Archive for the ‘american food’ Category


m cafe de chaya (culver city)

April 17, 2009

m cafe de chaya
9343 culver boulevard
culver city, ca 90232
(310) 838-4300
sun-thurs 9am – 9pm
friday & sat 9am – 10pm

i’ve been a fan of chaya brasserie ever since the first time my friend took me there back in college, and is probably one of my top favorite restaurants in LA. i’ve been to chaya venice as well, but the chaya on robertson boulevard is still my favorite. :) so anyway, we’ve driven by m cafe on culver many times, but it was only after finding out that it was owned/operated by the chaya family, that we made it a point to check it out. the photos on this post were taken back in nov 2008 on our first visit to m cafe. ask permission to use image

it is located at ‘downtown culver city’ where all the little cool shops are, and right across the trader joe’s building.  there are outdoor seating, but indoor is as comfy and cozy.  inside, at one end is a whole row of counter display of salads, sandwich ingredients and desserts.  you place your order and pay at the counter,  get a table, and they will serve your food to your table when it’s ready.  m cafe practices macrobiotics method of making food using only natural and organic ingredients with no refined sugar, eggs, red meat, poultry, or dairy products.
m cafe de chaya ask permission to use image

we arrived pretty late in the morning before heading to the gallery, so we decided to share a light brekkie. ask permission to use image
the $2 ice coffee was refreshing. :) ask permission to use image
the $3.95 small bowl of mushroom barley soup has carrots, mushroom, barley, potato, and celery.  it’s a little too oily, but otherwise, very flavorful. ask permission to use image
the breakfast panini costs $11.45, but it is grilled crispy hot.  it has scrambled tofu, soy mozzarella, and is delish.  :)

i really love this place… friendly staff, nice, relaxed, unpretentious ambient, with good choices of vegan/macrobiotic/healthy/vegetarian menu.  however, at one point, the chef came out of the kitchen and saw me snapping shots of the interior, and she asked a staff to politely tell me that they’re okay with taking photos, but not with the interior which would concern them.  most of the time, it is usually asian (particularly chinese) restaurants that do not like photos taken of their restaurants interior and/or food, so this is my first such encounter in a non-asian establishment.  it’s understandable, i guess, but in my experience, usually the more upscale a restaurant is, the less concern they are with customers taking photos. anyway, love m cafe nonetheless!  i’ve never been to their melrose location, but i love this culver city location lots.  it’s closeby and a really nice and relaxing place to hang out with friends, or you can simply enjoy a quiet meal on your own finishing some readings/writings. :)  oh, and don’t forget to try out their desserts as well!  ;)


marmalade cafe (farmer’s market at the grove)

April 13, 2009

marmalade cafe
farmer’s market
6333 w. 3rd st, #e 17
los angeles, ca 90036-3109
(323) 954-0088

located at one of my favorite hang out places, the farmer’s market at the grove, the marmalade cafe was an easy choice to have dinner at after a wonderful afternoon at the grove. this evening (we were there over the christmas holidays), with all the beautiful and joyous festive mood all around, we decided to get a table at the patio outside, instead of the warm, cozy indoor seats where at the time we arrived, had quite a waiting time since we didn’t make any reservations.

2008 dec 27 ~ 230 231 235 marmalade cafe, the grove b y

our server was ronnie, who’s just wonderful and attentive. after looking through the menu and couldn’t quite decide right away what we wanted to eat, simply cuz almost everything seemed pretty good (we were hungry! :p) on the menu, we finally decided on crab cakes as appetizer, the siete mares, and half sized mediterranean eggplant salad with half portions of seared sea scallops add on.

maryland crab cakes
when the crab cakes arrived, we were quite hungry by then and couldn’t wait to try them. i love crab cakes, but haven’t had them in awhile. these were richly stuffed (but not enough actual crab meat), served with lemon caper remoulada, and were quite favorable. the $13.95 appetizer also came with a bed of garden salad.

siete mares
my friend’s dish was the siete mares, which consists of jumbo shrimps, some crab meat, scallops,  clams, mussels, calamari, fish simmered in mexican style fish broth, chili fakes, cilantro, bell pappers, and four slices of really crunchy and delicious garlic toasts.  he didn’t like his $17.95 dish at all…the taste, flavor, textures, freshness… though the garlic toasts were pretty good.

half sized mediterranean eggplant salad with half portions of seared sea scallops add on
i’m happy to say that i enjoyed my dish alot more than my friend did his (again :p). my $9.95 half sized mediterranean eggplant salad consists of an organic mixed of garden salad, cubed eggplants, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, kalamata olives tossed with roasted pepper, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. i added half portion order of seared sea scallops for an additional $4.50 which i was glad i did. my dinner wasn’t the best and the scallops were a tad bit overcooked, but i was still able to enjoy my slightly overpriced (;p) dinner and walked away at the end of the night with a filling tummy. :)