1) Obika: Today it's one and a half stars for Obika, that new mozzarella joint that first opened at the Westfield Century City mall then more recently launched a second outpost in the Beverly Center. According to SIV:
"Where Obikà shines is in offering a kind of fast food, Italian-style, that fresh bufala, along with excellent salumi, organic salads and a handful of well-prepared pasta dishes. The Italian wine list isn't bad either, and they make a good espresso. And all in a shopping mall. Not bad."She continues to say that "Obikà does a good job of serving up some of the freshest mozzarella around...If the menu offered only cheese and salumi, Obikà would still be a welcome newcomer to L.A." Sher enjoys the "delicious" salads, but "the big surprise is the pasta. Although there are only a handful of dishes, most are better than those at many full-scale Italian restaurants. They taste very Italian, not oversauced or overembellished." Meanwhile, the "antipasti selection could be more varied" and "open-face sandwiches try too hard to be enticing with too many ingredients." At the end of the day, "It's not Milan, but it's close enough." [LAT]
2) Huge Tree Bakery: The Goldster waxes poetic on hot tofu for breakfast. He's delighted to discover the opening of Huge Tree Bakery, "a spacious, gleaming café in the space occupied for years by Dumpling Master." Come for the "flaky baked lard pastries filled with curried meat or sautéed leeks, hot sesame bread that may be half green onions by weight, little pyramids of glutinous rice steamed in lotus leaves, [and] pearl-white almond milk as thick as a vanilla shake." Also don't miss "the fried turnip cakes, crisp on the outside and almost liquid within, are almost a different species than the examples you find on dim sum carts — they actually taste like turnips, for one thing — and should also be an almost automatic order." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: The Find hits Cafecito Organico, Midtown Lunch picks Rincon Chileno’s Delicatessen, The Minty checks out Fraiche, Diana Takes A Bite at Robata Jinya, Eating LA dines at Xoia, kevinEats again at LudoBites 6.0, and gastronomy treks out to Old Country Cafe in Alhambra.