Sunday, December 28, 2008


Xooro (its pronounced Sure-Oh) was introduced to me by my DailyCandy email guide to Los Angeles. Gourmet Churros?!? I had to check this out.

Growing up in Southern California, my mom made this frozen churros as after school treats actually my Hispanic nanny did (Hey, I grew up in Southern California!). Rosa would heat them up and then roll them in sugar and cinnamon. They were delicious and light and perfect for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

These churros are completely different: covered in chocolate and filled with a variety of fillings, I wouldn't describe them as light. My friend and I ordered three churros to try: Hazelnut, Mango and Tortoise.

The Hazelnut was sweet. The filling didn't taste very much like hazelnut and the chocolate covering the churro was milk chocolate and too sweet for my dark chocolate loving tooth.

My personal favorite was the mango. I would never order mango on my own, tending more towards the chocolate desserts than fruit flavored. But it was sweet and light and more like a churro than the other ones. The outside was covered in delicious yogurt sprinkles. The filling might be better if it was more fruit and less filling. Then I could believe that I was eating something healthy.

The tortoise was a more classic reminder of the dulce de leche filled churros I've had at Mr. Churro. Covered in milk chocolate and walnuts or pecans, the out side was sweet but with a bite and the inside was...dulce de leche. I couldn't finish it and I'm not one to turn down something for being too sweet.

I might go there again especially if I want to show someone a new treat in Santa Monica. But for my churros craving, I would rather go to Mr. Churro's.

125 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 260-2919

Tue-Thu. 12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat. 12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Sun. 12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The Mustard Seed Cafe

I joined a friend of mine for lunch today at the Mustard Seed Cafe. Part of Gourmet Row, the cafe is competing with the Alcove, Home and a bunch of other delicious restaurants but the Mustard Seed seems to maintain something special.

It doesn't have the best food. Sometimes it throws some weird combinations into the mix. My friend ordered the Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese melt and got some grilled carrots, which didn't blend with the goat cheese and got a salad of pure red cabbage but I got the recommended rosemary turkey burger and enjoyed that completely.

The service can be off and on. Our waitress was really nice but a bit overwhelmed. The place is small and on a Sunday, can be pretty stressed.

However, I love the mustard seed and will definitely go back. I don't really know why but the place makes me smile and its definitely my favorite brunch place on Hillhurst. Check it out but maybe on an off day.

The Mustard Seed Cafe
1948 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 660-0670

Mon-Fri. 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sat-Sun. 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


With a visit from my grandmother and her new husband Bill, my family ventured to Ramayani, an Indonesian cuisine restaurant in Westwood in operation since 1983. Despite everyone in Los Angeles visiting their families elsewhere (I'm a rare native LA breed), the restaurant was hopping.

Probably a better take-out place, than sit down restaurant, we were greeted with some confusion and frustration when we wanted a table for five. The service was slow and we never were sure who our waiter was. But the food was delicious and new.

Bill who spent time in Indonesian said the food was sub-par but I enjoyed my noodle and chicken dish. My dad probably lucked out with his lemon grass soup and lamb stew.

If you live near the area, call ahead and pick it up. You won't be disappointed.

1777 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90024
Tuesday to Sunday 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Closed Mondays
310 477 3315

The Gaslite

The Gaslite saved me during the holiday season. Despite for a bar open on Christmas day, we ended up at the Gas Lite. Open 365 days a year and at 6 am for all of them, the Gas Lite offers 7 days a week of Karaoke. Definitely a dive bar on the west side, it has relatively cheap drinks: 9 dollars for a jack and coke. No the deal that Birds offers or the quality that 7 Grand offers but not ridiculous for a night out. And probably the Gas Lite is your last stop, not your first.

The Christmas crowd was a mix between us and the sad drinkers. Severally of us got hit on by people who couldn't see five feet in front of them but we also were able to take over the bar. Allowed us to do a love circle during "Lean on Me" and sing way more songs than the usual Karaoke bar.

When it comes to Karaoke, I still think the private room style perfected by the Japanese is better. But I had a great time and converted a few LA Haters to Lovers at the World Famous Gaslite.

The Gaslite
2030 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
6 am to 2 am Daily

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kitchen 24

New to the Hollywood Strip and Los Angeles constantly growing population of 24 hour eateries is Kitchen 24. The Uberhip diner uses the symbol K24 for the door and has a full service bar in the back. However, I found this place mildly disturbing when I ate there. It was more like a futuristic sad bar than anything else. And the food was decent, not really anything to blog home about.

Its nothing like Fred 62 (I sometimes dream about their milkshakes) but it is a nice, decently priced place to eat on Cahuenga and Selma, so now I'm not forced to starve when I'm leaving iO West late at night.

Kitchen 24
1608 N. Cahuenga Blvd
Open 24/7 (expect Monday 5:30 am - 9 am for maintenance)

7 Grand

This holiday weekend, my brother and I bonded over Maker's Mark Old Fashions and billiards downtown at the bar 7 Grand. Named after its location (7th and Grand) the bar features beautiful dark wood, places to sit, bartenders who know what they are doing, pool and an juke box, which sounded like my ipod random shuffle on its best days.

This was my first Old Fashion inspired by Mad Men's Don Draper's drink of choice. It was delicious and made with real Oranges zested before my eyes. The drinks are around 10 dollars which isn't the best but not bad. I wouldn't come here for a night of heavy drinking. Also this is a whiskey/bourbon bar. Don't be a dick and order a vodka drink. Dick.

The crowd was a mix between Hollywood hip (the later the evening got, the more headbands I saw) and the downtown collar shirt lawyer types. I felt pretty comfortable there in my skinny jeans and oversized sweater.

Most of all I was impressed by the staff of the place. The bouncer was fun and joking, a security guard helped me with the pool table by shinning his flashlight for me, the bus boys were nice and the bartenders were so good at what they did, I feel in love. Also I want to be a bartender there, the girls wear cute pleated skirts.

7 Grand
515 W 7th Street
2nd Floor
Downtown, LA 90014

Monday to Friday
5 pm - 2 am
Saturday & Sunday
7 pm - 2 am

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bay Cities

Number 12,13,14,15...

I have never been to Bay Cities when it wasn't packed. The sandwich case is always surrounded by people waiting for their number to be called. Once the number is called, he or she jumps to attention not wanting to miss the opportunity for the best sandwich in Los Angeles.

This Italian deli and grocery was introduced to me in high school when lunch time trips became an almost weekly thing. The parking is always a bitch in their tiny parking lot so I recommend parking else where and (I know) WALKING to the deli. Then grab an number and wait. Personally the wait is shortened by people watching and the large amount of people I went to high school with who apparently always eat there.

Then order either a Godmother or a Caprese with the works. Personally I wash it down with a Jones Blue Bubble Gum Soda. But thats just me...

Bay Cities Italian Deli
Open Tuesday - Saturday 9 am - 7 pm, Sunday 9 am - 6 pm
1517 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401