Posts filed under restaurant

Westie Wednesday: Best Underground Dinner Party

Ok, yes that's a really specific Westie category, I know.  But you know what?  It's my blog and IdowhatIwont!  If something's the best, I'm gonna tell you about it!  Also, I should disclaimer now that this is not on the West Westside of LA, but it's still LA so that's pretty far West.  And, it's just THAT. GOOD.  So...the Westie for Best Underground Dinner Party goes to...



Let me set the April we celebrated our wedding anniversary (woo WOO!), and we already had some fun plans (see: Santa Barbara).  As a total long shot, I also put our name in to get to go to this underground dinner party...and we got picked!  

There's this amazing young chef named Craig Thornton (as in, he's on lists like THIS), who started a private tasting-menu dinner party in his downtown LA loft (read: his actual living room/kitchen).  He now hosts about once a month and invites around 12 guests each time.  Then, he cooks whatever amazing gourmet menu he wants, with the help of a handful of other chefs, while you watch them in the kitchen, and serves you at his dining room table.  You meet 12 fun strangers and become friends.  At the end of the meal, each guest gets an envelope, and you leave cash in the amount you think was fair for the meal.  Pretty legit idea.  I think I heard that it's been so successful he is actually going to have a restaurant in the near future.  

Ok now for the important part, the menu!  Here are our 9 courses (please excuse the horrendous iPhone photos in low lighting, hopefully you still get the idea): 

Course 1: Ribeye steak, broccoli stalk slaw, broccoli tempura, pink lady radish flower, cheddar


Course 2: Halibut (best fish I've EVER had--it melted like butter!), cauliflower, beet, green apple, brussels sprouts (that tasted like garlic bread), calendula flower, cabbage


Course 3: Crab, snap pea juice, yuyu salad, creme fraiche


Course 4: Rabbit meatballs, chipotle, cilantro, grape, radish, cherry, onion sopes


Course 5: Pork belly, crawfish, beans, tortones, snap pea celery root remoulade


Course 6: Butternut squash inside mochi (OMG), Hen of the Woods mushrooms, baby kale, parmesan fresco, flowers, cocoa coffee sprinkles


Course 7: Quail, green tomato, deviled egg aioli, red pepper, dill, asparagus, candied peanuts


Course 8: Chocolate toffee mousse, raspberry-pistachio cake, berry sherbet, blueberry meringue


Course 9: (it tasted like a Flinstone push-up pop in the best way imaginable) Olive oil steam cake, olive oil meyer lemon parfait, lime curd, candied mandarin orange


Saliva falling on desk.   My favorites were the halibut, squash kochi + olive oil cake dessert, but everything was scrumptious.  And the presentation was stunning.

Parker and I both left saying it wasn't just the best underground dinner party meal, but the best food we've had ever.  In our whole lives.  

Here's how you can do it too:  Sign up on THIS SITE  to get on the emailing list.  And then submit yourself via email, when they announce a dinner party.  It really is amazing that we got chosen, because I hear hundreds of people enter and I know several friends who would kill to go.  If you get picked and flake out, they remove you from the list permanently, so don't be a jerk :)

Just sign up until you get it.  Seriously.   


Downtown LA Adventure


Oh we had such a fun spontaneous Saturday this past weekend!  When Parker suggested we head downtown to advench, my eyes lit up and all I could think was TRAIN!!!  For those of you who don't know, I luuuuv public transportation.  So this. was. exciting!

Now, I'm usually more of a planner, and the hubs loves to have zero plans.  But we strike a nice balance.  Here's the thing, I LOVE doing spontaneous things too, I just a) like to have fun things to look forward to, and b) know ahead of time if the whole day is going to be open for said spontaneity, so I know it won't just be wasted.  Can I get an amen?  But anyway, this was a lovely full day of no plans and everything turned out so fun! 

I hopped on a literal train (LA Metro) and a figurative one (the VSCO Cam bandwagon) this weekend.  If you don't have this photography app, you should get it HERE, it's pretty ballin.   So most of the shots you see below are iPhone/VSCO combos.  


If you live in LA or are visiting, you have to make this trip.  Now that the Expo Line is extended to Culver City, and soon to be Santa Monica beach, it's so easy and accessible!  And, it's such a cheap way to head downtown.  There's a huge free lot at the Culver City metro stop (free LA parking FTW!).  We only spent $3 each for the round trip.  So overall we saved about $20 on parking, gas, and road rage.  DO IT!

Downtown is chocked full of little joys.  There's so much to see.  And, it was a full afternoon--making us feel like we went on a mini-vacation.  The best!

Disney Concert Hall:  Stunning!  Adding a dressy concert date to the Winter bucket list now...


The Last Bookstore:  uh-mazing!  totally Harry Potter


Inspired by that flying books art installation above.  And there were penny tile + books-by-color galore! 


Baco Mercat  for an early dinnerget in my belly again please!



"It was the best day!"  Name that quote, anyone?  ;)

We always talk about wanting to hop a train for a trip on a whim.  Maybe next time we'll go farther away!  What's the most memorable spontaneous trip you've taken? 

Restaurant Spotlight: Creation Grill

Creation Grill.jpg

Hey guys!  Hope you all had a fab 4th!  We sure did, as you saw from all the photos yesterday.  And now we're back and hitting the ground running!

As you've probably guessed, I'm always up for trying new restaurants on the Westside (and beyond, of course).  And now with the blog, I have an extra good excuse to do so!  ;)  Two weeks ago, I went to a new spot in Santa Monica called Creation Grill with my foodie friend, Sharon.    

I love Mediterranean/Greek food, but typically just go to cheapy spots like Daphne's or Gaby's (local chains).  They are good, but definitely lack ambience--let's just say, they're more take-out than dine-in.  So, when we found this place, and I realized the food is DELICIOUS and my lunch was only about 10 bucks, I was sold!  

Creation Grill

Check out their site, menu, and location info HERE

What I loved about it: 

  • $10ish lunch (pretty standard for LA)
  • Generous portion size (I could have taken home half for leftovers, but it was so good, I ate it all, whoops!)
  • Delicious quintessential Greek food!  The hummus was perfect, and that's hard to do.  
  • Cute ambiance (exposed brick, subway tile, rustic wood accents, modern pops of chartreuse)
  • Great, central Santa Monica/Ocean Park location
  • Super friendly employees
  • And...they serve Intellegensia coffee

I had a refreshing Arnold Palmer with their special organic ginger plum tea.  


And a yummy steak kabob plate (with hummus, pita bread, rice) and a mini Greek salad. Make sure to order the garlic sauce!   

greek salad.jpg

It was a perfect lunch spot, and a great deal for the price!  I'll definitely be going back soon!  Anybody want to join me?

Next time you go, let them know Westside Bestside sent you!