Monday, July 27, 2015

Angelini Osteria

Angelini Osteria has been very high up on my "revisit" list.  It left an incredible impression upon me after my first visit in 2010.  I figured Hobag would be the best person to come here with 1) because she had never been before and 2) I knew she would LOVE it.  As I get older, I have discovered, more often than not, that I am RIGHT about pretty much most things.  Did you miss the memo that big appetites and big egos go hand in hand??  Just kidding.

Some might argue that Angelini is serving up the best pasta in all of Los Angeles.  I might throw in my vote there.  The place is small and the tables are seriously smashed up against each other.  Forget trying to have a private dinner conversation here.  We made buddies with the pair of over 40+ year old, balding, likely divorced or never-been-married dudes sitting next to us.  Possibly some rich Hollywood types who had great things to tell us about the place with personal menu recommendations.  Food really does bring everyone together.  

Bread
Some little snacks.  The rosemary and olive oil were very fragrant and distinct.


Appetizer
I guess this was a free little gift from the kitchen.  It was just a light pasta salad.  Israeli couscous maybe?  Gobbled it down so fast I can barely remember much more of it.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

AOC

Having lived in LA for a number of years has naturally led me to a fair amount of celebrity sitings.  I've seen Paris Hilton, Milla Jovovich, Charlize Theron, Matthew Perry and a random smattering of others.  But the coolest celebrity siting was Leonardo DiCaprio here at AOC when it was at it's old location almost 7 years ago.

HOLLA!  Was I trying to capture the joyful occasion of Smooth Obturator's birthday?  Uhh, I think not.  I mean, look.  The frickin' cake was cut out of frame and he's not even in the center of the photo.  But you can see who IS in the photo.  BOOM!  That's right!  My buddy Leo.


Anyways, the food was equally as memorable as the A-list celebrity siting that night.  I have always wanted to go back, but it seems like AOC is old hat for many of my foodie buddies who are always on the look out for something new.  These days, I feel like I've exhausted the cities true gems so I am looking to revisit some of my favorites to see if they still retain the same allure

The Farmer's Plate summer vegetables, tomato-eggplant jam, chickpea puree, burrata, grilled toast 
The menu at AOC has too many good things to choose from.  It was just me and Perpetually Underwhelmed so we had to make sure not to over order, yet get a nice selection of items to satisfy our particular palates.  AOC is know for its seasonal, farm-to-market cuisine.  This dish was just that.  Simple grilled vegetables accompanied by different flavors and textures with the jam, puree, and cheese.  A great vegetarian dish.


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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Redbird

I usually know where I want my next meal to be in LA.  I keep a running list of places to try.  While that list continues to grow, sometimes my enthusiasm for the places wanes as I read reviews and blog posts.  Redbird was such a place.  The place generated much buzz and anticipation since Fraser had been off the fine dining scene since the closure of Grace.  With LA being more of a mecca for ethnic rather than high end eats, I look forward for any chance to wear my fancy pants and prepare to have my wallet raped.  Unfortunately, the reviews I read didn't scream home run for Redbird but I always try to give every place a chance.  The Bear Crew wanted to convene for another one of our "Let's Get Obese" dinners so this was our pick.  Our usual group of 6 (Luau Bear, Farm Bear, Buff Bear, Panda Bear, Mani Bear, and myself) grew to 8.  Newlyweds Silent Bear (previously known as Macadamia Nut Bear) and The Blonde Lady joined us for the first time.  I'm pretty sure they weren't prepared for the obesity that was to follow.  We kinda over ordered...

Bread
The aesthetic of the place is clean, contemporary, with just a touch of hipster.  Take for instance the bread that comes in a small cloth tie string bags.  Is it this weeks laundry or is it hot toasty carb bombs?  Lucky for us, it was the latter.
Dinner Roll & Gougere
The dinner roll was whatever, and the gougere was a disappointing gummy dense rock.  I'm used to light fluffy cheesey delectableness.  Nope, just hockey pucks.
Grilled Spanish Octopus cherry tomatoes, black chickpeas, baby kale, anchovy vinaigrette
I appreciated the charred supple yet snappy tentacles.  The anchovy vinaigrette was a bit overpowering at points, but overall it was a nice dish.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Juliette Kitchen & Bar

I'm always excited to find good eats in Orange County.  Non chain deliciousness can be hard to come by, so Juliette Kitchen really hit the spot.  The restaurant is in the neighboring strip mall of Nana San, so if the wait there is too long and you can switch epicurean gears from Japanese/sushi to New American/comfort food then keep this place in mind.  Fishing Zebra Man and I treated Rock Dweller and her man, Can't Hang, to their birthday dinner here.

Not sure if I'm just getting old, or work is getting too stressful sometimes, but I really look forward to a nice relaxing drink after one of those rough days.  We all have them.  Don't lie to yourself.  I'm not an alcoholic or anything, but how can this not put a smile on your face?  Moscow mules might be my new favorite go-to drink.  I'm actually wouldn't complain if this drink is made on the light side.  I enjoy the simplicity of a fizzy ginger beer served in a shiny cold cup.  If someone knows where I can find me a set of cups like this, let me know!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts fried pork belly, shallots, parsley, pomegranate molasses gastrique
Fishing Zebra Man kept bemoaning the overdoneness of these veggies.  Granted they were a tad over, I still found them to be tasty.  Maybe they were better the first time I had them, but the char, sweet, sour, salty flavors still came together nicely.

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