LA Trip Report July 2021

Next, a Friday lunch in Silver Lake. Thanks @attran99 for the recommendation upthread. I hit a few places for lunch that were right across the street from each other.

Started at All Day Baby, where I got their
ADB Biscuit Sandwich ($14) (also h/t to @A5KOBE for the rec for this)
scrambled eggs, american cheese, strawberry jam, bacon or sausage (I had it with sausage), buttermilk biscuit
Great! I had uh, imbibed a little bit too much the night before and this really hit the spot. Like a McDonalds sausage biscuit with egg, but on steroids. The biscuit was lovely, tender on the inside, buttery and flaky. Nicely spiced meaty sausage. The jam was an interesting addition but the little bit of fruity sweetness really worked against the greasiness and richness of the fillings. And the scrambled eggs were good too, nicely cooked and much better than the dry sponge like eggs you get at McDonalds. This was kind of like eating a breakfast plate with sausage, eggs and a biscuit with jam but all smushed together into a convenient package.

Then I walked across the street to Playita, a seafood taco stand with some outdoor seating under a canopy. I got a single taco de pescado ($3.75) on a corn tortilla (you can also have it on a flour tortilla). A very nice Baja style fish taco with slaw and salsa. Nicely fried beer battered white flaky fish.

And then finally across the street again to El Ruso, which is a taco stand specializing in tacos made with flour tortillas. I had a single taco here with chile colorado, a beef stew flavored with red chilis. I added beans and cheese for a little more (~$3.50 total). It came with some spicy red salsa, guacamole, cabbage, radishes, lime, and some cilantro and onion. The tortilla in the taco was quite good. Always a good sign when the tortilla has when you can almost see through it due to clear-ish spots from lard or other fat in the dough. Sturdy and pliable. The chile colorado was a little thin in the sauce but quite tender and spicy. Another solid taco.


So glad you enjoyed the corner of fun in Silver Lake, @Mr_Happy!
Isn’t that ADB biscuit a dream?
Hope your trip to LA continues to be a delight.

1 Like

I don’t know why, but beans in my tacos, esp. carne asada tacos, just seem like an affront to nature to me.

And they put those fcuking beans in all of their goddam tacos.

I don’t care how good your flour tortillas are (and they’re good, but not revelatory), beans just ruins the whole taco ambiance.

Almost like when your date farts right when you’re about to go in for that first kiss.


:joy: to be fair, they asked if I wanted beans (and cheese) in there and I said yes!


Glad you also were able to stop by All Day Baby for the biscuit sandwich. :slight_smile:

El Ruso’s only standout protein is their Chile Colorado (glad you didn’t get their Carne Asada). Their handmade flour tortilla is definitely the main highlight.


Catching up w/reports! Next, a late dinner at Osteria Mozza, from chef Nancy Silverton and Joe Bastianich, who also run the restaurants Pizzeria Mozza and the meat focused Chi Spacca close by.

I had dinner at the mozzarella bar. Started with a cocktail - a
Sculaccione ($15)
tequila, Campari, grapefruit, bitters
Quite nice, citrusy and a little bitter from the Campari.

And then
Nancy’s Caesar ($19)
egg, leek and anchovy crostini
A deconstructed (or maybe reconstructed?) Caesar salad. Pristine leaves of romaine lettuce dressed in a Caesar dressing, along with a crostini where the toppings are the components of a Caesar salad - eggs (hard boiled rather than raw), and whole anchovies. The leek on the bottom gave it a bit of sweetness as well. Pretty good, it tasted like what it was.

Next, from the mozzarella bar, the
Burrata and Bacon ($18)
with marinated escarole and caramelized shallots
Kind of have to get a mozzarella dish sitting at the mozzarella bar at a place called Mozza right? This was really great, interesting mix of textures and flavors - the slightly bitter escarole, salty smoky crispy thin slices of bacon, cool creamy burrata cheese, some sweet shallots on top, and the toasted bread as a base. Tried to get all of the components into each bite. Delicious.

For my main I had the
Ricotta and Egg Ravioli ($22)
with browned butter
A bigass ravioli (raviolo?) stuffed with ricotta and a barely cooked egg, sitting in a pool of toasty nutty browned butter with a sprig of sage. Super rich. After cutting into it the yolk made a buttery eggy sauce. Wish I had gotten some bread to mop it up. There’s a version of this dish served up here in SF at Cotogna, in which the raviolo is flatter so I think the pasta to filling ratio is maybe a little more balanced? Both dishes are great though.

And for dessert I had the
Peach Melba, Raspberries & Almond Sbrisolona ($16)
Which was quite nice and summer-y. A sbrisolona is apparently an Italian type of crumbly cake, and this was a little bit like a peach cobbler with a warm peach, crumbly bits, some vanilla ice cream and whipped cream that was just a little sweet, and a light drizzle of strawberry sauce.


Lunch at the original Petit Trois, a French bistro from celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre. Petit Trois is in a strip mall next to a donut shop and a pizza place. Right down the street from Osteria Mozza where I had dinner the night before. There’s also a second location in Sherman Oaks.

I sat inside at the counter along the wall and had the

butter, garlic, parsley, baguette
This was quite good. Plump snails swimming in parsley and garlic flavored butter. The half baguette was handy to soak up some of the butter. I kept the rest for my main.

Snail extraction tools.

For my main course I had the
black pepper Boursin cheese, Boston lettuce
Petit Trois and Chef Ludo are kind of known for this omelette, which is a classic French omelette filled with boursin cheese, which is kind of like a flavored cream cheese. I saw them prepare the omelette using a piping bag to dispense the boursin. A really good omelette! Perfectly creamy in the center and the boursin gave it a nice flavor. It is served with a simple salad of butter lettuce dressed with a light vinaigrette. I’ve tried making this omelette at home a few times and I need some more practice.

And for a dessert I had the
puff pastry, Tahitian vanilla pastry cream
Which was surprisingly light. The pastry was very airy and shattered when you took a fork to it. Pastry cream was also nice and light and not too sweet. A very good and unconventional Napoleon.

Also an ESPRESSO ($5) which came with a little financier.


Dinner at Pasjoli (French for notpretty - thanks high school French), a French restaurant from chef Dave Beran in Santa Monica, which was very lively on a Saturday night. I sat outside in their parklet.

I started with a
camus daiquiri
rhum blanc, dolin génépy, lime, grapefruit, orange blossom water
Nice and refreshing, and a little herbal, I guess from the génépy.

And some bread.
demi baguette ($8)
beurre de baratte
A nice baguette, served warm warm with a crisp crust and tender crumb. I think the butter might have been the same Rodolphe Le Meunier butter I had a few nights ago at République, but maybe whipped a little as it was lighter and airier.

And for a starter I had the
foie de poulet à la Strasbourgeoise ($18 for a petit portion)
brioche filled with chicken liver mousse, with a jam of périgord truffle & shallot
This was delicious. Cool creamy chicken liver mousse that I think had some truffle in it, surrounded by a light and buttery brioche. On the side was some sweet shallot jam that had more truffle flavor.

For my main I had the
halibut meunière ($52)
pan-roasted halibut, roasted market greens, hazelnut, brown butter & lemon sauce
The twig looking things are charred chives, and underneath the fish were some kale with gruyere cheese. Not a very traditional Meunière I think.

This was ok. Actually most parts of this dish were quite good, the meaty halibut was cooked well and had a nice flavor, the greens (two types of sautéed kale) and charred chives were all good, and the crunchy hazelnuts, but in or on the vegetable layer there was something that had a lot of acidity in it - not sure what this was maybe more of the lemon brown butter? Or tanginess from the gruyere? I should have paid more attention to the description. This kind of pushed it into too acidic/tangy territory. I think it would have been a lot better if there was less of whatever that was.

For dessert I had the
soufflé au chocolat ($24)
bitter chocolate soufflé, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce
This takes around 25 minutes to prepare so let them know a little in advance if you want one.

It came with ice cream with cocoa nibs on the bottom and a chocolate sauce on the side. I poured some of the ice cream onto the soufflé and added chocolate sauce on top of that. The components tasted good but texture-wise it was a little underdone, and the interior was a little too wet. I think you can see from the picture that it could have risen a bit more.

I initially had a little bit of sticker shock from the prices but I then saw that they include service which made the prices more palatable. Overall a mixed experience at Pasjoli. Started strong with the bread and starter and then kind of went a bit meh from there.


Exemplary escargot !

1 Like

I had sticker shock too! And while your issue with the main course could reflect a difference of palettes, the undercooked soufflé is inexcusable at that price. Beautifully photographed as always.


Good gawd…catching up?! I thought you had completed all of your reports. Bravo (well, except for that last meh and pricey experience at Pasjoli)!

1 Like

Thanks, yes definitely could have been a difference in palates with the halibut. Re: soufflé - right??


Only a couple more left :pig:


Hi @Mr_Happy,

Thanks for the follow-up reports. Re: Pasjoli, we had the same experience. It’s just OK. Some tasty dishes, but many were just “fine” / typical and the price (yes, including service charge) still felt on the high side for what you actually got.

1 Like

Ah, interesting. Curious if you all tried the pressed duck? Seems like the thing to get there but I think you need a crowd to have that.

I had an early evening flight back home so was able to fit in a couple more lunches.

First, I went to Smorgasburg LA to get some flautas at Los Dorados. Thanks to @A5KOBE for the rec. Smorgasburg LA is the LA version of an open air food stand marketplace that started in NYC. Its located in the ROW DTLA shopping center on Sundays and this was the second Smorgasburg after it had returned to LA on July 4. The line wasn’t too long at Los Dorados when I got there a little before noon, and I had an order (there are 2 to an order) of their chorizo con papa flautas.

Flautas are corn tortillas that are filled and then rolled and deep fried. TBH I haven’t had that many flautas in restaurants and my main experience with them has been with the frozen ones from Costco. The flautas from Los Dorados were much better than these of course. Fried to order, they are quite large, two orders of these would be enough for a meal. Crispy corn tortillas with a savory and slightly spicy chorizo and potato filling, which kind of had the texture of canned corned beef hash (in a good way!). According to their signage their chorizo is aged longaniza. They were topped with a tomatillo salsa that gave it a bit of zing, a spicier red salsa, some crema, and a sprinkling of crumbly white cheese that gave it a little feta-like barnyardy flavor. Very nice. Note: they only take cash or Venmo.

Fabulous flautas frying.


And then I went for a second lunch at Pearl River Deli, where I had the best Hainan chicken rice I’ve ever had. Thanks to @JeetKuneBao for the rec. Pearl River Deli is a Chinese take out counter in the Far East Plaza in Chinatown from chef Johnny Lee. They have Hainan chicken rice on the weekends and apparently sometimes run out, so I was glad to be able to try it. Hainan chicken rice is a dish of poached chicken and chicken fat flavored rice, served with various dipping sauces. Very similar to the Thai dish of khao man gai. I think the main difference between the two is in the dipping sauces. Khao man gai usually has a single sauce that has fermented soybean, whereas Hainan chicken rice usually comes with a trio of different sauces.

The chicken in the Hainan chicken rice from PRD ($16) was just fantastic. Gelatinous silky yellow skin, perfectly cooked tender flavorful succulent chicken. Even the white meat parts were tender. There was a lot of chicken in my order, which had a mix of boneless white and dark meat, a drumstick, and a wing. The rice was also quite good and full of chicken flavor. It came with three sauces to accompany the chicken - a slightly thick slightly sweet soy sauce, a mildly spicy red chili sauce, and a scallion and ginger sauce. I also had a bowl of the chicken broth for an extra $2, which was flavorful and nice to sip on between bites of rice and chicken. Really great. Again and with the caveats that I haven’t been to Singapore or Thailand yet, and that I’ve mostly eaten this dish in the form of khao man gai (which I’ve eaten a lot of) rather than Hainan chicken rice, this was the best version I’ve ever had.


And that’s a wrap for this trip report! Until next time. Thanks again LA HO’s for all the great recommendations and advice.

Some random thoughts:

  • I think I overdid it a little bit on the Cal-[French/Italian/American/etc.] places this time.

  • Of the Cal-* places Bestia, Osteria Mozza, and Gjusta I enjoyed the most.

  • Since I went to a few [Cal]-French restaurants I can have a ranking of their baguettes :baguette_bread:

  1. République
  2. Pasjoli
  3. Petit Trois
  • I would have liked to have squeezed in some more Thai and Korean meals. I stayed in Koreatown and only went to one Korean restaurant!

  • Hayato was definitely the highlight of this trip.

  • Sushi Hide was great too.

  • Langer’s is still the best pastrami sandwich I’ve ever had.

  • Pearl River Deli makes the best Hainan chicken rice I’ve ever had.

  • LA tacos are :fire::fire::fire::fire::fire:


I personally have not, but my vague recollection of reports from another board indicated that the show surrounding the pressed duck was perhaps more interesting than the final product.

Not a fair comparison, but I’ve very much enjoyed the pandemic potpies I got from Dialogue (Beran’s other Santa Monica restaurant, now closed). The Thanksgiving meal I got from Pasjoli (and I think it was Pasjoli, not Dialogue) was too clever by a half.


I enjoyed reading your report from afar!!! Thanks for sharing!

1 Like