Macarons (Los Angeles, CA)

Boule Patissiere
As I walked towards the counter at Boule, I was unpleasantly greeted by an employee who didn't smile. I tried to breathe through this air of arrogance and quickly scanned the display of macarons. Many of the flavors were gone by the end of the day. I chose the caramel, chocolate and promagrante (cranberry)-rasberry macarons. The fillings were so soft and decadent. It was just oozing in my mouth and was just sweet enough for my taste.

Tony also picked up a sea-salt caramel candy. The iridescent wrapping unveiled a smooth, caramel piece of candy. After one bite, the caramel just melted away in my mouth, followed by pieces of sea salt for a surprise after taste.

We only picked out 3 macarons (as they only had about 5 options), knowing that our next destination was Paulette Macaron's across town. We wanted to compare the two patissieries.

Paulette Macarons
This place bakes only macarons so we wanted to try. We picked out: green tea, white wedding almond, violet, chocolate, caramel, pistachio, coffee, hazelnut. (Some are not pictured here as I was too eager to eat them all). I didn't enjoy the macarons as much because the fillings were a bit too overpowering for me. Tasting Boule macarons might have spoiled my taste at Paulette.

(from top left: white wedding almond, chocolate, caramel, violet, coffee, and hazelnut)

The Hungry Cat (Hollywood)

The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine Street, Los Angeles

We were driving up and down Vine Street, looking for an address, storefront sign of the restaurant, or at least any restaurant. We finally saw a courtyard and decided to venture in and found the restaurant tucked away behind nicely-trimmed bushes.

We were greeted by a friendly hostess and were able to be seated at the bar after 10 minutes of waiting. The setting very casual, relaxed, and fun. Our server (and bartender) prepared a refreshing organic tangerine margarita, freshly squeezed and crushed right into my glass (rinds and everything). Her final touch was a garnish of a slice of lime on a skewer.

I started with some raw oysters, both from the east and west coast. I topped each oyster with vinegar and red onion dipping sauce. I enjoyed the east coast oysters more because it was sweeter and had a more delicate taste.

This is my seafood stew with scallops, squid, mussels, clams, and fish, with black kale in white wine sauce and garlic toast with aioli sauce. The squid was amazing. I never had squid cooked to perfection. It was soft, yet not too chewy. I just wanted to lick every morsel off my bowl!

Tony order the Pug Burger with blue cheese, avocado, nueskes (applewood smoked bacon) on brioche bun.
The patrons were really friendly and loved to chat. Tony overheard a woman talking about how her favorite food is uni and he mentioned to here that there was fresh uni and she absolutely adored him and thanked him from the bottom of her heart. Next time, I will try this $16 fresh uni, which is served right out of the sea urchin shell.


Marche Moderne (Costa Mesa)

South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa
(714) 434-7900
Chefs: Florent and Amelia Marneau

Eating at the mall just doesn't seem so special but now with Marche Moderne, people can escape into the serenity this restaurant has to offer. The French bistro can be easily missed at South Coast Plaza. It's on the 3rd Floor in the Nordstrom wing where Troquet used to be. We sat in the patio, adjacent to the cabanas, next to fragrant lemon trees with sunlight pouring through. Ahh! I felt as if we were miles away from the mall. We had the lunch prix fixe menu, Marche Moderne's Spontanée ($25). Available only during lunch, the Spontanée includes a salad, main course and dessert.

Our first course was the hearts of palm salad, with cucumbers, arugula. This was my favorite!
I tried the skate wing fish, on top of carmelized onions, served with celery root puree.
The rest of my family chose the lamb chops with mashed potatoes topped with foie gras.
My mother decided to venture off the prix fixe menu and ordered fresh salmon with green beans, carrots and endive and sunny side egg.
For dessert, we had an almond crusted cookie with whipped cream and chocolate cream.