Los Angeles Beer Festival : Beer fest at Sony Studios! April 10 1pm-4pm or 5pm-8pm
Sony Studios 10202 Washington Blvd ($40 admit, unlimited 4oz beer pours)

See the new issue of
Savuer! Its all about Los Angeles and the cover story is Pizzeria Mozza!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Rest of Valentine's Weekend

I hope you have been anticipating anxiously my next post and I really do apologize for the delay.  Now with my brand spanking new computer expect a lot of new posts!!  So to fill you in on what happened outside of the Street Food Fest let me tell you a little tale about the culinary adventures we partook in when the family was in town.

So to start off the weekend we went to C and O's Cucina.  For those of you who have never been to, or heard of C and O's you should.  Its an Italian restaurant on Washington Blvd that has the atmosphere of your typical californian cucina.  Lots of random intalian art work on the walls, with loud red wallpaper and loud patrons to match.  We sat down, ordered a round of drinks then started perusing the menu.  I always get the gnocchi, so I wasn't really looking, but the rest of the group was having trouble making a decision.  The problem is that the menu is pretty extensive, and everything sounds good.  So we placed orders for gnocchi, chicken parmesan, seafood linguine and spaghetti and meatballs.  Then the best part of this restaurant arrives...KILLER GARLIC BALLS!  They're these little rolls, maybe two bites, golden brown, COVERED in olive oil, parsley and garlic.  Amazing.  Also there is a plate set on your table when you sit down that they put the garlic balls on, which they continue to refill throughout the night, every time you eat all of them.  Then dinner came and everything was...good.  I love my gnocchi is always amazing with a really tasty meat sauce and really light potato dumplings.  My husband's chicken parmesan was amazing as usual, lightly breaded and fried chicken with tons of sauce, cheese and spaghetti.   The seafood linguine was good, not amazing, but good.  Basically what you would expect from a bowl of linguine, seafood (clams, shrimp and scallops) and a light tomato sauce.  I thought it was a little light in flavor.  The spaghetti and meat balls were good as well.  The sauce was good, the pasta was really well cooked and the meat balls were really good too  The only thing I would have liked more would have been if the was more marinara sauce on the spaghetti.

Over all I give C and O's 4 points, I love it, its a happy place, they have unlimited garlic balls and you should love it to!

So saturday we spent the day in multiple lines at the food fest and on Sunday we decided we hadn't stood in line enough so we went to the Malibu Fresh Seafood and Fish Market.  They make a fresh pot of clam chowder everyday and have a huge array of steamed, fried and sandwiched fish and seafood.  So we ordered a smorgusboard of heart attack worthy food: deep fried clams, d.f. oysters, 2 baskets of d.f. shrimp, 4 baskets of fries and 32 oz of clam chowder with a roll.

Lets start with the pros.  The food was good, the clams were the best.  The location was cute!  We sat on a covered patio that looked out at the ocean at large picnic tables.  We also brought a little cooler with beer in it (BYOB) which made it almost picnic like!

The bad.  The food wasn't anything unique.  I've ordered the EXACT same food at Red Lobster before.  Its called the admirals platter, and was probably cheaper.  Which brings me to my next point, its not cheap.  For a basket of fried shrimp and french fries it was something like 8 or 9 bucks.  And then let not over look the most obvious draw back...the line!!! I know we spent all saturday in line, and then we sat in traffic on the PCH trying to get to this place, and then we stood in line for some 30 minutes to order a ton of fish.  Meh!

I give the place 2 points.  It was kinda fun to go to with the family, it would be a neat place to go to if your a tourist in LA but overall it seriously lacked quality and uniqueness for the quantity of money.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lines Lines Lines for Fabulous Food!

Sorry for the significant delay in posts, my computer has mostly died and I am getting a new one on Tuesday so be prepared for an influx of posts at that time.  In the mean time I wanted to update you on the events of the last week or so.

So Valentines day weekend my family came to Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Street Food Fest.  OMG.  There were SOOOOOO many people there.  So first of all we got the VIP ticket which was well worth the $30 price tag.  Got there at 10:30, our line was 20-30 people long.  Walked around ahead of time, staked out where each truck was and designated each member of our group to a truck to bee line to as soon as we got in.  The grilled cheese truck bless their hearts, were not prepared for the craziness that was about to ensue, but I don't think any of the trucks really were.  The way we accomplished getting as much food from as many places as possible was this:  We would go to a truck, order our food, when someone got their food they would find the others in their respective lines and give them their portion of the food, then get back in line at another truck.  We also ordered as much food as possible from each truck we went to.


VIP:  You got a goodie bag, meh nothing really cool in there.  But you also go a patio to sit on that over looked the entire event and free mini donuts that tasted like funnel cake and free dim sum.  The free bar was nice, would have been nice if the free beer was also in the VIP area.

People that are really upset need to realize that it was the first time this event was held and no one realized how popular was actually going to turn out to be.  Plus if you didn't make it in...twitter the trucks!  Funny story this wasn't the one time these trucks are going to be selling food around the city, in fact they sell food EVERYDAY somewhere.

Also for those of you who didn't get to eat at Ludos fried chicken don't worry it wasn't worth the wait.  It was tasty.  But the Qzilla truck with ribs and pulled pork was totally better.

Here are the trucks we got so you can go find them in the city and try them for yourself

Qzilla:  Ribs, pulled pork and brisket - Amazing.  Really good brown sugar and ketchup style BBQ sauce that was super thick and really tasty (My favorite of the day).
Piaggio Gourmet truck:  Chorizo Sandwich, bacon wrapped hot dog, Chicken empanada - The hot dog had chimichuri and some white sauces that was out of this world (my moms favorite dish of the day), the chorizo sandwich was okay,  lots of bread.  The empanada was disappointing because I love empanadas but it was full of red peppers which I really really hate.  But my uncle really liked it, so I assume it was good if red peppers don't bother you
Flying Pigs: Sausage Sliders, Spicy Pork Taco - Really really good, best slider Ive ever had.  According to their website its: Braised pork belly red onion escabeche, sesame cucumber
Grilled Cheese Truck: Harvest Sandwich, Cheese and Mac and rib - The harvest was soooooooooooo good one of my favorite of the day, butternut squash, caramelized onions smokey cheese really good.  The other one was mac and cheese with BBQ rib meat.  Kinda weird, but we all seemed to enjoy it.
Fry Truck: Sweet potato fries with pork and chili fries:  Husband claims these were the best chili fries hes ever had.  The sweet potato fries with the bbq pulled pork was awesome and totally unique.
Fry Girl: Deep fried mini donuts.  I think we went through like 6 bags of this little amazing treats.  They were more like funnel cake than donuts, super light, super crispy, covered with loose powdered sugar like a funnel cake.
Ludo:  Easily the most disappointing.  Line was an hour long to order then 15 minutes before you got your food.  Rumor has it later in the day the hour was 1-2 hours long then another HOUR before you got your food.  They were this meatball size balls of what appeared to be whole pieces of thigh meat.  Which was really juicy and the breading had a bunch of herbs and spices in it and the dipping sauce for it was nice too.  But for the wait, it really wasn't worth it.  Not considering the wait, it still was definitely NOT my favorite thing of the day.  So if you didn't get to try it, don't be too disappointed. 

The vendor side was also pretty cool.  I bought a Tshirt for 5 bucks, and they had some really neat jewelry.


All in all I give the event 4 points knowing that my experience was not replicated by the majority of participants in this event.  C'est la vie for them.

I get my new computer on Tuesday so be prepared for some tasty updates of the Malibu Seafood and Fish Market and the always amazing Bossa Nova!  Cheers!

Monday, February 8, 2010

SuperBowl...too much food for too few people

So as you can imagine I cooked A LOT of food yesterday for superbowl, and I was so exhausted (we were out late for a friends birthday the night before) that once I was done cookings I passed out before I even got a chance to take pictures.  Lucky for you there was SOOO much food that we have tons of leftovers for lunch today

Chinease Chicken Salad:

So we call this Chinease chicken salad in my family, but there is nothing chinease about it except that you use two packages of ramen noodles, and MSG.


    2 pkgs. Top Ramen chicken flavored noodles 
    3 chicken breasts, cooked 
    1/2 head shredded cabbage 
    3 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds 
    3 tbsp. toasted sliced almonds 
    3 tbsp. sugar 
    3 tbsp. lemon juice 
    6 tbsp. oil 
    1 tsp. Accent 
    1 tsp. salt 
    1 tsp. pepper 
    1/2 c. chopped green onions, tops too


Remove soup packets and set aside. Crunch up dry noodles and place in large bowl. Add cabbage, onions and chicken (chopped). Mix in another small bowl sugar, lemon juice, oil, accent, salt and pepper and contents of the two small soup packets. Mix well. Add sesame seeds and pour dressing over all. Mix thoroughly and cover.
Let it set for 24 to 36 hours before serving, tossing it several times. Scatter toasted almonds on top before serving. Do not cook noodles. You can vary this salad by using shrimp flavored soup and putting in baby shrimp, or omit meat and serve vegetarian. Serves: 10 to 12.

~  ~  ~ *  *  *  ~  ~  ~

Any salad that needs to marinate is a good salad.  This is my favorite salad of any salad and also probably the most unhealthy salad that can be generated.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I have friends that fly across country to dine with me!! (or at Upstairs2)

So one of my bridesmaids and dearest friends left me a few months ago to make it big in .... DC?  Actually she's there working as an executive assistant at law firm there and apparently having a blast.  And trying to convince me to move there.  Yeah we'll see about that.  Well thankfully for me, her long time boyfriend is still rooted into San Diego and when she comes to visit him, I'm just a short trip up the 5!  So after 3 hours of driving Lindsay was ready for some catching up and good food.  So I made reservations at Upstairs2 which was doing DineLA with an amazing menu!

Just to let you know we did a VERY good job of taking pictures before we ate (for the most part.)  So Upstairs2 is literally ON the onramp onto the 405 from Pico Blvd.  To stress this point I should tell you that to get into the parking lot to this restaurant we had to get into the line for the on ramp and then at the very last second make a quick left up a different ramp to roof top parking.  Which really wasn't fun since it was pouring down rain!  Anyhow, its located on top of a place called The Wine House which looks like a bevmo but only carries wine!  And theyre all organized by country and grape type and body?  I dunno.  This is not a wine blog.  I know NOTHING about wine.  But it was still pretty cool!

Anyway so onto dinner!  We had 6:15 reservations because I could only get 6:15 or 9:00 and nine was just too late.  When we walked in it was crazy, low lighting, linens, sparkling preset wine glasses.  It was an actual fine dining restaurant...off the side of the freeway.  Such a diamond in the rough!! So we sat down and the waiter, Hamilton, informed us that they are mainly a small plate, tapas, restaurant and all of their tapas are arranged on the menu by which wine they pair with the best.  He also recommended you order two to three plates per person.  Then he quickly turned to the dineLA menu and said it is a wonderful choice and proceeded to tell us how much he loved each thing on the menu.  Yay!  For an additional twenty dollars you could add a wine pairing of three 2.5 oz pours.  We decided to get a bottle of 2005 K Vintners Viognier for the table instead (32 dollars for a bottle (25.4 ozs) for two people or 40 for six 2.5 oz pours (15 oz) for two people.)  We also decided to split everything we ordered, we each ate half of our respective plates then switched.  Best decision ever!

Here was our selections:
Appetizers: 1. Lobster Bisque 2. Duck Confit Raviolli
Entrees: 1. Tazmanian Trout 2. Pappardelle Pasta
Dessert: 1. Peanut Brittle Snowball 2. Chocolate Raspberry Torte

Appetizers:  So first of all they lost our dinner ticket, but we were chit chatting and eatting the bread and oil (rosemary olive oil) and it really hadn't been that long, but the waiter still came out and apologized and said the food would be here shortly.  When it came, it was fabulous!  I got the bisque first and it was totally different from any other bisque, it wasn't creamy.  It was still super rich and had nice chunks of Maine lobster in it, but it was almost like a manhattan bisque instead of a New England bisque.  I was really sad when it was time to switch plates.  The duck confit was great.  Lindsay pointed out how duck is very under utilized protien and I agreed.  The way it was prepared almost made it taste like an asian dish, but the tomato in the sauce brought it back.  After we scarfed them down we used our bread to soup up the rest of the broth and bisque.  (Just as a note these aren't the best pictures because yet again we dove in before photographing!)

Also what was nice was they sent out these little barbecue chicken bites from the chef.  I think it was because they lost our dinner ticket.  Those were very nice little bites. 

Entrees:  I got the trout first and I should let you know that trout is one of my favorite fishes ever.  My dad used to go fishing a lot and caught rainbow trout and I have to tell you I absolutely love it.  And thankfully I loved this too!  It was confusing at first because normally white trout had very pink hue making it look like salmon, but it tasted like trout.  It was paired with creamy black rice (which we think was cooked in coconut milk) and chinease broccoli.  The broccoli was fine, I ate it because it was there, but it was drastically outshined by the fish and rice.  The rice was amazingly creamy and rich and the menu claims it was cooked in a ginger carrot saute but I didnt taste it.  Not that thats a bad thing because I really loved this dish.  Then switching time came again and the pasta came to my side.  The bowl had those thick pappardelle noodles, two large shrimp and two normal sized scallops.  The bad news was the broth was a little thin and was missing something.  Don't get me wrong it was good, and I really enjoyed it, but it was sort of one note.  I think what happened was they thought the saffron broth was enough to hold its own but unfortuantely it needed something of a stronger flavor.  The seafood on the otherhand were cooked perfectly.  When done correctly its hard to screw up a scallop, theyre just good.  Again we cleared our plates with the bread.

Dessert.  So I started with peanut brittle ball, and dove straight in.  It was a perfect little ball of vanilla bean ice cream, rolled in crushed peanut brittle and then set on a plate covered in caramel sauce.  1st bite: Wow this is really good!  2nd bite: Okay somethings not right here.  My throat started to burn and in my head I'm thinking "Great I've finally found something I'm allergic to."  What I quickly realized is that they had put chili powder in the caramel sauce.  It was crazy, you couldn't taste the flavor of the chili powder at all but then you would feel this heat at the back of your throat, it was crazy!  Then we switched.  Chocolate torte.  Meh.  With Raspberry sauce.  Meh.

My favorites: Lobster bisque, trout and caramel ball
Lindsays Favorite: duck raviolli, trout and caramel ball

All in all.  5 points.  Will be coming back!  Absolutely fabulous!  You should come here!

Friday, February 5, 2010


So in case you DON'T know already, today is my friend Becca's birthday.  She's turning the amazing age of 25 and I got to be the lucky person who got her all to myself for lunch.  How cool is that?  Well she's a much better foodie than I am and therefore has already been everywhere and already has her favorites.  So where does a foodie go for a casual yummy lunch on her 25 birthday?

Pizzeria Mozza!

Oh my gosh this place is too cute.  Its kinda small and very Italian rustic looking.  Obviously they specialize in pizza, and have a TON on the menu, but they also have a few classic Italian dishes if you're just not feeling pizza today.  But we were!  I was really excited because they had not one but TWO POTATO pizzas!  If you've never had a potato pizza before PLEASE do not knock it until you try it.  Keep in mind typically potato pizzas do not have marinara sauce but often a garlic or butter sauce to keep the cheese on.  Potato. Cheese. Butter.  Garlic. Amazing.

Well my pizza here at Pizzeria Mozza was better than your run of the mill potato pizza.  It was hearty comfort potato pizza, with bacon, onions, cheese and an egg in the middle.  How can you beat that?  So as I was staring at my pizza I kept thinking I had seen this somewhere before, and which my handy dandy interweb I figured it out.  The Best Thing I Ever Ate : Pizza.  There two pizzas on there 1. Yukon Gold Potato Pizza in NY, NY and 2. Bacon, Egg and Cheese Pizza at LittlDoms in Los Angeles.  MY pizza was BOTH of these pizza's put together.  So amazingly good!

Back to the story so my pizza was fabulous, Rebecca's Mushroom explosion (Funghi misti) was to die for.  It was covered in really rich and yummy mushrooms.  

Then it was dessert time, and we only ate half our pizzas but the dessert menu came anyways and everyone knows that I have a sweet tooth and so I got dessert.  And because I got dessert Becca was free to get dessert too.  I got the Meyer Lemon gelato Pie, and Becca got the butterscotch budino. 

Lets start with my dish the pie.  So I caught between the pie and the Caramel with marshmallow sauce and when I asked the server he said pie no question.  Pie it is!  So what I wasn't prepared for at first was there was a tangy bite in this pie.  The filling is gelato, very very lemony gelato.  Wonderful and then it looks like they reduced down some lemon juice with some sugar and drizzled it all over the plate which was the super tangy stuff.  That yellow stuff on top candied lemon rind which was actually really good.  Very Very Good Dessert.

Then came Becca's dessert and she's been here before and had decided on this amazing dessert before we had even arrived because she's had it before and knew it was amazing.  So basically it is a butterscotch pudding concoction with little rosemary pine nut cookies.  So what you don't realize about this tasty little treat is that there is a layer on top of the pudding.  A sea salty layer.  Its crazy!  Its Salty!  Its amazing!  I haven't had this new wave of savory-ish desserts but this fits the bill.  Super good butterscotch and then you get this hit of salty after taste.  Its really hard to describe I suppose you will just have to go there and try it now wont you?

Pizzeria Mozza: 5 points.  Hands Down.  Go There.  Now.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ugo an Italian Wine Bar

Preface:  So I must confess I have a real problem with this whole blogging thing.  My problem being that everytime I go out and get tasty, blog worthy food, I forget to take a picture and so my friends for todays entry you will see a bunch of half eaten dishes.  My apologies.

Ugo an Italian Wine Bar
So last week my good friend Aaron and I came over to Ugo because we hadn't been here before.  For those of you who ALSO haven't been here let me fill you in.  The wine bar, on Cardiff Ave in Culver City, is a little tiny bar that has little circular islands of wine.  You go to main bar and give the bartender whatever amount of cash you would like to put on your new Ugo debit card.  You take that card, and hopefully the wine glass they handed you, to one of these islands and insert it into a designated slot.  Each bottle of wine has a digital display of a price above the bottle ranging from $0.78 to upwards of $10.  That quantity indicates the price per 1 oz pour, you put your glass under the spout and press the button.  Ta-da!  You have now done Ugo wine bar.  Keep in mind this is an Italian wine bar, so odds are you won't know any of these wines and will basically have to chose which wines to taste based on price and the short descriptions about each bottle.

On with the story so after ten dollars worth of 1oz pours and pizza we split we decided we would return next week for happy hour and split a bottle.  Ugo, for your information, happens to be within walking distance of my place ergo splitting a bottle isn't too risky.  When we came for our bottle I realized it was DineLA and of course ordered food as well!  After we ordered they brought us some sliced bread with little pour bottles of olive oil and balsamic.  Which was nice....except there was no where to pour the olive oil and balsamic except for our bread plates.  Independently we both attempted this maneuver but since they act like oh I dunno oil and water, when you pour them both in one small area of a larger plate, the balsamic literally slides out from under the oil and separates itself.  Annoying but we made due.  I ordered a trio of crustini for my appetizer, one eggplant, one mushroom and one caramelized onions and prosciutto (not picture...I ate them too fast.)  These were actually pretty good, not the most amazing thing ever created but the sweet caramelized onions with the salty prosciutto was to die for.  Too bad it was only two bits. 

For my entree I order a fried risotto cake with cheese in a marinara sauce. At least I remembered to take a picture this time.  So these were actually really good.  Aaron got the rack of lamb and personally I think I made the better choice.  They were basically risotto with seasonings that appear to be pan fried on top of this melty mozzarella cheese.  I ate all of it!  Unfortunately as I am writing this is has come to my attention that nothing even resembling this is on their menu online so you will have to go to Ugo and check it out for yourself.  I really liked this dish however my draw back was the size.  These little fried medallions are somewhere between the size of a golf ball and tennis ball.  A racquetball maybe!  Anyway, they're not very big, but thankfully we had a nice little basket of bread to help fill me up.

That was until dessert arrive.  Chocolate mousse cake, described as the perfect balance between mousse and cake.  And it was!!  It was large and it was really really good.   I like that it was 50/50 mousse and cake and very delicate.  I also like that it was topped with a thin wedge of chocolate on top cut the same shape as the cake.

All in all I would say 3.5 points.  It was pretty good, I didnt dislike anything, but nothing really stood out as "really good", let alone "I have to come back and have this again" I wont come back for the food food, but I will come back for wine and the happy hour specials.

***Side note the week before we shared the happy hour pizza which was a nice sized pizza with prosciutto, shaved parmesean and arugula.  VERY GOOD****

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings and Divine Intervention

I've never had chicken and dumplings.  I mean I ate it once two weeks ago but it was from a can from Progresso and was an unfortunate choice.  The dumplings were super gross just like mushy dough.  Well there was an episode of "Cooking for Real" on a few days ago where she made chicken and dumplings and it didn't look awful.  There is also a recipe for chicken and dumplings in Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home which looked amazing!  And wouldn't you know it, when looking on the cooking light website for tasty, low calorie, low cost dinners there is YET AGAIN another chicken and dumplings recipe.  All right fine!  The culinary gods have spoken...I will make chicken and dumplings!  So I went with the well reviewed low calorie version of this dish. Might as well because if I make the unhealthy, probably amazing Thomas Keller version version I don't know that I would like or ever eat the healthy one!  Anyway here is the recipe:


  • Cooking spray
  • 8  ounces  skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4  cup  (1/4-inch) diagonally cut celery
  • 1/2  cup  (1/4-inch) diagonally cut carrot
  • 1/2  cup  chopped onion
  • 1/8  teaspoon  dried thyme
  • 3  parsley sprigs
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 3  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2.25  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  cup  1% low-fat milk


1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add celery and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaf) to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Return chicken to pan; cook 1 minute. Add broth to pan; bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, chopped parsley, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add milk, stirring just until moist. Spoon by heaping teaspoonfuls into broth mixture; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until dumplings are done. Discard parsley sprigs and bay leaf.

Amazing!!! SUPER good!  The dumplings cook IN the broth so you don't need to dip bread in the broth because its already in there.  It was really cool when I dropped the dough in the broth because of the baking power the dough actually rises as it cooks!  And the middle of these little dough balls, once fully cooked, aren't all soggy in the middle just really good!  I also doubled the amount of chicken in the recipe...I mean I do have a MAN for a husband and I'm pretty sure he would frown upon a soup based dinner with only 4 oz of chicken.

Heath also doesn't like soup for dinner.  I don't know what it is but he just doesn't so I made something extra for him just in case soup wasn't gonna cut.  Bruschetta!  I love bruschetta and this stuff I made was sooo good and I didn't use a whole lot of olive oil so in my opinion that means it wasn't that bad for you!



  • 4 Roma Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp jarred minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • A good squirt of bottled lemon juice
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Roasted Garlic Bread (La Brea Bakery)
Preheat over to 375 F
Chop and seed tomatoes.  Mix all ingredients minus the bread in a bowl and set aside.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Slice the bread into 4 half inch thick slices and place on the foil.  Toast the bread in the oven for 5 minutes or until the undersides has a nice golden brown toast to it.  Spread the tomato mixture over the toast. Eat.  Enjoy!