with 'food' tag

blossom expands

expanded blossom remember when i used to blog? those were the days.

blossom, the excellent vietnamese restaurant in the ground floor of the canadian building at the corner of main and winston streets, has expanded into an adjacent space. the layout is a little goofy, with the kitchen between the two seating areas. they have also applied for a liquor license.

caged cute

wonton caged

we left wonton home alone in his crate for the first time today while we went to lunch. we tried to go to langer’s deli, but it was closed so the employees could attend the memorial for the restaurant’s founder. we ended up at mama’s hot tamales instead. the tamales were delicious, although they screwed up our order.

since we got back, wonton has been expressing his disappointment at being left home alone. he’s been barking to get out of his enclosure, and before we caught on to what he was doing, we actually fell for it a few times.

the puppy-training books should have arrived today, but i didn’t make it downstairs to catch the ups truck. the call-box for our building is still out-of-service.

sushi ’n sh t

for a while, i have claimed that the best burgers in downtown los angeles came from tony’s (aka burgers ’n sh t). it’s under new management now, and they have taken the burgers off the menu. the new owners have renamed it “tony’s roll & teriyaki.”

i tried the chicken breast teriyaki today, which was quite good. but i will always lament the loss of the burgers (and steak fries).



not just for making horse noises

lax-c is one of those gems of downtown that doesn’t get enough credit. it is basically an asian costco (without the memberships), but it also has a crazy back room with giant thai elephants and buddhas and a totally insane dragon bench.

for our engagement party, we picked up a couple of five pound containers of coconut in coconut cream — it’s basically little chunks of coconut inside ice cream made from coconut milk instead of cow juice. it’s now easily one of my favorite foods on the planet. we had one container left after the party, and it did not last for very long after that.

we also picked up some jars of kaong (sugar palm fruit), macapuno (coconut sport), ube (purple yam) jam, and enough chopsticks to build a small house.

and on top of all the cool food and other stuff, the building is wrapped in a mural about the history of california.

lists of four things about los angeles

clouds, palms, and skyline

my girlfriend celia tagged me with the “meme/chain letter/time suck that’s been going around.” if you read closely, you’ll notice that i have mutated it slightly.

four jobs i’ve had in my life in los angeles: programmer at mysql, programmer at homepage.com, programmer at knowledge adventure, and college (public) relations intern at harvey mudd college.

four movies about los angeles i could watch over and over: crazy/beautiful, repo man, assault on precinct 13, and collateral.

four places i’ve lived all over los angeles (with food memories from each): downtown los angeles, where i still haven’t exhausted the possibilities (but engine co. no. 28 has really won me over); north hollywood, where i discovered chinese deli t&d way too late in my stay; glendale, where i had many great lunches with my coworkers from knowledge adventure, the best at places whose names i don’t remember; and claremont, where making milkshakes at platt (the school cafeteria) probably caused my lactose intolerance.

four los angeles-themed shows i love(d) to watch: boomtown, the shield, 24 (and none of this “only the first season” weaseling — i still love it), and entourage.

four places i would vacation at in los angeles: downtown, the beach, the hills, and downtown. (i’d have added disneyland and laguna beach like celia, but that’s orange county….)

four los angeles-based websites i visit daily: 5th and spring, l.a. observed, blogdowntown, and sha in la. (but to be honest, i use blo.gs to only visit them when they’ve updated.)

four of my favorite foods found in los angeles: strawberry donut from donut man (aka foster’s) in glendora, meat loaf at engine co. no. 28 in downtown los angeles, everything at chinese deli t&d in north hollywood, and celia’s white chocolate sweet potato cake and lasagna.

four places in los angeles i would rather be right now: the central library rotunda, the city hall observation deck, the watercourt at california plaza, and wherever celia is.

four los angeles-based charities you should support: los angeles conservancy, library foundation of los angeles, childrens hospital los angeles, and the midnight mission. (i could go on.)

tagged: shannon, ask, dave (eecue), and eric.

lemons at avila adobe

lemons at avila adobe


flowers and vase celia and i ate some of the cupcakes last night, and also some of the the best lasagna ever. some generic lactaid prevented me from exploding like a cheese-eating pug.

we only made it through about half of the notebook.

as you can see, i took heed of eric’s reminder about the los angeles flower market, and also added a vase from chinatown to the mix. there were also some tulips that i snuck into her car before she left for work.

it was my best valentine’s day ever, how about you?

happy valentine’s day

white chocolate sweet potato cake

my girlfriend baked a white chocolate sweet potato cake last night. (and cupcakes, which is how i already know it is delicious, and how it is that the cake will survive until tonight.)

lazy sunday

celia and i went to see capote at the arclight on sunday. it is easy to see why philip seymour hoffman picked up the golden globe for his performance, because it is pretty amazing. i was also really impressed by the sound design (and score) — there was a lot of effective use of just ambient noise.

after the movie, we tried the cream puffs at beard papa at hollywood and highland. they’re very tasty, but they aren’t the same sort of revelation as a fresh krispy kreme donut.

the ambassador wake has been rescheduled for february 2 (groundhog day). you’ll need to rsvp because the booze is free and space may be limited.

union station walking tour, january 2006

window reflection on ticket lobby floor saturday was the walking tour of union station for new los angeles conservancy members. i went, and of course took lots of pictures.

while i didn’t pull the bonehead move of taking exposures that were too long (like i did for the city hall tour last week), i think i was a little over-aggressive in cranking up the iso setting (and also just plain forgot when shifting outside sometimes), so some of the pictures aren’t quite as good as they could have been.

after the tour, shannon and i grabbed sandwiches at phillipe’s, even though she long ago expressed her preference for cole’s.

more on the rest of the weekend another time.

orangey goodness

orangey goodness

you better cut the pizza in four pieces because i’m not hungry enough to eat six

in slices while i was making dinner (and tomorrow’s lunch), i decided to take some pictures. the crust is just some dough from my basic bread recipe. the sauce is also homemade, with a very basic recipe (onions, garlic, whole tomatoes from a can, red wine, salt, pepper, and fennel seed). sausage, mushrooms, and green pepper have been my toppings of choice lately. i’ve been thinking i should probably sauté the mushrooms, but i’ve just been adding them raw so far.

i was out of sauce, which means i had to make some. which means i had to go across the street to get canned tomatoes. but which also means i had to crack open a bottle of wine. woohoo!

spoonbridge and cherry

spoonbridge and cherry

it is cold here. and yes, this is probably one of the most over-photographed things in minneapolis. other pictures i took today will need a bit more massaging once i get back home.

tamale festival, 2005

chicken tamale from mom’s tamales my usual food festival cohort bailed on me, but i made it out to the tamale festival anyway. and took pictures, of course.

i had tamales from three different booths, but didn’t feel up to braving the monster line for another at molly’s tamales. the ones i had were all excellent.

there was a free ring toss game sponsored by some tequila company. i managed to get two of three of my rings on a bottle. unfortunately, the prize was just a deck of cards (well, two), and not the bottle of tequila.

the 1st annual los angeles international tamale festival and carnival 2005 is this weekend, and it’s right across the street from not a cornfield. (spotted at blogging.la.)



the los angeles downtown news reports on all the restaurants opening up downtown, and the pitfire pizza in the higgins building is one of the latest. i feel like they’re stalking me — i used to live near the original location in north hollywood. i only ate there once or twice. pizza joints aren’t terribly exciting for the lactose intolerant.

roasted almonds

these are the almonds from the farmers’ market that i mentioned last week. you can’t have any. they’re all mine.

these things are dangerous. while i was waiting in line, and after having a sample, i talked myself up from the $2.50 snack pack to the $6 medium bag.

charity, october 2005

los angeles regional foodbank i actually had another charity in mind for this month, but will be postponing to that until next month while i wait for some information from them. instead, i’m bumping up what would have been next month’s contribution to the los angeles regional foodbank.

i like the payoff of the little dust-up between penny arcade and an anti-games moralizer who had his bluff called.

oh, i’m not doing the tax-refund-charity thing this year. instead, i decided back in february to just increase the amount i gave each month. i do still have another donation to make from the yahoo money.

strawberries i started the docent training at the central library today, and one big perk to it being on wednesday mornings is that afterwards i get to hit the farmers’ market on 5th street.

mmm, fresh roasted peanuts.

according to one of the people who works at the library, it will now be going on until the end of the year.

another booth was selling some sort of cinnamon-flavored roasted almonds that smelled amazing. i can still smell them. i’ll have to fight my way through the crowd to try them next time.

she sets the summer sun on fire

the los angeles times interviews christine moore of the little flower candy company, who makes what sound like delicious caramels.

speaking of candy, candy blog is one of the coolest blogs i’ve found through lablogs.com. but after my bad reaction to the last candy bar i had, i’ve been staying away from chocolate bars. very sad.

dave wrote up his shopping foray at the downtown farmers market today. mine was much less exciting, because i couldn’t just buy food that would rot in my fridge while i was away. so i only bought a couple of things i needed for the next few days.

and some fresh roasted peanuts. if anyone was ever trying to get me to do something, bribing me with fresh roasted peanuts would probably render me powerless to resist. yummy.

sadly, there will only be one more downtown farmers market for me this year (on october 5).

never say never

for a long time, i avoided chinese food and asian food in general. there was never really any good reason for it. i just have a very stubborn streak.

what finally turned the tide was a friend mentioning that he used to drive up to a place near where i lived in north hollywood to go to a particular chinese place. i eventually gave it a try myself, really enjoyed it, and still head up to north hollywood every few weeks to go there.

more organic produce during lunch today, i managed to remember to head over to the central library to return some books and take some pictures of the farmers’ market.

all i bought was a bag of roasted peanuts (so tasty). next week i’ll have to bring a bag and load up on produce. it all looked awesome.

the chinese food festival los angeles takes place august 27-28 in chinatown (where else?). sounds yummy.

the washington post explains “why the red delicious no longer is.”

i guess delicious is a bit too strong of an adjective, but i still eat them pretty regularly. i think the crunchiness helps make the experience transcend the taste.


the la tofu festival 2005 is coming up — august 13-14 in little tokyo. until august 10, you can get a festival package that includes two admission tickets, two raffle tickets, fifteen food tickets, and a festival cookbook, all for $30.

if you ever find yourself saying “i’ll get the spearmint altoids, i’m so over regular (peppermint) ones,” know that you are making a foolish mistake. peppermint owns spearmint.

i have no opinion of wintergreen yet. and cinnamon sounds like a great idea, but i fear it. ginger and licorice are also mysteries to me.

strawberry creme cookies the other day, i picked up some cookies that i will never eat.

they’re on my kitchen table.

denial ain’t just a river in egypt.

i am going through apples and oranges at a pretty good clip.

this week i gave a restaurant that is apparently just called “cuba” a try. it’s located in the building on the west* side of spring between third and fourth. it’s a little on the expensive side for what i would consider for a regular lunch stop if i ate lunch out every day, but the food is quite good. it made me miss going to versailles for lunch regularly.

* i think it is on what people consider the west side of spring. downtown los angeles is on a diagonal grid, which i find enormously confusing to translate into map directions for some reason. it’s actually the northwest side of spring.

bases covered

friday is usually my eat-lunch-out day, and rather just grab food from the grand central market, i’m trying to expand my horizons a bit. after lunch today, i can safely say i’ve eaten where the french-dipped sandwich was invented, whether that is actually philippe’s or cole’s p.e. buffet. of the two, i think phillipe’s wins out on the ambience and food, but they’re both excellent.

mysql mints

mysql mints there were a bunch of these in the marketing stockpile in our seattle office. i grabbed a bunch, but now i’m almost out.

i also grabbed a nifty travel mug. now i just need to start drinking coffee. and travel.

the los angeles downtown news takes a look at places to shop for groceries downtown. i think i’ve used all of the places they mention, except for the farmers’ markets.

i’m not sure it’s fair to characterize the grand central market as mostly prepared food stalls these days. the only unprepared food vendors that have gone away since i started going is one of the deli counters (and there’s still another one) and the baked-goods place (and there’s a bakery and tortilleria opening soon). and now that there’s a 99¢ store in the basement, i find there’s very few things i can’t get from the grand central market.

a long weekend ramble

my parents were in town this weekend, and we spent almost the whole time doing things around downtown.

the arrived late on friday afternoon and checked into the westin bonaventure. (the person who wrote “the hotel's interior can’t quite match its dramatic exterior” is wrong — the interior of the bonaventure is one of my favorite spaces.) i met them at the hotel, and then we walked down to my apartment, and we had dinner at pete’s café.

on saturday morning we took the los angeles conservancy’s walking tour of the broadway theaters, and had really great luck: in addition to the usual theaters on the tour, the tower theater was opened up, and we caught the very tail end of the performance that celia of 5th and spring wrote about. we ate lunch at clifton’s cafeteria and then went over to the los angeles theater, which wasn’t open during the tour but was open in the afternoon for some reason.

in the evening, we hopped on the red line up to hollywood & vine and walked down to the arclight to see in good company (short review: liked it!) and had dinner at the baja fresh that is part of the new sunset & vine complex. there were a couple of scenes in the movie where you could see the bonaventure in the background, which was a funny coincidence.

on sunday, we hit some of the open houses that were part of the downtown living open house (actually we had gone into the eastern columbia building on saturday, and there was also an open house in my building that we checked out). the open house was a little disappointing because most of the properties were still under construction, and there was nothing to really see. (but maybe that was just those we happened to go to — we didn’t visit them all.)

from the south park area, we took the dash out to chinatown to explore that area a little bit, and then had lunch at yang chow. andy richter and his family (wife and kid) sat down at the table behind us while we were waiting for our food.

we took the dash back to my place (or as close as it gets, and then through part of the toy district on foot) to pick up the tickets for the matinee show of as you like it at the ahmanson theater and made it just as they were closing the doors after hustling through the civic center. either the second act of the play is much stronger than the first, or it just took us a while to get into the shakespeare headspace, because we all agreed that we enjoyed the second act much more than the first.

after the play, we went back to the bonaventure and had dinner in the lobby bar (after unsuccessfully trying some of the other restaurants in the hotel).

this morning, we met up again for breakfast, and then walked around a little in the financial district (mostly just sitting and watching the ducks in the watercourt at california plaza). my parents then caught their shuttle back to lax, and i picked up lunch at the happy cow diner at the bonaventure on my way back home. (i didn’t order it, but they have a ½lb. kobe beef burger for about $9.)

it was a very long weekend, and a lot of fun. i recommend any and all of the things we did, especially the walking tour of the broadway theaters and as you like it.

i’ve started putting some photos up at flickr.

candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker

the los angeles downtown news this week reveals a “candy speakeasy” in downtown los angeles. sounds like a great place. ben myerson candy co. (one of the longest continually operating companies in los angeles) sells bags of factory irregulars out of their office. sounds yummy, and like something i’ll have to check out some day.