The Secret is Out at Maccheroni Republic

I should’ve written about the greatness that is Maccheroni Republic years ago. Why? Not only did Jonathan Gold review it last year, he just added it to his list of Great Italian Restaurants in Los Angeles. The secret is out! The hidden Italian gem across from Grand Central Market has now become the hottest ticket in town, and for good reason! The dishes are superb, the service is pleasant, the patio is beautiful, and they don’t charge a corkage fee. They keep things simple here with their humble decor, and small dining room, but they truly let the food speak for itself. You taste the difference in their handmade pasta, authentic nduja, and decadent desserts. Check out some of my favorites:

 

unnamed-6

The Linguine Al Frutti De Mare is a bowl of clams, bay scallops, and shrimp in a light tomato sauce. It is my mom’s absolute favorite pasta dish!

 

 

unnamed-7

The Maccheroni Stellari is a meaty star shaped pasta served in a spicy garlic and herb tomato sauce. It is just the right amount of spicy and the star shaped pasta is the perfect thickness to balance out the strong flavors.

 

 

 

unnamed-8

This gnocchi is the best gnocchi I have ever had! It is melt in your mouth amazing! It filled with meat ragout and forest mushrooms and it just the right ratio or potato pasta to meat.

 

The Ravioli Di Zucca and Bianchi and Neri are next on my list to try! If you’re looking for a place to take the parents, a girls wine night out, or a casual date night downtown, Maccheroni Republic is perfect for every occasion.

The Decadence of MB Post

unnamed-3
When I think of MB Post, I immediately think of their Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits. As soon as you sit down, do yourself a favor, and place an order for those biscuits. They are a great starter to any meal, and the bacon will help clear your head enough to navigate through their menu. Everything sounds and tastes delicious, which makes choosing one main dish so difficult. If you don’t mind sharing, I recommend ordering family style and sharing, so you can try more of Chef David LeFevre’s dishes.
unnamed-6
On my last trip, my best friend and I ate on the lighter side. First, we shared the biscuits, then the Brussels Sprouts, and lastly, the Orcchiette with Pork Sausage. Back to the biscuits: They are perfectly flaky and served with the most decadent maple butter that begs to be spread on each and every bite. The Brussels Sprouts drip of butter, hazelnut, and sage. I love Brussels Sprouts, but I LOVE MB Post’s Brussels Sprouts. They are so rich and packed with flavor; I could easily eat 3 orders to myself. This was my first time trying the Orcchiette, and I hope it is on the menu when I return. It was served with Pork Sausage, Rapini, Parmesan Shavings, and a Soft Egg. We broke the yolk and used it as a sauce to coat the pasta with before we attacked it. The yolk made the already rich pasta, even richer, but still palatable. I was expecting the Pork Sausage to be too heavy for the seemingly light pasta, but it fit very well. The ratio of meat to house-made Orcchiette was excellent.
unnamed-9
MB Post was one of the first dining establishments that put Manhattan Beach, and the South Bay for that matter, on the map. Many have continued to follow in its footsteps and hold their own. I have heard numerous recommendations to try their brunch, so that is on my to-do list for my next visit to the South Bay!
For more information, visit http://eatmbpost.com/.

Outside Lands Day Three

Day 3 of Outside Lands can be summed up in two words: trucks and lands. We ate from so many food trucks and frequented Wine Lands, Beer Lands, Cheese Lands, and Choco Lands the entire day.

Outside Lands 2014 126
There were so many food trucks to choose from, but we narrowed it down to Bacon Bacon, Del Popolo, Senor Sisig, The Rib Whip, and The Fabulous Frickle Brothers.

Outside Lands 2014 064
Last year, Those Fabulous Frickle Brothers paired up with their festival neighbor, Bacon Bacon, to add their Fabulous Fried Pickles to Bacon Bacon’s Bacon Burger. It was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, their location didn’t allow that to happen this year, but it inspired me to try something besides their amazing pickles. We went the dessert route and tried their Fabulous Fried Apples with a Vanilla Coconut sauce on top. The breading created a nice sweet and savory mashup with cinnamon and sugar sweet apples. I’m not a huge fan of coconut, but they added the perfect amount to the vanilla sauce on top.

Outside Lands 2014 055
The Rib Whip was serving Pulled Pork BBQ Bowls and while there was a bit too much lettuce for my liking, the meat was cooked perfectly.

Outside Lands 2014 111
The California Sisig Burrito, from Senor Sisig, has to be one of the best California burritos I have ever had. The french fries were crispy, not soggy, and the sour cream wasn’t overwhelming. They use pork shoulder as their main meat, and I must say that it is absolutely decadent. This award-winning truck has also been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.

Outside Lands 2014 091
Del Popolo had the longest line at Outside Lands for the duration of the festival. I mean, how can you not when you’re serving whole wood-fired Margherita Pizzas? The crust was cooked to a dark brown crisp with generous chunks of mozzarella to balance out the sauce. Their setup is pretty cool too; go to their website and take a look at more pictures of their truck, you’ll be glad you did.

Outside Lands 2014 048
I have a soft spot for all things bacon, so I was definitely looking forward to what the Bacon Bacon truck had to offer. Their BBQ Pork Sandwich and Chocolate Covered Bacon definitely fulfilled my porky cravings.

Outside Lands 2014 061
Outside Lands 2014 085
Outside Lands 2014 083
Now, onto the lands. Choco Lands was one of my favorite lands because I have a pretty big sweet tooth. In addition to Humphrey Slocombe’s special edition flavor, Kara’s Cupcakes, Sharona’s Chocolate Shop, and more were serving up delicious chocolate treats! Cheese Lands consisted of platters full of assorted cheeses and charcuterie from Long Meadow Ranch. Bacon Land was serving up $10 bacon flights.

Outside Lands 2014 024
Outside Lands 2014 104
Wine Lands is an expansive tent full of different wineries and packed to the brim with people. I have had most of the options at previous tastings or events, so it was nice to see some familiar names including, Ghost Pines, Hess Collection, J.Lohr, Menage A Trois, and Roth Estate. The tent also featured Summer of Riesling which included a full crash course on different styles of Riesling and fun temporary tattoos.

Outside Lands 2014 037
Beer Lands was more of an open area, in comparison to Wine Lands. Featuring over 30 different breweries, Beer Lands had something for everyone. Similar to Wine Lands, I have had many of these beers before, so I already knew what I was getting myself into. Overall, I think the lineup was a good one with selections from Ace Cider, Drake’s Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Golden Road Brewing, Lost Coast Brewery, Magnolia Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and Stone Brewing Co..

Outside Lands 2014 078
Another addition to this year’s festival was the Gastro Magic stage. Each day, the stage featured different acclaimed chefs and gourmet restaurants, and paired them with a comedian or DJ to create a unique multi-sensory culinary experience. There were too many shows to see, so refer to the Gastro Magic page for a more specific description of each show.

As for the last day of music, we enjoyed Paolo Nutini, Jenny Lewis, Spoon, Ben Howard, The Flaming Lips, Ray LaMontagne, and The Killers. The Killers put on the best show of the day and the best show of the festival. I have never been a huge fan of theirs, but seeing them live definitely changed my mind.