Copenhagen Pastry – Danish Baking Perfected

by Franklin on January 28, 2015

Copenhagen Pastry is an authentic Danish pastry shop. They use the best ingredients and their technique is so refined. This creates pastries that are flaky, light, and delicate. Their fillings are traditionally almond paste and custard, and got to try a variety of their treats. My favorite was the Kringle. It was the sweetest of the bunch, but not too sweet. The flaky crust and the custard, almond paste mixture was perfect. I’m not fond of almond extract or the taste of almond in pastries, but theirs was delicate and used sparingly. The Crown and Spandauer was similar the the Kringle, but just in various ratios of custard and almond paste.

I can’t wait to go back and try their other pastries and their rye bread!
The Kringle – almond paste, custard, sugar

The Spandauer – almond paste, sugar

The Nougat Crown – almond paste, custard, hazelnut cream

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The Golden State – Burgers and Bacon

by Franklin on January 25, 2015

The Golden State on Fairfax was at one point touted as having the best burgers in Los Angeles. I am a burger snob, and I can say that if the time was taken, I can one dope burger. The menu is simple: burgers, sandwiches, salads, and sides. They even have Let’s Be Frank hot dogs as well. After trying a few years back, I realized a blog post is well overdue.

I always get the original called “The Burger.” The patty is made with Harris ranch beef. It is topped with Fiscalini Farms cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, arugula, aioli, ketchup. I got it with a side of jalapeño cabbage slaw wich is made with cabbage, carrots jalapeño, and red wine vinaigrette. Literally, all the ingredients listed were so fresh and exactly how I would want it. Nothing was soggy, or over done or underdone. It is like they knew what I wanted and met every specification. The beef was pure and delicious. I would have liked a better crust on it, but it was still quite nice. I always prefer the fake American cheese on my burgers, but the Fiscalini Farms cheddar had a complex flavor that gave the burger some maturity.

The BLTA: bacon, lettuce, tomato, and Avocado was a favorite of mine. Adding the avocado made everything creamy and cohesive. The bread choice wasn’t my favorite, but the ingredients inside made everything perfect. The side cucumber salad was amazing with this sandwich. Persian cucumbers, arugula, lemon vinaigrette all mixed together went so well with this bacon filled beauty.

The small shop pumps out some massive and delicious burgers. They really know what they are doing and know what they are talking about. The fresh ingredients and blend of flavors really went well. Nothing was over the top or gut busting. The burgers just had so much balance and maturity.

The Golden State on Urbanspoon

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Slapfish – Chowder My Fries

by Franklin on January 23, 2015

In a fast casual setting, Slapfish is all about being fresh and fast. They are all about fine dining with the price of something along the lines of Rubio’s (think California Fish Grill). The environment was clean and reminded me of a beachside local spot. We didn’t necessarily get there really early, but the restaurant was empty. Is this usually a good indication of bad food?

The lobster toast was on the house — after check-in. The itty-bitty toast had lots of flavor. The lobster flavor was masked by the spices and may mixture, but still had a blast of flavor. It was a good teaser to our seafood filled lunch.

The chowder fries were a hit. The fries were nice and thick, though I would have liked them more crispy. The clam chowder and bacon was just an intense richness that I enjoyed with the fries. Sprinkling on some Old Bay, though salty was a nice seafood factor that I enjoyed. The creamy chowder and fries were nice, and the crispy bacon just put everything on a porky note. You can’t go wrong if you put bacon on top of it all.

I am not a fan of grilled fish tacos, but this really changed my palate. The grilled fish in it of itself was so pure. It was grilled perfectly and would have eaten it all on its own. Placed in a taco, with cabbage, micro greens and sauce was just perfect. The thing was basically a fresh fish salad with some dope ingredients inside a fresh tortilla. I prefer the fried fish tacos, but this really changed my thoughts on fish tacos.

SlapFish - A Modern Seafood Shack on Urbanspoon

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Jerry’s Famous Deli – Breakfast for Dinner

by Franklin on January 21, 2015

I totally forgot I went to Jerry’s a while back. It was a long day of golfing at Westchester and we were famished. We got breakfast and fries amongst other things. The diner was somewhat empty but the decor and environment was quite inviting. I would say the food was very average and safe, but nothing to return for. I would say, Jerry’s did the trick for 3 hungry golfers.

The Cuban sandwich came with ham, turkey, and salami on Swiss. Pickles and mustard always makes a sandwich complete. The meat was nice and salty and the cole slaw went well with it. The onion rings were just average — probably frozen. All in all, it was still a good high stacked sandwich.

I ate the bacon, eggs, and sausage in less than a minute. Nothing special here — just good ol’ breakfast meats and eggs. The pancakes though, I took my time. I lathered on the butter and drizzled the syrup and went to town. The pancakes were good, but again, nothing special. An average pancake is still a good pancake. Yes, I love pancakes.

Fries are delicious with ranch, especially when you wanted hash browns with your breakfast for dinner and didn’t get any. Fried potatoes of any kind is welcome in my tummy. A load of fries for the table? Why not?

Jerry's Famous Deli on Urbanspoon

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Lala Argentine Grill – Skirt

by Franklin on January 16, 2015

Argentinians and barbecue go to together like skirt steak with a side of chimichurri. This is probably why the national dish of Argentina is asado. Anything centered on barbecued beef, anyone can love. Lala Argentine Grill does a great job on the classic. Their food is consistently good and a favorite amongst Los Angelenos.

The bread and chimichurri was a great start to our meal. The bread, quite bland and a bit stale was saved by the chimichurri. The sauce had a nice bite to it and was garlic heavy. The garlic made it quite spicy — not in the sriracha sense, but like raw garlic.

Getting ready for some awesome asado, we started off with a sensible salad. The Melrose salad was a perfect choice. It had chopped grilled chicken, tomato, onion, feta cheese and warm rice tossed in spicy honey mustard dressing. The spicy mustard dressing went well with the feta and chicken. The tomato and onions balanced everything out nicely. The rice made this salad quite heavy, and was immediately full after the bread and salad.

Skirt steak skirt steak can easily be my favorite cut of beef. The somewhat chewy texture gives it bite, and has the perfect ratio of fat. The skirt steak before was perfectly cooked medium rare. The garlic heavy sauce on top and the beef was a perfect combo. I don’t know why I didn’t get fries with my steak. They must have run out for the night. The rice was a great substitute and healthier too (I guess). The salad was a good counter balance from the heavy steak.

Lala Argentine Grill is a good option for a decent meal including meat and rice. I grew up on meet and rice, and this really hit the spot. It was comfort food in the form of meat and rice. They offer sandwiches and pastas and the like, I always go for the skirt steak and fries, maybe rice if I am feeling ricey. Their food is solid and one can always expect something delicious.

Lala's Grill on Urbanspoon

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The Best Day of My Life

by Franklin on January 10, 2015

The best day of my life wasn’t my wedding day. Before you go and start judgin’ me, you should hear when the best day of my life was — it was my first date with my now wife. We went out for some green tea and talked while looking out at the view on top of Summit House. That is why Summit House is such a special place for us and naturally, decided to have our wedding reception there.

The most fun day of my life was my wedding day. Not only did I get to marry the love of my life, but I got to spend the whole day with my closest friends and family. We celebrated with good food and with the people I love. As a service minded individual, I wanted to cater to our guests as much as possible, and food was the center of it all. I made sure our guests ate everything that we liked — a small scaled food event if you will. A food blogger’s wedding has to be centered on delicious food right? I expect to plan a wedding only once, so I made sure it was a dang good one.

The Pre-Party
Guests enjoyed vegetable crudités cups, cheese, crackers, and an open bar. What was on the bar menu? Midori Melanie and Franklin Old Fashioned. Sadly, I wasn’t around to enjoy the delights, but Summit House did a great job in getting everything in order.

The Party
Guests enjoyed quite possibly the best prime rib in Orange County. Well, at least my favorite. Summit House was probably Non red meat eaters had a choice from chicken or fish. I wish our photographer took pictures of the food, but as far as wedding food goes, it was pretty amazing. Not only did our guests get to eat delicious food, but they were able to share a spot that is near and dear to us.




The Dessert Table
Thanks to Beverly’s Best based in Fullerton, CA. They hold a special place in our hearts as well. Fullerton was our stomping ground and it was nice to have one of our favorite bakeries in the area to cater our desert table. From delicious cake pops, lemon bars, macarons, cupcakes, and cookies, the desserts were a hit. Guests gobbled them up and we were left with a barren table at the end of the night.

The Cronut
Joining the dessert table were the cronuts. Well, not really a cronut, but a crullant (croissant/cruller). Semisweet Bakery in Downtown was awesome enough to make us a large order of some of their crullants. Topped in a blueberry (purple) glaze, the crullants were amazing. These were special to us because they were our first encounter with the “cronut” and we fell in love. Believe me when I say that I contacted Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York for the real thing. Them catering our wedding was pretty much impossible, but I tried for myself and our guests. :)

The Cold
A special thanks goes out to Creamistry! They were kind enough to come out with their nitrogen tanks and serve our guests with nitrogen frozen ice cream. Our flavors were taro (the purple went with our theme and we both love taro) and Cap’n Crunch (because it’s my favorite). There definitely was a line for this one, but luckily we got to cut in line. By far, Creamistry is our favorite nitrogen ice cream and if you already didn’t know, I am a Cap’n Crunch addict. :)

The Cake
A special thanks to King’s Hawaiian for making the perfect wedding cake for us. The flavors included Hawaiian Paradise (passion fruit, guava, and lime) and a traditional white cake. I wanted to have the whole thing with the Paradise flavor but the wife wanted two flavors. Hey, compromise is the key to a happy marriage. The Paradise cake is probably my favorite cake in all of Los Angeles, and to have a 3 tier cake like this was perfection. Not only was it decorated perfectly, but the cake is always delicious from King’s Hawaiian.

The End
The best day of my life was our first date, and that culminated to the most fun day of my life. It was a celebration of love with everything food.

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We are bangin’ out the new year with ramen. Noodles are a representation of long life, and is a perfect way to start off the new year. Ramen shops are expected to boom in Los Angeles for the year 2015 and Tsujita is leading them all. The shop is small, modern and quite relaxing. It’s easy to get in for a quick bite and get out. This is the year of the ramen.

What better way to start if off the new year with ramen, Tsukemen to be specific. Tsujita’s Tsukemen is touted as being somewhat of perfect. Honestly, the bowl was quite delicious. The noodles were nice and tender, thick, and perfectly cooked. Dipping the noodles in the thick broth, the noodles did a good job of soaking in the flavors. The char siu though was quite thick and juicy. It wasn’t dry or flavorless. The bite of the pork was perfectly fatty and porky — probably some of the best char siu I’ve ever had.

The broth was mild, not as salty as I’d like, and not as hot as I’d like. It was warm, but not really hot. The flavors of the dashi was prevalent but not overpowering. It was fatty and had a nice mouth feel to the soup. I just wish it was a bit hotter — that would have made the noodles and the char siu and noodles warmer when eaten. Other than that, the broth was quite flavorful.

My experience at Tsujita was great, and I’d come again and again for a bowl of Tsukemen. The broth was pretty good, but the noodles and char siu still managed to overshadow it. That’s how good quality this stuff is. They take pride in having the perfect noodles. Long noodles are a sign of long life. This 2015 and on, I want to wish everyone a nice long healthy life. Ramen may not be “healthy,” but its good for the soul. And anything good for the soul is a good thing.
Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle on Urbanspoon

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2015 and Beyond

by Franklin on January 2, 2015

Memories of 2014 will definitely be missed. It’s a good thing this blog helps me to remember all the delicious things that we ate. 2014 was definitely a milestone. Dine Delish turned 3, soon to be 4 in February 2015. I turned 30, and Melanie and I got married. 2014 will always be special.

As Dine Delish grows and becomes more mature, it is difficult at times to determine what this blog is all about. Yes food and cuisine is the center of it all, but what really is the point in all of this? Is it more of a food journal or restaurant review? To be honest, I had no direction — I just went with the flow over the past 3 years, and it kind of developed into patches of wildflowers.

What will 2015 and beyond bring? I know I want to make subtle changes to the grand scheme of things. Maybe more pictures and less words? More words and less pictures? Maybe more of just throwing everything in the air and see where everything falls into place? It’s all possible, but definitely, 2015 will bring on a lot of change — for the better.

Thank you for everyone who has been following this blog. I know it has been a short ride, but the wheels are still turning and the destination is still up in the air. Just remember that good food is what feeds you. When is the last time you celebrated a holiday over a good book? When’s the last time you went out on a date with your special someone and grabbed a bite of nothing? As long as good food is out there, I’ll be there to share it with all of you.
Have an awesome year everyone! 2015 is going to be amazing. I promise.

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Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong – Flower Beef FTW

by Franklin on December 22, 2014

The acronyms AYCE and KBBQ go hand in hand, almost to the point of interchangeability. (Side note: the word “interchangeability” is the longest word used on this blog, I think.). I’m a carnivore to my core, and having all that my heart and stomach desires is welcome. For this reason alone is I think the reason why it took me so long to eat at Kang Ho Dong Beakjeong. For years, I’ve heard people tout that this is the best meat ever and I’ve seen crowds waiting to get a seat. Why are these people waiting for KBBQ with a limit? This must be good.

We ordered the beef cut called Flower meat. This is their signature cut and what everyone comes here for. The meat came in strips, and the marbling on the beef was incredible. It was a very fatty piece of beef. I am not quite sure on the cut of the beef — Judging the look, taste and texture, I’d guess it’s either a flank or rib. Am I way off? Regardless, the beef was pristine, and despite the large price tag, we wanted more.

We ordered the lesser priced, but equally popular, pork jowl. I liked the pork jowl (hang jung sal), but was more partial to the beef. Over cooking can cause the meat to be very rubbery. The taste was clean and the fat content was definitely there. Just the cooking process caused the texture to be quite off putting. In fact, this was the most rubbery piece of meat I’ve had in quite some time. Get the beef — flower beef.

To go with our meats, we also ordered the “lunch box” (doshirak). This was a bibimbap kind of dish. It reminded me of what I’d eat at home when there was nothing to eat. Just rice and a bunch of stuff from the fridge, add an egg on top to “keep it real” and I was good to go. Theirs was done nicely, with a mix of marinated seafood side dishes. It had lots of dried seafood actually and intensified the flavors a lot.

I guess I should mention Kang Ho Dong was a Korean comedian and MC. I don’t really follow Korean pop culture so I don’t really know much else about him. I guess having a famous person owning a restaurant is helpful. People flock to this place. Luckily, I went on a Monday and fit before the dinner rush. As the sun sets, expect a wait on any given night. A wait is expected for reasons not so mysterious. Even though the meat isn’t endless, the quality and atmosphere is why people come. Everyone loudly greets you when you enter, and everyone bids you farewell. The experience was great and the beef was exceptional. What more can I want?

Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong on Urbanspoon

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Bear Flag Fish Company – Poke All Day

by Franklin on December 15, 2014

It was sad to see Bear Flag Fish Company move locations. The original had a nice quality to it — it was small, hole in the wall like, and the food was perfectly simple. Now in their bigger and better location, the food is consistently delicious and the decor is spot on. It’s bigger, brighter and just nicer.

I really come here for one thing, and that is their poke. Their ahi and salmon poke is as good as it gets as the OC goes. I’ve had poke in Hawaii — let’s not compare the two. Bear Flag does a great job nonetheless — the fish is fresh and the flavors are just right. I like that they give a huge portion of tortilla chips. The tortilla chips alone are delicious. Extra crispy, to the point where your teeth start hurting, but so good. Eating it with the poke, it is a match made perfectly.

The new spot is nicely decked out and the ambiance is just fresh. Sadly, I havent tried anything else on their menu — its just so hard to order anything else. I love raw fish and their poke is a must order. I rather just fill myself up with more poke than try something else.

Bear Flag Fish Co. on Urbanspoon

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Commissary at the LINE HOTEL – The Greenhouse

by Franklin on November 17, 2014

The Commissary at the Line Hotel was an interesting dining experience. The the concept here is quite unique and somewhat confusing. The greenhouse symbolizes the freshness of fruits and vegetables, yet this place is not a vegetarian restaurant. Commissary is very much a regular restaurant inside a beautiful greenhouse. The location and interior design is what draws everyone. I think the food could have been more exciting or less pretentious. The menu doesn’t even have a description of what you are getting. If its a fish dish, they just simply put, “fish.” If you are getting a burger, it just says “burger.” It’s kind of like, “you don’t need to know what you are eating, just eat it.”

The corn here was incredible. What we did was shave off the kernels from the cob and just mix it in with the ingredients. Definitely an ode the to Mexican street corn of LA, this hit the spot. The char on the corn really brought out the sugars and sweetness. Mixed in with the chili powder and tart aioli of some sort, it was a classic flavor combination. I liked that there was some cheese, but not a lot — this gave the corn a chance to really shine through.

The asparagus was quite delicious as well. The grilled asparagus paired with a tart lemon sauce was amazing. Some parts of the asparagus was tough, but all around had great flavor. The addition of the Parmesan was another ode to the Mexican style corn.

You order boring, and you get boring. Looking at the menu, we really wanted to give the burger a chance, but really didn’t want to. It really didn’t have much going for it. No side of fries, no perfectly medium rare beef patty, no soft delicious bun. It was just a normal burger. Again, it had a nice contrast of fatty beef and tart sauce, but that is all it had going for it. Come to think of it, all of these dishes had similar properties to it. I am beginning to see a trend here.

Eating at the Commissary was a fun experience, but the food was just average for me. Nothing was exciting, apart from the corn. Nothing stood out and really challenged my palate. The ingredients were indeed fresh and everything was prepared nicely. I just expected a lot more. Definitely though, this would be a nice spot to hang out during daylight to have a few bites and a drink. The atmosphere is perfect and the ambiance is just right.

Commissary at the Line Hotel on Urbanspoon

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Semi Sweet Bakery – The Crullant

by Franklin on November 11, 2014

Semi Sweet Bakery in Downtown is one of the many places to get cronuts in Los Angeles. Dubbed the name, “crullant”, theirs was more of a hybrid between a croissant and a French cruller. Behind Semi Sweet Bakery is Sharlena Fong, a New York based pastry chef. The cafe bakery was small, chic, and filled with so many baked goodies.


The Crullant was quite nice, and one of the best “cronut” renditions I have had. It was delicate and not too sweet. I liked the fact that this tasted clean and more like a pastry, not oil. A lot of cronuts have that fried oil taste, and I appreciated that this one didn’t have that taste. The glaze was not too much, and gave the crullant a perfect sweet taste. I also liked that there was a lot of layers from the pastry. It gave it a nice texture and flavor.

The Peanut Butter Ding a Ling was tasty. A spin on the Hostess Ding Dong, this one was quite decadent. The peanut butter filling combined with the rich chocolate flavor went so well together. I’m not really a ding dong fan, but this rendition was quite delicious.

Semi Sweet Bakery is almost a perfect bakery. They have some top quality pastries and nothing is too over the top. The ode to the ding dong was nostalgic and the crullant is nearly perfect. Next time, I must try the maple bacon sticky bun.

Semi Sweet Bakery on Urbanspoon

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Tacos El Gordo – A Good Reason to Drive 4 Hours

by Franklin on November 6, 2014

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, we went pretty dang hard on some legit tacos. Tacos El Gordo is my new spot for tacos is Las Vegas. Sitauted right next to the Encore and Wynn resorts, the TG stands more on the north side of Vegas. The best part about TG is that they offer all of the meats, and they are all good. None really fall short of the other, and if anything, the carne asada is the worst one. That is saying much! Our first stop once we touched down to Vegas was Tacos El Gordo. The weekend was officially awesome.

The signature red trays are iconic. They first opened their doors in San Diego, and now they are here in Las Vegas. Life is good.

This is the tripas taco. The tripas (small intestine) had a nice crunch to them, just how I like it. Very tasty and delicious.

The lengua is another favorite of mine in a taco. The meat is beefy and very tender. So tender that it is too tender, but actually it’s not. (What kind of writing is this??) The meat just melts in your mouth, and is a perfect taco addition.

The al pastor was tasty as well. The sauce that they put was delicious and flavorful. The al pastor sits on a spit and is cut to order. The flavors are perfect and the meat is just perfect.

Tacos El Gordo is a good reason to stop by Vegas. Yeah, you can drive 2 hours or so to San Diego, but add another 2 hour drive, you get the deliciousness of Tacos El Gordo and the fun of Vegas. The ordering system is a bit crazy. There are different lines for different meats, and they have a lot of lines, and a lot of people, and a lot of different kinds of meats. All in all though, it is worth the wait and chaos.

Tacos el Gordo on Urbanspoon

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#Icecreamtuesdays is over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ice cream anymore. The beauty of living in LA is getting to have ice cream in the fall and winter. This was my first time trying Persian ice cream, and for the most part, it was pretty awesome. Walking into Saffron and Rose Ice Cream, I couldn’t help but notice all of the exotic flavors.

The saffron and pistachio was amazing. The saffron had a strong flavor and the mistakable sweet, yes savory essence was playful on the tongue. Pairing it with the very sweet date ice cream was quiet nice. The cut up dried dates were very flavorful and had a nice texture to it. The texture of the actual ice cream though, may not be for everyone. It is a bit on the “stringy” side and not like a traditional ice cream. It pulls away, kind of like taffy but is ice cream nonetheless. At first, it is a bit alarming, but the unique flavors take over.

Saffron and Rose Ice Cream was a nice pit stop. The small unassuming shop in Westwood had a lot to offer. The fresh ice cream in their unique flavors was enough a reason to give it a try. Did I miss my regular double chocolate caramel ice cream? Not really. Once I finished my ice cream, I had that yearning for that unique flavor again. Even now, I can imagine the flavors, but can’t quite grasp it completely. That is the draw here. The textures and flavors of the ice cream is like no other.

Saffron & Rose on Urbanspoon

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Library Ale House – Koreans and Grilled Onions

October 26, 2014

After a long day at Venice Beach, we decided to hit up Library Ale House. The somewhat small bar was packed with people. It was almost as small as a coffee shop, but people just stood or sat at the bar. The woodsy interior and small feel felt very “English Pub” like, but with better [...]

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Angelini Osteria – The Proper Way of Turning Thirty

October 20, 2014

Every man and woman’s journey changes when they turn 30. My 30th was well received, at least better than others’. I didn’t have a mental breakdown or go skydiving to feel young again. Angelini Osteria was the perfect place to celebrate my birthday. It’s elegant, mature, and the food was quite polished — just as [...]

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Superba Food + Bread – Missed My Kouign Amann

October 17, 2014

I came to Superba Food + Bread for a cup of latte and their famous Kouign Amann. I was looking forward to eating that sweet sweet, burnt sugar crusted bread with a nice cup of latte. I did get my latte, but instead of something sweet I got something savory. Sadly, they were out of [...]

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Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking – The Las Vegas Pan Roast Makes its Way to Orange County

October 13, 2014

I have been wanting to go to Ritter’s for quite some time. Visiting Vegas throughout, I have been trying to make time to visit Oyster Bar in the Palace Station Casino — All for one dish, the Pan Roast. Chef Ritter, after being approached by some customers went to venture off to open Steam Kettle [...]

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Wildcraft Sourdough Pizza – Venture Into a New Dough

October 10, 2014

I came to Wildcraft Sourdough Pizza during happy hour. The place was empty and the chef was just itching to place a pizza in the oven. I liked the open flow of the restaurant. The open kitchen and friendly staff really put everything together nicely. The place looked casual enough for a small get together [...]

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2014 LA Times The Taste – Flavors of LA

October 7, 2014

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