Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Daily Grill

A few months ago while dining at Boho, Tony from SinoSoul informed us that the best burger in LA was not from one of the hundreds of burger shops popping up all over town, but instead from national chain, The Daily Grill. I was kind of shocked. It had been nine years since I last visited Daily Grill (when I worked at E! and my new boss took me out to lunch to get to know me). At the time, I remember it being fine, but nothing to write home about. I was recently invited to try the famed burger and I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

The thing about the Daily Grill is that it is typical American food, and yes, it is is a chain, but they seem to do it well, hence the popularity. To whet our appetites, we began with the popcorn shrimp. I'm not a huge fan of popcorn shrimp in general because there always seems to be too much breading with a tiny little shrimp inside, but these were lightly breaded and the shrimp were nice and plump.

Popcorn Shrimp at Daily Grill

My cheeseburger came out perfectly medium-rare and was clearly huge. Half of it was more than enough food for the evening. Daily Grill grinds their own beef in each of their locations twice a day in order to achieve optimum burger satisfaction. This attention to detail really shows and I love that the restaurant is so proud of their creation. The should be.

Cheeseburger at Daily Grill

Though I was stuffed, we had to order dessert. The apple and blueberry crumble had a great combo of sweet and tart with the gentle heat of cinnamon. If I wasn't so full, I would have had more than a few bites, but the few that I got in were delicious.

Apple and Blueberry Crumble at Daily Grill

Despite the insane traffic getting to Studio City on a random Wednesday night, I really enjoyed my Daily Grill experience. I hope to make it more than once every nine years and lucky for my east coast friends, this chain is nationwide!

*All food and drinks were comped. Opinions are my own.

Daily Grill
Various Locations throughout the country

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Monday, August 29, 2011

LudoBites 7.0

At 4:02pm on July 14th, I realized that the reservation line (via OpenTable) was open for LudoBites 7.0. I clicked on the website and picked a random day and time only to be informed that the day was not available. I clicked on several more days only to find they were all unavailable. I logged in to Twitter and saw many people with the same results. The entire six week run of the pop-up sold out in THIRTY SECONDS. Luckily, I have friends (Marion Campbell Kammer) with faster fingers than me, so a few minutes later, I was informed that we scored a table for August 26th at 9pm. WINNING!! 

LudoBites 7.0

For those not familiar, LudoBites is a traveling pop-up restaurant that originated in LA. This past winter, chef Ludo Lefebvre took his concept on the road and filmed a Sundance Channel show called LudoBites America. Many of the dishes on the current menu reflected Ludo's recent travels. With my bottle of Clos du Tue-Boeuf Cheverny (Thanks Jill) in hand, I made my way to Gram & Papas in downtown LA for our dining adventure.

We wanted to try everything on the menu and still have everyone taste everything. For us, it meant we had two orders (and sometimes three) of everything on the menu. First up was the Bouillabaise Milkshake ($10). The first sip is kind of shocking because of the frozen, fishy nature of the soup. But it got better with subsequent sips.

Bouillabaise Milkshake

The Onion Tart with Bottarga ($10) has a light crisp crust and tons of sweet caramelized onions. The bottarga added a nice salty contrast to the sweet onions.

Onion Tart, Bottarga

Jamaican Fried Chicken ($10) comes with latex gloves to alleviate the mess. They're pan fried and full of flavor. We ended up getting an extra order of these because they were so good.

Jamaican Fried Chicken

Raw Beef, Rainbow carrots, Shallots, Red Wine Mayo ($15). I loved the fresh flavors in this dish and I especially enjoyed the mustard-y mayo under the beef.

Raw Beed, Rainbow carrots, Shallots, Red Wne Mayo

Squid, Ash Chorizo ($12). This was one of our early favorites. The squid is perfectly cooked and the ash lent a hint of saltiness. This was also the dish that you had to be careful eating because that black ink stains!!

Squid, Ash, Chorizo

Prawn & Scallop Ceviche, Aji Amarillo, Red Berries ($28). Bright and fresh (unlike the picture). Berries are at their peak and added a nice contrast to the citrus in the marinade. There is also a slight spice from the jalapenos and nice crunch from the corn nuts that were the garnish.

Prawn & Scallop Ceviche, Aji Amarillo, Red Berries

Pig's Head Compressed and Cheddar, Barbeque Gelee ($14). I was really excited about this dish and with good reason. I think it was influenced by Ludo's trip to Raleigh, NC where he sampled various barbeque restaurants. The pig's face was not too fatty and nicely salty and paired well with the cheddar sauce and barbeque gelee.

Pig's Head Compressed and Cheddar, Barbeque Gelee

Salt Cod Panna Cotta, Whipped Fingerling Potato, Smoked Tapioca ($12) was unlike any panna cotta I have ever eaten. It was so light and not gelatinous at all. Kind of like eating salt cod flavored whipped cream. The smoked tapioca was perfectly chewy and the crispy croutons were great for cutting through the creaminess.

Salt Cod Panna Cotta, Whipped Fingerling Potato, Smoked Tapioca

Egg, Sea Urchin, Caviar, Champagne Beurre Blanc ($18) had a texture similar to the savory oatmeal I had last year at the now shuttered Bistro LQ. It was creamy and rich, but not overly heavy.

Egg, Sea Urchin, Caviar, Champagne Beurre Blanc

Plancha Tandoori Octopus, Yogurt, Cauliflower, Grapefruit ($18) was incredible. I have never had octopus that tender and melt in your mouth. Their is a punch from the tandoori spices and the thinly shaved cauliflower provided a subtle crunch.

Plancha Tandoori Octopus, Yogurt, Cauliflower, Grapefruit

Foie Gras "French Dim Sum", Crispy Kimchi, Black Truffle Cream ($28) was basically Foie Gras pasta with wonton wrappers as the pasta. It was rich and creamy and so smooth. If the kimchi was in there, I didn't taste it much, but I really didn't mind with the rich flavors of the pasta.

Foie Gras "French Dim Sum", Crispy Kimchi, Black Truffle Cream

Salt Crust Pork Shoulder, Guiness Sabayon, Imaginary Charcroute, Green Cabbage, Curry ($25). Unfortunately this was the least favorite dish of the evening with some people thinking the pork was undercooked (I don't mind a little pinkness)

Salt Crust Pork Shoulder, Guiness Sabayon, Imaginary Choucroute, Green Cabbage, Curry

Duck, Cherry, Spicy Saucisse, Beets, Radish ($22). This was phenomenal. The duck was perfectly cooked and the cherry sauce was a great pairing. The spicy saucisse had a nice crust on the outside and the sweet beets were fresh and crunchy and great with the sweet and tart sauce.

Duck, Cherry, Spicy Saucisse, Beets, Radish

Epoisse Cheese Risotto, Hazelnut, Egg Yolk, Herb Salad ($18). Our last savory dish just happened to be my favorite. Epoisse is commonly known as the "stinky" cheese, but there was nothing stinky about this dish. This was the best risotto I have ever had. It was creamy and nutty and had crunch from the hazelnuts. The egg made it even more rich, but the herb salad made it feel fresh. Even though I was sharing with three other people, I know I consumed the lion's share of this dish. I probably would have ordered an extra one, but we still had desserts to tackle.

Epoisse Cheese Risotto, Hazelnut, Egg Yolk, Herb Salad

Lavender Tropezienne Tart, Aloe Vera, Strawberry ($10). The previous weeks of LudoBites had a crust-less lemon tart. Many simple seemed to miss the contrast of crust with the tart lemon filling so I guess this was the replacement. It was fine and of course I love lemon lavender and lemon, but I thought this was a little bland.

Lavender Tropezienne Tart, Aloe Vera, Strawberry

I'm very particular about the combination of chocolate and fruit. Pretty much the only one I approve of is chocolate and strawberry so the Chocolate Cake, Chipotle, Orange ($12) was not my favorite, but I did appreciate the richness of the chocolate cake and spiciness of chipotle. One of my favorite things about Ludo's desserts is that they aren't aggressively sweet and this was a perfect example of that.

Chocolate Cake, Chipotle, Orange

As a gift from the chef, we were treated to a bacon Creme Brulee. Creme brulee is my all time favorite dessert and this was a treat! It was salty and and sweet and the bruleed sugar topping was perfectly crunchy. Despite my fullness, I finished the entire thing and it was the most perfect way to end the evening.

Bacon Creme Brulee

Ludo's food is always fun and exciting and I'm terribly lucky to have experienced it again after my first time last year. This run goes through September 10th and while it's still sold out, there are always last minute cancellations which you can keep track of via Krissy's Twitter feed. I can't wait to see what Ludo comes up with next!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Black Bean and Quinoa Cakes

Black Bean and Quinoa Cakes

One of the most popular posts on my blog is not some insanely decadent dessert, but rather the relatively healthy quinoa cakes I made a couple of years ago. After my gluttonous weekend in the Bay Area, I was looking for something fresh and easy. These cakes are full of vegetables, but the black beans help keep them hearty enough for a meal. I added some spices for warmth and the saffron yogurt to cool your mouth and added tang. The cake mix can be prepared up to a day in advance so you can cook them whenever you want. They also make a great party appetizer.

Black Bean and Quinoa Cakes

Black Bean and Quinoa Cakes
(By Esi)

Makes about 12 2-inch cakes

1 cup (1/2 cup dry) cooked and cooled quinoa
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, grated
3/4 cup coarsely grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)
1 cup finely chopped spinach (you can use frozen, but make sure it is drained extremely well)
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs or panko
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
1 egg
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Saffron yogurt for serving (optional)

In a large bowl, mash about half of the black beans and leave the rest whole. Add the quinoa, garlic, carrot, spinach, breadcrumbs or panko, red pepper flakes, Aleppo, cumin, and salt. Mix well until everything is combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add the egg and mix well.

Line a pan with wax paper, parchment paper, or foil. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the mixture. Form into a cake, about 2-inches in diameter and 1-inch thick. Place each cake on the pan and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cook the cakes for about 2 minutes on each side or until they are lightly browned. Serve warm with the yogurt on the side for dipping. 

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Bay Area Weekend

My mom is leaving for the Peace Corps today. The how and why are extensive, but you can read more about it here. The last few months have been a whirlwind of packing, getting affairs in order, and preparing to live in Namibia for the next two years. Last weekend I got to spend a few precious days with her in the Bay Area before she left town to say goodbye to friends and family on the other side of the country. I was not quite prepared to eat as much as we did:

With a few hours to kill and a desire to not have to deal with the traffic getting to the Outside Lands Festival, my sister and I decided to explore the "charming" town of South San Francisco. There really isn't much besides the main drag. On it there are various pizza places, grocery stores, and more nail salons than probably people that live there. We decided to stop for appetizers at Ben Tre. We both ordered the Cha Gio (Crispy Imperial Egg Rolls) that were stuffed with ground pork, carrot, taro, onion, and mushrooms. It was just enough food to power us until the party.

Cha Gio (Crispy Imperial Egg Rolls) at Ben Tre

We danced the night away on Saturday night. In order to make up for calories lost, we had a decadent breakfast at an unassuming little spot in Protero Hill called Axis Cafe. Honestly, you would not be able to tell it was a restaurant if you were standing outside since it looks like an industrial warehouse, but the backyard garden was the perfect place to eat and converse. My housemade biscuits with corn gravy, calabrese sausage, fava beans, and scrambled eggs was beyond decadent. I couldn't finish it.

Biscuits and Gravy at Axis Cafe

However, I was able to get a bite of my mom's egg-in-a-hole with fennel sausage, hen of the wood mushrooms, and heirloom tomatoes.

Egg-In-The-Hole at Axis Cafe

My sister also let me sneak a bite of her steak, caramelized onion, spinach and cheddar scramble. I hope to go back the next time I'm in town.

Steak, Cheddar, Spinach and Caramelized Onion Scramble at Axis Cafe

After such a big brunch, I thought I would be full for the rest of the day. But there was more eating to be done. My mom's good friends took us out for an early dinner that ended up last over three hours. Despite living in the area for years, I only ever visited Blackhawk Grille once during high school. I was excited to check out the longstanding restaurant.

We started with crab cakes for everyone.  Perfectly crisp on the outside and full of sweet crab on the inside. I'm glad we didn't have to share.

Crabcake at Blackhawk Grille

Boursin cheese fondue with seared beef tips, mushrooms, and brocolini. Hello lover! The beef was so tender and the brocolini helped keep the decadent dish feeling fresh.

Boursin Cheese Fondue

My penne with chicken, bacon, and arugula wasn't everything I hoped and dreamed it would be, but by this point, I was so full, I couldn't eat much anyway. Everyone else at the table ordered the paella.

Penne with Chicken, Bacon, and Arugula

But we still had dessert. Frozen chocolate mousse was a little too frozen and really seemed more like chocolate ice cream with crust, but the crust was fantastic. My mom had the strawberry shortcake.

Frozen Chocolate Mousse at Blackhawk Grille

Strawberry Shortcake at Blackhawk Grille

With all the food and two bottles of Franciscan 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, it was a good thing that we were staying so close. I practically had to be rolled out of the restaurant. It was a wonderful weekend that went by too quickly. I'm going to miss my mom, but perhaps in five months you'll be reading about my adventures after a Namibian vacation.

Ben Tre
219 Grand Ave.
South San Francisco, CA 94080
(650) 952-2243

Axis Cafe
1201 8th St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 437-2929

Blackhawk Grille
3540 Blackhawk Plaza Circle
Danville, CA 94506
(925) 736-4295

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

I'm having another fabulous summer in Los Angeles. My weekends have been filled with birthday parties, urban hikes, and several outings to one of my favorite places, the Hollywood Bowl. Last week we decided to send a friend off to law school in style by having one of our epic picnics before seeing Michael Feinstein and the Singing Stars at the Bowl. Everyone pitched in and we got stuffed before hiking up the hill to catch the show. This bread was my contribution. I should have looked at the recipe before I started baking. It's not difficult, but requires a lot of rising time and since I was in a hurry, I got a little worried. It came out great though, despite being crooked since I was impatient and just shoved the dough into the pan instead of stacking it as stated in the recipe. It's sort of french-toast in taste, but makes an excellent dessert. Plus, your home is filled with the amazing smells of brown butter and cinnamon baking. I was in heaven making this!

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
(Adapted from Annie's Eats)

Makes 1 9x5-inch loaf

For the dough:
For the dough:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
1/2  teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

To make the dough, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat over low heat just until the butter is melted. If necessary, set aside to cool until the mixture registers 115-125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Add the milk mixture, water, vanilla, and eggs to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until a cohesive dough forms. Knead in the bowl until the mixture is smooth and elastic, adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl an is tacky, but not sticky. Knead for about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, add the butter to a small saucepan and melt until browned. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and gently punch it down to deflate it. Roll the dough ino a bowl, cover with a clean towel and let it rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough out into a 12x20-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the browned butter and sprinkle it evenly with all of the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Slice the dough vertically into 6 even strips. Stack the strips on top of each other and cut again into 6 equal slices. Stack all of the square on top of each other and set into the prepared loaf pan. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown. If the top is browning too quickly, cover the pan with tin foil and remove the foil about 5 minutes before the loaf is done baking. Remove the pan from the oven and let the loaf rest in the pan for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the loaf to loosen and carefully turn the loaf out onto a serving plate. Serve warm.

Printable Recipe

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Clambake and Other Things at Rush Street

All summer long, Rush Street in Culver City is throwing a clambake on the weekends. Every Friday and Saturday through Labor Day, you can order up a huge bowl of clams, mussels, shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes. Of course the crusty bread is essential for sopping up the juices. I was recently invited to try the clambake and sample some of Rush Street's other fun offerings.

Clambake at Rush Street

Since I arrived late, a lot of food had already been ordered. Rush Street has a pretty extensive menu so I just went with what everyone else was getting rather than overwhelming myself and getting more. We started with the burrata platter. You just can't go wrong with a huge chunk of creamy burrata, summer sweet heirloom tomatoes, basil, and tasty grilled bread. I almost didn't mind that there were roasted peppers on the platter too. I could have eaten this entire plate myself.

Burrata and Crostini Platter at Rush Street

Sweet and Spicy Baby Back Ribs were exactly what the title suggested. I could have used a bit more spice and the sweetness was surprising at first, but got better over time. These were huge and meaty.

Sweet and Spicy Baby Back Ribs at Rush Street

Besides the burrata platter, my favorite offering of the night were the Lobster and Shrimp Egg Rolls. They were perfectly fried with generous hunks of the lobster and shrimp. They come on a platter with a sweet chili sauce, spicy mustard, and a soy dipping sauce. I love sauces. I was totally on board with these.

Lobster and Shrimp Egg Rolls at Rush Street

To round out the meal, we indulged in a couple of desserts. I found the cheesecake to be too sweet for my taste.

Cheesecake at Rush Street

However, the carrot cake was perfection and a HUGE portion. We easily shared this between at least four people and I'm fairly certain some was leftover.

Carrot Cake at Rush Street

Rush street is a charming addition to Culver City's burgeoning food scene. It has a great vibe and is a great place to get a drink and some food after work. Particular if you work at one of the neighboring studios. Culver City seems to be coming up in the world and I definitely don't mind making the trek out there to see what happens next.

*All food and drinks were comped. Opinions are my own

Rush Street
9546 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 837-9546

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chunk Scones

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Scone

Sometimes, despite the fact that you indulged in too many mimosas and the fact that the heat and humidity have kicked up to insane levels (for LA), you just want to bake a little something. I really needed to use up the cream leftover from baking more cupcakes for my birthday party and lucky for me, these scones take about 5 minutes to mix together. I've had them saved long enough so it was time to get to cooking. Grating the butter while it was frozen made it even easier and cut down on sweaty arm work to get the butter mixed in to the flour. The scones are fantastic with a slightly caramely flavor from the brown sugar and light and fluffy with chocolate chunks in every bite. These are definitely more dessert friendly scones so bake a batch up for a simple easy dinner party with a bit of vanilla ice cream.

Brown Sugar and Chocolate Chunk Scones

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chunk Scones
(Adapted from Evil Shenanigans)

Makes 8 scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup, packed, light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
6 tablespoons butter, frozen for at least 20 minutes and then grated
1 cup roughly chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold heavy cream, plus extra for brushing
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the butter and stir until the mixture looks like peas. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine well. Mix in the cream. Stir to combine. The mixture will be shaggy.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form the dough into an 8-inch circle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into eight equal pieces. Place the pieces on the baking sheet. Brush each piece with a bit of cream and sprinkle lightly with the turbinado sugar if desired.

Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes until the tops are lightly brown. Cool the scones in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Printable Recipe

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wonderful Pistachios at Ray's and Stark at LACMA

I used to live in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles. While I don't miss my disgusting apartment and psychotic neighbors, I do miss my proximity to LACMA which is one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon. Since I've been gone, some exciting changes have happened at the museum. There is a temporary Tim Burton exhibit taking place and a new, fun restaurant and bar in Ray's and Stark. Named after Ray Stark (the late film producer), the restaurant and bar are turning out fun and seasonal Mediterranean inspired dishes in a beautiful and casual setting. The restaurant has recently paired with Wonderful Pistachios to do a food and cocktail pairing and I was recently invited to sample some of their offerings. Chef Kris Morningstar, formerly of District and Mercantile, tantalized our taste buds with a variety of small bites which were all meant to taste well with Wonderful Pistachios. They also tasted well with the cocktails they were paired with.

Cheese Plate at Ray's and Stark

Wonderful Pistachios, Aged Gouda, Gala Apple Wedges, Drizzled with Lavender Honey was a great dish to whet our appetites. The apples were enhanced to draw out more of their apple-y flavor. The Ginger Rogers cocktail was a great accompaniment. It was not too sweet and slightly spicy and ever so slightly effervescent which highlighted the flavors in the apple.

Wonderful Pistachios, Aged Gouda, Gala Apple Wedges Drizzled with Lavender Honey

Ginger Rogers Cocktail at Ray's and Stark

Pistachios with Lime Tortilla Chips and Watermelon Chunks Sprinkled with Chili-Lime salt had the right mix of refreshing and spicy. The tortilla chip was a bit to salty even for sodium loving me, but I liked the mild heat the had. Especially with the Mel spicy margarita that it was paired with.

Wonderful Pistachios, Lime Tortilla Chips, Watermelon Chunks Sprinkled with Chili-Lime Salt

"The Mel" Spicy Margarita at Ray's and Stark

Pistachios, Cured Olive and Salami Skewer, Rosemary Parmesan popcorn. The deep flavors in the olive and meat went well with the 2006 Dalla Ponicia, Chianti they were paired with. It was at this point that realized all the food we had would be "small" which I actually really appreciated. Sometimes, you leave these events feeling ridiculously overstuffed and unable to move for days, but I felt light and almost springy after leaving this one.

Wonderful Pistachios, Cured Olive and Salami Skewer, Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn

Pistachios, Peaches, Vermouth, Capricious Goat Cheese. More cheese, but since I am a cheese-a-holic I thought "bring it on". The peaches were amazing and so sweet. Even though I am not the biggest fan of goat cheese, this was more mild than I expected and went well with the sweet peaches.

Wonderful Pistachios, Peaches, Vermouth, Capricious Goat Cheese

Pistachios, Shrimp, Dates, Orange, Smoked Paprika paired with Raspberry Rooibos Tea. I was not expecting tea and I also don't love raspberries so I was pleasantly surprised by the tea. The shrimp was amazing as well. It was perfectly cooked and the sweet puree underneath it was full of flavor. My only complaint (which really isn't a complaint) is that this tiny bite came on a full sized plate. It looked kind of silly, but who cares because it tasted so good?

Wonderful Pistachios, Shrimp, Dates, Orange Smoked Paprika

Ben said that the Pistachios with Crispy Pork Rib Skewer, Radishes, and Salsa Verde was his most anticipated dish of the evening. It's not hard to see why. The pork was crispy on the outside and tender inside and perfectly seasoned. I'm still hit or miss with radishes, but the salsa verde they were dressed in.

Wonderful Pistachios, Crispy Pork Short Rib, Radishes and Salsa Verde

This dinner not only did a great job of highlighting how many flavors go well with pistachios, but it makes me want to go back and have a full dinner at Ray's and Stark. Now that I have a ticket for the Tim Burton exhibit, I just may have to make a day of it soon.

*All food and drinks were comped. Opinions are my own

Ray's and Stark Bar
5905 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 857-6180

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