Los Angeles

melisse.jpgeggcaviar.jpg My first taste of Chef Josiah Citrin’s cooking was at the James Beard “Chefs and Champagne” event in May. Melisse served a Spring Veal with Anson Mills Polenta, Morel Essence and Red Wine Jus. I went back several times for more. My second encounter with Chef Citrin was at "Taste of the Nation". Melisse’s Liberty duck breast… tender, juicy and like no other duck I’d had before. This time, I sent my husband back for seconds and thirds.

I’m embarrassed… simply embarrassed that my first visit to Melisse Restaurant was two weeks ago. It’s just shameful that I hadn’t been before. With all the press and chatter about French eats in Los Angeles…. from Comme Ca to Anissette… why hadn’t I dined at Melisse before? It took two recent food festivals to open my eyes to this gem… a gem that’s been open for almost TEN YEARS!

Read more ...

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 is set for Act 3. Step in, and you're welcomed with the offer of an aperitif in the enchanting garden where a pair of gnarly olive trees cast lacy shadows on the wall, water falls into a basin, and the air is scented with lavender.

Order Champagne and the sommelier waltzes over with a double magnum of vintage Champagne one night, pours an unusual Sacy rosé another time. You might be served breadsticks with transparent gold potato chips and spiced nuts or slender, cheese-laced churros that taste like New World gougères. The effect is somehow so civilized, you find yourself relaxing into another rhythm.

Bastide is back.

Read article in the Los Angeles Times...

picca-01.jpgChef Ricardo Zarate has proven once and again his blossoming creativity of modern cuisine, all while never losing sight of his roots.  I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Zarate back in April while dinning at his original restaurant, Mo-Chica in south Los Angeles. I was with my parents, and we had the distinct opportunity to enjoy his company while discussing our beloved Peru. As my parents and I left the restaurant for the evening, my dad commented that Chef Zarate was so humble considering his accomplishments, and my mom said he had very kind eyes. At that time, his newest restaurant Picca was still under construction.  Fast forward a few months, and we have the newest, hippest, most delicious place to dine in LA: Picca Peruvian Cantina!

Read more ...

goldenstatelogo.jpgTwo years ago, I made a decision that forever changed my dining experience. I stopped being friends with anyone who doesn’t like to eat. Living in Los Angeles, the city of beautiful people, this wasn’t an easy feat. But frankly, I was tired of sharing meals with the likes of someone who either pushed their food around their plate as if eating were a punishment, called themselves fat during the entire meal in their size zero glory, or deliriously eyed my order because the last time they ordered anything that truly tasted good was a distant memory. Turns out it was a damn great decision because without this new rule in my life, I wouldn’t have my fellow foodie girlfriends Tannaz and Rachel in my life which means I would have never been introduced to my summer food crush and what I seriously consider the best new addition to my Fairfax district neighborhood – The Golden State Café.

Located on Fairfax Blvd, smack dab across from Canter’s Deli, is the laidback and downright delicious Golden State which serves the kind of food that even if you were on the date from hell, you’d be able to withstand it because the food here is just that good. Seriously. So courtesy of the advice Tannaz and Rachel gave me, here is what you should be indulging in the next time you want to eat a meal that reminds you why eating is an activity that is meant to be enjoyed.

Read more ...

hatfields_logo.jpgMarriage is a beautiful thing: the union of two people who perfectly complement one another.  So be it with food.  And what better way to appreciate them both than at Hatfield’s, an epicurean labor of love for husband-and-wife chef team Quinn and Karen Hatfield.

Due to both poor time management and navigational skills, we arrived unfashionably late on a Friday night.  Despite our tardiness, we were graciously welcomed like old friends, albeit old friends who are known for being late.  Bourbon, lemon juice and prosecco played nice (for once) in the perfect, pre-dinner French 95 cocktail.  Flaky cheddar biscuits were served with perfectly spread-able butter, and it is well known that butter serving temperature is an art form not easily mastered.  By the time our delightful amuse bouche of quail eggs and parsnip soup made its way over, we knew we’d be back.

Read more ...