Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On The Road. Four Best Things I Ate in Portland.

Last weekend the wife figure, the Boston Terrier and I packed the car and headed north. Really north. To Portland, Oregon. ((Well, for complete transparency: we stayed a night in Ashland en route, which by the way, has great food itself and may get its very own post.)) We were in the rose and 'stache city for good friends' wedding, but, come on, let's be real, we were also there to EAT. And eat we did. This despite the 100 degree weather. We simply weren't going to let that stop us from indulging to a ridiculous level.

While I deeply enjoyed all of our eats, these were my four favorite. I highly, HIGHLY recommend you seek out these foodstuffs on your next visit to Portland. By the way, my wife astutely noticed 'staches don't seem to be so in anymore. So there's that... Also, the above picture is on the door of our room at the Jupiter Hotel, which is a comfortable, dog friendly, bee's knees hotel adjacent to the Doug Fir music venue.

- Wiz Bang Bar's Salted Caramel Soft Serve w/ Single Origin Dark Chocolate Shell: Salt & Straw recently opened a soft serve joint in downtown Portland's new Pine Street Market. The soft serve is amazing. The "dip"/shell comes in three varieties: chocolate, black truffle white chocolate and Oregon black raspberry. They are amazing. We need one of these in LA ASAP. It's beyond pertinent.

- Apizza Scholls' Pizza: I spent hours (literally) researching where to eat pizza in Portland. It's a blessed pizza city nowadays and I wanted to make the right choice. I did. Apizza Scholls is a beautiful combination of many pizza styles, yet unique in itself. Note: make a reservation, or don't even think about it as the place was an absolute madhouse on an early Friday eve.

- The People's Pig's Smoked Fried Chicken Sandwich: I mean, look at that fucking thing. So much going down in this fried chix sammy. You've got the smoked, THEN fried flavor-packed chicken, a spicy aioli, a jalapeno jelly and the (very Portland) heirloom-level greenery. All on a hefty, yet light sourdough roll.

- Wolf and Bear's Falafel (not pictured): Okay, my bad. I ate it too quick and only got this random pic of me pointing. It was also, no exaggeration, a cool 97 degrees out that day at their pod. Totally worth it though. Upon her last visit, my stepmom proclaimed W&B's better than LA's own Madcapra. I thought that was crazy talk. But after chowing down on their signature entree -- falafel, hummus, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, parsley, grilled eggplant and greens, rolled in a warm, fresh pita -- I would have to say it's really, really close.

Also incredible: breakfast at Coquine, which is the neighborhood gem of neighborhood gems (see below).

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

BRACE YOURSELF. Authentic Neapolitan Pizzaiolo Known For Stuffed Crust Pizza Coming to Desano's For A Weekend.

Ever dream you'd be able to experience authentic, third generation Neapolitan STUFFED-CRUST pizza here in the friendly confines of Los Angeles? Of course you have. We all have. 

Well, got good news, bro: Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14th, you'll be able to live your dream. World-renown pie-slinging master, Attilio Bachetti of Napoli's Pizzeria Attilio will be taking over the ovens at East Hollywood favorite, DeSano Pizza Bakery. 

All weekend you can just walk in and order any of four of Attilio's traditional Neapolitan offerings: 

  • "Carnival Pizza" (8 points filled with Ricotta and in the middle is a margherita w/ sausage)
  • "Ray of Sun Pizza" (lemon segments, mozzarella, avocado, shrimp)
  • "Cannolo" (ricotta, mozzarella, sausage, porcini mushrooms)
  • "Los Angeles" (Bufala mozzarella, zucchini blossoms, yellow cherry tomatoes, lardo, pistachios)

The special pizzas, along with DeSano's normal menu, will be on offer all day from noon until closing both Saturday and Sunday. No reservations required. As an added bonus, on Sunday Attilio will be hosting a free pizza-making class from 10 am to noon. You will probably need to sign up for that, so give DeSano's a call (323-913-7000) to book your spot.

DeSano Pizza Bakery Hosts Attilio Bachetti.
4959 Santa Monica Blvd, LA.
August 13th and August 14th.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

You Should Be Eating This Right Now: Magpies Softserve.

What: Scratch-made soft serve ice cream and toppings.

Where: Magpies Softserve (2660 Griffith Park, Blvd, Silverlake).

When: Tues-Thurs, 11am-9pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-10pm; Sun, 11am-9pm; Closed Mon.

Why: Over the past few years LA has undergone an ice cream renaissance. However, amidst the hoopla I realized there has been a total lack of nouveau soft serve options. You know, that classic you crave on a relentlessly warm, long SoCal summer's day and eve. Sure, Sweet Rose's Santa Monica location offers two swirl options a month, but that was really it. Apparently former Westside Tavern chef Warren Schwartz and his wife Rose thought likewise because they just opened a silly good soft-serve only spot in Silverlake. All the ice cream is made in house, from scratch. And the flavors vary from Sweet Cream to Strawberry Rhubarb to Green Tea Brown Rice to Blueberry Cobbler. In the above picture you're looking at Malted Milk Chocolate and Sweet Corn Almond. Both incredibly tasty, hefty and fresh. And although I would never have guessed, the Sweet Corn Almond is dairy-free (along with at least one other offering a day, btw).

But the real kicker: the toppings are also ALL HOUSE MADE. And they're creative. None of those bullshit, borderline stale, YAWN chain ice creamery toppings here. I went with Hazelnut Wafer and White Chocolate-Drizzled Waffle Cone Bits this time. But definitely have my eye on the Chocolate Covered Honeycomb and Graham Cracker Streusel upon return.