#CarnivorrGoesForGold: Week Twelve

The #CarnivorrGoesForGold challenge continues with a recap of my visits to Irenia, Baroo, n/naka, Valentino, Asanebo, Melisse, and The Tasting Kitchen. Stay tuned as I eat at all of Jonathan Gold's Best 101 LA restaurants in 101 days!

74. Irenia (#90 on the #JGOLD101)

I went with my friend Annie (@baconprincessblog) to Santa Ana to try Chef Ryan Garlitos' modern Filipino spot, Irenia. This was one of my top five restaurants from Jonathan's list!

What I ate: delicious "purple drank" cocktail with ube, coconut rum, pineapple; arroz caldo - rice porridge, garlic, chicken skin, chile oil, scallion, ginger; kare kare - cauliflower, peanut curry sauce; dinuguan - pork shoulder, pork blood sauce (MY FAVE!); pork belly adobo - jus, mung beans, mustard, turnip, onion; bibingka - coconut rice cake; UBE BROWN SUGAR PIE - custardy heaven!!! One of the best desserts I've ever had.

Watch my full review of Irenia here!

75. Baroo (#40 on the #JGOLD101)

Headed to a Hollywood strip mall to Baroo, a.k.a fermentation station!

What I ate: rose kombucha; "noorook" - smoky beet dish with faro, and soaked macadamia nuts, onions, rose petals.

Watch my full review of Baroo here!

76. n/naka (#14 on the #JGOLD101)


Click here to see my full review of the tasting menu at n/naka.

77. Valentino (#94 on the #JGOLD101)

So glad I got to experience Valentino, the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant from Piero Selvaggio. This gorgeous Santa Monica spot has so much history - so many famous LA chefs got their start here. Caitlin (@befatbehappy) and I felt absolutely spoiled at our five hour dinner. They gave us a tour of the wine cellar and the kitchen tour, where we saw them making their incredible homemade pasta.

What I ate: parmesan; octopus; prosciutto ravioli; pesto pasta; veal ossobucco; apple tart; cannoli.

Watch my full review of Valentino here!

78. Asanebo (#66 on the #JGOLD101)

Went to Studio City with Caitlin (@befatbehappy) and Jesse (@scrumphsus) for some sushi at Asanebo.

What I ate: salad with scallop & truffles; sweet tomato stuffed with crab, drizzled with grapeseed oil; halibut with fresh truffle; kanpachi with yuzu, sesame miso, serrano pepper.

Watch my full review of Asanebo here!

79. Melisse (#38 on the #JGOLD101)


Click here to see my full review of the tasting menu at Melisse.

80. The Tasting Kitchen (#48 on the #JGOLD101)

I'd been to The Tasting Kitchen before for dinner, so I went for brunch this time to try some other menu items!

What I ate: cheddar herb biscuit; brown sugar coffee cake; french toast; roasted grapefruit; short rib hash with baked egg & gremolata; burger - caramelized onion, bacon, gruyere, egg, fries.

Watch my full review of The Tasting Kitchen here!

...80 DOWN, 21 TO GO!

Looking for more in-depth reviews of each restaurant? Watch full restaurant recaps on my new Youtube channel!

Follow the #CarnivorrGoesForGold project on Instagram to see live videos with the chefs and behind the scenes at each of the 101 restaurants.