Long Weekend: From the Westside to Artesia to DTLA/SGV

It’s a long weekend, baby!

Per the usual Minty ways, I had planned something every day I had off. Starting Friday night, I checked out Orris with four others. I decided I wasn’t going to take any pictures which turned out to be a good decision because I was able to fully appreciate my meal.

Highlights included beets with basque cheese, tempura anchovy, scallops, crab salad, black cod and applet tart. We also enjoyed the Ciao Bella bourbon gelato combined with the blackberry cabernet sorbet. While I wasn’t in love with the snapper carpaccio (a bit chewy), albacore lettuce cups (not enough albacore), flourless chocolate cake (not fudgey enough) or the creme brulee (not served hot), everything was very good.

Then we were off to the midnight shadowcast show of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, my favorite movie of all time. I’ve been going to the Rainbow Carnage shadowcast of the show for years.

Lady Gaga as hedwig

As usual, I loved the show and even bought another guitar pick necklace. A friend asked me why do I keep going to Hedwig. Well, to me, it’s different every time with the shadowcast. I noticed they did a scene they’ve never done before. Later this month, I plan to go to Hamburger Mary’s live Hedwig show on the 30th.

Hedwig = love

On Saturday, I was back at the Laxy Ox for more. This time, I had dinner with two others. We ordered ordered a slew of stuff. We probably ordered too much because as my eyes were glazing over and my stomach was issuing SOS distress signals, more dishes hit our table. I’m just so excited about this place. It’s my new Bottega Louie.

I was slightly shocked some dishes have made some transformations like the pig ears and razor clams seem to be missing some mass. Um, like three razor clams instead of four just a few days earlier (same price though!). There are fewer piggie ears as well and they’re served in thinner crispier slices. I preferred the chewier version from happy hour.

Highlights this evening were the trotter, crispy broccoli leaves and charred octopus. I was actually not into the albondigas or the oxtail cavatelli. The flavors were there but the cavatelli wasn’t very attractive to look at. A friend mentioned she loved the flavors but didn’t like the green bug like cavatelli. Perhaps a different pasta?

charred octopus

After dinner, we headed over to Broadway Bar for a birthday party in full swing. I met some interesting characters and previously, I’d never experienced this bar for the entire night.  Usually I go bar hopping in DTLA. Broadway Bar seems to be a popular hotspot with a line later in the evening and bodies everywhere. The second floor was open and I’d never gone up before. I quickly escaped back downstairs when I realized it was even more crowded.

For years I’ve always wanted to check out the Indian food in Artesia. I love Indian food but my experiences at restaurants are never as good homecooking I’ve at friends’ homes. I’ve heard the wonderful stories and I finally made it down there. We checked out Tirupathi Bhimas which is known for their vegetarian dishes but they’ve now expanded to plenty of meat and seafood dishes at a new outpost (just downstairs from the original restaurant in Little India Village).

We had the Chicken 555 appetizer, 4 curries, plenty of garlic naan and plain rice as well as veggie biriyani. I was so glad to have a mango lassi because the spice level while tolerable for me had me thirsting for water and the mouth-cooling lassi.

mango lassi

chicken 555

The chicken 555 was deeply flavorful and served with a screamingly hot sauce. I really enjoyed the various curries but being as they were all brown sauces in white bowls, I’m not going to post the pictures.  You may check out the pics on my flickr page.

Afterwards, we checked out Saffron Spot next door for some Indian ice cream. I had the cashew raisin. While I thought the rose and saffron flavors were interesting, I am really a fruity and nutty girl. Ahem, for ice cream, of course.

cashew raisin ice cream

Last night, I headed over to Mon Land Hot Pot City with three others. I’ve had Chinese hotpot before but never like this. The soups were deeply flavorful and not at all herbacious like I feared. My favorite thing about this place was probably the artwork though.

artwork at Mon Land

my sauce

Creating one’s sauce is a very personal thing. From the three sauces on the table, I chose a little chili oil and what was supposedly peanut sauce. I skipped the “strawberry” looking one (fermented soybean). From there, I added minced garlic, green onion and more chili sauce. With a cracked egg, I was ready to go.

Mon Land was known for their lamb. I found of the sliced lamb, beef and pork I actually preferred the pork. My friends were so enthusiastic about the lamb, we also got the lamb dumplings and lamb “burgers” (which is kind of like a pita with ground lamb stuffed inside). Lamb for me is hit or miss. I felt it was too gamey. Give me pork any day.

half and half soups

lamb "burgers"

hotpot goodies

I really loved the veggies and tofu we cooked with the soup. The tofu especially was imbued with the flavors. I could almost do a veggie hotpot at this place but my carniverous ways would probably kick in. After dinner, they serve you some sesame mochi. Bonus! They didn’t charge us corkage fees since we used their IKEA glasses instead of fancy wine glasses.

What a great weekend!