Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Bazaar By Jose Andres, Beverly Hills

Life has been busy --- Exciting happenings coming up---  but for now, enjoy this  food porn from  Jose Andres Bazaar at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. Maybe I should just change the name of my blog to: "I Ate Here" lol.

Philly Cheesesteak --Air bread, cheddar, Wagyu beef

Japanese Taco--Grilled eel, shisho, cucumber, wasabi, chicharron

West Coast Oysters -- lemon, black pepper

Ensalada Rusa --potatoes, carrots, mayo, tuna belly

Oven Roasted Cippolini Onions ---citrus, passion fruit, pumpkin seed oil

Beef Hangar Steak -- piquillo pepper confit

Bunuelos --codfish fritters, honey alioli

Sea Scallops -- romesco sauce

The beautiful Patisserie at Bazaar

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta - apricots and muscat gelatin

Creamy Chocolate Heart -- coffee and cardamom

Light Red Velvet Cake

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sonoma Wine Garden, Santa Monica

In an effort to offer more expensive wines by the glass, wine bars with self serve enomatic wine systems are cropping up everywhere.  Last year I wrote post about The Hostile Grape and since then it seems this type of wine bar is becoming the standard.
Wine Garden

When I heard about the Sonoma Wine Garden in Santa Monica in Santa Monica Place,  I had to check it out. A wine bar in a mall? What makes this different is the open air bar, beautifully designed wine garden, and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean at sunset. 

Enomatic Wine System

Wine Bottle Chandelier

The View
I had a beautiful pour of 2008 Amuse Boucche -- Napa Valley offered at $30 for 3 ounces. Also St. Estephe Chateau Petit Bocq-Bourdeaux Fance offered at $15 for 3 ounces. There are smaller and more affordable pours available. For example, a 2008 Pinot Noir Coup de Foudre—Santa Rita Hills, CA offered for $5.20 per ounce.

Service was a little slower than I appreciate, but I gave it a pass since it had just opened and there were some left kinks to work out. However, the small plates were so tantalizing, perfect sized portions perfect for wine parings – well worth the wait.

Worth going back for: 
  • Pommard Clos des Epeneaux Domain de Comtes amand-Burgundy France 1996 offered at 1 oz for $12,  3oz for $30.00
  • Langhe Ross costa Russ Gaga –Piedmont Italy 2004 offered at 1 oz for $19.80 and 3oz for $49.50

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Asparagus Walnut Salad

Inspired by friends and family who are now joining in and eating more raw foods, I played around with a super simple raw asparagus walnut salad recipe.

Toast nuts (I used walnuts but you can use pine nuts, pecans, whatever you like) on a cookie sheet for a few minutes at 350 degrees. Slice a bunch of raw asparagus in small crosswise slices and toss with toasted nuts, parmigiano reggiano cheese,  1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup Evoo and s&p. I refrigerated it for an hour or two.

It doesn't get easier than that. The red wine vinegar, olive oil combo softens the asparagus a touch. It's crunchy, tangy, addictive.


Rick Bayless: Red God that’s Good!

Red O
8155 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046-7016

Nibbled on a little of everything during one of the first few days of Red O’s opening. Rick Bayless created the lip-smacking menu and trained the staff, so you get exactly what you expect: Mouth-watering, piquant, Mexican cookery -- beautifully presented.

My faves:
Nosh: Corn chowder with roasted poblano chile and dungeness crab
Drinks: A very reasonably priced Malbec
Décor: The glass tequila tunnel, bar swings

Pics for now, captions to follow.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Top Chef Masters: Susan Feniger's Street

An exciting Season 2 of Top Chef Masters is under way! I had the privilege of attending Susan Feniger's viewing party and charity benefit for the season opener, held at Street in Los Angeles. Susan Feniger is best known for being half of the duo Too Hot Tamales from television's Food Network and owner of several fabulous restaurants including Ciudad and Border Grill.

Street features upscale Asian-inspired street food dishes. Street's decor provides an artsy conversation pieces: Global street art, murals, neon drawings.

The first thing I noticed as I entered were small yellow colored puffs on every table: millet puffs. Think sweet and savory Rice Krispies treats accented with curry.They're playful and delicious and set the tone for the event.  
Susan provided us with many tantalizing items from the menu to sample. I enjoyed the  Malaysian Black Pepper Clams and the Indonesian Peanut Noodles. But my absolute favorite was the  Massamum Beef Curry -- the very best curry I've eaten to date; a lovely balance of coconut and curry and melt in-your-mouth tender. I also had the pleasure of tasting one of her winning dishes from their very first quick fire challenge (Maple Bread Pudding with Caramelized Bananas) and now understand why she and Tony Mantuano were the victors!
Japanese Shizo Shrimp
Maple Bread Pudding

Meeting Sue (we're best friends in my head now) was incredible. Susan is competing for a great charity, the Scleroderma Research Foundation, and she speaks about her cause with such hope and passion. There is something about her Spirit that truly resonated with mine and that has inspired something (good I hope) in me.  Sue is in it to win it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Belvedere: Peninsula Beverly Hills

On the first sizzling and sun-drenched day of March, I made it a point to kick off the Spring season by having a light, refreshing lunch al fresco. My first instinct was Belvedere in the Peninsula Beverly Hills after having had such a wonderful brunch experience at their Roof Garden restaurant. 

Short and sweet: Both food and service were sensational, living up to Belvedere's AAA Five Diamond status. 

YELLOW TOMATO SOUP with Moroccan Olives, Miticaña Cheese and Parsley

MAINE LOBSTER SALAD with Sweet Corn and Jicama, Tarragon, Radicchio and Frisée, Lime-marinated Chioggia Beets

Belvedere’s patio is supremely charming and tranquil.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It’s My Bird and I’ll Baste if I Want to: Organic Brined and BastedTurkey

Over the holidays (yes I do know it is now March), I secured a whole organic pound turkey with the intent to brine and roast. The beautiful 14 pounder arrived and I immediately felt a little intimidated. I’d brined a chicken a few times and now I was determined to move on to something bigger and take on a more ambitious project.

As I was researching some of the best brines for turkey, I happened upon so many discussions about basting. My parents are diehard basters and as a result, I too baste. But why??? I used to believe that basting made for moister meat. Not necessarily. In fact, it slows down the cook time because you’re constantly opening the oven and losing heat.
But still, I baste. I baste for one reason alone: Crisp, dark skin. I brushed the entire turkey with melted butter and basted every 30 minutes.

The bottom line: Do what makes you happy. It’s YOUR bird.
The final product:

I used the following recipe from Epicurious:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lucia: Puerto Plata's Finest

My first (and long overdue) post of the year features a review of the most magnificent restaurant in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. In fact, there are only two 4 Diamond restaurants in all of the Dominican Republic and Lucia is the only 4D restaurant in Puerto Plata.

Casa Colonial

Lucia is set within Casa Colonial Beach Resort, Puerto Plata's most upscale hotel. I have truly started my year off on the right foot as Chef Rafael Vasquez is truly a culinary mastermind. I love with he does with local, fresh produce like yucca and pumpkin. While dying to sample everything, I opted for the Tres-viche, seared foie gras, and the Angus Beef tenderloin. All was incredible. The service: flawless.

Amuse Bouche

Tres Viche: Three different types of ceviche in one single dish. Tuna, lobster, and Chilean Sea Bass

Seared Foie Gras: Pear, rum, mango sauce, balsamic glaze, yucca cake

Angus Beef Tenderloin, whipped yucca with Roquefort cheese, steamed broccoli, brandy-shallot sauce (finally got the settings right on my camera)

Duck Connection: Grilled breast, cripy leg confit and fresh foie gras served with a mango rum sauce, seared pear, and whipped pumpkin.

All photos by yours truly :)