There are times when your body needs a refresh. I had all the intentions of living up to my carnivorous nature, but sometimes, one just needs to give the delicious meat a rest. That is where Samosa House and Bharat Bazaar comes in.

I ordered the combo plate. The pakora curry had yogurt cream with cauliflower. The cauliflower taste was masked by the curry and yogurt mixture. The barbecued soy protein nuggets was delicious as well. In a pool of spicy (not really spicy) barbecue sauce, the protein nuggets had full of flavor and all the characteristics of actual meat. My favorite was definitely the jackfruit curry. It was a bit salty and sour, but the texture was quite interesting. It was like nature’s meat. Not really sweet like a fruit, but more like a artichoke flavor and texture wise. All were delicious with the basmati rice and naan.

The garlic naan was just ok and nothing special. It didn’t have the pliability and tenderness as other good naan is. Theirs was more stiff and a bit burned on most spots. A little less time in the tandoor would have done wonders. Still though, I enjoyed sopping up the curry and sauces on the plate.

Samosa House and Baharat Bazaar was a nice place to enjoy the vegetarian side of eating. I always enjoy some meat with my meals, but experiencing all these meatless dishes wasn’t that bad. The flavors really stood out and the textures were really meat-like. They did a great job getting all the flavors and textures to represent meat in a positive way. I would probably dine here frequently if I were vegetarian.

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Mikawaya Mochi Ice Cream – 2 Buck Chuck

by Franklin on August 26, 2014

Something about mochi ice cream is so satisfying. That soft dough-like mochi on the outside, and the cold flavorful ice cream on the inside just hits the spot. Its cold, chewy, and delicious. The best part is, you don’t need a spoon — you eat it with your hands and there is no mess.

Little Tokyo’s Mikawaya has them for a dollar each. At those prices, you can scarf them down like popcorn. I got the mango and green tea mochi ice cream. I literally sat there, looked at my two treats, and carefully determined which one to eat first. Mango then green tea, or green tea, then mango… Hmm. Like I don’t have any other more important life decisions to make. In the end, I ate the mango first, then green tea second. That just seemed like the logical order to eat it. Either way, I was happy.

Mikawaya on Urbanspoon

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Themed restaurants are cheesy. Public School is literally a school themed restaurant/gastropub. They have composition notebook lookalike menu and a clipboard with the beer menu. Other than that, the restaurant decor is pretty much like any other. What I don’t get is why the theme? I guess it’s a good thing that the “school” theme isn’t just all in your face. I suppose the little hints of the school theme is fine. They should however have the food speak for itself.

The Cutting Board featured a selection of cured meats and artisan cheese. The cheese included a gouda, swiss, and cheddar. The meats were prosciutto and a chorizo of some kind. I liked the addition of the marcona almonds. It gave the whole experience a nice crunch. Eating the different cheeses with the honey and fruit preserves was delicious as well. Though it came with a large variety of items, I would have liked a more variety of meat or just a larger quantity.

The wild mushroom and taleggio lavash was quite delicious. It was probably my favorite of the night. The extra thin, almost cracker like crust was light and crispy. The mushrooms and the creamy taleggio mixture almost mimicked Campbell’s cream of mushroom. It was savory and rich. The mix of the arugula and parmesan shavings gave it an extra depth of flavor. This pizza like dish was quite delicious.

I am a sucker for anything fried, and of course, calamari is one of my top fried delights. the fiery calamari was exceptionally good here. Using a mixture of flour and cornmeal for the batter, it gave it an extra crunch. Though the crunch from the cornmeal seemed to be a fake “crunch” and would liked it to be more fried to a crisp. Dipping these in the togarashi and ginger aioli gave it a nice zing and spice, but not too spicy. A spicier variation in the sauce would have made this calamari stand out more.

The cauliflower and cheese dish was well received. As an avid cauliflower hater (I blame Yoshinoya), the only way I would eat them is if its fried, or covered in cheese. In this case, the cheese sauce did a good job in making the bland cauliflower edible. The addition of the bacon bits on the side and the bechamel made this a rich dish.

Public School is you everyday bar / eatery. They don’t have the outstanding dishes and selection as the other restaurants. School Food is more of a safe choice — better than most, but still generic. They have locations neatly separated — 310 in Culver City and 805 in Westlake Village. All they need is one near Hollywood and they have LA pretty much covered.

Public School 612 on Urbanspoon

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Playa Provisions definitely has an identity crisis. The restaurant is separated into 4 different sections — Dockside, Grain, Small Batch, and King Beach. Dockside is a high end dining space for seafood. Grain is a back room whiskey bar. Small Bach is their ice cream shop. King Beach is their casual breakfast and lunch spot. Honestly, the concept is interesting and confusing. Top Chef runner-up Brooke Williams and husband run the show. The woodsy, artsy, and earthy tones of the decor was very attractive. Honestly though, I came here just for the ice cream.

The ice cream was a treat. The chocolate malted crunch was full of bits and was quite nice. I usually don’t like chocolate malted crunch, and I don’t quite know why I ordered this flavor. The bits of malted balls were nice and the chocolate was rich and flavorful. My favorite was the milk and coffee ice cream. It had a nice subtle coffee flavor and was so clean tasting. This mixed in with the chocolate malted crunch was a perfect match. All of this with their addicting house made waffle cone, and I was a happy little kid with an ice cream cone.

In second thought, the concept here at Playa Provisions is kind of interesting. I wish they did a better job in integrating everything together. The new restaurant in Playa del Rey is turning heads though. I originally thought it was a casual sandwich shop that also had delicious ice cream. I was in shock when I walked in and there were all these different compartments. Back-room whiskey bar? Who would have thought? I will definitely be back for that. Maybe even a sandwich and seafood fare is in order also. For #icecreamtuesdays though this will definitely do.

Playa Provisions on Urbanspoon

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While this blog post goes live, I’ll probably be in Hawaii for work. I know work and Hawaii don’t really go hand in hand, but trust me, I’ll be working. It will be my first time in Hawaii, so Hawaiian food to me would be the same here or there. I would assume an authentic Hawaiian restaurant would be exactly like Rutt’s Hawaiian. I walked in here, and the vibe was totally old school Hawaiian. Literally everyone there was a local. Then another guy came in for s pick up order and it seemed like he was a regular. I knew we were in for a Hawaiian treat.

The Kalua pork with egg was quite delicious. The eggs were just regular — nothing really special here. The Kalua pork though was exceptional. It was salty, but not too salty. The pork wasn’t dry or overly seasoned. The pork flavor was present and the mixture of fat and lean meat was perfect. This beats any carnitas or pulled pork that is out there.

The royals fried rice was quite nice as well. I am a fried rice lover, and anything mixed with rice is always delicious and convenient. This fried rice wasn’t just all rice with bits and pieces of the good stuff. It had plenty of char sui, Portuguese sausage, eggs, and sprouts. The addition of the green onions gave it a nice savory taste and evened out all of the fatty flavors. This was really a plate of comfort.

The Kalua pork was awesome, the Royale was comforting, but this French toast was something else. There are some crappy French toasts out there, and there are some decent once. This French toast is literally the best in Los Angeles. The bread they use is Hawaiian bread — fitting and genius. This made for a very pillowy bite. Dipping it in some Aunt Jemima, this was equally comforting and delicious. Seriously. Put this on your to do list. In hopes of not overhyping this simple French toast, I will have to try it again soon.

What’s up with Hawaiian food and why is it so comforting for me? Am I part Hawaiian? Some people look at me and always ask me if I am from Hawaii. Maybe I need to have a serious conversation with my mom and really figure out where I’m from. I think it isn’t just me. Something about Hawaiian food is so simple and comforting. Rutt’s really surprised me with their down to earth offerings of classic Hawaiian fare. Trust me when I say I’ll be back for that Kalua pork and French toast.

Rutt's Hawaiian Cafe & Catering on Urbanspoon

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