Thursday, June 13, 2013

Coolhaus (Los Angeles)


While I appreciate the creativity of Coolhaus' ice creams, I don't always love the final product.  The texture is usually pretty good.  But for me, the flavor tends to be a touch too sweet and borderline artificial.  Ya, I'll continue to try their ice cream.  I just can't see myself seeking them out like I do Carmela's.  They're worlds apart.  Coolhaus is good, Scoops is great but Carmela Ice Cream takes the cake for me.       

Maker's Mark Manhattan Cocktail Ice Cream Sandwich.

Whiskey & Lucky Charms Ice Cream Sandwich. 

Angel City Brewing (Los Angeles - Downtown)


Slowly but surely, the brewery is coming together.

The beer is getting better too.  It's still my least favorite craft brewery but the berliner weisse and vanilla porter show promising things for future beers coming out of Angel City (I hope). 

Gone are the plastic cups and in are the flights. 

You can also get pours of half a pint and a full pint.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Las Perlas (Los Angeles - Downtown)


Los Angeles.

A portion of the drink menu.

Oaxacan Negroni.

The components that make up the drink - equal parts of each.  

The Michelada that inspired mine.

Every craft cocktail bar has their cola n spirit drink, including this Coke, lime, salt and tequila number called, "La Batanga."

Here's a little history of the drink from the man himself.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tacos La Güera (Walnut Park)


Tacos La Güera (Santa Fe Ave./Center St.)

Your meat options.

A mess of tacos. 

I ordered various tacos but most meats were indiscernible to me from being semi intoxicated.  Factor in, several sauces ladled onto them, lime squeezed over a few, with a sprinkling of pickled onions and cilantro here and there, and this was simply a matter of giving my body something to help soak in the booze before hitting the road, as opposed to really trying to dissect the tacos to determine if any were special or worth having again.    

From my recollection, compared to other times I've been in a similar condition, these weren't as enjoyable as my go-to taco spot, La Reyna.  The only taco that stood out to me from the fray, was the suadero (brisket).  It had crispy bits along with more succulent pieces of meat.  Overall, these tacos were ordinary with a so-so salsa/condiment bar.  But the suadero, is worth a repeat visit.            

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I wanted to make Moscow Mules over the weekend but I didn't have ginger beer.  I suppose I could have bought ginger ale from a local store but I find that too sweet, too low in carbonation and really meek in spicy ginger flavor that I love about ginger beer to begin with.  I much prefer ginger beer and only Cock 'n' Bull or Fever-Tree brands will do for me.  Unfortunately, because of where I live, those brands are at least half an hour away from me.  But that's neither here nor there...

In lieu of that, I decided to make Michelada, a Chelada's more dressed up cousin.  The difference, in case you're wondering, is the Chelada is a drink comprised of light beer with salt and lime. The addition of hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and other spices is what elevates this to something a little more spicy and complex.  



I used a combination of ingredients and adjusted the seasoning afterwards with Tapatio and salt to complete the final product.

Any decent brew will do.  Don't use the good stuff here.

 It comes together in a snap, especially if you have a juicer for the celery.  Thereafter, it's just a matter of mixing thoroughly or blending the rest of the ingredients to your liking.  I refrigerated the mixture for at least an hour and poured about 6 ounces into a salt, cayenne and sugar rimmed glass.  I added ice 3/4 of the way up, squeezed half a lime over it and topped the thing with Negra Modela.  Stir briefly and serve.  Salud!

The final product.
 I used a dark Mexican beer for a couple of reason.  Typically, this drink is made with a lager or pilsner.  I don't really like either for their general lack of flavor, especially Mexican beer.  I wanted to taste the beer.  This is, after all, a beer drink and not a bloody mary.  That in mind, I wanted to use a beer (Mexican, to keep it traditional) that would also stand up to the dilution that the ice brings to the table.  All in all, it was a success.  The darker beer was definitely the better choice to stand up to the michelada mix - the one I put together anyway.    

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chaya (Los Angeles - Downtown)


Chaya's Beer Garden is back!

The patio is looking festive, the smell of grilled meat is in the air and the alcohol is flowing freely.

What you might have missed, what's going on and what's in store til the end of summer.

 As customary, there are several new dining and drinking options as well as a few omissions from years past.  But I'll get to that in a bit.  We had to start with a drink and that's where the first new item reared its ugly head. 

Kirin Ichiban Frozen Beer. #smh

I ordered this gimmicky light beer that gets topped with a Kirin Ichiban slurpee-esque head.  The beer is pretty flavorless as it is so the addition of the icy beer over the top does nothing to impart flavor as you'd expect. But one thing it did do, was play with my taste buds.  See, as you're drinking it, naturally you first taste the foam which has virtually no flavor and that leads to the consumption of the actual beer.  By contrast, the beer tastes as though it has more flavor than it really does, so you're kinda duped into thinking you are drinking a middle of the road brew, when really, you're drinking the same doormat of a beer.  I didn't dislike it but I wasn't a fan of it either.  I can see the allure for some folks, especially when it's scorching hot.  Let me know when they come up with a version of this and then maybe I'll consider having another round.

 They have better drinking options available by the bottle and 2 or 3 more options on tap - none of which I would drink or care to photograph apparently, as I forgot to snap a pic for the sake of the blog.  Oh well. 

 Seeing Double.

 More drinks.

Salted Edamame.

No Chaya Beer Garden is complete without having the skewered and grilled goodies.  My favorite is the beef, followed by mushroom, bacon-wrapped dates and tongue.  The chicken is just okay.

The Beer Garden menu.

 Grilled peach, burrata, hazelnuts, arugula.

 Grilled octopus, baby potatoes, celery.

 Kobe beef slider w/fries.

  Grilled romaine lettuce, thick cut bacon, apple cider vinaigrette.

Sushi is fair game on the patio so if you aren't handed the menu, feel free and ask.

Galbi - Korean BBQ shortrib.

Fish n chips with jalapeño ponzu.

KuroUma Soju Bloody Maru garnished with a cucumber filled roll - Don't bother.

Bratwurst, sauerkraut, whole grain mustard.

This spot is reserved for items they omitted this year. #WTH!

What happened to the grilled street corn and spicy tuna-stuffed shishito peppers??  Bring em back, I say!  Overall, this year was was a bit of a let down for me.  The street corn and shishito peppers had become staples that I had looked forward to having yearly.  So, when they removed, not one, but both items from the menu, immediately, I was let down.  

Undeterred, we proceeded to order an array of dishes with the standouts being the skewers, as I had previously mentioned, the bratwurst, the Korean BBQ and peach salad.  I'd gladly order those again.  

 Dishes I didn't like much included the octopus salad.  It was chewy but had it been cooked properly, I might consider having it again as I liked the rest of the dish.  The fish from the fish and chips we got, came with a not-so crispy crust and it was flavorless for the most part.  I wouldn't order this dish again and wish I could have sent it back.  The Kobe beef slider we ordered was barely marginal.  It was grossly under-seasoned and not very moist.  It was one of the worst burgers I've had in a long time.  The last dish that was just okay to good included the the grilled romaine salad.  While good, it still isn't worthy of another appearance.  I wouldn't recommend any first-timer any of the aforementioned dishes.  

I hope they nix a lot of these new items and bring back my old favorites.  I know I'm not alone, as our server informed us that others had expressed  disappointment over the removal of the same items.  I kindly asked that they bring them back next year, AT THE LATEST.  Hopefully, they bring one if not both dishes back before the end of this summer.  #fingerscrossed