I passed a very significant food bloggy milestone this past weekend. It was a line I never thought I'd cross, but I did. Mrs. Dude didn't even mention anything as she watched me cross it. Not until later, when we whispered in the dark in our hotel room (careful not to wake little Bbq Jr).
I photographed an entire restaurant meal. Sure, I tried to disguise it. I was also snapping photos of the family (several of which I'm very happy with). But in the end, the waitress came by to ask if everything was alright while I was snapping pictures of dessert. My neck warmed and I said, "Yes, we're fine".
We visited Los Angeles this weekend, an amazing source of food and drink. We had 2 fantastic meals, and an acceptable one. I only photographed one of those meals, but I expect that once you cross the line, you will photograph everything...
The Lazy Ox is a cute little place in downtown L.A. On our previous visit, we had to fight off other patrons to get some seats at the bar (literally). This time, we made reservations, and got lovely tables outside. Naturally, this made photographing dinner considerably easier (given that we were out with Bbq Jr, who can't be eating dinner at 9:30 at night).
Incidentally, Bbq Jr. also passed a significant food milestone this weekend. He had his first soda. Mrs. Dude and I aren't really soda people (she used to drink a lot of Coke, but cut back to reduce her caffeine intake). So we generally serve Bbq Jr. milk, water or juice. Well, we were in a slightly fancy place, and she and I were drinking wine, so it only seemed fair for him to be drinking something exciting.
You won't be surprised to hear that he was delighted. He made at least 3 different faces as he registered the taste of this stuff. Quite pleased.
Though you don't need to order this way, both times we visited, we've chosen to eat small dishes, almost tapas-style. You get to sample more stuff this way, and really, more stuff!
These little ricotta fritters are great. With four fritters for three people, we had to split up the last one. Bbq Jr. was skeptical of these at first, but once he realized they were like French fries with cheese in them, he was all about them.
The basil vinaigrette with creamed corn served with these heirloom tomatoes was delicious. Really bright, really sweet and perfectly ripe tomatoes. I'm a big fan of heirloom tomatoes, and this preparation is one of the better ones I've had. Bbq Jr. on the other hand claimed that, "Daddy, these are good. But they're not as good as our tomatoes."
Up next? Creamy poblano soup with crispy pork belly and crème fraiche. Just a hint of spice, but all the rich deliciousness of poblanos. And the pork belly was delicious. But the real surprise? Slices of slightly dried grapes at the bottom of the soup. I could have eaten this whole bowl myself.
And finally, the best dish of the night... Brick-roasted mussels with basil, white wine, house-made sriracha. HOLY CREAMY SPICY SWEET HEART-STOPPING SRIRACHA SAUCE! This sauce was good. So good, we ordered two rounds of bread to go with it to mop up the extra sauce. So good, that when we finished the bread, I had to ask if it also came as a smoothie. So good, that when the waitress offered us a straw, I nearly took her up on it. Only my dignity stopped me. This is pure saucy goodness.
I would travel a distance to eat that sauce again. Yum.
Okay. And now we had a chance for dessert. Mrs. Dude had the creamy, lovely vanilla panna cotta with blackberries and figs.
Bbq Jr. had to have the blackberry-blueberry crumble.
These were lovely. Tasty. Yummy. But the pièce de resistance of the dessert round was the rice pudding. It arrived in three containers: 1) the rice pudding with a nut crumble on it; 2) a carmel-cinnamon sauce; and 3) whipping cream. One is to mix them in one's own desired proportions. Me, I dipped my spoon into each, and gobbled it down. This was the single-best rice pudding of my life. This rice pudding made Mrs. Dude exclaim: "This is rice pudding?? I thought I didn't like rice pudding! This is amazing!" It was amazing.
And the dessert was served with a lovely Tokaj.
Lazy Ox, we will be back.
View Larger Map