Ethiopian Breakfast at Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant in Little Ethiopia

This family owned restaurant opened only a few months ago and has quickly garnered positive word of mouth and a good review from Garrett Snyder of the LA Weekly.  One thing I quickly noticed after perusing their website was the fact that they serve breakfast items as well, and these are dishes I have never tried, much less ever heard of.

Having dined there this past weekend with members of one of my foodie groups, I really enjoyed each of the dishes we tried, with the exception of the Enqulal Fir Fir.  The dish was nothing more than everyday scrambled eggs with diced bell peppers and onions.

All descriptions of the dishes have been extracted from Lalibela’s website.


Kategna with Ayib – Rolled strips of injera coated with berbere sauce mixed in Ethiopian spiced butter or olive oil served with fresh Ethiopian cottage-cheese.


Genfo, A smooth wheat porridge with a dash of cardamom, served with Ethiopian spiced butter and berbere chili pepper seasonings.

Enqulal Fir-Fir – Scrambled eggs prepared with a dash of Ethiopian spiced butter, and sliced jalapeños (fresh tomatoes and onions can bed added).
Quanta Fir-Fir – Injera moistened in a seasoned sauce mixed with dried strips of spiced beef.
Injera Bread, of course
Veggie Utopia – A special combination of fourteen veggie dishes: Shibera Asa, Gomen, Shero, Miser (2), Dinich, Cabbage, Ater, Suf (sunflower seeds), Tematim Fifit, Fosalia, Azifa, keke aletcha, and salad.
LAMB Yebeg Alethcha Wot – Succulent pieces of fresh lamb sautéed in creamy sauce seasoned with mild spices and fresh herbs.

Collard Greens Duo Combination – Collard Greens : Side Dish
Their Ethiopian Style Fruit Smoothie made with papaya, mango and avocado
It’s time for the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
Freshly roasted coffee beans for you get a good whiff of.
Maybe I’ve had way too much Starbucks’ coffee, but I found their coffee to be smooth, low in acidity and bitterness.  Can drink it straight up and savor the full flavor of the coffee, but a teaspoon of sugar does make it easier to enjoy.
Perhaps the next time, it would be nice to enjoy a meal in their back patio.
Aside from traditional table seating at a restaurant, Lalibela offers this option for you as well:

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California-nized Burmese Cuisine at Daw Yee Myanmar Corner in Silverlake

I enjoyed the refined Burmese dishes that are being served at Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe in Monterey Park, which opened about 3 years ago.  Earlier this year, their second location opened in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles.  Aside from the slight variation in the name from the first location, the dishes this place serves have some recipes tweaked to become vegan and/or gluten free.  And that is a wonderful thing to know as some people like myself enjoy eating vegan and/or gluten free from time to time.  However, the flavors you expect from these popular Burmese dishes are there.


Fried Myanmar Tofu (made out of chickpea flour, vegan and soy-free) 


Potato Cakes stuffed with seasoned ground lamb (also available with ground chicken as well)
Kima Platha with ground chicken (options of lamb or beef are available as well). Reminds me of Malaysian Murtabak.
Tea Leaf Salad
Mohinga (National Dish of Myanmar)



Shan Noodles

Garlic Noodles with Duck
Salmon Belly wrapped in Banana Leaf
Pumpkin Curry (vegan and gluten-free)
Vegetable Curry (vegan and gluten-free)


Dessert Cake Combo

Swye Kyi Cake made with semolina wheat, egg, butter.


Cassava Cake


Tapioca Cake

Young coconut water for your beverage, and young coconut meat for dessert

All Things Seafood at Kabayo Live Shell Clam (Cham Bada) Restaurant in K-Town

A friend suggested that we try this Korean seafood place that was highly recommended by one of her friends.  Kabayo offers sashimi/raw seafood, spicy seafood stews, and a variety of a la carte, such as their popular Mixed Tempura.

After perusing the menu for a bit, we opted to order their VIP combination dinners made for 3, which offers a sashimi of various types of seafood, which inluded sea squirts and baby sea cucumber.  We figured by sharing the sashimi platter that we could share a couple of the a la carte dishes — Stir-fried Spicy Squid, and the Mixed Tempura.


While we enjoyed the a la carte items, the VIP combination platter was a bit on the challenging side, especially with the sea squirts, baby cucumbers.  The spicy seafood stew has a lot of fish intestine sack in it that were challenging to consume. 



Nice variety of ban chan provided
Oyster Shooter
Sashimi Platter

They weren’t able to translate the Korean name, but we believe these are baby sea cucumbers

Sea Squirts, with an exoskeleton that is tough and leathery and inedible

Raw Crab in a Soy Based Bath

Spicy Squid under Purple Rice
Broth that accompanied the Spicy Squid

Tempura Combination, much thicker panko crust, unlike traditional Japanese tempura.  Very crispy and crunchy, but not oily
Dipping Sauce for the tempura that’s delicious.

Seafood Stew that’s part of the VIP Combination
There was a lot of fish intestines used in the stew.


Next time, we’re ordering a la carte, so that we can try the $75 Seafood Stew that is served with an octopus that will be cooked and cut up and mixed into the stew.

We ordered the $140 VIP Combination.

Monkey Town: 5-Course Dinner, Visual Art Installation and Musical Performance in a Cube, September 18, 2016

Visual Art Installation curated by Montgomery Knott, and 5-Course Tasting by Chef Nick Montgomery, with music performance by Rachel Mason. A fun evening of having all of your senses stimulated. It was even more fun to be there with a large group of friends.

Unfortunately, this is one environment where the iPhone 6S camera really shows it’s deficiencies. Can’t wait to get the 7Plus for better pictures and videos in the future.



Lemonade Cocktail (made with vodka?) refresher to enjoy as you enter the building


Entering into the main space viewing the cube from the outside


Obviously, the tasting menu
Tasting Menu comes with Wine Pairing
Seating inside the cube


Lightly Cured Hamachii | kohlrabi, cilantro, yuzu dashi


Heirloom Tomato Salad | torpedo onion, baby squash, wakame


Gnocchetti Tirolesi | pork ragout, cauliflower, almond pesto


Braised Beef Short Rib | confit potatoes, pumpkin seeds, tomatillo romesco 

Caramelized Chocolate Pot De Creme
pistachio brittle, candied orange, whipped creme fraiche



Rachel Mason performed during the dinner


Montgomery Knott thanking all for attending


One last glance at the cube while on the out


13-Course Modern Kaiseki Dinner at n/naka – Summer Kaiseki Menu, August 5, 2016

Kaiseki: This traditional Japanese culinary art form reflects the ever-changing rhythms of the earth by taking the freshest seasonal ingredients and presenting them in their most natural states.

And Chef Niki Nakayma (perhaps the only female kaiseki chef in the world?) delivered another stunningly beautiful modern kaiseki dinner. Truly food as art, and truly delicious. A pleasure for all of your senses.

13-Courses, $185.00 (tax and gratuity not included)
Wine and Sake pairing available.
Saki Zuke
(A PAIRING OF SOMETHING COMMON AND SOMETHING UNIQUE)       

CONCH, CAVIAR
(One of our diners does not like cilantro, so this was the dish that replaced the Shrimp Toast, Avocado Soup, which used cilantro oil)
Saki Zuke
(A PAIRING OF SOMETHING COMMON AND SOMETHING UNIQUE)       
SHRIMP TOAST, AVOCADO SOUP
Zensai
 (SEASONAL INGREDIENTS PRESENTED AS AN APPETIZER)
 GRILLED NASU AND SHISHITO  WITH MISO, TAMAGO DOFU WITH SNOW CRAB
LOCAL WHITE FISH CEVICHE, GRILLED BLANZINO , JUNSAI
Modern Zukuri
(MODERN INTERPRETATION OF SASHIMI)
AMAEBI SWEET SHRIMP, CHIVE OIL, NORI SOY SAUCE
Owan “Still Water”
LOBSTER SHINJO, FENNEL, MOMOTARO  TOMATO SOUP
Otsukuri
(TRADITIONAL SASHIMI)
 SEASONAL FISH
Mushimono
(STEAMED DISH)
   TEMPURA SOFT SHELL CRAB, KABOCHA PUREE, BELLPEPPER VINAIGRETTE
Nimono
(POUCHED DISH)
LOCAL BLACK COD AND MUSSEL, LEMON BASIL FOAM, BELL PEPPER SAUCE
Shiizakana
(NOT BOUND BY TRADITION, THE CHEF’S CHOICE DISH)
SPAGHETTINI WITH ABALONE, PICKLED COD ROE, TRUFFLES
Niku
(MEAT COURSE)
JAPAN MIYAZAKIWAGYU BEEF A5, FOIE GRAS, HOUBA MISO
Shokuji/ Sushi
SEASONAL FISH
MISO SOUP
Sunomono
KUMAMOTO OYSTER
YUZU OMOI, KYOTO
YUZU OMOI, KYOTO
Bright sweet citrus flavor, so delicious that one can easily finish this entire bottle as an accompaniment to this dinner
Shokuji/ Sushi
SEASONAL FISH
MISO SOUP
BONUS COURSE – HAND ROLL
Dessert
WATERMELON GRANITAS, MATCHA TEA
Dessert 
PISTACHIO CANNOLI, PISTACHIO ICE CREAM ,PLUM SAUCE
AND MATCHA CARAMEL SAUCE
AFTER DINNER TRUFFLES

3-Course Dinner at 71 Above, atop the U.S. Bank Tower, August 28, 2016

The highly anticipated 71 Above opened at the end of July, and back in late August, my friends and I were able to enjoy dinner with amazing views and wonderful ambiance.  Chef Vartan Abgaryan helmed the kitchen, after having left Cliff’s Edge several months ago.

It was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable dinners I’ve had in a long time, mainly because of the way the dining rooms were constructed, to absorb noise.  That kept the noise level relatively low, despite the fact all the tables were filled.  In addition, the pacing of the service and those amazing views also helped.



Entrance to elevators to 71 Above from the OUE Skyspace level.
 The breathtaking views you get from your table by the windows

Amuse: Savory Canele with pecorino cheese and rosemary 

King Crab | Mango, Avocado, Fresno Chile, Sorrel, Chicharrón


Fig | Purslane, Red Onion, Goat Feta, Honey Vinegar, Lemon, Sumac Crisp

Octopus | Grilled, Peach, Lemon, Mustards, Pickled Pearl Onion, Herbs


Raviolo | Egg, Corn, Black Truffle
Perfectly cooked with a nice runny egg yolk.
Farm Egg | Crispy Potato, Chorizo, Finger Lime, Cilantro 


Strawberry Gazpacho | Strawberry Ice, Pickled Green Strawberries, Black Pepper, Shiso

Oyster | Poached, Uni, Caviar, Tarragon, Champagne
Steak Tartare | Farm Yolk, Mustard, Truffle, Chives, Pommes Maxim

Young Chicken | Breast, Thigh, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Asparagus, Vin Jaune, Jus Gras
Prime Rib Eye | Dry-Aged, Eggplant, Black Garlic Miso, Onion, Cipollini Jus 











Scallop | Carrot, Vadouvan Curry, Coconut, Barrel-Aged Fish Sauce
Suckling Pig | Loin, Belly, Confit Pressé, Young Lettuces, Cherry, Mustard
DESSERT: Lemon Curd
 Beautiful main dining room with views of Los Angeles all around.
Your view of the City of Angels at night.

October 2016 – Chicory Tasting Menu at Maude Restaurant, October 14, 2016

Back to Maude after a year, and for the last regular tasting menu of 2016. October’s highlighted ingredient — Chicory. $135.00 for the tasting menu, gratuity, and tax not-inclusive.  Wine Pairing is $100.00, while the Reserve Wine Pairing is $135.00.

Listed on the menu is a Saint-Romain, Burgundy, France 2010, that was served with the Raviolo course.  Somehow, I missed getting a photo of the label.

http://www.mauderestaurant.com/



Reserve Wine Pairing, First Pour – H. Billiot, “Cuvee Julie,” France 2007


 Course 1 – Frisee aux Lardons:



Course 2 – Caviar, creamed butter, dried scallops:



Reserve Wine Pairing, Second Pour: Cave Blanc Christophe, :Les Galets,” France 2004:



Course 3 – Chicories, goat’s butter, citrus, herbs:



Course 4 – Caramelized Onion, Poached Endive, Everton, Mustard:




Course 5 – Foie Gras Torchon, Treviso, Quince:




Reserve Wine Pairing, Third Pour:  Cidrerie du Vulcain, “Transparente,” Switzerland 2015



Reserve Wine Pairing, Fourth Pour: Giornada, Vermentino, Paso Robles 2014



Course 6 – Striped Bass, Tomato, Chicory alla Romano:




Reserve Wine Pairing, Fifth Pour: Radikon, Pinot Grigio, Italy 2014



Course 7 – Squash Chawanmushi – Dandelion, Calabrese Sausage, Pepper




Course 8 – Raviolo – Escargots, Escarole, Garlic




Reserve Wine Pairing, Sixth Pour: Jean-Baptiste Souillard, “Bergeron,” France 2014


Course 9 – Venison, Apple, Parsnip, Radicchio




Course 10 – Bayley Hayley Blue Cheese




Course 11 – Pre-Dessert (non-menu item) which was described as Lemon Meringue meets Baked Alaska. 




Reserve Wine Pairing, Seventh Pour: Carpano, “Antica Formula,” Italy



Course 12 – Chicory Root, Date, Chocolate, Chicory Ice Cream




After Dinner Bites