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

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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A Weekend Getaway to Joshua Tree

One of my favorite road trips is to Joshua Tree. It’s about 2.5 hours outside of Los Angeles and feels like it’s a world away. I rented a gorgeous AirBNB with huge outdoor area including a BBQ, jacuzzi, plunge pool, and a firepit.

We watched the Perseid Meteor Shower which was completely visible from the backyard. The most beautiful meteors and stars were visible by the naked eye!

A trip to Pioneertown was a given (meal at Pappy & Harriet’s pictured below!) – which included Baby Back Ribs and Cheese Fries. It’s nice to walk around Pioneertown while it’s still light out and to check out the little shops they have in town. I can’t wait to go back, especially when it’s not 100 degrees out!

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Osso DTLA

LA Weekly called Osso the best restaurant you aren’t eating at, and I couldn’t agree more. I stopped by yesterday for the second time, and it did not disappoint.

Located in the Arts District where the One Eyed Gypsy is located, it’s a nice hang for dinner or drinks. When you walk in there’s no host, or there hasn’t been the last two times I’ve been by which is a bit weird, so you seat yourself. The cocktails are delicious (I had a whiskey sour) .

MUST ORDERS: Sugar Snap Pea Salad. Couldn’t believe how good this was. Creamy thanks to a yogurt and dill dressing. We inhaled this dish. Live Diver Scallop. Served in the shell in kolhrabi, mandarinquat, and lemon basil. Absolutely divine. I have never had a scallop this fresh ever. Skilled Fried Chicken (not pictured), allow 45 minutes to order this deliciousness. Tagliatelle (not pictured) – house made pasta with meyer lemon and pistachios. So fresh and clean tasting.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Kusshi Oysters. Rye Brownie.

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The Bazaar by Jose Andres

DineLA had this new format for a number of high-end restaurants, $95/$100ish for a multi-course meal. CUT, Spago and Melisse and of course, The Bazaar were on the list. Expensive, yes. Worth it, COMPLETELY!

I did file a bit of a twitter complaint when they didn’t seat my party (of TWO!) for 35 minutes after our reservation. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a reservation? Anyways, after I told Jose via twitter (his response made my night!), the GM made up for it with free cocktails, truffles and a few (too many) extra plates. Service here is usually impeccable, but I think the new menu overwhelmed the staff.

The rest of the meal went out fairly well and within reason. I recommend coming here for the first time when it’s not DineLA. The meal will be likely around $100-$150 depending on your drinking habits.

MUST ORDERS: Olives, Oysters & Hibiscus, Fois Gras Soup, Croqueta de Pollo, Grilled Spanish Octopus, The Chocolate Cake of Your Dreams (in the shape of a heart!), Any Cocktail made with liquid nitrogen.

The wine pairing was forgettable.

It’s a dark restaurant, so apologies for the blurriness.