CHOW Tour
Two CHOW editors on a caloric extravaganza exploring innovation, novelty, and deliciousness. RSS
See Where We've Eaten!
Friday, July 16th, 2010

Red Grape Sorbet to Prolong the Sugar High

Red Grape Sorbet to Prolong the Sugar High

After eating doughnuts, the natural thing to do is get gelato, right? We went straight to the Il Laboratorio del Gelato window on Orchard Street after hitting the Doughnut Plant. Jon Snyder’s gelato shop is known for its experimental flavors; today they included Thai chile chocolate and red grape sorbet. (more…)

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Crazy Doughnut Smackdown

Crazy Doughnut Smackdown

We thought we were really hip to doughnut development, having eaten extensively at San Francisco’s Dynamo Donut. How could NY’s Doughnut Plant even remotely compete? Turns out, we didn’t know doughnuts from a hole in the wall. (more…)

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Brit Breakfast in High Victorian Style at the Breslin

Brit Breakfast in High Victorian Style at the Breslin

Ever wonder why hotels are so cheesy looking and play Muzak and generally seemed geared toward some sort of style and age bell curve? If you haven’t checked out the Ace Hotel chain, which is part of what a friend calls the “Young People Revolution,” it’s worth a peek. Their outpost in Palm Springs apparently gives out caftans for the pool rather than robes.

The Midtown Manhattan location is swathed in Victoriana, with a case of taxidermied birds, old-fashioned tile floors, a Stumptown coffee bar, and the Breslin: a British gastropub-style place where we met Tanya Steel of Epicurious for a delightful breakfast. (more…)

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Where We Ate in Los Angeles


View CHOW Tour: Innovation – Los Angeles in a larger map (more…)

Friday, July 16th, 2010

San Francisco Has a Lot to Learn from Los Angeles

Waaaaa—do we really have to leave LA? We didn’t get to eat sushi or try Umami Burger, or explore the great ethnic eats in the valley. So much interesting food in this town, it’s just impossible to even scratch the surface in one week. As we embark on the last leg of our CHOW Tour: Innovation, New York, it’s time to take a moment to reflect on what we did see and do. And how it compares to San Francisco. (more…)

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Is Michael Voltaggio the Most Innovative Chef in Los Angeles?

Is Michael Voltaggio the Most Innovative Chef in Los Angeles?

The whole week we were in LA we were constantly told—by everyone from friends in the media to the chef-owners at Animal—that when it comes to innovation, Michael Voltaggio was at the head of the pack. (more…)

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Love Starry Kitchen Enough to Kick a Hole in the Wall?

Love Starry Kitchen Enough to Kick a Hole in the Wall?

Yesterday, we grabbed lunch at Starry Kitchen, the former underground restaurant sensation that started in owners Nguyen and Thi Tran’s apartment. The restaurant serves an ever-rotating mix of pan-Asian food, and they’re all over the Twitter and the Facebook things. (Nguyen even tweeted about hanging out with us!) (more…)

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Bistro LQ: We Don’t Get It

Bistro LQ: We Don’t Get It

We were psyched to eat at Bistro LQ, a Hollywood restaurant often mentioned on Chowhound as “nouveau French” and a not-to-be missed spot in LA. When researching CHOW Tour, we took special note of anything Jonathan Gold recommended, and in the LA Weekly, Gold named the one-year-old Bistro LQ one of the 99 most “essential” restaurants in LA. The chef, Laurent Quenioux, he writes, is a “mysterious … madman” who creates elegant and unusual dishes including “ant eggs, headcheese and baby-goat burritos, frog legs in barbecue sauce served with a begonia chutney.” Well hot damn, that sounded right up our CHOW Tour: Innovation alley. (more…)

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Leaving LA … So Much More to Eat

It’s our last day in Los Angeles and we’re having pangs of regret for all the places we didn’t make it to. (There are still some posts to come from our last few stops.) It is physically impossible to get to as many places in Los Angeles as we could in San Francisco: The city is massive and the traffic is horrendous. You really can’t get anywhere in under 30 minutes no matter how close Google maps says it is, can you? (more…)

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

At Street, Cultures Mingle Happily

At Street, Cultures Mingle Happily

What were those judges on Top Chef smoking? Susan Feniger lost last season’s Masters when she served Kaya toast, a traditional Singapore hangover cure. It’s toasted white bread slathered with coconut jam and topped with a sunny-side-up egg doused in soy sauce. It was one of the most delicious things we ate in LA, when we stopped for lunch at Feniger’s Hollywood restaurant Street. (more…)

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Shook and Dotolo, Playing with Balls at Animal

Shook and Dotolo, Playing with Balls at Animal

Animal chefs and co-owners Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook discuss Los Angeles as a city of indulgence, getting people to order pig tails, and how Vinny plays with veal balls in the back kitchen. (more…)

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Riding the Gravy Train at Animal

Riding the Gravy Train at Animal

The night we visited Animal, the meat-centric Los Angeles restaurant from chef-owners Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, there were about nine different creatures represented on the menu. But we started with a salad, just to see how vegetables were prepared here. We weren’t disappointed. A big old pile of lettuce tossed with creamy sumac dressing, chunks of feta, and beets showed up, and we demolished it. (more…)

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Crispy Pig Ears at Lazy Ox Canteen

Crispy Pig Ears at Lazy Ox Canteen

Everybody says you should order off the chalkboard specials at Lazy Ox Canteen, a small-plates restaurant with a decidedly meaty bent in downtown LA. But if you did that, you wouldn’t get to try their best dish: pig ears with a mayonnaise-y dippin’ sauce. The pig ears are deep-fried, salty, and lime-y, like chicharrones, and have a gristly, fatty texture you either love or hate: crisp, buttery, and chewy, all at the same time. Cut into strips, they were perfect for sharing, with a glass of crisp Scrimshaw pilsner. (more…)

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

LA, We Love You, But We Have Some Questions

We’ve had a few days to hang in LA—an incredibly fun town, for the record—but we do have a few bones to pick. (more…)

Monday, July 12th, 2010

What Does Quinotto Look Like?

What Does Quinotto Look Like?

We wrote about Mo-Chica earlier; here’s a quick look at all that food. (more…)

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Stealth Macrobiotics in Beverly Hills

Stealth Macrobiotics in Beverly Hills

We’re starting to feel a little like the guy in Super Size Me on this diet of red velvet pancakes, pork belly rice bowls, and foie gras cotton candy, so today we checked out Das Ubergeek‘s macrobiotic restaurant suggestion M Café for breakfast. (more…)

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Foie Gras Cotton Candy at the Bazaar

Foie Gras Cotton Candy at the Bazaar

We’d heard plenty about José Andrés’s theatrical dishes—ice cream cones of caviar, cotton candy foie gras, smoking cocktails—and we were, frankly, wary. How could that much flash deliver substance, too? But here we are, post-Bazaar, minds blown. (more…)

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Hittin’ a Chowhound Haunt for Lunch

Hittin’ a Chowhound Haunt for Lunch

One of our first stops in LA was the Chowhound-recommended Mo-Chica, a “contemporary” Peruvian restaurant inside the Mercado La Paloma near USC. The Mercado itself is an interesting, community-oriented project: The ground floor is a vibrant Latin marketplace with shops and restaurants; the second floor holds local nonprofits that work for health and social service access for low-income families. (more…)

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Novelty Ice Cream at Scoops

Novelty Ice Cream at Scoops

Scoops, near Los Angeles City College, gets raves on Chowhound (“We got an ice cream revolution goin’ on here!” said J.L. when we asked for recommendations) for its experimental flavors of melty-soft gelato. Located on a young-person-oriented strip next to a vintage sunglasses store, its interior was dim and nondescript. But the case full of creamy, pastel flavors was where it got exciting. I tried toasted rice, which tasted intensely roasty and cereal-y; nondairy maple coffee, which was good but not exceptional; and red wine cheesecake, a surprisingly delicious combination that delivered a wine-y zing with a comforting sweet, fatty dairy base. (more…)

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Red Velvet Pancakes from a Truck

Red Velvet Pancakes from a Truck

The name alone—Buttermilk Truck—was enough to get me excited about breakfast. One of the most popular mobile food operations in LA, a city that has taken to the nouveau street food trend quite happily, Buttermilk Truck serves breakfast food in the morning and late night. This morning it was parked outside a coffeehouse in Echo Park called Fix, which is tucked way up in the hills amidst winding streets, funky old houses, and parklike foliage. (more…)

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Spiritual Rice Bowling at Chego!

Spiritual Rice Bowling at Chego!

Last night, we cruised over to Chego!, Roy Choi and the Kogi family’s newish restaurant just west of Culver City, in Los Angeles, to order some rice bowls. We tried three: the Sour Cream Hen House, which had sweet chile sauce, sambal sour cream, egg, wok-seared Chinese broccoli, chicken, and grilled onions; the Buttered Kimchi Chow, with kimchi, chicharrones, tofu, and fried egg; and the One Chubby Pork Belly, which we’ll let Choi explain himself in the video below. (more…)