Things I'm loving this week:
OK, so we've been loyal Tonx Coffee customers since last December and inside yesterday's shipment was a wonderful surprise. Tonx and Blue Bottle Coffee have officially joined forces!! The deal was part of a bigger purchase altogether. Blue Bottle recently announced that they - after admiring both Tonx and Handsome Roasters for some time - have decided to purchase both companies and create one large happy family. I had the opportunity to meet Michael Phillips (the cofounder and owner of Handsome Roasters) this year at The Unique Camp and he shared a little bit about his mission to make coffee more accessible to people. This is super exciting for Los Angeles as we are about to get a whole lot more personal with Blue Bottle (based in Oakland) as they are now officially opening their first cafe and production space in the previous Handsome Roaster space along with a another Blue Bottle coffee shop on Abbot Kinney in Venice later this summer. Eater LA reports that there are several other locations popping up around town as well. Keep your eyes peeled Angelenos.
|Michael Phillips making coffee at The Unique Camp|
|I drip. You drip. We drip.|
|Proudly showing off their new Blue Bottle logo|
Next up, I was cruising through Farm Shop (here in Brentwood) when, lo and behold, I spotted a 1 lb bag of Mast Brothers 73% cacao chocolate chips! Brothers Rick and Michael Mast of the now cult favorite - Mast Brothers Chocolate - have released their chocolate in chip form (genius). These button-sized morsels are recommended for use in a variety of baking and confectionery applications including cakes, bons bons, and hot chocolate. These very well may be the best chocolate chips on the planet. Be prepared to pay for the best as they come with a $21-24 per pound price tag depending on where you buy them. BKLYN Larder is selling them online for $21 per lb and Farm Shop sold them to me for $24. Happy baking!
And finally, there is a new restaurant on Sawtelle that is killing it on both the brunch and dinner fronts! Flores and the Ladies' Gunboat Society (a real mouthful, I know) is outrageously delicious! Chef Brian Dunsmoor (of The Hart and The Hunter) has just recently opened this ode to "country cookin'" in the space that was previously "Flores", a market driven restaurant and wine bar, run by the son of Gene Flores who had used the space since 1969 to display a joint exhibition of metal work with Larry Albright in what was known as the Greenson Gallery for 40 years. Great Space with a great history.
The all star standout on the brunch menu was the whole Grilled Trout with salsa verde and fried egg over bacon and potato hash (insanely good) washed down with a Snake Bite (half draft hard cider and half beer). Other Brunch favorites include Fried Rabbit and Waffles with stone fruit, smoked maple, and watercress.
For dinner, we loved the Chicory Salad with fennel, radish, garlic dressing, breadcrumbs, and wisconsin parm followed by the Crispy Soft-Shell Crab with nectarine and green tomato relish, bacon vinaigrette, and fresh herbs, and the Pan-Fried Trout with creamed corn, country ham vinaigrette, succotash salad, and hazelnuts. The dinner highlight was the Pot Roast Bacon served with sorghum, texas caviar, rancho gordo field peas, corn, tomato, and herbs. We also tried the happy hour fried chicken (served with a can of beer) which was served with a big drippy ramekin of honey. Perfect.
Dinner was capped off with classic southern inspired desserts by pastry chef extraordinaire, Sarah "Bearclaw" Lange (follow her on instagram @sarahbearclaw), including Chocolate Mousse Pie with caramel and sea salt, Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pie with strawberry ice cream, and Cornbread Pudding with blackberries and creme fraiche ice cream. I can't recommend this cozy little spot enough.