Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Eat in Berkeley: Stateside Bakery

Cake Batter Macaron with birthday cake buttercream filling

Housemade Nutella Pop Tarts

Chocolate Dipped Moon Pie filled with molasses marshmallow fluff

I visited Stateside Bakery a few weeks ago and I can confirm that I'm in love. This new bakery on Telegraph at Ashby is the first brick-and-mortar store for Kate McEachern of Cupkates Bakery, a mobile cupcake truck whose red velvet cupcakes I enjoyed in college. Stateside makes a variety of desserts that will make anyone nostalgic for their childhood.

I tried three treats when I stopped by: the Cake Batter Macaron, the Nutella Pop Tart, and the Moon Pie. Although I'm not really a fan of macarons, theirs is the first macaron I know for sure that I like. The meringue shells were delicate, as expected, the buttercream filling was incredible, and the cake batter flavor was delicious overall. The Nutella Pop Tart was also very good. The highlight was the flaky, buttery crust. It's everything a store-bought Pop Tart should be, but isn't. The Moon Pie had a sweet, sticky marshmallow filling surrounded by two graham cracker shortbread cookies, and was dipped in dark chocolate. Like the others, it was way better than the traditional version.

I would definitely try each of these desserts again. The next time I visit, I'll have to order the Peanut Butter Nutter Cookies or an Ore-Oh. Honestly, it'll be hard for me not to leave without trying their entire inventory.

Stateside Bakery
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3001 Telegraph Ave., Suite E, Berkeley, CA 94705
Open: Wednesday - Saturday 11 - 6, Sunday 11 - 4

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Eat in LA: Sqirl

Burnt Brioche Toast with house ricotta and seasonal jam

Open Face Brioche Toast with kale, tomatillo puree, lacto fermented hot sauce, and a fried egg, with a side of Olli’s prosciutto

Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl with Kokohu Rose brown rice, sorrel pesto, preserved Meyer lemon, lacto fermented hot sauce, black radish, French sheep feta, and a poached egg, with a side of housemade sausage

Last weekend, I had brunch at Sqirl with my pal Jing, longtime friend and local brunch fiend. Founded on layers and layers of burnt brioche toast and coffee, this East Hollywood eatery serves a mean brunch at pretty good prices on Virgil near Melrose.

Although we waited in line to order at the counter for about twenty minutes, we were served at our table not long after. I had the Open Face Brioche Toast with kale, tomatillo puree, lacto fermented hot sauce, and a fried egg, along with a side of prosciutto. I've never had brioche before (foodie fail) and I now I know what all the hype is about. The brioche was sweet, yet not overtly so, making it perfect for this savory dish. All of the flavors from the other ingredients complemented each other perfectly. They also gave me the largest heap of prosciutto I've ever seen.

I also tried a bit of Jing's dishes. The Burnt Brioche Toast is a staple for Sqirl customers. It starts with a thick piece of brioche, toasted perfectly, smothered in a layer of house ricotta, and then topped with their own seasonal jam. This combination of flavors was new, dynamic, and wonderful. It might be a bit heavy for one person, making it great to split with a friend. The Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl was also very good. It was a lighter comfort food that leaves you with a clean palatte. I would highly recommend ordering the sausage on the side, which was tasty in its own right.

I would revisit Sqirl in a heartbeat. Next time, I might order a coffee to accompany my meal and any of their other brunch options I'm pretty sure I'll love.

Website | FacebookInstagram | Twitter | Yelp
720 N. Virgil Ave. #4, Los Angeles CA 90029
Open: Monday - Friday 6:30 - 4, Saturday - Sunday 8 - 4

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Eat in LA: Go Get Em Tiger


I heard about Go Get Em Tiger from a friend of mine who's pretty familiar with the hipster coffee scene in the East Bay and Los Angeles months ago. Located on Larchmont near Beverly, this coffee shop is unique to say the least. If there were an explicit formula to reproduce GGET, it would be one part coffee shop, one part club, one part hipster, and all parts ~LA~.

When I entered, I noticed there was no explicit place to order. I asked one of the employees who said that you order anywhere at the bar, just like at an actual bar. I ordered my usual cappuccino, which was quite good. They have a variety of roasts to choose from, including Ritual Coffee Roasters from San Francisco, Heart Coffee Roasters from Portland, Forty Ninth Parallel from Vancouver, and Mountain Air Roasting from Asheville, NC. The cappuccino was everything I wanted and then some. They were also playing pretty loud music that, at least when I visited, sounded like I was in the rain forest.

While I've never experienced coffee in this setting before, I will definitely return. They serve a few brunch items like waffles with ricotta and berries as well as various kinds of toast and egg dishes. My name is all over this place.

Go Get Em Tiger
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230 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004
Open: Daily 7am - 6pm

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Work It, LA: Hazel

Hazel is wearing a Zara cape and blouse, H&M skirt and hat, and Dr. Martens shoes.

Spotted on Larchmont near 1st.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Eat in Oakland: Noodle Theory

Grilled Salmon Ramen in a miso broth

After hearing good things about Noodle Theory for the past few years, I finally visited this Asian fusion restaurant last week. Located on Claremont at College in Rockridge, Noodle Theory serves a variety of noodle soups and dishes with influences spanning East and Southeast Asia.

It's important to note that their menu is rather impressive. Each dish includes so many ingredients and flavors, many of which I've never experienced together, that it can be hard to select just the right one. This time around, I ordered the Grilled Salmon Ramen in a miso broth. This was one of the safer bets. They added a fresh piece of perfectly grilled salmon, ramen noodles, and bok choy to a traditional miso broth. It left me with a very clean palate. It was much lighter than the miso-based ramen I've had before.

Next time, I'll pick a more adventurous option like the Grilled Niman Ranch Spicy Pork Loin Ramen in a peanut lime cilantro broth. If you've visited Noodle Theory, what did you try?

Noodle Theory
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6099 Claremont Ave., Oakland, CA 94618
Open: Daily for lunch from 11:30 - 2:30 and dinner from 5 - 9:30

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