Chi Spacca (Los Angeles, CA) [3]

Chi Spacca
6610 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Dining date: 6/6/15

exterior

I was at Chi Spacca just a couple of months prior but returned to introduce the restaurant to some others that had heard great things. It’s a perfect spot for a carnivorous group such as us. Given the format of the menu (primarily large portions of meat), big parties do best here. Luckily, we had a party of seven which allowed us a chance to try a bunch of items.

interior

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Lüke (New Orleans, LA)

Lüke
333 St. Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130
Dining date: 6/9/15

exterior

Luke was our first dinner in New Orleans. It’s a John Besh restaurant, one of the most notable chefs in the city with over half a dozen restaurants in town. We had a larger group this evening, so Luke’s proximity to the convention center, casual feel and Louisiana take on a French brasserie fit the bill.

kitchen view

seafood

The menu showcases a raw bar (lobster, oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels, crab), charcuterie, and an assortment of southern and French favorites. We began with an order of local oysters.

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Cochon (New Orleans, LA)

Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, LA 70130
Dining date: 6/11/15

exterior

Cochon was one of the most oft-mentioned restaurants when I fielded New Orleans restaurant recommendations. Both locals and visitors alike have taken a liking to chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski’s ode to the pig. True to the restaurant’s name the menu is pork-heavy, but plenty of other proteins like the region’s local seafood make it on to the menu as well. Almost everything is crafted in-house here, particularly the cured pork products.

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Commander’s Palace (New Orleans, LA)

Commander’s Palace
1403 Washington Ave
New Orleans, LA 70130
Dining date: 6/11/15

exterior

Commander’s Palace might be the most famous restaurant in New Orleans. It’s been a fine dining staple in the the city’s Garden District since the late 1800’s. It’s helped launch the careers of some of the city’s most notable chefs including Paul Prudhomme (executive chef from 1975-82) and Emeril Lagasse (executive chef 1983-1990). It’s still very much current with chef Tory McPhail at the helm, who has continued to garner accolades including being awarded the James Beard Best Chef South in 2013.

interior1

interior2

While navigating a crowded dining itinerary, we chose Commander’s Palace for lunch. The restaurant offers some very approachable ways to lunch here including prix fixe menus of two-courses (up to $24) and three-courses (up to $35). A la carte is also available with main courses in the low-$20s. We ordered 1 three-course menu and 1 two-course.

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Redd Wood (Yountville, CA)

Redd Wood
6755 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
Dining date: 5/24/15

redd wood

Yountville might as well be called Kellerville from a food perspective since Thomas Keller’s restaurants here clearly dominate the national headlines (and for good reason). However, Yountville is home to many other recognized chefs and restaurants including this one.

Redd Wood opened in 2012, the second restaurant by chef Richard Reddington. Reddington consistently garnered Michelin stars for upscale sister restaurant Redd down the street, but this more approachable Italian spot has been just as popular if not moreso.

Redd Wood was the choice for a lunch in between morning and afternoon wine tastings in Napa Valley. We ordered a few items across the menu for a sampling – some salumi, one appetizer, one pizza and one pasta.

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Addendum (Yountville, CA)

Addendum
6476 Washington St
Yountville, CA 94599
Dining date: 5/25/15

addendum

Addendum opened in 2011 behind Ad Hoc serving picnic favorites on Thursdays through Saturdays for lunch (Spring/Summer only). It’s easily the most approachable way to try some of Thomas Keller’s food in Yountville since it doesn’t require making a reservation and is very family-friendly. Food is ordered from a little shack in the back and eaten throughout picnic benches or even on the lush grassy areas.

Ad Hoc’s most famous dish has to be its herb-brined fried chicken served every other Monday night. But here at Addendum, the chicken is always on the lunch menu (along with BBQ pork ribs or pulled pork and a couple of rotating side dishes).

addendum3

I’ve had the fried chicken at Ad Hoc before (and again at Bouchon Beverly Hills, even cooking it once at home), but it’s been a while since I’ve had it. Following our dinner at The French Laundry, we came here for a quick meal before leaving town. We picked up a bucket of fried chicken and an order of pork ribs to eat on the picnic tables. It was a beautiful day to be outside with a bucket of fried chicken.

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