Unintentionally I’ve got a Spanish vibe going with my posts, though the next post will have to do with the French, so that’s close enough. Ara Pizza is a little pizza place in Barcelona which was designed by architect Pablo Téllez to help invigorate this previously cut and dry space. Before it was just a simple, boxy space, but Mr. Téllez has filled it with triangular prisms painted a bunch of different colors, giving it a rather trippy appearance.
It’s still a rather simple space overall, filled with Dr. Yes chairs and minimal tables but the addition of that… vortex? It really makes the space seem like something unusual and fun.
Pan Pan Atelier, located in Valencia, Spain, got a wonderful bit of branding from Spanish designer Rocío Martinavarro. The new bakery’s pattern was inspired by ears of wheat, giving a nod to the ingredient that makes many of the things Pan Pan creates possible. It’s a nice shape that’s complimented well by the different custom typefaces used throughout the identity. I love the effect of the browns with the white, it has a nice, contemporary feel without being overly earthy or hippy feeling. The space is pretty rad as well, I really like the marble counter and usually I’m not a big fan of marble.
You know when you’re having coffee or tea, and the dregs end up settling at the bottom? It’s kind of gross and designers Florian Dussopt and Julie Girard have come up with a way to counteract this. They’ve come up with a self-stirring cup. The idea is simple, it’s a glass which at the bottom is a wider reservoir that contains a ceramic ball. Once you spin the cup the ball spins in the reservoir, mixing your drink up more successfully, or so is the hope.
I like this idea a lot but I see two potential problems, the first being that there’s no handle to it. This is meant for hot beverages and grabbing hot glass is not fun in any way. The second more obvious problem is that someone is going to swallow that damn ceramic ball. It’s made purposefully so you won’t dot that, but some damn idiot is going to swallow the whole thing and find it two days later.
Yesterday ended up being one of those non-stop days so to regain a little bit of sanity I decided to walk down the street to the Farmers Market at Barnsdall Park where the Border Grill Truck was parked. Los Angeles has a food truck for every type of food you can imagine, but most of the time they don’t come near where I live, there’s really nothing around me that would draw them. So I took this as an opportunity to try some yummy food!
I ended up getting three items. The Yucatan Pork Taco, the Cilantro Chicken Taco and the Carne Asada Quesadilla. My favorite of the three was definitely the Yucatan Pork Taco which has “braised achiote pork, black beans, pickled onion and orange jicama slaw.” It was a crazy mix of flavors and overall was delicious and at the time wished I had 4 more. To wash it down I ordered their Iced Mexican Coffee which has cinnamon, star anise, orange zest and piloncillo syrup. It was also delicious.
My only problem was the price tag. I ended up spending $13 at a taco truck. It’s definitely above and beyond a normal taco truck, but it still stung a little. Nonetheless I’d definitely suggest checking them out.
About a month ago Umami Burger, a local Los Angeles burger joint, opened up around the corner from me where Cobras & Matadors used to be. I’d been wanting to check out since then, when a few days ago I was alerted by Tasha over at Blackburn and Sweetzer that they started a new Happy Hour special. Between the hours of 3 and 7 PM you can get a Smash Burger, one that’s similar to what you East coasters would find at Shake Shack, plus all of their beers on tap for $4 each. Great deal.
So I walked over and had a seat at the bar, and dug right in. I grabbed an Alagash Black, a satisfying darker beer that had a nice crispness to it. I ordered the Smash Burger as well as some malt liquor tempura onion rings to go along with them. The burger looks kind of small in the photo but it ended up being a perfect portion size. The burger itself is simple, just buns, beef, cheese, caramelized onions and homemade pickles. I’m a big sauce guy, but after sinking my teeth into this burger I realized it wasn’t necessary. The meat was grilled well done on the outside but was quite rare on the inside, leaving the plate dripping with deliciousness. It was honestly one of the best burgers I think I’ve ever had. The onion rings were great as well, nice and crispy all around and the onion was still crunchy enough to bite into. I hate when you get an onion ring, bite into it and the whole onion comes out, leaving you with a deep fried husk.
As I was eating, someone who worked there, maybe a manager, was explaining some of the details that I couldn’t help but overhear. I guess the buns are all hand formed by a local bakery, they make 1000 buns a day and serve just Umami Burger, so you can guess how delicious they tasted. The onions and pickles are all prepared in house. They also have a veggie burger that costs $14, which a lot of people complain about, but what he said is that it takes 3 days to prepare, though I’m not sure what goes into that time period, but it certainly sounded worth it.
All in all I loved my meal, and for $13 I got a delicious burger, a good helping of onion rings and a pint of beer. So if you’re in the mood for a delicious meal I’d suggest hitting up Umami Burger.