Friday, April 9, 2010

Maitreya

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I made a fool out of myself earlier this week. I had tweeted to find out if Starry Kitchen was opened for dinner as I was meeting up with my friend for dinner this past Wednesday. Starry Kitchen started out their apartment in North Hollywood and my friend confirmed that they’ve moved to Downtown so I assumed that they were opened for dinner, but then I saw that they open ‘til 3pm on their FB page and you never know if websites are updated…so I tweeted. Sinosoul pointed out “they've never been open for dinner ;)”…I am sure there were a few snickers from him and from others…and I am now noticing that there is a phone number...sigh. So I searched and searched for another restaurant and decided on Maitreya.

Maitreya is located in the heart of K-town at the semi-new City Center mall. There’s free 2-hour validated parking if you come on a weekday. We walked to the restaurant since we live close by and also we were going for their happy hour. Translation? Happy hour = comfort food = heavy = walk off meal.

The restaurant’s d├ęcor is modern. I like the bar area. You can totally imagine what this place looks like on a weekend –a bunch of Korean men dressed all Euro and Korean women scantily dressed with their LV purses.
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We went to the back where the dining area was or was it the front if you’re coming in from the mall..?
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So Maitreya’s happy hour deal is half off on their tapa menu, selected pastas, well drinks, and house wines. My friend and I weren’t feeling the vodka so we went for their wines. They only have a house cabernet and a house chardonnay. If you go for the cabernet, let it air out in your glass for ten minutes before taking a sip.

We started with their French fries. It came with their homemade white sauce that was supposed to have Gorgonzola cheese but we think they forgot it since we couldn’t taste it and it was very watery… tasted like milk . It was so bland that I added salt, pepper and lemon juice to it.
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The next dish was their popular Ahi Tuna Tacos. We really enjoyed this dish. I would have been happy if we just ate the ahi tuna tacos for dinner. It was light yet filling.
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Our next dish was their margarita pizza. As you can see it’s not a traditional margarita pizza with ricotta cheese. The crust was interesting…thin, not greasy…reminded me of those cheap frozen pizzas that you buy at the supermarket for a dollar. The waiter said they make their own crust but then again he had thought their pastas were homemade.
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For dessert, our waiter recommended their Classic Tiramisu. I was surprised since Maitreya restaurant is a Korean restaurant but he pointed out that most of the dishes are Italian. Hmm…he’s right but the chefs are Koreans. He was pretty confident so we ordered it. Like the margarita pizza, the tiramisu didn’t look like a “classic” tiramisu as it was heavy on the ricotta…
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but once we got to the middle, it looked like a “Classic” tiramisu. It was actually not bad. Be careful on the first bite though because you might choke on the cocoa powder.
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Our waiter was kind enough to let us try their homemade (for real) Focaccia bread. It was pretty good. I dare say it was better than their ahi tuna tacos.
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Overall, we would go back for Happy Hour. It’s cheap and close. By the way, if you’re not allergic to crustacean like me, you should order their lobster spaghetti. Everyone in the restaurant was eating it.

Address: 3500 W 6th St, Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Phone#: (213) 389-0200
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