I eat: Osteria La Buca

Now-a-days, Instagram is my go-to to find where all the cool kids are eating. When I see a drool-worthy picture, I immediately go to Yelp and bookmark if highly rated. So what was it that attracted me to Osteria La Buca?

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THIS.

Cacio e pepe. And it did not disappoint. Creamy, cheesy, peppery goodness.

We also ordered another pasta and pizza.

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nero spaghetti – clams, squid, shrimp, tomato, chilis

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calzone – mozzarella, ricotta, pecorino, spicy tomato sauce, broccolini

The nero spaghetti was good, but the cacio e pepe was clearly our favorite pasta. The texture of both pastas was perfect.

I love broccolini, but it typically adds a slight bitterness to a dish. Combine that with burnt pizza dough and you have a calzone that’s somewhat off putting.

All in all, this was good meal that we scarfed down in under 45 mins.

When you spend more time on the road to the restaurant than in the restaurant itself… #soLA

Verdict: 3.5/5
Osteria La Buca
5210 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

I eat: Toast Bakery Cafe

When our original plan to go to Griddle Cafe fell through, we decided to meet at Toast Bakery Cafe for Saturday morning brunch. As with any LA establishment, parking is a painful ordeal. I ended up parking near Beverly Blvd. and walked two blocks down to the restaurant. Toast Bakery Cafe is located at the edge of a residential neighborhood which means no street parking on the weekends unless you have a permit.

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Although the restaurant does offer both indoor and outdoor seating, we opted for a table inside by the entrance. In the middle of the restaurant, there was a bakery counter filled with sweets such as cupcakes, cakes, brownies, banana pudding, cookies, muffins, etc. When I saw the red velvet cupcakes, I knew I had to order some to take home!

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The menu was pretty standard. Available were the usual breakfast items: scrambles/omelets, pancakes, french toast. I decided to forgo my beloved Denver Omelet (I seriously order this EVERYWHERE) and ordered the Breakfast Quesadilla (scrambled eggs, mozzarella & cheddar cheese, grilled chicken breast, served with sides of sour cream, pico de gallo & guacamole). My girls ordered the Favorite Omelet and the Thai Chicken Salad.

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As you can see from the picture, there was a lot more egg than chicken in my quesadilla. Despite this, I still enjoyed my breakfast and it was plenty to fill me up. I wouldn’t mind coming back to try the other items on the menu. However, if I had to wait in the line that we saw as we were leaving, I think I would have felt that Toast Bakery Cafe wasn’t worth the wait.

I also bought a half dozen cupcakes to take home: 2 red velvet, 1 blue velvet, 2 peanut butter/chocolate and 1 vanilla pudding/chocolate. I consider myself a red velvet cupcake connoisseur, having eaten a-plenty, and I can definitely say, TBC’s red velvet cupcake was terrible. The cupcake itself was really dry and/or not freshly baked. RED VELVET CUPCAKE FAIL! How dare you!

Verdict: 3/5
Toast Bakery Cafe
8221 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048