VIDEO: Inside Koala Tapioca, Westwood’s Newest Eatery + Boba Spot

TT Koala Tapioca Jasmine Sea Salt Green Tea Boba

The Taiwanese-Vietnamese fusion café concept that started as a food truck just opened in brick and mortar form, right in Westwood.

I decided to take my fellow Bruin friend Anshu along with me to our old stomping grounds to check out the media preview event for the new joint, Koala Tapioca.

Looking back on our four years at UCLA (and plenty of excursions in Westwood), it’s crazy to think how much has changed in the area. However, with the addition of Koala Tapioca to the Westwood Village scene, it’s safe to say that this place is a valuable addition.

Check out the one-minute video for the inside scoop (and sip!) on the hottest new cafe in Westwood.

Check out the one-minute video for the inside scoop (and sip!) on the hottest new cafe in Westwood.

Koala Tapioca was founded by recent UCLA graduates David and Vincent, who had a solid business strategy coming straight out of college.

While their brick and mortar location was in the works with construction and permits, the duo used that time to get a food truck going to do some market testing with their product.

TT Koala Tapioca  Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn Chicken with Fried Sweet Basil

They perfected their food with low overhead costs, while also building a solid social media following in the meantime.

The truck, previously called Koala Tea, was a hit… and now they’re ready to open their doors, with great momentum behind them in the form of loyal foodie fans and Twitter followers.

Banh Mi

Banh Mi

Koala Tapioca offers a variety of unique and traditional coffee and tea drinks (with boba, if you’d like!) as well as Taiwanese and Vietnamese food. The fact that they have free Wi-Fi and board games is just the cherry on top! All I can say is I wish we had this place when I was at UCLA.

Check out the video above for a peek at the tasty snacks and drinks that this awesome little spot in the heart of Westwood has to offer.

TT Koala Tapioca  Snacks Drinks Spread

You can find more information on visiting Koala Tapioca here. Stay tuned for a Dine LA Restaurant Week new opening post coming soon. Cheers 🙂

Advertisements

Behind The Scenes: Haché LA Now Serving Sirloin Steak Burgers In Silver Lake

Hache LA Header

As I’ve been away doing some research through Halloween weekend exploring Vegas to scout some of the best eats to bring to you all (anything for research!), my first meal out when I got back to L.A. was also an amazing one.

It was a juicy sirloin steak burger in Silver Lake at Haché LA, to be exact… with my fellow Tastemakers (see video below)! Could it get any better? I think not.

Chef and owner Mick Schepers from Mick’s Karma Bar is behind this new L.A. burger spot, and although the menu here at Haché LA is similar to his Irvine location, there’s a lot more he can do in this Silver Lake space.

He plans to serve a vegetarian patty soon, as well as bring back his liquid nitrogen-frozen ice cream made from a rich, creamy custard base.

Check out below to find out what makes these juicy burgers so unique, and get a peek into the kitchen to see how they make their all-sirloin patties:

Watch as chef & owner Mick shows us the secret to his amazing ground sirloin burgers!

Watch as chef & owner Mick shows us the secret to his amazing ground sirloin burgers!

Interesting fact from the man himself: The original Mick’s Karma Bar in Irvine used to be a coffee joint, and then they transitioned to juice. However, the burger they also served there went viral on social media to the point that they scrapped everything else on the menu to only serve a handful of his famous burgers with thick-cut fries, as well as some refreshing drinks like their strawberry basil lemonade (see video above).

You can taste Haché LA’s ground sirloin burgers with all the trimmings at 3319 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles.

Stay tuned for more L.A. eats as well as part one of a Las Vegas dining series!

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

VIDEO: How Chicken And Waffle Cones Are Made – Behind The Scenes Of A Food Truck Pop-Up

So here it is, the insider coverage + video exclusive on this highly anticipated chicken & waffle cone pop-up event!

Update to the previous post alerting you to the amazing chicken & waffle cones pop-up from Carb & Nation: Due to such high demand and continuous long lines, Carb & Nation will be serving both versions of their savory chicken & waffle cones for one more night– next Saturday night (10/4/14) to be exact, on the second night of their Tested LA Saturday night residency!

A common question that may come to mind is, how does one eat a savory waffle cone full of chicken and layers of other good stuff? Well, the guys offer forks with the cones, but from our experience we could just bite into the cone without it breaking apart.

The cone is sturdier and less sweet than your traditional waffle cone, as a result of the chefs’ unique recipe to cut the sugar in half without losing the crispiness of the cone. It’s amazing, actually!

So nope, no problems eating it straight out of the cone, and it’s actually quite delicious as you bite it and get layer by layer of complementary flavor. You can see the layers detailed in the photos below.

Check out the one-minute pre-opening video of their first (and epic) chicken and waffles pop-up yesterday. We even got to get a sneak peek of how they make their chicken & waffle cones (both American & Indonesian versions!) thanks to Chefs Fata Wijaya and Kevin Micheli.

Reporting straight from inside the food truck as they prepped to serve the gigantic line outside, Tanaya’s Table brings you the scoop on a new kind of food in a cone!

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

Tanaya’s Table brings you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how these innovative chefs make their savory cones… right from inside the food truck!

Here’s a photo of the American Cone, which has figs three ways. Fresh, dried… and in a Guinness beer reduction. Oh yes:

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

The American Cone, right before we devoured it.

And as promised, here is a breakdown of each cone and its layers of flavor and textures that all work so well together:

Copyright Tanaya Ghosh 2014

The Chicken and Waffle Cone Pop-Up Menu: The American Cone and Indonesian Cone

I highly recommend checking them out at Tested LA next weekend, as Oct. 4 will be your last chance to get your hands on these special cones! You can go anytime between 5-11 p.m. but I would suggest going early, as they ran out due to such large crowds on their first (and only, as originally planned) day of cone service.

One cone is definitely a meal in itself, costs $9 each and is totally worth the wait in line, judging from the reaction of the people I spoke with. We were fortunate to get the first cones of the day, as a result of filming them being built (woo hoo!), and I felt just a wee bit guilty walking by, biting into my cone while people in line fawned over it.

I assured them the wait was worth it, though… and it definitely was.

More photos and location details can be found in the preview post. Go get ’em while you can!