Sunday – November 5th 2017 – Dinner – Barbara Jean – Melrose District – Los Angeles, CA.

Barbara Jean is absolutely food for the soul, with its many takes on traditional Southern Cuisine, every bite has an extra punch, with very flavorful nuances.

Located in the fun, trendy fashion section of Melrose Ave. In the back patio of the Melrose Umbrella Co., lies a dim, wood-lined bar. The retractable roof makes for some sunshine in the day, or coziness in the evening. I was seated out on the patio, and although there was a hint of chilly breeze, the heat lamps really made for a comfortable and pleasant dining experience. My server Lindsay was knowledgeable and to the point about this thoroughly modern cuisine.

About Chef Jason Fulliove:

Jason Fullilove grew up in Ohio where he began his culinary career working in country clubs and restaurants. Recognizing his true passion, he relocated to New York where he studied at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Armed with a solid technical background he ventured out onto the New York restaurant scene. He earned the position of Head Restaurant Chef at Mangia, followed by Executive Sous Chef at Isabella’s. Longing to expand the depth of his culinary vision, he traveled to the Caribbean and served as the Chef de Cuisine at the illustrious Ritz Carlton on St. Thomas. At last he found himself in California with a list of accolades to his credit. Such endeavors include Chef de Cuisine for The Gorbals, Executive Chef at Da Vinci, stints at Malibu Pier, as well as a Catering Chef for The Patina Group, executive chef at elite restaurant Campanile and also at Patina Restaurant Group’s LACMA Café. He went on to become executive chef for the high profile reopening of Clifton’s Cafeteria.

On Feb. 24th – 2017 Barbara Jean began as a pop-up with Chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, he’s reviving many classics with a contemporary spin, like black-eyed pea bisque, charred okra, and saffron poached apples. He’s embracing his love for the farm to table philosophy, integrating modern cooking techniques such as charring and fermentation. Chef Jason Fullilove’s innovation uses ancient grains, limes, pumpkins, and a myriad of root vegetables, to act as a healthy conduit to his more Southern type recipes. Assuredly he will entice the palate with flavor combinations anyone has yet to even conceptualize.

This is a great “permanent brick-and-mortar” restaurant, Fullilove has found a home, where he’s doing his food on his terms. No more pop-ups, he doesn’t need a big blockbuster restaurant because he’s got the freedom to serve whatever he pleases at the 45-seat Barbara Jean. This means celebrating his African-American roots while simultaneously showcasing his formidable cooking skills.

Fullilove is a chef who still enjoys changing things up on the regular. He’s always tweaking his dinner and weekend brunch menus, based on the availability of “locally farmed, wild and foraged ingredients.”

Here’s what I tried:

Barbara Jean’s Signature Cocktails:

Melrose Mule: Vodka Lime, Blood Orange, Ginger, and Cinnamon Syrup. A pretty strong cocktail, but very refreshing all the same.

Midnight Market: Zaya Aged Rum, Lemon, Teeling’s Irish Whiskey, Watermelon, and Coconut La Croix. You feel like you are on a deserted island, filled with sunshine, the rum will make your forget all of your troubles.

Mezcall Me Banana: Mezcal or Tequila, Prickly Pea, Lime Grapefruit, Banana, Habanero Salt, and Charred Rosemary. For the margarita drinker this one will really make you fall in love, it hits all the rights notes.

These are the Wines I tried:

“Locations”, Red Blend – Merlot – Syrah – Petit Syrah.
Washington. This is a nice blend, and accompanied with the brisket it is a no-brainer.

“Locations”, White – Chardonnay – Northern California. This is a very buttery, creamy Chardonnay; it went well with the lobster in the Lobster Mac n Cheese.

What I tried from the To Start options:

Watercress Salad: grapefruit, avocado, bacon bits, endive, and tossed with grapefruit dressing. This is a very healthy refreshing salad. One that you, like me, will eat the whole thing. Truly delicious and a must have at Barbara Jean.

Deviled Pumpkin: sourdough, roast pumpkin, pomegranate, and ground chestnuts. This is a very filling menu item, and so fall, I just loved the colors.

Curry Fried Chicken, with Thai red chili aioli, and house made pickles. Something you only dream about, curry and fried chicken, what a concept. The visual on this is off the charts and once you get these darlings in your mouth you will know why Chef Jason Fullilove has this huge hit on his hands.

Heirloom Tomato & Fig: local heirloom tomatoes, mascarpone, fig vincotto, and tarragon. Truly a work of art, and the many nuances dance in your palate, of course the Mascarpone is the centerpiece.

Sides:

Hushpuppies, with truffle honey. Another worldly feat, done with such elegance, your taste buds will forever be in your debt.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, with apple chutney. These little gems are all the rage and Barbara Jean’s version does not disappoint. It’s health, meaty, its got all the bells and whistles and more.

Buttermilk Biscuits, with honey, butter, and seas salt. These biscuits are a big mystery, I know they are hard to make, a true Southern accomplishment. The butter and honey round out the goodness; if you’re not a Southern Bell these biscuits will make you be a convert.

What I tried off of the “From the Sea” choices:

Lobster Mac N’ Cheese, with Gremolata and sharp cheddar. A no-nonsense Lobster Mac n Cheese, you get lots of lobster and the cheesy bites will make you a Mac n Cheese lover for sure.

What I tried off the “From the Farm” options:

12 Hour Braised BBQ Brisket, with poached apples, natural jus, asparagus, carrots, and chestnuts. This is melt in your mouth brisket, and the accompaniment are bold yet delicate, with this great natural jus, simply amazing.

Dessert:

Hummingbird Cake, with banana, pineapple cake and cream cheese frosting. This cake is very light and fluffy, kind of like a carrot cake, but the dripping caramel makes for one fantastic dessert.

The atmosphere is like a speakeasy, but with an Americana flare. You almost feel like you could be in someone’s backyard, or their elegant patio, but very cozy and casual. Music enhances the vibe, with Amy Winehouse and Justin Timberlake playing loud enough to enjoy. In the South they use butcher paper on dining tables for a cookout, and Barbara Jean does the same homespun thing. Many frames without art in them adorn the walls, kind of a secret why they do this, but super creative.

Named after Jason Fullilove’s mother, Barbara Jean is really a great find! Every foodie in Los Angeles must come and enjoy this gastronomic experience. I’m really not the queen of all knowing when it comes to food, but this restaurant makes me proudly want to wear a crown. Come and enjoy the atmosphere, the food and libations, it will put you exactly where you want to be, heaven.

Barbara Jean
7465 Melrose Ave Los Angeles
323-951-0709
www.barbarajeanla.com
* Note some content was taken off of their website.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

October 29, 207 -Taste Talks – All-Star Cookout – Medusa Lounge Parking Lot

A sunny warm day in Los Angeles in October, the perfect day to raise a glass and eat some really scrumptious food. That is what Taste Talks had to present their foodie type attendees.

Here is what was offered:

Neighbor- Sichuan Cauliflower, Broken Shaker X The Exchange-Grilled Sweet Potato w/Chile and Almond Milk, Mexikosher- Watermelon and Chile Tostada, Bone Kettle- Garlic Herb-Crusted Lamb Loin, Cento Pasta Bar X Otoño- Sweet Corn Polenta, WOOD- Wood-Fired Meatballs, Kato Restaurant X Barbra Jean LA- “Surf and Turf” Smoked Pork &Pickled Shrimp, Delicious Pizza x Delicious Vinyl DJs- Delicious mini-slices, Secret Lasagna- Moo Ping Tacos with Jaew salsa, Dream Pops- Assorted Superfood Pops, Custom Cocktail- Broken Shaker Celery , Complementary Drinks- GA Bar: Beer or Wine.

Celebrity Chefs: Katherine Spiers / LA Weekly, Lara Rabinovitch,
Neuman / Google, Zach Patterson / Umbrella Hospitality Group, Erik Martirosyan / WOOD, Avner Levi / Cento Pasta Bar, Rick Ross / Delicious Pizza, Felipe & Ignacio Santiago // X’tios,Dina Samson / Rossoblu, Steve Samson / Rossoblu, Claire Herminjard / Mindful Meats, Erwin Tjahyadi / bone kettle, Teresa Montaño / Otoño, Jean Trinh / Freelance Writer, Heather Sperling / Botanica, Jeff Miller / Thrillist, Royce Burke / Secret Lasagna, Luke Reyes / La Hoja, Elise McDonough, Ryan DeNicola / chi SPACCA, Alex Pitts / Bazaar Meats, Jodi Liano / San Francisco Cookin, JeffThe420Chef, Antonio Diaz / Life & Thyme, Andrea Drummer / Elevation VIP C, Isa Fabro / Unit 120, Josh Elkin / Cooking Channel’s Sugar Showdown, Alex Chang / The Exchange, Gabriel Orta / Broken Shaker, Ellen Bennett / Hedley & Bennet, Jason Fullilove / Barbara Jean,Jonathan Yao / Kato Restaurant, Christian Page / Cassell’s Hambu, Nguyen Tran / Button Mash, Star, Michael Fiorelli / Love & Salt Claudette Wilkins, Katsuji Tanabe / Mexikosher, Nakul, Arjun and Pawan Mahend, and Curtis Stone / Gwen, Maude.

They had a VIP area on top of this event in a raised area, where the margaritas were flowing, and people were enjoying every last sip, including me. You were perched atop of all of this glorious smoke filled cook out.

The event organizer: Northside Media Inc., out of Brooklyn, is bringing their beloved Taste Talks food & drink festival to LA for the second year! Join us to celebrate the future of taste through a weekend of talks, tastings, dinners and parties. We’re bringing together LA’s amazing chefs, restaurants and cultural figures together to engage in great conversation, awesome food and one-of-a-kind experiences.

The event was filled with great food, lively foodies, beautiful Eastside types, enjoying their tastes and libations.

http://losangeles.tastetalks.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

East Side Food Festival – Sunday Oct. 22, 2017 – Mack Sennet Studios, Los Angeles, CA.

On a hot October day, lots of delicious Los Angeles Eastside food was to be had. Restaurants that were all part of this new creative force that belongs to the Eastside food scene in Los Angeles. Lots of tasty fare, thirst quenching cocktails and very friendly people.

What I like the most about this festival is that it is small and you really get to know the vendors. The studio itself is compact, there is an outside courtyard filled with vendors and an inside area as well. Living in Los Angeles we are known for our very wonderful ethnic cuisine, but there is no festival that features this kind of food. All walks of life and all ethnicities are required for a day of fun and merriment.

Here’s are the participants:

Button Mash, 
Cafe Birdie, 
Cosa Buona, 
El Cochinito, 
Fat Dragon, Frankie Lucy Bake Shop, Go Get Em, Tiger Guayaki, Hey Hey, Home State, Hot Hot Food, Jeff the 420 Chef, Jeni’s Ice Creams, Kettle Black Kevita, 
La Hoja, 
Little Beast, Melody, 
Mixed Company, Momed, Ohana Poke Company, Our/Los Angeles Vodka, RBTA, 
Red Herring
Sawyer, Starry Kitchen, Sweetfin, 
Tabula Rasa Bar, The Black Cat, Trois Familia, Ventura, We Have Noodles, Winsome, 
Wood, Gget, Amaro Angeleno Spirits, 
Angel City Brewing Co, Bar Angeles, and Lord Jones.

Some of my memorable food item were the delicious Green Noodle with Kale Broccoli, and fried shallots. Chili garlic Noodle with sous vide chicken, from We Have Noodle, Rice balls from Button Mash, Momeds Greek Meat Balls, with lamp & beef, spicy chermoula, toasted pine nuts, fresh pomegranate, feta, and soft herbs. Delicious Spicy Tuna, and Spicy Yuzu Salmon Poke from Sweet Fin, Frankie Lucy Bake Shop, pudding and cookies, Fat dragon, spicy dumplings, Trois Familia, Carrot Enchilada, Anchovy toast from Birdy, Little Beast, pork and bacon terrine corn bread with caramelized pineapple. Most of what I tasted was delicious, but some flavors just linger in your mouth for a very long time.

Events:

Exclusive VIP Wine Tasting with Eric Wareheim: 
Master of None actor Eric Wareheim brings Las Jaras Wines to the VIP hour 3pm-4pm. Snacky Tunes: 
Live podcast on the subject of siblings in the food and music industry feat. music from Tangerine and interview w/ HomeState. Cannabis Cooking 101 food demo: 
Learn the basics of cooking with Cannabis infusions, live! Alta California: Writer Bill Esparza hosts a panel talking to local Mexican Chefs on the modern Mexican cuisine movement ‘Alta California’. VIP Exclusives:
 VIP Early Happy Hour 3-4, VIP Tequila Lounge, Eric Wareheim Wine tasting, VIP Gift Bags.

Schedule: 
Woodshop Stage (in Mack Sennett Vendor Hall) 3:00pm – 4:00pm: Eric Wareheim offers tastes of his all new Las Jaras Wines
4:15pm – 5:00pm: Smart Mouth Podcast Q&A with LA Weekly Food Editor Katherine Spiers and a local chef
5:15pm – 6:00pm: Dope & Dank, a conversation with local brewers about bridging the diversity, dope culture and the dank world of craft beer. 
6:15pm – 6:45: Starry Kitchen Chef Q&A and Book Signing. Main Stage: Food Demos, Discussion Panels and Podcast Recordings – 4:00pm – 4:45pm: Alta California – A discussion with local Mexican chefs exploring the trend of the modern Mexican-Inspired California cuisine movement emerging from Los Angeles dubbed ‘Alta California’ cuisine
5:00pm – 5:45pm: Snacky Tunes: Live podcast recording featuring live music from Tangerine and an interview with the sisters behind HomeState Restaurant. 6:00pm – 6:45pm: Cannabis Cooking 101: will educate guests on ways to make a simple cannabis infused meal with quality culinary cannabis products.

Ongoing Events
VIP Lounge Exclusive: Topo Chico and Dulce Vida Tequila Tasting Raffle benefiting Path organization
CBD Massages in Cannabis Corner, Compliments of Loki Lotions.
Supportive Partners: Acme Real Estate, Mack Sennett Studios, Path, Making it Home Our/Los Angeles, Tabula Rasa, Bar Prismatics, Ventura Spirits, Dublab,
Angel City Brewery, Uber Eats, Topo Chico, and Dulce Vida Amaro Angeleno. Media Partners, Prohbtd RN
LA Weekly Do LA, Salt Wind Flood Magazine.

Benefiting: Path Organization.

A great event with everything you would want from a food festival. The perfect libation, with the most delicious exotic cuisine, what more could you ask for.

http://eastsidefoodfest.com
Mack Sennett Studios
1215 Bates Ave.
LA, CA 90029

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LA Weekly – Brunch at The Races – Santa Anita Park – October 15, 2017 – Arcadia, California

October has some really hot days and this was one of them. It’s quite a long walk from the parking lot to the field and then once you’re there, if you’re not wearing a hat you will sizzle. But for all of the effort the delicacies of food and drink are worth it.

This is a fun event at the races. Wether you play the ponies or don’t you will find all of the necessities of a great brunch right here at the track.

Who All Was There:

Hornitos, La Huesuda Tacos, Sanctuary Coffee, Petit Pot, Du-par’s, Barbara Jean, Health–Ade Kombucha, Food Forward, Fred 62, Angel City Brewery, Myke’s Café, Red Herring, Little Dom’s, Bru’s Wiffle, AR Cucina, Backyard Mary, Cacique, Poppy + Rose, Todo Verde, Otus, Mascarpone Cheesecake, Sweet & Savory, Monkey Bar, The Dudes’ Brewing Company, Momed, Tacos Sin Karma, Kobawoo House, Bai, Pez Cantina, Waffling Around, Napa Valley Grille, Cindy’s Eagle Rock Restaurant, Hubert’s, Mc Connell’s, Jones Coffee Roasters, Effen Vodka, Makers Mark.

My favorite dishes were, (some of the restaurants I did not catch their names) a lovely fish with a nice chili sauce on top, great croissant with a quail egg of top, biscuits and sausage gravy, Myke’s lemon curd pancakes, Du-Pars pancakes, Kobawoo House’s Belgium endive with white rice and marinated beef, Pez Cantina’s Pozole soup, which is a perfect way to enjoy pork. It is simmered with hominy in a broth seasoned with chiles, cumin, oregano and garlic, like chicken soup but Latin style. Momed’s hangover meatballs, with sweet dates in the sauce, super yummy.

The Bloody Mary’s that Effen Vodka was making in the VIP area were spicy, but fantastic. There was so much activity in that area, fun merriment, and people being happy drunks.

The majority of women were decked out wearing their Sundays finest to check out the races, kind of like you were watching Kentucky Derby. The hats were glorious, many colors with glamorous headpieces or fascinator. Some men were dressed to the nine as well, wearing colorful suits. It just seems like everyone was having a ball.

I ventured into the betting area and picked a few horses in the 4th race, no winners, but the best $12.00 I have ever spent! Exciting stuff.

https://brunchattheraces.laweekly.com/

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Electric Entertainment Presents – LBJ – Screening – September 26, 2017

This is a very ambitious project, one that will truly shine a light into a time that was holds very sad memories for those who remember where they were when JFK was shot. I was in kindergarten and home sick from school when my Mom came in the room and announced that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. This film for me brings back all of those raw emotions. Unlike many other films that have documented this horrific time in our countries history, I felt all of those raw emotions came back, and cried my eyes out.

About the Film, the cast, directors, producers, and some of the back story:

As LBJ reveals, Lyndon Johnson was a masterful behind-the-scenes negotiator who lacked the leading- man looks and charisma of his presidential predecessor. “Hopefully, this movie will enable people to see LBJ in a more human light,” Reiner says. As co-founder of numerous political action groups including American Foundation for Equal Rights, which sponsored the successful constitutional challenge to California’s gay-marriage ban, Reiner envisions LBJ as an opportunity to re-assess Johnson’s pragmatism while in office. “Now that I’m older, having spent a lot of time in politics, I’ve come to understand more about what it takes to get things done,” he says. “I now admire LBJ a lot more than I used to.”

Filming on LBJ began in September 2015 in New Orleans and moved quickly under Reiner’s famously fast-paced directing style. “Rob’s incredible,” says Harrelson. “You come in thinking you’ve got a full day of work ahead of you, and you’re out by lunch.” Harrelson praises director of photography Barry Markowitz for keeping up with the no-nonsense director. “Barry is the fastest lighter I’ve ever worked with,” says the actor. “He uses mostly natural light and he’s brilliant.”

On the eve of the 1960 presidential primaries, Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (Woody Harrelson), the most powerful Democrat in Washington, underestimates the political skill of Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan) and his shrewd campaign manager Bobby Kennedy (Michael Stahl- David). After losing the nomination to the telegenic junior senator, Johnson agrees to be Kennedy’s running mate, optimistic he can transform the vice presidency into a vital office. But when JFK wins the election, he and Bobby, the newly appointed attorney general, dismiss Johnson’s efforts to broker a compromise between Southern Democrat segregationists and the Administration over a groundbreaking Civil Rights Bill. Effectively sidelined and frustrated by his figurehead status, Johnson tells his closest advisors “My future is behind me.”

But everything changes on November 22, 1963, when Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas thrusts Johnson into the most powerful office in the world. While the nation mourns, President Johnson, with his devoted wife Lady Bird (Jennifer Jason Leigh) by his side, moves into the White House, re-igniting tensions with a grieving Bobby.

As Johnson tries to win over his predecessor’s formidable team of advisors, the first Southern President in a century faces a deeply divided country, torn between North and South, Democrat and Republican, black and white. With a lifetime of legislative experience and the future of his political life hanging in the balance, Johnson defies his longtime mentor, Georgia Senator Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins), and teams with Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough (Bill Pullman) to honor JFK’s legacy by championing passage of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.

LBJ is directed by Oscar® nominee Rob Reiner (A Few Good Men, When Harry Met Sally) and written by Joey Hartstone (Shock and Awe). The movie stars Emmy® winner and Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt, “True Detective”), Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield), Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Jeffrey Donovan (“Fargo,” “Burn Notice”), Bill Pullman (The Killer Inside Me, Independence Day) and Kim Allen (“Army Wives”).

In Theaters Nationwide – November 3, 2017

* Note some content was taken off of website.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Maxwell Dickson’s Purple Tie Affair Fundraising Event – Benefiting Stroke Awareness – Friday September 15.

The venue for this event was the Hotel Indigo in Downtown LA. I had never been to this hotel before but it’s very conveniently located. It’s only 2 blocks away from the Staples Center. The inside décor of the hotel was absolutely stunning with a modern chic and hip vibe. The event was held on the 18th floor. Once you stepped out of the elevator, after checking your ID with the security guard, you are welcomed by a stunning 360-degree-view of Downtown LA and the multiple freeways. The timing was perfect to witness the beautiful sunset.

The whole room was beautifully decked out with paintings of renowned music artists and athletes. There was a beautiful fireplace with super comfy couches and seats overlooking the spectacular views of the city. On top of that, a very nice bartender checked in with the attendees to make sure they were properly served.

At the other end of the room, there was the purple carpet area where interviews and photo ops were being held as the attendees arrived and checked in with the host. By the end of the night, the room was full of people dancing to the music of the DJ.

Overall, the venue location was a smart pick. By the time I left everyone seemed to be enjoying their Friday night out.

http://www.maxwelldickson.com
Contributing Columnist – Mariana Muela

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 15, 2017 – Charmaine Blake’s Annual Ultra Gold Celebrity and Media Gifting Suite – Beverly Hills, CA.

This year Charmaine Blake’s gift suite was another fabulous success. There were many celebrity sighting’s, and wonderful fashion, food, and libations. The location was another thing to be marveled at, up in the very ritzy part of Beverly Hills in a mansion, poolside.

Seemi Fashion brought with them their stylish line; guests were excited to view their line as it always brings wearable fabric, in such unique styles. No one left hungry with Pizza Crek featured its very yummy pizza creations. Ron gave me a gorgeous pair of sunglasses from Eye Dope that I simply adore. They are so big that they will black all of the sun out, and if I am in the mood for not putting make-up on they can hide my tired eyes with style. Some of our featured vendors were cosmetics Laser works, Tall Order Socks, Doms Distributions, Sexy Kitchen and Rockoco Films.

The Charmaine Blake event is never short to introduce a new product line to the guests. I am certainly looking forward to another Charmaine Blake’s Annual Ultra Gold Celebrity and Media Gifting Suites, event. They are always held two days prior to all Hollywood awards show. Everyone is so friendly and accommodating including the ever fun and glamorous Charmaine Blake, what an amazing event. Thanks Charmaine!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dinner – E.A.K Ramen – September 18, 2017 – Los Angeles, CA.

Housed in a fairly simple building in the trendy neighborhood of Melrose, is perhaps the best Ramen you will ever happen to stumble on. There are so many Ramen restaurants now in Los Angeles; it has become a real foodie phenomenon. What E.A.K. has that no other Ramen restaurant has, is truly delightful food, with many menu items and very friendly staff.

Info about Ramen and E.A.K. Style Ramen:

What is IEKEI?

IKEI is a style of Ramen that is marriage between Tonkotsu style from the West (Kyushu) and Shoyu style from the East (Tokyo). It is a very distinct thick broth, which is a mixture of chicken and pork, topping of spinach instead of green onions; with chashu, a large piece of nori, aji-tama egg, and the noodles are thick, bold and straight.

The Story

E.A.K. Ramen was born from their philosophy of wanting to spread IEKEI style of ramen to the world. In Japan, they are known as Machida Shoten as well as many other names within the IEKEI style of ramen world. They have direct outlets as well as franchises that cover a large part of Japan that add up to roughly 400 stores. Internationally, they have presences in Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines, Italy, China and Thailand.

However, after capturing a major portion of the Japanese IEKEI market, they decided that it was about time to cross the ocean and make their mark in the US market. Up until now, the US has been introduced to a limited amount of Ramen styles and some stores did try to make an IEKEI style but fell short. They saw an opportunity to spread the wonderful IEKEI style of Ramen and branded their style as E-A-K for the phonetic pronunciation of IEKEI style.

In their broth they use only natural chicken and pork bones and they take 18 hours of love and care to prep, boil, cook, stir, and perfect the broth. Their noodles are custom made for E.A.K., using their distinct formula that no one else uses. It is thick, bold and straight. Their tare recipe is known only by the owner himself; and is a close kept secret to keep their flavor from changing.

Here is what I tried:

Appetizers:

Garlic Edamame, with garlic aioli sauce and anchovies. These are perfect, they melt in your mouth, with a nice fragrance of garlic aioli sauce.

Takoyaki, savory round octopus pancake with a sweet and spicy sauce. These are something you just can’t describe, they are crispy on the outside and soft melty on the inside, just remarkable.

Karaage fried chicken, with lightly salted crispy fried chicken thighs served with sauce of your choice: ponzu sauce, sweet chili, curry, honey mustard, spicy garlic, and homemade tartar. You can try these with their dipping sauces but the seasoning is so great, I loved these little nuggets just on their own with no sauce.

Homemade Cucumber Kimchi, spicy pickled cucumber kimchi. Truly delicious but get ready for the kick, because these are very spicy.

DIY spicy salmon & avocado hand rolls, wrap your own, great for sharing with side of nori and lettuce. This is quite the creative idea and it really works. You get to do all of the work yourself and the payoff is fantastic.

Homemade ginger gyoza, with homemade grilled dumplings filled with seasoned pork, chives and ginger. They flip over these pot stickers in the pan, so you’re left with a yummy film that is the pan sauce, sweet and delectable!

Salads:

Superfood salad, with baby kale, spinach, seaweed, hijiki, cucumber, and shoyu based onion dressing. This is my kind of salad, it’s super fresh and healthy, the dressing is just fantastic. The little bits of seaweed on top are my highlight. This is the kind of salad you can order and eat every day and feel great about this healthy choice.

Rice:

E.A.K. fried rice, with pork-fried rice served table side in a piping hot iron skillet. This is such an interesting presentation. They use an iron pan which they serve the rice in the middle, done table side, then they pour an egg on the outskirts and scramble it right on front of you. It makes for one wonderful fried rice dish.

Oyako Mini Bowl, with chicken and egg marinated in soy sauce, mirin and dashi with radish sprouts on rice. This bowl is very tasty and the price is incredible.

Ramen:

The Original The E.A.K. shoyu, with Pork and chicken broth, pork chashu, seasoned egg, spinach, nori. You can see why E.A.K. is so special, this Ramen is super rich with great meaty flavors, and it really hits the spot.

Seasonal Specials:

Tan Tan Men, spicy yet refreshing. This Ramen is served cold and is vegetarian. Once again, this is a dish that you could eat every day and not have one ounce of guilt from the simple pleasure of good smart eating.

Drinks:

Beer:

Kirin – pale – Japan, super refreshing and very light, perfect with the Ramen.

Sapporo – pale – Japan, wonderful and very drinkable, it works perfectly with anything that has a little kick.

Cocktails:

Very Berry Soju with strawberry ice and strawberry puree, soda, and soju. This drink is more like a smoothie but with a nice Soju kick, it is super fun and delicious.

Green Apple Pen with green apple, soda, soju, and lime. It is very reminiscent of an apple martini, but done with Soju. I would highly recommend this over-the-top cocktail.

Sake:

Makiri sake (Premium), Takenotsuyu, Kurosawa nigori, Un-filtered, Semi-Dry, Mio Sparkling Sake.

Each Sake was recommended to me by the lovely Meadow, she selected each and every one of them, she did a great job. They were all different, each with a complete great characteristic. My favorite was the Makiri, it went down super easy and has some nice floral nuances.

This is Ramen at its best and all of the other menu items will make you never go anywhere else for your weekly Ramen fix. There are other Ramen places that have great accolades but E.A.K. is just the best of the best. Their prices are extremely affordable, and there are so many menu options. From big huge Ramen bowls to tapas style smaller dishes that will leave you completely satisfied. My vote, next time you’re in the mood for Ramen try E.A.K.

E.A.K. Ramen
7455 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
http://eakramen.com/

* Note some content was taken from their website.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Black Rabbit Rose/Crying Tiger – Dinner – Sept. 14, 2018 – Hollywood, CA.

When you walk in the door you are taken back to a speakeasy type of environment. There is the lounge and then the showroom; where they have shows nightly. I did not see a show so I can’t comment on that event, but what I can talk about is the food. This is truly great Thai food at its beat.

The building itself was a very hot spot in the 50’s and 60’s, with, lots of young actors and Hollywood types. In the 1994 earthquake the building sustained a lot of damage an it was retrofitted a few years after that.

My lovely bartender Sandra is very talented, she handles the cocktail shakers like she is doing a juggling act. She is also a yoga instructor, so no acting for her, which is what you would think everyone here is doing as well as working at this very hipster establishment. She said that everyone has seen signs of ghosts here, Sandra saw glasses flying off of their shelves in the bar area once or twice. She said she had also heard of a couple of murders that happened in the building and that Marilyn Monroe once lived there. In any event Black Rabbit Rose is a very colorful place.

Here’s What I Tried:

Cocktails:

The Freddy Naf Rye Whiskey, with tamarino, Angsitura bitters, and flamed lemon peel.

Dove Tail Irish whiskey, with scotch, cassis, lemon, and egg white.

Dark Arts, with lemongrass vodka, lime, aloe, and activated charcoal.

Zig Zag Lady, with house-blended rum, black currant juice, lime, ginger and mango candy.

Each drink that I tried was hand crafted and made to perfection. The bar is truly a fun scene and the bartender Sandra made all of her magic creations look so easy.

Food:

Wok Tasted Nuts, with cashews, peanuts, sea salt, green onion, Serrano peppers, and bell pepper. A great way to munch your way to the appetizers that will be coming out.

Pola’s Egg Rolls, with ground pork, bean sprouts, shitake, cilantro, carrots, bamboo shots, and glass noodles. These are wonderful eggrolls, crispy and perfect.

Papaya Salad, carrots, tomatoes, green beans, garlic, tamarind, lime, peanut, shrimp. This is a big refreshing version of this Thai staple.

Lettuce Cups, with grilled shitake, fried tofu, water chestnuts, eggplant, onion, edamame, carrot, topped with crispy noodles. I just loved these cups, they have everything you would expect and want.

Shui Mai Dumplings, ground chicken, water chestnuts, onion, shitake, garlic, white pepper, cilantro, egg, served with house made soy sauce. The outside is soft and silky and the inside is packed with flavor.

Salt & Pepper Popcorn Shrimp, with fresh black pepper, white pepper, Serrano peppers, chopped cilantro, served with spicy seafood aioli. This dish is one of their many showstoppers, just fantastic.

Tamarind Orange Chicken, with karake chicken glazed with spicy tangy tamarino, cilantro and dried chili. You must order this amazing dish when you come to Black Rabbit Rose.

Drunken Noodles, Flat noodle, red bell peppers, onions, garlic, Thai chili, tomato, sweet basil, mushroom, with beef. This is a great version of this always-delicious dish.

Tiger Fried Rice, with crabmeat, Chinese sausage, egg, edamame, onion, green onion, and cilantro. The crabmeat and sausage is what makes this rice so special.

Pad Thai, with thin rice noodles, chicken, tofu, bean sprouts, green onion, tamarind sauce, lime, crushed peanuts, with chicken. This Pad Thai has just the right amount of flavors to make it spectacular.

The interior is very Victorian, with original brick walls exposed, old time double fans that are attached together by one cord. There are old scratched mirrors with very authentic banquets, a bar that seats 7, with lots of regulars and show goers. You will marvel at the interior, and they will tell you about the haunted myths, but really come here for the food, you will not be disappointed.

I met Nathan sitting next to me at the bar; he was the manager at Butchers and Barbers, so he knows a lot about the past history of Black Rabbit Rose.

My lovely host Fern Kaewtathip Chef and owner, was so gracious to invite me for this amazing foodies dream, everything I tried was just spectacular, and the vibe is just so fun, a true find in this hipster neighborhood.

Black Rabbit Rose/Crying Tiger
1721 N. Hudson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA. 90028
www.blackrabbitrose.com

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hold on to Your Hats LA Weekly’s Brunch at The Races is Coming

Sunday Oct. 15, 2017 be ready for one of the most fun days of your life.

Brunch at The Races has ever thing you would ever want from a Sunday afternoon in Southern California.

Enjoy samples of over 30 of the best brunch spots in Los Angeles.

You can buy tickets the day of or go to their website and buy online.

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Santa Anita Park

https://brunchattheraces.laweekly.com/

I will see you there!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment