los angeles guest suites

 

pom couscous

pom steak

oftt.jpg


summer salad

 

Dedicated to the notion that one of the things that’s wrong with the world is that there aren’t enough waffles in it and everyone should sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes order “one for the table”.

Amy Ephron

  

 

 

 

Homemade Rubs—The Gift That Keeps On Giving

by Steven Raichlen
PrintEmail

rub-630x407Sure, you could buy that grilling fanatic on your holiday gift list a new smoker or cutting-edge grill accessory. (For some suggestions, check out our barbecuers’ gift guide.) But sometimes, the most meaningful gifts are the ones you make yourself. Homemade gifts help you stretch your holiday shopping dollars, and in inclement weather, they’re a great way to channel your inner pit master without having to don your parka or fight for a parking spot.

Which brings us to one of my favorite homemade holiday gifts: made-from-scratch barbecue rubs. Simply defined, a rub is a mixture of salt, spices, and herbs used to flavor grilled or smoked meats, seafood, and even vegetables and tofu.

There are two ways to use a barbecue rub. The first is to apply it right before grilling or smoking, in which case it acts as a sort of seasoned salt. The second is to rub it into the meat a few hours or even a day before you plan to cook it, in which case the seasonings partially cure the meat, resulting in a richer, more complex flavor.

Lobster Salad

by Jessica Harper
PrintEmail

LobsterSaladCloseI am in Cape Cod today, on vacation with my husband’s extended family. Yesterday it was my turn to make dinner, and I envisioned a gorgeous piece of broiled bluefish. I made the fatal mistake of sharing this vision with my in-laws.

“Bluefish? Really?” said my brother-in-law Scott, as if I’d announced I was braising a hedgehog. He begged for an alternative. My sister-in-law Julie chimed in: “But please, no salmon. Too fishy. Or tilapia. It tastes like dust.”

When I suggested shrimp or scallops, my niece Katy made a barfing sound. Cousin Noah let it be known that hates halibut and Suzie is sick of sole. Bette said flounder was too boring, and octopus was a non-starter since Uncle Johnny won’t eat things with more than four legs. Aunt Sue won’t eat squid, having been traumatized by “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” as a child.

I tried to appeal on the basis of geography. “What about cod?” I said. “In honor of our current location?” I was greeted with blank stares. “Okay, well, catfish?”

“Ew. Bottom-feeders,” said my daughter Nora.

The Best Mojito

by Cathy Pollak
PrintEmail

The-Best-MojitoThe mint growing in my garden is prolific. I'm really bad about getting out there and thinning it so it pretty much takes over. I don't mind though, I love sprinkling it over summer fruit and mixing it into iced tea and water in the summertime. As far as I'm concerned I could never really have enough mint, I find it's uses endless.

Between the prolific mint and a recent trip to Mexico, (where Mojito's were flowing) and a slight suggestion for a mojito party, when we returned to the states...the Best Mojito Recipe was born.

Up until now, I was a mojito drinker, not maker. I'm not sure why, but it's something I left to the bartender. So I did a lot of research and read a lot of comments about certain recipes. Mojito's are a finicky drink and can quickly go from refreshing to medicinal tasting, when the ingredients are not balanced. As a winemaker I'm always concerned with balance in wine, in food and cocktails. I found that specific ingredients make a difference for varying reasons.

I hope you give my version a try.

Borago, A Love Story

by Maylynn Jakubowski
PrintEmail

Borago1A long time ago, I made the choice to remain single. I really did not want to deal with relationships and I was genuinely happy to take life’s journey on my own. Little did I know that the Universe had a completely different plan for me. I met my (now) husband on September 12, 2012 at a wine tasting in Beverly Hills. Fast forward a year, and he proposed on September 12, 2013. Keep going… we got married April 12, 2014. Why does this matter? Well, it leads me into this restaurant… Boragó.

My husband and I have always had South America on top of our lists for travel. So when we planned our wedding, we planned it specifically to coincide with the wine harvest in South America. (If you’re a wine-o and you know it, clap your hands!) So April was an easy choice. Before we went on our honeymoon, we did our research and made sure we hit up the top restaurants. So begins the story of Boragó… a progressive restaurant in Santiago, Chile that collects its ingredients only from a 150 km radius of the restaurant.

A Perfect Boston Day: City Landing and Mike's Pastry

by Kitty Kaufman
PrintEmail

City landing 2Boston's City Landing is across from Marriott Long Wharf and down the block from ferries that will zip you to P-Town. Outside, miss not a minute of tourist central with concierges, ferry blasts, street vendors, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Aquarium sharks and views of other people's boats. Inside, according to Worth.com last year, the aptly named City Landing is a power lunch stop. It's Sunday, there don't seem to be any deals in the making but if you want to show me the money, I'm in.

We understand you're sightseeing at Faneuil Hall but eschew fast food and come over for real lunch. This is summer in the city fine dining even in sneakers. We're at the window with an eye on street drama of which there is plenty and though we cannot hear, we can read lips. We're having lunch: Roseanna's crab salad is topped with avocado, egg, fennel, bacon and tomato. It's easy being green here. She's clever, ordering a side of sweet potato fries. It turns out fries are the best and there are almost enough of them.

When I don't know what to have, which actually happens a lot, you can always get my attention with soft shell crabs. We had them as kids and then it was a short season, just August. Now they're served all the time and since I'm never going to make them at home again ever, what I want is a crab sandwich from someone else's kitchen. I remember them as being lunch but they're a snack. Yes, the crab is fine and yet I'm still hungry.

RivaBella Ristorante: Italian Luxury Just Off The Sunset Strip

by David Latt
PrintEmail

rive1RivaBella Ristorante is in West Hollywood on the border of Beverly Hills and within sight of the Sunset Strip. From the outside, RivaBella has the look of an expensive fine dining restaurant. Walk inside and the friendly bar men will offer you a cocktail or a glass of premium wine, then you'll enter a dining room with rustic wooden tables, brick walls and a massive hearth. The spacious restaurant has the feel of an upscale country inn.

RivaBella balances elegance with casual dining. On the evening we had dinner, some diners were dressed in business suits while others wore shorts and colorful sport shirts. A retractable ceiling opens to the sky. Natural light floods into the room through floor to ceiling windows. At night, candles on the tables and strings of white lights give the room a romantic, festive aura. You'll experience the restaurant's theatrical side when you enter the dining room and pass the DJ who is working through a play list of pop songs. Order the mushroom risotto and the waiter brings a cart to the table heavily laden with a Parmigiano Reggiano wheel large enough to fit on a Mini-Cooper.

Annie's Entertainment Tips of the Week

by Annie Stein
PrintEmail

Here are a few of my Can't Miss Los Angeles picks for the rest of July:

NOW THRU JULY 26th

romeojuliet

Shakespeare LA 's Romeo And Juliet is magical in the outdoor theatre at the Amphitheatre at The Japanese Garden at the VA.
Theatre in the Round under the stars in a Japanese garden in West LA? Fantastic! You can even bring a picnic.

Show starts at 8pm. Tickets begin at $20. For tickets: Click Here.

(I saw it , GO)

SUNDAY July 27th at 5PM

LAST but NOT LEAST ....THE  GOSPEL CONCERT to top all Gospel Concerts. It's the Birthday Celebration Concert in Honor of Dr. Henry Jackson, Musical Director of Second AME Church of Los Angeles and choir director of FAME's Brookinaire Gospel Choir.

2ndAMEChurchGospel  greats, Sherwood Sledge, Mel Carter and the Legendary Clara Ward Singers will be performing as well as Dr. Jackson's choirs.

It's a beautiful old church on the south east corner of 54th and Hoover St.  The lavender pink paint is peeling on the outside of the building, but inside is lovely, simple and inviting.

SECOND AME  5500 Hoover Street , LA, 90037. For more information please contact: Church Office: (323)753-2451.

And the whole place will be rockin' down that night.

( I 've heard these guys, GO, GO, GO!!!)

Go out and have some fun!

The Spiralizer

by Alison Wonderland Tucker
PrintEmail

spiral-1024x682Now, I generally steer clear of plastic cooking tools that look like the crap sold on tv at 3:00 am. It dices! It slices! Hey, guess what? I do too! But a client of mine had ripped a page from her Williams Sonoma catalog with a picture of a vegetable extruder and I was intrigued. I did some investigating and found one a little cheaper on Amazon made by Bitoni with the magic words… lifetime replacement warranty. Now we’re talkin’.

It’s important to say that I was, at that time, thinking only of my clients. I had no intention of actually enjoying this product myself. I like my pasta, dammit. You’re not going to convince me this is an acceptable substitute.

It’s also important to say that I don’t work for Bitoni. I’m not a Bitoni stockholder. I’m not trying to get you to buy one.

When it arrived, I had three challenges for the machine:

Georgia Caprese Salad

by James Farmer III
PrintEmail

peachcapreseThe classic triumvirate of tomato, basil and mozzarella is nothing short of divine. I can just imagine Michelangelo snacking on this delicacy whilst carving the David statue. The salad is such a quintessential, Italian dish yet it has become a major part of the American summer menu – especially with the resurgence of heirloom tomato growing!

My Georgia Caprese Salad has a fun origin and pays homage to the old adage “necessity is the mother of invention.” The necessity of mention was supper. A light summer supper for yours truly alone. I was hot. I was tired. I did not want to cook – the thought of being around more heat was as tempting as repeatedly running into the back porch screen – head first mind you – like the bumble bee was doing. My family was scattered with other activities, travel or who knows what and Ol’ Jimmy was home alone – and hungry!

Not only was the thought of cooking with heat unappealing, the thought of eating something hot was equally unappetizing. Enter the “necessity… invention” moment. I rummaged through the fridge and saw I had a block of Pepper Jack cheese from M&T. I said to myself, “Self, you can at least have cheese and crackers.” Then I got to thinking – a dangerous pastime.

Arugula, Baby Spinach and Blueberry Summertime Salad

by Susan Russo
PrintEmail

blueberrysaladMoms and grandmas love blueberries. Think about it. Doesn't your family have cherished recipes for blueberry pie and blueberry muffins? What about blueberry cobbler and frosted blueberry sweet rolls?

Why are blueberries so beloved? It could be their association with lazy summer days, Fourth of July cookouts, or time spent baking in grandma's cozy kitchen. Whatever it is, blueberries are sweet and easy-going, like the girl next door.

But like the proverbial librarian who lets down her hair, blueberries can also be sexy. That's right. Sprinkle plump, juicy summertime blueberries on peppery wild arugula or watercress for a stylish salad.

Top crostini with warm goat cheese, fresh blueberries, and rosemary for a sleek summertime appetizer. Add them to a martini made with blueberry vodka for a sophisticated summertime cocktail.

So while they're in season, explore the sexy side of blueberries. Just don't tell grandma. She wouldn't approve.

White Peach Sherbet

by Joseph Erdos
PrintEmail

peachicecream.jpgIf anyone asks what my favorite fruit is, I always answer peaches, but not just any peach. White peaches are my absolute favorite fruit. Besides eating peaches as they are, my other favorite ways to enjoy them are in desserts. I love this peach galette, a foolproof fruit tart recipe that I rely on every summer. But I also love to make sorbets, ice creams, and sherbets. What could be a better dessert than a cooling scoop or two? This summer it's white peach sherbet all the way.

Just think of the sherbets from when you were a kid and the ones available in the supermarket. Don't you ever wonder what those fluorescent colors are actually made of? They're hardly fruit. Though as a kid I too loved eating them, but not anymore. This recipe couldn't be easier. Sherbet is unlike ice cream in that the milk or cream is not cooked. In ice cream you almost always need to make a custard from eggs and milk and simmer it until thick. Sherbet is simply puréed fruit mixed with milk and then frozen.

Summer's Best Fresh Peach Cobbler

by James Moore
PrintEmail

peachcobblerThis is a fantastic recipe that makes great use of fresh summer peaches. Cobbler is a classic summer dessert and just about as American as Apple Pie. The clever folks at Cook’s Country have mastered a method that prevents the cobbler from sitting in too much liquid.

Traditional cobblers are usually made with a biscuit-like topping and can be made with almost any fruit, although peaches are my favorite. I usually make biscuits with buttermilk or heavy cream, but the yogurt really works well here.

Top the warm cobbler with some vanilla ice cream and enjoy.

Berry Pies: Filling Tips

by Evan Kleiman
PrintEmail

berriesBerries are fragile, which is why we love them so much off the bush or in a bowl But there are a couple of things to keep in mind once you decide to cook them, like in a pie.

First. Often they are less sweet than you imagine, even when they are perfectly ripe. Don’t confuse the full berry flavor with sweetness.

Second. Blueberries tend to need some acid to brighten the flavor and even blackberries can use some for balance.

Third. I believe in adding some starch to thicken fruit pies. I don’t want berry juice to run all over the plate. I want to get it into my mouth. That is the role of starch as a thickener.

 

Ice Cream Sandwiches with Homemade Magic Shell

by Susan Salzman
PrintEmail

icecreamsandwichI haven’t been cooking. Well, if you call defrosting some homemade marinara and boiling some water for pasta, cooking, then I guess I have cooked a little bit.

Last week was Isaac’s Bar Mitzvah. I planned the whole event, from start to finish, and in the end, the high anxiety and elevated stress level was well worth it. Isaac’s “ear to ear” smile was worth the lack of sleep and the 8 pound weight loss.

As I slowly get back into a routine, I took inventory of what I currently had on hand. A big batch of frozen cookie dough was just what I needed to kick off the first of many summer holiday weekends. With plans to go to friend’s for a BBQ, whipping up a batch of homemade ice cream sandwiches was effortless.

As the cookies baked and cooled, I made a modified version of this “magic shell“. I used all bittersweet chocolate and added a pinch of Celtic sea salt, espresso powder, and some vanilla. Delicious! And additive free!

Get Out the Ice Cream Maker

by Sue Doeden
PrintEmail

lemon_verbena_frozen_custard_009.jpgWe've got a few ice cream machines in our house. Two of them we've had for years. They're identical with their big plastic tub that holds a can with a paddle inside of it, with plenty of room between the can and the sides of the tub to pack in lots of ice and salt.

And then there is the Cuisinart machine with its ice cream can insert that needs to be frozen before you can make ice cream. I have two inserts. I store both in the freezer so they are ready to go whenever I have a sudden urge for something sweet and frozen.

I use my old machines for making ice cream, preferring the creamy consistency that results. I use the Cuisinart machine for making sorbet.

Earlier this week I plucked leaves from my lemon verbena plant out in my garden. It was the first time I was using the bright, fresh lemon-scented leaves. For the last couple of years I had searched local nurseries for lemon verbena plants and always came out empty-handed until this spring. There are so many ways I want to use lemon verbena and I am so excited to finally have a plant of my own. I'm told it is a perennial, and if it comes back each year, it becomes a nice shrub. We'll see if it can survive a cold Minnesota winter. I hope so.

 

Hamburger - Hot Dog Bun

attention open in a new window PrintEmail

Why doesn’t somebody make a hamburger bun that also fits a hot dog?  It would be hinged.  That way, if you had a small family, you would only have to buy one package of buns.  Here’s what it would look like...

bun.jpg

 

Stories Below1

Hot Dog Bar - Hot Dogs Five Ways
by Cathy Pollak

hotdogpartyA "hot dog bar" is the perfect solution to not feeling guilty about serving "hot dogs" at your next gathering.  Let's face it, we all love outdoor grilling (especially for a crowd), however, if Ribeye Steaks for 20 are not in your budget, this is a great, creative alternative. Have your guests contribute the side dishes and you will have a...

Read more...
Haute Dogs
by Susan Russo

hautedogsbookcoverAs I was reading the introduction to Russell Van Kraayenburg’s cookbook, Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments, I found myself questioning his ardor for the humble encased meat. I mean, really, who could say, without his tongue inserted into his cheek, that he found hotdogs “alive with possibilities”?

I kept reading...

Read more...
Banh Mi Dogs
by Joseph Erdos

bahnmidogsWho doesn't love a hot dog? They're an iconic American food and are a fixture at backyard barbecues. German immigrants brought hot dogs to America and made them famous by selling from stands at ball parks. Ever since, Americans have had a love affair with the frankfurter, as they were called then, and franks as we call them now. Summer grilling...

Read more...
Coffee Cookie Dough Ice Cream
by Susan Salzman

coffeeice-creamIf it were up to the kids, ice cream would be a freezer “staple”. My list of staples includes; lentils, quinoa, brown rice, black beans, cheese, nuts – all kinds, tahini, coconut milk, and the...

Read more...
Old-Fashioned Strawberry-French Vanilla Ice Cream
by Sue Doeden

blog-strawberry-ice-cream-011b-1024x682Mother Nature couldn’t have planned a better time to blast us with heat and humidity. After all, July is National Ice Cream Month. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan said so. He also claimed the...

Read more...
Super Easy Bittersweet Chocolate Ice Cream
by James Moore

chocicecreamThis is a super easy, super delicious chocolate ice cream. It uses just a few basic ingredients and does not require any special equipment. Sweetened condensed milk eliminates the need for eggs...

Read more...
Sour Cherry Sorbet
by Joseph Erdos

cherrysorbetDuring summer, I take every opportunity to make ice cream or sorbet. (If you look in my freezer, you'll find a reserved space for the ice cream maker container.) There really is no better time to...

Read more...

 

 

 

 

A Respite in Maine

by Alan Rader

  • Maine05
  • Maine01
  • Maine02
  • Maine10
  • Maine09
  • Maine08
  • Maine12
  • Maine15
  • Maine13
  • Maine04
  • Maine14
  • Maine11
  • Maine06
  • Maine07
  • Maine03

Restaurant News

A Perfect Saturday in the Bay Area
San Francisco
by Rachel Parker

sanfranciscocablecars.jpg The trouble with San Francisco is that there are way too many fabulous places to eat. Regardless of how much over-eating a person chooses to do, enjoying more than 3 meals a day may be the...

Read more...
Bastide, in a class of its own
Los Angeles
by Irene Virbila

Under chef Walter Manzke, the Melrose Place restaurant's third incarnation is quite the experience.

champagne-cork-popping.jpg The blue door, shuttered for more than a year and a half, is open once again, and the stage...

Read more...
Le Saint Amour
Los Angeles
by Charles G. Thompson

saintamour.jpgIs there an uptick in the number of French restaurants in Los Angeles?  I certainly hope so.  French food = comfort food.  At least in the case of Le Saint Amour in Culver City.  I haven’t kept...

Read more...
Letter from Palm Beach: Renato's
Florida
by Nancy Ellison

el_mirasol.jpgPalm Beach is different from other tidy resort cities that line the Florida Coast. While remarkably tidy, it is also both eccentric and pretty, and I do believe it has its own wacky, elegant soul.

... Read more...