Review: Shibumi DTLA

Shibumi is a kappo-style restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. After seeing it on an infinite number of best of and must try lists, I was very much looking forward to this meal. My brother was in town for the holidays and I took him here for dinner. We ordered:

  • Lotus, Sweet Potato, Young Burdock Chips
  • Japanese Sea-Bream Sashimi, Ginger Bud, Pickled Plum-Irizake
  • Iwagaki Oyster, Fresh Yuzu, Shiso Flower & Mountain Caviar
  • Broiled Sanma Skinny Mackerel, Black Vinegar
  • Grilled Heritage Pork In Koji, Pickled Daikon, Leek
  • Steamed Rice (with accompaniments)
  • Koji (R)ice Cream, Apple & Fermented Apple

The chips were interesting, I’ve never had young burdock (nor did I know what it was til I googled it). The sashimi and oyster was pretty standard, but the seafood seemed like good quality. I wish more flavors came through. The mackerel was bit overcooked. My favorite was the Koji (R)ice cream, because it was different and not too sweet. I also had a good drink – French Cider En Flute, Calvados Back so I appreciated that as well.

All in all, I was disappointed. The service was decent, but one of the servers was so soft spoken I just said no thank you to everything he said. If only I had the same experience as Jonathan Gold. I probably won’t be back, if anything for maybe a cocktail while on my way to another dining experience.

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Thirty Days of No Takeout. #30DaysNoTakeOut

Last week I stumbled upon this article in Health Magazine where they did a collaboration with Giada De Laurentiis . The goal was to do 30 days of no takeout. They’ve laid out an entire plan for a month, including a grocery list and a theme for each week. 30 Days of No Takeout would kill my social life, but I decided to take it on for a week. The plan gives you “homework” to do on the weekend, in the case of the Protein week that I picked, I had to roast a chicken. They also have you chop all the vegetables that you had purchased. It was easy, just time consuming since the chicken had to be in the oven for 2 hours, but it came out perfectly. I couldn’t believe how many dishes the chicken was in and how easy it was to make all these dishes each night complete with leftovers for lunch the next day.

I think my favorite dish was the Chicken Soup – it was incredibly easy and so flavorful. I didn’t have the cooked rice (they didn’t tell you to pre-cook it and it takes an hour!) so I added some veggie penne instead. Came out delicious and couldn’t wait to have it for lunch the next day.

This is definitely something that anybody can do – even if you don’t love cooking. Everything takes 20 minutes or less and tastes delicious and healthy. You won’t regret it! 🙂

From Top To Bottom:

  • Giada’s Cobb Salad
  •  Chicken Tacos
  • Roast Chicken Soup

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Portlandia.

Two of my good friends moved to Portland in the last two years, so I’ve visited about six times. I had never been to Portland before Summer 2015, but I did watch the show on IFC. Things I love about the city include the easy access to the outdoors – beautiful hikes, waterfalls (Multnomah Falls!), and just clean air. I also enjoy the many many mom and pop restaurants, some that are even worth the 1-3 hours waits.  Here are some photos I took during my visit (when it wasn’t pouring rain!)

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From Top to Bottom:

Sauvie Island Bridge

The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch

Green Tea Service at Behind The Museum Cafe

Cacio e Pepe at Grassa

Cassia 

Cassia is a restaurant I’ve been trying to go to for ages. The good reservations are all taken weeks in advance, so my dinner started around 6:30/6:45ish.

The actual space is indoor and outdoor, with beautiful high ceilings and tables that are filled by time, not by space. Something I truly appreciate.

The must orders include Kaya toast (Coconut Jam, Butter, Slow Cooked Egg), Green Papaya Salad (with a kick!), Kon Loh Mee (Egg Noodles, Chinese Broccoli, Ground Pork, Pork Belly), and  Spicy Wontons.

I highly highly recommend eating at Cassia. It’s all over all the best new restaurant lists, and well deserved. The service is top notch as well.

Cassia
1314 7th St
Santa Monica, CA 90401img_7734

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Brunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel

I had a lovely brunch at the beautiful Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel for my mother’s birthday.

The hotel is absolutely gorgeous from the striped ceiling to the champagne glasses. The service was top notch as well. While the food didn’t wow me as much as dinner usually does at the Polo Lounge, I still think the tortilla soup and lobster rolls really shined.

They have a jazz band on the patio for brunch, but I think the best room to sit in is the large room with booths.

From top to bottom: tortilla soup, scallops, smoked salmon hash, and summer sorbet dessert.

The Polo Lounge
9641 Sunset Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

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Westbound DTLA

One of my favorite new watering holes downtown is Westbound, located in the monstrosity that which is One Santa Fe. They have a limited, yet delicious food menu. My faves include the Foieffle and Oysters. They also have an amazing late night happy hour that begins at midnight.

Oysters with Grilled Watermelon Ice, Lemon Oil + Mignonette, Basil

Gravlax Cone with Roe, Charcoal Cone, Goat Cheese, Dill

Foie N Waffle – Brioche, Coffee, Maple, Naval Orange Compote

Cheese Board

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I tried Deep Fried Butter Balls and lived to tell about it.

I went to the OC Fair earlier this month and obviously came across tons of food – turkey legs, corn dogs, a 8×8 square of fries, popcorn, kettle corn, fried oreos, deep fried pizza, deep fried twinkies, deep fried cheesecake, the works! But the one thing I HAD to try was deep fried butter. And I hate to say it but it was pretty good. I only had one of the balls but it tasted like a VERY buttery waffle.

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