Schmap!! Los Angeles

2 10 2009

Check this out: Schmap!! has published one of my photos in their online Los Angeles Guide! Click on “Little Tokyo” and the photos/blurbs of Little Tokyo appear on the right. Look for mine! I think that’s pretty cool.


17 09 2009

Los Angeles Mission: fresh and authentic Mexican food.
Problem: Too many other restaurants to try
Solution: visit Loteria Grill in the Farmers Market in West Hollywood for a quick lunch

The menu was extensive, the line was long, but we sidled up to the counter for some quick service.

I ordered the Carne deshebrada – Shredded Beef Served with Fresh Guacamole, Salsa Chipotle, and Finely Chopped Onion and Cilantro. Matt ordered the Cochinita Pibil– Pork, Slowly Roasted in Banana Leaf Served with Citrus-Pickled Red Onion and Chile Habanero.  Both were magically delicious. Tender meat, bright fresh accouterments, homemade corn tortillas. The one problem: the circumference of the tacos was about the size of my palm. And they were $3.50 each.

The Agua Frescas (watermelon and strawberry) were like a sweet sorbet dessert made from fresh fruit. Icy icy good. When we go back to L.A., I think I should insist on taking Loteria more seriously. As in, order a full meal on an empty stomach, and probably over-order just so I can try a bit of everything. The food was that good.

(P.S. Please tell me your opinion on this word: accoutrements or accouterments. I like the first spelling but WordPress likes the second spelling.)

Fro Yo Faceoff

15 09 2009

I’ve decided to commemorate the end of summer with a new post about frozen yogurt. I was introduced to frozen yogurt many years ago as a kid and I never understood what the hype was about. I like lots of flavor and Fro Yo always seemed to have very limited flavor choices so I always went with the ice cream.

In Los Angeles this summer, we witnessed some very fierce Fro Yo competition so we jumped into the fray.

Pinkberry, in Little Tokyo, was the first contender. I had heard great things about Pinkberry so we went with high hopes and watering mouths. Pinkberry was OK.  The decor and ambience was funky and very clean.  The employees were a bit full of themselves and I was glad I hadn’t changed into my casual clothes after dinner to eat here.

The taste was absolutely fine. Fine, I tell you! But only three flavors? And we can’t put on our own toppings? Now where’s the fun in that? I had a flash back to the days of frozen yogurt only being available in a few flavors. I was not impressed back then and, to be honest, I wasn’t too impressed with Pinkberry.

Maybe we preferred Yogurtland because we were tourists. Maybe Philadelphians just want too many choices in their food (Whiz wit, wit-out, etc. etc.). We just loved everything about it. The huge cups that you can fill yourself with 5 different kinds of yogurt and 10 toppings. Or maybe you only want a small squeeze from the machine. You can do whatever you want in Yogurtland! And people behave themselves!!

I was on a fruity kick–I couldn’t get enough of the fresh fruit options, like mango and kiwi, and the natural yogurt just topped it all off. There’s this yogurt stand in Tokyo Disneyland, right when you get off of Space Mountain, that makes the most tangy, icy, semi-sweet flavors and this is the first time I’ve found anything that comes close. The natural flavor, mixed with some sweeter toppings, was so natsukashii!s

Matt experienced a little bit of that when he got sweet beans on his Fro Yo, and he was also a fan of the green tea with mochi topping. I passed.

We love you, Yogurtland! We love your overwhelming amounts of flavors and toppings! We love putting our dishes on the scale to be weighed! We love the energy in the shop! And we love your little green spoons. We are in love.