Tuesday, December 30, 2008

O, Toy Soldiers!

If you're ever in my 'hood and want to grab a meal, just call or e-mail me. Don't worry if it's on short notice -- a day before, an hour before, whatever. More often than not, I'll be free, and we will go somewhere with tasty treats!

Case in point -- Claire was in the area for family holiday togetherness yesterday, and our evening schedules just happened to mesh perfectly. We tried the little restaurant at O Hotel, a fairly new addition to downtown.

Why the sign says "Orchid," I'm not sure. While the boutique hotel is sort of wishy-washy about its identity, it is decidedly dark and contemporary inside.
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The O Bar & Kitchen dining area is simply a long line of booths against the wall to the right of the lobby. Pick a table, have a seat, and wait for your server. The menu includes a decent array of fun martinis and mixed drinks ($12), a good mix of cheap tapas ($3 to $5), and a full dinner menu.
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I had a Pearadice (Grey Goose Le Poire with pear nectar juice). Claire started with a blackberry mojito (Cruzan rum with fresh mint, lime, and blackberries). Both were damn good.
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We decided to sample a bunch of tapas and a starter and a flatbread from the dinner menu.

New York steak skewers with horseradish aioli ($4). Pretty flavorful, although they could've been a tad more tender.
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Risotto balls with jalapeƱo remoulade ($3). Reminiscent of fried mac 'n' cheese, but not quite as amazing. The remoulade was rather something, though. A swift kick to your tastebuds.
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Petite meatballs with spicy tomato sauce and grilled bread ($4). The least interesting of our picks. Juicy and familiar, but I probably won't get them again.
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Truffle parmesan tots with horseradish sauce ($4). So simple. So good. I guess there are some things we will always love. I'm only sad that my stupid picture features paper and not tots.
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Wagyu sliders, pickled shallots, bacon, provolone, horseradish aioli, and tomato confit ($12). Very good. Mr. Monkey loved the one that I brought home.
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Tuscan flatbread with eggplant, goat cheese, and pine nuts ($8). Thin! Crispy! Dee-lish! I liked this a lot.
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There is something really nice about having a one-on-one meal. I learned a lot about Claire that I didn't know before, and it made me like her even more. Isn't it great when that happens?

We couldn't resist the obvious photo ops with the holiday soldiers in front.
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After dinner, we took a short stroll to L.A. Live to take a look at all the new developments.
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It wasn't that exciting, but it was a far cry from the downtown that Claire remembered from years ago. I also liked sauntering a bit after eating. It made me feel like I worked off one tater tot.

Bonus outfit pic:
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Burberry quilted jacket, Blue Cult jeans, Stuart Weitzman suede flats with bow accents (yes, I love bows on shoes), Paul Frank bag. Not pictured is a boring brown Banana Republic banded tunic underneath.

Bonus story:

That morning, a woman in the CIA cafeteria exclaimed, "What an adorable bag! Your children must love it!"

My retort: "I don't have children. I love it."

As if anyone with children could possibly fit all her shit in my tiny round bag.


  1. I'm really hoping fancy tater tots are the sliders of 2009. Marc had to go downtown today and couldn't find anywhere to go to lunch *groan*

  2. Are you *sure* you want to put that invite out there? Because I'll be living in your 'hood for a week sometime next year. :-)

  3. What a great time! I would love to take you up on this offer to go out to eat if I'm ever in your hood but I'm not sure my irregular Joe's and dowdy discount store bcbg ribbed sweaters would fit in - these places look trendy and really nice! Far cry from Olive Garden. I love the jacket and shoes btw and I think I might also have to steal C's green top next time I'm at her place.

  4. 2 Foodies in one blog post! Not to mention 2 of my favorite people ;)

    5 stars! Oh wait- no stars here...

  5. dying at your CW's comment!

    that restaurant looks very swanky and now I want some tots.

  6. What a fun night out! I'll be calling next time I'm in LA. :)

  7. Love the comment from your CW and more importantly, I love your response. Those cocktails looked beyond good. The flatbread also looked delicious!!

  8. the presentation of the sliders is too cute with the cornichons!!! i cracked up at the last line of this post. hilarity. ;-) this is how i feel when i go out in public and pull out anything emblazoned with hello kitty. no shame here!

  9. Yes, I love it when that happens. Such a nice surprise to learn that you like someone even more than you thought you did. :)

  10. I'm glad you put that out there. I always want to hang out, but I don't want to bug. Now I will bug!

  11. I had so much fun!!! It is so cool how we love and hate so many of the same people in this very small world. Thanks for being a great downtown hostess!

  12. so jealous of the quilted jacket (almost bought one on a whim in nyc awhile ago. then my practical side kicked in).

    even more jealous of the tater tots. mmm.

    i can't even fit everything i need in your julius bag, and you know i don't have tots.

  13. Looks like a fun time! I'm definitely taking you up on that offer when I move back to LA.

  14. When I read the title of this post I immediately thought of Martika.

  15. you look adorable...almost as adorable as your "kid's purse".

  16. I have never been able to fit all the shit I carry around in a bag as small as your PF one.


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