Donut Friend

I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but who could say no to a scrumptious donut? I heard of Donut Friend, but I never went out of my way to find out where it is. All I knew is that if someone brings a box of donuts from Donut Friend, they are a good friend to have.

There are good donuts and there are great donuts. I’m no snob, a classic Krispy Kreme donut is one of the best donuts I could think of. My enthusiasm for extensive and exciting flavors stays with savory food. When it comes to sweets, I like em’ simple. For example, I do not want my cheeseburger sandwiched between donuts and I definitely don’t want peanut butter on it.

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Donut Friend delivers exciting combinations in donut form. They have plenty of flavors of donuts, custard, frosting and toppings to go with it. It appears that there’s ice cream as well, but the donut ice cream sandwiches were a very last minute observation. Guess I have to go back.

IMG_4093You can either pick from their extensive menu of creatively crafted donuts, or make your own. I’m normally a make your own kinda gal, but I let the dessert gurus take the wheel on this one. There were SO MANY to choose from! Normally, I’d say fuck it, let’s get two each. But there is such thing as too much sugar and I’m not about it.

Sean and I split the popular S’Morrisey and less popular, but also delicious, Youth Brulee donuts. The Green Teagan & Sara donut really stood out to me but I guess it stood out to everyone else too because it was sold out. Yet another reason to come back!

The S’Morrisey was essentially a s’mores donut. A chocolate cake donut cut in half to make room for toasted marshmallows and topped with chocolate glaze and graham cracker crumbs. You know, I’ve seen this one around a lot, but when I finally had it in front of me, I really wasn’t thrilled. I’m not big on cake donuts because they’re so dry and that was my least favorite part of it. The flavors were good, but I couldn’t get past the cakeIMG_1240. Still, the concept was exciting, and I was excited to finally get my hands on it.

The Youth Brulee was a treat. In a last minute decision, switching from the samoa donut because it was another cake donut I didn’t have high hopes for, it was a great last minute decision. It was a really simple donut – glazed and filled with bavarian cream, but also topped with bruleed sugar and orange zest. And it was awesome! I thought it was just going to be a brulee flavored glazed donut, but the top was actually bruleed and had that crunch when you bit into it. I’m glad I waited to eat this one second. Would get again.

In the end, I would highly recommend donut friend. Although I liked one of the two donuts, I’ve tried at least half a dozen of these before I even got to the magical place itself and it was always a treat. I will definitely be coming back for the Green Teagan and Sara donut and maybe even put ice cream in between it??? Sounds like a dream.

Where?: 5107 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Price Range: $4-7
Parking: Street, but the gentrification of Highland Park hasn’t made this difficult yet!

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Tabula Rasa

IMG_4004.JPGWine bars aren’t normally my jam, but when I heard a hot new wine bar called Tabula Rasa just opened less than a mile away from me, I was determined to check it out. The philosophy nerd in me was sold on the name alone, but going to a wine bar sounds classy as hell, so I was into it.

I dropped by with some friends on a Sunday evening and happened to catch the beginning of happy hour. I wasn’t expecting to stumble across a happy hour on a Sunday, but it was 5pm, the sun was shining, and all wines and draft beers were $2 off. I started with aIMG_4007.JPG.jpeg house red ($6 happy hour price) and ordered the Cuban sandwich I read so much about on Yelp.


I was into the wine. I’m just growing out of my boxed wine phase and sipping on red wine at the bar was very pleasant. I stretched my first glass out until they brought our Cubans to the table and opted for a blackberry IPA (also $6 for happy hour) for my second round. The beer was cool and refreshing, but I think I might do wine again when I come back.

The sandwich was alright, but the food is not the IMG_4002.JPGmain attraction at Tabula Rasa. Food options are pretty much limited to a burger or Cuban that are made on a george foreman grill behind the bar. I was only slightly disappointed because Yelpers were raving about this sandwich. The flavors were good, but there wasn’t a lot of substance and it was completely flattened out on the grill.

Overall, this is a great spot to hang out over some wine. The ambiance is awesome and would probably be even better at night. If you’re into working on stuff with a glass of wine instead of a latte, this seems like a chill spot to bring your laptop and do your thing too. There were a couple of people typing away on their laptops with glasses of wine at the table.

Where?: 5125 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027
Price Range: $8 – 12
Parking: Street

Reno Room

Early on a Saturday afternoon, Sean and I were looking to kill some time on East Broadway St. in Long Beach while waiting for a table at The Attic. St. Paddy’s day being the night before, I thought all the drink specials and fun ended there, but Reno Room swooped in and proved me wrong.

With tinted windows and drink specials on the boards outside, we weren’t sure if this bar would be open so IMG_4056early but we crept up to the door and hallelujah, it was! My attention was immediately drawn to the all month long drink special menu, which advertised Guinness, Jameson shots, and Irish coffee and car bombs for a discounted price. I was just gonna get a plain ol’ Guinness, but I wondered aloud about the Irish car bomb. “You’ve never had one?!” Sean shrieked in surprise. As a 20 something who graduated from four lokos and shots to boxed wine to craft beer, I understand where his surprise is rooted. Before my craft beer days though, I was drinking on a college kids/interns non-existent budget, so I had not experienced the joys of an Irish car bomb. Until this blessed Saturday afternoon post-St. Paddy’s day.

So we got these Irish car bombs and they were the bomb.com. How have I never had one of these before?? It was like this refreshing, boozy iced coffee you had to chug. I would have chugged five on the spot they were so delicious, what a delight! But no, we followed these with a couple of Guinnesses and both remembered that we don’t like Guinness very much. I’m not a stout girl. We finished up our Guinnesses, closed out, and headed back across the street to have lunch at The Attic. We passed some nacho and taco plates on our way out and almost wanted to say “screw The Attic” and stay, but we came all the way to Long Beach to try the Attic’s Bloody Marys and Mac n Cheetos, so we had to follow through.

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After lunch, we just couldn’t stop thinking about this chill spot and the Irish car bombs, so we went back and had another. Just as amazing as the first! This place was a total dive and everyone in there was just doing their own thing, getting drunk and merry. The vibe was great so we stuck around for a couple of beers. In a 5 drink deep lapse of judgement, I followed Sean’s lead and got a Coors Light. I am ashamed, but good times were had by all.

Where? 3400 E Broadway Long Beach, CA 90803
Price Range: $7-10
Parking: Street parking

The Attic

The thing I love most about LA is the thing I hate most about it too: it’s so goddamn BIG. It’s shitty when you need to commute from the east side to the west side for work and incorporate the costs of having a car into your budget, but when it comes to wining and dining, you will literally never run out of things to try. I actually mean literally. Even if you made a career out of trying everything LA has to offer, there will be new rounds of restaurants, breweries, and pop ups every step of the way.

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This past Saturday, Sean and I decided to venture to the southernmost tip of LA county for some crazy Bloody Marys and Mac n Cheetos at The Attic in Long Beach. We read that there’d be a wait and indeed there was. About 45 minutes to kill before we got to get our hands on some cold Bloodies and grub. We miscalculated the part of Long Beach we were going out in and the beach down the road ended up being an overlook to the beach that was more complicated to get to than we had time for. We decided to get some drinking done to make up for staying in on St. Paddy’s day (I lied, I hit up a couple of spots in El IMG_4040Segundo, courtesy of work). Luckily, there was this fab dive bar across the street called Reno Room.

After pounding a couple of drinks, we crossed back over to the Attic and were seated in a half inside half outside table by the bar. We started off with Meaty Man Bloodies, mostly for the pulled pork slider garnish, but the bacon, slim jim stuffed olives, and jalapeno infused vodka also helped sway my decision. The slider was delicious, we both agreed that it was the best part of the drink. I like a good Bloody Mary, but my standards may be high. I felt like this one was ice and garnish heavy. With celery salt! Who actually likes celery and why would anyone coat the rim of a glass with it?? Anyway, it was worth a try, no regrets there.

IMG_4030.JPGWe were already sold on the mac n cheetos before we arrived, so we scanned the menu for a second dish to split. We ended up going with the Hey Shorty mac n cheetos and the My Boy Blue Burger.

Hey Shorty consisted of a cheesy helping of mac n cheese with pulled pork topped with hot cheetos. It was everything we dreamed of, we wished we’d gotten two. On one hand, it was a $12 bowl of mac n cheese but on the other hand, 10 boxes of Kraft mac n cheese, some pulled pork, and a bag of hot cheetos would not have hit the same spot. It was a perfect level of cheesy and, as we learned from our Bloody Marys, The Attic could whip up some killer pulled pork. The cheetos were stale, but I think they’re IMG_1185.JPGmore for aesthetic appeal and the wow factor that hipsters go gaga for.     

My Boy Blue Burger was not a winning pick for us. Described as a cajun spiced bison patty with blue cheese, fried shallots, bourbon BBQ sauce, and candied cayenne bacon on an onion brioche bun, I don’t feel like it delivered all that. And for a whopping $16, I feel like it should have. The bleu cheese was intense. It was creamy and present but, in my opinion, too present and I am a huge fan of all cheeses, including bleu. I didn’t dig the onion brioche bun either, too sweet for my taste. The meat and bacon were alright, but the cheese and bun overpowered all of that. Overall, I wasn’t thrilled with the burger or its hefty price tag, but I drowned it out with a couple more bites of mac and washed it down with a cool Pizza Port IMG_1186.JPGIPA.

For newcomers, I would suggest trying one of the unique cocktails with a hearty bowl of mac n cheetos. I also recommend finding a way to incorporate the pulled pork. The menu is exciting enough that it’s worth experimenting with, but be prepared to throw down some serious dough.

Would I come back? You wouldn’t have to drag me here, but I don’t think I’d trek out of my way. I’ve read up on a lot of great stuff in Long Beach and most definitely plan on venturing out again to try some new spots. Maybe SteelCraft, the food lot made of converted shipping containers or some of the many places that showcase Long Beach’s booming craft beer scene.

Where? 3441 E Broadway Long Beach, CA 90803
Price Range: $15-20
Parking: Street parking