My husband was a fan but I found the pastry cream on the sweet side.
Chocolate Olive Oil Tart
I have always been a fan of their chocolate tart. A very rich chocolate tart with a good amount of coffee flavor. The cacao nibs added a crunch.
Chocolate Olive Oil Tart with Harry’s Strawberries
All I needed was half the tart with delicious harry’s strawberries. What could be better than that?
Maré is Executive Chef Eric Greenspan’s coastal restaurant in Santa Monica. The food was good and service was helpful.
Complementary sweet pepper
A nice touch that is common in Europe and not so common in US. It does not cost the restaurant much and leaves a good impression.
Crudo of Tuna with Pickled Strawberry, Red Onion, Pink Peppercorn, Saffron
I asked our waiter what kind of tuna it was and I was told a bluefin. It was fresh and went well with the pickled strawberries. The whole peppercorn was interesting and added heat and crunch.
Poached Eggs and chorizo with Asparagus, Griddled Baguette, Red Wine Béarnaise
Their version of Eggs benedict. The chorizo was really spicy and the red wine béarnaise was a nice touch. The asparagus balanced the acidic dish.
Skirt Steak Sandwich with Garlic Aioli, Raw Red Onion, Arugula, Pickled Cucumber, Oregano Chimichurri
When we received this dish we were surprised that the steak looked grey. Our waiter never asked us how we wanted our steak cooked and that usually means they cook the meat to at least medium. We waited a while for our waiter to walk by us and told him about the problem. He took it away and after a while came back with one that was medium rare to rare. Well, I rather eat it that way than overcooked. The beef quality was pretty good and it had a great char flavor. The aioli and chimichurri added even more goodness to this sandwich.
I purchased a Mast Brothers chocolate tour deal on Gilt City. The deal was amazing. It was only $29 and included two $20 credits towards their merchandise. What? I wish deals like this would pop up more.
The first time I tried Mast Brothers chocolate was in Napa, CA. I tried their pricey black truffle bar and it was a good one with an earthy truffle notes.
Their shop and factory is located on Santa Fe Ave in downtown Los Angeles; not far from our favorite Italian restaurant, Bestia. They run their tour every hour and as luck would have it, the entrance to the street they were located at was closed on the side we were going to enter. We had to drive around to get to MB and missed the first five minutes of the tour. It was either that or wait fifty five minutes for the next one. The guy who was giving the tour was not happy that we joined late, but as we talked to him throughout the tour, he warmed up to us. He explained the different stages that the chocolate goes through from the pod to the chocolate beer and we sampled as we went along. At the end, we sampled four different chocolate bars and that concluded the tour. You could sample any chocolate bar they had in their shop and make an informed decision as which one to buy.
Cacao Beans and Nibs
The fresh cacao nibs were very good.
Different stages chocolate beans go through to make a smooth one.
Chocolate we sampled. It was very good.
The aging room
We sampled smoked chocolate. It was really good. Unfortunately when they process the chocolate, most of the smokiness goes away.
The chocolate Beer
Even though I am not a beer drinker, I really enjoyed the chocolate beer.
We sampled Milk Chocolate that was pretty good considering I only like dark chocolate. The second chocolate was Coffee. It had an intense coffee flavor and was very good. The third one was Smoke Chocolate. Unfortunately as I stated above, the smokiness was very mild due to processing of the chocolate. The last one was the Sea Salt Chocolate. It was a favorite among our small group.
Cacao Beans from around the world
Amazing chocolate selection with unique fillings
Chocolate Hibiscus Beer
A very good and refreshing beer and perfect for a hot summer day in downtown. It was only $4 for a pretty good size.
My pick of the chocolate bars. The Coffee was very good with a great flavor. The Olive Oil was very smooth with a fruity flavor profile. Tangelo had a very nice citrus note with a touch of sea salt.
I picked Tamarind, Juniper, Orange and Sesame chocolates. They we all very intense and amazing. You get six in the box for under $18. So at almost $3 a piece, it is the best chocolate that I had tasted locally and as good as some top chocolates from Paris.
Turmeric Almond Macadamia
I put Turmeric in my Smoothie almost everyday, So ever since I saw this drink listed at G & B menu, I was intrigued. I asked the girl behind the counter if it was a latte? She rudely said no and pointed to the printed menu describing the drink. It was basically a mixture of turmeric, ginger, honey, Black pepper and their house made almond-macadamia nut milk. You had a choice of hot or iced. I picked hot. It was good but I don’t know if it was worth the $5 price tag. I have made a almond milk version at home myself.
Since I had purchased a chocolate tour deal online, I needed a place to have lunch in downtown. We have not been to Grand Central Market in a while, so I decided to make that our lunch stop. We had previously tried two different falafels at Madcapra. I was glad to find out that they have two new falafels and also a hummus special that my husband might like.
Yellow Falafel Feta, Harissa, Cucumbers, Pickled Sweet Peppers, Parsley
For each falafel dish, you have a choice of a pita sandwich or a salad. I went with the salad. Their falafel texture was much better this time. It was nice and crunchy on the outside. The salad itself was good but I prefered the Green falafel that I had before. I thought the feta was too salty as some fetas are but loved the pickled peppers. The harissa was served on the side and it was really spicy.
Hummus Special Soft Cooked Egg, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Okra
My husband really enjoyed his hummus dish. I took a bite and I actually preferred it to my Yellow falafel dish. The hummus itself although not as lemony and garlicky as I like, it was still a good one. The veggies were very fresh and added a lot of brightness to the dish. The soft cooked egg added richness to the dish.
Your standard flatbread made freshly in front of you but a little too salty.