Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pizzeria Mozza- Los Angeles, CA

Pizzeria Mozza- Los Angeles, CA: Exterior

Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, and Nancy Silverton's Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza have been extremely popular restaurants in Los Angeles, commanding queues that were hours long. So when we were recently in the area and found out on OpenTable that we could reserve seats for lunch at a time just less than a half an hour prior to arrival, we took the opportunity.

Pizzeria Mozza is a relatively small restaurant, located adjacent to the larger Osteria Mozza (open for dinner only) and Mozza2Go. Inside, light toned woods and yellows set the tone--a skylight, which was filtered with a yellow skin, provided most of the lighting. A friendly vibe was immediately set with the upbeat employees, who immediately seated us and went through the menu in detail once we told them it was our first time dining here. We found out popular items, and also some notable differentiations--pizzetta meant a smaller pizza, and that any pizza that didn't list "tomato" on it came without tomato sauce. They were extremely detail oriented, eagerly describing the preparations of daily specials and vegetables.

Pizzeria Mozza- Los Angeles, CA: Bone Marrow al Forno

To start, we began with the bone marrow al forno, which came with three split pieces of bone marrow, roasted garlic, sea salt, parsley, and two pieces of crostini.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Real Food Daily- Pasadena, CA

Real Food Daily- Pasadena, CA: Exterior

I've recently gotten an interest in healthier foods and restaurants that specialize in healthy eating, such as Cafe Gratitude. Having greatly enjoyed Cafe Gratitude, I thought it wouldn't hurt to explore and try out a fellow restaurant chain also in the same organic, plant-based segment--Real Food Daily.

While Cafe Gratitude likes to "provide inspired service, honest and transparent communication, and express gratitude for the richness of our lives", Real Food Daily prides itself on being a destination where "community happens around education, connection and hospitality, over delicious, accessible food that’s real."

And indeed, there were parallels in both restaurants. The service was extremely friendly, the environment upbeat, natural, modern, and friendly, and people were enjoying a wide assortment of plant-based items--drinks and juices, appetizers, rice bowls, salads, and dessert.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Yi Mei- Monrovia, CA

Yi Mei- Monrovia, CA: Exterior

A local Taiwanese restaurant chain specializing in breakfast and pastries, Yi Mei in recent years has also expanded to Monrovia, California, with a revamped, modern look.

The Monrovia location takes on a modern, fast-casual concept, with the menu displayed on large television displays and ordering done at the counter. Condiments, like garlic soy sauce, chili oil, and vinegar, and utensils are located on a side table, and frozen items and pastries are located at another wall of the restaurant. Though breakfast is the main attraction--think a pastry, bread item, or rice item with soymilk--Yi Mei also offers a full lunch and dinner menu with various noodles, rice plates, and other Taiwanese specialties--that's the topic for today's post.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Trattoria Amici (The Americana At Brand)- Glendale, CA

Trattoria Amici (The Americana At Brand)- Glendale, CA: Exterior

Trattoria Amici is a small, local, two location Italian restaurant chain (the other being in Brentwood) focused on fresh ingredients, handmade pastas, and wine. On a recent visit to the Americana at Brand, we decided to visit it for lunch.

Trattoria Amici (The Americana At Brand)- Glendale, CA: Interior
Inside, Trattoria Amici presents multiple seating areas and options, whether it be a covered patio or indoor seating with different setups. We were seated close to the main entrance, with plenty of sunlight flowing in from the windows.

Trattoria Amici (The Americana At Brand)- Glendale, CA: Bread, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar

As we perused the regular menu and seasonal menu (spring) our waiter, who regularly checked up on us throughout our meal, brought us some warm, crust bread with fruity olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The soft interior and crusty exterior of the bread paired very well with the accompaniments, and were great to snack on while waiting for our main entrees.

Trattoria Amici (The Americana At Brand)- Glendale, CA: Fazzoletti Al Pesto, Gamberetti e Menta

In curiosity of what handkerchief pasta would be like, I ordered the Fazzoletti Al Pesto, Gamberetti e Menta (19.95 USD) from the seasonal menu, which has "homemade fresh handkerchief pasta dressed in light pesto sauce with shrimp and fresh mint." Here, the quality ingredients stood out-- the shrimp was firm with a crisp bite, the homemade pesto sauce and mint bright and not overbearing, the wide, flat, lightly chewy pieces of pasta binding everything together. The portion size could have been larger, but what was on the plate was extremely enjoyable--it's no wonder why they pride themselves on their pasta!

Trattoria Amici (The Americana At Brand)- Glendale, CA: Linguine al Salmone

Likewise, we greatly enjoyed the Linguine al Salmone (17.50 USD), which consisted of "homemade linguine pasta in pink sauce with fresh sauteed salmon and peas." Here, the homemade linguine pasta was very chewy and al-dente, which played an interesting contrast to the buttery, flaky, soft salmon and bright, fresh peas. The pink sauce, which was both tomatoey and creamy at the same time, binded the whole dish together--its creaminess and sweetness went well with the chewy pasta, fresh vegetables, and rich salmon.

This was just a lunch of two pasta dishes and bread, but everything, from the food to the service, was extremely well curated and executed--we'll be back for more.

Trattoria Amici
889 Americana Way,
Glendale, CA 91210
Tel: (818) 502-1220

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