Hitting up the LA restaurants

Emily and her boyfriend Saarim spent the last week plus with us. It is pretty amazing how we can all be in a house with an office while going through a long punch list for our new place, and all be doing work and none of our work overlaps. That is one of the greatest gifts from technology.

This is a crew that loves going to the good spots. I am going to recap each without giving a page to each spot. It was quite a week. Our first night was at Onda. Nice return. The menu, execution, flavors, tastes are really good.

The next outing was to Nightshade. Top Chef winner, Mei Lin’s spot. I did not even realize he was a top chef before we went. Not sure that is something I’d hang my hat on for career purposes. California seasonal food paired with Asian influences. Shrimp toast was my favorite dish. I lived on crunchy colored shrimp toast when I went to school in London, my junior year of college. This was more like a soft spongy yet crispy shrimp crepe delicately sitting in a rich spicy curry.

Some of the dishes are fun but many heavy-handed like the Szechuan hot quail over milk bread and some pickles on the side. Architecturally the room feels very much like a California fern-bar.

Dear John’s, on the other hand, is just awesome. The story here is that this restaurant will be here and gone when the building they reside in is destroyed and they knew that going in. It is genius on their part. They created a super cool old school LA steak house vibe. Picture filled walls, tight tables and booths and of course a long bar that screams have a martini.

Cesar salad table side is absolutely the call….and of course the shrimp cocktail.

We went off on our own one night and dined at Yours Truly. A flavor mixture from across the globe so each item has a twist. A heavy vegetable menu which is a nice bonus to see. It is in the hood so I will definitely go back. I just wish they had more than wine and beer.

Popcorn tempura cauliflower is additive. Don’t forget the Parkers Rolls.

Trois Mec is a spot I have wanted to go for a while. Petit Trois, the french bistro is next door and takes no resys. Trois Mec is more intimate and resys are a must. It gives the chef who is also the owner an opportunity to do both. These strip mall spots feel extremely modern Parisian once you walk in the door. Felt good the second we walked in the door.

Only four courses. Thinly sliced pieces of avocado wrapped around warm rice sitting in a rich yet light salt cream with just a dash of a lime vinaigrette. Wow. Flavors are insane but the textures just take this dish to another level. Brioche is key for dipping.

Quite a week in the growing restaurant scene of LA. Now that you don’t have to drive, it is a completely different experience. Sure it takes time to get there but it is not as stressful and you don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. It changes the game here.