The “chicken pops” are beautiful little things—a Southeast Asian play on buffalo wings. Two bowls arrive at the table. One is heaped with the drumettes, darkly caramelized and glistening, each tiny piece artfully frenched. The other is starkly empty, ready to be filled with cleanly scrubbed bones. I fill the empty bowl faster than I had anticipated. One after the other in rapid succession, I’ve sucked the limbs free of every edible morsel, unable to slow down until they’re all gone. I’m now looking at a miniature mass grave, smacking my lips, and I realize my pucker is numb, perhaps slightly swollen. My tongue is tingling.
My waiter walks by and notices that I’m curiously fondling my face, and he laughs. “Happens every time,” he says. Continue reading
Photo by Dale Berman for Angeleno
Roy Choy, the chef responsible for the Kogi taco craze, and David Reiss, the nightlife guy behind The Brig and Alibi Room, have transformed an old IHOP into AFrame (12565 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, 310.398.7700). I confess I’ve never been a fan of Kogi’s fusion tacos, and I loathe the communal seating concept here at AFrame, but I’m seriously loving every bite of Choy’s new global picnic menu. The idea is to eat as much of the family-style meal as possible—gloriously messy lamb ribs, kettle corn that drips with butter, kaffir lime-spiked peel-and-eat shrimp and deep-fried apple pie—without the aid of utensils. Be prepared to wait up to an hour (they don’t take reservations, and they rarely answer the phone), but it’s sort of worth it.
Escargot at Meet Bistro (R) and Le Saint Amour (L) –photos by Peden + Munk for Angeleno
When I first heard that a new French café called Meet Bistro had opened, I didn’t give it much thought. With a name as awful as that, I figured, the place couldn’t possibly be good. But then one night after dining at Le Saint Amour, a charming French café on Culver Boulevard, I was surprised to notice that Meet is located directly next door. Even more surprising, the unfortunately named Meet was packed—every seat taken. Saint Amour, meanwhile, was only half-filled—even with highly acclaimed chef Walter Manzke temporarily manning the stoves.
I was struck by how these two French restaurants could compete side by side… Continue reading