Out of Town: Los Angeles

While staying in Los Feliz at a friends for the 4th of July weekend, we hopped about eating famous chicken and waffles, sipping on gourmet coffee, and nibbling on specialty cheeses.   A real hit was Gaam Restaurant & Lounge in Koreatown, LA.

To Read more about each place  ->

Pann’s received the Los Angeles Conservancy Award for the best example of a “Classic 50’s Coffee Shop” and is the spot where they filmed the diner scene in Pulp Fiction.   The fried chicken and waffles for breakfast is what to order. For a healthy choice try the Greek Omelet.  Easy parking but it is over near Englewood and LAX, towards the west side.

Intelligentsia Coffeebar is the best place to check out LA fashions on real folks, I mean local hipsters.  The coffee is pretty great.  A friend in town from New York commented that her Late was so smooth, the barista’s were really friendly, and it was about the best cup of coffee she had ever had.   I personally appreciate the modern-industrial and clean decor as well as their creative baked goods all by Cake Monkey such as the Blackberry Thyme Muffin and the Bacon Sage Scone.  Check out Cake Monkey for other creative baked good ingredient combination inspirations or even order something to be delivered in LA with a 48 hour notice! They seem to be opening Intelligentsia’s from LA, to Chicago, and NYC and they even won this years Barista world championship.

Rose Cafe is a nice casual spot in Venice with an easy-to-park lot.   Order up fresh salads (3 of your choice for $10) at the counter, sit inside or outside and chat with friends, browse their shop (little cactus and succulent planters in glazed pots), pick up a dessert, or just eat sweets and drink coffee.

Gaam Restaurant & Lounge is a seriously great place to go with friends for a night of fun or a special birthday with a large party.  For new experiences in Koreatown, this is the place.  It can be described as a smoky (yes, they let folks smoke inside at their tables) “warehouse lounge.”  Make a reservation because the tables seem to get booked on weekend nights.   People smoke inside and the music is loud, not a family spot folks!  There is a happy hour until 8:30pm such as 1/2 priced soju (Sour apple, Watermelon, Yogurt, Mango, Peach, Watermelon and complimentary Grape flavored soju) and fresh fruit drinks and appetizers.  What is Soju?  You have to have your ID or they won’t let you upstairs.  Or, if you forgot your ID, tell them that you’re so old that you don’t know if you can even have kids anymore – that seemed to work for us when a fellow thirty-something friend forgot her ID.   Order the sample plate to start off with (Sample plate included: pine nuts, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, beef slices, shrimp, cheese fish, and bacon wrapped scallops) and the tower of sweet potato shoestring fries at the end!  They are covered in powdered sugar or something.  OK, seriously, when is the last time you payed $20 a piece at a dinner party out with friends including as many drinks and as much food to fill you up as you like?  Just get there by at least 7:45pm to have the first 45 minutes of happy hour.  Tip, check your bill at the end!

The Cheese Store of Silver Lake is next door to Intelligentsia Coffee.  We were so overstuffed after eating out at all of the places above that we needed a clean break.  For a quieter evening of cheese, wine, bread, salami, olives, Marcona almonds, grapes, honeycombs, salad, ummmm…. yea, did I say we weren’t that hungry?  Ask one of the many available cheese purveyors for assistance in choosing some cheeses at the cheese store or take a sampling of your options set out to try in order to make some decisions here.  There were five of us and we each purchased a different cheese and extra side to share.

Little Dom’s is a classic, old school, dark and romantic spot serving up Italian pastas, a Fried Oyster Sandwich w/ Crispy Speck, Arugula, Tomato, & Hot Sauce Mayo, or a Wood Grilled Hamburger w/ Burratta, Speck, & Roasted Tomato Mostarda in Los Feliz.   Dom’s reminded me of a NYC neighborhood spot with just enough classy tradition to treat your parents.  Gaam in Koreatown, not the place to treat your parents, that is the place to treat yourself.  We each ordered almost every pasta on the menu and were tempted by all of the amazing cocktails but just couldn’t pull it off after a weekend of overindulging.  I read that their breakfast pizza was featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” TV show.  And somebody even yelled out to us to get the breakfast pizza as they sped by in their car!

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