Category Archives: Restaurants

Thanksgiving in LA

If your staying in LA for Thanksgiving and scrambling to put together a last minute dinner for family, or friends think about saving yourself the hassle. Who wants to me running through the aisles of Trader Joes at 8pm on Wednesday night? What about inviting your friends to a nice dinner out, where someone else can take care of the cooking and cleaning. Tart Restaurant nestled inside the iconic Farmer’s Daughter Hotel right across the street from The Farmers Market is hosting the ultimate care-free “Friendsgiving” feast.

PastedGraphic-1copy.143626 Tart’s executve chef Keith Shutta has put together 6 different items that you can choose from on Thanksgiving. One of our favorites was the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, including a Turkey Roulade with Gravy, Cornbread Stuffing, Candied yams, black-eyed peas, cranberry sauce and Tart’s Famous Biscuit.

Coming from a non-American background, my family has their own twist on all of the traditional holidays. It was my first time trying things like stuffing, candied yams,  and cranberry sauce. Tart executed an appropriate setting for the occasion, comparable to being invited to someone’s family dinner.  It allowed me to experience some exceptional American staples that I would probably never make on my own.
StirStyle.105226On the other hand, going out for Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you are obligated to have Turkey. The rest of the country will be filling the quota for you.  The second highlight was a non traditional T-day meal. The Tart Burger comes with Blue Cheese, Bacon, Carmelized onions, mustard aioli, and fries.  The patty was perfectly charred from the outside and balanced with the tartiness of the blue cheese and sweetness carmelized onions.  Not only do you get great company, awesome ambiance but you can never go wrong with a good burger.  Why step out of your comfort zone if you don’t have to?

The best part of the whole dinner is that you won’t be heading you home empty handed. Whats Thanksgiving without the leftovers! On your way out, don’t forget to order the “Moist- Maker” Turkey Sandwich.  This Gourmet Turkey Sandwich features cranberry sauce and stuffing on a baguette with a side of gravy inspired by Ross Gellers favorite sandwich.  Theres no way that you would have been able to make it better yourself.

If you are stuck with no plans, can’t find the proper ingredients, or just can’t be bothered whipping something up, head over to Tart and they will fix you up.

DSC_0003.105829

FarmersDaughterHotel-OutisdeViewNight2.132526

Sqirl

o-5 o-4 o-3 o-2IMG_3377 IMG_3374 IMG_3383IMG_3382IMG_3383Hip Restaurant and Coffee shops are a dime a dozen in LA.  The one thing that is lacking is a creative offering of organic, gluten free and dairy free options. Sqirl LA is everything that you hoped for from your neighborhood coffee place.  Sqirl is located off an eclectic and up and coming stretch of Virgil Ave among a plethora of Mom and Pop Shops and Mexican Churchs.  You may look around wondering if you are in the right place, but you won’t be able to miss it with the line wrapping around the block at peak hours, even on Sunday Morning before they open.  Don’t be turned off by the line, since it goes quickly.  The real pain is finding seating.

The Green Goddess Salad was decadent, I would just request the dressing on the side since it was a bit too heavy for me. The avocado toast was made to perfection with their amazing Crème fraîche and Zaatar sprinkled on top.  We also had the Horchata Latte which is almost as good as a Dirty Chai.  The Cinnamon flavor was perfect and was not sweet at all.

Other Items that have been suggested include: Sorrel Pesto Brown Rice Bowl, Ricotta Toast with Seasonal Jam, and the French Toast with Jam.

Sqirl LA 720 Virgil Ave #4 Los Angeles, CA 90029 (323) 284-8147

 

Coffee+Food

If your craving a flat white, a Tim Tam, or some Lemmingtons, you’ve come to the right place. This Australian owned gem is situated in the perfect location, right off Larchmont Village at the intersection of Melrose Ave and Larchmont.  While the coffee shops in LA are abundant, it is hard to be set apart from the rest.  They really strive to deliver the ultimate experience from their intense coffee to the endless deli containing wholesome options available for breakfast and lunch.

The only tip I will offer is to please try their Sticky Bun! It is the most divine treat you will ever have.  The sticky bun is covered in brown sugar with a caramel center that is oh, so gooey.

Coffee+Food Menu

Coffee+Food– 5630 Melrose Ave. LA, Ca 90038

Need a Weekend Getaway.. How about San Diego?

When you live in Los Angeles, you are basically already in paradise. In case you need to get away from the traffic, the noise and general hustle of each day try driving a little further south. San Diego is the perfect getaway for the sophisticated Angeleno, whether your trekking solo or taking the whole fam.  The pace slows down even more, if that is possible, and you are overcome with a peace that disconnects you from the rest of the world.

Where to Stay:

Porto Vista Hotel- Street View

Porto Vista Hotel is a no frills destination if you need a place to rest your head. This is the perfect hotel, centrally located in Little Italy, and gives you the opportunity to go out and explore what the city has to offer instead of feeling stuck in some fake resort world.

The Valet is quick to get your car and help with bags, directions, and anything else you need coming in or going out. The Lobby is adorned with vintage teak furniture that all comes together nicely in a retro vibe.
The ultimate perk of the hotel are breath-taking views of the port and the bay of the Pacific Ocean. There is a roof top terrace where you can enjoy a quite night in the perfect Southern California weather.

Where to Eat:

The Glass Door San Diego
The Glass Door San Diego

The Glass Door is on the top floor of the Porto Vista Hotel and has hightop tables that are perfect for a quite (and romantic) dinner as you overlook the harbor. Upon walking into the restaurant, you feel as though you are being transported to another country. The Food seals the deal and really does take you to another place. The cuisine was inspired by the taste of Moroccan and Ethiopian countries and everything was made to perfection.  My personal favorites for the evening were the Moroccan Spiced Scallops and The Short Rib.

If your looking for some good food while you are checking out the Gaslamp District, Barley Mash is an absolute must. Chef Jose shared that he loves to bring things from around the world and add a San Diego twist to the items offered.  Everything we had was incredible, but you have to try the Fish and Chips, which we were told was one of the more popular items from the Supper Menu. The El Chignon Mac n’ Cheese, San Diego Iron Fries, Surf N’ Turf Burger, and Tuna Poke were made to perfection!

Things to do:

We are not the ones to go to the Zoo or Sea World, but there are plenty of options if you are looking for some R&R. Here are my top picks:

Relax on the beach- When is this ever a bad thing. When you need to disconnect and unwind the Sea is so healing in so many ways.

Caves of La Jolla

Go Kayaking in the La Jolla Sea Caves– For the more adventurous souls, this is just a sight to be seen.

The San Diego Harbor at Night

Strolling along the San Diego Harbor-  We love the San Diego Harbor is great because its like walking through the History Channel as your walking through the Embarcadero.  It was the base headquarters for the US Navy before it was moved to Pearl Harbor just before World War II.  Now it houses the USS Midway Museum, while the San Diego Harbor does house many assets for the US Navy.  Its just cool.

Amazing Water in Coronado Island

Visit Coronado Island– Its a slim little peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego. You can take a ferry there, or there are some tours that take you there. Its a cute little town filled with cute shops, great beach, gardens and other sites to see.  There are no cars there, since its just a few blocks wide, but you can easily walk or rent a bike.