Ever since beginning my meat blog, Fogo de Chao in Beverly Hills has been in my sights. I’ve eaten Brazilian food before, but I have been told over and over again that Fogo is the king of meatiness. But it’s expensive. Like a fixed price of $56.50 expensive. But when Restaurant Week comes to town, that ridicu-price drops down to a more reasonable $44 bucks, including dessert. So for my first Fogo experience, I made sure to go during Restaurant Week and was amazed with what that price bought me.
To many people, P.F. Chang’s is just phony, mainstream, American Chinese food. And for all those things, I agree. But in truth, my last trip to P.F. Chang’s was about ten years ago and since the girlfriend and I were given some lovely little gift cards to the place, it was time to pay the Changster a visit. We walked in on a Friday night and found the place surprisingly empty. I know it’s a recession and all, but I would think that any decent restaurant in Beverly Hills should have a decent number of people on a Friday night. I guess not; we were seated immediately.
I’ve passed by Mulberry Street Pizzeria in Beverly Hills a few times and been curious about what sort of pizza may lay within. Finally, I got down the courage to ask my girlfriend, a seasoned veteran of the LA food scene, if it was a pizza worth getting. She assured me it was and within a few days she had ordered some Mulberry Street pizza for us to partake in.
A lot of people visit China and are completely blown away by how different the food there is than the Chinese food they get back in the USA. Some are disappointed, some are overwhelmed, and some even like it. I am one of the latter, because while I lived in China, I couldn’t get enough of their food. I liked it so much that when I returned to my homeland, I avoided Chinese food for months, knowing that it just wouldn’t be the same. When I finally got up the courage to eat Chinese food again, I did it with the mindset that the Chinese food here just wasn’t the same as in the actual Middle Kingdom.
It isn’t too often that my buddy, Joel, repeatedly requests that I go to a restaurant with him, so when he does I try to listen. After asking me to go to Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in Beverly Hills with him a couple times, I gave in and went. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I walked in, but the place kind of had the air of an upscale Subway. But aside from that and the general shape of the sandwiches they served, to compare this place to Subway would be a severe disservice.
With a name like Al Gelato, you kind of expect to be walking into a gelato shop. This is not the case with Al Gelato in Beverly Hills. Sure, the place has gelato, but it is also a full-on Italian restaurant. Aside from realizing that it wasn’t just a gelato place, I also found that Al Gelato didn’t carry a lot of the pretension that Italian restaurants seem to have. There was no mood lighting, no fancy table cloths and no people with strange accents that weren’t quite Italian. Despite this, I found that the prices still fell into what you would expect in Beverly Hills, with very little under 10 bucks and pasta prices jumping up to 15 if you wanted any meat.
A long time ago, I tried out the BBQ Chicken Pizza from California Pizza Kitchen (CPK). By this time, the restaurant was in Michigan everyone had been raving about it. I tasted it and was really disappointed. Using BBQ sauce instead of tomato sauce disturbed me, and the onions hidden in the cheese made it even worse. Later on, I tried many different pizzas from CPK and was pleased. Yet, since moving to California, I have had very little, if any contact with CPK. Recently, though, I had the chance for a revisit to their Beverly Hills location and decided to once again try out their BBQ Chicken Pizza. But this time, I was prepared.
As I was getting dragged to Greenleaf in Beverly Hills, I knew my meal that night wasn’t going to end well. You don’t call a place Greenleaf without getting a reputation for having a lot of leafy green items, also known as vegetables. Fortunately, I was told they had burgers, or else I wouldn’t have gone within 100 feet of the place (court ordered).
I arrived ready to grab a burger, only to find they were all out. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place that has actually run out of the ingredients for a burger, but a place called Greenleaf is as good of a place as any to have my first. I scoured the menu in an attempt to make sense of the plethora of vegetables and finally decided on the BBQ Chicken Sandwich. The only problem was that it came with onions, so I ordered it without. Apparently they couldn’t do this, since the BBQ Chicken ingredients were pre-mixed. I guess the “made to order” concept doesn’t apply to leafy restaurants.
In the Hills of Beverly, there lies a restaurant called Silk Thai Cuisine. A friend of mine recommended it, so I went with a couple friends of mine. Despite the initial trauma of trying to find the restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard when there are somehow two Santa Monica Boulevards, we arrived in one piece.
The menu was littered with all sort of Thai goodies, and my eyes immediately went to the Panang Curry, which is Thai curry mixed with coconut milk, peanuts, basil and kaffir leaves. There was also a choice of vegetables, tofu, chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, calamari, salmon, seafood or scallop. Despite the initial setback of vegetables and tofu, they offered a nice array of unvegan additions. I decided to keep it simple and went with the beef. Because we were in a group, though, we decided to get our food “family style,” so we each ordered a dish to split. This was unfortunate for my lifestyle, because I have no other friends with a diet that excludes vegetables. My “friends” chose to order the Pad Thai with Chicken and Basil Chicken. On top of that, we each got our own little bowls of rice.