To begin, I went to the LA area with my family for Easter and to celebrate my little sister’s birthday a few weekends ago. For my family and me, we’re always wondering where we’re going to eat our next meal. In such a vibrant city, we had millions of options sure to please any foodie. So here we begin:
Like I’ve said before, I’m not the burger connoisseur, but I know an awesome burger when I taste one. Although this may seem bold, I’d go as far as to say my Umami burger was the best burger I’ve had in all my 21 years of life. Located inside a Fred Segal in Santa Monica, it’s small, cozy, and the waitstaff is super friendly. We had to wait outside for about 20 minutes before being seated, but with a nice beer to choose from their list, great weather, we couldn’t care less. Not to mention the burgers were worth waiting a lot longer for.
So what’s Umami? The fifth taste after sweet, bitter, sour and salty. Umami means “pleasant savory taste” in Japanese, and it became recognized as one of the five official tastes by Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda in Hawaii in 1985. But if you haven’t noticed all the tv ads displaying umami and what it is–the Western world has really started to adapt to the flavor.
Anyway, the picture at the top (which, these photos weren’t taken by me…should’ve thought to take some while I was there, but I was way too hungry and involved with my food to stop) is of the homemade cheesy tater tots. DELICIOUS. They were quite large and umami (ha) so I shared them with the rest of the family. Although they weren’t on the menu, I found it on the “secret menu” on Four Square and simply asked for them… You’re welcome for the secret menu item! On the side is the garlic aioli dipping sauce which was so yummy and perfect for dipping fries and/or tater tots.
This is the official Umami Burger. All of the burgers are cooked to perfection and have a nice juiciness to them, not to mention the slightly browned bun–all cooked into a wonderfully sized burger (not too small, not too big). I can’t remember everything that comes with the Umami Burger, but they say “Umami x6″ on the menu, so there’s 6 indulgent items including the parmesan crisp you can see in the photo.
I ordered the truffle burger, which came with housemade truffle cheese and a truffle glaze. I’m a huuuge truffle fan. I think it really gives food a sort of value unlike any other ingredient. So, if you like truffle, this burger is so good, I find myself dreaming about it.
And finally, the sweet potato fries were really good, nothing too too special, but goes great with any of the burgers.
The French Crepe Co.
At the beginning of the trip, we stopped by The Grove to do some shopping and to grab lunch. I had never been before and when we entered the Farmer’s Market, it was unlike any other farmer’s market I’ve ever been to. On top of the fresh produce and millions of boutiques and stands selling everything from trinkets to hats and scarves, there were BILLION restaurants/food booths. And a lot of them were Zagat rated! What was I supposed to do? Everything looked so good and I walked up and down the football field sized area packed with delicious little eateries, so stressed out not knowing what to eat. I finally decided on The French Crepe Co. As you can see in the photo, I ordered a savory crepe called La Normandie. It was stuffed with melt in your mouth roasted chicken, button mushrooms, carrots, green beans in a creamy white dijon sauce. It was really good, but there was no way I could finish it.
(Photos by Natalie Blankenship)
And what Easter is really Easter without mimosas? The whole family enjoyed brunch at Fraiche in Santa Monica for a great Easter brunch. The atmosphere was nice and open with wood tables, candles and lots of natural sunlight. I ordered the veggie hash which had a poached egg, grilled veggies and a balsamic glaze. It was really yummy and light.
My favorite part of the meal: the Chocolate Purse. It was super rich, with a candied hazelnut, chocolatey almost fudge-like texture, wrapped in what we think was filo. On the side is a vanilla gelato. Mmmmm.
Other restaurants we went to worth mentioning: Border Grill & Yummy Cupcakes
Until next time!