Reel Inn Malibu

There’s a little shack in Malibu that’s serving up some great “fast food” seafood. Known for its way of ordering and their fresh seafood, Reel Inn is a great place to stop in when craving some fishies from the sea. Timing is everything here as the line can get pretty hectic so come early. Not a good place to be waiting in line on an empty stomach. Reel Inn has the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a brew on a sunny California afternoon and the daily catch. Reel Inn, Malibu

Ordering is easy as 1, 2, 3…literally. Just choose your fish, how you would like it prepared and two of their homemade sides. Reel Inn, Malibu

Don’t worry about dressing to impress here, most people walk off the beach to grab some grub. Dining is indoors and outdoors so you can enjoy the sunny day. Reel Inn, Malibu

Reel Inn, Malibu

I’m a big calamari lover. When I was growing up I would always go to City Fish in Connecticut to grab some calamari for lunch before heading off to the park. So of course I ordered their calamari. The calamari comes lightly breaded and fresh. Reel Inn’s calamari was good but I was hoping for a bit more flavor. Reel Inn, Malibu

For my main meal I decided to try Reel Inn’s special of the day, Mahi Mahi cajun style with rice and home fries. The Mahi Mahi was cooked to perfection and cajun style gave the seafood a nice flavoring.  Reel Inn, Malibu

Jon tried the ahi tuna with fries and slaw. He asked for sushi grade and it came out perfectly. Reel Inn, Malibu -acaffeinatedbrunette.comIf you’re looking for some quick seafood in Malibu, Reel Inn is a great place to go. Their portions are generous and the seafood fresh. Consider this low key gem your ace in the hole. Find Reel Inn at 18661 Pacific Coast Hwy in Malibu.





Grilled Cheese Goodness at Heywood

In NYC I had a favorite spot I would frequent at least every other week called Earl’s Beer and Cheese. My friends would say I should do their marketing because it was always one of my recommendations. It was a little hole-in-the-wall decorated with pictures of deer and birds on the walls and made some heavenly grilled cheeses accompanied with a spicy tomato soup. Now being absent of NYC and Earl’s for a while I had to find another to replace it.  Well LA, I think I found a good one.

Heywoods grilled cheeses -acaffeinatedbrunette.comHeywoods Grilled Cheese Shoppe gives a childhood favorite an artisanal twist. As you walk in you may hear some familiar music that may have you shake rattlin and rollin your way over to the counter. It was hard not to pop out of my seat and do a little boogie while I waited.

Heywoods grilled cheeses

Ooey gooey goodness is the first thing that comes to mind when you bite into a Heywood grilled cheese.Their cheese is melted to perfection and bread has a perfect “crisp” sound as you bite into your first delightful bite.

Heywoods grilled cheeses -acaffeinatedbrunette.comI plumped for their Game Changer, a unique English double-gloucester grilled into a sourdough bread. The Game Changer is topped with a light spread of organic, homemade habanero jam and gives this purple and gold sandwich a gentle kick. You can choose to have your sandwich with a nicely dressed salad and tiny cup of tomato soup for dipping or a full cup of soup.

Heywoods grilled cheeses

Jon decided on going a totally opposite route and ordered their Italian Blue Cheese. His sandwich comes with freshly sliced mozzarella topped with a creamy blue cheese, fresh walnut pesto and sundried tomatoes. Heywoods grilled cheeses -acaffeinatedbrunette.comWe swip-swapped halves and each had the best of both worlds. Mine was spicy and flavorful, Jon’s was rich and creamy.

Heywoods grilled cheeses

Heywoods grilled cheeses -acaffeinatedbrunette.comThe staff at Heywoods is friendly and helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation or a change to your sandwich. They’re happy to oblige. And for the vegans and gluten-free people out there, they’ve got you covered. Heywoods is open til 3am so you’ll never miss out on a tasty grilled cheese and is located at 3337 W Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles.



Ice Cream Lab

Ice cream is one of my guilty pleasures. I always try to stay away but I have some great excuses. Such as it’s summer in LA and hot. I mean, I thought it was a good excuse…

I heard of liquid nitrogen ice cream first through a webcast and was instantly interested in finding a place to try it.

I thought I’d have to wait until my travel to San Francisco where the home of the nitrogen ice cream, Smitten, lies but luckily I found something a bit closer to home.

Ice cream labs, beverly hills -acaffeinatedbrunette.comIce-Cream Lab in Beverly Hills is the first scoop to order shop in Los Angeles. Almost like a factory; milk, cream and sugar are transformed in seconds to a smooth and creamy concoction.

Ice cream labs, beverly hills

As you watch your ice cream develop behind the fog, your mouth may start to water in wait for your creation to be finished. I watched like a little kid in a candy shop as they made mine, it was such a fun process. Ice cream labs, beverly hills

I’m a big raspberry fan (I always steal handfuls of them from my grandparent’s garden) so I ordered their raspberry swirl loaded with fresh raspberries, vanilla bean ice cream and white chocolate drizzled topping. Ice cream labs, beverly hills

Andrew tried their Salt Lick Crunch with organic vanilla ice cream mixed with pretzels, caramel, and sea salt. It was a perfect combination of flavors. Ice cream labs, beverly hills

Jon tried their Banilla with fresh diced banana, nilla wafers and caramel. Ice cream labs, beverly hills

Ice cream labs, beverly hills -acaffeinatedbrunette.comAt Ice Cream Lab, everything is created right in front of you. As a plus, there’s no additives, preservatives, or chemicals. If you have an itch you can’t scratch for a frozen treat, Ice Cream Labs is the perfect place to get your fix. Ice Cream Labs is located at 9461 S Santa Monica Blvd. and if you’re going for a double whammy of sweets you can always walk down to the Sprinkles atm. (Which we of course did…shh)


First Fridays in Venice

On the first Friday of each month, food truck lovers flock to the streets of Venice.

Countless food trucks line the streets awaiting hungry bellies and open mouths.

Venice food truck rally

Be warned, you will be parking a bit further than you think. Get there early and get ready to fight a bit of a crowd.

As we walked along the streets the first truck that caught my eye was the B Sweet truck. I didn’t think it was humanly possible to have such deliciousness come from a truck but I was proved wrong, very wrong. I’m hoping I don’t come across this truck for a while or I’ll be needing to do a lot more hiking.

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comSince I moved to LA I’ve been in search for a cronut imposter and they had them!

Bad news bears: They were sold out 😦

BUT just look at their plethora of bread pudding flavors…

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comStarting with dessert, we ordered their glazed bread pudding.

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comIt came out ooey, gooey and warm. The bread pudding is made with glazed bar donuts and topped with melty cream cheese frosting.

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comIt was…heaven. Just so good.

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comAnd if you don’t believe me… just look at Jon, he seemed to be enjoying it. (He may also have a slight bread pudding obsession but hey, it could be worse.)

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comWe weren’t done yet…Next came the tornado potato. I kept seeing people roaming the streets with twisted potatoes and had to have one. Wouldn’t you?

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comWe ordered their original truffle oil twisted potato.

Venice food truck rally

Venice food truck rally

Venice food truck rally

And then we saw the VCHO truck selling mexican cokes.

There’s a myth that Mexican coke tastes more natural and has more complex flavor than American coke.

Maybe it was just the really cool big glass coke bottle but…

Venice food truck rally

We enjoyed it.Venice food truck rally

After we were refreshed, it was off to fill our bellies with more food of course. Venice food truck rally

The Bun Truck is a gourmet food truck serving Korean-Mediterranean fusion. They are known for their Korean BBQ gyros and steamed buns. (But I heard their duck fat fries are delish)

Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comI ordered the Katsu Bun with deep fried pork, cucumbers, cilantro and sweet & spicy sauce.

Venice food truck rally

The buns come out soft and steamy. The Katsu had a nice combination of flavor and texture. It was very spicy, I could definitely smell the flowers after. Venice food truck rally

After we were a bread pudding, potato tornado and Katsu bun in there was just one more thing left: Dessert.

We hadn’t been eating that all night or anything…

Venice food truck rally

We ordered the original churros calientes. Just like fried dough in a stick.
Venice food truck rally -acaffeinatedbrunette.comI may have been in a small food coma by the end of the night. At least I have just about a month to recover. See you all at First Fridays on Abbott Kinney in August! xx