DTLA that is well worth visiting the hotel for on its own. Even better for sandwich lovers though, is the restaurant, L.A. Chapter, on the main floor. Taking a seat on the sidewalk seating, I took my time with the menu. The salads and other eats all looked amazing, but the sandwiches showed someone had taken their time in crafting them.

The Lobster Roll won out over all of the other options, though i'm sure I will be back to try the others. Savory chunks of lobster are stacked in a toasted roll with harissa, celery, hearts of palm and furikake. This savory sandwich surprised me with a bit of sweetness throughout along with a kick of spice. The buttery lobster was an incredible experience and some of the best seafood I've had in awhile.

The roll was buttery and lightly toasted, a great complement to the savory insides of the sandwich.

If you're in Los Angeles, or you live here and want someplace new to check out, hop on Metro (yes it exists) or drive on down to this bright and shiny updated section of Broadway and get to know a little known neighborhood. Starting at the Ace and LA Chapter are definitely the way to start this visit off on the right foot.

Until next week, Readers...

The Lobster Roll
**** Stars
L.A. Chapter at The Ace Hotel
927 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

National Sandwich Day!

I know it was on Monday, but how did you all celebrate what should be a world recognized holiday?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Sunday Surprise

Greetings, Readers!

Recently, I visited a local eatery that had only become known to me.

Harvest Moon is a quaint stop on a quiet stretch of Magnolia Boulevard in Valley Village. On the day that we stopped here, they were happily celebrating their 2nd anniversary. Quite an accomplishment tin a city with high turnover of eateries.

Walking into Harvest Moon with its wooden tables, great views, and fantastic food on display, I was initially distraught. The menu was written on a chalkboard the size of one of the walls and was covered in chalk with all of the options available.

This was obviously going to be a bit difficult. My eye is always drawn to a cubano, though most of the times I have to talk myself out of it, unless of course it is highly recommended, lest this blog become strictly about that type of sandwich. Turning down the cubano here was tough, though when the menu stated that their BLT was highly rated, I was intrigued.

A BLT is not something I ever seek out at a restaurant. To me, it's incredibly easy to make at home, and I can't remember the last time I ever heard someone tell me about a mind blowing BLT but here it was, in front of my eyes. How could I refuse?

Besides the standard ingredients, I also opted to add in avocado and a fried egg. Joining these two friends between the slices of grilled white country bread were a few slices of sweet and spicy bacon, arugula, roma tomatoes, and lemon aioli. The bacon was amazing. A slightly sweet glaze along with a peppery kick melded together on top of the thick cut slices.

It was honestly some of the best bacon I've ever had.

Combined with the peppery kick of the arugula, the creamy avocado and the savory fried egg, this really was one of the best BLT's I've ever had, and a top sandwich overall. Even if you're not a big bacon fan, I urge you to try this. These strips may change your mind on the matter.

My only thought though is that while I enjoyed the grilled white country bread, I wondered if the sandwich might be more enjoyable with sourdough.

Besides the sandwiches, Harvest Moon has a delicious looking menu with plenty of options for lunch, brunch, or even breakfast. With its location in a quiet part of the city, this is a great restaurant to meet up with friends for conversation and great food.

Oh, and while you're there, make sure to pick up a box of Celia's Gourmet Toffee while you're at it.

Until next week, Readers...

**** Stars
Harvest Moon Kitchen and Marketplace
12456 Magnolia Blvd.
Valley Village, CA

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In Tune With Taste

Greetings, Readers!

You know, sometimes a true gem of an eatery can be so close to home that we end up missing it, or seeing it all together.

Take for example the Tuning Fork in Studio City. There are literally less than three blocks between my desk and their front door, but somehow a visit to this gastropub has evaded me for quite some time.

That all changed this past Friday.

For starters, I highly recommend making reservations for dinner. The Tuning Fork is not a big space at all, and so it fills up quickly, especially on a Friday night for dinner. The size of the restaurant provides a lot of the charm though. It's definitely a space that many other restaurants in the city would have tried to pack another row of tables into, instead there are wide open aisles allowing the place to not feel cramped when at full capacity.

Along with the low light and partially mirrored walls, the space is an inviting and comfortable place to wind down after a week of work.

The exceptional beer list will help with the relaxing while you try to decide which sandwich to get. For me that included a bottle of Aprihop by Dogfish Head as I eventually settled on the Capo Loco burger.

A thick beef patty topped with mozzarella, slices of prosciutto, citrus balsamic glaze, tomato, red leaf, crispy basil and goddess ailio between two slices of a ciabatta bun.

I am a big fan of ciabatta bread, and thoroughly enjoy it when used for burgers, but in this instance it didn't hold together that well until the end. The aioli, the balsamic glaze and the deliciously juicy beef patty conspired to break the bun apart by the end. Aside from that though, the bread was delicious and a good choice.

The beef was cooked to medium and had a fantastic flavor that kept pace with the strong co-ingredients. The prosciutto added a little saltiness to an otherwise mildly sweet burger from the balsamic glaze. The tomato, red leaf and basil worked together to bring a fresh contrast to the overly meaty sandwich.

A bit of sweet, a little salt, and a lot of savory. That's the Capo Loco, and it's delicious.

If you happen to be near Studio City, The Tuning Fork is a great place to meet up with friends for dinner, or to have date night with your significant other. The atmosphere is conducive to whichever way your night is headed, and the food is top notch.

Until next week, Readers...

The Tuning Fork
**** 1/2 Stars
12051 Ventura Place
Studio City, CA 91604

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Swimming Upstream to Boulder

Greetings, Readers!

Last week I told you about the first part of our adventures in the great state of Colorado. Denver and its Beer Festival were fantastic, but there is so much more to CO than just great beer it seems.

Though to be fair, the beer is spectacular. But as could be seen from last week's entry, their food can be equally enjoyable.

Especially after a lot of beer.

Preparing to leave Denver, we decided to round out our trip by visiting Boulder, specifically at The Corner Bar on the main floor of the Boulderado Hotel.

The hotel itself is gorgeous and definitely worth taking a peek inside to see its architecture. A definite look back in time, the classic look will take your breath away. The outdoor seating at The Corner Bar is enjoyable, presenting the relaxing atmosphere of downtown Boulder.

While everything on the menu definitely sounded delicious, how could I ever skip on ordering a sandwich noted as "Boulderado's Famous Salmon Sandwich"? Not only am I a fan of that specific fish, but when something is listed as the top sandwich on the menu, I must have it.

A thick portion of salmon is topped with horseradish aioli, spinach, and red onion marmalade on a roll in this offering. The salmon was delicious, tender, moist and incredibly savory without the typically overpowering fishy flavor usually associated with this fish.

The horseradish aioli offered a bit of kick while also providing that umami sensation while the spinach and red onion marmalade offered contrasting, slightly bitter flavors to the mix. Overall this sandwich was a knockout combination textures and complementary flavors.

The roll was fairly standard, though it did hold together until the end and offered a slightly sweet flavor to the mix. I think a ciabatta roll would have worked slightly better though, but this was still an enjoyable component of the sandwich.

Enjoying this sandwich, taking in the feel of Boulder, and sitting out with the impending approach of Autumn in the air all combined to make an incredible combination that I look forward to repeating sometime in the near future.

If you happen to be in Boulder at any point in your life, I highly recommend you make this stop.

Until next week, Readers...

Boulderado's Famous Salmon Sandwich
**** 1/2 Stars
The Corner Bar at The Boulderado Hotel
13th and Spruce Streets
Boulder, CO