January 2015

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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