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

img_7728

img_7747

img_7739-1

Save

Advertisements

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

Save

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.

img_1489img_1488img_1490img_1487

Birch – Hollywood, CA

It’s been a long while since I had a meal at a new restaurant and was blown away. That day finally came when I tried Birch during DineLA. First off, the deal was incredible, whether or not the food was good. 3 entrees + a cocktail or glass of wine for $39. I easily would’ve done this if it were $49 or even $59, as DineLA menus rarely include wine or cocktails.

Highlights: anything with Curry, Chicken Live & Fois Gras, Salmon, and cocktails (I ordered the #7, not pictured.)

IMG_2465IMG_2468IMG_2471IMG_2478IMG_2481

Underbelly get in my belly.

On my recent trip to San Diego, I tried a hip ramen spot in North Park, Underbelly. Might I add that after all these years going to San Diego I finally understand why North Park is called North Park. Duh.

Underbelly is a cute little (big) joint, with tons of seating and fireplaces for when it gets chilly. I ordered the Kimchi Pickles and the Tonkotsu Ramen (with two eggs). They take more of an Americanized take on their dishes, so the Kimchi Pickles weren’t over the top spiced or anything, but still pretty good. The Tonkotsu Ramen actually tasted a bit more on the healthier side – which made me wonder about the broth. Usually you “know” you’re eating some super unhealthy ramen when you’re in Little Tokyo in LA, but this didn’t have that overly fatty taste. I’d definitely try it again, as they have meatier options such as “Belly of the Beast” that has oxtail, brisket AND short rib in it.

IMG_1928IMG_1932

Stir Market

Stir Market is a new little Joan’s on Third-esque eatery. It’s partially a food shop(pe) and also a restaurant/wine bar.

I had the Moroccan Baked Eggs (merguez sausage, organic eggs, tomatoes, chickpeas, peppers, with grilled bread) and a soy latte (Intelligentsia Coffee). The dish was delicious and hearty – perfect for a cold day. As someone who doesn’t eat a ton of meat I could’ve done without the sausage since I only took two bites. Perhaps I’ll request it without next time. The space has high ceilings and is very inviting. It wasn’t too crowded on the Friday morning I stopped by but I imagine it being quite popular on the weekends. An outdoor patio is located out front and they are dog friendly.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/044/24867705/files/2015/01/img_6785.jpg

Snooze San Diego

I’ve heard about Snooze in San Diego a few times before. I’ve also heard about how the brunch wait is Portland-Style long, but I still obliged this weekend after hearing and reading rave reviews.

Our name was put on the list around 11 AM – and we were told an hour wait. An hour came and went but we were taking full advantage of their mimosas, bloody marys and other various brunch beverages which helped keep us from collapsing onto someone else’s pancakes.

Finally we were sat before 12:45 PM and we ordered bacon (I didn’t have any bc of my juice cleanse prep), the Benny Goodman (Lox style salmon and cream cheese served over toasted rye and topped with poached cage free eggs, cream cheese hollandaise blended with sun dried tomato and caper relish), and a pancake flight. The pancake flight consisted of the special of the day which had molasses and pumpkin (and possibly crack), sweet potato, and a pineapple upside down pancake. All were INCREDIBLE and worth the long wait. Or was I just that hungry?!

After reviewing my photos it was definitely delicious regardless of my hangry level. 🙂

20141110-064121-24081992.jpg

20141110-064121-24081180.jpg

20141110-064122-24082723.jpg