Archive for May, 2010

Monday morning

May 24, 2010

A few weeks ago, Yulie told me that she had the chance to swing by LA on a layover en route to Maryland. Since I haven’t seen her since she moved to Alaska (I think in October?), of course I jumped at the chance to spend a few hours with her.

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Her plane arrived bright and early at 7am, so I decided to take her to Joan’s on Third for breakfast. This place has been on my radar for quite a while, but for whatever reason, I’d never been there before today. Unfortunately, they told me I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures inside – so sad, because there were so many things I wanted to shoot! The delicious food, gourmet goods, candies, pastries… Oh well. We split the “bonne femme” omelette (with potatoes, onions, cheese & bacon) and the buttermilk pancakes – wonderful, wonderful, and the coffee was nice and strong. Looking forward to bringing James here sometime soon for brunch.

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We had a little more time to kill, so I took her to yet another place I’ve always been meaning to try: Milk. You just can’t miss the adorable signage when you’re going down Beverly. We decided on a cookies ‘n cream ice cream sandwich. Of course I’m an immediate fan – it looks like a giant macaron! This may be the earliest I’ve ever eaten ice cream – 10am!

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Great minds think alike! I think it’s funny how well we happened to match the decor at Milk.

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We were sitting out on their sidewalk, enjoying our sugar high, and decided to try to take some pictures. We soon came to the conclusion that although girl time is nice, we definitely need at least one more person to tag along to play photographer! The photo on the left was taken with my point-and-shoot and turned out well because over the years, we’ve both become experts at taking “self ca” shots. Then we wanted to try to take some with my SLR, but our arms are just not long enough to take anything other than extreme (and usually unflattering) close-ups. I rigged it up on a cart they had set up outside to collect dirty dishes, and set it to take 5 continuous shots at a time. We tried many more times than I’d like to admit (we got strange stares from many passersby), and none could really be considered a success. This was our first attempt, and I think the results are hilarious and oh-so “us.”

Such a fun way to spend the morning, and I really, really wish these mornings weren’t so few and far between.

Joan’s on Third
8350 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-2285

Milk
7290 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 939-6455

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Back to life

May 23, 2010

James and I just came back from a weekend camping trip in Ojai with friends. It was so much fun, but it’s definitely nice to be home!

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As I’ve been unpacking and getting things back in order, I noticed my poor, poor flowers are dead…still strangely beautiful, though!

Barbrix

May 21, 2010

We had errands to run in Koreatown last night, and decided to take advantage of the fact that we were on the east side by checking out Barbrix, in Silver Lake.

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It was nice and quiet while we were there, but I bet this place gets crazy crowded on the weekends. I loved the L-shaped open kitchen in the back – it’s always nice being able to see what goes on behind the scenes.

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Burrata, prosciutto, arugula & black olive tapenade // Crispy grilled polenta, alba, oyster & shiitake mushrooms & creamy gorgonzola fonduta // Hamachi crudo, ginger crème fraiche, avocado & paprika oil

Round 1: appetizers. They were all delicious, but if pressed to choose a favorite, it would probably be the burrata dish – the creamy cheese and salty prosciutto were a match made in heaven. At the bottom right, you can see where James decided he’d had enough of my picture-taking and just couldn’t wait any longer. “Are you finished yet?! I’m hungry!!!!!” He’s such a good sport.

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Pappardelle with ragu bolognese, pecorino romano // Prime skirt steak “tagliata”, wild arugula, parmegiano-reggiano, balsamico // Pan seared maine sea scallops, dill yogurt sauce

Round 2: Entrées. I was most looking forward to the skirt steak. The waiter asked how we wanted the steak cooked, and James instinctively said “Medium.” I think we should have gone for medium-rare, which, I think, is how they cook it by default (or at least it seems that way from most of the pictures floating around Yelp). Which is not to say that it wasn’t good, but I think it would’ve been better with the meat just a smidgen more tender. I thought the scallops were cooked perfectly, but James wasn’t really a fan because of a couple gritty bites. The pappardelle was just ok, especially when compared to a similar dish that we had at Cube a couple months ago, which really wowed us.

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Dulce de leche bread pudding with rum sauce

Round 3: Dessert. We usually skip out on desserts because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but we decided to indulge a little bit. It was a toss-up between getting this bread pudding and the ginger shortcake with berry compote, but in the end, we decided to go all in with this decadent little dish. Really good, but like I said – I don’t like sweets that much, so I could only fit in a couple bites. James did a good job polishing the rest of it off!

All in all, it was a pretty great meal. Of course, when I’d checked out the menu earlier in the day, I was surprised at how reasonable the prices were. This, of course, is before I took into account the tapas-sized portions. All those little dishes definitely add up fast! We rarely go out for dinner during the week though, so it was a nice splurge. They have an extensive wine list, and in addition to their regular menu of wines by the glass, they have a constantly changing list of open bottles on a chalkboard that you can try by the glass as well. The bar area looked really nice too, and if only we lived closer, I could see us coming more regularly and making our way through the menu of dishes (and wines, of course!).

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I think this place is only open for dinner, but a sweet patio like that is just begging for a weekend brunch menu, if you ask me!

Barbrix
2442 Hyperion Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 662-2442

I just have to end with this picture I snapped of James while we were walking to our car after dinner. Don’t you like his murse? When we’re out and about, I tease him often by asking him to hold my purse for a second and then darting off so he’s left holding the bag (haha), just like all the little Asian boys he loves making fun of. This time, however, he grabbed it without me even asking, so of course I had to document the special occasion.

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Personal Taste

May 17, 2010

개인의 취향

My latest k-drama obsession:

I love 이민호!

La vie en roses

May 16, 2010

James’s mom has been in San Francisco for the past week and a half, so yesterday, we drove down to San Diego to visit his dad and cook dinner for him. This morning, before we left, I asked James if I could pick some roses from their garden to bring home. I carefully picked out some pretty peachy blooms, and proudly showed James my bouquet. Of course, an earwig chose that exact moment to crawl out from under one of the petals, and I screamed bloody murder, while James stood there laughing at my – shall we say “intense” – reaction. We shook the flowers a couple more times, and two more fell out! I can only hope that there aren’t any more hiding in there, just waiting to scurry out and give me a heart attack.

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Risotto

May 13, 2010

Tonight’s dinner: parmesan risotto, asparagus tossed with olive oil & lemon zest, and a little sauvignon blanc. The risotto was creamy, flavorful, and absolutely delicious – turns out all that vigorous stirring really does pay off in the end!

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This week kind of flew by quickly, but I think it’s because I had Tuesday off. In any case, I’m so happy tomorrow is Friday! I have to give a little presentation to an auditor at work, which I’m not looking forward to, but hopefully the rest of the day will be smooth sailing, and the weekend will soon be underway.

Euro Pane

May 12, 2010

Yesterday morning, James and I drove out to Glendale for a doctor’s appointment. It just so happens that the doctor is one of our good friends – isn’t it nice when life works out that way? Right after we parked our car on the street, we heard a loud CRASH and turned around to see a pretty major accident that happened just a few feet behind us. Luckily, it didn’t look like anyone got hurt, but what a way to start out the morning!

Since we were in the area, and I’d taken the day off from work, I suggested that we head over to Pasadena and grab some lunch at Euro Pane.

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A quick Yelp search revealed that clearly the most popular item is the egg salad. James does not really believe in a meatless sandwich, so he opted for the roast beef, but they had run out! He settled for meatloaf on sourdough instead, while I got the famed open-faced egg salad on brioche. It took a while for our food to come out (James peered back into the kitchen and wondered if there was only one woman slaving away), but, as they say, good things come to those who wait. The egg salad was light and creamy, and the sundried tomato pesto gave it just the perfect tangy touch. Although I was too preoccupied with my own sandwich, James really liked his meatloaf, which led him to declare that we don’t eat sandwiches often enough.

Full from lunch, we wavered on if we should buy any macarons (which now, to me, sounds ridiculous – always say oui to macarons!). I said that if they had any of the sea salt caramel ones, we should give them a try, otherwise we would pass. There were none in the display case, but when James asked if they had any, the girl went to the back and brought out an entire freshly baked tray! We decided to get two, and added on two raspberry. We didn’t try them until much later that evening after dinner, but as soon as we did, James immediately started regretting that we didn’t buy more! He even dubbed the salted caramel one of the best macarons he’s ever had – pretty high praise considering I’ve dragged him around to Ladurée and Pierre Hermé in Paris, not to mention the countless bakeries and shops in and around LA!

Euro Pane Bakery
950 E Colorado Blvd
Ste 107
Pasadena, CA 91106

Cousins

May 10, 2010

Family dinner tonight in Buena Park. So much fun seeing the cousins and all their kids – they really grow so fast! Wish we weren’t all flung so far apart across the country so we could do this type of thing more often.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 9, 2010

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It’s times like these when I really, really wish I lived closer to home! I sent a little package to my mom earlier this week, but it’s just not the same!

Prep

May 1, 2010

Dinner party preparations are in full swing. We walked to the farmers’ market this morning, and I got these gorgeous ranunculus and anemones to make these little arrangements.

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Then I sent James to Pâtisserie Chantilly to pick up some cream puffs (vanilla, chocolate, sesame) for dessert:

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Dinner isn’t for several more hours, so there’s not much more I can do just yet. Getting antsy…but excited! Hope everything turns out well.