Kings Road Cafe Pt. 2, Chicken Cilantro Sausage omelet & Spinach Goat Cheese omelet

What do you do when you find a new restaurant that you really really enjoy?  You keep on going, until you burn yourself out, that's what Tummy does at least.  Probably not the most economical way or rational way to go about it, but Tummy is anything but those two things, and on that note... Kings Road Cafe part 2!

This time to join me in my tummy-licious adventure is Mr. Borscht.  I just know he'll absolutely love this place, good breakfast food and fair prices, but above all else, great coffee!  I don't have to tell you all about the mocha again do I?  Well if you haven't been keeping up on the news, the mocha at King's Road Cafe is divine, and when I say "divine" I mean really.  It's rich thick texture lends the perfect physical experience to the dark chocolatey flavor of the mocha.  If you are a mocha lover, this is a an ABSOLUTE MUST.

Chicken Cilantro Sausage & Fontina Omelet includes avocado topped with
sour cream, salsa and guacamole with a side of potatoes & toasted bread.

Mr. Borscht orders the Chicken Cilantro Sausage & Fontina Omelet which came topped with a whole mess of fun: sour cream, guacamole and salsa.  Add those three fun flavors to the chicken cilantro sausage and the fontina cheese in the omelet!  And those three fun topping flavors is a must for this omelet as the chicken cilantro sausage is on the lighter side of flavors and not too over-powering, same as the fontina cheese.  But with all the flavors together?  They do seem to ring true to something rather beautifully tasty.

Tummy also opts for an omelet this morning, the Spinach Goat Cheese Omelet which contains not only loads of sauteed spinach but also loads of Cremini mushrooms and slices of avocado, topped with a dollop of guacamole, which I immediately schmeared all over the the top of my omelet.  If you're anything like me and savor the flavors of the earth, hence my love for Spinach and mushrooms, you are definitely going to love this omelet.  The earthy flavor of the Cremini msuhrooms along with the full spinach flavor was an explosion to my tree-hugging senses, it was practically like eating rich soil from the vegetable patch (probably not the best metaphor to use), but to all other mushroom lovers out there, you know what I'm talking about.

Spinach Goat Cheese Omelet includes avocado & cremini mushrooms
with a dollop of guacamole & a side of potatoes & toasted bread.

The Damage:  $32.00 +/-

2 Mochas
1 Chicken Cilantro Sausage & Fontina Omelet
1  Spinach & Goat Cheese Omelet

8361 Beverly Blvd
LA CA 90048
(323) 655.9044

Kings Road Cafe


One of the not-so-clever things I've learned today venturing out more west than I'm used to on a day-to-day basis is that the further west you travel in Los Angeles, the trendier the people seem to get.  It was a land of fine men with tussled bed-head, aviator sunglasses and vintage t-shirts- a dime a dozen!  It was a land of warm-weathered, skinny, well made-up ladies with fabulous wardrobe bought in inexpensive thrift store shops.  It was all great and at the same time really disgusting and annoying, it just made me go 'blah!'  Perhaps this is my period talking, if so please forgive me and I don't mean any of this.  Unfortunately in reality the work and life of foremost an adventurous food connoisseur and second, a food blogger, is not fulfilled until you visit that restaurant you are so curious about but is in that neighborhood you just cannot stand, all in a day's work, I suppose.

Kings Road Cafe always seems to be bustling with people, sitting on the corner of Beverly blvd and N. Kings rd the two and four-top tables that line the sidewalk are almost always full.  To the left you have a to-go shop, get your coffee to-go and your food if you'd like.  To the right you have the restaurant with its own barista for coffee orders.

As always when Brother Charlie and Tummy go anywhere new, the coffee is the first thing on their mind, and today, they had come to the right place.  The two mochas were placed on the table, Tummy looked at it curiously, there was something odd about the mocha, just by looking at it one could see that the coloring of the mocha was darker and the texture thicker, it looked rich.  Tummy slowly brought the large cup to her lips and took a long sip, it was indeed rich... and... and, and... just heavenly!  It was almost as if the mocha was made with the use of dark bitter chocolate and slow semi-over-roasted coffee beans.  And the only words to describe Kings Road Cafe's mocha are enigmatic, profound and romantic.

Breakfast Quesadilla: Chicken-cilantro sausage, egg, mozzarella, roma tomato
guacamole & salsa on the side

Brother Charlie's Breakfast Quesadilla tasted surprisingly light, the chicken-cilantro sausage was soft and flavorful but not so full of flavor that the eggs and mozzarella were over-powered.  The dish came with a side of salsa and guacamole which of course only made it better.

Tummy on the other hand ordered the Crab Cake Benedict, the spanish twist lied in the Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce which was as you probably would have guessed, just a bit tangy.  The freshly baked croissant?  Slightly buttery on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside - to die for.  Croissant topped with crab cake and a poached egg, all topped with Chipotle Hollandaise, accompanied by herbed red breakfast potatoes that were neither dry nor moist, quite delicious compared to the last breakfast potatoes I had at BLD.

Crab Cake Benedict:  Chipotle hollandaise on fresh baked croissant
Choice of runny or hard eggs

The portions were fair to big and the prices decently affordable for the quality.  What I found the most interesting were the Spanish, or is it Mexican?  Twist that the restaurant gave to many of the dishes on the menu.  I wouldn't call it an authentic twist rather than a Californian-Mexican twist:  the chicken cilantro, chipotle hollandaise sauce, breakfast enchiladas, adobo burrito and tacos- they all sound and read great on the menu.  And though I wouldn't say the food here at Kings Road Cafe is something you'd find at a five-star restaurant, it is still pretty delicious and unique.

The Damage:  $34.30

2 Mochas
1 Breakfast Quesadilla
1 Crab Cake Benedict

8361 Beverly Blvd
LA CA 90048
(323) 655.9044

BLD Restaurant (stands for: Breakfast Lunch Dinner)

Brother Charlie sneaking a glance at Shaun White

Saturday and Sundays are the days when Mr. Borscht and I run amok around town, we drive here and we drive there, we drive almost everywhere, and usually at some point we drive on Beverly boulevard and when we do I usually see a large crowd infront of BLD waiting to be seated.  

BLD sits on the corner of Beverly Blvd and N. Vista Street, with its curved white structure and simple yet almost undecipherable red sign that reads "bld" the restaurant looks modern and mysterious.  And with a crowd waiting to be seated on most weekends one begins to wonder.

And hence, Brother Charlie and I one fine weekday afternoon decide on a whim to check it out.  We sit down at a two-top near the window.  The restaurant is not absolutely packed but it is a weekday and the place is fairly busy considering.  I look out the window and mistake Shaun White for Carrot Top, I feel awful and am sure he will hate me once he reads this post, Brother Charlie is immediately star-struck, he must know of Shaun White's snow-boarding abilities more than I,  he is seated outside next to Brother Charlie, a spotless window is the only separation and Brother Charlie continuously sneaks peeks at the back of White's long curly red hair.  A few minutes later, Hayden Panettiere shows up as well, a pint-sized person she is.  I look around the restaurant and spot a tall woman sitting nearby, most likely a model.  Two men are having a meeting at a table diagonal to us, probably an aspiring actor and a producer?  In this way the restaurant is a bit scene-y and posh.

The question is then, do people flock here for the food?  Or for the scene?

We order two Mochas "extra chocolatey please".  The Mochas are made by using chocolate that is freshly melted chocolate chips.  I take a sip, the Mocha tastes of hot chocolate, no, not of  hot chocolate, it tastes exactly like hot-chocolate.  I'm transported to Mammoth in the winter, cabin, the smell of fire, the sounds of crackling wood, warm wool socks, legs aching from a day of skiing... and, hot chocolate. Yes, the BLD mocha tastes exactly like hot chocolate, so much so that I have to ask the waitress just to be sure, "this is Mocha right?".  It is.

I opt for breakfast even though it is noon and order a Spanish Frittata which comes with a choice of potatoes and bread, I choose home-fries and a home-made biscuit.  Visions of Jamie Oliver's Spanish Frittata dance in my head, chunks of Spanish sausage, and flavors of rosemary excite my palate.  BLD's Spanish Frittata was nothing like I had envisioned, sadly.  The frittata had a puddle of orange-colored oil on it, I suspect from the melted cheese and Spanish sausage, but could they not have drained the oil before serving it?  The frittata was flat, chewy and honestly, a bit tasteless except the occasional saltiness that was supposed to be the sausage- edible but in all honesty a little less than average.  The potatoes were a bit harder than I would have liked on the outside and seemed to be the result of it being ove cooked, and though there seemed to be some type of herb on the potatoes I could not taste them, once again edible but less than average. The home-made biscuit?  Let's just say it wasn't the soft buttery Pillsbury biscuits you can make at home.  Overall score given to the Spanish Frittata:  DO NOT ORDER!

I take charge and order Brother Charlie the Seared Albacore Tuna Nicoise Salad, absolutely delicious!  And would go as far as to say that it is probably the best Tuna Nicoise Salad I have come across.  The seared Tuna was purrrrfect, flavorful, great texture, great size.  The salad was not over-dressed, a salad swimming in dressing usually is not a good sign, my theory is that if the ingredients of a salad are deliciously fresh you probably won't need much dressing to dress it, so when my salads are swimming in dressing I begin to wonder, 'what exactly are they hiding?'

The pitted olives, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced boiled egg, slices of tuna, fresh lettuce, chopped green beans, slices of dutch potatoes.  The salad was elegant yet casual, edible, delicious, fresh... and is a definite must try  for any fish eating salad lover.

And even while the Spanish Frittata receives  two thumbs down from Tummy, something tells me that the food is the main attraction here at BLD, the mocha was great as was the Nicoise salad, and the sandwiches I saw being eaten looked delicious.  Of course celebrities coming and going probably doesn't hurt business either.

Total Damage:  $36.00 +/-

2 Mochas
1 Seared Albacore Tuna Nicoise Salad
1 Spanish Frittata

7450 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 930.9744

Speed peeler v.s. speed peeler

Most times I like to eat my vegetables without peeling them, half this urge stems from the idea that the outer layer is actually what contains most of the nutrients and the second half of this urge comes from the fact that I'm just being plain lazy.  For a very long time I used the speed peeler I've always had in my kitchen drawer, the original silver speed-peeler (pictured above, on the right).  Though the original silver speed peeler wasn't the most comfortable to use nor the most up-to-date got the job done, sure it probably could have used a bit of sharpening but after many many years of usage what normal blade wouldn't.  

And then a few months ago itching to buy something, anything!  I was in one of my girlish bouts of spending frivolously.  I decided to purchase a new speed-peeler, one that had a comfortable handle, one that looked more up-to-date.

Later that week I used my new speed-peeler for the first time on a pile of carrots and potatoes, I was sorely disappointed.  I peeled and peeled, and though the blade was sharp and peeled rather nicely the long strips of vegetable peels got stuck between the blade and the black plastic frame.  I found that every so often I would need to stop and pull out the vegetable peels that had gotten stuck between or give the speed peeler a good rough frustrated shake to the get the peels off - "No bueno" as Brother Charlie would say.

Hence I have learned one thing from this experience.  Simply because the utensil is dated does not mean it's crap, chances are, it's probably still the best, hence the reason why it still works and is still being used in your kitchen.  "If it ain't broke- why fix it?!"

La Bottega Marino

If you ever want to "mmm, mmm... mmmmmm" between bites I suggest trying Larchmont's La Bottega Marino.  La Bottega Marino stocks San Marzano canned tomatos and this was the only reason I stepped into this small, quaint restaurant.  It's lack of customers, was the sole reason I never dined here.  Then one cold chilly night hungry for a new place to try and for some Italian cuisine Mr. Borscht and I opened the doors, stepped inside and took a seat.

For $5 we ordered Crostinos with mixed mushrooms to top, the choices for toppings varied: English Peas & Parmigiano, Chicken Liver Pate, Oxtail Vaccinara and Mixed Mushroom- Mr. Borscht and I are crazy for mushrooms.  The Crostino came in four regular sizes, a great starter to be shared by two.  The bread was grilled, just thick enough, chewy yet with a slight crunch on the outside, perfect for Crostinos, perfect to hold in the juices without being torn apart by the wetness of the toppings.  The Mixed Mushrooms were sauteed, piles of mixed mushrooms on the crostini, this starter was absolutely a delight, it was simple yet delicious.  And as it so happens was the highlight of the entire dinner, for me.

A small side of marinated diced tomatos, we weren't all too sure how to eat these fresh beauties, but we did eat them none-the-less.

The starter had just wet my appetite and now I was truly excited about what was to come next, Fettuccini Bolegnese.

Though my Fettuccini Bolegnese was perfect in every way, tomatoey, ragu-ooey with thick fettuccini pasta that was cooked to perfection I took one bite of Mr. Borscht's Fusilli Salsieccia E Panna and knew which was the better dish, his.  The Fusilli Salsieccia E Panna was what we lame-mens call cork-screw pasta with chunks of home-made chicken sausage all tossed together in a cream sauce - the chicken sausage was so full of flavor and it could be tasted with every bite, slightly peppery but creamy, slightly salty but not.  But I'm sure the Fettuccini Bolegnese is probably better for you.

This small, quaint restaurant that resides in Larchmont with friendly staff is a definite try if you haven't already.  I'm no pro when it comes to Italian but I think it can be said that one can judge the quality of an Italian restaurant by it's bread and pasta, at La Bottega Marino the bread and pasta is so good it's almost painful to eat.  The pasta is cooked through soft with the perfect texture, the fettuccini was the perfect width as was the fusilli.  The bread?  Damn good, Chewy, soft, doughy, moist... yumm.

The Damage:  36.00 +/-

1 Crostino w/Mixed Mushrooms
1 Fettuccine Bolognese
1 Fusilli Salsieccia E Panna

La Bottega Marino
203 North Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Potato Chips

Brother Charlie and I can always go for a good sandwich and therefore we always have our eyes peeled for a good sandwich shop.  And to be honest, there's nothing more exciting than finding for the first time a good place to get a great sandwich, as was the case for Potato Chips.

Behind a large tree and sandwiched between the many shops that line Beverly Blvd, Potato Chips is probably over-looked many a times.  In our many years of living in Los Angeles never had Brother Charlie and I ever saw Potato Chips of interest, this may have been proven to be difficult as the view of Potato Chips is slight behind the enormous large tree and the many cluttered looking stores that flank it. But it's amazing what things you have time to see as a pedestrian forever hitching rides from people you know, getting from point A to point B may be important but the places inbetween?  They're beautiful to see as a passer-by, no emotions or pre-assumptions, you just sit, look and feel.  And when I got a glimpse of Potato Chips I felt... intrigued.  In large, green, block italicized letter behind white brick background read "Potato Chips", interesting name, short and to the point- doesn't quite jump out as "Sandwich" but gives visions of sandwiches none the less.... Sandwiches and... POTATO CHIPS- yummm.

A green trimmed shop in the middle of Beverly Blvd with a table for two outside in the sun, the shop looks old, and I don't mean its been here for many years but old in decor, vintage, retro, old-school, but who knows, maybe the shop has been here for many years.

It's a nice sunny day and Brother Charlie and I park across the street and walk over to Potato Chips, a girl stylishly dressed in tan riding pants and shiny patent leather riding boots catch his eyes for a moment.  We enter and find that Potato Chips is a deli, a deli that is selling the bare minimum.  On the plain printed menu there are a list of only a handful of sandwiches.  Bottles of wine line a rack, soda pop and other cold drinks are sold in a help-yourself commercial refrigerator, and of course there are chips, but not as many chips as I imagined a deli named Potato Chips to have.  

The bare minimum of Potato Chips could only mean two things... Either it was very good... or, it is really awful and is a front for a laundering scheme - this is often my theory on distasteful places that have been around for a long time.

After a quiet discussion and a brief second to convince Brother Charlie that yes, we should stay and try it out, we order.  I the torpedo and Brother Charlie the Italian Sub, the torpedo (which unfortunately I failed to take a picture of) consisted different types of deli meat including capicola, one of my favorites.  The Torpedo tasted of an old-world Italian sandwich and found it quite to my liking.

The Italian sub consisted of a few different kinds of meat but what set this sandwich apart from others I believe is the salsa-like addition to the sandwich which gave it a more flavorful taste, but even with the additional fresh salsa-like taste the Torpedo was still the winner... for me and Brother Charlie alike.

Upon coming home and doing further research on Potato Chips I found that on most reviews the customers raved about the Italian Sub, just goes to show that all palates are not made equal.  My next excursion to Potato Chips will be for their MeatBall Sandwich, that will be an adventure indeed!


The Damage:  $25.00 +/-

2 drinks
1 Italian sub
1 Torpedo sub

Potato Chips
7316 Beverly Blvd.
LA CA 90036
(323) 931.0911

Tummy's Go-To ingredients

Being a person that finds the fun in cooking however mediocre I may be I have kitchen shelves stacked with spices and seasoning.  And however mediocre I may be in cooking I have learned a great plenty of things about the art of cooking, but not one so important as this... that there are only a handful of spices and seasoning one actually needs to make a dish perfectly flavorful.  

Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Dried oregano
Fresh thyme
All spice

Olive oil whisked with red wine vinegar with a sprinkle of salt and pepper makes a slightly sweet and tangy beautiful salad dressing.  You will find that this simple dressing can make even simply a bowl of butter lettuce with tomatos and slices of red onions absolutely delicious.

Roast carrots, potatoes and even beets at 400 degrees in the oven.  Toss your chosen vegetable or all three in olive oil, red wine vinegar, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a couple of smashed garlic cloves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme, cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes, for the last ten minutes take the foil off and let it bake fully uncovered at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  You will be amazed how delicious roasted whole baby carrots can be.

Potato salad?  Easy.  Toss the boiled and diced dutch potatoes  in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, garlic if you so wish and of course, salt and pepper.

You can throw Cloves and All Spice in just about any stew, as a result earthy and spicy flavors with ensue your senses.

I have found that these spices and seasoning (my go-to ingredients) can create the most delicious dishes whether it be used for salad dressing, roasting, sauteing amongst plenty of other things.  So if you find yourself one night with a kitchen full of boring bunch of carrots or even a boring bag of potatoes, why not give these key spices and seasoning a try, see how boring you'll find them then.

Pacific Crepes

My heart goes pitter-patter just a little bit as I sit myself down for breakfast.

When:  first breakfast as as wife with the mother-in-law  
Where:  in the city of Santa Barbara, Pacific Crepes  

Yes, I am now married and my first breakfast as a wife I of course chose... a french restaurant, called Pacific Crepes.  Located downtown Santa Barbara on Anacapa Street, the restaurant is small, intimate, usually very quiet, and worked by owner and employees who all seem to be French.  How cute, how legitimate.

And though crepes are the specialty here, the sandwiches are fabulous as well!  But it is breakfast time and the new wife, new mother-in-law and new husband will all be ordering crepes.

The new mother-in-law, Mrs. Borscht ordered La Francaise with a bit of adjustment, La Francaise on the menu comes with two spread eggs over-easy, sliced ham and swiss cheese.  Mrs. Borscht does is not carnivorous and so omitted the ham from her order.  The three of us watched as Mrs. Borscht received her plate, time slows down as the waitress sets La Francaise down on the table, the two over-easy eggs and the melted cheese looks divine, and tastes divine as well.  The eggs are cooked over-easy just right with a runny yolk that tastes rich and creamy, along with the melted swiss cheese and the thin delicate crepe, the texture and flavors blend perfectly.

New husband Mr. Borscht decides on the La Complete.  Two spread eggs, ham, swiss cheese, mozzarella cheese and mushrooms.  And though La Complete is not as beautiful as Mrs. Borscht's La Francaise, the flavors are just as beautifully put together.  The slight saltiness of the thinly sliced ham, the nuttiness from the mushroom is melded together with the spread eggs and the melted swiss and mozarella cheese.

Tummy opts for the Nordic for her first breakfast as a Mrs.  Smoked Salmon on bechamel sauce with a side of sauteed spinach and ratatouille.  The saltiness of the smoked salmon and the creaminess of the bechamel sauce was splendid.  The Ratatouille and sauteed spinach I have to admit did not look like much and sounded much better on the menu, but with one bit of the ratatouille I was pleasantly surprised, was absolutely delicious!

When in Santa Barbara and in the mood for a little piece of France, Pacific Crepes is worth venturing too.  Once upon a time when Mr. Borscht and Tummy resided in the quaint but heavenly Santa Barbara Pacific Crepes was a weekend breakfast treat, Escargo, mimosas, dessert crepes, sandwiches and of course, the crepes!  All that is served is good here!

And along with the french cafe decor and the french accents by all who work at Pacific Crepes one can't help but to feel they did travel to France... what more can one ask for when going for a French breakfast?

The Damage:  $45.00 +/-

1 Nordic Crepe
1 La Francaise
1 La Complete Crepe
1 Coffee
2 Orange juices

705 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93013
(805) 882.1123

Perfect spoon rest

Simon Pearce Brookfield Spoon Rest @ Terrain

Long have I looked high and low, traveling across the long line of traffic back and forth from one part of the city to the other in the hopes of finding the perfect spoon rest.  And how this day is both filled with sadness, great happiness and irony... for I have found the perfect spoon rest I have been toiling over all these days in travel... on the internet.

Terrain has included in it's collection of beautiful products for home and gardening, Simon Pearce Brookfield Spoon Rest.  It is clean, simple and out of the way.  It is in a word, perfect.


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