Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sound Bites 7.0: SugarFISH @ DTLA

If you're tired of hearing how great the new sugarFISH in downtown LA is, well too bad.  What I can do is keep it short and sweet.

Earlier this month, HC and I were invited by their PR to try The Nozawa, one of three Trust Me's (prix-fixe menus) offered.  Lele Massimi, co-owner of sugarFISH, took the time to sit down and give us some restaurant facts and menu recommendations.

It was the first time I had ever had warm rice in my sushi and I have to say it's going to be a difficult to go back to cold.  And I loved all their housemade ponzu sauces (original, yuzu, chili).

  • Salmon Sushi - okay, so it's one of my favorite types of sushi and I never go to a sushi restaurant without ordering at least 2 pieces if not more, but I've never had it with a sesame topping.  It really added to the already buttery flavor
    Photo by The Minty
  • Toro Hand Roll - I had heard that I wouldn't have time to stop and take a picture, but I didn't know I had about a minute before the entire hand roll would get soggy.  Before I had this hand roll, I didn't even know seaweed could be that crunchy.  The first bite was a crispy, buttery wave of flavor. 
    Photo via Harb Knock Life
  • Uni Sushi - really fresh 
    Photo via Harb Knock Life
  • Halibut Fin Sashimi - light and refreshing
Because we had to eat the sushi so fast (or else the delectable, warm rice will fall apart) I kind of wished the pairs of sushi came out one plate at a time, so I could better savor it.  The best solution is probably to split a Trust Me, like HC mentioned, and then order a la carte. 

It's rare to find a sushi restaurant that serves such high quality fish at sugarFISH's price point.  I've been craving their sushi since the day after our dinner there.  I can't wait to return.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sound Bites 6.0: Momfuku Milk Bar @ Manhattan, NY

I had to come here after hearing so much about it.  We picked up our snacks and ordered a few cocktails from the bar and enjoyed them on the mezzanine floor of Chambers hotel

What I tried:
  • Blueberry & Cream Cookie - which was my favorite out of all the sweets I tasted.  It was deliciously moist and just like having a blueberry muffin in the form of a cookie.  Plus it was still good even after a few days! (OK, I admit it, I saved this cookie for last because I already knew it was good since Kung Food Panda brought one back for me when he went to NY).  A recipe for these delectable cookies can be found here.
  • Photo by Momofuku for 2
  • Compost Cookie - aptly named seeing as it contained pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, chocolate chips.  My friend loved these cookies, so I tried it.  It was just too much for me.  I could taste a lot of the ingredients, but too much of a good thing isn't always good for my taste buds.
  • Crack Pie - one of their most talked about pastries.  I took one bite and my tongue was overwhelmed by sugar.  It was too sweet for me.  I could envision my dentist asking about my new cavities.  A recipe for this compressed sugar in a pie can be found here

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Picks from Stereogum’s 50 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2011

Photo via The Village Voice
Ok, I know Cake isn't even on the top 50 list, but I'm really excited because they haven't released a new album in 7 years!  

Here are the other bands off Stereogum's list that excite me:  

  • 02 Fiona Apple – TBA

  • 09 Cut CopyZonoscope (2/08 via Modular)

  • 10 Death Cab For Cutie – TBA (via Atlantic)

  • 13 Dr. DreDetox (February via Aftermath/Interscope)

  • 15 Foo Fighters – TBA

  • 18 Iron & WineKiss Each Other Clean (1/25 via Warner Bros.)

  • 21 Lady GagaBorn This Way (Interscope) - I've been a fan ever since I heard Bad Romance at a gay birthday party (really, all the guys were gay and knew all the lyrics to her song.  To this day, I have never seen so many well-dressed, attractive men all in one room) and on Glee.

  • 22 Lykke LiWounded Rhymes (3/1 via LL Recordings)

  • 35 Radiohead – TBA (via Teh Internetz)

  • 37 The Rome (Danger Mouse & Daniele Lupi) – The Rome

  • 38 Santigold – TBA - great first album.  Can't wait to hear more from her

  • 39 The Shins – TBA

  • 43 The Strokes – TBA - I'm hoping they incorporate some of Julian Casablancas' sound

  • 48 Kanye West & Jay-ZWatch The Throne (via Def Jam)

  • Akron/Family – S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT (2/8 via Dead Oceans)
  • Beck – TBA
  • Cake – Showroom Of Compassion (1/11 via Upbeat)
  • The Get Up Kids – There Are Rules (via Quality Hill Records)
  • Gorillaz – TBA
  • Jane’s Addiction – TBA

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sound Bites 5.0: Osteria La Buca @ Mid-City LA

I first heard of Osteria La Buca when I read about the co-owner's mother leaving to start up Osteria Mamma.  I've driven by Osteria La Buca so many times and finally got the chance to try the food when I was invited by HC and Dan Cox last month when the restaurant was painted pink to promote National Breast Cancer Awareness. 
An electric motorcycle is used to make food deliveries. (Photo by Julie Wolfson via LAist)

My Favorites:
  • Pink Italian Rose Sangria - light and refreshing cocktail
  • Burrata, Prosciutto, Heirloom Tomatoes - I couldn't stop eating the tomatoes and who doesn't like prosciutto? 
  • Garlic Roasted Kale, Tomato, Fig Flat Bread Pizza - the kale was so tasty, I wish each slice had more of it.  The fig was a sweet surprise
  • Osso Buco Risotto - is a lot for one person to eat, but great for sharing family style
  • Tiramisu - was surprisingly light and I adored the topping design
    Photo by Jennio

Dishing Up Delights
Green LA Girl
Hungry Hungry Hanh

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sound Bites 4.0: Magnolia Bakery, Hatfield's @ Mid-City LA

Magnolia Bakery
I can't believe how fast Caroline on Crack  and BrandX wrote about the Magnolia Bakery preview.  They posted the very next day!  I, on the other hand, am very behind.  Check out Caroline on Crack's post for details about the cupcake and prosecco party and BrandX for some great photos

I was unaware of the free valet for the event, so I ended up parking a few blocks away.  I'm not sure if valet will always be free, but it should be available.  And if you'd prefer to just make a quick stop, there will be curbside pickup

HC and I felt like kids in a cupcake shop (to quote Caroline on Crack) when we were told we could try anything on display. 
HC's overwhelmed by sweet choices. 
Love the idea of cupcakes in an egg carton.
(Paying tribute to HC's new love of collages on his blog)
Some of what we tried:
  • Banana pudding - it was fluffy and ice cream-like, minus the ice
  • Brownie bites
  • S'mores cupcake 
  • Double crust apple pie - which is one of my favorite kinds of pies and the crust on this one was amazing
  • Lemon cornmeal shortbread
  • Pumpkin cupcake
  • The classic ice box cake 
My favorites:
  • Blueberry Jamboree ice box pie - not overbearingly sweet or heavy
  • Red velvet with a chocolate cookie crust mini cheesecake - having red velvet in cheesecake form WITH a chocolate crust just blew my mind with deliciousness
What I took home (Sidenote:  I only asked for the cookies and red velvet, but they were so nice when they offered to include the other desserts that I just couldn't turn them down!):
  • Chocolate chunk cookie
  • Oatmeal cookie
  • Pumpkin pecan with gingersnap crust mini cheesecake
  • Red velvet mini cheesecake - it was my favorite! I couldn't resist having another piece
  • Double crust apple pie 
  • Vanilla cupcake and chocolate cupcake - included in a lovely pastel green eco-friendly goody bag (also sold in-store).  I only had a chance to take a bite of the rich dark chocolate
What I have to go back and try:
  • White chocolate macadamia mini cheesecake - I wanted to try this so badly because it's my favorite type of cookie, but I felt guilty after having so many sweets
  • Snickers ice box pie - I was told this was delicious

After having sweets for dinner, we met up with Caroline on Crack and John, so HC could their Manhattan a second shot.  I had a Ginger Grant, which was refreshing.  I have to rave about how fantastic the popcorn at the bar is.  I went through 2 bowls, leaving HC with hardly any. 

Popcorn + Ginger Grant
Photo by HC