This is one of my new favorite restaurants! I just had to put that at the beginning because a lot of the LA "foodies" will skip over restaurants that aren't centrally located in Beverly Hills or W. Hollywood. Wake up people! It's time you ventured away from your usual spots and give something else a shot.
This little cafe is hidden inside of a gym in the small foothill town of Arcadia. When you enter the gym you're asked to sign in and head up stairs. Cafe Maji is tucked in the corner of a larger ballet or dance room of some kind. Despite it's location, the cafe is filled with Asian inspired pop culture stuff (Manga comics, vinyl toys, etc.). They even drew cartoon houses on the windows that line up perfectly with the bare, undeveloped foothills in the distance.
The menu is pretty simple here. You have your pick of coffee drinks, dessert waffles, pastries, and some sandwiches. Even though this was my lunch break I went with one of their amazingly sugary dessert waffles. I got the caramel and banana waffle (with whipped cream and almonds). When i saw this baby come out of the kitchen I couldn't believe how beautiful it looked. There's something about a dish of food having a great presentation that can't do anything but make you smile. I didn't want to eat it because of how nice it looked! Seriously, just look at this place's photos!
A lot of restaurants that serve waffles just have it bare with syrup and butter on the side. You might get a whipped cream tower, but that's about it. The girls at Cafe Maji know how to make it right!
Even though the waffles were among the best I've had, the thing that drew me in was their coffee. While aimlessly browsing Yelp trying to find my next lunch spot I came across Cafe Maji. Each drink that is served here comes with a mini cream-filled pound cake on the side! It's a small puff ball complete with its own little spoon to hold it. I'm always on the lookout for the best local cafe, and this one even blows most LA cafes out of the water!
And by the way, this place is pure Instagram gold!
I've wanted to eat at CUT since before I moved to LA. I'm not really a steak eater, but here I was definitely willing to become a carnivore for the night. My family that lives in LA was throwing a celebratory dinner for my sister who's leaving for the peace corps in two months. What a better place to choose than CUT!
We showed up around 6:30pm on a Saturday night. The place already had a good amount of people seated and there was a constant flow of customers throughout the night. We were given a round booth with a great view into the kitchen. Our amazing server introduced himself and told us all a brief summary of the restaurant. He even came by our table with a huge plate of meat to show us what each cut looks like and how big they are.
I looked over the menu and the first thing I saw was the bone marrow flan. That was the one dish I've heard is a must try here. Like I said, I'm not a steak eater. I probably haven't had a steak in over three years. But at CUT I decided I should get a steak. Most of their steaks are around 10 ounces but anything around there is way too much for me. I decided to go with the U.S.D.A. Prime, Illinois corn-fed (aged 21 days) 8 oz. petit cut filet mingon. I've also heard the house-made steak sauce was a must have.
After several skinny bread sticks and outstanding pretzel breads our first courses arrived. My bone marrow flan (with mushroom marmalade, and parsley salad) came inside two thick bone segments with a small salad arranged on top. To anyone that isn't used to exotic (weird) foods, this might be kinda gross. And I'm not going to lie, I even gave it a confused look at first. But after the first tiny spoonful I instantly fell in love. It was probably one of the best dishes I've ever tasted at a restaurant (right up there with the Bazaar's Philly cheese steak). Even the small slices of bread were toasted to perfection. When the marrow flan and mushroom marmalade were spread over the bread it only heightened the wonderful taste.
To stay on my things-with-parents streak, my filet mingon came soon after finishing my bone marrow. Even my petit filet came super thick on a large plate. I ordered it medium rare as to save some of the flavor without hearing the heartbeat. I cut it open and could tell instantly that it was cooked to perfection. My first bite I didn't have any steak sauce so I could taste the real flavor of the meat first. It was very soft and almost melted in my mouth. The subtle peppering was great too. As if the steak weren't perfect enough, when dipped in the steak sauce it made it unbelievable. After my first bite with the sauce I even declared to start eating steak more! Although I'm sure it won't happen.
The meat from my entree was so rich I could only finish half of it. But because this dinner was a celebration, we still decided to order dessert. To split, we got the creme brule baby banana cream pie (with roasted banana ice cream) and the dark chocolate souffle (with whipped creme Fraiche, Gianduia ice cream). The souffle came in the pan with the chocolate sauce, creme, and sauce on the side. The souffle was light as air and still steaming hot when it arrived. It was probably one of the richest desserts I've tasted. I even had to limit myself to just a couple bites. I didn't want to suffer too much my next time at Runyon! The banana cream pie was breathtaking. it was stuffed with whipped cream and sauce with tiny malt balls sprinkled on top. The banana ice cream was the part that really screamed out. I definitely recommend it to everyone!
Our server was so nice, he even wrote "Good Luck" on the dessert for my sister leaving for Africa in a couple months. After talking to him for a while he came back with complimentary macaroons and chocolate pieces. We were all so stuffed we boxed them up to go. They were amazing with my coffee the next morning!
My five star reviews are rare. But every once in a while a restaurant comes along that treats you so well and leaves you so happy that you dream about it that night. CUT was perfect on every level of our meal and the service is right up there with Spago! The Michelin star is greatly deserved as well!
I've wanted to eat at Villa Blanca for a while now. I ate at their sister restaurant SUR a while back and left extremely disappointed so I felt I needed to give the owners one more chance. Oh, and I guess the owner is one of the Beverly Hills Housewives. Whooptee do. They're just more non-talented snobs trying to be famous. Nevertheless, I love food and I was willing to put her... "fame" aside.
One of my friends wanted to go somewhere fun so she could wear a new dress she got. She also had a friend visiting from out of town so I figured this place was a sure bet. It's smack-dab in the middle of the shopping district in Beverly Hills, it's affordable, and it's a bit on the upscale side of dining.
The three of us arrived in our swag around 8pm on Monday night. The place was about halfway full and pretty loud (as compared to Beverly Hills standards). The interior is full of flowers, pillows, and lots of white stuff. Some of the pillows even had the Villa Blanca logo embroidered on them. Cheesy? Classy? Hmm... you can be the judge.
I didn't eat anything all day just because I knew I was coming here at night. I figured a pasta and dessert would fill me up. To start I got the farfalle carbonara (with prosciutto, peas, cream sauce, and chicken). Most fine dining places give smaller portions of pasta but make the sauce a lot heavier. Villa Blanca however gave me a huuuge portion of pasta and the sauce was still heavy! The bow tie pasta was cooked just right and the strips of chicken made it even more filling.
After this humongous bowl of pasta I was way too full to get a dessert. The girls got a dessert to share though and I did try a tiny bit. It was some sort of lemon flan I think. I don't remember what it was called, but it was really good.
I've heard that Villa Blanca is best for brunch on the weekends or lunch during the week. Beverly Hills doesn't have that much of a night life. Well, Beverly Hills has no night life. Most stores close around 6 or 7pm and the restaurants are pretty low key. Take it from me, go to Beverly Hills for the food, go to W. Hollywood for the fun.
I usually hate driving into Beverly Hills. There's always traffic, tourists that don't know how to drive, town car drivers that need to get Miss Daisy to her studio gig riiiiiiiiight now, and never-ending construction. All this adds up to me being a sad panda. However, I love putting up with all of this if it means I can get my hands on a couple crack-filled Sprinkles Cupcakes. I actually have their card that lists the days and flavors in the glove box of my car. I do this just in case I'm in the area, I can stop in and treat myself with a treat!
The parking on Little Santa Monica is nothing less than a joke. Well, I guess all the parking in Beverly Hills sucks, but it seems like LSM is just a thousand times worse. Thankfully, the neighborhoods offer two hour meter-less parking. Just a short half-block walk is also totally worth it in exchange for these babies.
With confidence, I can say that I have tried every single flavor that Sprinkles offers on their little card thing. Obviously, they're always adding secret flavors, holiday exclusive cupcakes, and other stuff like that, so I haven't tried ALL of them. But their normal menu has been conquered by me several times. My all-time favorite, my numero uno, my precious is the chai latte cupcake. Oh. My. God. Too bad it's only available on Fridays.
It's funny how Beverly Hills has an on-going competition between cupcake bakeries. It's almost like New York and their bagels. Although Sprinkles isn't the best cupcake I've had in my life, it is by far the best I've had in Beverly Hills. I huuugely recommend them!
Diddy Riese is one of the best kept secrets in LA. But when I use the word "secrets" I use it loosely because this place is always busy. However it's not a huge tourist stop (thank god!). Being right next to UCLA most of the patrons here are students that have walked down from their student housing just up the hill. That being the case the people watching is always fun, especially looking at all the exhausted college students in jammies complete with huge bags under their eyes. Welcome to college life, kids!
My sandwich of choice is the chocolate chip cookies with cookie dough ice cream. Heaven! Not only are these amazing sandwiches huge, they're surprisingly cheap as compared to LA... no... WEST LA standards ($1.50 with no tax!).
The only problem with this place is the hours. They close at midnight. Sure, it might seem late to some people, but to most (well... to me at least) it's way too early. College students don't sleep, so these tasty devils should be available until at least 2 or 3am for anyone, near or far, that needs a sugar pick-me-up!
TIP: CA$H ONLY!
Palermo is a great restaurant for a quick, inexpensive, tasty meal (and by "meal" I mean pizza because that's all I've ever ordered here). I live a couple blocks from here so I also walk over from time to time just to order a pizza to go. Yes, I love their pizzas that much!
The pizzas here are pretty thick and piled high with cheese and whatever toppings float your boat. Needless to say, I eat a lot. Like, A LOT. But I've never been able to finish half of a Palermo pizza. Now don't get me wrong, these pizzas are NOT straight out of Chicago. They're not humungous, nor are they 50 inches wide. However, there's something about them that almost makes it impossible to be finished. What's the best part about not finishing a pizza? Ok, all together now with some tune in your voices... cold breakfast pizza! Amazing.
|A list of eateries and coffee shops previously visited by Jerry Seinfeld and his comedian guests!||
I'm constantly exploring every nook and cranny of the LA area and, of course, I always need coffee. Once a week I go to a different cafe that I've never been to before. To keep it fair, I order the same drink (large, double mocha) at each place. Like my visits to these cafes, I'll keep my reviews brief. If you're a caffeine addict like me in search of your next cup of joe, look no further. And trust me, you won't be seeing any Starbucks reviews from me!
The challenge begins!
|Keep your eyes open, you're bound to see some celebs at these places.||These are some of LA's most known/famous eateries. Whether they're the greatest restaurant or not, they all should be tried at least once!|
|These are my absolute favorite LA haunts. You're guaranteed to have a great meal!||I'm a Cali kid born and raised. I love venturing out of LA and exploring this beautiful state and eating as much as I can along the way!|
|One of the few things I love more than food -- traveling!||I'm just now starting to explore the San Gabriel Valley... one lunch break at a time.|
|LA residents love their weekend breakfast spots!||Tucked away, off the beaten path, secretive, and unknown. These are the truly hidden gems that don't disappoint!|
"No empty calories!"
Los Angeles, CA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
August 2010Dinge, die ich mag
Fine dining, late nights.Hier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
Los Feliz, Los AngelesHeimatort
San Jose, CAWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
...I'm eating!Warum du meine Beiträge unbedingt lesen solltest
Location Scout exploring every corner of the city!Meine zweitliebste Website Mein erstes Konzerterlebnis
Metallica in San Francisco.Mein Lieblingsfilm
Sunset Boulevard.Meine Henkersmahlzeit
French toast, salmon, chile verde burrito, and a big-ass plate of nachos.Erzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
I collect matches from restaurants and hotels.
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