Oh Joy

my favorite {los angeles} beautiful bites lately... 28 May 2013

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Whenever we can, Bob and I try and have a date night at least every other weekend. It's a chance for us to get out, have some time just the two of us, and try out new restaurants in L.A. or revisit some of our regular favorites. And going to restaurants always gives me so much inspiration in terms of different ways food can be presented. It makes me think about food and composition in new ways—something I certainly don't think to do this when I'm cooking at home. So here are a few of prettiest bites around town these days...

This one-bite dish of toro tartare with seaweed salad, flying fish egg, pickled wasabi and micro-greens with quail egg on top from Sushi Yuzu in Toluca Lake is just amazing. Not only does it capture so many textures and tastes in one spoonful, but it just shows you how pretty a single bite can be.

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Red Medicine in Beverly Hills has consistently been one of my favorite spots over the last couple years. They changed their menu recently, but the food presentation is still off the charts. I mean, just look at this green strawberry tart (it tastes like a fancy Key lime pie) that resembles a beautiful botanical specimen.

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I love the simplicity of sushi, and the spicy tuna on crispy rice from Katsuya is one of my favorites. Even though it's a L.A. chain, it's always consistently delicious and beautiful.

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For my recent birthday, Bob took me to Alma in Downtown L.A. for dinner. We ordered the tasting menu and here are a couple of the simple, beautiful dishes: a berry crumble, which was presented on just the upper third of the plate, and this light and lovely shrimp dish.

Where restaurants have you guys eaten at lately that blow you away with their presentation?

{Photos by Oh Joy}

{oh joy eats} the service station in los feliz... 16 May 2013

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You know I love food truck nights (it's a great excuse to not have to cook dinner!). We religiously go to On The Lot in Los Feliz every Monday night, and I'm pretty giddy for the summer season and more pop-up food truck events. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, a new one opened up on Wednesday nights on the grounds of what used to be a gas station. The Service Station is an outdoor creative space that has pop-up shops, outdoor movie nights on Saturdays, and a food truck night on Wednesdays. While the food trucks seem to be a rotation of same three, they're solid ones that I really like.

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Some of my favorites include the bacon mac n' cheese from the Flatiron Truck...

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...and parmesan pesto fries and gooey s'mores from The Munchie Machine. We got coconut and salted Caramel S'mores, and they were the perfect way to end our meal. The Mandoline Grill truck (food not shown) is also at The Service Station, and they make great banh mi and Vietnamese noodle dishes. 

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The area is painted with accents of mint green...um, hello, gorgeous color!

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The best part is the huge areas of astroturf for the kids to run around in and the giant bean bags they put out. Ruby has the best time playing with her friends after dinner. It's just a great spot for all of us to enjoy the amazing warm weather and have an easy breezy mid-week dinner.

 The Service Station | 3160 Riverside Drive | Los Feliz, CA 90027 | @3160riverside

UPDATE: Sadly, a few days after this post, I got an email that city permits made it such that they had to close. They are trying to reopen in another area in the near future. :(

{Photos by Bob Cho}

{oh joy eats} goldie's... 23 Apr 2013

Goldie's | Los Angeles

Goldie's | Los Angeles

There's no shortage of spots to have lunch in Los Angeles. But my favorites are places that are casual yet have a bit of character—places you'd want to meet up with friends for lunch to catch up. I recently visited Goldie's in Mid-City West, a newish spot by the owners of Eveleigh, for a mid-day lunch break. 

Goldie's | Los Angeles

Goldie's | Los Angeles

Goldie's | Los Angeles

Goldie's | Los Angeles

My favorite dishes were the avocado on toast, watermelon and burrata salad, and the pork belly and caramelized onion flatbread. Oh, that flatbread was the perfect combination of crispy, chewy, sweet, and salty!

Goldie's | Los Angeles

Goldie's | Los Angeles

I love the contrast of the handsome aesthetic inside with the greenery outside, which creates an indoor/outdoor space that makes wonderful use of the climate here and feels homey yet still very Southern California. And the polka dotted shirts the staff wear are pretty awesome. Where can I get one in my size, please?

Goldie's | Los Angeles

We (especially Jen) loved being surrounded by the wall of flowers as we sat outside. The scent was just incredible on this beautiful, sun-filled day.

Goldie's | 8422 W. 3rd St. | Los Angeles, CA 90048 | 323.677.2470

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang}

my favorite {los angeles} breakfast bites lately... 5 Mar 2013

The Hart and The Hunter | Los Angeles

The Hart and The Hunter | Los Angeles

Since I wake up at Ruby o' clock every day (around 7-7:30 a.m.), I'm always on the hunt for restaurants that open early for breakfast. Most of our favorite brunch places don't open until 10 a.m., and by that time, she's almost ready for a nap! So, I've been on a mission to find some new spots. Here are a few of my favorite breakfast bites around town these days (they open early, too!)...

The trout toast (avocado, smoked trout and pickled onions) and homemade biscuits (buttery pockets of heaven) from The Hart and The Hunter in West Hollywood (shown above).

Viet Noodle Bar | Los Angeles

 Vietnamese breakfast (including this delicious chicken meatball) at Viet Noodle Bar in Glendale.

Egg Slut | Los Angeles

Egg Slut | Los Angeles

The egg and bacon sandwich (the homemade ketchup and brioche bun are out of this world!) and the coddled eggs over mashed potatoes from the Egg Slut truck. 

Do you guys have trouble finding breakfast spots that open early? I swear, L.A. is a town that just starts to get going at 10 a.m.!

{Photos by Oh Joy}

{oh joy eats} breakfast at feed... 28 Feb 2013

Feed in Venice, CA | photo by Bonnie Tsang

Feed in Venice, CA | photo by Bonnie Tsang

While I certainly love to indulge in not-so-good-for-you things that simply taste delicious, I also find myself craving really fresh, healthy dishes that make use of the amazing produce we have available in L.A. I recently had breakfast at Feed, a new spot in Venice full of tasty and healthy bites.

Feed in Venice, CA | photo by Bonnie Tsang

Feed in Venice, CA | photo by Bonnie Tsang

Feed in Venice, CA | photo by Bonnie Tsang

We enjoyed the açaí fruit bowl (like a fruit smoothie mixed with a parfait) and the Southern Mexican bowl topped with tofu and poached eggs. Feed makes its own hot sauce, which has the best mix of spicy and tangy kick—perfect for a savory breakfast dish. Oh, and I'm a sucker for adult sodas, so Feed's natural soda (I got the blueberry and maple) made for the perfect companion to a light and fresh breakfast.

Feed | 1239 Abbot Kinney Blvd. | Venice, CA 90291 | 310.450.5550

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang

{oh joy eats} guerrilla tacos... 13 Feb 2013

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One of the best parts about having good weather year-round are the pop-up carts and trucks that do business on the streets of Los Angeles. Guerrilla Tacos is a pop-up taco stand in downtown L.A. that serves amazing breakfast tacos a couple times a week. I've had a hard time finding tacos here in L.A. that compare to those in San Diego, but Guerrilla really left an impression on me.

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And the prices! Seriously, so reasonable and delicious! $3-$4 for probably the best breakfast tacos I've ever had. The chorizo taco was spicy and savory, the mushroom taco was a great vegetarian option, and the tamale—um, out of this world.

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It's amazing to me what can be cooked right on the street without the need for a fancy kitchen and equipment. Street food is probably one of my favorite kinds of food because the people who make it focus on one thing, and usually do it really well.

What kinds of pop-up food carts like this do you guys have where you live?

Guerrilla Tacos (at Handsome Coffee Roasters) | 582 Mateo Street| Los Angeles, CA 90013 | 818.640.3033

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang. My shoes are Crew Cuts.}

{oh joy eats} half & half tea house... 30 Jan 2013

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You know might know that I love a good boba tea. Since I'm not a big coffee drinker, I love milk teas as a little midday pick-me-up, and Half & Half Tea House in Rowland Heights has become my new favorite spot.

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With drink options like sesame black milk tea, lavender green milk tea, milk tea with caramel, pudding, and honey boba, plus a million other flavors, these teas are serious treats if you're up for some fun, exotic flavors. And Half & Half Tea House's tasty concoctions come in the most giant cups I've ever seen. They don't even fit in the cup holders in my car and they make me look like I have tiny hands! It's probably a good thing this place isn't too close to where I live because I'd be here every single day.

Half & Half Tea House | 17575 Colima Road, Ste. C | Rowland Heights, CA 91748 | 626.810.8778

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang. I'm wearing headphones by Frends, Madewell dotty leggings,  Milly jacket from a past season, eyeglasses by Rivet & Sway, hoodie from past season of J.Crew (similar), and boots c/o Loeffler Randall.}

{oh joy eats} breakfast at the parish... 16 Jan 2013

The Parish in Los Angeles | Oh Joy

The Parish in Los Angeles | Oh Joy

The Parish has been getting lots of praise for being one of L.A.'s best new resturants, and one of my favorite things to do is explore the breakfast or lunch menu at restaurants that are known for their dinner menus. For me, it's like seeing what a chef might make at home...a more casual version of their palate, if you will...

The Parish in Los Angeles | Oh Joy

The Parish in Los Angeles | Oh Joy

The Parish in Los Angeles | Oh Joy

The breakfast staples at The Parish include a few kinds of biscuit sandwiches, like Fried Chicken with Maple Dijon and Pickles, Trout with Jalapeno Slaw, and Grilled Tomato and Cheese. They were all warm, savory, delicious and the perfect breakfast way to start the day.

The Parish in Los Angeles | Oh Joy

I also loved the industrial, yet still warm and homey, feel of The Parish's Downtown L.A. space. The restaurant reminds me of one you'd find in Portland, with its very distinct aesthetic and comforting staples.

The Parish | 840 S. Spring St. | Los Angeles, CA 90014 |  213.225.2400

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang for Oh Joy. My outfit: Trench jacket from A-Thread, corduroys by J.Crew, blouse by Lauren Moffatt (similar), bag by Clare Vivier, boots c/o Loeffler Randall.} 

{los angeles} top 20 bites of 2012... 9 Jan 2013

Ohjoyeats_la_bites_2012With a new family member in tow, 2012 included a lot more casual dining as we attempted to keep meals on the quicker side whenever possible. But I certainly continued to snack {a lot!} and explore the range of foods that L.A. has to offer. Here are my Top 20 Bites of 2012 in Los Angeles {in no particular order}...

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1. The Brown Bread and Brown Rice Green Tea ice cream from Scoops {more here}.
Photo by Bonnie Tsang.

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2. Crispy Pork &and Shrimp Potstickers with Curry Aioli &and Sweet Soy Reduction from the Asian Cravings truck.

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3. Twenty-course omakase from Sushi Nishi-ya.

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4. An ice cream sandwich {made with cupcake tops!} from Sprinkles Ice Cream {more here}.
Photo by Bonnie Tsang.

Continue reading " {los angeles} top 20 bites of 2012... " »

{oh joy eats} breakfast at sqirl... 3 Jan 2013

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I've been a fan of Sqirl, the L.A.-based, jam company, since I first tried its delicious canned delights a couple years ago. So I was excited to visit Sqirl's new brick-and-mortar space—a tiny little cafe with an adjacent outdoor area—that serves a twist on cozy morning comforts.

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Instead of PB&J, there's brioche topped with chocolate ganache, almond hazelnut butter, and fleur de sel. Instead of oatmeal, Sqirl serves the best sweet rice porridge I've ever had (and what I wish oatmeal tasted like!), topped with jam and roasted hazelnuts. Really, I dream about this porridge! And then (if you're looking for something more savory) there are some dishes inspired by Australian and Filipino flavors like the crispy rice salad topped with cilantro, lime, and a fried egg. Supposedly they have amazing freshly pressed almond milk tea, too. This is my new go-to spot when I need something quick to warm my belly...

Sqirl | 720 N. Virgil Ave. | Los Angeles, CA 90029 | 213.394.6526

{Photos by Bonnie Tsang for Oh Joy. My outfit: StyleMint tee, Lauren Moffatt skirt, vintage belt, Ban.do smooch brooch.}

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