Chef’s Table @ Providence

Up there with getting spontaneously upgraded from coach to first class on a flight is getting upgraded from a regular table to a chef’s table overlooking the kitchen at Providence.   Great company, great lighting for pictures, a quiet, secluded corner, a wonderful view of the working kitchen, a little chat with the head chef — I couldn’t have asked for more.

ProvidenceChef Cimarusti tasting some micro greens

Although Providence is known for their seafood dishes and those may certainly be what earned them their Michelin stars, the kitchen also puts out wonderful, inventive vegan dishes as well — as long as you call in advance and make a reservation.  Tonight was our second time at Providence and Will was looking forward to seeing what new tricks Michael Cimarusti had up his sleeve. [Read more…]

Sona

Dinner @ SonaDinner @ Sona
Dinner @ SonaDinner @ Sona
some dishes from Sona

Will took me to Sona the night of our engagement to celebrate. I guess he was pretty confident about what my answer would be since he made reservations before-hand. If I had said ‘no,’ it might have been a pretty awkward dinner.

The food was all really good, which was expected for the price. They emphasized on seasonal produce and even used some morels and fiddlehead ferns in some of our dishes. I don’t usually like cooked salmon because so many places overcook it, but the oil-poached salmon here was the best cooked fish I had ever had!

We both got the six course tasting menu, me the regular one and him a special vegan one. I liked that for the vegan dishes, everything looked like a lot of thought was put into it. Too many places just do a “dish sans meat” when we ask for something vegan.

While I liked all my food, I was surprised that there were two sweet courses in a six course tasting menu. I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth, so I would have appreciated a savory dish instead of the extra sweet dish. Now that’s not to say the sweet dish was bad, but it was just my preference.

As a whole, an excellent meal but it’s definitely not going to be a regular thing because of its price.

Sona
401 North La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 659-7708

Yu Chun Naeng Myun (Ktown)

Yu Chun Neang MyunYu Chun Naeng Myun was brought to my attention by this post on delicious coma. The restaurant specializes in those toothsome cold Korean noodles, which made it the perfect choice for lunch one hot day last week.

The restaurant, located in the heart of Korea town, is on one leg of an L-shaped strip mall sharing a parking lot with some other businesses. The lot is small and there were no vacancies, so I just parked at an open spot on the street. Most of the servers only speak Korean with very rudimentary understanding of English, so either take a Korean-speaker with you if you want to ask questions, or just point and nod at menu. I did the latter.

The menu is limited, but it does have English translations under most choices. Since it was my first time there, I wanted to eat what the restaurant’s known for, so I ordered the spicy beef and raw fish cold noodles ($10).

The bowl of noodles and toppings came out along with a smaller bowl of iced soup, almost like a savory slushy. After the waitress cut my noddles with some scissors, I dumped the soup into the bowl and mixed, mixed, mixed.

One slurp and I was glad I braved the LA traffic to lunch at Yu Chun. The noodles were thin, chewy, and perfect. The soup was a healthy balance of tang and a little spice and had a savory richness that I can only guess comes from some sort of meat broth. The couple slices of beef in the soup were quickly devoured and I was left chewing on bite after bite of noodles with some raw fish and pickled veggies thrown in — not that I minded. The raw fish was hardly noticeable covered in the ample red chili paste. They didn’t taste fishy at all. The pickled veggies and red chili paste are a little pungent, like all good Korean pickles are, so don’t eat here if you’re going to meet a client afterward.

Yu Chun has a couple variations of the cold noodles, but what also caught my eye were the large dumplings on the menu. I’m definitely going to have to drag a friend with me next time so I can have my noodles and order the dumplings.

Yu Chun Naeng Myun
3185 W Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
[map]
Yu Chun Naeng Myun in Los Angeles