You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2018.

Happy New Year!

First stop at Smorgasburg was of course at Mid East Tacos, because I always support my friends, especially those who cook well ๐Ÿ™‚ They have upgraded and expanded tremendously since they started in the beginning of the year, and I am thrilled and happy to have witnessed and tasted the evolution. 

Their grill is now TWICE as big, and their corn tortillas are the best I have eaten (made by hand in the back of the stand). Since the grill is helmed by Paul and the recipes come from Armen, this is a must stop for at least ONE taco, if not the trio of beef, chicken, and falafel.

 With my “backstage pass” went behind the stand to see the set up.

 Paul and his skewers.

 It takes a team to prepare the tacos and burritos

 including the woman who was making all the corn tortillas on the spot!

After some tacos and a walk around, it was time for a small snack of Mama Musubi‘s Kelp with upgraded rice.

Ugly Drum was the designated main stop, with a short stack, some burnt ends, and pickles. They had a new horseradish mustard from a fellow vendor that was fantastic.

 Burnt ends could have been a meal by itself.

The short stack was plenty for two people to share, especially with the burnt ends. As a bread fanatic, I was very impressed by the Bub and Grandma’s they used for the sandwich.

Milk was there so I had to try their confetti cookie. Thankfully it came in its own package to take home since the incredibly moist and perfectly sweet cookie had to be saved for later.

 Food marathon completed, for now ๐Ÿ™‚

Going to Smorgasburg should be considered the same way you would consider training for a marathon; walk the route, start slowly, pace yourself, know when and where you want to go all out if you want to finish painlessly. 

After more than 2 years, the vendors and crowds have multiplied, but on an overcast day, there was still plenty of space in the 4,000+ space (FREE) parking garage. There is no way to sample everything even if you stay the entire time they open on Sundays from 10 am- 4 pm, so choose a handful of places and then plan to return.

Today’s post will be a visual tour of the vendors, and tomorrow’s post will be on the places that got some stomach real estate ๐Ÿ™‚

The artists live and work in the Mosaic Tile House, so the kitchen is fully functional, and their studio in the back is where they create their tiles and where their bigger pieces are displayed.

Even though I have lived in Los Angeles for decades, I had never been to the Mosaic Tile House in Venice until recently. Today and tomorrow’s photo posts will be a kaleidoscope for your eyes, a challenge for your brain, and a feast for your imagination. Enjoy the adventure on Saturdays between 1-4pm $20 for adults $15 for seniors and children under 12 get free admission.

Wrenches, pliers, anything you can imagine are incorporated.

Yes, those are spoons!

The details are amazing.

Walls, ceilings, and floors are all part of the canvas.

The artists appear in the artwork throughout the house ๐Ÿ™‚

I was happy to finally try Felix Trattoria; a very appropriate emotion since Felix means “happy” or “lucky” in Latin:) 

There is a huge window in the dining area so that you can see the handiwork being done to prepare your meal. Whether you have tasted handmade pasta and loved it, or always wanted to try traditionally made pasta, Felix will make you happy if you are lucky enough to get a reservation. Delicate squash blossoms filled with ricotta and green garlic for $15 were light crisp bites filled with creamy goodness, a great way to start off a meal.

They had a lemon spaghetti with sea urchin on the menu, served with a portion that could have been eaten separately, but I preferred to mix it in to enhance pasta with more of the flavor of the sea. This was a rich dish, so the small portion was plenty considering the satisfying umami on the plate.

The hit of the evening was the oxtail ragu with DOP Pecorino Romano for $26. Meltingly tender meat coated the hearty pasta accented with the sharp salty sheep’s milk cheese. It was perfect and if you only order one pasta, I highly recommend this one!

We chose a wine from Sardinia based on the waiter’s suggestions. Gostalai Nepente di Oliena 2012. It was my first taste of Sardinian wine and I look forward to trying others ๐Ÿ™‚

They have a small bar area and valet parking for $10, which is highly recommended unless you can find parking on Abbot Kinney.

Having eaten on a handful of islands in the Caribbean (Martinique, St. Bart’s, St. Kitts, Nevis) I have a very limited idea of what constitutes good Caribbean food, but I do know when I encounter a good chef. Yonette ofย Caribbean Gourmetย definitely possesses the skills and smiles that are emblematic of why people enjoy the islands so much. Her team all possess equally infectious smiles and somehow manage to keep the line moving no matter how long it is.

Everyone seemed to be ordering multiple pies, so I got a vegetarian pie as an appetizer. Two of these would have been enough for a meal for me ๐Ÿ™‚ Made with a flaky crust filled with an assortment of vegetables, these are perfect for light eaters and any vegetable lover; you might even be able to convert a meat eater to vegetarian with one of these!

I have not bought Jerk Chicken from any place in decades since my favorite Jamaican place closed. Caribbean Gourmet’s version is not as hot, but very spicy in a good way for those who are afraid to burn their mouths. Again, I loved the cabbage, rice, and plantains, but I added hot sauce to this when I got home.

When I saw her menu, I immediately knew that I wanted to try her oxtail plate, and for $15 it was a bargain. Definitely enough for two meals for me! Tender fragrant oxtails, cabbage, rice, and plantains, complimented and completed this hearty serving. If you only order one thing here, get this!!!

They have coconut water to accompany your meal, and an assortment of other drinks like a tangy Tamarind if you want to taste something a bit more exotic.

They also have some sweet pies if you have room for dessert.

Since this was a farmers market, there were plenty of stands with fresh produce, so I bought some kale and radishes home ๐Ÿ™‚

Theย Crenshaw Farmers Marketย is every Saturday 10 am-3pm at the Baldwin Hills Mall near the Rave Movie theater; see you there ๐Ÿ™‚

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