Bouchon Bakery

This is one of my favorite places to go to, when I feel like having a lavish brunch. As a family we have celebrated many special occasions at this restaurant.

::Venue::

This restaurant is nestled in the heart of Beverly Hills. There are several parking lots nearby (2 hours free!) and metered parking all around.

It is located on the second floor. Once you exit the elevator you stroll into a beautiful parlor with exquisite decor and beautiful views of the courtyard below.

There is a dining room, perfect for a large group. There is the main dining area as well with several tables.

::Food::

Amazing! (The End)

Kidding. Truthfully, the food is amazing. Take a moment to look over the daily specials, because they are to die for !

The brunch here is uber French. Dinners are savory and delightful. Yes, the prices are extravagant, but so are the portions and the quality of what you get.

Once we went during their Truffle event and indulge in 3 different truffle entrees (where is my accent aigu?).

Don’t forget the exquisite desserts !

::Service::

Impeccable. My most recent experience with Fabian. His smile and warm attitude left us with a smile the rest of the day.

This will truly be an experience that you will not forget.

 

Bouchon Bakery

235 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Twinkle Brown Sugar

We popped in on a whim. We were simply walking by on our way back to our car, when we spotted this venue. At first, I scoffed at the fact that the name included “Brown Sugar” – next, I found myself inside ordering a large passion fruit green tea with boba – no luck.

We settled on a mango green tea boba (1/2 sweet)…I don’t know if they use fresh puree or juice, but what we got was fantastic !

Venue:

Nestled in the flourishing/shady neighborhood of Little Tokyo this is an inviting tea shop. There is only indoor seating from what I saw. Also, there is metered street parking and parking lots nearby.

Food:

Excellent ! It was tangy and didn’t taste artificial. Their boba had great consistency.

Service:

Service was great ! The cashier provided us with 2 options, since the flavor we wanted was unavailable. Our drink was ready quickly.

We will definitely be back to try other flavors.

 

Twinkle Brown Sugar

131 S Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Far Bar

I am extremely biased when it comes to Ramen. I’ve only found a couple of places that meet my expectations.

This being said, we visited this venue after two of our friends continued raving about it.

Venue:

It’s located in Little Tokyo and surrounded by some big name Ramen restaurants. There is an obnoxiously lit sign in front reading “Chop Suey”. Nowhere does the name “Far Bar” appear. How are you supposed to find this place?

There is only indoor seating. I did enjoy the fact that there are communal tables, bar seating, and tables.

Regarding parking, there is metered parking and paid lots nearby.

Food:

Ultimately, who cares what the pace looks like if the food is good.

No luck here…

Since all the vegetarian options, aside from the fries, involved mushroom, I opted for the bibimbop. It was OK. The egg was overdone. There was too much rice and not nearly enough meat. There were more carrots than meat. The Kimchi was probably the best thing on the plate.

My boyfriend had the beef udon. It was OK. The broth was so rich that it was almost creamy. The noodles were nice. Without the broth, this would have been a great dish.

Service:

The biggest downfall of the night. Our friend ordered a beer it took him over 15 minutes to get it. Why? The server gave it to the wrong person at the communal table. Even after our friend said it was his, it was given to the wrong person. This person even said that he didn’t order a beer.

Second, the person busing the tables took my boyfriend’s utensils, while we were all still eating. At one point her reached under my boyfriend’s arm to remove a plate, while he was eating. This same person took my water glass away, while we were all still eating. You cannot clear the table while people are still eating. It’s common sense.

All in all, we will not be returning to this venue.

 

Far Bar

347 E 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Race Week Diet

I was reading an article recently about common mistakes that runners make. One of the mistakes listed was “eating whatever you want.” Guilty as charged.

There are days (mainly on the weekend), when I try and justify my cheat meals by factoring in how much I ran that day. Even worse, I give myself extra wiggle room if my run involved hills.

This weekend in particular, I had an 8 mile run (flat). I went home and Sean made me scrambled eggs, tomato salad, and sourdough toast. A couple of hours later we split an entire bowl of pomegranate seeds. Then we went to smashburger (no fries!) and split a boba passionfruit tea. I went to my parent’s house and had a bite of cake that my sister made. Then for dinner, Sean made a veggie stir fry with vegan beef tips. We coupled that with two generous glasses of wine, 2 glasses of whiskey, an Irish car bomb, and a beer. We topped the night off with a Del Taco run. This was definitely way more than the 800 calories that I might have burned on my run.

I get very anxious on race weeks. I focus on my hydration, try to stay injury free, and diet – race week diet means no gluten and no sugar. Unfortunately, anxiety makes me crave sugar and with sugary treats comes gluten. I wind up in this endless cycle of poor race nutrition and regret it during my race.

I am a work in progress and I acknowledge my downfalls.

Now, if I could only learn to say no.

Tacos Tu Madre

This has been my greatest find this year ! Who doesn’t love tacos? What about late night tacos?

VENUE

I have only visited the Westwood location. There is street parking, and I have never had difficulty finding parking. There is indoor seating and very very limited outdoor seating. I would say this is mostly a “to go” place unless you’re lucky enough to wind up there during a slow time. Indoor seating is composed of bar stools.

Inside, the chalkboard walls are decorated with drawings and doodles.

FOOD

This is the best part ! You can make any of them a burrito or a taco.

The Vegan Banh Mi (marinated tofu, shredded cabbage, shaved cucum, avocado creamsauce, pickled carrots). It is so light and fresh.

The avocado taco comes with crispy avocado, poblano ranch slaw, red pepper aioli. WARNING: this taco comes out HOT!!!! The heat gets trapped in the fried avocado. Save this one for last if possible.

For my vegetarians there is a grilled cheese and a bean& cheese to choose from.

My favorite thing to get is the veggie breakfast burrito. It comes with truffle guacamole (you taste and smell the truffle), fried eggs, crispy tater tots, mozzarella cheese. Anyone that puts tots in their breakfast burritos should get some kind of food medal. It is necessary.

If you are feeling major naughty try the red velvet churro with cream cheese frosting.

Truffle goodness!
Truffle goodness!
Why not?
Why not?

If you have not checked this restaurant out yet, you are missing out on life !

Mohawk Bend

HEAVEN (or whatever your spiritual//non-spiritual equivalent is)

Mohawk bend is by far my favorite vegan restaurant. I fell in love with this venue after the first time. Yes … it was love at first bite.

VENUE

This restaurant is located in the recently revived Silverlake neighborhood in Los Angeles. While they do not have a parking lot, you can usually find metered parking on the street. There is limited outdoor setting; however it is covered.

I’ve been told that this building used to be a playhouse. Inside, although dimly lit, you are in a huge eating area with a full bar, high ceilings, and a few televisions. The back area has an outdoor feel without the view of the busy L.A. streets. You have the choice of a traditional table, booth, communal table, and bar seating.

FOOD

I can speak volumes as to the food here. The best part is that there are both vegan and non-vegan options. Sean loves this, because sometime, he’d rather eat “normal people food”.

My all time favorite is their cauliflower buffalo wings. Sometimes this is my meal; other times we split it as our appetizer. I also enjoy their vegan chili cheese fries, and fried brussels sprouts. For brunch the Tofu Scramble is my go to (especially after a race). My mother enjoys the Huevos Divorciados. The Hearts of Palm Crab Cakes are tasty, but dense. I haven’t had crab in years; oddly enough the texture reminds me of actual crab cakes.

SERVICE

We usually makereservation, which I strongly recommend you do, since it gets busy. The staff is friendly and usually makes conversation. They are attentive. I love this place!

Sorry that I didn't take a better photo
Sorry that I didn’t take a better photo

Flake

The name alone makes it sound like it’s THE breakfast spot. I can’t believe that I frequented this restaurant for so long and I never reviewed it.

VENUE

This restaurant is located on the trendy Rose Ave. in Venice. There is limited seating (both indoor and outdoor). There is always so much going on in this neighborhood, so why not grab a seat outside and people watch. Every weekend there is a line out the door to grab a bite here. Parking may be a bit difficult, since it is so close to the beach. There is a paid parking structure across the street at Cafe Gratitude.

The decor is old school with classic cereal boxes lining the walls.

FOOD

I know that the hype here is the build your own cereal bowls. Haven’t tried them! What I do love getting is the veggie rad (vegetarians only) with ketchup. It’s so hot that by the time that I get to work it’s still warm.

I’ve tried their coffee, tea, and juice. All very good.

Sunshine in a bun
Sunshine in a bun

SERVICE

The service here is impeccable. Everyone is so nice, efficient, and make sure that you have an exceptional experience. They weave through the crowd, serving, busing, and checking in.

Sometimes I order my food, when I’m running late for work. It is out and ready in 10 minutes, just enough time for me to get out of the house and down the street to pick it up.

NOT ONCE HAVE I HAD A BAD EXPERIENCE. CHECK IT OUT ! YOU WON’T REGRET IT.

You can bring your pups and grab a seat outside with them.

Cava Grill

I’m fortunate enough to be Yelp! Elite. Nothing makes me happier than getting the notice that I’m on the list for an event. This was such a fun event. It was kind of cute to take a group photo in the beginning.

VENUE

Truth be told, I had never been to the Topanga Mall or The village. Cava Grill is in such a cute location. The good thing is that there is ample parking. Finding the location was easy.

Even though there were a lot of people, the line moved along quickly. The staff was so friendly and they all appeared confident when explaining the menu or making suggestions.

There is limited seating, as this is a small venue; however, you can always take it to go and sit in front of the fountain, playground, or living wall.

FOOD

The white wine was better than the red wine and it was a cute touch that the glasses had the name of either winery on it.

I went with one of the bowls – who doesn’t love a build your own? For my base, I chose grains which gives you the option of  Saffron Basmati Rice, Brown Basmati Rice, or Black Lentils (you can also go half and half). I added Eggplant and Hummus as my dip (both were equally good). The Roasted Vegetables were my “protein” and they were flavored nicely. I do think that they could benefit from a seasoned tempeh or tofu. Also, you can go crazy at the end with toppings.

Build Your Own Gain Bowl
Build Your Own Gain Bowl

I finished it all off with their lemonade (maybe 3 of their lemonades).

Overall, the food was fresh, flavorful, fast, and filling. I had my leftovers the following day and it held well.

SERVICE

Lesina was very attentive and she made sure that she interacted with everyone. The staff knew the menu well, made educated recommendations and were all so friendly.

The event as a whole was amazing. Thank you Yelp! and Cava Grill staff for making this such a delightful experience.

This is a nice touch
This is a nice touch

 

Bibigo

I know that I’m going to get some criticism on this for calling it Korean food; however, isn’t Baja Fresh still Mexican food even thought it’s not authentic?

Anyway… I tried Bibigo for the first time some months ago. I’d always wanted to stop in and give it a go, but for some reason I was never close to one.

Venue

This location is inside the Century City Mall; therefore, there is this huge (confusing) parking structure. I worked at this mall, when I was in high school; still I have lost my car numerous times in this parking structure.

I decided to rush to the mall after work to get my boyfriend’s gift. I was walking around and it felt as if I was going to get blown away by a tornado (not that I’ve ever been in a tornado). Anyway, back to Bibigo. I decided head indoors for food. I found Bibigo, which is located in the renovated, beautiful, food court. There is plenty of seating, both indoor and outdoor, so there’s no need to worry about that.

Food

It’s sort of a build your own for bibimbap. I went with the classic instead of the hot stone. In retrospect, I should have gone with the hot stone because it was so windy. I chose a brown rice as the base, added bean sprouts and organic tofu. While all the sauces looked good, I went with the sesame sauce. There are some extra toppings you can add, like fried egg for you vegetarians/ovotarians.

I think that my favorite ingredient was the organic tofu. While, vegans and vegetarians enjoy a menu with some tofu in it – organic tofu gives it something extra. I could go on writing about the cons to tofu and soy based products, but I will spare you.

My meal tasted so fresh and it was light. No one wants to feel greasy and heavy after a meal, right?

Vegetarian Bibimbap at Bibigo
Vegan Bibimbap at Bibigo

Service

Thumbs up on the service here! The person helping me explained how the ordering process worked and provided me with suggestions based on what I told him I liked.

Overall, I would definitely return and maybe try the hot stone option the second time around.

Poquito Mas

Living in L.A., you hear Chipotle, Baja Fresh, Rubio, and Freebirds often. Not once have I heard someone say, “Let’s go to Poquito Mas!” They should ! This is my go to restaurant when I have a long day at the salon down the street.

There is a lot of very good “Mexican” food in Los Angeles and I was in the mood for something different.

Venue

This place has parking behind the building. There is both indoor and (limited) outdoor seating. It’s off of Wilshire Blvd., so it’s nice to sit there and people watch.

You order first and then grab a table. There is also a salsa bar, which S raided (as he usually does)

Food

The food here is tasty (that’s why I keep coming back). We decided to get the veggie burrito which comes with lettuce, beans (ask if the beans are vegan most pinto beans are not), cheese, and guacamole. We decided to add rice. Make sure to ask for no cheese to make it vegan.

Simple, fresh, and delicious ! Also, their Jamaica is pretty good.

Service

The service was fast. The woman that took our order was so friendly and patient. It was S’s first time there, so he had a lot of questions. It was nice that she was patient and took time to answer all of our questions.

Veggie Burrito

What’s your favorite Mexican food?