Sunday, December 29, 2013


Hello dear readers. May I officially call you Biters now that we’ve gone on this culinary journey together since The Bite began? The year is almost over and a new one is about to begin. I want to thank you all for reading and I hope you continue to do so next year and beyond. And I will keep up my part of the deal and eat.

Before I forget, I wanted to let L.A. area readers know (if you don’t already) that Dine L.A. Restaurant Week is coming up January 20-31. You can find a list of participating restaurants on the Dine L.A. site ( I’m looking forward to trying a few of them so I can blog about them in the New Year.

I'm also going to get out there and do my burger challenge. I love hamburgers and I am going on a journey to find the best one in L.A. Any suggestions? Drop me a line or send me a tweet (@MarioTorch) and let me know what they are.

Okay, Biters, I’ll see you in 2014 with all new restaurant reviews and recipes. Until then, stay delicious.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mud Hen Tavern

Last Saturday, some friends and I checked out Mud Hen Tavern, the new restaurant from Susan Feniger and Kajsa Alger. Located in the same location as their previous collaboration, Street, Mud Hen Tavern has gourmet pub and comfort food and it is maximum yum. Better yet, it’s maxiyum. Hey, look at that, I created a new word. Go ahead and use it so it’ll sweep the nation. Or, at the very least, the Valley.

The menu has a tempting selection of appetizers or, as Mud Hen calls them, snacks. They can call them whatever they want. Just keep them coming. The evening started off at the communal table with green eggs and ham. Don’t let the name fool you. This isn’t your Dr. Seuss’ green eggs and ham. These were spicy deviled eggs, green chile salsa, and bacon bits. They were so good, they didn’t even last long enough to take a picture.

When we were seated at our table, the snacks continued. The Chicken & Waffle Croquettes with bacon, and spicy maple sauce will make your taste buds so happy, they’ll send you a thank you card. We also devoured the Spinach Potato Pierogi. They had roasted beets, mustard, and horseradish cream. I'm usually not crazy about pierogis but I loved these and would get them again. The horseradish cream really added a nice zing of flavor.

Chicken & Waffle Croquettes. Get these.
Spinach Potato Pierogi. Loved 'em.

Then it was entrĂ©e time and what a delightful time it was. I had their Classic Cheeseburger. The homemade pickles that came with it added a subtle sweetness. I tried a bite of a friend’s Farmhouse
Mac and Cheese. It has a mix ofartisan cheeses, sweet cream butter, and garlic breadcrumbs. It was so melt in your mouth creamy, I was tempted to grab it and run. But I figured by the time the valet brought my car, she would catch up to me and resort to violence, so I decided to get it next time instead.

You can't have this Classic Cheeseburger. It's in my belly.

Trust me, there will definitely be a next time. There are so many enticing things on Mud Hen Tavern’s menu that I want to try. Whatever you do, make sure to leave room for dessert. I got the Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding. Talk about comfort food. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding. Wow.

Not only is the food delicious but the place has a great atmosphere. On the night we went, Chef Susan was there bringing out food, greeting and chatting with everyone. Her energy and warmth is infectious. Instead of a restaurant, it feels like she decided to have a few hundred people over her house for dinner.

Later that night, while I was waiting at the bar for change, she came over and we talked for a few minutes. She asked me not only what I thought of the food but the place itself. She said she wanted it to be a cozy place where people can come, have good food and drinks and relax. I told her she definitely succeeded. 

Getting people to try Mud Hen Tavern isn’t going to be a problem. Getting them to go home? Well, that’s a different story. (