The Minty’s Best 2015 Meals

 

prawns from Hanjip

prawns from Hanjip

 

I’ve written around 260 posts on the site this year. Picking my favorite meals of the year is a little daunting. I don’t have a particular order but I have organized them around high end, casual and travel spots.

 

High End

Hatchet Hall

My meal at Hatchet Hall is one of my most memorable meals this year. I loved the chicken liver.

Au Lac

Not weird, not oddly but perhaps somewhat out of the ordinary for a die-hard meat eater, I’ve been eating more vegetarian and vegan foods. I have always loved vegetables and it’s not really hard for me to give up meat (for a meal, not lifestyle!) and my favorite vegan spot DTLA is Au Lac. The salt and pepper yam shrimp is the best.thing.ever.

Otium

I see myself exploring Otium much more closely in the coming year- lunch, here I come!

Terrine

I’ve had such wonderful meals there including brunch, a celebrating ending the repeal of foie gras in California and a Labor Day BBQ

The Arthur J.

My new fave steak house!

Birch

A great choice in Hollywood.

Leona

Warm, friendly and beautiful. I could be talking about the chef, Nyesha Arrington but  I love the vibe at Leona. The fish and chips were my favorite fish and chips this year.

Shunji Sushi

Pristine fish.

Broken Spanish

While I always miss the bar at Rivera, I can help but be excited for Broken Spanish practically in my backyard. Plus Chef Ray Garcia knows his way around pork.

Culina at the Four Seasons Los Angeles

I love all the fun events and special dinners at Culina and that brunch at the Four Seasons is amazing.

Maple Block Meat Company

Now that Saint Martha closed, I might have to throw my BBQ brisket lover over to Maple Block.  Though I love Maple Block’s ribs more.

10e

I’m kind of torn where I’m putting 10e. Does it belong high end or casual? I suppose it could be both. It’s so charming but not so nose-in-the-air that you can’t stop in for a casual lunch.

Estrella Sunset

Chef Dakota Weiss brings very well done classics like fried chicken (but with her own twist) to West Hollywood.

Little Sister

High end Vietnamese and other Asian flavors. Looking forward to trying breakfast.

Orsa and Winston

Okay, it’s probably cheating but I’ve only had the rice bowls at Orsa and Winston. I need to return for a tasting menu. But that crudo bowl is my absolute fave from their simple lunch menu.

Water Grill

That seafood tower!!!

The District by Hannah An

When I want an Asian food option in mid-city, I know where to go for lobster noodles and bone marrow.

Sambar

For high end Indian food, head here for the curry, chicken wings and cocktails.

Viviane

Viviane feels like a date place, a brunch spot and just about everything in between.

Redbird

I’m still in the process of writing about one of my favorite meals this year at Redbird but it’s also a great choice for dineLA which is coming up again in January. I hope they bring back that potpie.

 

Casual

Pho Hai

Favorite pho broth ever.

Poke Poke

So I’ve know about poke salad for years but it’s only become the biggest trend in LA dining this year. Poke Poke is where it’s at for OG poke on the beach.

Hanjip BBQ

I’m still thinking about those prawns weeks later. It’s time to go back soon for a KBBQ lunch!

Hollywood Thai

This may have edged out Ruen Pair as my favorite late night Thai spot. But not because they take credit cards (yay!) but because it’s dark and sexy and the food is damn good and authentic. They’re not afraid of throwing a few blood cubes in your soup. Oh, and angel wings.

Ohana Poke Company

I’ve gotten my order down at this poke spot and it’s spicy tuna over kale salad. And spam musubi.

Szechuan Impression

Still thinking about the tea-smoked ribs.

Ricebar

A more subtle food trend- rice bowls. And Ricebar is one of the options in DTLA. Also, I dig their pancit (noodles).

Osso

Fantastic neighborhood option for solid eats.

Lincoln Heights Corn Man

Street corn with lots of mayo. Oh yeah, baby.

Myung Dong Kyoja

Dumplings! And chicken soup!

BS Taqueria

Solid lunch option for DTLA.

Musha

A homey Japanese izakaya in the heart of Santa Monica.

Zinc

I ate vegetarian and I didn’t even know it– plus good cocktails!

Yang San Bak

I love a lot of KBBQ spots but I had so much fun at YSB for their unapologetic trays of meat. Wash all of it down with copious Korean booze.

Kanpai Ramen

Lately I’ve been finding all about Glendale’s best spots and Kanpai is a more than respectable choice for ramen.

Monja Taiker

The kids are right, that red pork is really good and the springy noodles has me ready to battle the terrible parking lot again.

Madcapra

Great vegetarian option at Grand Central Market.

Mirak

Korean black goat stew? Yes, please.

Tatsu Ramen

After first going to the Sawtelle location, I’ve been hitting up the Melrose spot on the regular for no fuss bowls and late night eats.

 

 

Travel

Miami- Macchialina 

I had the best time here and I can see why it’s a locals’ favorite. Pliant pasta and loud, friendly room– feels just like Italy.

Miami – Blackbrick

I’ve been told the Asian food options are sparse in Miami but Blackbrick is one of the better bets.

Miami- Cypress Tavern

The former Cypress Room has gone more casual by renaming themselves a Tavern. I’m sad because it’s one of my favorites in Miami but at least I’ll have this wonderful meal to remember it by.

Orlando – Highball & Harvest

When you’re stuck (like that’s a chore!) at the Ritz Carlton, the gastopub makes it feel like you haven’t been stuck at a hotel for 5 days. Great “farm to table” and local food.

Orlando – Cask & Larder

A good option for beer lovers and not so small plates. The wings are a must.

San Diego – Humberto’s Taco Shop 

Late night grub, perfect for attendees of Bartenders Weekend.

San Diego – Rare Form

Fantastic sandwiches.

New Orleans – Cochon

I’m still thinking about the paneed pork cheeks and wood-fired oysters.

New Orleans – Central Grocery

Muffuletta. That’s it. That’s all you get.

New Orleans – Cafe Du Monde

And after your Central Grocery mufuletta that you’ve shared with 5 others, get an order of beignets all to yourself at Cafe du Monde.

Kansas City – Bluestem

Bluestem was my favorite KCMO meal. And it was just snacks at the bar. I’m still dreaming of that shrimp and grits!

Kansas City – The Peanut

If I didn’t mention The Peanut’s wings, I think I’ll be in trouble with the entire city of KCMO.

 

I’m looking forward to checking out some of the best restaurants that opened recently next year including Cassia, Le Comptoir, Baroo, all the Trois spots, Aburiya Raku, Mare, Charcoal Venice as well as all the new bars!

 

© The Minty  2015

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