Preview of DineLA/Restaurant Week

20 Jan Acabar

Yesterday was the official start of DineLA/Restaurant Week in Los Angeles and so begins 2 weeks of Prix-fixing and planning!

Every year I enjoy the search for a place I’ve never been and for a price value that makes January 20th-January 31st the ideal time to go. Lucques for example offers a $50 prix-fixe dinner which appears to be a good value but is actually more than they charge every Sunday for the famed “Sunday-Supper” Prix-fixe.

This year I got an opportunity to preview a dinner at Acabar which I must admit is usually a place I think of for drinks before dining. Chef Kevin Luzande is on a mission to change that, and there’s no better time than DineLA!

Three-Course Menu

Choice of Appetizer

Shades of Winter Salad with parsnip & cashew puree, cauliflower couscous & goat cheese

Shades of Winter Salad

Kanpachi Crudo with olive dust and salmon roe

Kanpachi Crudo

Beef Carpaccio with bone marrow, black truffle arancini, crispy pulled beef, and horseradish 


Choice of Entree

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with hen of the woods mushroom and brown butter


Seared Scallops with roasted chestnuts and bok choy


Braised Short Rib with smoked oyster cream and smoked grapes 



Choice of Coconut Coulant, Parsnip Split, and Gimmie S’More

gimmie smore

How you can tell a chef is absolutely invested in every diner…when you’re served a Gimmie S’More directly from his hands because he catches you slipping out of the dinner early :) Just one of the many wonderful moments on my savory journey at Acabar and my top choice for a $40 DineLA dinner that will have you rethinking this Arabian palace as just an after-dinner spot.



Acabar on Urbanspoon

5 Best Restaurants for Breaking your New Year’s Resolutions!

9 Jan NYE

It’s the first week of January and despite your best intentions you might find yourself reaching for that secret stash of Oreo’s you hid behind the kale chips. So before you give in to processed food, consider my list of the 5 best restaurants for breaking your New Year’s resolutions.

Hey at least you have to walk outside your house to get there!

1. Bacari PDR

Beginning on Sunday this Playa del Rey favorite will be kicking off their “Beefsteak Sundays” dinner special from 5-10 PM. For just $35 you can enjoy an all you can eat feast comprised of limitless grilled hanger steak, oven-roasted potatoes, onion rings, and toasted baguette plus guests can pair their meal with bottomless house red wine, house white wine, house sparkling wine, house beer, and homemade sangria. Is the Playa a little too far for you…Eastsider’s can enjoy the same bottomless fun at Bacaro LA in DTLA.


2. Pot

Head to the Line Hotel in Koreatown for one of Roy Choi’s newest culinary spots-Pot. Enjoy the BootKnocker for a taste of tofu, instant ramen, 4 canned meats, fish cakes and more! Pair it of course with a side of Kimchi Fried Rice.

Kimchi Fried Rice

3. Fat Sal’s

Jerry Ferrara, otherwise known as Turtle from Entourage has undergone a pretty significant weight loss transformation since the series first began…and I’m guessing he just stopped eating at his restaurant Fat Sal’s!

Stop in for The Big Fat Fatty for $49.99 and take their 40 minute food challenge. If you can eat this 27 inch garlic hero stuffed with cheese-steak, burgers, chicken fingers, crisp bacon, onions rings, and fat sauce then they will name a fat sandwich after you :). If you’re looking for a more reasonably sized lunch then try the Fat Sal, made with roast beef, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and gravy on a garlic hero for $9.99.

The Big Fat Fatty

4. Hawkins House of Burgers

Looking for a reason to visit Watts? Well now you can if only to go to Hawkins House of Burgers, for what some call the best burger in Los Angeles. The Hawkins Special Burger includes 3 meat patties, 3 eggs, 4 strips of bacon, a hot link, chili and pastrami plus a side of fries and a drink for 25.99. Although you could also get just a taste of Hawkins for $1.25.


5. Milk+Jar+Cookies

If you’re just looking for a sweet tooth fix that is worth every calorie, then head to this Mid-Wilshire spot for the ultimate comfort food, cookies and milk. All the ingredients are local including the sweet centers of those hard to resist ice-cream sammies.

And if one is isn’t enough, you can enroll in the Cookie of Month Club for about the price of gym membership and leave those healthy resolutions for 2016 where they belong!




Pot on Urbanspoon

New Year’s Eve 2015 in LA

23 Dec New Years Eve 2015

Whether you’re looking to ring in the New Year with a splurge, or something that just feel’s like one, EatDrinkLA has got you covered. Here are my pick’s for the best New Year’s Eve celebrations in LA for 2015 from splurge to steal that you can still make reservations at!

New Years Eve 2015


Harlowe’s “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” – 8pm-2am

Music, dancing, and a toast a midnight, Harlowe is offering a ticketed Gatsby style event. Click here to get your tickets on the spot. General Admission is $95 and includes open bar with drinks from the regular menu and select spirits from 8pm-Midnight plus complementary appetizers. Feeling more like a boss? The VIP packages will run you $500 but include 4 premium open bar tickets, a reserved table, and a complimentary bottle of champagne from the reserve list.


Fig & Olive “White & Gold” Party – 6pm-2am

Enjoy New Years Eve on the French Rivera with an a-la-carte menu until 9pm and a 4 course menu for $150 beginning at 9pm. The “white and gold” cocktail party runs from 9pm until midnight and for $100 you can enjoy an open bar and passed apps.

Fig and olive

Acabar’s “White Carnival”- 6pm-2am

The evening will feature an exclusive four-course prix-fixe menu, with two seatings that night (first seating, 6p.m.-7p.m., $65++ per person; second seating, 7:45p.m.-11p.m., $125++ per person). Menu highlights include Wagyu Beef Carpaccio and Normandy Butter Poached Lobster. In addition to reserved seatings in the dining room, guests can celebrate in Acabar’s exotic lounge and bar, which will be offering bottle service as well as their a la carte menu with oysters and caviar available upon request. Live entertainment will include a DJ, Brazilian Samba Dancers and capoeira performances in a drum circle.


Firefly, Studio City– 5pm-2am

If decadence is your idea of a proper New Years Eve then join Chef Paul Shoemaker for an exclusive holiday Black Truffle menu. The Prix Fixe 3-course menu is $75 and ends with a Black Truffle Cheesecake. Make a complete night of it and make a late reservation as the party goes on until 2am with a cash bar.

Firefly studio city

Sassafras’s “Black & White Party”– 8pm-2am

Enjoy a taste of New Orleans in your best black & white attire at Sassafras. Live music provided by The Dixie Giants. Tickets can be purchased here and for $85 you can sizzle with an open bar with specialty cocktails featuring Grey Goose and St. Germain and New Orleans-inspired hors d’oeuvres.

Sassafras Saloon

Now for the steals! Some no cover options to help ring the New Year.

Bigfoot West– 5pm-2am

If you’d rather spend your money on drinks then skip the cover and invest in a few rounds of the $10 champagne cocktail of the night

Bigfoot west

The Thirsty Crow– 8pm-2am

Wine for $5 or Champagne bottles for $50 should be enough to get you to midnight.

The thirsty crow

Tiki No– 5pm-2am

Enjoy a champagne toast out of a tiki glass instead at this North Hollywood kitchy favorite.

Tiki No

Hope everyone has a happy and delicious new year!!!






The Elements of Alimento

9 Dec

Alimento in Silverlake is one of the most talked about restaurants in Los Angeles right now. It is 1000 square feet of dimly lit space brandished with a scarlet A barely viewable on Silverlake Blvd.

Although I feel like I’m last to get on the party bus for this one, I almost wish I had never read the reviews and had tried what I thought sounded best on this rustic Italian menu, instead of eating what everyone else was.

That being said, here are my favorite elements of Alimento, but feel free stop reading now if you’d rather not taste my opinions.


Chicken Liver Crostone with black plum mostarda

I didn’t know what black plum mostarda was, but now I wish they bottled it! A deliciously savage plate with more than enough for two, but you might be fighting over the last crostone.


Pig in a Blanket

I can only think this made it’s way on to the menu because it’s a childhood favorite for the Chef, Zachary Pollock. After reading raves I had to include in with my dinner, but honestly I came up feeling like I had just enjoyed some food from the state fair. I wish I had gone with the Roasted Escarole Heart…


Fusilli cockles with fava leaves, serranos, and smoked butter

Truly inventive and supremely hearty and satisfying.


Money Saving Tip: Looking to booze it up? Bring your own wine and uncork it for $20.

Overall, I enjoyed the simplicity of the menu offerings and the more than reasonable prices for a space with limited seated and only open for dinner! Also I must give kudos to the social media team for the restaurant, who recommended the daily specials when I said I was coming in that night. Perhaps I should have taken their advice instead of the critics.

Alimento Restaurant in Silverlake

Alimento on Urbanspoon

Cocktails for a Buck!

4 Dec

Prohibition was repealed 81 years ago and cocktails have never been more expensive!!! So for one day only, bars are celebrating by finally giving consumers a break with $1 specials! The following are some places that from 5-7 PM on December 5th will let you pay for your old fashioned cocktails in quarters!

7321 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 9004

Bigfoot Lodge
3172 Los Feliz Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Oldfield’s Liquor Room
10899 Venice Blvd.
West Los Angeles, CA 90034

Thirsty Crow
2939 West Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

1233 N. Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90038



Black Friday Food Deals

26 Nov

If you’re brave enough to fight the crowds on Black Friday then you’ll need some nourishment! Here are my top picks when you’re thinking food over fashion.

The Beverly Center (8 AM-10 PM)

Obica Mozzarella on the first floor of the mall is the perfect addition to an afternoon of shopping. A nice glass of white wine and a burrata is a light option for both your weight and your wallet.

Glendale Galleria (Thursday 6 PM-Friday 10 PM)

I recommend crossing over into The Americana mall across the street to have lunch at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak. Two lunches are the price of one dinner, and its also the only time you can enjoy a burger on the menu.


Desert Hills Premium Outlets (Thursday 10 AM-Friday 10 PM)

As this is the mecca of outlet shopping in California, no one really goes to Cabazon for the dining.It would serve you well to be  on the Kate Moss diet while you are here, as you can’t expect much more than a questionable food court at Desert Hills Premium Outlets. If you do plan on eating, I suggest driving about a mile and hitting the restaurant options at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa. Hey you might even win some money for a second round of shopping :)


Rodeo Drive (10 AM-7 PM)

You’re not going to get a deal on shopping while you’re here, so why not treat yourself to a reasonably priced starch dish at Il Pastaio Restaurant to soften the blow. My favorite is the carnaroli rice with red beets and goat cheese.


Happy Thanksgiving!



Pumpkin Spice Everything!

6 Nov

If the fall season had a flavor I think we all could agree it would be pumpkin spice. Although very often there is not a drop of pumpkin in the mix, it still makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about the goard.

If you’re half as excited as me about this magical time of year, then here are some place in LA where you can spice up the season!

Pumpkin & Spice Latte Donut

Courtesy of Plan Check Kitchen & Bar and Executive Chef Ernesto Uchimura these crullers made with spiced sugar, whipped candied pumpkin, cold brew coffee pastry cream, and whipped cream make cronuts seem tame.

Pumpkin & Spice Latte Donut

Pumpkin Sage Ravioli

If you’re looking to enjoy the savory side of pumpkin, The Pumpkin Sage Ravioli  from Fig &  Olive will make your mouth water. This seasonal dish is made with free-range chicken, ricotta and charmoula, pumpkin olive oil emulsion, and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin & Sage Ravioli

Pumpkin Pizza

Paul Hibler’s Pitfire Artisan Pizza has brought back their infamous pumpkin pizza for the holidays made with roast pumpkin, sage, greens, fontina, brown butter, pumpkin seeds & oil.

Pumpkin PIzza

Pumpkin Gelato Beer Floats

Perhaps the most inventive pumpkin beer combination, Soleto Trattoria & Pizza Bar is pouring up Pumpkin Gelato Beer Floats, made with rich pumpkin gelato and Lagunitas IPA.

Pumpkin Beer Float

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Lastly, I must pay homage to the 380 calorie drink from Starbucks that started the craze 10 years ago. It might not have a drop of pumpkin in it…but caramel color IV latte just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

pumpkin spice latte


Plan Check Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon

Last Minute Halloween Haunts

31 Oct

All dressed up and no place to go? Here’s a list of some LA Halloween spots where no reservations are required!

Bigfoot West 

Westsiders can enjoy tarot card readings, live music, and a costume contest where the prizes will get you free drinks at this Venice hotspot from 9:30 Pm-2:00 AM.


West Hollywood’s Halloween Costume Carnival 

Called the the largest Halloween street party in the world, this Halloween festival brings an average of 500,000 people to the streets of West Hollywood for the ultimate runway walk-off. Better have your blue-steel face ready! Lisa Vanderpump of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will be there to crown the queen of the carnival! The party begins at 6 PM and goes until last man standing.



If you’re in Hollywood and aren’t feeling the nightclub scene, then head to Sassasfras for the spirit and voodoo of New Orleans. Beginning at 9:30 PM there will be voodoo punch, live blues, and a halloween costume contest where the prizes are for bar tabs. Keep your eye open for the little girl riding the alligator.

Sassafras Saloon   

Sassafras on Urbanspoon

The Federal Bar’s Noho Monster Bash

This party in North Hollywood starts at 9 PM and although tickets are already sold out, they are $20 at the door, so arrive early (Happy Hour is from 3-6 PM so just get comfortable) and make sure you’re wearing a costume. There will be live music, contortionists, and special acts every 30 minutes. The Special acts portion is not defined, but you’re in North Hollywood, so I would count on seeing performances by some out of work actors. Perhaps the scariest thing of all!

Happy Halloween!!!!

Federal Bar North Hollywood




A Piece of Prime Real Estate

29 Oct Ocean Prime Outside

What makes Ocean Prime different than any other surf & turf restaurant in Beverly Hills? The heightened sense of retail fantasy life that comes from having dinner while looking at Barney’s.


The Ocean Prime franchise has landed in Beverly Hills, and if you’ve never heard of it don’t worry, that just means you’re not from Ohio. This will be the first location to open on the West Coast and will be offering an experience unique to Beverly Hills as the only location serving sushi and with a focus on California wines.

Camden Roll

Sushi named for Camden Drive made with Tempura Shrimp, Cream Cheese, Scallion, and Beef Carpaccio

Personally I don’t come for sushi when the head chef is Matthew Brigggs from Mastro’s so I was eager for some of the menu’s more classic supper club options. The Surf & Turf is in a category all it’s own.


You know the mark of a good restaurant group when 10% of the local staff is willing to relocate for the improvement of the business. But then again, Cameron Mitchell is sending them to Beverly Hills, and then New York City in 2015. Not a bad gig!

Ocean Prime Outside

Get TabbedOut

30 Sep 20140928_153939

This weekend I got to experience a great new way to pay your tab when you’re out and about! It’s a huge hit in Texas and is making it’s way West with a run at about 25 restaurants and counting!

Who this is great for:

1. Girls who like to carry as possible. Cellphone is all you need, and an ID if your blessed with young features like myself :)

2. Guys who lose their wallets every time they go out!

3. Girls and Guys who constantly question if the bartender is putting extra drinks on their tab–because you can watch the bill in real time!

I tried it out at Barney’s Beanery in Pasadena and with just the mention of Tabbed Out my bill was transferred to my cell-phone and I was free to leave whenever I wanted! Plus there is a tip calculator so if you’re a little too tipsy to be intelligent, TabbedOut will take care of the basic math involved with a night out.

All in all, the perfect accessory for your dining needs!




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