The dishes at 208 Rodeo Restaurant have a definite homeyness about them: french toast, rotisserie chicken, miso salmon. However, each dish is enhanced with unique touches, such as that french toast's almond croissant-base, topped with mixed berry compotes and almonds. This comes from Chef Alejandro Arrieta's background. While he learned to love cooking as a young boy in his grandmother's kitchen, his gourmet training in the likes of Patina and the Hotel Bel Air shines through the classics. Other parts of the menu take a straightforwardly meaty turn, such as grilled steaks and burgers made with Snake River Farms Kobe-style beef, and the kitchen turns to the sea to showcase scallops and salmon.
The restaurant itself feels just as comfortable and fresh as the menu. Inside, crisp white tablecloths line a soothing cream-and-black room. Outside, the second-story patio blossoms with colorful canvas umbrellas and the occasional tiny flower sprouting from a dropped sesame seed.
A good mixologist can create a drink for any occasion, whether it’s a special cocktail for a wedding, a classic sidecar for poker night, or an alcohol-free invention for a kids’ party. The crew of drinkmakers at Royal Blue Bartending goes one step further, mixing and pouring the drinks themselves behind their mobile bar. They craft a custom menu for every client, consulting over the phone before the event to put together the drink list and determine if they need to wear any special outfits. On the big day, they arrive one hour before the party to set up their bar and touch base with the host. Then, they begin up to five hours of drink duty, inundating the get-together with beverages and providing friendly conversation and tiny straws to anyone with a mouth. Afterward, they break down their temporary bar as efficiently as they constructed it, leaving behind only the heady memory of the drinks they served.
Conrad Gallagher has many roles?television personality, restaurateur, and cookbook author, to name a few?but the same passion for cooking that he puts into each of these tasks garnered his restaurant a Michelin star when he was 24, making him the youngest starred chef at the time. He began his training in Ireland at the age of 12, when most other kids are too busy playing games or collecting seagull feathers. Conrad's persistent dedication paid off in the form of numerous awards and accomplishments, including preparing a St. Patrick's Day dinner for President Bill Clinton at the White House. These days, Conrad stretches his talents to other fields, such as menu planning and restaurant development. He also schools laymen in the kitchen with cooking lessons that focus on specific genres, including Italian, French, and seafood. Gift certificates are available for purchase.
Cuisine Type: Seasonal California Artisan Cafe Cuisine
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 5?10
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Star-Anise Braised Pork Belly Banh Mi
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Pro Tip: Check our website daily for delicious specials. Order at the counter. We'll take care of the rest.
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
The star-anise braised pork belly bahn mi is one of our most popular sandwiches. The pork belly is slow-braised with star anise, soy, ginger, and scallions. Served on a toasted demi-baguette with house-made dau chua pickled vegetables, hoisin-peanut spread, cucumbers, mint, thai basil, and cilantro.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our weekend brunch menu features the LA Spice benedict: Poached eggs on house-made biscuits, oven-roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, and avocado hollandaise, served with frisee and Nueske nitrate-free bacon lardons. Chef Chris DeVillier uses his Cajun Grand-Mere's recipe for the amazing buttermilk biscuits.
Other brunch specials include chicken and biscuits, pork belly and sweet potato hash, lemon ricotta pancakes, and, of course, mimosas.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
LA Spice is about adventurous cuisine reflecting the spirit of LA. We use fine-dining techniques and the freshest seasonal ingredients in a fun and casual atmosphere.
If a Coolhaus customer finishes their ice cream sandwich by eating the wrapper, they’re not being gluttonous—the wrapper is edible. What’s inside that wrapper is even more tempting, though. First, the staff bakes the cookie base for their sandwiches with sustainable ingredients that beget sweet discs in chewy double-chocolate with sea salt, potato chip and butterscotch, and vegan carrot cake varieties. Next, they pile on scoops of handmade ice cream in any combination of more than 60 flavors that they let customers choose, unlike rival truck Uncoolhaus, where all of the ice cream sandwiches taste like math homework. They dispense their creations from four trucks that roam the city streets on routes that customers can track via an online calendar. The buzz surrounding their sweets—thanks to positive press in The New York Times, Time, and on the _Food Network—helped Coolhaus expand to New York City, Austin, Miami, and Culver City.
“It's the best pizza I’ve found in Los Angeles,” says comedian and recognized Italian Ray Romano about D’Amore’s Pizza. He’s not the only star to fall for the authentic slices: owner Joe D’Amore has shipped his cracker-thin crusts to destinations across Hollywood, including the set of Two and a Half Men and Jennifer Garner’s house. Whether he’s serving an A-lister or the average hungry citizen, Joe bakes all of his cheesy treats to-order inside a stationary brick oven or an innovative oven on wheels.
D’Amore’s traditional methods and tempting taste are a family legacy. Born and raised in an Italian family in Boston, Joe D’Amore grew up savoring his grandmother Mommanonna's handmade pizzas—a meal he would miss upon moving to California. Joe asked his grandmother to join him out west and show him the secrets to her trade, but when she pulled the pie out of the oven, something wasn't quiet right. Mommanonna immediately knew that the California water was sabotaging her famous cracker-thin crust, and urged Joe to bring water from Boston. Today, he takes the practice a step further, importing water from Italy along with olive oil, flour, and pizza wheels carved by Michelangelo.