Archives for posts with tag: mignon

daisy, bo and luke duke had the boar’s nest. norm, cliff and fraiser had cheers. jack, janet and chrissy had the regal beagle…and now with the recent opening of the escondite, i too have a local.

the escondite

when i first moved downtown almost 5 years ago, i went to see the derby dolls when they were at 3rd and alameda, and on the way back my friends and i stopped into the 410 boyd for some food afterward. as i remember it, the food was pretty decent, but the lighting was fluorescent and horrible, and the art on the wall was god awful. i never went back. being that it was only a block away, i have always wanted it to become some place that i would like to hang out and have a drink, or get some late night food. i have been asked many times ‘is there some place nearby that we can just get a drink?’ and i think of the usuals: bar 107, mignon, pete’s cafe, wurstküche, and cole’s, but all of those are easily a 10 minute walk, and for non-new yorkers, you might as well ask them to run a marathon. 410 boyd never even crossed my mind.

a few weeks ago, while walking back from lunch with my friend shirley, i noticed the 410 boyd sign had changed. it was now planks of wood with an eye peering through them. intriguing…

we decided to stop and check things out. erin, one of the owners, was on the patio and asked if she could help us. she was as sweet as my sweet potato pecan pie, told us that they would be opening in a few weeks, and that we would be pleasantly surprised. my neighbor katherine had met brian, the other owner, while doing some guerrilla gardening in their parking lot, and he was nice enough to donate water to them. we decided we would go get a drink on opening night, and as it turned out quite a few other people in our building also wanted to see the new digs. there was easily a dozen of us there.

the escondite, or the hiding place, is dark enough to hide from anyone, but so much so, that i had a hard time even reading the menu that night. i was told that they would be adding candles to the bar area, and reprinting the menus with a darker font. i have been back a few times now, tasted the food, had a chance to chat with erin and brian some more, candles have appeared and fonts are darker.

the menu is pretty simple: mostly burgers, some sandwiches, a few salads and appetizers, and hand cut french fries.

chili cheese fries

cheese stix

most of the burgers have names right out of my generation: boss hogg, rip taylor, ricardo montalban, herve villachez[sic], capt kangaroo, don ho and my favorite gavin macleod.

boss hogg + gavin macleod

dr joyce brothers

they all have some not so usual ingredients on them including fritos, refried beans, pineapple, hashbrowns, mashed potatoes, and cream cheese. they are vegetarian friendly, and can all be made with a veggie burger, or if you prefer chicken breast, that’s an option too. their buffalo mushrooms have a really good kick, and one of the best sauces i have tasted, but it made me want them to be chicken wings.

buffalo mushrooms

brian wants to respect the vegetarians and wont use the deep fryers for both fries and wings, and until they can expand, mushrooms it is. the teriyaki steak tips were tangy and had some good heat and spice as well. i need to try out their sandwiches next, but since i am a bit of a sandwich snob, who knows that outcome? ultimately, the food is good, and for a neighborhood local i don’t need it to win any james beard awards. what i do need is that on a sunday night after a long day at work, without a meal break, to show up after 10pm and erin to happily say ‘we serve food til 1am every night.’ thank you sweet baby jesus! …and this was the view on the patio that night:

and as we left last night:

i have been in enough over the past couple of weeks to know that once the word gets out about this place, my local will soon be popular, but even brian implied he has no qualms about turning people away that don’t give him the vibe that he wants. he and erin set out to make it a neighborhood place, and i believe it.

brian is also an owner at bar 107, which on the weekends especially, can get crazy and over run with usc kids, and what i like to call ‘bridge and tunnel’ peeps. the feeling at the escondite is much mellower and matured. it’s a place where people of any age will want to hang out and have a drink and some food, but has character and isn’t stuffy.

the music has been fantastic. a great mix ranging from obscure 70’s one hit wonders to punk rock, with a little old school willie nelson, and a bit of early 90’s grunge rock thrown in. again, all up in my wheelhouse. although, i have seen both erin and brian on 2 separate occasions run and jump the bar when a certain enigma song came up in the rotation.

i asked brian, why not just take the song off the ipod? he said, ‘cuz it’s fun to run.’

i’m pretty sure chrissy, janet and jack would be jealous.

the escondite is at 410 boyd street, la, ca 90013 • skid row adjacent • parking is free after 6 + all day sunday • happy hour 5-8p m-f.

*a special thanks to shirley shivhon for providing some of her photos.

as you may have noticed from my top 5 favorite sandwiches post, i am a big fan of the croque monsieur. they may seem daunting to make just from the name, but actually, they are really quite easy to make.

you will need:

  • good rustic bread
  • thinly sliced ham
  • grated gruyère
  • béchemel sauce (milk, butter, flour, nutmeg, s+p)
  • fresh parsley, for garnish

first, toast the bread.

then, layer the ham on the toasted bread, top with the cheese, and put in the oven until the cheese melts and the ham is warmed. about 5 minutes at 350º.

in the meantime, make your béchemel. for one sandwich: scald about 1/4 cup milk in a small pan. melt 1/2 tbsp butter in another pan, add an equal amount of flour and whisk together to make a roux. then gradually add the milk on medium-low heat while continually whisking until it starts to thicken. if it gets too thick whisk in a little bit more milk. add a pinch of nutmeg, and s+p to taste.

drizzle the sauce over the open-faced sandwich, and sprinkle with parsley.

it’s not quite like the one at mignon, but it’s close enough in a pinch.

mignon is a wine + cheese bar in downtown los angeles @ 128 east sixth street, la, ca 90014 • phone: 213-489-0131 • open 5p-midnight daily. 

 

 

i love most sandwiches. i really like to make them, but i enjoy eating them even more. here’s a run down of my top 5:

5. the reuben

this is a photo of the one from canter’s deli, but i have had them at langer’s delicatessen, jerry’s famous deli, katz’s delicatessen, and many other random deli’s from coast to coast. the one that sticks in my head as my favorite, though i haven’t been back in years, is art’s delicatessen in studio city. there’s just something about pastrami and sauerkraut together…mmm.

4. grilled cheese

you may be surprised at this simple sandwich making the list, but i have loved them ever since i was a kid. my mom used to make them for me with kraft singles and onions on white bread, and i would dip them in dijon mustard. grilled cheese and tomato soup was one of my favorite lunches growing up. a couple of years ago my friend krista had me over for dinner one evening for the best grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup meals of my life. i also posted recently of my favorite grilled cheese that my sister kate made me, with our dad’s tomato jam.

3.  le croque monsieur

even though this is sometimes served open faced, i still consider it a sandwich. i have had a few of them in the past, and my favorite was probably at my friends jon and jenny’s place for dinner one night, but my love of this sandwich has only recently come about because of the one at mignon, a new wine + cheese bar that has opened very close to where i live. being that mignon is easily accessible to me, and their croque monsieur is only $5 during happy hour, makes me a very happy girl.

2. tuna fish

this sandwich can be easily screwed up, but also, if made well, one of the most satisfying of sandwiches. i stopped eating catering around season two of the tv show i worked on for seven years, and would mostly eat sandwiches off the craft services truck for lunch. thankfully they would have canned tuna and all the fixins to make my own. somedays i would just mix in some mayonnaise, pepper, and fresh lemon juice. other days it would be red onion, peperonchini, spicy mustard, sweet relish, mayonnaise, and pepper. at home (as shown above) i like to put in marinated artichokes, garlic, red onion, and herbs with greens, avocado and sweet cherry tomatoes on top.

1. the blt

the unfortunate part about the blt is that good tomatoes are a must, and finding them in any other season besides summer is almost impossible, but thankfully right now it is prime tomato time. i crave them. i had one today for lunch as a matter of fact, and it was the inspiration for this post. damn they are good!

honorable mentions:

the ‘big fish’ sandwich at big fish on main street in grapevine, tx

i couldn’t list fish sandwich (not to be confused with tuna fish, which i think is a different category) in my top 5 because i have had so few that are actually good. i have tried many attempts at recreating the one at big fish, but to no avail. short of flying back there to do some research, or calling the restaurant for their recipe, i am left with searching for a local substitution. suggestions are welcome.

(note: i have emailed big fish to see if they would submit a photo of the sandwich, or even better…the recipe, but at the time of posting i haven’t heard back from them. if that changes in the future, i will add it to the post.)

e’s pulled pork sammy

i really enjoy a pulled pork sandwich, and would probably list it at #6, but my friend john’s version is especially exceptional. his pork shoulder is dry rubbed with special spices overnight, slow cooked in butter and apple juice, and then finished off by smoking it on the grill. the juicy, tender and full of flavor meat is put in a steamed white bun and topped off with dreamland bbq sauce and slaw…com’ on!

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