Where to take a London food-blogger?
My friend, a london-based food blogger is coming into town and we're taking her to dinner tomorrow. Last time she was in town I took her to Lucques, got her the cookbook--she was thrilled. Where should I take her? Someplace fun, pretty, (obviously yummy chow). A place that would let her snap a few photos would be a bonus.
I was leaning toward Hatfields but someone said Nook is good. Any of you food bloggers out there have any suggestions?
Oh-if this helps: www.nordljus.co.uk is her blog. She's into desserts so that would also be a plus!
: ) rachael
Hatfield's is indeed good. Nook is good as well, but more casual (and I wouldn't call the setting pretty - it feels a wee bit more industrial, if I remember correctly). I've mentioned this in past posts, but I recently had an excellent meal at Grace (and the kouign amman we got as a dessert was awesome).
Re: taking pictures - I haven't had problems with any restaurant I've been to in LA. Generally, I don't use my flash, but even when I've had to (I think at Grace, and Hatfield's as well), I've kept it to a minimum and haven't and any problems then either.
If she's into desserts - you could always go somewhere more casual for dinner (maybe Nook?), then go to Providence for their dessert tasting menu.
(I am a big fan of her blog! It's one of my food blog bookmarks I visit on a periodic basis because the pictures are just so pretty!)
London is woefully lacking in Mexican food, South/central American food, Korean food, and sushi (at least reasonably priced good sushi). Therefore, I'd recommend the following:
Monte Alban, Tacos Baja Ensenada, and Loteria for Mexican/Oaxacan food.
Sushi Zo, Sasabune, or Kiriko for sushi that will be remarkably affordable given London prices and the strong British pound.
Sa Rit Gol for Korean.
TBE is a good start but my heart still belongs to El Taco Nazo.
Chosun Galbee would be a good "nice-looking" Korean place. Or if you want to get down and dirty, go to Soot Bull Jeep.
The Boyle Heights (and original) branch of La Serenata de Garibaldi is about as LA as it gets -- in what looks like a hellish ghetto (it's really not), Mariachi Plaza a few steps away with men trying to get hired to play "La Bamba" and "El Jarabe Tapatio" for parties, and fantastic Mexican seafood.
If she's up for it, I would take her to something like Babita's, Chosun Galbee or any number of places in Monterey Park/SGV for Chinese food. I don't think there's anything comparable in London, and they're a lot of fun (in a very different way than Lucques which I love as well). When one of my good friends from NYC came to town, I took her to NBC Dim Sum followed by Ranch 99, and she loved it and was snapping pictures the whole time.
I'd highly recommend these types of restaurants in the SGV:
Cantonese dim sum: 888, NBC
Cantonese seafood: Empress Harbor, Seafood Village
Shanghai (especially xiao long bao): J&J, Mei Long Village
Vietnamese: Golden Deli, Newport Seafood
You can find some more information about SGV Chinese restaurants here: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/ch...
"I don't think there's anything comparable in London . . . " Are you serious? Good Chinese food has been available in London since the late nineteenth century, at least. Great Britain did, after all, colonize parts of China and maintain control over Hong Kong until 1997. I was in London's Chinatown in January and had some fantastic meals . . . Anyway, Monterey Park has some special places, but my guess is that a Londoner is more likely to be impressed by less familiar offerings.
But the weakness of the dollar to the pound renders a lot of that moot, won't it? Still, perhaps at least showing the variety available will be impressive, even if one doesn't eat. Surely, there are provinces or styles of Chinese cooking (Islamic? Shangdong?) that even if London has, the blogger hasn't had.
This is true for other cuisines as well, and Mexican is at the forefront of my mind since across the pond, the interpretation is actually Tex-Mex (lotsa beans, lotsa rice, lotsa cheddar), not real Mexican, and they won't have anything close to Oaxacan.
Places I would take a Brit include:
Soot Bull Jeep
Hmmm... dunno. When I lived in England about 15 years ago, I never found anything comparable to what was in Monterey Park/SGV in London, and comparably speaking, London's Chinatown is very small. The only places that I've found with comparable food outside of China, Hong Kong, etc. are in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, etc.).
But then I haven't been back to London in about 5 years now, perhaps things have changed. And no, I'm not one of those people who thinks that there is no good food in England. I think there is fantastic food in London at all price points. I just haven't found any of it to be Chinese. But that's just my opinion. I think the food at Lucques, Campanile, etc. to be far more like what is readily available in London now than what is in the SGV/Monterey Park.
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We were running late (she was taking pictures of our store) so we walked over to Mozza. Walked in and got a seat at the bar at about 7:30. I have good luck with that. We got the English Pea and Ramp Pizzette. I liked the crust on that better than a large pizza. It was really good. Also got the caramel dessert which was out of this world. I also took her to the Little Next Door and she flipped out. It's beautiful there. We'll probably head back to get some jam. Hopefully they'll let her snap some pictures.