February 13, 2014
I had heard so many positive things about The Hart + The Hunter (a restaurant inside the Palihotel in West Hollywood), but only visited for the first time last Sunday. Consider me officially hooked on all things H + the H.
It was one of those perfect meals that come around so rarely these days and we enjoyed literally every aspect of it. The smoked trout and avocado toast was ridiculous. Order this if you go. I almost wish we had gotten 2. Then the crab eggs benedict. Stop it right now with all this deliciousness. And just as we figured things couldn’t possibly get any better, out came the biscuits. The only way to describe the biscuits is with my favorite GIF. I mean, total mind explosion. Plus, the honey butter and pimento cheese – all the thumbs up.
But the true underdog amidst all this goodness was the London Fog. It’s an Earl Grey latte at heart but they must put something magic in it because it might be my new favorite drink.
Anyone down for a biscuit date? Count me in.
February 5, 2014
I’m sure you’re DYING for a new kale salad recipe, you know, because there aren’t enough on the internets already. But guess what? This isn’t a recipe! It’s just an explanation of my favorite way to eat said leafy green in a recipe-like manner. That’s better, right? So here goes: my favorite way to eat kale is raw, in a salad, with very minimal dressing, lots of cheese, and topped with seeds and/or nuts. So simple and easy, yet crazy good. Here are the details:
For a single bowl of salad (you can double it/triple it, etc), I use about 4-5 kale leaves (organic Lacinato kale! forget that curly-leaf stuff), de-stem them, wash them thoroughly, and then chop finely. After I place them in a bowl, I give them a quick hand massage for about a minute or so. I’m serious, y’all! Kale needs to be massaged. It breaks down the fibrous fibery things. Sorry, I don’t know food terms. But do it – it makes the salad way better.
A squeeze of lemon (about a teaspoon) and one swirl of extra virgin olive oil (again, about a teaspoon) to dress it. Totally eye-ball it though. It should be really lightly dressed, you don’t want it too heavy. A pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Then lots of grated cheese (I use Parmigano Reggiano, but really any kind will do). And good heavens, don’t forget the cheese. Add as much as you’d like. I also toss in about a tablespoon of sunflower seeds because I love a good crunch to my salads, but you can add more or less. And if you’re opposed to sunflower seeds, any seed or nut will do. That’s really it. Don’t forget to eat it all up because remember, it’s super healthy and good for you. Plus, the cheese cancels out when you are eating it with kale so that’s like double the health.
June 18, 2013
Sometimes all you need is the Friday afternoon sunshine, one of your best friends, and a couple of ice creams to really end the week on a high note. Work has been pretty crazy lately so it’s nice to get outdoors and just enjoy a dang chocolate cone with lots of laughs and giggles and intermittent shouts of “YAY YOU LIVE HERE NOW!!” (she moved here from Hawaii).
This summer is going to be a good one, I can feel it!
*Wearing this palm tree shirt (from this post) and these ankle boots (also seen here and here). Eating blackberry sorbet in a chocolate cone from sweet rose creamery and if i do say so myself, it was a mighty fine choice.
May 28, 2013
Avocados make the world a better place and if I may say so, I do believe they’ve revolutionized the toast game. Toast will never be the same. Buttery avocados mashed onto bread? Nothing beats it. Also, you can’t really mess it up. Top literally ANY ingredient on avo toast and it will taste better than anything you’ve had all day (slight exaggeration but you get the point). And I know we all have our iterations of this infamous toast, whether it be avocado-only or heavily-topped with secret ingredients, but my favorite is Cafe Gitane’s in NYC. They’ve created the perfect balance of avocado to bread to yummy toppings. Although I’ve tried recreating it’s goodness, my replica is certainly not up to par with theirs. BUT it’s pretty dang good so I thought I’d share!
Here is my step-by-step guide to avocado toast:
While your bread is toasting, grab these ingredients:
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt (or any other coarse salt)
With a fork, mash half of a ripe avocado on a piece of toast. YEAH, go crazy, use a WHOLE HALF.
Drizzle a spoonful of good olive oil over the mashed avocado.
Squeeze lemon juice liberally over it as well.
Sprinkle coarse salt over it. Go ahead, one more dash of salt.
And finally, the real kicker. A few pinches of chili flakes. Now my chili flakes are pretty tame so I need quite a bit to get some heat. If your chili flakes are hotter, use less.
And voila! Buttery avocado, tart lemon juice, and that heat from the chili flakes – ahh perfection in a bite. Repeat all steps again for toast #2. (everyone needs toast #2).
May 23, 2013
Ok now on to the good stuff. We were pretty clueless about where to eat and shop in Montreal and relied purely on recommendations from internet friends, Foursquare lists, and one episode of Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover. What we discovered? Montreal has really good food. I mean REALLY good. Although we ate and shopped a TON, I’ve narrowed down our favorite spots below. The photo quality is reminiscent of blogs circa 2008 so bear with me. I only used my iPhone and at the time, I wasn’t thinking about taking high-quality pics because I was stuffing my face and slipping in and out of food comas. #blogfail. Anyway, the favorites –>
Olive et Gourmando
This was BY FAR our favorite place. And by “favorite,” I mean we had lunch here 3 times and I’m not kidding. It’s an adorable cafe with a daily-changing menu of sandwiches/salads/soups and a case full of delicious pastries. I can’t decide what I liked more: the cajun chicken, guacamole, and mango sandwich OR the quinoa salad with chickpeas, haricot verts, snap peas, and tiny peppers. I tried something different each time and couldn’t resist something sweet from the pastry counter after each meal.
This restaurant calls itself a “tartare bar” so we knew we had to check it out, being that we love tartare and all. It was lively, hip, and we ate some of the best tuna tartare I’ve ever had. My favorite was the tuna with sesame vinaigrette because it reminded me of poke bowls. We also ordered the mac & cheese poutine and easily gained 5 pounds each. Two thumbs up.
I was legitimately scared to go to Joe Beef and I can honestly say it was the craziest of our experiences. It was also beyond amazing. Let me explain. This restaurant specializes in MEAT. Lots of it. If you’re wondering why 2 semi-vegetarians (we don’t eat red meat or pork) went here, I have no answer. The menu, which changes daily, is written on a chalkboard wall…in French. Yes, I took French in high school but I can’t read “horse heart” and “sea urchin fried in cornflakes.” We had the waitress read us the entire menu and ended up finding quite a few things we’d enjoy. We ordered burrata with green beans, an egg gelee, lobster spaghetti, and halibut with mussels. Oh and a few glasses of sparkling wine and a bloody mary or two (the bloody mary comes with an oyster and a crab leg, NBD). Everything was beyond delicious. I still have dreams about that lobster spaghetti and I don’t think I’ll have better lobster ever again. Sigh.
This little vegan cafe is perfect for lunch and we both loved it. I had a tempeh bowl with brown rice, veggies, and a thai peanut sauce that really hit the spot. They also had a full menu of teas which made my heart happy.
On our last night in Montreal, we dined at our hotel’s restaurant and I’m so glad we did. There was a band playing, soccer games on tv, and the food was simple and delicious. We ordered fish & chips, a nicoise salad, and a half dozen oysters. It was a perfect meal to end our trip. Plus, they served the best beer of our lives: Kronenberg 1664 blanc.
Juliette et Chocolat
We went to this chocolate-only dessert bar one night and split a crepe with nutella and strawberries. Ok why aren’t there dessert bars in Los Angeles? This would totally be my jam on a Saturday night if there were.
Kyle’s a longtime lover of Rooney’s online shop so this was a must-stop for us. It’s a well-curated men’s & women’s store with brands like Gitman Vintage, Saturdays NYC, and they even had some sweet New Balances. I wanted that Apolis market bag SO BADLY, but my mom calls me “bag lady,” meaning I probably don’t need another bag in my life.
This was another great store we visited with a line-up of really unique designers, like Dana Lee and Apiece Apart. I haven’t seen a store so well-curated in a long time. Plus, I wanted their plant stands soooo badly (not for sale, of course).
Alright and because I loved the place so much, two more photos from Olive et Gourmando. That’s cous cous with a tomato-based sauce and roasted veggies, topped with pistachios and minty yogurt. I mean, really? So delicious.
Last thing! I haven’t mentioned our Montreal hotel much, but we stayed at the Auberge du Vieux-Port and loved every second of our experience. It was smack in the middle of Old Montreal, the room was beautiful, the staff was so accommodating, and there was complimentary breakfast every day. And I mean GOOD complimentary breakfast, like eggs benedict and waffles. It was nice to save a few bucks each day by eating breakfast in our hotel.
And lest you think my blog is turning into a travel blog, it’s back to regular programming tomorrow!