Restaurant Review: Mattei’s Tavern

matteis-tavern-4Restaurant Name: Mattei’s Tavern
Location: 2350 Railway Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★★
Halfsies Bank: $$
Genre: American
Great for: Brunch / Your wedding / Living here forever

This place is a little magical getaway in the middle of Los Olivos. It’s perfect for brunch because outdoor seating is plentiful. There’s a huge grassy outside area with bocce ball, live music, and lots of space for dancing and frolicking in the sunshine! Plus, the food is amaaaaazing. So is the coffee. Do you really need anything more?? #heaven

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Brunch was followed by a fun little photo shoot around the grounds! We were all soooo over caffeinated after 4 cups of coffee each… the stuff was just so damn good and they kept refilling our mugs!!

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How fun is this little chalk board cabana?? It’s literally a cabana on the grounds and the walls are all chalk… pretty sure it’s there for little kids to doodle on while their parents brunch. We’re kids. That’s why we love it.

Drooling yet?? Visit the website here 

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&& “WRITE DRUNK, EDIT SOBER.” Words of wisdom, blogger friends. Never let that wine leave your hand. JK! But only kinda…

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Restaurant Review: Phlight

Restaurant Name: Phlight
Location: 6724 Bright Ave, Whittier, CA 90601
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★½
Halfsies Bank: $$
Genre: Wine/Tapas Bar
Great for: Sharing, dinner, wine, a date, or catching up with friends

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Right in the uptown area of my hometown, resides one of my favorite restaurants, Phlight.  This Spanish inspired, tapas restaurant, provides a delectable selection of food, and international wine and beer to choose from. There is such a warm, amorous, and cultivated atmosphere, that will make you want to go back for more. My friends and I love going at the end of a stressful week to dine and unwind. We love getting a few different dishes to share, accompanying glasses of vino, and of course, ending our delicious meal with some sweets.

What we ordered: Sangria/Vino, Sweet Potato Fries, Pork Belly Tacos, Empanadas, Paella, & Mexican Chocolate Souffle.

Recommend: Paella, Sangria, and Mexican Chocolate Souffle.

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Restaurant Review: JiST Cafe

Restaurant Name: JiST Cafe
Location: 116 Judge John Aiso St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★☆
Halfsies Bank: $$
Genre: American (Asian Fusion)
Great for: Breakfast, Brunch, & Lunch

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What first started out as a mom-and-pop joint, that was known for its chashu dumplings in the 1940s, is now a happenin’ breakfast and lunch dive with heavy Japanese influence.

JiST Cafe is a lovely little breakfast and lunch spot, that sits on first street in the heart of Little Tokyo. Not only is the food great, but the employees are so welcoming and attentive, which makes the experience so much more enjoyable. The decor inside is so artistic and gives the small cafe such a big personality. I love how they placed the plants on the wall, and how they used desk lamps as ceiling lights! So creative!

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Now, onto the best part… FOOD! As I mentioned before, JiST is well-known for all their chashu/pork base dishes. The first time i came here, I had the Chashu Hash Skillet, although a little on the oily side, it was DELICIOUS! Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.. nommmssss!

I decided to change up my order during my recent visit. I ordered the Katsu Sandwich, which was huge! It was a little difficult to eat because it came in more of a flatbread form. I didn’t even attempt to try to make it into a real sandwich – probably because I was STARVING, and ain’t nobody got time for that! My co-worker got Porky Omurice, and based on her silence, I am guessing she enjoyed it.. Did I mention she loves to eat just as much as I do, and persuaded me to share an order of the French toast, which by the way was filled with custard.. OMG! My thighs were very happy.

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I highly suggest you check out this great cafe for breakfast or lunch! Take a look at their website! ENTER WITH CAUTION: WILL MAKE MOUTH WATER.

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Restaurant Review: Strand House

Restaurant Name: Strand House
Location: 117 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★☆
Halfsies Bank: $$$
Genre: Dinner, drinks
Great for: Seafood

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What we loved: If you’re about seafood and white wine, Strand House doesn’t let down. I love that their seafood is always extra fresh, and that you get to enjoy a lovely ocean view while eating it!

What we’d improve: The place is super busy and often doesn’t have all the oyster options listed on the menu. If you’re picky with oysters (like me) that can be annoying, but otherwise, NO COMPLAINTS! Love this place!

What we’d recommend: Oysters, oysters, and anything seafood. The brussels sprouts and mac are also to die for!

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Strand House also makes their own hot sauce from a very-secret recipe (that’s the blue vial photographed above), which is beyond amazing! If you love hot sauce, the stuff is good on basically anything! I especially like adding a drop or two to an oyster shooter!

If you plan on stopping by, be sure to make a reservation (and don’t forget to ask for an outside table!).

Restaurant Review: Daily Dose Cafe

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Restaurant Name: Daily Dose Cafe
Location: 1820 Industrial St #104, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★☆
Halfsies Bank: $$$
Great for: Brunch, quick bites, outdoor dining, groups

What I loved: Fresh juices, daily specials, large portions, ambience

What I’d improve: Parking can be tricky and combos get a little pricey

What I’d recommend: The “white juice”, nutella mocha, and farmer sandwich

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Above: Nutella Mocha & “White Juice” (coconut water, coconut meat, bananas, dates)

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Above: Kale couscous

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Above: The Farmer Sandwich (Vegetarian and stuffed with goodness! This makes any carnivore happy to forego meat)

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Above: The Butcher Sandwich (Dijon mustard with sopressata and pickles)

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Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Daily Dose Cafe is super artsy. Rustic exposed brick and an overgrowth of verdure and flowers define the cafe’s “look”, while untreated woods make for great art pieces and mismatched tables. The  Cafe is located in an alley full of light – there are candles to line the walkways and brighten tables, string lights are laced overhead, and vintage chandeliers hang along the ivy. While most guests sit outside along the narrow alley, there are options for indoor seating as well.

Beyond the atmosphere and decor of the place, the food is delish. The menu is super simple, totally fresh, and LA-healthy.

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Restaurant Review: Daily Dose Cafe

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Restaurant Name: Daily Dose Cafe
Location: 1820 Industrial St #104, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★☆
Halfsies Bank: $$$
Great for: Brunch, quick bites, outdoor dining, groups

What I loved: Fresh juices, daily specials, large portions, ambience

What I’d improve: Parking can be tricky and combos get a little pricey

What I’d recommend: The “white juice”, nutella mocha, and farmer sandwich

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Above: Nutella Mocha & “White Juice” (coconut water, coconut meat, bananas, dates)

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Above: Kale couscous

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Above: The Farmer Sandwich (Vegetarian and stuffed with goodness! This makes any carnivore happy to forego meat)

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Above: The Butcher Sandwich (Dijon mustard with sopressata and pickles)

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Located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Daily Dose Cafe is super artsy. Rustic exposed brick and an overgrowth of verdure and flowers define the cafe’s “look”, while untreated woods make for great art pieces and mismatched tables. The  Cafe is located in an alley full of light – there are candles to line the walkways and brighten tables, string lights are laced overhead, and vintage chandeliers hang along the ivy. While most guests sit outside along the narrow alley, there are options for indoor seating as well.

Beyond the atmosphere and decor of the place, the food is delish. The menu is super simple, totally fresh, and LA-healthy.

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Restaurant Review: LeKa

Restaurant Name: LeKa
Location: 800 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017
Halfsies Rating: ★★★★☆
Halfsies Bank: $$$
Genre: Contemporary French-Californian
Great for: Working lunch, meetings

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LeKa is a go-to spot for my team, as it’s an easy block away from our DTLA office and offers a fantastic array of unique dishes. The restaurant puts an up-scale twist on common plates like salmon, pizza, burgers, and more. Since we’re regulars here, we were invited to stop by for a tasting of some new menu items. Check it out and I’m sure you’ll be drooling like we were! It’s no wonder we love this place.

What I loved: Filling lunch that won’t leave you in an afternoon food-coma; great ambience

What I’d improve: A little pricey for the everyday

What I’d recommend: Curried cauliflower soup, brussel sprouts, grilled pork belly meatballs, brioche bread pudding 

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