Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Ways to Stuff Your Face at the 2015 LA County Fair

The LA County Fair  is almost here again. Yes the smells, the sounds, the tastes you only can get at a fair will soon be at the Fairplex in Pomona. Did you know that the LA Fair is the tenth largest fair in the country? Well now you do. The fair will have all your deep fried favorites (save me a cheese stick) but there's some new food items for this year. 
Exercise before the fair opens this Friday because as always everything at the fair is indulgent. Chicken Charlies is pushing the limit on things fried yet again with several offerings. You can find the ridiculous deep fried slim fast bar (I would suggest Oreo's personally.) Another booth has a deep fried chicken and waffle option...inside of a waffle cone. Trippy? Maybe. Good? If you like chicken and waffles.  Other items that are new are the fried guacamole again at Chicken Charlies (I cant comment due to allergies) and a deep fried and battered corn on a stick (seriously has anyone ever wanted this?) Anyways the 2015 LA County Fair is sure to be a good time. Maybe we will see you there? Check us out on Instagram at @eatingaround . 

1101 W McKinley Ave Pomona, California

Deep fried guacamole

Deep fried Oero's. Not new but a fair classic 

deep fried slim fast bar 

teriyaki chicken in half a pineapple. 

chicken and waffles in a waffle cone 

battered deep fried corn 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Reason to go into El Monte: Ixtaco Taqueria

Talk to Chef David Mondragon about food and he gets a gleam in his eye. Its a passion that can't be taught about food. It shows in his dishes at the new Ixtaco Taqueria in El Monte. Its a tiny place next to an auto body shop before you hit the 10 freeway.The menu at Ixtaco is pretty simple. There's tacos, quesadillas, burritos and a few other things on the menu.What makes this place different? In an area filled with tacos Chef David's have personality. It all starts with handmade tortillas.Then there's the meat options. You have several ways to go here. You have your traditional carne asada, your chicken, and your carnitas but I am going to tell you to pass on all of them.
Its all about the seafood and the pastor here.What is pastor? Its a spit roasted pork thats a beautiful red from a natural spice called Achiote. The technique of pastor is actually from the Middle East if you are a fan of donner kebab you may see the similarities but...yeah off story. Ixtaco has the best pastor I have had in the SGV. Its crispy and caramelized with a nice blend of spices that make pastor my favorite taco. Its served with bits of grilled pineapple that compliment the meat perfectly.

I would go to Ixtaco for the pastor alone but the seafood tacos...are serious.Chef David tops all of his fried seafood tacos with his signature chipotle sauce. Its an aioli with a kick and it marries with all the crispy seafood its out on top of. You can't go wrong with the shrimp or fish but it's calamari taco I am mildly obsessed with. Battered and deep fried I had no idea that fish and shrimp tacos could be beat but the humble squid.For now all the tacos at Ixtaco at only one dollar. It could end at any time and honestly you should be paying much more (hopefully they don't read this.)

                                      10021 Valley Blvd, El Monte, California 91731

Assorted seafood tacos

pastor quesadilla 

In house fries 

chicken tacos 

Chef David Mondragon

In house made drinks. Flavors change daily 


grilled fish 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Curtis Stone Sets Sail With Princess Cruises

Cruise ships are better know for buffet lines than gourmet faire. Curtis Stone is looking to change that perception. Starting in 2016 Chef Curtis Stone will be partnering with Princess Cruises on 4 different cruise ships bringing his signature garden infused cuisine aboard.  Dishes are a little safe for Stone but he needs to appeal to a wide base so that is understandable. Dishes that may be on the cruise include a nastrum salad, a butter foam lobster, and a beef cheek pot pie. The dessert courses were my favorite part and if you get the chance to try the burnt vanilla ice cream with hazelnut chocolate clusters do it. 

nasturtium salad 

burnt vanilla ice cream 

black truffle potato gratin 

butter foam lobster 

ricotta spiced fritters 

beef cheek pot pie 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

MidiCi Kicks the Build Your Own Pizza Game Up a Notch.

MidiCi  is one of the newest restaurants to grace Sherman Oaks. Little do people know that it may be the first of many soon. MidiCi is brought to you by the good people of Menchie's  frozen yogurt and they have big plans for their pizza baby. MidiCi is at its core a concept most people in LA should be familiar with now.  You get your crust and go down the line picking your sauces, cheeses, and toppings for your pie. MidCi is changing that.

Going into MidiCi  you may notice the olive tree inside the restaurant, the sweeping high ceilings, or the amount of granite used in the countertops. These are your first clues this is not going to be a normal pizza experience.  I will say that MidiCi accomplishes what 80 Degrees aspires to be. A gourmet pizza in a causal setting. What sets this place apart is the number of unique toppings you can add to your pie and the addtional dishes available. You can get truffle cheese on your pizza, or half a dozen other cheeses. Along with your pizza you can get a gourmet salad (with much more than one type of greens offered) or a beautiful cheese board. SO go check it out. Try a pizza under the olive tree. Let us know what you think!

                                            14612 Ventura Blvd Los Angeles, CA 91403
cheese board 

Signature salad 

Nutella calzone with berries 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cocina Condesa Delivers Great Mexican Food Near the Westside

Typically if you were to ask me about Mexican food on the Westside (OK OK almost Westside) I would scoff usually. Recently though Cocina Condesa opened. Its a open air (I suggest not going on crazy hot days) modern Mexican restaurant in Studio City.  They have a pretty tight menu (its one page.) Usually a small menu means that the dishes are well thought out and the ingredients are fresh. Once again I was right with Cocina Condesa.

So yes the menu is mostly tacos. And the tacos are good. Get some tacos! The carnitas was my favorite taco of the night, crispy and flavorful.  I really like that while they have veggie tacos vegetarians can also enjoy a corn and squash blossom crepe (which is actually pretty good.) I would suggest staying for dessert (which is a rarity for me because I usually prefer going to a dessert focused spot after.) If only for mini churros with the caramel dipping sauce . Fun to share as a group dessert...or eat them all and have no regrets about it.

                                           11616 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604


churros with caramel dipping sauce 

corn crepes 

carnitas taco 

Roasted street corn 
Queso chile dip