Weekend Getaway - Los Angeles 2018

Jenn and I don't usually get each other anything for Valentines Day. Most years we have a nice quiet dinner at home and maybe some flowers sent to Jenn's office and that's the extent of it. Jenn changed the game this year. She booked us a weekend trip down to West Hollywood to have a nice weekend out on the town. 

We left our apartment a little after 10 AM on a Saturday and drove the fifty or so miles down to Los Angeles. Our first stop was going to be a recent Top Chef contestant's Mexican food restaurant, Mexikosher. We got down to his restaurant in record time, parked and walked up to find it was closed. Duh, it's Saturday and its a Jewish chef. That was my fault and something I should have checked before we left. Luckily across the street was Komodo an excellent alternative.

I had the Komodo 2.0 Burrito which consisted of seared top sirloin steak, jalapeño aioli & southwest corn salad. The burrito (as shown in the picture) was massive. And had Jenn not warned me to take a breath I might have finished it in under a minute. Jenn got two of the MP3 tacos which had seared top sirloin steak w/ sunny side up egg, tater tots, garlic aioli & cilantro. It was one of Jenn's favorite tacos she's ever had. We split some garlic fries to round out the meal. A great way to start our foody weekend.

From Komodo we made our way to Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) for our first ever visit. I can tell you about an hour in I told Jenn that we should have seriously contemplated getting an annual pass. We walked through all of the open exhibits and spent almost three hours walking the beautiful museum and seeing art from hundreds of years ago up until the last fifty years. It's a beautiful museum and one that I hope Jenn and I frequent more than just this once. If we ever move to Los Angeles we will be members. 

When we wrapped up our time at LACMA we drove to the hotel Jenn booked for us for the night, SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills. A gorgeous five-star hotel that was in the perfect location for the rest of our weekend. We dropped off our car, toured our room, dropped off our bags and were off.

We walked from our hotel a little over a mile to a nearby coffee shop called Verve. On our walk, we passed some gorgeous (very expensive) homes and marveled at some of the new and old styles of the homes. When we arrived at Verve Jenn got a latte and I had a cappuccino, both of which were delightful. We walked from Verve to The Grove did some light shopping before walking the mile back to our hotel. 

The main event of the evening was to go have dinner at a restaurant called Ink Well. Its head chef is former Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio. We've wanted to eat at his restaurant for years and now Jenn made that happen. We originally were going to take the hotels complimentary car to the restaurant but it was booked solid so we got an Uber and made it to our 7 PM reservation. We got an awesome table and waiter who walked us through the experience. We started off by ordering a glass of wine each, Jenn had a Syrah and I had a Cab. 

Everything at Ink well is served in smaller portions but family style. We ended up ordering six different dishes for the evening. Our first course was the infamous egg yolk gnocchi. It was prepared with mushroom brown butter and hen of the woods. I don't do this often but I was spooning out as much of the sauce as I could after we finished. This was literally one of the best things either of us has ever eaten. 

Next up on the agenda was the salt and charcoal potatoes. It came with a homemade sour cream and an ink dropper of black vinegar which you were supposed to have a couple of drops of with each potato. It was incredible.

After the charcoal potatoes, we had two dishes come at once. First up was the corn off the cob, with cool ranch “foritos,” and cotija cheese. There were some amazing simple homemade chips that you could use to scoop up the corn. It was incredible. We also had the cuttlefish dan dan noodles with crispy vermicelli in a black sesame peanut sauce. We've never had dan dan noodles before but if this is what they normally taste like we will never stop ordering them.

Our biggest course was the lamb belly with pine nut cassoulet and yogurt curds. We were just starting to get full by the time the lamb belly came but once we took a bite of the beautifully prepared lamb belly, all we could do was finish every last bite of it. 

For dessert, we split the Mexican chocolate which came with an almond crumble, caramelized white chocolate, toasted rice cream, and hibiscus. I had a cup of coffee with it and it was literally the perfect way to finish up the meal. We didn't leave any of the dessert on the plate. We left the restaurant over two hours later full, happy, and wishing we could go back the next day. We were feeling pretty full so we decided instead of grabbing an Uber we would walk back to the hotel even if it was a brisk 50 degrees outside.  It was an incredible evening. 

The next morning I woke up and went to work out while Jenn continued to relax. At 10 AM we got up and walked to our last outing of the short trip, Taste on Melrose. We made it to the restaurant right at our reservation of 10:30 and got a table for two in the back of the big and packed restaurant. Jenn started off with a mimosa and I had a bloody mary. Jenn had the huevos rancheros and I had the BLTA benedict. Both were fantastic and were nice and light after a giant meal the night before.

We walked back to our hotel after brunch, grabbed our car and made our way back home. We don't do a ton of weekend getaways but we always love them when we do. This past weekend was an incredible experience and one that as I write this I wish I was doing again this upcoming weekend.