1) Brunch: Rather than filing the usual solo restaurant review, this week SIV mixes it up with a piece on her favorite brunch spots around town. In alphabetical order, her picks.
Ammo offers a “soulful contemporary American” brunch so good that Sher is tempted "to spend the day in the neighborhood and come back for the phenomenal Sunday roast supper.”
If prime time reservations are booked for weeks, try brunch at Bouchon when the traffic is lighter. Her favorite? “A special, dubbed 'eggs and bacon' — two pristine poached eggs in a copper chafing dish with a glorious slab of braised pork belly that cuts like butter as the 'bacon' in the equation.”
On the other side of town, at Canele, an Atwater neighborhood institution with a Mediterranean take on brunch, there’s “a chickpea pancake topped with a fried egg, some feta and a house-made harissa...But you can get eggs en cocotte too, or a plate of bland soft-scrambled eggs.” Avoid, however, the “dull duck hash with fried duck egg and a baked pancake with lemon curd that’s far too sweet.”
Can't forget about Gjelina. While there’s a wait for weekend brunch, it’s worth it. SIV is “crazy about the poached egg on soft polenta with long-braised Tuscan cabbage and bacon.”
She had a tough choice deciding what to order, but SIV's frittata at Hungry Cat "arrives in a cast-iron skillet loaded with lump crabmeat, baby shiitake mushrooms and slender asparagus...wonderful."
At La Mill, which was recently endowed with a beer and wine license, SIV likes the “weirdly good” Black & Black, a North Coast Old Rasputin stout beer and iced LA Mill coffee. To eat? The house-made brioche doughnut holes. “Go ahead,” she urges, “order a dozen for the table.”
And finally, she drops by newbie Salt's Cure (which opens tonight for dinner). "'2 + 2 + 2' is the best deal, two poached eggs with two slices of house-cured bacon and two small patties of lean, beautifully spiced house-made chorizo. The plate is garnished with red and green cherry tomatoes and a lovely pale biscuit.” [LAT]
2) Daglas Drive-In: Originally set to write about Korean grilled-beef intestines "so smoky and crunchy that if somebody didn't tip you off, you'd probably mistake them for tubular bacon," he switches gears to file reportage on Daglas Drive-In in Canoga Park. This burger stand's mid-60s signage and kitschy decor accompany the “run-of-the-mill” burgers, which “are not up to the standars of the joints lubricated with gelato, exotically bitter microbrews and Animal Collective MP3s, but they’re dancing to a different crowd.” Here, however, it's all about the fries, “small order to go plumps out a paper bag to the size of a cannonball; a large order rises like an alp from its plastic cafeteria tray, enough to fatten a small, potato-loving village...[the] fries are hand-cut from fresh potatoes, and like Belgian fries are blanched in relatively cool oil before they are finished in hot fat...are the fries as good as the double-cooked fries at Oinkster, the impeccable shoestrings at La Frite or the lard-cooked beauties at Church & State? Probably not. But they taste like an older Los Angeles, where every neighborhood had a burger stand like this one, and the big chains were still a novelty; where pastrami was as common a burger topping as ketchup or pickles.” [LAW]
The Elsewhere: The Find samples Western Soondae and Moobongri Soondae in K-Town, Diana Takes A Bite at Breadbar, LA Foodblogging samples BoHo's burger, Quarry Girl tries the vegan menu at PF Chang's, Refined Palate hits Bar Bouchon, and Food, She Thought pops by LudoBites 5.0.