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I love great BBQ and I have found many places which have made my taste buds smile with the smoke, tenderness, and flavor of their meats. When I saw that Flatpoint Barbeque pops up in Santa Monica at Surf Liquor every Saturday, I made a mental note to try them. They set up in the parking lot at 11am and as they say, they close when they sell out. I hoped for a taste of their beef rib, but since I couldn’t get to them until they were packing up to leave around 4pm, I was left with the Prime brisket, Pork spare ribs, and pulled pork 3 meat combo and the last order they had of their baked beans for $30. It was a monster platter so rather than try to tackle it in the parking lot, I ordered it to go and got a Flatpoint Special sandwich for $17 to eat in the car before driving home.

I took one container of all three sauces and made a half and half container of the regular and spicy to take home with my platter. I loved all three types, with no clear favorite since they all had a nice balance of savory, tart, and spice.

The 3 meat platter was enormous! I especially love the pickled onions and pickles which help cut through the rich meat. Of the platter, I think my favorite was the pork ribs which were nice and tender and had a nice peppery crust. The pulled pork was great heated through the next day with some of the combination sauce I had concocted. I found the brisket a bit dry, but it was great with any and all of the sauces.

The baked beans were chock full of MEAT! So much so that it was easily a meal of pulled pork with a few beans, and would have made a great addition to nachos or tacos. I didn’t like the sweetness of it, but I know many people would love that it was sweet not just savory and smoky.

The flatpoint sandwich for $17 was a hearty meal in and of itself, so that I barely touched the platter after eating it. The combination of pickles, garlic aioli, BBQ sauce and crispy shallots made this a monster brisket sandwich! The brioche bun was firm enough to hold everything, so it was a bit dense and thick, but better to have a firm hold on all that meat. And yes I ate the whole thing 🙂

I never went to the Dominique Ansel NYC location, so I was thrilled when they opened at the Grove, saving me a 5 hour plane ride 🙂 The presentation of pastries is gorgeous, but you must get here early if you want one of the Cronuts that he made famous.

 

 

 

Since I never get out early, I settled for his other famous pastry the DKA, or  Kouign Amann for $5.75, a savory sweet viennoiserie made with salted butter.

The flaky layers and caramelized crunchy crust are addictive enough to make you want another pastry or viennoiserie, but I had the willpower to resist!

 I will post again when I finally wake up early enough to get the Cronut 🙂

 

 

 

There is good pizza in Los Angeles, but there is also hyped pizza which may not necessarily be great. Fortunately, there are times when both the hype and the food deserve praise. I have never eaten at Roberta’s in NYC, so when they opened in Culver City, I looked forward to finally getting a taste of NYC pizza in Los Angeles. Even though we went for pizza, we decided to try the pasta as well since they had one on special that night. Honestly I can’t say it was memorable enough to write about since the flavor was more about the mountain of parmiggiano than the duck ragu. At $18 for a small plate, it was enough for a meal for a small eater, or a serving to share as a side dish.

The original pizza is $18 and again could feed one person, or if you order something else, you could split it, but it is too thin and small to really be your only order for 2 people. Nice chewy crust, but burnt and with an unexciting sauce. There were condiments on the table, but for the price there should have been no need for do it yourself seasoning. Service was professional, and the atmosphere is great on the patio, but the interior noise level was so high with the sound bouncing off all the hard surfaces, that my dinner companion and I had to shout to hear what the other person wanted to order. We ended up speaking to the server individually because even she had trouble hearing our order!

Pizzana was so booked on a week-end night that I gave up trying to go to stand and wait for 1 or 2 hours, so one week day evening while driving past, I took a chance and asked at the valet how long the wait was before handing over the car keys. It turned out that 7pm on a Tuesday night is a great time to go, with barely a 10 minute wait for a patio table. The $16 chop salad was full of flavor, Italian salami, and provolone. It was a very hearty savory salad, with chickpeas, avocado, and olives that could easily be a meal for one or is perfect to share with a pizza.

The classic margherita for $19 was worth every penny for their use of authentic quality ingredients like fio di latte and san marzano dop polpa. The crust was magnificently crisp, with nice chew, and served on a metal tray with holes to allow the hot steam to escape rather than make the crust soggy. The flavors were clean and needed no additions to perk up the pizza. It was large enough for 2 to share and if you had a monster appetite, you would be very full if you could finish it.

Nothing in Los Angeles compares to Pizzarium in Rome, but that is why we travel 😉

Having eaten Filipino food at the homes of Filipino friends, I was wary of finding the same great flavors at any restaurant. Good thing that in Los Angeles, there are enough Filipino’s who eat out to warrant several places serving when you have a craving but don’t have an invitation to a friend’s house;)

Sari Sari Store in the Grand Central Market not only serves food, but groceries for those who want to bring some Filipino flavors home.

Their lechon kawali for $15 with pickled onions and a fried egg may be one of the best bowls I’ve eaten outside of a Filipino home. I should have ordered two, but now I have a reason to go back for more like the chicken and rice arroz caldo, or the BBQ ribs. They also offer a vegetable bowl (because this is Los Angeles and not everyone eats meat), traditional sweets and a happy hour menu, so choices abound whether you are new to Filipino cuisine or you just miss your Auntie’s cooking.

If you live in the South Bay, Silog in Torrance is the place to go. It’s a bit hard to find in a strip mall, but they do have a neon sign now with their name over the door. The prices are incredibly reasonable for the quality and quantity of food, so it’s well worth the hunt. Lunch is around $10 and includes a nice spinach salad with fresh mango and tomato.

The tapa, or ribeye marinated in lime and garlic over garlic rice, is served with a perfectly done runny egg that you break over the top.

Add a few spoons of vinegar (they usually serve vinegar with the dish, but ask for it if they don’t) and mash up the whole thing before you take a bite. It’s the perfect blend of rich, tangy, garlicky, meaty goodness.

Having had two dishes at two different places that feed my cravings, time to go back and try more at the same places and seek out some new ones. Anyone have any suggestions close to Santa Monica?

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