Tuesday Links: The Binge Is Back

30 Jul
Put this on everything.

Put this on everything.

Heyyyy….sorry I haven’t blogged in a bunch of months; I have been really busy. Now, cause why not, Bingeworthy returns! Minus Cory, who is firmly against this or this happening ever again.

Maigheyn Forages Ahead

Here are the restaurants I’ve loved since Bingeworthy’s hiatus, which began back when I wasn’t 30. I’m only listing places I srsly wanna marry, so don’t even worry about any of them sucking. Also, this is a link roundup. That means instead of going into detail about anything, I’m listing my fave thing at each spot and including a link. Call me lazy.

10 Amazing Things You Totally Can’t Even Believe Are This Awesome

  1. Osteria La Buca – Steak Tartare
  2. Hae Jang Chon – Thin Sliced Beef Tongue
  3. Scoops – Horchata Ice Cream
  4. La Fonda Antioquena – Everything
  5. Winchell’s – Fluffy egg (off menu)
  6. Suehiro Café – Chicken Karage
  7. Village Idiot – Rillettes
  8. Simple Things – Coffee
  9. Red Corner Asia – Squid salad
  10. Portillo’s – Cake Shake

Oh, and as far as bar news is concerned, No Vacancy opened. The Gin & Jameson is swell.

A Very Bingeworthy Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

DanielBlanchard

By Daniel Blanchard

Today is Valentine’s Day, the feast day of poor Valentinus, who was brutally tortured and executed by the Romans on this very day in 273 AD for merrily and carelessly marrying soldiers to each other with complete disregard for law and convention.

Right at this moment, somewhere between one thousand and several billion people are brushing their teeth and plucking their chin hairs to prepare for what will surely be the most obnoxiously forced date they’ve ever been on. Not you though. No. Thanks to that bottle of Night Train that you drunkenly mistook for a fine rosé, you’ll be off to bed at a proper hour, and ready to embrace the most important day for any self- respecting single person:

The Morning After Valentine’s Day

While most people are waking up sprawled across the bed of some trollop or buffoon they’ve claimed as their mate, you’ll be gently patted awake by your cat, dehydrated, yet well rested, in the middle of your own bed. Now, I realize this blog is generally about food that other people make for you in fancy restaurants, but your morning after Valentine’s Day meal is not about that. Unless it’s Father’s Day and you’ve ventured out to IHOP to watch the strained interactions between single fathers and the children they see on weekends and holidays, which it isn’t, you really have no business being outside of your house at breakfast time.

Today is the day you grab your can of Batter Blaster and start making angry heart shapes on the griddle. May I suggest that when you plate them, you plate them on fine china. Nothing classes up a turd for Instagram like Grandma’s china and a sprig of cilantro, which is cheaper than parsley. Maybe you can accompany this meal with pink-dyed milk. You know…cause Valent….whatever. Only you need to know that the “milk” is actually the last carton of egg nog that the grocery store had, which you bought to remind you of Christmas, when, just months ago, even the loneliest, weirdest family member received his due affection.

Now that your meal is prepared, you can sit down at your television and flip through channels, hoping to find a sympathetic special, maybe, “At Least Your Mother Loves You, Charlie Brown.” Ah! What’s that? You had the foresight to purchase a second bottle of “rosé?” Well then…happy day after Valentine’s Day, young lover.

Maiygehn Forgets What The F*** She Ate At Little F***

31 Jan

Little Fork

Hi citizens. I haven’t talked to you for a while. Last time we spoke, I was spouting fatalistic pronouncements about happiness and stuff. Since then, I have suffered, almost died, and gotten a flu shot.

I’m healthy now, in my soul, thanks for caring. I still find reasons to cry but so joyfully now. I don’t walk, I skip. When I hear the crunch of Styrofoam underfoot, I think, “It’s just an urban pinecone.” I have so many new, highly effective habits. I am the Gilbert Blythe of Bingeworthy.

Excited to keep reading? Yayeah!

F Yeah Little Fork

I was the first to arrive, so naturally, I hung my purse on the nearest bar hook and ordered the closest thing to a Manhattan. Please stare at it for a moment.

The Maestro – wheated bourbon, averna, cinnamon, clove, angostura

The Maestro – wheated bourbon, averna, cinnamon, clove, angostura

Sweet, sweet averna. I ordered another during our meal, which I didn’t finish. Great show of restraint, I think.

I Totally Remember This Part

The meal began with pickled fennel and radishes served in mason jars. The fennel was sweet and crunchy. I loved it. Fried pigskin in the shape of ears followed. Good, but less crunchy than the fennel. Honestly, I was wanting Baken-etts? My friends ordered oysters and fancy poutine. Not crunchy at all.

In Which I Try To Remember What Else I Ate

Oh! Mike ordered a fucking fantastic ham thing with an apple thing on the side. And there were other delicious items. Some Brussels sprouts and/or cauliflower tasted great. There was maybe a short rib situation. I took a picture of a giant white glob and another picture of a blurry shadow. Then, I went to the bathroom and took a picture of myself. Then the meal was over and I went to my dark place.

White Glob

My brain.

Me

The outside of my brain.

In Conclusion

Little Fork is the greatest! Go there! Read Cory’s review, then go to Little Fork, please!

PS – I’ll be more on my game next week. Shut up. Also, if you were with me at Little Fork, kindly leave a comment and tell me what I ate?

Littlefork Wins Me Over Big Time

24 Jan
littlefork drink1

Behind an unassuming red door in Hollywood lies the next great Los Angeles restaurant. Littlefork is minimally designed, very cool but  unpretentious. And I never once thought “gastropub” during my meal. The hostess greeted me by name, though she had never met me before (obviously I had a reservation) and led me and my friend, Kristine, to our table with easy conversation that made me feel like I had been a regular there for years. They’ve only been open for two weeks.

First order of business, as usual, is cocktails. A very well done bar menu, courtesy of Dino Balocchi, had me throwing out any sense of New Year’s resolution laden sobriety. Kristine had a James & York which is a rum and port based drink with a rich hint of molasses and pineapple. I wanted to be poolside immediately after I stole a sip. I started with the Saskatchewan Summer; a rye whiskey and cardamom infused Old Fashioned that was beautiful balanced and original. Kristine, who is not a whiskey lover, was so impressed she ordered it after she finished her first drink. Later in the evening I moved to The Maestro which was a dark bourbon number, replete with notes of cinnamon and bitter citrus. I looked very cool drinking it… as is obvious from the above picture.

The kitchen, helmed by Jason Travi (formerly of Fraiche), sent out a jar of pickled brussel sprouts to each table to whet our appetites. I would normally consider this cute and comical except that the sprouts were seriously amazing. Spicy, garlicky and tender. We had to have a powerful conversation with our waiter about the etiquette of drinking the remaining pickle juice at the table.

We ordered the Malt Vinegar Pork rinds to start and I say to you all with complete honesty, it was one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life. Clean and light as air with so much exciting bite that I didn’t know what to do with myself. My tongue became serpentine trying to understand all the flavors. It will take a major overhaul in the pork rind industry to make something better than this.

littlefork food 1

Onward to the Oyster Sliders which were, by comparison to our pork rinds, a little underwhelming. They were too small on the tiny brioche buns and the bites became more about the bread. I wanted large sweet Atlantic oysters exploding in my mouth, dripping with tartar sauce. Perhaps open face next time?

Redemption was only a moment away with a Warm Mushroom Salad, tossed with radicchio and Parmesan. So many wonderful organic flavors coming together. I sensed a mushroom jus in the vinaigrette but can’t be sure. We used our fingers to snag every little leaf and stem left on the plate.

Brussel Sprouts braised with apple cider and topped with warm crispy chicken skin were dark, tender, and delicious though I wanted a tad more excitement from the chicken skins. But the dish was finished before I even had time to think about it.

littlefork food 2

I had to be restrained from sticking my entire face into the Monkfish Francaise. This tender, crispy and buttery dish far outshines any monkfish I have eaten before, including my own. It sits atop a snowy bed of cheese curd laced mashed potatoes that had me weeping into its gentle richness. The word here is “perfection”.

The dessert selection is small, consisting of three options. We had all three because I want to see if I can get my cholesterol level to the low 300′s by Valentines Day. Root for me! The Apple Cider Donuts, a Northeast standard, were not totally to my liking but I think that is my fault, not theirs. Just a bit too much fry causing a slightly crustier donut than I had envisioned. I like a softer donut. I probably have no class. The salted caramel was a golden dream though.

A Buttermilk Maple Pie with candied orange zest was fun and playful on the palate and was dying for a coffee sip after each bite…which I gave it.

But it was the Whoopie Pie that was superlative. Everything I remembered the classic treat to be without making it too gourmet, which is the right choice. Just a skillful and simple use of classic chocolate cakey cookies with marshmallow fluff. I was a kid again, bathed in sweet crumbs of nostalgia.

littlefork desserts1
Bravo Littlefork!

Spoonful Gives A Heartfelt Response

17 Jan

center66

We did something new this week and put our Spoonful review up on Yelp! Have you ever heard of this website? Well it must be popular because Spoonful responded almost immediately!

——–

Hi Cory,

Mark T. has sent you a message on Yelp:

Your Review
“Hi Cory! I am sorry to hear that your experience was not up to our standards. We, at Spoonful, strive to ensure that every guest leaves wanting to come back again for another visit. I assure you we work very hard for every star that is bestowed upon us through our Yelp guests and have been diligent with our staff in making sure that the food quality and service standard are the best that they possibly can be. I would like to invite you back to Spoonful for a second visit. I would be glad to meet you in person and take you on a Southern journey of cuisine and hospitality. Please feel free to contact me at any time to set this up. I would love for you to walk away from your next experience with a smile on your face and stars in your eyes. Cheers!”

——–

This was absolutely the RIGHT thing to do. If you know a customer is unhappy you should always invite them back for a better experience. Sadly, we can’t go back. We would get special treatment and they would go out of their way to make sure we had an above average meal. But Bingeworthy needs to remain anonymous so that you get the real experience.

Spoonful Is Hard To Swallow

10 Jan
spoonful food

There are few things that irk me more, in the restaurant world, than wasted space. It takes a lot of money and effort to buy and run a restaurant and so it is disappointing to me when a new establishment can’t do what it is supposed to do. And that thing is to BE GOOD!

The glory days of Henry’s Hat on Cahuenga have given way to Spoonful, a lackluster attempt at southern cuisine and libations.
Megan and I stopped by on Friday full of expectation and post new year good cheer. Here’s how it went down. Megan was already sitting at the bar, fending off cool dudes and drunkards while forcing herself to sip an unevenly made Manhattan. I moved in and made my presence known. The bartender did not offer me a cocktail menu for 5 minutes. We had to ask for one. That means that I sat there, at the bar, with nary a glance from the guy that is supposed to be serving me. And just in case you’re asking….. no, it was not busy.

I finally get a seemingly exciting drink called The Hot ‘lanta. Mezcal, coca infused tequila, black pepper. It comes out pink, in a martini glass and literally undrinkable. I couldn’t even go in for a second sip.

Then I flailed my arms and got the bartender’s attention, told him I wasn’t digging it and he kind of smirked politely like, “no one likes this drink”. ( so take it off the menu!) Since I was in an establishment claiming southern fare, I ordered a Sazerac instead. Ten minutes later it came. I could taste nothing but straight whiskey. So the bar…. was a let down.

p.s. A big round ice cube doesn’t make your bar cooler or your drinks better.

drinks spoonful

Now the host and the server couldn’t have been any sweeter and I appreciated that. When we sat, Megan ordered a Hall Sauvignon Blanc and I ordered a Bogle Reisling. Both wines were excellent.

The menu did not have a lot of exciting options. It seemed stuck in a limbo of fine dining and sports bar. There are four sandwich options under “entrée” next to well worded short ribs and snapper options. I thought the mismatch was off-putting.

We went with the braised pork belly to start, a fried chicken dinner and the previously mentioned short ribs.

The pork belly was a move in the right direction. Very flavorful, tender, sweet and well presented. The vanilla gastrique on the bottom of the plate was really special and we ordered cornbread to sop it up with. The cornbread came out 20 minutes later, a cold, overly sweet wedge that was not made to order, therefore I could not understand its delay arriving at our table. The vanilla gastrique was cold by this time and all the joy of sopping it up was gone.

The short ribs themselves were fine but the plate had problems. Braised meat should always be served with its braising jus. That’s liquid gold in the kitchen. These boneless ribs were bone dry and served atop cold polenta; as if they had plated early and let it sit in the window, waiting for the short ribs to be put on top. Same goes for the broccolini. Good but cold.

Our Southern Fried Chicken Dinner was fine but not great. The collared greens were the actual winner of the dish. Warm and vinegary. They felt authentic. The overly seasoned chicken leg was crispy and good because fried and breaded protein is always good, but it could have been anybody’s fried chicken. Nothing special. A well browned dish of mac and cheese finished the plate. The cheese sauce was quite thin and lacked a real sense of richness or dairy.

Megan insisted on dessert. I have an aversion to bread pudding to begin with, but this toffee bread pudding with toffee ice cream was just richness for richness’s sake. Again, no character. And don’t make the accompanying ice cream the same flavor as the dessert itself. It needs to be a complement to the main attraction of the dish, not a repetition. Very amateur.

In a health conscious town like Los Angeles, where most people are calculating everything that goes down their throat, you have to give people a reason to indulge. Spoonful is not that reason.

Words And Phrases I Abused In 2012

27 Dec

High School Collage

In the spirit of New Years Resolutions, I took a long, hard look in the mirror and realized there are no angles I haven’t already Instagrammed. So I was like, how else can I make people think I’m really cool? Since I tell everyone I’m a writer, I figured, how ‘bout I fix my vocabulary?

Still Not Stupider Enough

My face vocab has slimmed down significantly since high school. I’m now stupider than ever! This is reflected in my lazy overuse of popular slang right here on this website. To which you say, ZOMG who reads this internet blog anyway?!! To which I reply, Cory, Will and my mom!!!

For you three, I will try to avoid these words and phrases in 2013:

Awesome

This is a word I use in conversation and writing all the time. It means nothing and makes me sound like I was born in San Diego, which is inaccurate; I was born in Santa Monica.

Nice

I use this less in writing, but in conversation, I say “nice” when I don’t know what else to say. It means I’m not listening, or I’m listening, but I’m not interested. Or I’m worried about having to speak an original thought, so I use the term “nice” to make people understand I want them to talk more. It goes like this:

Some person: “I took the flyaway from Union Station to the airport.”
Me: “Nice!”
Another rando: “I’m from Novato.”
Me: “Oh, nice.”

Nice conveys ignorance or disinterest, so I’m retiring it.

Obsessed With

This is most often used in reference to obscure snack foods or styles of shoes. Srsly, stop it.

Not so much or “Yeah, not so much”

A popular, shortened version of this is, “Yeah, no.” As in “I’m a judgmental cunt, and when I see your ever so slight muffin top, I say to the world, ‘yeah, no.’”

Disgusting

This is a strong word that should be reserved for descriptions of decaying garbage or egregious racism.

The “best” or “the best ever”

Let’s stop with the hyperbole.

JFYI and Just Sayin’

These are in the same category as “no offense, but…” JFYI is an acronym or something like that, which makes it twice as rude.

Sorry

As in, “Sorry, can’t. This is on.” I love this one. I’m not really sorry; I’m just saying it, so I can be all like, hey this terrible-looking movie is probably terrible! Sadly, I didn’t invent this joke, somebody funny did.

Wait…as a punchline.

As in, let me describe this totally illogical thing I plan to do, while you watch me realize mid-sentence what a dumb idea it is. To signal this epiphany, I’ll say “waiiiiit…” really slowly. I didn’t invent this, and I should stop pretending it’s new, or remotely funny.

Dubbed

Don’t be cute with that word. Jonathan Safran Foer already did. It was annoying then, and it is still annoying.

For Reals

Using kiddie phrases is fun and also annoying.

Questionable

It was good while it lasted. Now every fucking thing is questionable, and it’s making me anxious.

Delicious

I can still use it sometimes, but let’s thesaurus that shit every once in a while.

Dial it down

Any phrase coined in a boardroom should be off limits. Sooo…sorry that happened.

That happened, #happening, that moment when and just kidding.

I feel like Dane Cook invented all of these.

I feel like…

Really? Can you “feel” a thing that is factual? No, you fuckin’ hippie. Stop talking like a palm reader.

k?

Is an abominably smug way to end a sentence.

Fail, Epic, Epic Fail

Surfers can use these terms. Maybe skateboarders. Professional skateboarders and surfers. That’s about it.

#Anything

My brother says #hashtags aren’t funny and should not be a thing.

WTF NOW???!!!

Crap, there are no words left! Should I just start writing my posts in Emoji? Smiley face champagne flute lightning bolt heart cactus, everyone!

Why the fuck is there a cactus?

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