LA ADVENTURES: A-FRAME

A-Frame

Highlights

Under the Roy Choi Empire.

Aloha. all day. (including brunch)

ALOHA style seating aka PARTY OF TWO? SIT WITH A LONELY GUY ON A 4-TOP.

HOW DO YOU EVEN MAKE IN-HOUSE SPAM? LIKE HOW DID YALL MAKE IT A THING?

Parking-friendly Westside LA.

filed under: Roy Choi running things, SPAM does amazing things

SPAMSANDWICH
Surfer’s Sandwich. House-made SPAM, Grilled Pineapple, Cabbage slaw, Sriarcha, Sweet Hawaiian Bread.

If there is one person who could and would kill it at serving Hawaiian grinds at a really good price point on the mainland, it would be Roy Choi. The other Roy has a reputation of serving the high-end version of what they do on the island. A-Frame has been around for a few years, but through Roy Choi’s personal twitter account he announced in the winter of 2014 he was going to re-work A-Frame’s menu.

The rumors out there had A-Frame’s new menu tasting closer to cuisine from Side Street Inn. On the island, Side Street Inn is one of the Hawaiian/local grinds that constantly serves great food with lines always out the door even at the newer location on Kappahulu.

Food memories engaged, GF and I were LA-bound for Sunday brunch service.

Weird happened when we arrived– they had not transitioned into the new menu. The hype that drove us there was for naught. So weren’t going to take a loss, we just went hard and ordered all the Aloha we could stomach.

Surfer’s Sandwich. What caught my eye was house-made SPAM. I love SPAM with all its salty-canned meat glory. Upon eating a bite into the sandwich like for real how do you make in-house SPAM?

LIKE FOR REAL HOW DO YOU MAKE IN-HOUSE SPAM?

The idea of making spam from scratch is insane, because you might as well use the canned product. Save yourself time Roy, but the SPAM matches the exact the flavor of SPAM and all its detractors. Canned meat, nitrates all day, salt salt salt. But the sandwich itself was everything I love about Hawaii presented in a sandwich. The grilled hawaiian sweet bread was a great touch as well.

LOCOMOCO
Loco Moco. Hamburger, Rice, Curry Gravy, Sunnyside egg, sriarcha.

LOCO MOCO. I’m always weary of any loco moco because it’s always mad heavy going down. The egg, gravy and hamburger patty is greasy. But my reservations always fade when I take a bite. The heartiness of this meal goes great first thing in the morning. The taste profile is different from what one might be used to from L&L and other Hawaiian spots. The curry gravy is a great difference here and I feel like it’s a good deviation from the norm.

FRIEDPOUNDCAKE
Fried poundcake with chocolate milk and ice cream.

This time around no aloha pancakes were ordered, because protein rules everything around me. It’s definitely on the radar for the next time up. And looking on their online menu it looks like the transition has been made into the new menu. R.I.P. Beer-can chicken.

If you can’t find aloha on the mainland, then that’s on you. Because you can order it at A-Frame. DRINKSFURIKAKE

Cheers to the Westside.

A-Frame
12565 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066

LAZY SUNDAYS: A WEEKLY BLOG ROUNDUP

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Here’s some stuff from the week of 3/23-3/29 that I didn’t write but I think is hella dope. Take your time to read ’em because it is Sunday fam.

  • As Americans Eat Healthier, Processed Foods Starting To Spoil. It was a good run boxed mac & cheese. But in reality, it’s going to take a while before we really flush processed food out of system. (NPR)
  • Breast Milk is Now Big Business. Breast milk…you make my dayyyyyayyyyy. (FirstWeFeast)
  • Was Your Seafood Caught By Slaves? AP Uncovers Unsavory Trade. In all seriousness, WTF is kind of shit is this? This is all kinds of fucked up. The journalist interview these guys while they were in a “cell”. (NPR)
  • Starbucks Won’t Try to Make You Talk About Race Today. TBH, there are some baristas out there who didn’t even want to participate in this. JUST SAYING. (Slate)
  • That Fish Cray. Word on the street is that this piece is up for a James Beard award for writing. (Lucky Peach)
  • ‘Fuck, That’s Delicious’ Presents: Cooking with Mr. Wonderful Featuring Mario Batali. TBH, never really cared for Action Bronson prior to his VICE series. Batali and Bronson seem like old pals shooting the shit in this episode. (MUNCHIES)
  • You’re been making French toast all wrong. It’s the basics. Stop pretending it’s supposed to be healthy and get real & stop messing with wonder bread and wheat. (TIME)
  • McDonald’s Launches Big Mac Lifestyle Collection. Yo it’s not a sub-culture. It’s a life. #cozyboyz #burgerboyz (Hypebeast)

New Orleans Food Adventures

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New Orleans is a great city to experience food and drink, watching people getting drunk publicly, and Mardi Gras. NOLA doesn’t play when it comes to Mardi Gras. Unbeknownst to me, Mardi Gras is a month-long celebration son #mindblown, so to recap that’s parades, beads, booze for straight four weekends. No matter how you cut it, it’s a really dope time to be down there.

Highlights & Tips:

Keep it movin. Mardi Gras is a fun time to go, but don’t get stuck in the French Quarter or Bourbon St. Treat the French Quarter like you would to Vegas Strip. There’s more out there.
Drinks to go. There’s no urgency to cop a frozen daiquiri aka Fat Tuesday. Shit is overrated, especially if you’ve been to Vegas. Instead, walk into any bar and ask for a drink to go…
Don’t sleep on the cocktail game here. Some of the best cocktails were born here. That being said: Sazerac.
Live music. Make it out to Preservation Hall. You won’t regret it, but if you can’t make it out Frenchmen St. has a plethora of bars with live music playing nightly.
Seafood. Definitely go with the Southern staples (shrimp, crawfish, catfish). You will not go wrong.

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Cafe du Monde (French Quarter)
#priorities. I can eat dessert and coffee before meals. Getting beignets from THE spot for beignets feels like coming home. The beignets here taste slightly airier than the SoCal counterparts at Downtown Disney’s Jazz Kitchen. You can chalk it up the difference in taste to atmospheric conditions (air, water, small batch vs large batch frying), but regardless they’re amazing here. When it comes to coffee– If you’re not drinking coffee with chicory in NOLA, then you will surely be disappointed. Chicory is in every cup of coffee here, except for Starbucks.IMG_6068.JPG

French Market (French Quarter)
It’s not the best, but it does its job of introducing Cajun cuisine. It feels like a truly local spot, despite being in the French Quarter. Pictured above is the fried catfish & fried oyster plate, but like I said– go with the Southern staples.

photo: Serious Eats

Willie Mae’s (Treme)
The fried chicken will not change your opinions on fried chicken. It will rearrange your fried chicken ranking because simply: it’s the best and it’s soul food done right. Know that their James Beard award is well deserved. Since it’s on EVERYONE’S radar, there’s a Disneyland-esque wait from start to finish. Personally, don’t try with other proteins. Share a basket of chicken with your people. Butter beans is a must side and don’t mess with the cornbread, okra, and green beans.

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801 Royal (French Quarter)
Honestly, I don’t really care about this place, but the seafood nachos and the fried green tomatoes are a point to kinda care of this place. Also the owner puts in work, so I have to acknowledge the hustle. This is the first time I’ve had fried green tomatoes this delicious. Other fried green tomatoes I’ve had were too oily and felt like the batter was falling apart. Might be saucy, but the crisp was done well.

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District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew (Garden District) 
Hipsters gotta kick it and setup somewhere right? Might be the only independent shop in NO that has cold brew on nitro…with that being said, it’s probably also the other place that doesn’t do NO-style coffee (read: Starbucks). I fux with the donuts, they’re airy and fluffy. I’m not talking Krispy Kreme, but like mom & pop small batch. They’re not beignets, but small batch cooking is smart and results in a really good donut.

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Cochon Butcher (CBD)
Made a trip twice here one for the Muffaletta and other for the King Cake. Muffaletta is a must cop, but it’s salty. They serve their sandwiches with a pickle, so the sweetness of the pickle offsets the saltiness of the sandwich. Folks keep talking up that muffaletta, so I will say it’s delicious here. Try it, but if I were to go back (again) I’m switching to a different sandwich.

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Commander’s Palace (Garden District)
It’s the only place on this list that had a dress code. BALL OUT, AM I RIGHT? I don’t know but with all the presentation and the execution of the food this place feels a bit magical. No matter how I chop it up say it, it’s really good food and because of the price tag the ingredients taste better here than the other shops in town.

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The lacquered quail is distinctive because of the tangy taste. I don’t try quail too often because of their availability on menus but biting into the legs of the quail feels like eating a moist mini-chicken wing. Their service matches the food and we even kicked it in the wine cellar for a bit.

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Surrey’s Uptown (Uptown)
SHRIMP & GRITS. If you were going to get shrimp & grits anywhere, it has to be at Surrey’s. Doesn’t matter if its downtown or if its Uptown, Surrey’s nails the flavor. It’s not elevated, it is direct and it goes for the heart and soul.

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Verti Mart. (French Quarter)

Fried Oyster Po’ Boy. By the time I bit into this sandwich, I was having stomach issues. So I can’t say that it was bomb. My girlfriend can attest to it, so I’ll take her word for it. I think the first bite was good… /shrug.

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filed under: Comeback season, more jazz, more cocktails, less douchebags, parades are serious.

Great Maple (Dinner Version)– AKA Not Brunch. #breakfasttown

Great Maple

Highlights

Sister restaurant to Hash House A Go Go & Tractor Room.

Right time, right place for dinner service.

Props to parking. *thumbs up emoji*

TBH, need to comeback to checkout breakfast & those Bacon Maple Donuts everyone hypes up.

filed under: searching Bacon Maple Donuts will result here

photo 3

Parmesean Portobello Fries with Pesto Aioli.

When you browse through Yelp for brunch I’m confident this pops up in your top 10. When you narrow the search into Hillcrest, this will stack up with those other juggernauts of brunch (Snooze & Hash House A Go Go) simply for the bacon maple donuts. You’ve probably seen it on your feed (#greatmaple). But on a true restaurant level, you have to appreciate that Great Maple is a sister restaurant to Hash House and Tractor Room. I love the chicken & waffles at Hash House and the Buffalo fries at Tractor Room, so it’s really easy to buy into the concept of Great Maple.

TL;DR? YO, WE DIDN’T TRY BACON MAPLE DONUTS CUZ I’M NOT A FAN OF BACON ON DONUTS. BUT THIS PLACE IS DELICIOUS.

It’s easy to see Great Maple on Washington Street coming as it’s signage hangs high above the restaurant like a Denny’s sign, but it’s definitely not. Walking in gives this almost European lodge vibe? I mean the U-T said it, so it’s legit right? Already Great Maple steps outside of its shadows of its sister restaurants with the decor colors and offers its own unique willkommen.

The Parmesan Portobello fries pictured above had that right crisp and spice to it to rival Bottega Louie‘s portobello fries. But when it comes to the main course, if I wasn’t going to fuck with any bacon I’m gonna mess with pork. The pork came out on some roasted potatoes with and semi-sweet glaze which all went easy with a Saint Archer Blonde.

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Grilled Pork Chop

The pork chop was really good, but not memorable. Whisknladle is still on my top-tier pork chop list, but I reluctantly want to try the bacon maple donuts– only for research purposes.

Their pie selection catches my attention more than donuts I could cop at Donut Bar or some obscure donut shop off the block. The sandwiches and seafood stand out for the next go around, but maybe not a dinner service again. I guess there is a reason why the feed blows up every Sunday with #nofilter pictures of bacon maple donuts. The foods good here, and there’s nothing wrong here. SD just knows about #breakfasttown.

Great Maple
1451 Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 255-2282