Friday, March 25, 2011

Fratelli Cafe

website | yelp

m.m. ratings

  • cost: $$
  • taste: 4.5/5
  • health: 5/5
  • ambiance: 4.5/5
  • perks: great coffee, vegan menu options, wifi, outdoor seating
  • drawbacks: street parking only, limited seating

coffee

fratelli panini | mozzarella cheese, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, sprouts and olive oil

bbq ranch wrap | chicken, tomatoes, red onions, shredded mozzarella, mushrooms, bbq sauce and ranch dressing

(Source: midnightmastication)

Monday, December 6, 2010

{Restaurant Review} Milk, Los Angeles, CA

Milk - part ice cream parlor, part bakery and part cafe - was the perfect place for a late lunch this Sunday. My friends and I had been longing to eat there after seeing the girls of The Hills visit the restaurant in one of the episodes. The tiny restaurant with ample outdoor seating sported cute decor, a very friendly staff, and remarkably delicious food. I sipped on an Arnold Palmer and enjoyed a perfectly toasted Ham and Cheese sandwich. The sandwich was very flavorful and satisfying. The tomatoes were particularly fresh and tasty. My friends both had the Herb Roasted Chicken Sandwich, which they also found to be very good. The main dishes came with a side salad (fairly average in flavor, but fresh, nonetheless) and an interesting little serving of something called freekeh, which was a mixture of a grain with wild mushrooms, bell peppers and herbs. (You can see it in the little plastic container sitting on our plates.) Here’s the description they had written on a chalkboard of what it is:

Freekeh - ancient grain made of young green durum wheat that’s harvested when the seeds are green, yet still soft and moist. They are sundried and roasted. It contains high protein, high fiber, four times the fiber of brown rice and has almost no gluten.

After the meal, we faced the very difficult decision of choosing which desserts we wanted! Milk’s sweets are baked on site and feature delicious things like Blue Velvet cake, coconut macaroons, cupcakes, many varieties of cookies and more. They also have ice cream sandwiches and bars. I allllmost opted for the Blue Velvet cake, but decided to indulge instead in scoop of Nutella ice cream. Self-explanatory deliciousness ensued.

Although the place is a bit pricey, I’d give Milk five stars for amazing service, delicious and fresh food and an unbeatable dessert selection. 

(Source: midnightmastication)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

{Restaurant Review} 2-9 Cafe, North University Park, USC, Los Angeles

My friends Kevin, Adriana and I headed over the the 2-9 Cafe yesterday for a light lunch in the lovely sunny weather. Located just a couple blocks from USC, this place has a really cozy cafe ambiance and lovely patio area. Unfortunately, the service was pretty bad. :/

Fortunately, the food was pretty good, although a bit on the expensive side despite its proximity to a college campus. I had the Lamb Gyro wrap, which was decent, but nowhere near as good as the gyro pita sandwiches that Daphne’s Greek Cafe serves up on campus in the Cafe 84 dining center. The side caesar salad was really fresh and delicious. Adriana had the Santa Fe Chicken Sandwich, which she said was really delicious…although, you can put guacamole on anything and Adriana will say it’s good.. :)

Kevin ordered the Barbeque Chicken Sandwich, which he also said was pretty delicious. He does warn future diners to watch out for the toothpick that holds the sandwich together though. It’s sneaky and he got poked while taking a big bite.

With Kevin’s sandwich came the star of the meal… sweet potato fries. They were perfection!! Adriana and I were constantly stealing them and dipping them in the ranch sauce. So good. Definitely thinking about getting some to snack on while I study tomorrow… 

(Source: midnightmastication)

{Sweets for the Sweet} Sprinkles Cupcakes
My cousin Windsen and his lovely girlfriend Ashley were in town this week and brought me a red velvet cupcake from their visit to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills. Although I am a die-hard Dots Cupcakes fan, I have to commend Sprinkles on their cream cheese frosting…so rich…so yummy…

{Sweets for the Sweet} Sprinkles Cupcakes

My cousin Windsen and his lovely girlfriend Ashley were in town this week and brought me a red velvet cupcake from their visit to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills. Although I am a die-hard Dots Cupcakes fan, I have to commend Sprinkles on their cream cheese frosting…so rich…so yummy…

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

{Sweet Tooth Adventure Update}

Although it’s hard to believe, I really don’t spend all of my time eating. But sometimes, even when I’m not expecting it, life becomes a foodie adventure!

Example A: A couple weeks ago, my roommates and I decided to brave the LA public transit system for a shopping day in Santa Monica. On the way back, we realized that we didn’t have enough change to take the bus back…so in a sort of frantic panic to catch the bus, we went into Tudor House to buy something - anything! - to break my 20 dollar bill. (I’m not 100% sure if that’s the shop we went into…but I think it is. Will update next time we go there.) The shop features little British and other European imported goodies…including Kinder’s Happy Hippo biscuits and Bueno hazelnut candy bars. I bought the two and we hopped on the next bus we hastily caught the next bus heading towards downtown LA/Union Station.

Unfortunately, the bus we took ended up going to realllllly long scenic route all around Los Angeles. We spent literally an hour and a half bobbing along…trying not to be too upset with the fact that we were kind of, well, lost. Once we got to Union Station, we didn’t want to wait in the cold for another bus back to campus, so we called on our friend Maxitron* to pick us up. (Eternally grateful, btdubs.) While we waited in Union Station (which is lovely, by the way), I was SO HUNGRY, but really wanted wait to photograph my Happy Hippo biscuit on a cute little plate at home before I ate it. Luckily, my friend Adriana pointed out that it was far more exciting to take a picture of Happy Hippo in Union Station and blog about our adventures together before I ate his delicious hazelnutty butt.

So there you have it, my friends, that’s my little unexpected foodie adventure story. Hope you liked it! :)

*Name has been changed. Sort of.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
{Restaurant Review} Caveman Kitchen
If you’re looking for good food in LA near USC, you should definitely check out Caveman Kitchen (Yelp), located on Vermont Ave, about half a block from Ralph’s. My friend Greg introduced me to the place about a month ago and I really liked it! Since then, I’ve stopped by once on my own for take-out on the way home from a grocery shopping trip.
The service at Caveman Kitchen is impeccable and the food is fresh, flavorful and really satisfying. The prices are reasonable for a college student budget too. I’ve only ever tried their Cave Club Sandwich, but really, one bite was all it took to believe that this place serves good food. The signature sandwich features perfectly seasoned rotisserie chicken sandwiched between two hamburger buns with bacon, swiss cheese, veggies and a really good (sort of spicy) sauce. Their fries are also really good (try dipping them in their green salsa!) and you can even substitute a fresh garden salad on the side!
For a full menu, visit their website: eatcaveman.com. If you do check it out, let me know what you think in my ask box!

{Restaurant Review} Caveman Kitchen

If you’re looking for good food in LA near USC, you should definitely check out Caveman Kitchen (Yelp), located on Vermont Ave, about half a block from Ralph’s. My friend Greg introduced me to the place about a month ago and I really liked it! Since then, I’ve stopped by once on my own for take-out on the way home from a grocery shopping trip.

The service at Caveman Kitchen is impeccable and the food is fresh, flavorful and really satisfying. The prices are reasonable for a college student budget too. I’ve only ever tried their Cave Club Sandwich, but really, one bite was all it took to believe that this place serves good food. The signature sandwich features perfectly seasoned rotisserie chicken sandwiched between two hamburger buns with bacon, swiss cheese, veggies and a really good (sort of spicy) sauce. Their fries are also really good (try dipping them in their green salsa!) and you can even substitute a fresh garden salad on the side!

For a full menu, visit their website: eatcaveman.com.
If you do check it out, let me know what you think in my ask box!

Sunday, November 21, 2010
{Lemonade LA}Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Basil, & Sherry on Focaccia with Cucumber Mint Lemonade

{Lemonade LA}
Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Basil, & Sherry on Focaccia with Cucumber Mint Lemonade

Sunday, November 14, 2010
{Lunch} Caprese Sandwich from Seeds Marketplace, University of Southern California
Roma tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, garlic aioli, and olive oil on rosemary focaccia bread!

{Lunch} Caprese Sandwich from Seeds Marketplace, University of Southern California

Roma tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, garlic aioli, and olive oil on rosemary focaccia bread!

Sunday, October 24, 2010
{review} Trio House
Around noon today, my friends Ariana, Adriana, Cece, Carolyn and I took a short 5-10 minute walk over to Trio House, an Asian diner located right by the USC campus on Figueroa St. 
Adriana described the place as an “Asian Denny’s”, which pretty much sums up the ambiance of the place. Service was kind of slow given that there were very few people in the restaurant at the time. But, for an area of LA that’s way overpopulated with fast food places, Trio House was a welcome change, serving up hot, Asian dishes in generous portions for a relatively reasonable price. I can’t really figure out exactly what kind of Asian food their focus is, but for reference, they serve pho, fried rice, pad thai, udon soup, and even fusion dishes, like “Drunken Spaghetti”. Most dishes run between $7 -$8 and you can definitely take home leftovers if needed. 
I was feeling practical, so I ordered the pad thai, which comes with chicken and shrimp. (Albeit, only a couple shrimp.) Ariana and Adri also ordered pad thai, Cece ordered chicken with green curry, and Carolyn ordered Mongol Noodle (substituting the egg? noodles with flat rice noodles.
The pad thai was delicious, but unremarkable compared to many other Thai restaurants that I’ve been to. It was a little on the too sweet and wet side for my tastes, but that didn’t stop me from eating the entire dish. Here’s what Adriana had to say about the pad thai: ”Needs more shrimp. Glad they put the peanuts on the side. Better than Parkside.”
I also taste-tested Cece’s green curry, which was pretty good, but also unremarkable. It lacked the flavor kick I expected from a curry dish and the bamboo shoots seemed a bit overcooked and limp. The winner for the meal was Carolyn’s Mongol Noodle, which I really liked sampling. I’ve always had a preference for flat rice noodles and the dish paired them well with chicken and vegetables in a not-too-salty brown sauce. 
Overall, I’d say Trio House is a welcome addition to my “restaurants within walking distance” list, although I wouldn’t necessarily bring a date here if you’re shootin’ for something classy. But, for a Sunday lunch with good friends, it was just right. :)

{review} Trio House

Around noon today, my friends Ariana, Adriana, Cece, Carolyn and I took a short 5-10 minute walk over to Trio House, an Asian diner located right by the USC campus on Figueroa St. 

Adriana described the place as an “Asian Denny’s”, which pretty much sums up the ambiance of the place. Service was kind of slow given that there were very few people in the restaurant at the time. But, for an area of LA that’s way overpopulated with fast food places, Trio House was a welcome change, serving up hot, Asian dishes in generous portions for a relatively reasonable price. I can’t really figure out exactly what kind of Asian food their focus is, but for reference, they serve pho, fried rice, pad thai, udon soup, and even fusion dishes, like “Drunken Spaghetti”. Most dishes run between $7 -$8 and you can definitely take home leftovers if needed. 

I was feeling practical, so I ordered the pad thai, which comes with chicken and shrimp. (Albeit, only a couple shrimp.) Ariana and Adri also ordered pad thai, Cece ordered chicken with green curry, and Carolyn ordered Mongol Noodle (substituting the egg? noodles with flat rice noodles.

The pad thai was delicious, but unremarkable compared to many other Thai restaurants that I’ve been to. It was a little on the too sweet and wet side for my tastes, but that didn’t stop me from eating the entire dish. Here’s what Adriana had to say about the pad thai: ”Needs more shrimp. Glad they put the peanuts on the side. Better than Parkside.”

I also taste-tested Cece’s green curry, which was pretty good, but also unremarkable. It lacked the flavor kick I expected from a curry dish and the bamboo shoots seemed a bit overcooked and limp. The winner for the meal was Carolyn’s Mongol Noodle, which I really liked sampling. I’ve always had a preference for flat rice noodles and the dish paired them well with chicken and vegetables in a not-too-salty brown sauce. 

Overall, I’d say Trio House is a welcome addition to my “restaurants within walking distance” list, although I wouldn’t necessarily bring a date here if you’re shootin’ for something classy. But, for a Sunday lunch with good friends, it was just right. :)

{frozen yogurt} Yogurtland at University Gateway
plain tart yogurt + frosted animal crackers, strawberries, raspberries, granola, fruity pebbles, and coconut!
:) 

{frozen yogurt} Yogurtland at University Gateway

plain tart yogurt
+
frosted animal crackers, strawberries, raspberries, granola, fruity pebbles, and coconut!

:)