Having garnered praise from the likes of Gayot, LA Weekly, and foodie blog Eating L.A., Gobi Mongolian BBQ fulfills the hype with menu featuring a customizable, self-serve buffet of veggies from local farmers' markets and lean, all-natural meats. After visitors load bowls with proteins such as certified Angus beef, chicken, pork, turkey, or tofu, they add a selection of vegetation before hitting the sauce station. This is where the fun starts. As L.A. Times writer Jessic Gelt put it in her 2009 review, "saucing is a science" at this Silver Lake hot spot. Whether they strike off on their own or follow one of the restaurant's handy guides, diners can choose combinations from 11 MSG-free sauces ranging from traditional hoisin and green curry to "Facebook-generation" flavors including lemon mint and asian pesto.
With sauces taken care of, noodles top off the feast before cooks step in to stir-fry the igredients and serve the steaming dish with two homemade hot sesame rolls. Other menu offerings include small bites such as crispy pork dumplings, mixed greens salads with creamy sesame dressing, and brownie sundaes with vanilla bean gelato, candied pralines, and whipped cream.
Five-pour flights from an extensive beer list complement bites, with local craft brews including AleSmith's IPA, The Strand's 24th Street Pale Ale, and Iron Fist's Renegade Blonde often gracing the taps. Brews are joined by freshly mixed soju cocktails, as well as traditional highballs, organic wine, sake, and bottled craft soda. In the zen-like dining space, dark wooden tables are surrounded by ledges lined with candles, much like a shrine to birthday cakes.
Not long after beginning their relationship, Fabrison’s co-owners Fabrice and Alison—from Marseilles, France and Columbus, Ohio, respectively—traveled to Europe together, seeking a change of scenery. Inspired by the warm hospitality of European cafés, they returned home to open their own cozy shop, combining their first names to form its distinctive moniker.
Crepes are the specialty at Fabrison’s, with customers perusing a menu of sweet, savory, and breakfast iterations of the traditional French food. The La Galette combines ham, mushrooms, and spinach with a fried egg, whereas the L’Isabelle keeps its ingredients as simple as Count von Count’s locker combination, mingling sugar, butter, and a topping of powdered sugar. Patrons can begin their mornings with a spot of espresso and Fabrice’s Breakfast Crepe, filled with sausage, bacon, and spicy harissa sauce. Rounding out the menu is a selection of patisserie-style desserts and pastries.
The couple’s friends and family helped them plan their café’s look, with Fabrice’s mother sending over photos and swatches from European cafes, which influenced its bright palette of crimson, gold, and washed turquoise. Alison’s mother sewed the gingham curtains on the windows, and artist Derek Little created the vivid painting on the front window. Fabrison’s also shares French culture with the community through regular evening events that include crepe-cooking classes, French movie nights, French speaking classes, and French kissing workshops.
Almaden Valley Aesthetics’ medical director, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Agheg M. Yenikomshian, leads a team of medical aestheticians and registered nurses that never perform exactly the same a procedure twice. The professional staff specializes in procedures including skin tightening, fraxels, photofacials, and cellulite reduction. Those looking to minimize the appearance of wrinkles may also enlist their expertise in administering facial fillers, collagen builders, and Dysport or Botox injections. In addition to its catalogue of medical services, the team also tailors non-invasive beautifying services to each client’s specific needs, whether they are minimizing stubble through laser hair removal or rejuvenating faces with various peels. Microdermabrasion treatments buff away dead skin while spa-style facials can hydrate skin, infuse pores with Vitamin C, or address common teen skin imperfections such as acne and drivers-ed notes jotted on the forehead.
In the bright spaces of Jamba Juice, mixers sprinkle mountains of all-natural, low-fat frozen yogurt with choices from seven toppings, such as almond and coconut. Dubbed Whirl'ns, cups filled with swirling, rivulet-etched peaks of frozen yogurt fuse the nutrition of real fruit and natural ingredients with the beneficial circuit training of active yogurt cultures.
With baskets full of hand-plucked, wild blueberries, Vincent Colombet and his cousins happily crammed into their Alsatian grandmother's tiny kitchen. In that quaint room, equipped with only a wood-burning cast-iron stove, Vincent learned over the years how to tuck berries into pies, prepare meats sourced from neighboring farms, and eventually produce elaborate meals for his entire family.
Driven by his passion for French family-style cuisine, he traveled to Paris before a longing for experiences abroad tugged him across the pond and into the arms of the Windy City in 2004. The following year he opened Cook Au Vin, where he leads three-hour BYOB cooking classes centered around classic techniques and organic ingredients. Patrons may also enlist the Cook Au Vin team to cater special events, or swing by Colombet's Logan Square bakery, La Boulangerie, for butter-infused inhalations, freshly made crepes, and crusty baguettes.
Rivers Edge Cafe aims to put a spin on the traditional, Americana-steeped diner by creating a casual neighborhood eatery that serves slightly more imaginative versions of otherwise familiar comfort foods. Tempting diners with the opportunity to enjoy three meals a day, the chefs begin each morning by cooking a number of breakfast staples. Buttermilk pancakes and country fried steak are classics, but they also cook omelets using three farm-fresh eggs and everything from artichoke hearts and kalamata olives to smoked salmon and capers. They even update the traditional side of hash browns by creating a version stuffed with bacon, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. As the sun begins to set, the cafe serves its selection of hearty, home-style dinner entrees, including housemade meatloaf flavored with garlic, onions, and green bell peppers, and penne pasta tossed with crisp vegetables, shrimp, and a balsamic glaze.
Much like its menu, Rivers Edge Cafe's dining room exudes a decidedly casual vibe that is more reminiscent of a bistro than a diner. Gleaming wooden tables and low-backed booths fill the dark floors, which still manage to catch the light streaming through the walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. Tulip-shaped pendant lamps hang above a few of the tables, but, as night falls, the ceiling fans' lights help keep the space illuminated as they lazily spin above patrons' heads and keep guests cool as they sip on one of the available craft beers or wines imported from the future.