Monday, October 27, 2014

Guatemalteca Bakery and Restaurant on Beverly near Normandie

I got to go see Olga Koumoundouros' Roundhouse Shines installation along the LA River this week. It's produced by Clockshop like that cool piece, Unfinished. It was awesome to a lot of artists I hadn't seen in a while like Sandra dela Loza, Cindy Herrera, Alan Tolfeson, and I saw Barry Markowitz, Susan Silton and Corey Fogel. I wanted to stop by Document on my way to the opening at Commonwealth and Council but was a little hungry. Right then, I saw a parking space off Beverly just above K Town and something told me to park there. I think it was spotlit by the street light pole. I walked around the corner onto Beverly and this beautiful blue neon sign called me over, Guatemalteca Bakery and Restaurant is located at 4032 W Beverly Blvd LA CA 90004. I walked in and I could feel the stares. I kinda like sticking out like a sore thumb and expressing joy for the meal to everyone's surprise. I just love it and that's what happened again here. I was definitely the only non-Latino in the house! My Spanish is very limited but I saw "Pollo en creme", and that sounded good to me. it turned out to be exactly what I was picturing. BINGO! It was so good, like home.

Un Solo Sol Kitchen in Boyle Heights

I have great co-workers. I think I've said that before. Amalia and Heidi are also part of the bike crew I organize but we hadn't really hung out in a while so it was great to have dinner with them last weekend across the street where our friend Daniel J French was organizing the Beats and Bridges event at Mariachi Plaza. I am a bug fan of Yeya's but Un Solo Sol Kitchen (formerly Homegirls) was also open and not having been there before, we decided to try it. Well, there's our Metro co-worker, Diego Cardoso's painting on the wall, so we knew we couldn't miss. The food was excellent. I had three tacos; chicken, no pales and carne asada. The frescos were delicious and fresh. i had the cantaloupe because that's one of my favorite Herbie Hancock songs. This place was a big hit with the three of us.

Savoy Kitchen in Alhambra

I am a very lucky person. Having great friends who are always eager to introduce me to what they feel are great eats. Case in point, the extremely lovely, Ms. Jen. She has introduced me to some incredible gems and Savoy Kitchen is no exception. It's located at 138 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra CA 91801. The steamed chicken is the staple. It comes on a plate, very plain and unspectacular but then you start to pull pieces and use the various sauces and oh my goodness, this is so delicious. The justices mix with the steamed rice and then BOOM! Heaven. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. Highly recommend it. Thanks Ms. Jen. You are awesome!

Sam's Burgers in Pico Rivera

I found myself again in Pico Rivera, picking up my Roland Juno 60 synthesizer. Alas, Roland no longer makes the parts and I picked it up, defeated and sad. Sam's Burgers has a cool sign. That's what drew me there. It's a fast food place where burgers, tacos, burritos are the norms but seeing the picture of the Red Snapper Plate, I couldn't resist. It was VERY delicious, in a fast food kind of way. I was thinking afterwards, if they could nail that, the burgers must be really good. 8505 Telegraph Road, Pico Rivera CA

La Paella on San Vincente

Art connoisseur and veteran arts administrator Maria Luisa DeHerrera and I had been trying to have dinner for years. We meet at SPARC back in 1990. We finally figured it out and I chose La Paella, which neither of us had been to in years so it seemed appropriate. Of course, we had paella. The seafood was awesome and since maria doesn't care for shell fish, i totally scored. We had a great conversation. She shared stories of the early years of public art, working with Nancy Holt and her newest project, a TED-like conference in Claremont of mammoth proportions. La Paella, 476 S San Vincente BL Beverly Hills CA 90048

Baek Ha Chong in Koreatown

I asked some friends and my daughter to accompany me to a restaurant I have not visited for over 30 years. Well, more specifically, this Korean restaurant was once a Japanese restaurant called Beni Basha. This was my parents restaurant, which they ran for 15 years. It was the restaurant my brother and I grew up in, worked in and eventually said goodbye to. Although it is located only two blocks away from my house, I haven't had the emotional will to enter till recently. The interior is somewhat different now, so it essentially did not feel like the old restaurant. Noel Korten, Sheila Schoonhoven, Kyungmi Shin and my daughter ordered a pork belly dish and Korean BBQ. The bancha was spectacular. My friends Koh and Sojung (Document Coffee Bar) frequent this place often, i found out later, and know the owner, Sue. Kyungmi explained my connection with their restaurant and they allowed me to view the kitchen. i was shocked to see the dish washing sinks and the main stove top/oven (by Wolf) were the same units my Father purchased decades ago. it was like seeing old friends or maybe even ghosts from the past.

Gogo's Bistro in Boyle Heights

GoGo's Bistro, 2415 E Cesar Chavez , LA CA 90033, is a new restaurant in Boyle Heights that's a New Orleans flavored oddity in what is a Latin-dominant vernacular. Unfortunately, I was in a salad mode and I suspect, although the salad was good, a salad is not the prime item on the menu. I need to go back and get some spicy meat dish. Stay tuned.