Thursday, September 29, 2011


Last week, Michael Votaggio of top chef fame opened his new restaurant in LA. Several week weeks before then, he surprised everyone with the announcement of a super fast and super casual concept known as ink.sack. The premise was simple. Small sandwiches with nothing costing more than six dollars and a short list of side dishes to go with them. The first few days that ink.sack was open, they sold out of everything. I waited about a week until the hype had died down a bit to pay a visit to the shop. Located on an area of Melrose that is more populated with high end stores than lunch spots, ink.sack is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood.

On my first visit, I took my order to go. At the suggestion of fellow diners, I ordered two sandwiches. The first was the cold fried chicken ($4). The vegetables and homemade ranch dressing were fantastic, but I did have a problem with the sandwich because the chicken felt strange in texture and I felt like I was eating cold raw chicken even thought it was perfectly cooked through.

Cold Fried Chicken

I had better luck with the banh mi ($5). With pork belly/butt, pickled vegetables, and chicharrones, this little sandwich packs a flavor punch. The pickled vegetables are a touch spicy, but don't mask the flavor of the pork and the chicharrones add a nice salty crunchy texture to the whole sandwich.  The side of salt and pepper vinegar chips ($2.50) were surprisingly addictive, especially for someone who prefers kettle chips.

Banh Mi

Last week, I met up with Lynn from The Actor's Diet for a quick ladies lunch. I was still full from dinner the night before, but luckily my appetite returned just before we ate. On this trip, I enjoyed the José Andres aka The Spanish Godfather ($6). Named after Voltaggio's former boss and mentor, this sandwich is full of serrano ham, chorizo, manchego cheese, and roasted peppers.It's meaty, salty, and has a hint of sweetness from the peppers which I actually welcomed.

Jose Andres

I opted for a lighter side dish with the cucumber and melon salad ($3). It comes in a vacuum-sealed bag so the flavors of melon, cucumber, mint, lime, and chili can marry. It's slightly spicy and totally refreshing.

Cucumber Melon Salad

I went back a few days later because I forgot my lunch at home. This time I went with the maple turkey melt ($6) and the crab flavored chips ($3). This sandwich takes a little longer to come out because it has to be toasted, but I like that it's a nice step up from a regular turkey sandwich.

Maple Turkey Melt

There is no seating at ink.sack, just a few tall tables to stand at. We got lucky and snagged one last week, but on regular visits, I'm a grab and go customer. This place is great when I want an alternative to my normal bag lunch.

One year ago: Blogger Prom
Two years ago: Plantain Chips and Cuban/Mexican Grilled Corn
Three years ago: Vegan Lavash Crackers

8360 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 651-5866

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Every Saturday when I get home from the farmers market, I do my cooking for the week. I rarely go out to lunch during the week so I cook up a large batch of brown rice, chicken, and spinach. It's healthy to balance out the rich brunches and decadent dinners I often attend, but it's also quite boring. In an effort to mix things up, I recently went on a hunt for interesting chicken recipes that would keep my palate entertained. The best part about this simple stir-fry was that I had all of the ingredients except the chicken and broccoli in my pantry. The marinade is very easy to make and grating the ginger and garlic on the microplane helps me make sure everything is incorporated evenly. I added some broccoli to to the original recipe to make it a little heartier and healthier. I'm looking forward to making this again and perhaps changing up the flavors a bit next time.

One year ago: Chicken with Tomato-Saffron Vinaigrette
Two years ago: Chaya Brasserie
Three years ago: Fig and Bacon Salad

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry
(Adapted from Blog Chef)

Makes 4 servings

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons grated fresh garlic
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/8-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you want it
1 pound of broccoli, washed, dried and cut into florets
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add the chicken and toss to combine. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet, reserving the marinade in the bowl. Cook, stirring often for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. In the last minute, add the broccoli to the pan and toss to combine. Transfer the chicken and broccoli to a bowl.

Add the leftover marinade to the skillet. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until the marinade has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the oyster sauce. Toss the sauce with the chicken and broccoli and serve with rice.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

MB Post

One of the things I've tried to show in three and a half years of blogging is that simple food can be the best food. Yes, sometimes I go out to fancier restaurants or cook intricate recipes, but by and large the food I try to showcase here is simple and yet outstanding. My friend Christina has been singing the praises of a newish, simple, but outstanding restaurant for months, but honestly the thought of going to Manhattan Beach was very off-putting. Long time readers will know, I rarely travel out of my comfort zone to eat, but now I have an excellent reason to break my ridiculous, self-imposed rule.

MB Post

Last Tuesday, I carpooled with Ben to discover the South Bay treasure that is MB Post. Housed inside an old post office. Chef David LeFevre, formerly of Water Grill is churning out stunning food at affordable prices, in a casual setting.

Kitchen at MB Post

We pulled up to the restaurant a few minutes late for our 8:15 reservation. The place was bustling and our table wasn't quite ready yet so we decided to try a couple of cocktails at the bar. Ben and I each had the Mo-Pho-Jito ($12). It's a fragrant take on a mojito with kaffir lime, mint, ginger, and coriander honey. Not to sweet and it comes in a cool glass.


We decided that instead of picking dishes, we would have the chef send us whatever he felt like. The only thing we specially requested was the soft shell crab. Well the chef felt like sending us a lot and for that I am eternally grateful (my waist may beg to differ). To start, we were presented with a trio of bread. We agreed the bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits ($5) were pretty much the best biscuits ever and reason enough to make the trip alone. The biscuit is light and fluffy with a crunchy exterior provided by rendered bacon fat and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. They don't contain huge chunks of bacon, but the flavor is in there. The maple butter that the biscuits are served with provides a nice counterpart to the salty bacon and cheese. The fleur de sel pretzel served with horseradish mustard ($4) is as perfect a soft pretzel as you can expect and we also enjoyed the grilled flatbread with harissa yogurt ($4).

Bread Plate

Along with the bread, we were presented a lovely selection of charcuterie, cheese, and various spreads. For the cheeses we enjoyed the Challechooker ($9) and the Mycella Blue ($10) and on the meat side we had the 12 month aged Jamon Serrano ($11) and the Picante Salami ($10). The plate also contained apple slices, more horseradish mustard, plum-thyme jam, and marcona almonds. To go with the meat and cheese was a lovely selection of sauces and honeys and nibbles. Picked vegetables ($3), marinated olives ($6), a honey selection (honeycomb, truffle honey, and chestnut honey) ($3), mustard selection (pink peppercorn, stout, redwine) ($2), and fruit spreads (rhubarb-ginger, plum-thyme, apple-fennel) ($3).

Cheese and Charcuterie

Mustards, Honey, and Fruit Spreads

By this point, I thought we would just have a couple more dishes. I totally thought wrong. Next we had the pomegranate couscous salad ($9). This is easily the best couscous salad ever. It has a punchy lavender feta, marcona almonds, mixed melon, and mint. It's fresh, it's lovely, and I totally need the recipe so I can make it at home.

Pomegranate Couscous

The Australian Hiramasa ($12) is fresh and light. It's flavored with yuzu koshu, and served with avocado and puffed forbidden rice. It's wonderful, but we're more in to the couscous.

Australian Hiramasa

The marinated cucumber salad ($8) is so pretty to look at. Ben wishes that everything was cut the same size, but I don't mind. The vegetables are so perfect. It's like everything was picked that morning and sent directly to the restaurant.

Marinated Cucumbers

Now we are ready for more cocktails. I opt out of the hard stuff in favor of a glass of Bodega Colome Estate Malbec 2008 ($13.50). Ben tries the Manhattan Avenue ($12). It's the restaurant's take on a Manhattan and a nod to the fact that they are located on Manhattan Ave. It has buffalo trace, vanilla, caramel, and bacon dust. It sounds like it would be cloying and sweet, but it is wonderful and smooth. The bacon dust isn't overpowering and adds a touch of smoky and salty flavor. Christina has the Southern Hospitality ($12). It's a punch with eagle rare, grilled peach, cinnamon, and charred white oak. Like the other cocktails, it's not too sweet and therefore great.

Manhattan Avenue

Southern Hospitality

Back to the food. The soft shell blue crab with Singapore chili sauce, grapefruit, apple, and coriander puree ($15) was handwritten on the menu so it probably won't  be around much longer. Go get it while you can and savor the sweet and spicy flavors.

Soft Shell Blue Crab, Singapore Chili Sauce, Grapefruit, Apple, Coriander Puree

Christina says the Steamed Mussels with green curry, Chinese sausage, and sticky rice ($14) are the best she has ever had. I'm still partial to Jitlada's green mussels in spicy broth, but these are pretty good.

Steamed Mussels

Hawaiian Walv (Escolar) grilled over white oak, summer vinaigrette, basil, and kalamata ($15) isn't as assertive as some of the other dishes, but it was hard to ignore. The fish was perfectly cooked and we ate the whole thing.

Hawaiian Walv Grilled over White Oak, Summer Vinaigrette, Basil, Kalamata

I was so happy to get the Blistering Blue Lake Beans with Thai basil, chili sauce, and crispy pork ($9). I had been eying the dish when we scanned the menu earlier in the evening. The vegetables are firm and crisp. The dish is sweet, but not cloyingly so and the pork adds a richness to all the green beans.

Blistering Blue Lake Green Beans

The Fee Fi Fo Fom Fries ($6) are delicious and crisp all the way through which is rare for steak fries so large, but we didn't really need them compared to all of the other great dishes we had.

Fee Fi Fo Fum Fries

Up until now, I thought that the Ace Hotel's cotija corn off the cob was the best corn dish I'd ever had. I even tried to recreate it at home, but I was so, so wrong. The grilled sweet corn with roasted chilies, Fontina, bacon, and polenta ($10) is the best corn dish I've ever had. All of the melted cheese was perfect with the sweet corn and once again the bacon provided just enough smokiness to balance it out. That was actually something that we appreciated about the menu. Many dishes contain bacon, but it's not done in a gimmicky way. It's there to provide an essence or flavor that you just can't get anywhere else.

Grilled Sweet Corn, Roasted Chilis, Fontina, Bacon, Polenta

Meyers Farm "Never Ever" skirt steak with grilled broccolini, red chimmichurri ($17). This was one of my favorite dishes of the evening (have I said that about everything?). Even our waiter declared it to be his favorite. The steak is perfectly grilled and so tender, you hardly need a knife. The chimichurri provides a wonderful flavor punch and the broccolini was nice and charred underneath. I am so glad I ended up with the leftovers of this.

Meyers Farm "Never Ever" Skirt Steak

Confit pork belly with lemon braised swiss chard and corn agnalotti ($16) is a bit of a toss up. While we love the pasta that is bursting with a sweet corn puree, we don't really love the pork belly because it is a tad dry, but does provide a hint of saltiness to the dish.

Confit Pork Belly, Lemon Braised Swiss Chard, Corn Agnalotti

Braised lamb neck with tiny summer squash, crispy gnocchi, and Bianco Sardo ($15) is a more successful meat dish in our opinion. It's amazing how the gnocchi are perfectly light and crispy at the same time.

Braised Lamb Neck, Tiny Summer Squash, Crispy Gnocchi, Bianco Sardo

At this point, we were so full we could only manage a few bites of the last few dishes, but they insist we have dessert. We only request The Elvis ($7) which has chocolate pudding, peanut butter mousse, bananas, and bacon brittle. Once again, the use of bacon is very restrained and only used to add a salty and crunchy counterpart to the sweet dessert. The peanut butter mousse is to die for and pairs perfectly with the chocolate pudding.

The "Elvis"

I should have known we wouldn't get away with having just one dessert. We were also sent the lemon ricotta cheesecake with Regier farms peaches, cornmeal streusel, and the chef's favorite marcona almonds ($5). It's served in a jar which I tend to think is a bit ridiculous, but actually works here because of portion control. The cheesecake is light, but I would have preferred the punchier flavor of cream cheese.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

Harries Berry's are by far the most superior strawberries in Southern California, so I put aside my dislike for whipped cream and dive into the Strawberry-Verbena shortcake ($7). This restaurant has a way with biscuits that just amazes me.

Harry's Berries Strawberry-Verbena Shortcake

The thing about LeFevre is that he's not throwing a plate of plain vegetables at you, charging you 20 dollars for it and saying you should enjoy it because they're the best tomatoes in the world. He's taking the tomatoes, preparing them in the least fussiest way, but doing something that is bold and exciting while highlighting the flavors of some of the best produce in the world. In a world when you only get either side of the spectrum, MB Post is a rare treat. I'm not even kidding when I say, we spent the entire ride home talking about how amazing a dinner it was. MB Post is the epitome of why I need to explore new areas, get out of my routine, and truly discover the vast eating ground that is Southern California. There's so much out there waiting to be explored and I've barely tipped the iceberg. I will say that my recent visit to my new favorite restaurant, will most certainly not be my last.

*Food and drinks were comped. Glowing opinions are my own. You can read Ben's glowing review here.

One year ago: Tomato Hand Pies in Bacon and Thyme Crust
Two years ago: Vaca Frita and Croquetas de Jamon
Three years ago: Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

MB Post
1142 Manhattan Ave.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5405

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fig Yogurt Cake

Fig Yogurt Cake

Figs are without a doubt, my favorite end of summer/early fall treat. My first year of blogging, I posted a new fig recipe practically every other day. I'm a bit more restrained now, but this cake is just too good not to share. The original recipe was intended to be a bundt cake, but since I don't have bundt pans, I baked this in a regular cake pan. The result was two light and fluffy cakes with the subtle sweetness of figs and brightness from the lemon zest. This is great with tea and can really be eaten at any time of day. Cake for breakfast? Why not?

Fig Yogurt Cake

One year ago: Animal Restaurant
Two years ago: Gaby's Mediterranean
Three years ago: Sweet Chili Shrimp with Sesame Soy Rice

Fig Yogurt Cake
(Adapted from Serious Eats)

Makes 2 9-inch cakes

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
13 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Greek yogurt (I used nonfat)
1 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 cups roughly chopped figs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9x1.5-inch cake pans.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low, beat in one third of the dry ingredients, then beat in half of the yogurt. Beat in the next third of the dry ingredients and then the rest of the yogurt. Beat in the last of the dry ingredients.

Toss the figs with 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir the figs and lemon zest into the batter with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans, filling each about three quarters of the way full. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Transfer the cakes to a cooling rack and let cool in the pan for five minutes. Use a knife to gently loosen the cakes from the pans and let the cakes cool completely.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Street Eats at The Taste

Over Labor Day weekend, the Los Angeles Times and Food & Wine magazine held the The Taste. The four day event featured celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, presentations, and of course a ton of delicious food and wine. Though I had a pass to attend all of the events, I was only able to make it to Street Eats due to some personal obligations that weekend. It was a fun afternoon which ended with a freak rainstorm and a brilliant rainbow. Here are some of the highlights.

Street Eats at The Taste

Mini flans and bacon bread pudding from Creme Caramel. That bread pudding is to die for. The perfect mix of sweet and salty.

Creme Caramel at The Taste

Crying Tiger pork from Jitlada. I never get tired of this dish. In fact, I just had the beef version again this past weekend.

Crying Tiger Pork from Jitlada

Pineapple and Prickly Pear Agua Fresca from Loteria Grill. So refreshing on the warm afternoon.

Pineapple and Prickly Pear Agua Fresca from Loteria Grill

Braised Beef with Potato and Egg from Mexikosher. Yes, kosher Mexican food.

Braised Beef with Potato and Egg from Mexikosher

Wine tasting co-hosted by Justin Warner who treated us to a full-fleged rap about wine at the end. Highly entertaining.

Wine Tasting at The Taste

Lamb Flatbread with sumac, pistachio, and coriander from Palate Food + Wine. My favorite bite of the day. It was a little difficult to eat, but full of warm spicy flavors with a little bit of cooling from the yogurt.

Lamb Flatbread from Palate Food & Wine

We got out of there just as it started to rain, but later I got to see this.

The Observatory at Sunset 9/4/11

I had a great time that day. I would have loved to go to some of the other events, but duty called. Next time!

One year ago: Momed
Two years ago: Cubano Sandwiches
Three years ago: Slow Roasted Tomatoes

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

I need to apologize to you. Blueberry season seems to be over and I snatched up a few more just as it was ending so I could make these rolls. Save this until next year, and trust me, you'll want to. After my enormous success with non-cinnamon rolls last year, I knew I had to make another fruit roll soon. I saw a different recipe for blueberry rolls, but it seemed a little fussy. I finally found this recipe last week and knew I had to make it now since blueberry season is done. Late season blueberries are not as sweet as mid-season so they are great to bake with and bring out their delicious flavor. The only real change I made to the recipe was to add some lemon zest to the dough to brighten it up a bit, but next time (oh yes, there will be a next time), I'll do a lemon glaze instead of the vanilla. I always prefer that contrast of sweet and tart. If you have one, bake these in a 9x9 dish to give the rolls some room to expand. These rolls need to be prepped a day ahead of time so plan accordingly, but what an excellent treat they are! 

One year ago: Classic Salade Nicoisse
Two years ago: Cuban Opera Cake
Three years ago: Creme Brulee Oatmeal

Blueberry Sweet Rolls
(Adapted from Food Blogga)

Makes 9 rolls

For the dough:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 packets ( 1/2 ounce or 4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon melted butter for brushing over the dough

For the filling
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the icing:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
A few drops of lemon juice or milk

To make the dough:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Stir in the water, milk, butter eggs, and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, mix until the dough clears the sides of the bowl, adding more flour a tablespoon at a time as needed.

Lightly oil a large clean bowl and transfer the dough to the new bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight.

To make the rolls:
Let the dough come to room temperature on the counter. Butter an 8-inch square pan.

Lightly flour a large surface. Roll out the dough to a 12-inch by 19-inch rectangle, cutting away any scraps as needed.

In a bowl, mix together the filling ingredients until evenly coated. Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Starting with the long side closest to you, roll the dough as tightly as possible, tucking in any blueberries that may escape. Place the end seam side down and tuck the sides of the roll under. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 9 equal pieces.

Place each piece into the prepared pan. Cover the pan with a clean, slightly damp towel and let the dough rise for 45 minutes.

Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 35-45 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center roll comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth, but not too think. Separate the cooled buns and place them on a rack over a sheet of parchment paper. Drizzle with icing and let rest until the icing has hardened. Serve at room temperature.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Brunch at Cecconi's

This past weekend, I called myself a lady who brunches. Saturday brought me to Canele in Atwater Village, and Sunday was Cecconi's in West Hollywood. Unfortunately we were seated in a dark corner at Canele so you're only being treated to my Cecconi's experience. I love brunch. It is one of my favorite things to do, but I don't do it often because I'm usually busy farmers marketing and cooking for the week. Yesterday ended up being clear and bright, and thankfully not too hot which was a nice break from the horridly hot weather from the past week. It was the perfect day to sit on a patio, have a cocktail, and a ton of food.

We started with a few appetizers. Baked Gnocchi "Romana" with Gorgonzola Sauce ($12). We were warned that this is a rich dish, but when you're sharing between four people, it's not so overwhelming. The fluffy pillows of gnocchi were enrobed in the rich gorogonzola sauce punctuated with the sage and were totally heavenly.

Baked Gnocchi ‘Romana’, Gorgonzola

Squash Blossoms with Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce. I'm always a little wary of goat cheese, but it was nice and light in this dish and didn't mask the flavor of the delicate squash blossoms and sweet tomato sauce.

Squash Blossoms with Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce

Porchetta and Cheese Sliders were reminiscent of a Cubano sandwich with salty porchetta, tangy mustard, and mild cheese sandwiched between the bread.

Porchetta and Cheese Sliders

Quail Eggs. Hardboiled and in a mustardy sauce were a nice preview to the egg dishes we all ordered as our main course.

Quail Eggs

For the main event, I went with the Potato Rosti with Duck Eggs and Truffles ($18). I'm really picky about potatoes, so I had to make sure I would eat these before ordering. The potatoes are grated, shaped into a spiral, and fried crisp. They come topped with a decadent fried duck egg and shaved truffles. I would have appreciated a tad more salt in both the potato and egg and a bit of ground pepper on the egg, but otherwise, this dish was perfect. It's not too big, so I didn't feel overwhelmed eating the whole thing, and it's rich without you feeling bogged down.

Potato Rosti with Duck Egg and Truffles

My dining companions also ordered egg dishes. HC had the Wood Baked Fritatta with Mushrooms and Pancetta ($10). The eggs in the fritatta come out light and fluffy with a gentle saltiness from the pancetta and earthiness of the mushrooms.

Wood baked Frittata with Mushrooms & Pancetta

The Minty went with the Full English Breakfast ($16). It's a ginormous platter of eggs cooked any style, sausages, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, bread, and tomatoes.

English Breakfast

Of course it's not really brunch without cocktails. Sitting Pretty with grapefruit, ginger, and thyme. Moscow Mule with housemade ginger beer, Fragrant Mojito, Peach Smash ($14 each). My Moscow Mule was on the strong side so I'm sure worth the price and packed a significant punch from the housemade ginger beer. All of the drinks were perfectly refreshing.


Of course by this point, I was perfectly sated, but we were sent a dessert platter, and who was I to turn it down? On the platter were profiteroles with cherry gelato and chocolate, ricotta cheesecake, panna cotta with berries, pistachio gelato, cannoli, and chocolate brownie. The platter is not on the regular menu, but the restaurant will make it for you upon request. I could only manage a small bite of each offering, but my favorites were the gooey brownies and pistachio gelato.

Dessert Platter

One of the main attractions at Cecconi's brunch are their Ricotta Hotcakes with Blueberry Compote ($10). We ordered them as dessert and these were some of the best pancakes I've ever had. I sometimes find ricotta to be tasteless and boring. I'm not sure if the restaurant makes theirs in house, but I love the way they dollop it into cooked pancakes and it's slightly sweet and melting when you get your platter. The blueberry compote is a perfect pairing.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Blueberry Compote

Cecconi's is a nice retreat away from the bustling hub of the Boystown section of WeHo. You feel secluded from the street, but it's an excellent spot to people watch and the food is great. Besides having extensive options at brunch, Cecconi's also has a Sunday night dinner option that can't be beat. For $55 you can get dinner for four served family style. That is unheard of in this town and had all of us seriously considering going back again later in the evening.Cecconi's also has locations in Miami and London, so the next time you're in one of those towns, check it out!

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

One year ago:Grilled Sausage and Fig Pizza
Two years ago: Foodbuzz Community Table at Beso
Three years ago: Cabbage Salad with Edamame and Cucumber

8764 Melrose Avenue (free daytime valet)
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 432-2000

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