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My search for a favorite Indian food place has finally yielded two contenders:) Agra Indian Kitchen and Mayura Indian Restaurant. I like to compare the same dishes to compare, just like a wine tasting of the same varietal. I ordered from both for delivery of the same distance through GrubHub.

The mixed tandoori grill from Agra includes chicken, chicken tikka, lamb tikka and sheek kabob for $16.95. A very generous portion that was easily enough for 2 or even three people. The flavors were good and the tandoori chicken was tender, albeit a bit dry.

The dal turka for $11.50 was delightful, redolent of the aromas and flavors which evoke an exotic destination half a world away from L.A. The order came with rice but I ordered garlic naan for $3.50 that was still warm and fragrant when it arrived.

 

Mayura is on Jonathan Gold’s list of favorite places, so it’s got quite a following after receiving the beloved Los Angeles writer’s blessing. The bright green chutney was a mix of mint, coriander, ginger and garlic that was a refreshing accompaniment to both the mixed tandoori grill for $16.95 and the vegetable samosas for $3.95.

I ordered a side of raita for $2.50 of onions, cucumbers and carrots in yogurt, just as as insurance in case any of the other condiments were too spicy (they weren’t).

The dal masala for $10.95 came with basmati rice and was delicious on the garlic naan for $2.95 as a savory spread.

The mixed tandoor grill consisted of tandoor chicken with bone in, boneless tikka, and lamb kabobs over a bed of sliced raw onions. Everything was moist, flavorful, and enough to easily feed two or three!

I only reheated HALF of the order for dinner for two and we could barely finish our food! That is the vegetable samosa in the upper left corner fo the picture (mostly potato), which was in and of itself enough to be a small meal for a light appetite!

I am so very happy to have found two places that serve very good Indian food, but that both DELIVER so that I don’t have to fight late afternoon traffic in Los Angeles to eat well!

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I am always concerned about quality ingredients and flavor, so whether it is animal or vegetable based, my omnivore eating leads me to places that serve my taste buds and can accommodate my vegetarian friends. The Impossible Burger™ is available in many places, but my favorite place to get one is Mendocino Farms. One bite of the Impossible Burger Queen for $12.45 will convince many beef lovers to opt for this alternative burger at least once in awhile, or whenever it is offered.

Mendocino Farms is known for their sandwiches, and their tuna “almost” melt for $10.55 is thankfully mayonnaise free (vegan aioli is used), and the tuna they use is sustainable pole & line caught. The buckwheat bread is a hearty holder for the greens, cheddar, pickles, onions, and tomatoes. I could only eat half at a sitting, so I got it to go and reheated the other half in a toaster oven.

 

Their salad niçoise for $12.95 including tuna is a bit pricey, but they do use high quality ingredients and every component, from the purple Peruvian potatoes to the sustainable line and pole caught yellowfin tuna, combines to create a good version of this classic salad.

Le Pain Quotidien is one of my go to places all over the world for everything from their viennoiseries to their salads and soups. I stopped in one day before a show to eat much better food than was offered at the venue. The daily special of turkey club with a caesar salad was my friend’s choice; a good introduction to their quality ingredients in a comfortable familiar form for about $14.

 

I chose the warm quinoa bowl also for around $14, that was so filling and light that I felt completely satiated but not overly saturated after eating the entire bowl. I did not like the dressing served with it so our server brought me a classic vinaigrette that was a perfectly tart counterpoint to the hearty grains.

There are multiple locations of both Mendocino Farms & Le Pain Quotidien throughout the Los Angeles area, and they both offer online ordering, so you’ve got an easy way to eat your greens and grains!

In a previous post I had mentioned that Proof Bakery is the home of my favorite croissants in Los Angeles. I was willing to wake up at the ungodly hour of 9 AM on Saturday morning to make the 25 mile trek to Atwater Village for their ethereal layers of perfection. I badly needed two cappuccinos upon arrival which they thoughtfully served in to go cups 🙂

It is IMPERATIVE that you get there by 10 AM if you want to ensure that you get a croissant. As a reward for the loss of my beauty sleep, I got FOUR!

Wanting something a bit more substantial, I got a ham and gruyère croissant to eat there as I waited for the caffeine to get into my system; I would have been a danger on the road if I had neither coffee nor food in my system for the drive home.

I love the flakey buttery layers of all their viennoiseries and the ham and Gruyère was no exception.

Still hungry, and seeing the fresh out of the oven onion tart being put into the case, I had to get a slice of the tender crusted cheesy tart that was a savory testament to why you should eat pie for breakfast!

I must admit that I have not always made it there early enough to get croissants, but this veggie galette was a marvelous substitute with a fabulous carrot and potato filling on a superbly crumbly crust. I also picked up their lemon poppyseed scone but demolished it before taking a picture because sometimes hunger supersedes snapshots!

Ever since my friend Georgia introduced me to Boston Lobster, we have made it a tradition to go for her birthday 🙂 This year we included one other friend, so of course we ate more than we usually do! The house special lobster comes in three sizes and we always get the small (4-5 lb) which was plenty for the three of us to share.

As a vegetable, we ordered the small pea shoots with garlic, which was on the happy hour menu for only $6.

 A small side of clams with black bean sauce was also on the happy hour menu.

After devouring all of the dishes, we still had room for the fried sole, a perfectly crispy flash fried tender fish, and nearly demolished it aside from a few bites.

The total came to about $50 per person including wine, tax, and tip, so it was a bargain for a feast with friends!

I love places that offer Happy Hour Specials everyday, especially ones that last 3 hours everyday! Happy Hour at The Six is from 3-6pm everyday, and their selections range from hearty to healthy with your choice of drinks ranging from $5-8 for both drinks and bites.

The roasted beets come in two colors, served on arugula with fennel, goat cheese, and hazelnuts in a balsamic vinaigrette. This salad is big enough to share or as a full meal for anyone who loves beets.

The garden salad repeats some of the same ingredients like the goat cheese and fennel, but then adds roasted pine nuts, carrots, radishes, and comes with a Dijon vinaigrette.

Their buffalo cauliflower is surprisingly spicy, with a thick fried coating that made the vegetable appetizer a very hearty choice. You will definitely be needing the ranch dressing to cool down your mouth if you are not a hot spice veteran.

My favorite happy hour bites are the turkey sloppy Joe sliders which come with a fried pickle and are served on mini brioche buns. The portobello mushroom and bell pepper mixed in with the ground turkey add a nice lightness to the sloppy Joe, yet it is definitely comfort food that will satiate a hunger without weighing you down.

Always nice to have an option when traffic at the intersection of the 405 and 10 Freeways becomes a parking lot in the afternoon; better to be sitting at The Six than sitting in your car for 3 hours!

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