Tortilla Republic, West Hollywood

Tortilla Republic Churros

My meal ended with desert but this blog post begins with it, because when churros shine bright like a diamond, they obviously have to be the jump off on this culinary excursion. Last weekend I was invited to enjoy brunch at Tortilla Republic, located on Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood. My previous self would have given major side-eye when I read “modern Mexican” but I’ve been given a few reasons to change my ways and I’m definitely open to giving things a chance. You don’t know if you like something until you try it, right?

Now back to those bomb churros! I am putting these hot crispy pieces of dough of my list of favorites in L.A., added bonus was the cajeta (caramel) and chocolate dipping sauces served along side it. If you venture to WeHo for any reason, please put these sweet treats on your list of things to eat.

Tortilla Republic Menu

Tortilla Republic

Tortilla Republic Cocktails

The older I get, the more I seem to be eating brunch. Do you find this is happening to you as well? Does this mean that any day now, I’ll be shopping at J.Crew? (#help) Aging aside, one of the elements I seek in a successful brunch is my proximity to fresh air and the sun; this girl needs some vitamin D if you know what I mean. An added bonus to brunch, which these days seems crucial, is access to a strong cocktail. Tortilla Republic most definitely met my above requirements in spades. My brunch friend Robert and I took a seat outside, with a view of everything that was popping on Robertson and let me tell you, there were many sites to see.

I took one look at the Margarita Bar Cocktail Menu and without hesitation chose a Mezcal creation made with Passion Fruit Purée, Triple Sec, and Agave Fresh Lime Sweet. To say I got crunk off this one drink would be an understatement. Just ask Robert, he’ll tell you I couldn’t stop laughing and going on about whatever came to mind.

The perfect accompaniment to any stiff drink is a basket full of warm tortilla chips and salsa. It’s almost a match made in heaven, am I right? We were both feeling the chips and 2 out of the 3 salsas. The green (tomatillo) was lacking in proper salsa flavor, but the habnero (orange) made up for the other’s flaw. Now queue a bowl of guacamole with two giant chips, which you might think were totally unnecessary, but sometimes goofy food decorations can go a long way in the conversation.

Tortilla Republic West Hollywood

Tortilla Republic

Did someone say Eggs Benedict? If you’ve been following me for sometime, it should come as no surprise that I ordered the Hollandaise lathered dish. But this time, this brunch favorite was made with  poached eggs atop a manchego scone with chopped bacon, arugula, and classic hollandaise, served with a side of cheddar breakfast potatoes. The scone was stellar and my eggs tasty, but there was something missing in the sauce that I’m still trying to put my finger on. I wasn’t totally in love but I enjoyed myself enough that I wasn’t mad – the added bacon definitely made things better, but that’s a no brainer.

If you find yourself near Robertson and need some delish churros and to get a little tipsy, I say this West Hollywood establishment has you covered.

Tortilla Republic Eggs Benedict

Tortilla Republic

Tortilla Republic
616 N Robertson Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 657-9888

Summer Cocktails at Border Grill

Summer Cocktails at Border Grill

To say the Summer Cocktails at Border Grill were an epic party in my mouth would be an understatement. At this tasting I was surrounded by new friends, drinking tequila like it was water and noshing on small plates like it was my job – oh wait, it kinda is! I cozied up to the lively bar at this vibrant downtown L.A. spot and was ready to get my drank on.

Border Grill’s summer cocktail menu consists of 6 new drinks that would please any palette. Each concoction had its very own personality but the Summer Santa (pictured above) proved to be one of my faves, made with cachaca, raspberry, orange, lemon and hoja santa. My absolute favorite was the Fire/Water/Melon which I Instgrammed during the tasting. This libation was packed with pisco, watermelon, lemon, and serrano chile. Need I say more? It was the perfect summer drink. For those who like their sip more on the herb side, I recommend the Silver Surfer (the clear one pictured below), prepped with tequila blanco, celery mint shrub and sparkling water. I prefer my alcoholic beverages to go down smooth but still have the ability to pack a punch to my cerebral cortex. No doubt these modern Mexican mixes made me feel fancy free.

Border Grill Fried Squash Blossom

Border Grill Mini Sopes

Eating like a king was an added bonus. If you’re looking for a happy hour in downtown L.A. or something a little to the left of Mexican, I vouch that making Border Grill your new hangout will make your life exponentially better. Lets talk about these Squash Blossoms Tacos, which were a revelation to this fourth generation Chicana! Made with pickled jalapeños, black beans, lime crema, crispy hoja santa, and tinkerbell peppers, this was taco a creation that I had yet to experience and it was crunchy in all the right places. Next in line were Peanut Mole Chicken Sopes made with peanut mole, pickled ancho chiles, roasted poblano, and cotija slaw. I live for sopes and miniatures, so this combination was heaven in my mouth. Just look at the photo, aren’t you drooling?

Border Grill Silver SurferSilver Surfer

Border Grill Fresh Corn Tamales

Border Grill Quinoa Fritters

I have to admit that I often give the side-eye to “modern Mexican” but I am learning that I shouldn’t judge too quickly because when it is done right, it really is spectacular. Two examples of moan worthy plates were the Green Corn Tamales made with fresh sweet corn, sour cream, and salsa fresca & the Quinoa Fritters made from crunchy aztec grain, cotija cheese, and aji amarillo aioli.  These are not the dishes my mom is making at home and that’s great, because I want someone to knock my socks off with combinations I’d never even think of. Fresh corn tamales are something that you need to introduce to your life asap! And, if you’re ready to become addicted to quinoa fritters, then you must get ready for these babies.

Summer Cocktails at Border GrillAndean Stallion: pisco, fernet blanca, lime, agave, angostura bitters

Churro bites y’all. I could almost say “enough said” but you probably want to know what those bomb dipping sauces are. Let me break these bad boys down. These here are dulce de leche infused churros tossed in cinnamon and sugar, accompanied by whipped cream, chocolate and caramel dipping sauces. I am serious about my churros and trust me when I say that I could’ve ate these sweet treats like a bag of popcorn. Piping hot with the melt in your mouth quality.

Border Grill Churro Tots
Border Grill
445 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 486-5171