Trejo’s for Taco Tuesday, or any day

DSC_1244The badboy of tacos expands into Hollywood and soon Santa Monica serving up edgy eats

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If treking to Trejo’s tacos was too much of a task except for Tuesdays, there’s good news, Taco Tuesday can be today, as Trejo’s now has two locations and a truck.

All alliteration aside, Trejo’s tacos is one of LA’s best taco stops, and with more locations to serve Trejo’s fans, the restaurant is becoming as famous as its namesake, Hollywood bad boy Danny Trejo.

Traditional tacos like the Pulled Beef Brisket Taco remain favorites among patrons, but for those who don’t want their meat in a tortilla, there’s the hearty bowls, such as the Steak Asada Bowl. For variety there’s also tostado’s like the generously portion Shrimp Tostado, or appetizers like the Grilled Jidori Chicken quesadilla.

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Trejo’s has also just introduced big burritos that are several meals for person of average appetite. Not your topical taco joint, Trejo’s has unique offerings like an artichoke with two dipping sauces, and Street Corn, with spicy chipotle cream.

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For desserts, they keep it simple with a cooler of gourmet ice cream sandwiches from Cool Haus.

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Despite Trejo’s being open many months now, still each day after they open for business the lines winds around the restaurant to the street. To accommodate their plentiful patrons, Trejo’s has opened Trejo’s Catina on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood and soon will open Trejo’s Coffee and Donuts on Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica.

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Good thing Trejo runs such a badass operation, and the line moves swiftly, and the place is swarming with servers who constantly cart away done dishes and keep customers coming back, here and also at their new hopping Hollywood hotspot.

 

Enjoying at Mommy’s night out at Fleming’s steakhouse

flemings-filet-and-ribeye-group-shot_largeFleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Beverly Hills has a hipper swagger than your traditional steakhouse. It has the dim lighting, crisp white table cloths and large booth seating that you expect from a fine dining establishment, but unlike the staid and almost library-like atmosphere of many steakhouses, Fleming’s feels like a party.

This energy could be partially owing to the vivaciousness of the servers, like Tyler, who we figured must be an actor, because his flashy smile was at any moment headshot ready, who took care of me and my dining companion on our last visit, but it is also the general vibe of the place, from the laughter of the well-heeled patrons mingling at the bar to the steady flow of patrons in and out of the restaurant, milling about in the entry, greeting the host and hostess as if they were old friends, maybe they were.

But of course, the ambience and atmosphere are important, but the food is essential, and here is where Fleming’s truly excels. Being a steakhouse, of course I ordered a steak. As a huge fan of the bone-in T-bone, I ordered the one and only size of its variety, the 20-ounce steak, which was a meal fit for a king, or two. Of course, with an Uncle Buck sized steak like this, I figured I would end up boxing up a good portion of it to take home, but it was so juicy and flavorful that I did not leave as much on my plate as I had expected, but still enough for a second excellent meal the next day.

As we had started our meal with the outstanding crabcakes, wading in a puddle of roasted red pepper and lime butter sauce, followed by the Flemings salad of candied walnuts, dried cranberries, tomatoes, onions, herbed crostini, lemon vinaigrette, we did not want to overdo it, and so we only ordered the shoestring potatoes as a side, though we had heard good things about the crispy fried brussels sprouts and the monstrous onion rings, but we will have to wait until next time to order those.

Tyler kept us happy, making sure all our dishes arrived as ordered, hot and fresh. He was not afraid to give his opinion on the best way to have our food prepared, such as recommending having my steak seared on both sides before cooking it to a perfect medium rare, versus broiling it. He also had excellent suggestions regarding wines, and he didn’t judge when I asked for white wine with my steak, and he selected for me a rich and buttery Chardonnay that paired perfectly with the juicy flavor of my steak.

To finish off our most excellent dining adventure, Tyler recommended Fleming’s extraordinary carrot cake. A tall layered slice of this goodness was delivered with a bowl of fresh whipped cream, which we sampled liberally with each bite of this decadently delicious dessert.

Our dinner experience was leisurely, with Tyler pacing the delivery of each course to give us time for conversation and to whet our appetites for the next course. Noticeably, many of the same folks at the bar who were there when we arrived we’re still there when we left.

Despite the festive, jovial atmosphere, full of lively conversation and activity, it did not feel hectic, nor did we feel rushed, even though it was a busy night. Our experience felt more like we were among a gathering of family and old friends.

In Beverly Hills, where the scene can sometimes be, well, scene-y, Fleming’s was a nice respite, where one could be dressed up and enjoy an upscale evening out without the uppity stiffness of some restaurants in town where in the end you are just glad it’s over. Fleming’s is a place where guests want to linger, for the food and drinks, and just because it feels comfortable to be there.

Flemings has 13 locations in California, including a newly opened restaurant in Pasadena.