Loving Larchmont’s Go Get ‘Em Tiger

This new, uber hip coffee shop came to my attention via my instagram buddy oishiieats, and who can help but love its cutesy name?! Go Get ‘Em Tiger. A phrase rarely spoken by your friends but still nostalgic, right?

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GGET is brought to us Mid-City folk by G&B, otherwise known as coffee connoisseurs Kyle Glanville (G) and Charles Babinski (B). Each has years of background in the coffee industry, and after bailing from Intelligentsia last year Glanville and Babinksi showed off their bean handling skills as a pop-up within Silverlake cafe SQIRL. Then came their own storefronts this summer: GGET on Larchmont and G&B Coffee in the recently refreshed Grand Central Market.

There’s more to love at GGET than just the cursive name. I dig…

1. The modular wooden stools/tables near the large window nook.

2. The bar-like tables that come out of the walls, adorned with succulents and perfect for writing or reading high on a perch.

3. The huge, mostly blank wall behind the counter, its single decoration an outline of a flying astronaut.

4. And of course, the coffee. I usually go for a mocha over ice (perfect for this latest stretch of LA heat), and GGET’s isn’t overly sweet and has flecks of cacao nibs. Love that.

There’s plenty of other drinks to try out, including iced coffee and tea they’ve bottled themselves, set in a iced stand right inside the door. This location also boasts homemade waffles (!), as well as a selection of other pastries brought in.

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If the downtown location is closer to you, you’re in luck: that’s where they’re serving espresso milkshakes made with McConnell’s ice cream. Um, yes please!

In this video with LAist’s Krista Simmons, Kyle Glanville talks a little bit more about the  DTLA shop.

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How to Celebrate Big at Son of a Gun

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We aren’t the only family that celebrates festive occasions by overindulging in amazing food, right? My husband turned the big 3-1 recently, and he quickly settled on Son of a Gun for our baby-free evening meal. No complaints from me– I think Shook and Dotolo are complete geniuses in the kitchen, and I was just as eager to order as the birthday boy.

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And this is how we roll, gobbling up practically half of the menu between just the two of us. Clockwise from the top left, we devoured:

1. The insanely good lobster roll (don’t worry, they’re incredibly tiny so rather than split one we each got our own). How they get that brioche roll so perfectly soft is beyond me.

2. The fish and chips, with a luxurious and crispy batter and heavily-garlicked fries. I doubt this killer combo can be beat by any other fish and chips plate in town.

3. Uni pasta (the only dish that didn’t wow me, but I didn’t expect it to since I’m not a huge uni fan in the first place) and a white fish that I can’t recall, sort of in a deconstructed taco pile with corn, avocado, cilantro and radishes. Light (aka not fried) and tasty!

4. The requisite (and splittable!) fried chicken sandwich with homemade slaw. Once again the chefs have achieved a perfectly crispy batter, and the slaw and pickles made for this great flavor mash up that makes you sad you actually agreed to share it.

The only dish missing from the photos, sadly, is the smoked mahi fish dip, which I’d describe as an upscale take on tuna salad. Served in a low bowl with shavings of radish and celery, you eat it with the help of old school, cellophane wrapped butter crackers. It was one of my favorite parts of the meal– so good that I apparently ate it before snapping a photo of it.

What are your favorite celebratory dinner spots? And do you eat as much as we do? Please say yes!

Brief Thoughts on LA’s Most Underrated Restaurants

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Stella Barra is one of them, according to Eater LA.

In a city as big as ours, there are bound to be restaurants and shops that fly under the radar. I cook Monday through Thursday so we can eat out guilt-free on weekends, and after a lot of marathon-like Saturdays and Sundays around town I know I’ve missed many amazing kitchens. But that’s kinda what I love about city living. You’re checklist is never quite checked. There’s always more to explore or eat.

That being said, I think I’ll make this Eater LA list a guide for the next year or so of eating out: Los Angeles’ 20 Most Underrated Restaurants, Mapped. I’ve been to seven of the 20– Canale, Osteria Mamma, Jar (one of my LA faves), Salt’s Cure, Mercado, Cafe Pinot, and Stella Barra– which means a lucky 13 are left!

Hope my belly can handle it.

Stella (Barra) Does Hollywood

My favorite movie theater in LA used to be The Landmark. We’d arrive a solid hour before a film began, peruse the magazines, bestseller shelves and required summer reading table at Barnes and Noble, and maybe sip a coffee from the Starbucks inside the book store. Oh, how I miss those days– you know, when bookstores weren’t so hard to come by. When B & N was replaced by a furniture store, The Landmark lost many a loyal customer around that time, though obviously through no fault of its own.

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Now we’re ArcLight Hollywood converts, and the icing on that cake came when Stella Barra opened just a hop, skip and a jump away from the pretty (and yes, stupid expensive) theater. Behold, the ideal date night: park only once, gobble amazing pizza, grab a (huge) chocolate chip cookie or two to go at the SB bakery counter, and relish two hours or so of uninterrupted movie time.

We highly recommend:

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Fresh local burrata with house made tomato jam.

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Shaved mushroom pizza.

Will you look at the size of these cookies?! Perfect for pecking at through an entire movie!

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Enjoy!

A Little Bit of Eagle Rock Moves To Mid-City

My love for LA grew once I stopped spending so much time on the Westside (if you’ve lived west of Robertson for more than 4 years, I’m of the opinion that it’s time to break out). Working in Koreatown and Echo Park over the course of seven years led to some great adventures (and of course plenty of good eats), and I eventually started wandering a bit further east into neighborhoods like Eagle Rock, Atwater Village and Highland Park. Since it’s tricky to get over to these newly-trendy ‘hoods too often, I tend to keep up on the goings on via a handful of online sites. And boy do I get excited when something cool from over there picks up (or copies itself) and settles somewhere over here. Case in point, Eagle Rock’s beloved Four Cafe.

If I had it my way, I’d eat salads and sandwiches every meal of the day, so news of Four Cafe‘s replication meant another just-right shop for me was moving into my area. LA area Chowhounds have long-raved about how delicious the FC fare is, and some even liken it to Clementine (gasp!).

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The second iteration of FC took over the Black Cat Bakery space on Fairfax Boulevard, and they’ve done some easy remodeling to make it their own. The black awning outside is down, replaced with a bright green Four Cafe placard; the weirdly placed counter, which was smack in front of the door and caused weird traffic jams, has been smartly moved to the side; and they’ve added some rustic, repurposed wood panels to various walls for some simple decor. Clean and to the point. My kind of place!

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I stopped in for lunch today with a new friend and was pleased as punch (I know, only grammies say “pleased as punch”) with the chopped miso salad, a giant bowl of napa, red, and white cabbage, crispy (and potent!) shallot slices, almond slivers, chives, and a yummy miso vinaigrette. I opted to add some organic free range chicken as well. This beast of a thing was the half size salad, which blew my mind. That’s $7 for the half size, plus $2 for the additional chicken, making it the best priced salad I’ve had in LA in a long time.

I know I’ll be returning soon, but the problem will be how to get myself to order something else– might not happen for awhile. Check out their great menu right here on their homepage.

PS. Forgive me while I play with my new Beautiful Mess app. Too much fun!

New Mid-City Favorite: Top Round Roast Beef

Mid-City is full of great foodie destinations, and another one just opened last week: Top Round Roast Beef, brought to you by  a gaggle of male restauranteurs from popular LA restaurants like 800 Degrees, Red Medicine and XIV.

The pickings are slim, but in a good and delicious way: five versions of roast beef sandwiches, three curly fry options, sundaes, concretes (like a McFlurry), and a fancy soda fountain that allows you to mix up flavors if you like (Fanta + Mr. Pibb, anyone?). The  menu reminds me of In N Out— it’s not about doing a million things, it’s about doing a few things and executing them very well. The decor is no frills, too. Just a faux retro diner sittin’ on the corner of La Brea and Olympic.

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The latest and greatest in Mid-City.

I totally failed to take food photos this time around, as I was too busy scarfing down meat, bread, and cheese. It was SO good! I had a plain roast beef sandwich with au jus— to the point and yummy. Some folks on Chowhound liken it to what Arby’s sandwiches were like long ago. The cheesy fries were a great side, messy and fork-worthy. They’re also not unlike the amazing cheese fries one gets at Shake Shack. Do they sit like a rock in your belly? Sure. But every once in awhile I don’t mind carrying around a stomach rock.

Don’t fill up on sammys and fries, though. The dessert offerings shouldn’t be glossed over. We took the concrete path this time, ordering blueberry pie (literally tasted like obliterated, buttery pie crust in a cup) and the Elvis, a mixture of cookies, banana, and peanuts (a combo that The King supposedly adored). These were pricey at $5 each, but the perfect sweet treat to end the dinner.

Like you needed another indulgent, fatty cafe on your Mid-City hit list, right?

More photos after the jump!

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LA’s Grand Central Market: 4 New Eateries To Get Excited About

Though I’ve frequented only a fraction of the businesses and parks in the area, I’m totally in love with downtown LA.  A couple of weeks ago I checked off a few destinations on my hit list: Angeles Park (the one they make look so pretty in 500 Days of Summer), the Angels Flight Railway, and the Grand Central Market just across the street. This is a great trifecta, each just steps from the other and perfect for an easy, historic outing.

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The park isn’t as kept up as I’d hoped, and of course the cable car was under construction the day I went, but the market was awesome– it’s nearly 100 years old and has been in the news lately because of  a contentious facelift that’s still going on. Pricier, hipster-serving merchants are moving in and there’s legitimate concern that the new clientele they draw will push out the old-school, affordable vendors that have been there for years. My hope is that both the old and new businesses can have a place here; there are certainly just as many veteran stands I’d like to frequent as there are new tenants. Here are four newbies that are already moved in or are about to open… once the July heat subsides and you’re feeling a little hungry, a walk through the market will make for a great day, or at least a great lunch hour.

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