What Charmin Bears Love: Food|Dogs|Sephora

Our foodie instincts take over when we're out and about.

Los Angeles: Little Next Door & Harajuku Crepes

Little Next Door @ 8142 3rd Street

The quest for LA brunch continues…

I found Little Next Door on Yelp and decided to give it a try.  We got here during peak hour Sunday and had to wait 30 minutes for a table.  Unfortunately, we were both starving so it felt like an hour.  Then after we were seated, the service was quite slow.  It took forever to just even get water.  Luckily my daddy called, I went off to talk to him, and by the time I got back my food was here!

I got the Smoked Salmon Benedict, which I thought was delish! Portions were a bit cheap, I admit, but the taste of the salmon made up for it a bit.

Little Next Door - Smoked Salmon Benedict

Little Next Door – Smoked Salmon Benedict

Harajuku Crepes @ 9405 S Santa Monica Boulevard

After Little Next Door, I dragged my boyfriend to Harajuku Crepes in Beverly Hills.  I saw green tea crepes and I said, I must go!  When we got here, it was probably around 4pm in the afternoon, there was not another soul to be found in the little crepe place.  All the better though, I get to be indecisive for as long as I want.  Most crepes are made to order, but they have a few on the menu for you to choose from.  I picked the Daifuku crepe, which is basically red bean paste, home-made whip cream and strawberries.  I requested green tea batter and to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It was yum!  I didn’t take a picture of my boyfriend’s, but he got an earl grey batter with sesame ice cream, banana and mochi layer.  Pretty good too, but I prefer the green tea batter!  I love crepes and am definitely coming back here!

Harajuku Crepes - Strawberry Daifuku with Vanilla Ice Cream

Harajuku Crepes – Strawberry Daifuku with Green Tea Batter & Vanilla Ice Cream

– Charmin Bear T

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Los Angeles: Providence

Providence @ 5955 Melrose Avenue

This week, I chose 2-star Michelin restaurant: Providence.  Needless to say, I was excited.  I’ve only been to Jean-Georges in New York for my 3 star meal, and I thought it was excellent.  My first impressions of the restaurant were the decor, which was so lovely.  I think the theme were calla lilies or flowers that kind of look like that, which porcelain interpretations were all coming out of the walls.  The guy who greeted us did come off a bit snobby in my humble opinion.  He’s either the  maitre d’ or the owner/manager.  I couldn’t tell but he did walk around and ask how people were doing.

The chef started us off with 3 amuse-bouche.  The one shot of soup, I forget what was in it anymore.  Fail :(.  But I can tell you I wish there was more than one shot.  I’ll take 10 shots of those!  It was so yummy.  The little quiche-like thing on the left was forgettable.  I also liked the third amuse bouche on the top right, which was salmon tartar on salmon skin topped with creme fraiche.  Full of flavor and super crispy.

Providence - Amuse Bouches

Providence – Amuse Bouches

For our appetizer, we chose the Maine Lobster.  I actually really like crab and lobster, but hate taking it out of the shell for myself. I dislike using my hands to eat because the smell of your food usually lingers.  I’m really odd.  So I found it lovely that I didn’t have to do it here.  The ingredients were simple and beautiful.  There was a stronger emphasis on the freshness of the lobster.  It was perfectly cooked and not rubbery at all. Nom Nom.

Providence - Maine Lobster

Providence – Maine Lobster

I was told by Yelpers that portions here are small, so I ordered a second appetizer: Foie Gras Ravioli.  This was a super heavy and indulgent dish.  As delicious as it was, I wish there was someone else who loved foie gras as much as me to enjoy it with.

Providence - Foie Gras Ravioli

Providence – Foie Gras Ravioli

The boyfriend got the Chowda as his second appetizer.  He said it was the best chowda he ever had.  The consistency was a bit watery compared to the chowder I’m used to, but the sip I had was infused with flavor.  Having real clams with bacon bits totally helped.

Providence - Chowda

Providence – Chowda

For my main entree, I got the duck.  It was cooked medium rare, the way the chef thinks is best.  I really liked it, but by the time I got to it, I was already so stuffed!  I loved the crispy skin that did not taste at all oily. And the foie gras infused chicken broth sauce.  Yum.  Too bad I didn’t finish it, I tried my best though.

Providence - Liberty Farms Duck Breast

Providence – Liberty Farms Duck Breast

The bf got the steak, which was also pretty darn good.  I’d like to think my duck was better, but he thinks his beef was better.  To each his own!

Providence - New York Steak

Providence – New York Steak

For dessert, they gave us lime macarons, which I surprisingly enjoyed.  I don’t usually like lime flavor things.  The lychee jellies were a tad too sweet for me.  I did not like the lavender caramel.  The lavender was way too strong.

Providence - Dessert

Providence – Dessert

I really liked Providence.  I have to say it’s probably the best meal I’ve had in terms of fine dining.  I thought some dishes at Jean Georges were a bit lackluster, while here it was pretty impressive all around.  Although I enjoyed the service at Jean Georges much more.  It’s unbeatable how they manage to make you feel like you belong even though you’re in an expensive restaurant.  In short, I loved it and will revisit!

– Charmin Bear T

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Los Angeles: Sasabune Revisited

Sushi Sasabune @ 12400 Wilshire Avenue

My boyfriend and I came back to Sasabune for some major sushi craving after seeing “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”  If you’re a sushi lover, I recommend watching that!

We went with a few of our old favorites, such as seared baby tuna.  I didn’t enjoy the fish as much this time.  For some reason it wasn’t as flavorful.

Sasabune - Seared Baby Tuna

Sasabune - Seared Baby Tuna

The Salmon was great. Fresh.  I love the little clear seaweed on top, which I thought helped bring out the taste of the fish.  The sesame seeds were a bit much, but didn’t really bother me.

Sasabune - Salmon

Sasabune - Salmon

Yellowtail is another one of my favorite fishes. Look how nice and shiny the fish is!

Sasabune - Yellowtail

Sasabune - Yellowtail

We decided to try the sweet shrimp.  Not my favorite.  The texture was really gooey and weird.  I’ll pass on Amaebi next time.

Sasabune - Sweet Shrimp

Sasabune - Sweet Shrimp

Sasabune cooks the shrimp head separately.  This was pretty darn good.  It was so crunchy and perfectly seasoned.  Next time, my boyfriend can eat the body and I’ll munch on the head haha.

Sasabune - Sweet Shrimp Head

Sasabune - Sweet Shrimp Head

The green mussels were only about $4.50 per order.  SushiStop is $3 and the quality is much lower.  Shockingly, this is a really good deal here!

Sasabune - Green Mussels

Sasabune - Green Mussels

Mmm.  My favorite. Fatty Tuna.  Sasabune’s quality is definitely one of the best in all of LA.  I’ve order it elsewhere and it doesn’t melt in your mouth like it does here.

Sasabune - Fatty Tuna

Sasabune - Fatty Tuna

My first time ordering the butterfish and it was delish!  It’s cooked and doused in something similar to eel sauce.

Sasabune - Butter Fish

Sasabune - Butter Fish

I normally don’t like Salmon Skin, but it was good here. I liked the crunchy skin a lot.  The tuna was also fresh.  I was pretty full by this point but still ate my fair share.

Sasabune - Salmon Skin & Tuna Roll

Sasabune - Salmon Skin & Tuna Roll

Last but not least, the Eel handroll.  You’ll never find any of my sushi meals missing Eel :)

Sasabune - Eel Roll

Sasabune - Eel Roll

Another solid experience.  It was quite busy this time.  Last time we came there were only a few other tables.  This time, it was packed full and some people were waiting as we left.  Maybe word got out.  At the end of the night, we  thought we over ate a bit, but we couldn’t help ourselves.  Service was excellent.  Definitely a restaurant I’ll visit again and again!

– Charmin Bear T

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