Well we finally got our act together and went down to LA to visit our friend Margaret. Like me she loves food and was totally prepared to show us the new and old eats for that weekend. It was packed with great food, and even better food.

We arrived Friday night and went immediately to one of her favorite places to eat called Orris. We were in for a ride. Orris specializes in French/Japanese tapas. One after another, not only did we get tasty bite after tasty bite, we also got a wine pairing with every dish.

I can’t remember all the dishes but some things that stood out was the tuna lettuce cups, the orange roughy with a taragon tomato “pomodoro”, the roasted hearts of romaine lettuce, and the tasty beef cubes. The list goes on and on but unfortunately it came so fast and furious I couldn’t remember it all. Oh well, it only means that I may have to go back.

Cake Monkey

The other highlight of the night was that Margaret picked up some cupcakes from a brand new place called Cake Monkey. I’m not the hugest cake fan, but this place had one of the best cakes I’ve have eaten. They were mini cakes, slightly bigger than cupcakes. Some of them had little crunchy dots in them that burst when you bit into the moist cake meat.


The next day was ridiculous. We literally only walked probably the equivalent of about 5 blocks the whole day. In the morning we walked to the car in the garage, then headed over for some morning coffee and pastries. We walked 1 1/2 blocks to another new cupcake place called Crumbs. We ended up ordering a bunch to bring to our friends Matt, Pam, and their new baby, Mason.

Din Tai Fung food

Which brings us to lunch. We met up with Matt, Pam, and Mason at Din Tai Fung in Arcadia. They are best known for their soup dumplings or Xiao Long Bao or “XLB”. They are the magical type of dumplings that have a little tiny amount of soup trapped inside the dumplings so that when you bite into them, they burst with flavor in your mouth. Everything else there was delicious as well. There was curry noodles, a very mild, and subtle, flavorful fried rice, some pork chops, and other food.

We weren’t sure how we were going to fare for dinner.


Oesteria Mozza exterior

We met up with a few of Margaret’s friends, Jan, Carson, and Joanne at the new Mario Batali restaurant, Osteria Mozza. Unfortunately most of my photos came out blurry.

Raviolo w/ egg.

We happened to be there on one of the 2 special nights of the week when they have a very special mozzarella flown in from Italy. It was a plain ball of cheese with a little olive oil. It was smooth, with a bubbly texture, and screamed out cheese when it hit my tongue. Everyone said to get the Raviolo, so we all tried it. It came with ricotta cheese and an egg yolk inside it. The raviolo was cooked super al dente, just enough to harden the egg yolk to a thickened but not solid sauce. Around the raviolo was a delicious brown butter sauce with sage. I ended up having a second course of pasta with a tagliatelle with oxtail ragout. Great execution on the ragout and pasta. Other people ordered the beef shank, which was fall off the bone, and a roasted half duck which was deliciously presented on your own cutting board.

half duck

Dessert was equally delicious with gelato reminiscent of my trip to Florence, and a cake with bourbon gelato.
cake w/ bourbon gelato

Needless to say we slept very soundly and looked forward to the next day of delicious dishes.