TASTE IT LA: MECHTA MARKET - BEST LOX IN LA


GO FOR THE LOX.  Why?? Because it melts in your mouth like the softest salmon sushi you will ever taste combined with the lightest smoky flavor you expect from lox.  This is by far THE BEST lox I have ever had in Los Angeles.  This tiny market doesn't have a website, just a hardcore loyal, local following of customers that are in on this hidden Russian secret.  
Top their lox with cucumber, cream cheese, fresh dill and a splash of lemon juice on a fresh toasted bagel.  Or eat alone by the forkful.  It's that good.

TASTE IT LA: JINPACHI - WEST HOLLYWOOD


Quality.  Fresh fish.  Simple, modern plating.  Clean presentation.
I love to sit alone at the sushi-bar and watch each mouthful unfold but for added privacy with friends just climb the staircase.

TASTE IT LA: OOMASA SUSHI - LITTLE TOKYO


100 Japanese Village Plaza - Little Tokyo

Oomasa is hit or miss according to Yelp but after casually strolling in alone for lunch I found this local favorite packed.  The sashimi was fresh, generously portioned and the salmon and Tuna belly sushi melted like butter in my mouth.  Great lunch spot and it's open most holidays - sit at the sushi-bar for the most authentic experience and watch their masterful chefs quickly prepare eye-catching cut options for the never ending throng of ravenous customers.

Instagram @ TasteItLA

TASTE IT LA: SHIPPING MY GOURMET NYC FAVORITES

©Meadow

Despite LA's endless array of fresh produce and gourmet options I still find myself craving some of my NYC favorites.  Old habits die hard, mafia style, and although you can take the New Yorker out of New York...ok you get the idea... luckily most of my favorite specialty items can be found and shipped online overnight! 

TASTE IT LA: A 'LIL EAST COAST ON THE WEST COAST

©Eataly
Eataly
With pasta options from Semolina to Gluten-free Eataly.com makes allergy friendly options sure to please both coasts.




©La Frieda
Citarella
A NYC and Hamptons favorite.  Need a Foie Gras fix? Try their Goose Terrine with Port or the creamy Duck Medallion with 2% Truffle. 

La Frieda's
Always fresh never frozen choice Dry-Aged Prime Beef and 100% vegetarian fed hot or sweet hog sausage.

Kalustyans
Chutneys, honey and jams galore, shipped from all over the world.  Try their Black Cherry Spread.


©Dean & Deluca

Dean & Deluca
From Imperial Malossal caviar to Gluten Free cookies and cupcakes, Dean & Deluca's has you covered.

Di Palo's
Hard to find regional Italian specialties.

The Spice House
Certified organic herbs and spices for allspice needs ;) 

Meadow
Finishing Salts, Chocolate & Wine
Salt sets and salt blocks for cooking! Also check out their numerous varieties of salted chocolates.


©Meadow



Taste It LA: Closure - Reese's to the Rescue



I don't have much of a sweet tooth but after cooking dinner I found myself craving dessert aka closure.
The sweet options in the house are scarce being that I prefer savory elements.  I had recently been to the Hollywood Farmers Market and I had some organic fruit, which was a good start, but that wouldn't satiate my sweet snack cravings.  With barely anything in the pantry resembling closure I began fervently searching for some semi-secret ingredient to transform.  I dug around six boxes of linguini and rice vermicelli, behind the twenty pound bag of forbidden rice, pushed past the garbanzos and there tucked just behind the Portuguese canned sardines were three individually wrapped Reese's pieces peanut butter cups

Let's do this.

I dropped the three peanut butter cups into a pan with two tablespoons of butter and as the chocolate began to melt I smashed the dry peanut butter interior into the chocolate butter mixture until it was smooth.  I added the cut banana pieces into the mixture until they were warm.  Drooling, I poured them into a small bowl barely fast enough to attack them with my fork while they were still too hot to eat.  This should suffice in explaining the lack of photos and the burns on the roof of my mouth.  Extremely simple and indulgently satisfying.

Taste It LA: Banana Slices Covered In Melted Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

TLDR: RECIPE
3 Reese's peanut butter cups 
2 tablespoons butter
2 Large Bananas cut into small pieces

Melt p.b. cups and butter in a pan until smooth; add bananas, stir and serve.  
Made 2 small servings or 1 fatass serving.

Taste It LA: Comforting Cookbook Love

Taste It LA: Old School Comfort Food; The Way I Learned to Cook from Alex Guarnaschelli 

I stopped by a friends earlier today who is aware of my very public obsession with Food Network and knowing that Alex Guarnaschelli is already one of my favorite Chopped judges she mentioned she purchased Alex's cookbook, 'Old School Comfort Food; The Way I Learned To Cook.'

I snatched it from pantry shelf and upon opening it I read it, like a Eco novel, cover to cover.  From hors d'oeuvres you can't stop popping like chicken wings with marmalade to a roasted squash soup with a popcorn topper this cookbook is full of delicious, home style classics with a punch.

The simplest most delicious breakfast-by-myself food in the entire book is also the easiest; tomato slices on english muffin with cheddar.  I like my cheddar extra sharp and melted :)


TASTE IT LA: PLAYA on Beverly



A picture speaks a thousand Taste buds.



Taste It LA: Stan's Doughnuts - Westwood



Every time I roll into the heart of Westwood I have to stop at Stan's Doughnuts for their still soft, fresh out of the oven doughnuts.  Stan's has been a Westwood doughnut go-to for over 40 years boasting more than 75 varieties of gourmet baked doughnuts daily.

I go specifically the Simpson's donut, Stan's pink sprinkle-glazed homage to Matt Groening's Lard Lad

Try some of Stan's other famous favorites:

peanut butter and fresh banana doughnut
reeses peanut butter pocket
blueberry crisp
blueberry cheese danish
chocolate cinnamon cheese danish
maple log

Drool.


Taste It LA: It's All About the Bread - WeHo


WHAT I'M LOVING RIGHT NOW

And it is.  Delicious. 
Crunchy on the outside and bursting with flavor on the inside.  Initially you will go for the Godfather but you will return for the Pastrami or Meatball sandwich -my favorites.  The house Turkey sandwich is a close third. 
All of their sandwiches are offered with 'the works' which is "carefully placed on the bread for optimal flavor" ...per their website. 
Watching customers use the digital soda machine for the first time is comedy.  Don't worry, it took me a second too ;)
Grape Sprite!
 

TASTE IT LA: Simmzy's Pub - Belmont Shore

Long Beach - Manhattan Beach

GO FOR THE DONUT. 

They have other delicious menu items like the ahi tuna salad, any of their pizza's, or their select collection of beer on tap, but who cares?! Did you see the picture?! This dessert is the sole reason I question the fried-to-order donuts at DTLA's UMAMIcatessen.

Simmzy's apple filled donut comes out still warm and dripping with vanilla ice cream.  
Fried-to-order perfection.

Instagram @ TasteItLA

TASTE IT LA: THE PHOENIX - BACKYARD COCKTAILS



A man-bar sexy enough for a woman?! 

The Phoenix opened last night on La Cienega's Restaurant Row and I haven't been this excited since the space shuttle landed.  It was described as Barnyard Chic by Zagat but I prefer Haute Industrial Barnyard.  Located just off Wilshire Blvd where La Siene once was, The Phoenix is the newest venture including Lonnie Moore, Adolfo Suaya and the Surly Goat's Ryan Sweeney & Co.

Reclaimed wood and industrial metal abound but the architectural feat of a zig- zag roof remains intact.  The menu is to the point; craft beers and burgers with some additional cocktail classics.  My favorite thus far are the Bulleit Rye Old Fashioned the Oranje Mule; Kettle One Oranje, Grand Marnier, lime ginger ale and lime juice.
Open every day @5pm.  Happy hour and brunch are on the way with a quickly expanding menu.
Communal is sexy and kareoke is encouraged.


Instagram @ TasteItLA