Bandera is part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group, known for restaurants such as Houston’s and Gulfstream, and having a no-corkage-fee policy. I had been here before, but was summoned back to celebrate a friend’s new job. The restaurant always seems to have a lot people waiting outside – the comfortable American food is one of the main draws.
One of my friends is a regular at Mako, and he recommended giving their omakase a try. Located in the same Weller Court plaza as the infamous Orochon, its third-floor location doesn’t get a whole lot of foot traffic. Thus, I am calling this a hidden gem. We went with the $70 omakase, the higher of the two levels ($45 and $70) offered.
There’s a new pop-up restaurant at Third Street’s Breadbar. For six weeks, Yatai Ramen is serving up modern “twists” of ramen, one even including foie gras. Being a big ramen fan, these variations were definitely worth a try.
Umami Burger is currently one of the more popular burger chains in LA – founded in 2009, its success has allowed it to quickly expand to four locations already in the LA area (and one more coming to the SF Valley later this year). Being a fan of a well-made burger, and hey – with a name like Umami Burger – naturally, it was only a matter of time until I paid a visit.
Tonight was Grace’s last night of service in their current location, before moving to a larger space downtown. I was invited by Kevin of kevinEats for their last night, and joined Austin of Living to Eat, Mike of Right Way To Eat, and my friend Diana. Having been established for a number of years, Grace has become a staple in LA’s fine dining scene, winning numerous accolades this year. Chef Neal Fraser was even a challenger on the second season of Iron Chef America (defeating Cat Cora in Battle Pork). My previous three trips to the restaurant, however, have been ‘just okay.’ This last meal would be the best of them all.
Petrossian has been a hot restaurant around town since chef Benjamin Bailly took over the helm of the kitchen. Best known as purveyors of caviar, Bailly has elevated the restaurant to become a dining destination as well. The restaurant has been very popular in the food blogging world, but outside of that, I don’t think it has really caught on. As of the date of this writing, its Yelp review has a measly 60 reviews – an indicator that people simply aren’t paying a visit (though when they do, it’s favorable, given the 4-star review).
While I had been to Providence only a month earlier, the restaurant’s anniversary promotion brought me and some friends in. During the month of June, the restaurant is offering their 5-course menu for $65 to celebrate their anniversary.
For anyone that is a semi-regular reader, most of my home cooked meals have been braises. They’re just really satisfying dishes that do take some time, but yield some really delicious, tender meat and creates a good sauce at the same time. Plus, they’re usually pretty inexpensive to make, as ‘cheap’ cuts are typically the cuts of meat that are braised.