Simple Things in West Hollywood has a pretty, well, simple strategy: Make really tasty, from scratch, sandwiches and pies. And who among us doesn’t love sandwiches and pies? No one, that’s who, and luckily I was able to try a couple of their limited-time special items.
Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. The place has a relaxed and fun vibe. We tried several cocktails and menu items, and the clear winners for our party were an appetizer and a side dish: the Mac N’ Cheese (with vintage cheddar, chorizo, and broccoli) and the Bacon Brussel Sprouts (with goat cheese and balsamic). We also enjoyed the Sriracha Chicken Bao but mostly stayed away from the Maple-Glazed Sweet Potato Tots, which came off way too sweet.
For our main courses, we had Buffalo Chicken Pizza, a Federal Burger, and the Fennel Braised Short Rib. They were all good options for a night out drinking in North Hollywood.
Although I’m not a beer person, I tried the Abita Purple Haze and absolutely loved it. The cocktails were strong and delicious, but a tad too sweet for me. We finished off our meal with a beer float (my first) made with Old Rasputin and Chocolate Ice Cream. It blew my mind. Thank you to our awesome waitress and everyone at Federal Bar!
(Photos by Michael Scott)
One of the perks of working at L.A. Foodie is the free stuff. A few times per month we’ll get an email from a passionate chef who wants to share their delicious labor of love with you, le Reader de le Blog. We pretty much always oblige because…c’mon, free food.
I don’t always love what I try. And this is one of those times. The owners of Canarsie Cookies are a lovely husband and wife team here in L.A. The Chef, Stephanie Mysel, created a cookie/brownie hybrid called Brookies.
For my taste, Brookies are too dry and crumbly. Think cornbread texture. The chocolate and peanut butter flavors, which I expected to be strong in something called a Chocolate Peanut Butter Brookie, were in fact subtle.
I like dense, chewy brownies and cookies with deep chocolate flavors. When there’s peanut butter involved, I like chunks. Unfortunately, Canarsie Cookies’ Chocolate Peanut Butter Brookies were outside my strike zone for flavor and texture.
You can learn more about Canarsie Cookies at their website.
by Drew Hubbard
Chief Hamburger Officer
With a name like Cookie Casa, this bakery is just begging people to come in and try a cookie. Luckily Cookie Casa also has a friendly-looking exterior, patio tables and chairs, a bubbly logo, and a ton of dessert options. Since I have the will power of a Labrador surrounded by squirrels, I ordered a lot more than just a cookie.
What’s this now? A red velvet cupcake with a finger on it? Yes, I will take your Halloween-themed cupcake, thank you very much. We are all familiar with Red Velvet Cupcakes, so I won’t bore you, but this one is good. The cake is moist and rich, the cream cheese frosting is dense, sweet, and subtly vanilla-flavored. The finger on top is actually a gummy, which has an enjoyable raspberry flavor.
Next up is the Molasses Ginger Cookie Sandwich. This large (almost 5” in diameter) dark tan cookie has sprinkles of granulated sugar on top. It’s soft and chewy with a strong molasses flavor and a smooth ginger finish. The buttercream middle is incredibly smooth, rich, and sweet with a strong vanilla flavor. The sweetness of the cream plus the large size of this cookie equals a treat that is best shared with others.
The seasonal Pumpkin Bar has a dutch-apple-pie-like crumble on top, and below is a dense pumpkin pie filling with a strong pumpkin flavor. The ‘crust’ is a chewy layer of oats and honey that is neither crunchy nor crumbly and yet really ties this whole bar together. The one flaw of this bar comes from it’s pumpkin flavor. Pumpkin, while unique, is forceful, so by the end of this bar it’s overwhelming. This of course can be remedied, like the above cookie, by sharing.
Moving right along, next is the Lemon Sandwich Cookie, and as a huge fan of all things lemon, I was looking forward to this one. The cookie has a mild crunch, yet is still chewy. It has a mild lemon flavor, but the sweet creamy frosting is where the lemon really bursts out at you. Unfortunately, the frosting is a bit too sweet, but only professionals like myself will notice, so if you’re a fan of lemon, check this cookie out.
All in all, Cookie Casa Bakery did not disappoint. No surprise here, since it’s in their name, the cookies are the best items. However, the Red Velvet and Pumpkin Bar are no slouches either. If you’re looking for a good bakery over in the WeHo area, check them out.
By Greg Kindra
Greg grew up with a Labrador retreiver that chased every single squirrel she saw, and upon further thought Greg realizes that information is probably needed for his earlier metaphor.
Cookie Casa Bakery
8116 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles CA, 90048
On Saturday, October 12th from 5 PM–8 PM, a bunch of awesome people gathered at Angel City Brewery in downtown L.A. for sweets, coffee, and beer! For one evening only, L.A. Foodie took over the back half of Angel City Brewery and filled it with tables of sweets including these amazing local vendors (starting at the top left):
Who doesn’t love a classic ice cream parlor? I can only assume that it’s some kind of fun hating jerk. With that in mind, when I was recently invited to participate in Bittersweet Treat’s ice cream social, I of course said yes. Ice cream social, you ask, what would that be? Well, let me tell you, because it was pretty rad!
Did you ever host a wicked pissah clambake? Yeah, me neither. I live in L.A., and we don’t really do that here. But I don’t know why. The kind folks at Robinson’s Prime Reserve teamed up with their pals at Samuel Adams and sent L.A. Foodie a good ole fashioned New-England–clambake-in-a-box. Normally $299, this box of goodness is wicked expensive for a guy like me. So it doesn’t take a Triple Eagle to know that you say “YES” to free lobster and beer.
The included instructions that feature a custom recipe by Chef Michele Ragussis (reportedly of Food Network fame) were a bit vague. And the stock pot they sent was too small. So it’s a good thing I have a huge canning pot handy at all times.
Check out this video of decadent clambake food porn:
The clams and the lobsters ended up a bit overcooked but still very tasty. And the corn and potatoes were surprisingly yummy after sitting in a steamer for so long. The spicy sausage and beef franks were great.
After our Boston feast was over, roughly 2 quarts of the best seafood stock I’ve ever tasted remained. The stock plus the leftovers turned into many bowls of amazing clam chowder.
And to finish it all off, we went wicked retarded on these totally pisser Wicked Good Cupcakes in a jar. The kind people at Wicked Good Cupcakes (locations in Cohasset and Boston, Massachusets) send us all of their varieties to try, with my favorite being the Red Velvet (boring, I know. But it’s good!). These former Shark Tank contestants will ship their cupcakes in a jar anywhere. And they are legitimately awesome—tasted, and approved, by L.A. Foodie :)
- Discussion questions:
- Where do you go in L.A. for clams and lobster?
- Have you ever hosted a clambake on the beach here in SoCal?
- I like The Crab Pot in Long Beach for affordable steamed seafood, family style. Do you have a favorite?
I use the internet for a lot of things, but buying bacon, or any meat products for that matter, is not one of them. Well, at least that’s how I used to be, until recently when Pig of the Month BBQ sent a box of goodies to my house. Now mind you, this was no ordinary box, as it was lined with thick Styrofoam and filled with dry ice. So, not only are they cleverly using science to ship meat, but when I opened the box a wave of dry ice mist flowed out giving a real mystical feel to the whole thing.
I know that we are called LA Foodie and not Orange County Foodie, but when I heard about a new gourmet doughnut spot I certainly wasn’t going to let geography get in the way. And it’s a good thing, because Sidecar did not disappoint. Not one bite!
When you live on one side of Los Angeles and your friend lives on the exact opposite side, where do you meet for dinner? In the middle. My favorite ‘meet in the middle’ restaurant is Luna Park, located at Wilshire and La Brea.