Named after a popular shopping street in Singapore, Bugis Street serves pan-Asian cuisine as well as some classic American dishes. Located in the Millennium Hotel in Times Square, it was our destination as we were looking for a restaurant not to far from Port Authority.
We were walking on Jackson avenue in Long Island City, on our way to a restaurant when we noticed Bierocracy, a Central European beer hall. As it started to rain hard, we changed our plan and thought it could be nice to go there for lunch, dinner being probably packed and noisy. And we were half right: the place started empty but they had two parties: one on one side of the bar room and another one in the back, where they have a private room.
Our last meal in San Diego was at Salud! By San Diego Taco Company, a popular Mexican restaurant located in Barrio Logan. Crowded inside with a long line outside, I was really excited to try it. And I was even more when inside, the decor being really beautiful with its murals that are tattoo inspired and the car hoods on the wall.
For our last lunch in San Diego, we decided to go light as we planned an early dinner with our friends Ciara and David, before our flight home. So I found this seafood place that had a couple of vegetarian options for Jodi called Ironside Fish and Oysters. Located in Little Italy, this restaurant is quite big and has a beautiful sea themed decor, especially the wall full of piranhas…
We were really excited to be able to get a reservation at Juniper and Ivy, the restaurant of Top Chef alum Richard Blais where Executive Chef Anthony Wells creates a very creative menu that would for sure excite the culinary curious...unless vegetarian. I wish restaurants were keeping their menu online up to date because Jodi was excited to try their pasta with truffle, but unfortunately it was not there, their menu changing on a regular basis and the waiter did not really come back with options besides what was there written. So I left glad I got to try that place; Jodi was less enthusiastic than I was...Here is what we had:
The Donut Bar was our first target for sweets in San Diego, but, at 4:15pm on the Thursday we arrived there, they were already closed. A quick check on the hours mentioned 8am to sold out. What? First time I saw that besides at food trucks. Is it a way to create some sort of demand? I do not know, but what was sure was that we would go back as their menu looked really good, made of classic and innovative donuts. So we went back on our last day, at 8:45am thinking that, being a Sunday, lots of people would still be asleep. Wrong: there was a line from the moment we arrived to the moment we left.
In-N-Out burger is not new to me as tried it few years ago in San Francisco. At the end of the post, I even wrote at the time: “If I went back to California, I would definitely go get a good burger there!”. So here we were with our friends David and Ciara. When we arrived, the place was packed, but, lucky for us, people right next to us left and so we got a table, granted that we could have sat outside.
Ice cream sandwiches are not a novelty and places proposing them have been popping up all over the place, whether in trucks or brick and mortar places. The Baked Bear is one of them. Created in San Diego in 2013 by Shane Stanger and Rob Robbins, this place is a bit overwhelming. Yes, there are so many combinations between cookies, brownies or doughnuts to the variety of ice cream and topping that it is endless. And they make their own cookies.
Serving Tijuana style tacos and burritos, The Taco Stand in La Jolla is the sort of casual eatery you would want in your neighborhood. When we went on a Thursday evening, at around 7:15pm, it was as if people gathered at the same time, filling the entire place, until the time we were ready to leave: no, when we arrived it was so crowded. After eating their food, I understood why: it was simply delicious. And cheap.
What would vegan Mexican cuisine taste? No meat is easy to imagine as you can end up with cheese enchiladas or mushroom tacos, but how do you make an entire menu without cheese? Vegan versus vegetarian can be so different. With its vegan menu, crafted by Chef Chandra Gilbert, Gracias Madre succeeded to offer a delicious meal and when a carnivore like me is excited by the experience, it probably tells you something.
Hard Rock Café is the quintessence of Americana: Rock, burgers and shakes are what comes to my mind when I think about this place. It is a fun place for sure that mesmerize amateurs of music, going around the dining room to look at some of the artifacts being a must do before or after a meal there. We went there with our friend Amy and her two kids, Bodie and Jaxon as we met in LA. It was that or Umami Burger that unfortunately closed in NY, but was further away and it was already late.
Located inside the W on Hollywood Boulevard, Delphine Eatery and Bar offers a contemporary American menu. This was our choice for dinner on Christmas Day as we were looking for a place to go not to far from our hotel that would be open that day. Big, I admit that the entrance of the restaurant made it look like a casual eatery, surprising for the W hotel, but then, inside, it has a bit more cachet. Not that it is an elegant place, but the space has some warmth with decor that is supposed to be reminiscent of Provinçal cafés. Not sure how, but it is apparently what they went for.
On Christmas Day, for lunch, we decided to go at The Highlight Room, the rooftop and poolside restaurant of the Dreams Hotel on Selma Avenue.
It was a beautiful day, but a bit windy and cold, so we were not surprised not to see anybody swimming. At least, we could enjoy some of the views of Los Angeles, with, on one side, the Hollywood sign that has a certain magic.
Housed in a stunning place, République was our choice for Christmas Eve dinner. Awarded a coveted Michelin Star, this place is incredible. Built in 1929, this building was Charlie Chaplin’s office before he lost it to one of his wives during a divorce proceeding. With its very high ceiling and stone walls, it is like entering into a church where the angels of food would sing: yes, with its three kitchens, this place serves a fantastic food. The owners, Walter and Margarita Manzke, have succeeded in creating a unique experience, with dishes that change on a regular basis, based on what they find at the market.
Located at The Grove, at the number 189, 189 by Dominique Ansel is an incredible place, that you can recognize with its yellow awning and umbrellas. The bakery is downstairs while the dining room is upstairs, with a terrace where we sat, the weather in LA being gorgeous. What we did not know is they they serve a special brunch, truly unique as it is served “dim sum” style: they pass around small dishes and, if you take some, they stamp your ticket; at the end of the meal, they calculate the bill based on what you ate. I think it is great because it has this excitement when you see these dishes coming and you can try a lot of different ones. The downside is that it can be pricey if you cannot resist...