Sixth Street Tavern – Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Food Adventures, Los Angeles

The Financial District of Downtown Los Angeles, the iconic part with all the tall beautiful skyscrapers lighting up the horizon, is home to plenty of wonderful bars and pubs hidden among the street level retail of the towering buildings. At the corner of Sixth and Hope, Martin and I went out to Sixth Street Tavern one night after he got out of the office. Our conclusion? Sixth Street Tavern is an awesome example of LA’s great trend — the gastropub.

Weck jars, craft beers, and a menu that includes elevated pub food? Count us in!

Weck jars, craft beers, and a menu that includes elevated pub food? Count us in!

The decor feels trendy yet understated and every table is lit with a candle resting in a Weck jar. We were feeling pretty ravenous so we ordered a handful of dishes to share. I would definitely recommend going with a small group in order to sample more of the menu!

Duck Fat Fries - duck fat, hickory dipping sauce

Duck Fat Fries – duck fat, hickory dipping sauce

First, we started with the duck fat fries. Three words that were always meant to be spoken in harmonious succession. Duck. Fat. Fries. Super crispy and full of savory decadence, these were the perfect thing to start noshing on. I like barbecue flavors so the hickory was my sauce of choice, but the fries were delicious even with ordinary ketchup.

Bistro Burger - worcestershire onion compote, port salut cheese, arugula, aioli

Bistro Burger – worcestershire onion compote, port salut cheese, arugula, aioli

We wanted to split something substantial, so we agreed to get a burger. Martin let me pick and when I saw the Bistro Burger, with a description is suspiciously reminiscent of one of my favoritesThe Office burger, I had to get it. We ordered it rare and the burger arrived perfectly cooked to temperature. The cheese was melty but not too strong, and the worcestershire onion compote was mouthwatering. It was especially impressive served on the glistening bun.

Chicken and Donuts - buttermilk fried chicken, doughnut, maple glaze, tapatio whipped cream

Chicken and Donuts – buttermilk fried chicken, doughnut, maple glaze, tapatio whipped cream

We agreed to select a small plate to share as well. I saw the chicken and donuts and gasped. Sweet and salty with… do my eyes deceive me? Tapatio whipped cream?!?! DO IT, my stomach roared. The chicken was crunchy, hot, and super juicy. The doughnut was crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and piped full of that fascinating Tapatio whip. The entire bite was glazed in maple, transforming into an awesome combination of breakfast and dinner in one bite. So. Freaking. Good. This is the kind of dish you dream about and then return to a restaurant specifically to devour. Martin did, with one of his friends. I’m still dreaming…

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Check out Sixth Street Tavern: sixthstreettavern.com

630 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90017

See their Yelp reviews here!

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Moules Marinieres

Appetizers and Starters, Main Dishes, Recipes

Martin and I love replicating our favorite restaurant dishes in our own kitchen. Last week, we finally attempted a dish that is one of my all-time favorite to eat yet we had never realized just how easy it would be to make at home — moules frites. Inspired by our brunch at Meet in Paris, we wanted our first batch to keep it simple with garlic, shallots, butter, thyme, and white wine. We managed to find Prince Edward Island (PEI) mussels at our local supermarket chain, though the size of the flesh was nowhere near as gigantic as the ones we had at Meet. This classic mussel preparation is known as mariniere, French for “mariner’s style” but defined in the culinary world as a dish that is prepared by cooking in white wine.

Moules Marinieres

Moules Marinieres

Storing the Mussels: Odds are, the guy behind your grocery store’s seafood counter will toss the mussels into a plastic bag, tie it up, and wrap the whole thing in butcher paper. As soon as you get home, be sure to properly store the mussels. Most importantly, either take them out of the plastic bag or poke holes in it so that they do not suffocate. We transferred ours onto a metal tray, covered them with a damp paper towel, and kept them in the refrigerator until dinnertime. Here’s where it got a little tricky (to me anyway): BEFORE COOKING — the mussels should be tightly closed. Any open ones should close if you tap or otherwise gently disturb it. If the shells are agape and it does nothing, then it is dead and should be discarded. AFTER COOKING — all of the mussels should pop wide open. Any that remain shut are dead and should be discarded. Dead mussels are no bueno.

Ingredients:

Ingredients:

2 lbs mussels (PEI ones are great)

1 shallot, finely diced

4-6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pinch of salt

A few sprigs of fresh thyme (or a small handful chopped fresh parsley), optional

2 cups dry white wine (any drinkable but well-priced white wine will do; we found a 2012 Beringer Chardonnay for $3/bottle — do NOT use “cooking wine”)

Crusty bread or baguette, warm or toasted if desired

Cleaned Mussels

Cleaned Mussels

First, clean the mussels under cold running tap water. Our mussels were pretty clean, but if needed, you’ll need to remove the beards from between the shells. Set aside.

Sauteing the Garlic and Shallots

Sauteing the Garlic and Shallots

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Saute the shallot and garlic until softened and translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Season with a sprinkling of salt.

Adding the Wine and Mussels

Adding the Wine and Mussels

Add the herbs, if using, and pour in the wine. Turn the heat up to high and add the mussels, arranging them in a single layer if possible.

Cover and Let Simmer

Cover and Let Simmer

Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes. You’ll notice that they will gradually pop open. Start toasting off crostini-style slices of bread, if desired.

Almost Ready

Almost Ready

Stir the mussels and continue to boil, covered, for another minute or two. Remove the cover and serve immediately.

Beautiful Mussels!

Beautiful Mussels!

Yields 2 servings (the typical serving is about 1 pound of mussels per person).

Serving Suggestion: alongside wine and crusty bread

Serving Suggestion: alongside wine and crusty bread

Serving suggestion: in a large bowl alongside crusty bread and French fries (to complete this dish as moules frites). Provide a spoon, if desired, but I think the best “spoon” is the discarded shell of one of your eaten mussels. Savor the flavorful broth.

Pair with a glass of the same white wine used for cooking or a better Chardonnay if preferred. Bon appetit!

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our-growing-edge-badgeThis post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. I love to eat moules marinieres, but this was our very first time making it at home and boy, is it easy! I never would have imagined that we could recreate a gourmet dish like steamed mussels; light some candles and whip up a batch of these for your next date night at home for a boost of fanciness and romance.

This month is hosted by Leah at Sharing the Food We Love.

Cheers!