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
If Chef Ludo had a rap game, he'd have this track and it'd go "Allow me to reintroduce myself my name is L Oh, U to the D O."
Ludobites 3.0, in which the cock attacks.
Since there will be at least 30+ blogs about this place, what's one more to toss in the heap? When you think about it, isn't that really the marketing genius behind Ludobites?
"Where do you want to go for dinner tonight?"
"8p, Kiyokawa, sushi bar, omakase."
Exiting Toshi Sushi COMPLETELY stuffed, I spied this thing across the street on the corner of 1st/Central:
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
One of the perks of working in downtown LA is that I get to eat at Daikokuya all the time. So much so that I've apparently become the mayor of Daikokuya on Four Square. There really isn't much that needs to be said since Daikokuya's been reviewed to death, but I will say that ramen is the perfect prescription for these windy LA days. I also think Daikokuya is better than Ippudo in NYC. So there, that's my opinion on this whole ramen thing.
You get used to staring at this sign while waiting for your name to be called.
This is where the magic happens. Just a tip, you don't want to sit here on a hot day. You'll be getting sweaty with all the heat dissipating from the fryer. No fun.
Gyozas with a generous helping of green onions. Note in the background that I can levitate things while I take pictures (+15 art of levitation skill).
What came first, the chicken or the egg? I don't care, they're both in the oyakodon.
The main reason why we come to Daikokuya: ramen, nuff said.
The garlic explains why my colleagues aren't talking to me right now. I should use more garlic, more often.
And while you're at it, why wouldn't you go to Yogurtland just down the street to grab some dessert, especially since Tokidoki's in the house.
And two random pictures of of Little Tokyo:
A simple lunch today: oi kimchi and kimbap
and from many kimbap
was left the chosen one.
"Lobster or BP Oysterette"
"Seriously, is this even worth debating?"
There is no better way to spend a Sunday evening after Cirque du Soleil's Kooza then to be by the beach enjoying a bottle of wine, a few dozen oysters and a hot fudge sundae. That's right, a hot fudge sundae. That's how we roll. A lobster roll?
two dozen oysters raw and ceviche style (mt. simon, bahia falsa, island creek)
hot fudge sundae
Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc
And then there are stall in the wall restaurants in a hole in the wall plaza. That pretty much describes Mo-Chica.
Why did I go to Mo-Chica? Ever since my trip to Gaston Acurio's La Mar in San Francisco, I've been craving Peruvian food. A quick search on the interwebs suggested that Mo-Chica was the most popular of Peruvian restaurants in the LA area. It also helped that Jonathan Gold gave it a once over as well. So when an unexpected window opened up this past Friday, I hopped in the car after work and headed to Mo-Chica.
First off, Mo-Chica is located in the Mercado La Palomar complex. It looks like a community center, and if you're like me, you might drive right by it on your first go around. It's an unassuming location, but inside you'll find Mo-Chica, the original Chichen Itza, and about a dozen different shops.
As soon as I sat down, the chef de cuisine came out and introduced himself. It was a nice touch, hopefully it didn't have anything to do with the fact that:
1. I was the one asian guy in the whole building
2. I was holding a camera.
Anyhow, he introduced me to the dishes of the day:
(My hands were shaking badly due to Urth Caffe Spanish Latte I had a few hours earlier. And thus...the blurry words. Deal with it.)
The rest of the menu was on the giant blackboard along the top of the stall.
Being the petite eater that I am, I decided to go with a light dinner.
I started with the special ceviche, which was made of scallop, striped bass, sweet potato, and roasted Peruvian corn. The scallop and striped bass tasted fresh, but the whole time through this dish I kept thinking about the pH of the dish and how the sweet potato and corn was acting as the base and it was balancing out the acidity of the lime juice. It also reminded me that I sucked at chemistry in high school. But I digress, we're concerned with eating, not chemistry.
Dish number 2 promptly followed the completion of dish number 1. The causa del dia was crab. Peruvian food is ANYTHING but bland. The rich crab filling was balanced by the mild potato with all of it complemented by the aji sauce.
Midway through the causa, I got a small plate of roasted Peruvian corn. Was this the predecessor to the corn nuts we know? Four kernels in (ok, maybe 10), I realized that these roasted corn nuts would be GREAT with a beer, until I read the sign on the wall: Alcohol is not served here. Argh.
All thoughts of beer quickly disappeared when the lomo saltado arrived.
So much for that "light meal" that I planned to have. Needless to say, the bread and rice went mostly untouched. Gotta start keeping track of the carbs at some point right?
Really, can you go wrong with fries, stir fried beef, roman tomatoes, and red onions? Jenga those fries at your own risk.
Thoroughly stuffed, I thought it would be appropriate to just complete the package and order dessert:
All in all, quite an amazing meal at an incredibly affordable price in the most random of places. Mo-Chica is definitely the place to visit for an exceptional Peruvian meal.
Note: Mo-Chica hosts regular tasting dinners and the next one is on October 29, 2009 from 6p-9p. Reservations are required, so if you are interested, call 213-747-2141 to reserve your spot.