Monday, May 28, 2007


We're on the 2, headed to Zeke's, one of our go-to places for sometimes good, sometimes heavenly BBQ. Is Zeke's the best or our favorite Q in LA? No, but on a lazy Sunday, when we don't want to risk traffic on the 10 (for Phillips) and we just want a comfy family cafe, Zeke's fits the bill.
And Honolulu Avenue in Montrose always inspires fantasies of small town living.

Slightly overdressed Caesar but sharp and garlicky.
And.....the money shot! These happened to be some mighty fine baby backs. Zeke's new smoker has made an incredible difference in the quality of their ribs.

Zeke's Smokehouse
2209 Honolulu Ave., Montrose

Delilah's Bakery

Delilah Bakery in Echo Park is an adorable, neighborhood spot featuring old-fashioned baked goods and a community vibe. It's absolutely a sweet spot and a welcome addition to the hood, but I thought everything we tried was a little less than fabulous.

Shown above, we tried the red velvet cupcake, a peanut butter cookie, and some sort of nutty cheesecake bar. They were good, but I felt I could do better. The peanut butter cookie tasted a bit bland, slightly peanutty and a little floury. The red velvet cake was pleasant, but the frosting seemed a bit thin and drippy. And the cheesecake bar was extremely rich without any discernible flavor. I really wanted to fall in love with the Delilah Bakery, but I don't feel the need to rush back.

Mother's Day - Joe's in Venice

We took Mom out for an absolutely lovely brunch at Joe's in Venice. The last time I dined at Joe's was Father's Day ages ago and it was wonderful to return on a sparkling and warm Sunday.

I can't recall the name of our server, Julie or Kelly perhaps, but she was exceptional. Down-to-earth, knowledgeable, and helpful, she attended to our needs without ever seeming to hover. We tried the Bella Mama, an intoxicating morning cocktail.

I had forgotten what a beautiful space Joe's is...the light filtered in softly, the birds chriping, very serene.
Mom and Les tried the Tortilla Espanola, a baked omelet filled with corolla potatoes and onions, greens salad with lemon vinaigrette.
I think Max had the winning plate: House-smoked trout with poached eggs on dill onion toast, dill hollandaise and trout caviar - wonderful!
The Spring French toast with a rhubarb compote and cream cheese ice cream looked good on the menu and it actually was pleasant, but after one bite I was over sweet and craved salty.

For dessert Mom went straight for the richest and decadent chocolate crunch cake, and Max and I both had the (I think it was...) cappucino flan. Les, who was allergic to at least one ingredient in each dessert, settled for homemade strawberry ice cream.


For some reason, it seems like folks either love or hate Oinkster in Eagle Rock. Chef Andre Guerrero, of Max and Senor Fred, opened Oinkster in March 2006 with the intention of creating "slow fast food." In other words, fast food that is prepared with slow food ethics: carefully and consciously crafted food using the highest quality ingredients. We adore it and are more than happy to pay a little more for their smoky pulled pork sandwiches and burgers. But there is a very vocal camp of detractors who a.) don't think the food is so great and b.) it's just too much to spend on fast food.

Now, let me just say that I have never been thrilled with their version of belgian frites. When I think belgian frites, I think something like what the now-closed Benita's Frites used to whip up (I really miss Benita's!). Those fries were crispy, salty, soft and pillowy on the inside....kind of like what Jonathan Gold desrcibed in his recent glowing review of Oinkster. Maybe they cooked up some amazing ones for Mr. Pulitzer, but we have never experienced the fries he described. But, we do appreciate the house-made ketchup and garlicky aioli. But I digress. Yes, it is more expensive then say, McDonald's but the quality is so far superior that it's more than worth it.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

LA Mill Coffee Opening on Silver Lake Boulevard?!

Could it be? Could LA Mill Coffee be opening a retail branch in our home sweet home of Silver Lake, just mere steps away from us on the Boulevard? I thought we were winning the coffee lottery with Intelligentsia opening up in the Junction, but this is just crazy.

We're going from no serious coffee joints to two renowned shops in a matter of months. The word around town is that Rubbish, the store that just vacated LA Mill's future home, will be designing the shop's interior while Cal Asia construction (who also constructed Mozza) is, well, heading up construction.

But for some reason, the LA Mill element of the deal is still very hush hush as I was not able to find it in any of my usual stops for restaurant gossip. A quick call to one of the businesses involved was all it took to produce this happy tidbit for Silver Lake. Now if someone could just assure me that it's a done deal....