Friday, December 24, 2010

Foodie Fridays: Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from the Foodie Fridays team! We'll see you in 2011!

Photos by Young-Wolff Photography.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Foodie Fridays: A-Frame

The Kogi King has done it again. First he kicked off the now-infamous Korean taco truck trend. Then he took that crazy addictive grub and paired it with a fantastic selection of beers at the always-packed Alibi Room. Next he opened Chego, where his pork belly rice bowl rose to instant fame. Somewhere along the way, the truck reproduced, allowing for multiple Kogi-bots to roam around town. And now? Roy Choi’s biggest, baddest, and most delightfully greasy creation yet: A-Frame.

Abby, our friend Serena, and the Kogi King himself, Roy Choi.

Like its sister restaurants, A-Frame (which opened less than a month ago) calls the Culver City/Mar Vista area home. Believe it or not, the building—whose high, A-shaped roof was the inspiration for the eatery’s name—used to house an IHOP. Whodathunkit, given the new venue's dim lighting, well-stocked bar, hopping musical selection, and in-the-know clientele.

Choosing a drink off the extensive list of draft beers, wines and cocktails was challenging, but I ultimately went with the St. Bernardus Tripel, a light Belgian beer which I correctly predicted would pair well with all the meat which was coming our way. While A-Frame is more of a sit-down establishment than Choi’s other eateries, the food is equally—if not moreso—mouthwatering. Once again, we have unique contemporary global fare, and as always, Choi means business when it comes to grub. We started with the Furikake kettle corn. It’s the same sweet and buttery stuff you remember from childhood carnivals, just with a unique Hawaiian—and apparently addictive—twist.

"A-Frame is a place that came from the feeling I used to get when cracking crabs on Redondo Beach Pier as a youth," Choi states on the restaurant's website. Perhaps the most obvious menu item recreating this childhood memory are the blue crab cakes. Served with a ginger lemongrass creme fraiche and greens, they become a hybrid reinterpretation of both lettuce wraps and the popular beachside snack.

Next we moved onto some tempura-coated veggies, but not the usual carrots and peas you find at your everyday sushi shack. The interesting choices of kabocha squash and broccoli rabe were all perfectly crisp, and paired well with a bold shoyu dipping sauce.

And now for the meat. The glorious, glorious meat. First up was the Peruvian beer can chicken, one of A-Frame's signature dishes. The selection of vibrant salsas provided (roja and verde) really brought the bird alive.

The Korean lamb chop is a menu-must. Charred to perfection on the outside, the meat is mouthwateringly succulent when you bite in. The salsa verde made a reappearance, once again serving as the perfect partner-in-crime.

Rounding out the "meat show" were the baby back ribs. Coated in a hoisin-chili glaze and sprinkled with sesame seeds, the ribs were tender, well flavored, and finger-lickingly-good. Wings, carne asada, and fries are all on the menu as well, so A-Frame would certainly be the perfect place to hit for a guys night out.

As if we hadn't stuffed ourselves enough already, we decided we wouldn't be able to call ourselves true Foodies without ordering dessert. So naturally, we went for the "Chu-Don't-Know-Mang." You're probably now asking "what the hell is that?" Well, it's churros made out of pound cake and served with a malted chocolate and vanilla ice cream dip. Needless to say, it was a decadent end to an equally indulgent meal.

The space is meant to encourage sharing and getting to know fellow diners. There is a huge communal table in the center of the restaurant, but even at smaller ones, your party will be seated next to complete strangers. While this might cause social anxiety attacks for some, the idea is actually a novel one. The dishes served are meant to be shared, so this approach allows diners to sample more items off the hard-to-choose-from menu. Who knows, you might even meet your new BFF.

So Roy Choi wanted us to make new friends, and new friends we made! Meet our giggly new pals Shawn and Michelle. After our bellies were stuffed, our entire table mosied on over—literally next door—to another recent addition to the Culver City dining scene, Waterloo & City, where we sipped on refreshing ginger beer cocktails. A pretty successful night on the Westside if I do say so myself.

And with that, I leave you with the words of wisdom found at the bottom of A-Frame's menu: "Eat. Drink. Share. Get Messy. Enjoy." Cheers!

A-Frame, 12565 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066, 310.398.7700,, MAP.

COMING SOON on Foodie Fridays: We'll be getting a taste of Belgium at Shaky Alibi, a coffee shop and wafflerie on Beverly.

Mail to: foodiefridays at foundtrack dot com


Monday, November 29, 2010

La Femme

Very suspicious. Best i can do to describe the recent French transplants known as La Femme. The music sounds like they are up to some sort of thievery corporation and they may steal all of your attention very soon. Immediately bringing the sounds of the 80's dark disco scene like Bauhaus, Moroder, and the intense levels of Nintendo's Castlevania soundtrack. They played at FTW's weekly at Bardot last Friday and have a few more west coast dates lined up in the coming weeks, including a show this Thursday at Ana Calderon's Nomerica night at El Cid. After further investigation, i realized that of course it happens to be the latest release from our friends at the hip from the hip down to the toes french imprint, Third Side Records. La Femme will be releasing their debut EP on December 14th.

LA FEMME - Telegraphe from lafemmeressortt on Vimeo.

and yes..they did moon you at the 1:57 mark. as i said, very suspicious.

Friday, November 26, 2010


All I know about Salman is that the group consists of a couple of Japanese electronic producers, Bazz and Kido Yoji, who have formed an entirely new collaborative sound. I heard "When the Sun Rises" featured on Hypemachine's top 200 popular chart and it was probably the most unique thing i've heard on there. Beginning sounds like a mash up of Whitest Boy Alive and Empire of the Sun, which ain't a bad place to start. The time lapse driving footage in the video is the first thing that came to my mind when i heard this song. The rest of the visuals are pretty choice as well. I'll let you take in the rest.

When The Sun Rises from salman on Vimeo.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Foodie Fridays: LudoBites 6.0

LudoBites 6.0 at Max
13355 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Ludo. Ludo. Ludo.
As many you in-the-know know, one of LA’s hottest eateries of the moment is none other than the pop-up guerrilla-style venture helmed by chef-of-the-moment (and super hottie) Ludo Lefebvre.

Photo by Stephen Wayda.

His imaginative, culinary world of wonder LudoBites doesn’t reside in a permanent brick-and-mortar location. Instead, Ludo has thought out-of-the-box with his nomadic concept. Each iteration of LudoBites holds residency at a different Los Angeles restaurant, taking over its host and infusing it with new heart, soul… and stomach.

Rotating menus are something I’ve come to expect at many chef-driven restaurants, but rotating addresses are part of the novelty of LudoBites that has everyone talking.

Ludo has tapped into the web-savvy, food enthusiast community of LA, slightly reminiscent of the way Roy Choi utilized Twitter to draw the city’s population of drunken hipsters and late night comics out for some Korean-taco fusion on wheels.

But Ludo’s enterprise is far from the food truck experience, and while it’s true that the mailing lists and web presence have definitely helped to brighten Ludo’s star, his reputation undoubtedly has been solidified by his FOOD. Each of his insanely mouth-watering, French-inspired, decadent and masterful dishes have the no-boundaries flare that Ludo is famous for. That’s why, when Ludo “pops-up,” all of Los Angeles floods OpenTable pleading for even just a bite... of Ludo.

I felt privileged to attend LudoBites 6.0 (held at Max in Sherman Oaks), thanks to my good friend Ben Hardwicke’s ability to snag a reservation. The coveted spots filled up within minutes of going on sale and crashed OpenTable’s servers. Thank you Ben for the quick reaction time and the invite.

Upon arriving at 6PM on a Monday, the place was already buzzing. I quickly ordered one of the recommended “COQtails”: a whisky, pumpkin and ginger - shakerato. It was holiday drink perfection. I’d love one right now.

The Vietnamese-style hamachi blew me away, and not only because I had practically been fasting all day in preparation and was ready to pounce at any food that came my way. The fish was fresh, delicate and melted in my mouth. The blissful Vietnamese flavors were just the right combination of sweet and savory.

The pad thai was re-thought in a playful and delicious way using “barely cooked squid” instead of noodles, and was combined with black radish, prawn, and sauce.

Next we ordered the foie gras, fattened goose liver for those of you who have yet to try this indulgent treat. It was served with with golden honey, delicate ripened fruits and rose flowers. Exquisite.

The mussels velouté was served as a dipping sauce that was so delicious I would have dived in head-first had I been able to fit in the three inch bowl.

Heirloom tomatoes sat and soaked in this rich concoction and wispy frites were served on the side for a varied texture and dipping enjoyment.

The half-chicken with poached egg, chanterelles, and chorizo was a dish far superior than the sum of its parts—definitely a stand out that I would return for again and again if I could.

And of course, there was the marinated Korean steak with crispy kimchi and bone marrow—hallelujah! Just listen to the sound of that… well, it tasted even better. This dish was the biggest crowd pleaser of the night at our table.

For dessert, we ordered the lemongrass cake with curry frosting. The description speaks for itself.

I hope I’ve convinced you to add your name to the mailing list (if you haven't already) to try to squeeze your way into one of the coveted seats around Ludo’s table for LudoBites 7.0.
Invites are always welcome if you happen to reserve an extra spot!

Ben, Ludo's wife Chrissy and me after a wonderful meal.

Photos by Ben Hardwicke/

I also thought I'd share this great article on the LA culinary scene from the NYTimes! :)
NYTimes: Feeding Frenzy

NEXT TIME on Foodie Fridays: We'll be giving you the scoop on A-Frame, Roy Choi's new venture in Culver City.


Sunday, October 31, 2010


Seeing them live at pehrspace for Easter Everywhere's bimonthly event this past Friday confirmed all of my hopes and beliefs in this young Los Angeles four-piece. They will be playing on November 9th at El Cid and on the 18th at the echo with their good friends, Pepper Rabbit.

This song, aptly titled exactly where this band is heading, was held in captivity on my ipod for when i needed a rush of blood to the head.
Hands - Onward Upward by FoundTrack

Sunday, October 10, 2010

FoundTrack's Weekly Events Calendar : Found in LA (October 11th - 17th)

Monday / October 11th
Wet & Reckless, White Arrows, The Franks, Practice Band @ Silverlake Lounge
Jessie Baylin, The Belle Brigade, Whispertown (Solo) @ Bootleg

Tuesday / October 12th
The Blakes, Sea of Cortez, Lord Huron @ Bootleg
Oletangy John, Silver City Dead, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, We Are Country Mice @ Silverlake Lounge

Wednesday / October 13th
El Ten Eleven, Baths, Sister Crayon @ Bootleg
Low End Theory 4 yr anniversary with Exile and all residents @ Airliner Club
PS I Love You, Red Letter Agent, We Are Country Mice, Pangolin @ Central SAPC

Thursday / October 14th
Miike Snow, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl, MNDR
@ Club Nokia
The Morning Benders, Twin Sister, Cults @ Henry Fonda (Music Box)
KCRW Presents Ludovico Einaudi @ Ford Ampitheater (H)it Week LA

Friday / October 15th
KCRW Presents LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Sleigh Bells
@ Hollywood Bowl
Four Tet @ Henry Fonda (Music Box)
KCRW Presents Warpaint @ Mondrian (Free w/RSVP)
Jamaica, Nightwaves, Parallels, French Horn Rebellion @ Echoplex (Tilt 3 Yr Anniversary)
KCRW Presents Miike Snow, Mark Ronson & The Business Intl, MNDR @ Wiltern

Saturday / October 16th
Hesta Prynn, Kenan Bell @ Bootleg
KCRW Presents The National, Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy)
@ Fox Theater (Pamona)

Sunday / October 17th
Vincent Minor, Obi Best @ Bootleg
Hoodoo Gurus, Casper & The Bad Spirits, Ruby Frost @ Viper Room
KCRW Presents Jonsi @ Wiltern

Friday, October 8, 2010

Foodie Fridays: The Oaks Gourmet

The Oaks Gourmet
1915 North Bronson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 871-8894

There is simply nothing better than a grilled cheese sandwich—its gooey insides oozing out between two slices of crispy, buttery golden-brown bread and paired with an obligatory cup of warm tomato soup.

Why is this particular combination so perfect and scrumptious? I’m guessing it’s partly due to the pairing of rich, not-so-low-fat cheeses and bountiful carbohydrates. But there’s more to it than that. Grilled cheese is all-American favorite that we all were served as kids—by mom, grandma, or even Uncle Bob. With a single bite, an American adult can be delightfully transplanted back to his or her youth. Grilled cheese is a time machine.

Recently, I visited The Oaks Gourmet on Bronson in Franklin Village, right around the corner from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater on Franklin. I should point out that this was before the god-awful heat wave, which directed my cravings more towards frozen yogurt than tomato bisque. However, on chilly fall evenings, I highly recommend any and everyone to attend The Oaks’ glorious weekly event “Grilled Cheese Night,” offered every Wednesday from 6PM to midnight.

The Oaks Gourmet is a classy neighborhood market boasting a huge selection of fine wines, cheeses, kitschy beverages, marinades, desserts, and coffee beans, in addition to its fabulous dine-in menu. Any foodie could easily spend a couple hours here merely browsing the shop, reading the labels, and trying to decide what to order.

The service is friendly, too, and unlike Whole Foods, you’ll actually feel like you’re visiting a neighborhood market where you can bounce ideas off the staff and make sure you leave with the right items.

Only on Wednesday night can you come for the special menu of grilled cheese paired with house-made tomato bisque. While these decadent sandwiches definitely have the time machine capability, they’re not for kids. We’re talking about sophisticated, complex flavors made for adults. I asked resident chef, Greg Paul, where the recipes for these delicious combinations are born.

He told me it’s not a process of taste tests and research, but rather, wherever his spontaneity and creativity lead him. He decides on the menu each Wednesday afternoon based on whatever happens to strike his taste buds at the moment. The chef certainly has an incredible palette and an endless amount of ideas up his sleeve. Every sandwich I’ve tried here has been a home run.

On the Wednesday evening we visited, Shevin and I tried four different sandwiches chosen by Chef Greg.

First up was the truffle-honey goat cheese with roasted fennel, braised onions and Danish fontina on cranberry walnut bread. This was my personal favorite. The rich, savory taste of the truffle and goat cheese complemented the sweetness of the braised onions. The cranberry and walnut bread added texture and flavor for a melt-in-your mouth type experience.

We also tried the jalapeno shrimp and avocado melt with sharp cheddar and camembert, which certainly packed a spicy punch.

The steak and taleggio with braised leeks and marinated Angus sirloin was rich and sure to leave any meat-lover content.

And last but certainly not least, The Oaks’ signature sandwich, the grilled Black Forest bacon and English Cotswold with Thousand Island dressing on sourdough. Biting into this one releases an explosion of indulgent flavors, which explains why it took home the 2010 Grilled Cheese Invitational People’s Choice Award. (What an amazing event this would be to help judge…)

Believe us, all the sandwiches were as decadent and delicious as they sound; they were all paired beautifully with the rich and creamy, oregano-infused tomato bisque; and the evening was all the perfect reason for a bunch of adults to gather round and be kids again on an otherwise ordinary Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Photos by Brain Brown/

Mail to: foodiefridays at foundtrack dot com