Category Archives: Restaurants

Mas Malo: Pinata Smashed

Mas Malo is an excellent restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. The food es muy delicioso, especially the fresh made tortilla chips and various salsas. I also highly recommend the Al Pastor–grilled carnitas (pork) with a spicy chipotle sauce and grilled pineapple. It comes with guacamole, sour cream and warm tortillas so you can fix yourself some bitchin’ tacos. But what really blew me away at the restaurant was a diesel cocktail called the Pinata Smash. The drink has lime and pineapple juice, El Jimador Reposado Tequila, Serrano chile and cilantro. Served on the rocks, the adventurous beverage is a refreshing mix of tart and sweet with a back end kick of heat. The drink intoxicated me so much that I had to figure out how to make it on my own so that I could enjoy the flavors of Cabo back in the homeland of New England. After gathering the requisite ingredients and testing a few recipes, I’ve managed to replicate the fun and unique cocktail that any mixologist would be proud to have in their arsenal.

Cheers!

So here’s my recipe. This will make two drinks in short glasses on the rocks…
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Gjelina

There are hard-to-get reservations, and then there’s the last-minute, Friday night, 10 p.m. reservation at Gjelina on Abbot Kinney in Venice, CA. While your acquaintances will be jealous and impressed that you secured the privilege of dining at the hottest fucking spot in the hippest neighborhood de jour, the reality is that all you have to do is call up the restaurant and hope there’s an opening.

Can someone please explain the name to me?

Dinner at Gjelina is a dark, loud, full of foodie pretension and worth the wait on the curb. They specialize in small plates and pizzas with a Mediterranean vibe. I went with some friends and we killed four pies and several tapas-style dishes. The pizzas were solid–a decent thin crust that, while a little limp, held ingredients appropriately, like the lamb sausage and tomato confit offering with rapini that had a great balance of smoke, sweetness and acidity. The Blanco (or more commonly known by girls from New England as the “Blanko”), their white pizza with olives was also good, but the huge cloves of roasted garlic on top felt like overkill, and squashed any hope of some late night necking. I focused strictly on the pizzas, but my friends got a few plates, and while they were satisfied with their arugula and sweet corn salad, the pork belly over polenta left more to be desired.

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The Publick House

 

The Public House

Drink good beer.

 

Any place that has Weihenstephaner on tap goes in the Hall of Boo-Yea. The Publick House on the Brookline/Brighton, MA border in Washington Square is the quintessential gastro-pub. But Publick gives a middle finger to all those wannabe bars that think carrying Sam Adams seasonal and few imports means taking beer seriously. Belgium shines as the main source of ale for the restaurant, but there are endless options, both foreign and domestic, for your discerning palate. Continue reading

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Au Pied de Cochon

I’m sweating. Instructed to let the foie gras cromesquis cool slightly before popping it in my mouth, I procrastinate with my third codfish fritter. Complex, crispy then chewy spheres with a touch of heat. A smear of mayo, why not? The cromesquis look like chocolate truffles you’d find inside a Russell Stover box. In one swift motion the amuse is off the plate and exploding in my mouth. An intense rush of rich, earthy flavors–liquid foie. You see, it’s not particularly hot out and the restaurant has a nice breeze flowing from the open front windows. This is a different kind of perspiration. A nervous energy. Excitement. My body is working here and the Cheval Blanc is only quenching my thirst. Continue reading

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Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Worth the Hype?

Finally made it to a Five Guys. I’d been hearing a lot of hype and praise for the D.C.-area burger chain. The formula is simple: fresh beef, hot dogs, tons of topping options and solid fries. The menu is straight-forward, and they focus on what they’re good at.

I went with a straight-up cheeseburger, which I didn’t realize at the time had two beef patties. A diesel surprise. The “Little” option is a single patty. Didn’t see this explanation anywhere but it’s not a huge deal. The burger was impressive by fast food standards, but didn’t blow me away. I think the expectations might have been too high for the burger. The fries on the other hand were excellent. Nicely fried, thick cut potatoes with the skin on. Portions are massive. I wondered allowed if I could take one of the fifty-pound bags stacked next to the counter home with me. Continue reading

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Pat's vs. Geno's: Cheesesteak Cockfight

What’s the number one thing people associate with Philadelphia besides booing santa and Ben Franklin? Fucking cheesesteaks. But for good reason. Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s, located across the street from each other on Passyunk Ave., are the two most famous joints in the city. Now I’m no expert on Philly politics, but I think you pick a side. You can’t love both, it’s one or the other and fuck you if you don’t agree. So on the last day of my trip, my breakfast would be half a Geno’s steak and half a Pat’s steak, both ordered in the same style with Cheese Whiz and onions, or “cheese ‘wit”, eaten one after the other. The tale of the tape:

Geno’s

Geno's

Any place that served as a set for the “Motown Philly” video is diesel. Geno’s is way more flamboyant with neon signs, bright colors and in your face advertising. There’s also a very positive, yet awkward pro-USA/Police vibe. Whatever. Geno’s sandwich had a great roll, very soft and fresh. The meat was actually shaved in discs and laid out similarly to cold cuts, topped with Cheez Whiz and grilled onions. Continue reading

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Filed under Blog, Food, Restaurants

Pat’s vs. Geno’s: Cheesesteak Cockfight

What’s the number one thing people associate with Philadelphia besides booing santa and Ben Franklin? Fucking cheesesteaks. But for good reason. Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s, located across the street from each other on Passyunk Ave., are the two most famous joints in the city. Now I’m no expert on Philly politics, but I think you pick a side. You can’t love both, it’s one or the other and fuck you if you don’t agree. So on the last day of my trip, my breakfast would be half a Geno’s steak and half a Pat’s steak, both ordered in the same style with Cheese Whiz and onions, or “cheese ‘wit”, eaten one after the other. The tale of the tape:

Geno’s

Geno's

Any place that served as a set for the “Motown Philly” video is diesel. Geno’s is way more flamboyant with neon signs, bright colors and in your face advertising. There’s also a very positive, yet awkward pro-USA/Police vibe. Whatever. Geno’s sandwich had a great roll, very soft and fresh. The meat was actually shaved in discs and laid out similarly to cold cuts, topped with Cheez Whiz and grilled onions. Continue reading

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Filed under Blog, Food, Restaurants