LA Favorites: A-Frame

A few weeks ago, J and I made our way back to California for a family visit. (Boy, had I taken that weather for granted!) There were a few places we knew we needed to go back to. In-n-Out, of course. Maybe our favorite breakfast spot. And definitely A-Frame.

Located in our old ‘hood in the Mar Vista/Culver City/Venice-ish area, A-Frame was the last restaurant we ate at together before heading East. And it was frickin’ amazing.

For a while now I’ve been a huge fan of Roy Choi, who is the mastermind behind A-Frame, along with his other establishments Chego (another fave!) and Sunny Spot (a must-try next time I’m in LA!) Most importantly, he started off with the Kogi truck, which started the food truck revolution that so many of us are familiar with today. With a talent that combines his Korean background with Mexican influences of his hometown of Los Angeles, Roy Choi has created a unique and groundbreaking cuisine– no pretentious frou frou food, just Damn. Good. Food. A-Frame serves self-professed modern picnic food, meant to be eaten with your fingers and shared. And, to me at least, it doesn’t get any better than that.
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(Clockwise from top left) “Kitchen Fries” of different varieties of potatoes with kimchi sour cream, baby back ribs glazed with hoisin-chili sauce, dessert (more on that below), and sesame leaf wrapped shrimp tempura with a shoyu (soy sauce) dip.

The dessert– well, that deserves a standing ovation. This is the BEST dessert I have ever been served in a restaurant, and as you may have guessed, I have eaten a lot of desserts. It’s called “Chu-Don’t-Know-Mang”, because until you’ve tried it, chu really don’t know, mang. Churros– fried and made out of POUND CAKE, for goodness’ sake– are rolled in cinnamon, and served with malted chocolate milk and vanilla ice cream. Your eyes will roll back in your head. Yes. It’s that good.

A-Frame (Mar Vista/Culver City area)
12565 Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
http://aframela.com/new/

LA Favorites: The Mar Vista Farmers’ Market

One of my favorite things about Southern California is the plethora of farmers’ markets, and one of my favorite things about my LA neighborhood is the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market.  I’ve been to the huge, amazing Los Angeles Farmers’ Market, I’ve been to the diverse and hugely popular (read: crowded) Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, but there’s something nice and quaint about being able to take a Sunday morning stroll just a few blocks away to pick up some fresh produce.

Mar Vista is a somewhat small up-and-coming area of West Los Angeles, tucked somewhere in between Culver City and Venice.  Restaurants and boutiques seem to always be popping up, and even the farmers’ market itself appears to be expanding every time I go.  Like many farmers’ markets, Mar Vista’s offers a variety of not only produce, but locally made goods, crafts, plants, and services, made-to-order food from a wide variety of vendors, and even the occasional cooking class!  So next time you’re in the area on a Sunday morning, indulge yourself and grab some homemade chips and salsa, roasted corn, vegan kimchee, a couple of empanadas… or, if you’re anything like me, how about a little bit of everything?