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Friday, October 7, 2016

DCWD Travels: Gjusta, LA

Neighborhood: Los Angeles

This place is charming. This place is hipster. This place is relaxed. This place has enough options to let you eat here all day. And incidentally, this is the kind of place where you can casually sit next to Emilia Clarke taking in the sun while you brunch.

You've got several options when you walk into Gjusta, all of which are ordered like meat in a deli: bakery, breakfast, sandwiches, beverages/coffee. Grab a number, order your jam, lounge outside. The result is an experience that feels casual and chill, and food that is fresh and diverse. There's Official Co-Writer/Wife Texas's typically LA bowl - brown rice, wild mushrooms,  greens, fermented chili, and a fried egg, which compares gracefully with the crosstown sqirl's; it's funky and weird and delicious.

There's my typical breakfast sandwich - a sausage, egg, and cheddar on a huge biscuit - one that is only rivaled in my memory by the same at Glen's. When a biscuit is the star, you know you're in for a treat.

And there's Official Friend of DCWD CC's traditional croque madame, oozing and gooey and rich. All three of them would have satisfied any of the three of us; that all three could be found in the same kitchen is nothing short of splendid.

The Verdict

Eff yea.

Food Rating: ****
(out of 5)

Gjusta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

DCWD Travels: Trois Familia, LA

Neighborhood: Los Angeles

Most of the time you end up at a restaurant run by someone on Top Chef, it's a sit-down, upscale affair (like say, the upcoming Shaw Bijou). What I certainly didn't expect from Ludo Lefebvre and the two dudes behind Animal was a small no-reservations spot in a strip mall that takes its decorative cues from a beach taco shack (this is not to say that it's not incredibly put together, because it is). Then again, what else could manage to hold a French-Mexican fusion place that only opens for brunch?

What a magical eye-opening brunch it is, that hits and keeps on coming. Most everything here is playful, and combines the taste points of high-end cuisine in approachable ways. Take the bean and cheese burrito, one that combines big cassoulet eans and a garlic brown butter sauce in a nontraditional manner. It's something you'd expect to side a filet of chicken or fish, but that here plays like a casual wrap.

Everything on this menu is basically great, especially when the menu plays with texture: the crispy-goopy hashbrown chilaquiles, or the galette of egg and chorizo are my recommendations. The former is lick-your-bowl good, while the latter is like a high speed collision of a buckwheat crepe and a Spanish breakfast. Double decker potato tacos feel like something that you'd see at Taco Bell, and satisfies the same base need for texture and mouthfeel. If sweet tooth brunch is more your thing, the crunchy churro french toast hits the spot. About the only thing that doesn't work is the grits with mushrooms and pumpkin seeds, which is forgettable.

The Verdict

A singularly unique and joyous brunch.

Food Rating: **** 1/2 
(out of 5)

Trois Familia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, October 3, 2016

DCWD Travels: Republique, LA

Neighborhood: Los Angeles

Over the next four days, we're going to look at four distinct breakfast/brunch options from another trip to Los Angeles. First up, Republique.

There is a line seemingly around the damn block. And yet, with how unique this place is, it's totally worth it. For one, the line churns slowly but surely. It snakes its way past a counter that seems like it came from a Great British Bakeoff fever dream - bombolini and cakes and pastries as far as the eye can see, loaded with descriptors like citrus poppyseed, smores, or blueberry lemon coconut.

Order what you want and then find a spot in the breathtaking communal space - one that is like eating in a charming Parisien alleyway. Once seated, that's when you can order from the larger sit-down menu.

And order we do: fried mini croissants crusted in cinnamon sugar with a hazelnut hot chocolate dipping sauce dazzle, as does a cast iron skillet of shakshouka. But my favorite is the one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other adobo fried rice, dotted with pork belly and eggs. Less popular but still interesting is a spinach and ham tartine, and a crusty sourdough with ricotta, hazelnuts, and apple. This is what makes Republique so awesome: you can have sweet and savory and everywhere in between all in the same beautiful spot.

The Verdict

C'est increible.

Food Rating: ****
(out of 5)

République Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato