When you need to get away from it all (say from a 3 month old child and the busy streets of LA), Cliff’s Edge in Silverlake is actually a pretty good way to do it. You see, just off of busy Sunset Blvd, Cliff’s Edge feels like it might as well be Middle Earth. There’s a real tree growing right in the middle of the place and the whole place really does feel like an earthly Lothlorien. There was no Lembas bread to eat, but there was plenty to be found.
In a place that is one number short of 7-11, I spent my 30th birthday dinner with my wife. That missing number was 7, and restaurant was called Eleven. Now, Eleven is known to have one of the better burgers in the ‘burgh, but it’s not on the dinner menu, so I made do with all the other goodies that were available for the ordering.
The Spanish town of Segovia is famous for a few things:
Its Roman aqueduct — still standing since it was constructed in 50 A.D, it consists of 163 arches made of 20,000 granite blocks and not a drop of mortar.
For my first outing to LA Live, my lady and I headed to WP24, a restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton created by that famous chef with a name like a prodigious hockey item, Wolfgang Puck. We were out celebrating, but didn’t call ahead to make plans. This meant we couldn’t get a table, because apparently WP24 has no room for walk-ins, but it also meant we weren’t locked into an $80 or $110 fixed price dinner. Instead, we were offered the lounge, which served sushi and appetizers.
Every time I go shopping at Mitsuwa, a Japanese grocery store in Mar Vista, I can’t help but notice a crazy long line in the adjacent Japanese food court. This line always sprouts from Santouka, a ramen place with roots going back to the real Japan. So, out of curiosity for that crazy line, Joel and I finally decided to give Santouka a go.
Salvadoran food, like much Hispanic food, often gets lumped with Mexican food and it is a shame. Sure, people know was a pupusa is, but it usually ends there. This is not the case at Atlacatl, a Salvadoran restaurant in the Wilshire Center district of LA that sits all at once next to Koreatown, Downtown and Silverlake. At Atlacatl, Salvadoran is the name of the game and there is no pandering to that subset of people looking for a burrito.
EDIT: This review is of the original. The new Salt’s Cure is apparently bigger and better. We shall see…oh yes…we shall see.
My continued quest for amazing burgers took me to a place called Salt’s Cure in West Hollywood. At this particular intersection, only one of the corners lacks burgers, as the other two are populated by Fatburger and Astro Burger. And while Salt’s Cure isn’t strictly a burger place, a quick look at the high priced menu on the wall when I walked in all but guaranteed I would be eating their burger.
After living in China for a while, I learned there were quite a few dishes that the Chinese liked to call “Chinese Hamburger.” Fortunately, none of these involved a trip to McDonald’s, but unfortunately if you don’t speak Chinese, you really don’t know what you’re going to get if you do ask for a Chinese hamburger. This is because essentially anytime they stick some meat and any other foods inside some sort of bread or bun, they call it a Chinese Hamburger. One night in Shanghai, we were invited out by a buddy of mine to eat at a Shanxi-style restaurant (not to be confused with Shaanxi, its neighboring province) called Sanjinxiaochu (三晋小厨) near People’s Square in Shanghai and encountered an interesting variation of the Chinese Hamburger.
Just across from Yang’s new location in the new mall on Wujiang Street is another place that serves up xiaolongbao (soup dumplings). It’s called Nan Xiang Steamed Bun Restaurant and cooks them up in the original steamed way. Nan Xiang is actually the part of Shanghai where xiaolongbao originated and you can still find the original in its location near the Yu Garden, but the line is always crazy-long, so when I saw the Nan Xiang restaurant right next to Yang’s, I figured I would give them a taste.
Once upon a time, there was a street called Wujiang in Shanghai just outside the Nanjing West Subway Station. At all hours of the day, the street was lined with food vendors and inside the old buildings were delicious, old-school Chinese restaurants. On that street was a hole in the wall called Yang’s Fried-Dumpling, which served a delicious xiaolongbao (pronounced shiao-long-bow) with the special twist that it was fried (as opposed to the traditional steaming method). Xiaolongbao is one of Shanghai’s signature dishes, a dumpling stuffed with pork that creates a soup inside when cooked. The dumpling is sealed air-tight so the soup stays inside until it is eaten. Even though Yang’s went against tradition by frying their dumplings, there was always a line outside their door.