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. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What To Order On The Brand Spanking New Umami Menu.

Okay, I'm not going to waste your precious Post-Lunch Food Blog Perusing Procrastination Time. I know it's valuable as fuck. I also know you know about Umami Burger. You probably know I ate the whole damn burger menu there once as well. Something you way not know though: the Santa Monica Umami recently moved up the street to classier, stylish new digs at 525 Broadway and, in doing so, switched things up quite a bit menu-wise. 

Set to be the benchmark for all future locations and eventually current ones, the Umami bill of fare has expanded, both on the food and drink side. Here's what the nouvau shiz you should be ordering on your next visit...

To Sip: 
Velvet Mule.
Truth: I usually drink beer with burgers. Another truth: this is usually a mistake. Going with something lighter leaves more room for burger-fry consumption. A delicious combination of my dear dear friend Tito's, a sweet "velvet" syrup, lime juice, ginger beer, bitters and mint, I highly recommend this 'tail.

To Appetize: 
Butter Corn.
This is not a complicated dish. It's corn on the cob, buttered, grilled and then topped with Umami's so-called sweet "Master" sauce, a little soy sauce, Parmesan sprinkles and a lime squeeze. That's it. The result is mighty tasty though and probably the strongest app/side on the menu aside from their signature Cheesy Tots.

To Main Course:
Loco Moco
Right now this is a Santa Monica exclusive. I imagine that won't last for long because it's really good and people will start requesting at other locations. You get an Umami beef patty smushed between two rice patty "buns," with some medium-to-thick gravy and an oozing fried egg atop. It's a burger breakfast... that you can have at any hour.

Monday, June 20, 2016

It's Hot As Balls. We Should All Be Drinking These.

Where: Preux & Proper (840 S. Spring Street, DTLA).

What: New Orleans-style Frozen Daquiris.

How Freaking Much: $6 during Happy Hour (every day 4-6 pm).

Why: The more formal Preux & Proper menu upstairs has undertook an ongoing tinkering since Chef Samuel Monsour took over the reigns a few months back. However, some of his strongest work shines downstairs at the more chill bar of the downtown NOLA-inspired spot. I'd argue P&P now offers the strongest Happy Hour food menu in LA. Their poutine fresh-cut fries, catfish Po Boy and skillet mac n cheese are unrivaled at such a pricepoint. 

However, when it's hot as eff like it is right now, all you're searching for is a refreshing, cold ass drink. You'd pretty much kill someone for one. And P&P has been known for their liquored up frozen daiquiris since they opened. Chef Monsour made one slight change though that has really elevated his daqs: THEY NOW CONTAIN REAL FRUIT JUICE. Yes, they are freezing cold, they are boozy, they are slushy, they are creamy and now they actually taste really, really good. None of that hyper-sugary bullshit. They also rotate varying flavors often. Among my favorites are Mint Julep and Apple Pie, but the queen of the ball is the Pina Colada. If it's available, GET. IT. 

Note: upon request they will give you little samples of the different flavors.

Furthermore, they have an enticing street level open air patio. If lucky enough to grab an outdoor table, you're drinking the city's best frozen daiquiri from the city's best Happy Hour in one of the city's most scenic outdoor drinking areas.