Tag Archives: restaurant review

Mutari: Serious Hot Chocolate in Santa Cruz, CA

Recently, we went on an amazing road trip up the California coast. Mutari is a little hot chocolate joint we visited in Santa Cruz, California. We stopped by to escape a rainy Santa Cruz night after dinner and before returning to our hotel on our trip up the coast. It was an experience. I’ll get straight to the point that I did not love their chocolate. But I loved their passion and it made everything taste a little better.

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Tsujita (Yelp Review)

3 stars given on Yelp

Having worked a few buildings over for two and a half years, I saw the lines outside of Tsujita, a ramen eatery on Sawtelle. I knew it was heavily hyped because of its presence on Gold’s 101 List multiple times. I think he even claimed it was the best ramen in LA. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case the only time I visited.

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The Crustacean: Restaurant Review

Can we just avoid writing any words and let you eat with your eyes for a moment? As you can tell from all the pictures below, the food here is beautiful and a considerable amount of extra time is spent on presentation, which we appreciate, because it’s a testament to their high standards. The elephant in the room is that The Crustacean, owned and operated by the House of An from Vietnam, is a little on the expensive side, impossible to get a reservation, and requires you to dress up like you’re heading to a wedding, right? Wrong and none of these are necessarily true. 

While you can’t walk in off the streets on a Friday night wearing sandals and a fitted cap, expecting to be seated quickly and fill your stomach with a $10 bill, The Crustacean is a lot more than a “fancy restaurant” in the heart of Beverly Hills. Its atmosphere can be magical with the elaborate indoor setup that makes you feel like you’re in the Vietnamese equivalent of a castle grand dining hall. As the host walks you through the entry into the two-level main room, passing over bridges made from beautiful wood, it’s impossible to ignore the glass-covered river underneath the floor filled with large koi. You’ve been successfully transported into a different part of the world and then you eat.

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Pizza Press Restaurant Review

Another contender enters the ring, but this isn’t Super Smash Bros although you might think a Mario and Luigi have something to do with this. Good one, right? Looking back through the blog, we’ve talked about pizza… a lot. Can you blame us? We’ve highlighted our favorite pizza ever, our favorite pizza in LA, simple homemade pizza, a healthy homemade recipe, and much more. We even wrote a blog post about pizza on our other blog. More recently, we realized that there’s a growing market here in LA that is heavily influenced by the success of Subway, Chipotle, and other “build your own” food stops. At the time, we tried Pieology and Pizza Rev, and we wrote about our comparative review HERE.

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Chado Tea Room

My Nana passed away a little over a year ago and I wanted to celebrate her somehow. So, I started looking up places where the family could have high tea. After searching around a bit, I found Chado Tea. It was close by (we went to the Hollywood location), didn’t seem too pricey, and had good reviews. You may have seen some pictures from there in an earlier post. All in all, it was a good and fun experience. 

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The Carving Board

Whenever we move to a new place, it’s fun for us to explore new eateries around us. We have certainly not failed that mission, eating at all different kind of joints: Indian, Thai, American, English, and so forth. Settled in a West Hollywood strip mall with many other food choices, the Carving Board offers a variety of American plates; salads, soups, and sandwiches. I would say it specializes in sandwiches, but we’ve tried all the different types of fares. While it may be a little overpriced, the Carving Board is a regular stop for us. 

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A Pizza Revolution: Pieology vs Pizza Rev

It might not have been Subway, but it seems that the sandwich juggernaut gets the credit for redefining the fast food experience. That extra amount of ownership that you have over the finished product because you had more of a, say, than normal in the constructive process brings you back for more. Chipotle is the latest company to turn billions of dollars from this consumer experience and while small poke shops are barely keeping their head above water doing the same, the dream remains for chefs and entrepreneurs. They’re looking for the perfect food for an untrained chef to put together lunch-lady style. This food would have to be easy to assemble, use inexpensive ingredients, and popular. Was anyone else thinking of pizza?

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Anima Pizza & Pasta

Right smack dab in the middle of Koreatown is Anima Pizza & Pasta, a restaurant that seems imported directly from Italy. It’s in walking distance of our apartment (think near Wilshire & Vermont) and we are so happy that it is! It’s actually in the same strip as another favorite restaurant of ours, so it’s twice the greatness. We discovered this gem late one night (think near 10pm) and we’ve been going back weekly ever since. The quality of the food far surpasses the dollar signs on their menu–it’s excellent food for a bargain. 

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Wiki Poki Review

 As someone who grew up in the diner capital of the world, there’s some confusion when entering a restaurant that only serves one thing. Luckily, Wiki Poki also has miso soup. When you find an eatery that specializes in one particular delicacy, the execution of the dish has to be nearly flawless or success is unattainable. Just look at the fresh seafood that Wiki Poki uses to create their amazingly healthy and delicious containers of love. You walk in and out in no time with only $10 less than you entered with just a few minutes before. Secretly, I don’t want to write this glowing review because it will only lead to more traffic here and I want to keep it all to myself.

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Post-workout goodness

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Bar Hayama Restaurant Review (Los Angeles)

On Sawtelle, away from the long lines and commotion of popular spots like Tsujita LA and others, is Bar Hayama. Highlighted by a beautiful outdoor seating area, this bar offers four seating options and multiple menus worth of food. As a result, being seated and served takes far less time than eateries closer to Olympic. Still, as Hungry & Fit, the most important dining aspect is the food, but let’s take about what makes this fiery location worth a visit.

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