Monday, July 22, 2013

Foodie Adventuring // Father's Office & Coolhaus

Father's Office Los Angeles- Exterior

You know those annoying people who don't post their birthday on Facebook, so no one knows until it's too late? Yeah, I'm one of those.

When my current roomie accidentally found out when my birthday was from a well-meaning friend and jokingly said she had to go tell everyone, I'll admit I panicked a bit. I'm not a fan of making a big deal about my birthday and would personally prefer the day to pass by quietly, with only the closest friends and family knowing.

Father's Office Los Angeles- Interior // sorry, random folks...

Apparently my fight-or-flight instinct kicks in at the thought of some big surprise birthday celebration, because as I was frantically texting the well-meaning friend who'd spilled the secret, my cheeks started blushing. Which happens once a year, maybe? It's a rare occurrence.

Thankfully the well-meaning friend understood and let my current roomie know that a standard GOC surprise birthday celebration would not be as well-received as expected. So instead, Linda offered to take me out to dinner to celebrate, no surprises. Foodie adventuring? Now that is something I'm always down for...

Father's Office Los Angeles- Burger

She asked if I had anywhere in particular I wanted to go; when I mentioned wanting to visit the Coolhaus storefront location, Linda insisted on going out to dinner, too. While looking up directions, she asked if I'd ever been to Father's Office since it was right around the corner from Coolhaus.

I'd heard of it before, but wasn't familiar with the place. She was super excited though, so it was decided-- dinner at Father's Office, then ice cream at Coolhaus after.

Father's Office Los Angeles- Sweet Potato Fries

May I just say, really quickly, that getting around LA is SO. MUCH. EASIER. when you're driving? I've admittedly gotten used to the bus schedules around here, so it still amazes me anytime I get into someone's car and we get to our destination in half the time. Wow.

Anyways. Notes on Father's Office:
+ First off, it's a bar. So if you're not 21 or over, you can't get in. Doesn't matter if you're just there for the food. No dice. You've been forewarned.

+ We each got a Father's Office burger and then split a basket of sweet potato fries. Oh my goodness. The food is amazing. I know you can't tell in the picture of the burger how delicious it is, but just know. It's ridiculous. Think: bleu cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, gruyere, arugula, and meat that you can order medium rare without having to worry about food poisoning! {Sorry, my mom was a health inspector. I instinctively consider these things before ordering}. The dipping sauce for the sweet potato fries is Linda's favorite and I'll readily admit that the stuff is addicting. It's a bit like tartar sauce, but not quite? According to the menu, it's roasted garlic and bleu cheese aoili. Dear goodness. Can't handle.
+ The place gets pretty busy the later in the evening you go. We arrived SUPER early, which worked out since we got a table inside and the waitstaff wasn't frazzled yet.

Los Angeles Street Art

After dinner, we headed out to the car, got in, turned on the GPS... "Wait. It says 0.1 miles to get to Coolhaus. Get out, we're walking."

Someone let me know if the street art up there has some sort of special/hidden meaning. I just took a picture because I thought it was interesting.

Coolhaus- Exterior Logo

My infatuation with Coolhaus began... I forgot when or why it started actually, but it solidified after I attended a Food Truck Panel last year where Natasha and Freya (the founders) spoke about their small business experience/food trucking origins. They're so cool.

From there on out, I really wanted to try a full-sized ice cream sandwich from their truck. Lack of transportation kept me from that goal for a full year and a half though. *sigh* {Sidenote: I tried the Candied Bacon ice cream when they spoke at UCLA. It was really good...}

Coolhaus- Storefront, Hours, & Menu

When Linda and I got to the storefront, I was kind of surprised to see that this was the area that Coolhaus decided to set up shop. Foodie hotspots tend to cluster together in neighborhoods that, if they weren't already trendy before, become trendy once all the new places move in. And this area... it was pretty quiet. If we hadn't been specifically looking for this place, I'm not sure we would have noticed it. The only possible giveaway was that this was the only store on the entire street {and it was a looong street} that had people in front of it.

Coolhaus- Daily Menu
+ The flavors on this whiteboard outside do not necessarily match the flavors available inside. I think they write up this board in the morning, but as cookie and ice cream flavors run out and are replaced throughout the day, they don't have enough time to update continually. I was going to try the Fried Chicken & Waffles {because, why not? If you're going to foodie adventure, you should foodie adventure}, but once we got inside, they didn't have it. Twas alright though, since they had several other flavors that sounded more than a little tempting.

+ If you have a large group of people or if it's a rush hour of sorts, there isn't enough seating for everyone. The inside of the store is a bit like a pop-up shop, in that the square footage isn't a lot, but there's always a bunch of people inside.

+ There's not too much to say about the brick and mortar shop. I think I like the food trucks better, if only because they make everything feel like an adventure and are more unconventional. Plus, their cookie and ice cream flavors are attached to the side of the truck via magnets! The truck is more on brand, what can I say? It's part of the experience...

Coolhaus- Interior Ice Cream Counter 

I ended up getting the One Story Ice Cream Sandwich, with a Red Velvet Cookie, a Double Chocolate cookie, and Honey Comb ice cream. Honestly, the cookies were okay. I can't get myself to sing their praises, as much as I love Coolhaus as a brand and a foodie stop... I've had some really good cookies before and these were take-em-or-leave-em for me. I'm spoiled though, since I live within walking distance of Diddy Riese. And I think Milk Jar Cookies may have ruined me forever once I tried their Banana Split cookie.

The Honey Comb ice cream, on the other hand. That I would go back for. I'm starting to get the feeling that Coolhaus' vastly creative ice cream selection is the bigger draw for me than their cookies. Honey anything seems to be a slight weakness for me, so the swirls of crystallized frozen honey in this single scoop of amazingness made me really happy.

Remember, the wrapper is completely edible as well, so don't miss out on that part of the experience! It feels like rice paper, but a tad more foam/sponge-like in texture. You can't just break it up into pieces like rice paper though-- you actually have to rip into it. There's no distinct taste; the fun is in letting it dissolve on your tongue. I'm a little kid at heart, what can I say?

Coolhaus- Single Story Ice Cream Sandwich 

Funnily enough, there was a group of Asian kids around our age that did the exact same foodie adventure as Linda and I that night-- Father's Office for dinner, Coolhaus for dessert. I felt like we were following them around a little bit since they were in line in front of us both times. Oops. Great minds think alike, I guess? We're not creepy, I swear...

Los Angeles Sky- Fluffy Clouds 

This was the sky on the drive back to Westwood. We were so glad we were going against traffic since the other side of the freeway was backed up for miles and we basically had the entire four/five lanes to ourselves. I had fun on this foodie adventure. AND the half a burger I had left over made a great dinner the next day. *grins*

Thanks, Linda, for the birthday dinner out!


Random Note #1: As I was going through these pictures, I realized that I take photos that are okay, but that I'm not in love with when I'm with people I'm not entirely comfortable around or whom I don't know very well. Darn that "Sorry-I'm-stopping-randomly-for-no-apparent-reason" awkwardness.

Random Note #2: The crunch of the slightly toasted fresh bread, the tartness of the arugula greens, the bite of the bleu cheese layer, the richness of the caramelized onions, the flavor of bacon and gruyere underlying it all, the juiciness of the meat that soaks into the bread... Okay, I'm done. *laughs*

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