It's been a long time.
Let's see, so in between the last time I blogged (not counting the J Gold map) and today, life's been...kind of busy. Between work, side projects, and you know...GETTING engaged, it's been crazy busy. It's a good thing twitter is a nice and simple platform for microblogging. Not to mention, my love affair with the Instagram iPhone app, blogging has almost become, dare I say, pointless?
But alas, sometimes it's just good to do some good ole writing and after today's visit to Aburiya Toranoko, the newest baby in Michael Cardenas' Downtown LA empire, I thought it'd be a good time to revive this blog. Well, let's not kid ourselves. I'll probably post again in 2012.
Anyhow, on to the next one.
Everyone has an opinion about Ludo and his pop up restaurant Ludobites. Whether it's love, hate, or apathy, it's hard to ignore the guy. He is a marketing machine. Ludo is everywhere: he's on Top Chef Masters, he's frying chicken out of a truck at the LA Street Food Festival, or he's frying chicken with Eric Greenspan and Akasha Richmond. Love him or hate him, he's a constant topic in the LA restaurant scene. With all the hype around Ludo, it's no surprise that his next pop up location, a two month stint at Gram and Papa's in downtown Los Angeles, was fully booked within
72 hours (correction, make that 18 hours, thanks Krissy) of the reservation lines opening up.
I love big hotels. It's a place where people converge, convene, and interact. For an avid people watcher like me, it's perfect because it's a world full of strange and amusing characters.
I'm way too distracted these days to write something meaningful, so instead I'll just present you with some of my favorite small plates of the moment around the city.
More on the flip.
Apparently it doesn't matter what day or time we show up. It doesn't matter if you tempt me with this wonderful view throughout the meal.
It only seems appropriate that the last post of the year focuses on Rivera Restaurant. Rivera Restaurant is one of the cornerstones in the revitalization of fine dining in Downtown LA that started at the beginning of 2009.
Church and State has received endless praise since Walter Manzke's start and rightly so, the food is good. And that is the saving grace for this bistro.
Now that my office is in Downtown LA, I'm always on the hunt for different places to eat that don't cost an arm and a leg for parking. LOC will probably end up replacing Wurstküche as my go to spot after work for the simple reason that it has a good beer and wine selection and most importantly, good food. Wurstküche has a GREAT beer selection, but at some point you need to have something more than a duck and bacon sausage and Belgian fries.
The view from my future seat at LOC
Bottega Louie, on the corner 7th and Grand, in the old, and currently under bankruptcy protection, Brockman Building, elicits a lot of reactions.
"I love the design."
"I hate the design."
"It's too bare."
"All the hosts/hostesses/managers are good looking!"
"What? I can't hear you!?"
Bottega Louie is loud. Bottega Louie stands out. Bottega Louie screams to be noticed. And why shouldn't it?
I can't decide what direction I want this blog to go in. I have friends like Boundforbliss, whose blog is primarily focused on her recent engagement and her wedding plans. There are niche blogs like Eating Valley Blvd., which as the title aptly states, is Sinosoul's eating adventures on, you guessed it, Valley Blvd in San Gabriel Valley. Blogs such as Caroline on Crack and E*star LA covers all things LA. Then there is the verse and prose of The Delicious Life and Infinite Fress, both offering diction that is captive and insightful.
Then there is my blog. I don't have a clue what I want to do with this blog. There are so many directions that it can go (as evidenced above) that I can't really find my focus. And that really shouldn't be a problem because this blog will eventually find its own voice, especially since it is my blabber, or my thoughts, or...well, you get the point. Too bad that process doesn't cut it for me. I'm not good at letting things ride and seeing what develops. Where my friends see spontaneity, I don't. I rarely do or say something without knowing where I want to end up. As one of the finest lyricists of my generation, Nas, articulates in his track Can't Forget About You, my blog's mantra will be his "Never on schedule, but always on time." On time to where though, I'll just have to be patient and see.
My posts will continue to evolve at their own pace. Whether or not there will be more writing is to be seen. Truth be told, I just like pictures. There are enough reviews and words on the internet that I don't need to interject more noise into all that static. And really, what is my opinion worth to you? But pictures, who doesn't love pictures?
With that brain dump out of the way, here is my afternoon at Wurstküche. This place is like my Cheers. When it's not packed to the gills with hipsters and families letting their palates explore rattlesnake, rabbit, and alligator sausages, it is the perfect bar for me to relax at, grab a meal, have a few beers, and enjoy a good conversation.
Having already worked my way through their beer list multiple times, I usually just pick whatever is new and on tap when I'm here. This afternoon, a Duvel Green: lighter than the rest, fermented once, an easy way to start the afternoon.
My current favorite: duck & bacon sausage topped with onions and sweet peppers with a side of belgian fries. It's duck, it's bacon, need I say more?
Wurstküche's seasonal beer. I don't think it is a actually a St. Bernardus Watou, but whatever...had a nuttier flavor and well with the sausage.
Hollywood types and doctors, the usual LA crowd for a 3p on a Thursday.
I tried the ice cream sandwich after watching a guy pick up two from the counter for dessert. The apple cinnamon ice cream was refreshing and it was in Diddy Reese portions, but unfortunately, not Diddy Reese prices.
Where everybody (or at least the bartender) knows your name.
Wurstküche - Purveyor of Exotic Grilled Sausages800 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013