Gypsy Grub

A fine food enthusiast travels the world, and her own backyard in search of the best eats.

Month: December, 2012

Au Coeur du Paris

Spots like these are why I made this blog, and why I so passionately wish to be a food writer. Since starting this journey, it is the first new hidden gem in my home town that was referred to me by a local. Indeed by its appearance it is unimpressive. But that’s the perfection of it – if little neighborhood secrets like these were published in the the paper, they would no longer be sacred. And so let this be a secret between you and I, a secret you convey to only the most worthy of your pastry enthusiast friends.

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This French Bakery is run by a Vietnamese family. The chef has been trained in the classic French style, and truly is a master of his craft. Inside it is modestly adorned, but the goodies delight your eyes and inspire salivation.

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I was instructed by the person who referred me to this secret bakery to get two specific pastries which were the best of the bunch, and I obeyed, but also decided to indulge my palate to an Earl Grey macaron.

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On the left is an almond croissant with custard and chocolate inside. Even though I am not a chocolate enthusiast it was wonderful, and worth every penny. On the right is the pear tart which was my favorite. The tart was firm, and there was a very thin layer of chocolate baked into the breading of the tart. The pear was not too sweet, and perfectly cooked. The Earl Gray macaron was good, but did not necessarily taste like the tea it was inspired by, therefore I probably would not have it again.

To fully understand the delights of this bakery pay them a visit!

9441 Edinger Ave
Westminster, CA 92683
(714) 775-8465

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Osteria Mozza

       My favorite singer on this earth was in town, and I was not going to pass up the opportunity to dine in another Michelin Star restaurant, this time in Los Angeles. The parking was very difficult to sort out seeing as the valet have to park your car almost a mile away from the actual restaurant because of the small amount of parking spaces near by. The restaurant itself is a little obscure, but once I found it, I was delighted. It has a soft light illuminating the dining area, smiling staff, and a more casual scene that is still very refined.

fgh I started with a soothing pomegranate drink, it was hardly sweet and very refreshing. The best part is it wasn’t enough flavor to pollute your palate for dinner.

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Next was a beautiful salad; Red Endive, Fennel & Parmigiano Reggiano with anchovy date dressing. The mix of fennel, anchovy and dates sparked my interest as they seemed so strange. I was delighted with the delicate and elegant plating.

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The only criticism I would make would be that it is quite difficult to eat. You must deconstruct the whole salad, or eat it layer for layer. Deconstructing it would allow one to get a mix of all the flavors with each bite, but would be less visually appealing, as well as less polite.

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I was so excited to see this handmade raviolo on the menu, because I had tried this recipe myself. It is very delicate and easy to completely ruin. The inside is a mix of pancetta, nutmeg and ricotta, but there’s a secret surprise. After filling the raviolo with the ricotta mixture a thumbprint is made and an egg yolk is added, then the whole pasta is boiled but quickly to ensure the yolk stays raw. It is then finished with some burnt butter and sage sauce and garnished with some fried sage and a sprinkle of parmigiano reggiano.

goo  Its a daring dish and because it has an element of “danger” it is very entertaining to eat – not to mention absolutely delicious.

mo meet  My companion ordered a bit of stuffed quail wrapped in pancetta and stuffed with radicchio and honey. It was good, but a little tougher than quail should be.

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For my Secondi I ordered the Grilled Beef Tagliata with rucola and parmigiano with aceto balsamico. I generally only eat vegetarian, but this beef was moist and perfectly medium rare. The balsamic was a great addition to the flavor scheme of the whole dish.

To dine at Osteria Mozza created by Chef Mario Batali holding two Michelin Stars visit

6602 MELROSE AVE LOS ANGELES, CA 90038

323 297 0100

http://www.osteriamozza.com/la/dinner.cfm

True Foods Kitchen

True Foods Kitchen is the future of food in California. They have made a pledge to the health and quality of the foods they use, and truly use it as a healing modality. Not to mention, their Chef’s are the best of their kind with taste buds and creative ideas that inspire even the least passionate foodie.

Their menu changes as the seasons come and go which makes every fruit and vegetable you consume the freshest and brightest flavor it will ever be. It was dreamt up by M.D. Andrew Weil and is based off the philosophy of an anti-inflammatory menu. The restaurant has a globally inspired menu as well as local California cuisine. One of the things I love best about the restaurant is its juice bar. You can order freshly juiced “Kale Aid” or an “Apple Ginger Carrot Tonic” (or select from the various other juice selections) to accompany your meal. I believe strongly in the power of juicing and make sure to fit it in my eating routine every day.

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My favorite dish at True Foods was this salad. It was so inspirational I re-created it again for a dinner party I had recently. This salad had tomatoes, red and yellow watermelon, mint, goat fromage, some wonderfully delicious cashews and topped with a light and divine house made vinaigrette. The basil made a beautiful undertone to the contrast of the salty goat cheese and the sweet watermelon.

phone pics 473 Here is the Almond Olive Oil cake topped with some fresh blackberries and Greek yogurt. It was very simple but delicious and you could tell it was baked with care and precision. Seeing as I am not a fan of a plane white cake I would not order it again, but enjoyed the richness from the olive oil and the nuttiness from the almond.

If you are ever near a True Foods Kitchen I highly recommend dining at one, no matter how many hours you have to drive. It’s food delivers satisfaction not only to your taste buds, but leaves your body radiant and singing with joy.

True Foods Kitchen

There are many locations around the United States, but this is the information for the specific True Foods Kitchen I had the pleasure of dining at.

451 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

(949) 644-2400

Home Restaurant

Home Restaurant is the epitome of Los Angeles chic. It has a rugged yet cozy environment and the kind of standoffish hipster service every bohemian traveler could ever hope for. Not to mention, the food is top notch. To be honest the food is the only thing that really keeps me going back again and again. In the years I have gone I honestly have only come across a handful of hospitable staff, but the quality and feel of the food is so homey its worth it.

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I have had numerous meals at this restaurant (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and all of the meals I have had were very good, I will however only report on the last visit. I started with the White Coconut Crème Loose Leaf Tea which was absolutely divine. It was exactly like eating a luscious, mouthwatering fresh coconut cream pie, except in a drink.

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For a starter I ordered the Tropical Shrimp Salad which consisted of “romaine lettuce mixed with cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and avocado tossed with lemon champagne dressing and topped with sautéed shrimp and mango relish.” Another thing I love about dining in Los Angeles is they aren’t afraid of strange requests (seeing as California is the land of soymilk and chia seeds). For example I asked if they could omit the butter from the shrimp sauté, and they did without hesitation. I also got the chance to try the home made hummus with pita bread, and it was terrific.  It is a less expensive option for someone who is looking for something a little lighter on the stomach as well as the wallet.

Previously I had also ordered the Beet and Pear Salad which had “beets, pears, caramelized walnuts, carrots and goat cheese on top of mixed greens. tossed with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.” It was my favorite salad so far, seeing as I am a huge beet enthusiast, and love anything with goat cheese.

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I also got to try the Tuna Melt and coleslaw, of course they were both very delicious.I find myself less of a warm sandwich enthusiast and more of a cold sandwich one. My favorite sandwich ever was one I picked up from a stand in the Gardens of Versailles, maybe the grandeur added to my taste buds, I guess we will never know.

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If ever in Los Angeles I urge you to have any meal at Home Restaurant, you wont be sorry no matter the service.

Home Restaurant

1760 Hillhurst Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 669-0211