Thanks for the Food Memories

Dear Chefs, kitchen staff, servers, and everyone who fed me in 2011;


picture-1.jpgI write to thank you for the wonderful memories, the delicious moments, and the extra calories this year. All well worth it and ready for more in 2012.

Chef Ricardo Zarate, Picca Peru

Una cena en su restaurante me transporta a Perú, y me trae sentimientos de familia y cultura a travez de cada bocado de sus platillos Peruanos. Hasta lagrimas solté al comer el seco de pato por los recuerdos de mi abuelita. Le doy mil gracias por su talento, y que 2012 le continúe a traer éxito.



Chef Stan Ota, Takami

A delightful experience of wonderful dishes, unique presentation, and a fine dinning atmosphere. With my recent work location transfer to Downtown, I will surely be frequenting Takami more often… That carpaccio is calling my name!



Chefs Shook & Doloto, Animal

Your food speaks for itself! The rabbit legs at Animal are by far my favorite in all the dishes I've tried. Well that, and the foie gras. Quite possibly the best foie I've ever had! Long live foie gras!!


Chef Deborah Scarborough, Black Cat Bistro

Your restaurant holds a spot in my heart, for I know your dishes are made with love, care, and a sincere concert for local produce. Between you and Somm Jason, I know Black Cat Bistro will continue to thrive in 2012. I look forward to many more a dinner at the bar!


picture-7.jpgChef Ikko Kobayashi, Ikko

I've been your customer for many years, and I will continue to be in the future. Your unique take on Japanese fusion with French is by far the most delicious I've tasted, and have not yet found another restaurant that compares to Ikko.  Your carpaccios are and always will be my favorite dishes.  All your dishes are spectacular, and I am grateful that my life's journey allowed me to cross paths with Ikko.


My top five bites this year cover a wide spectrum; from NorCal to SoCal... it was all incredibly delicious!




The Kaya Toast at STREET in Los Angeles is my number one bite. The mixture of coconut jam, egg yolks, and soy sauce are out of this world delicious. I always order two servings when dinning at STREET!





As a choc-o-holic, I was surprised when Bottega Louie's Chocolate Soufflé with Butterscotch topped my list. A must have dessert in a seemingly Italian restaurant... splurge!! French beware!!



My third favorite bite takes me to Sonoma Wine Country at Willi's Wine Bar in Healdsburg where I tried the Scallops wrapped in crispy pancetta. Loved it so much that I don't remember what else I had, except that I know I ordered a second helping of the scallops!  A must try, not only for the food, but the fun and casual atmosphere after a full day of wine tasting.



Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen is a small restaurant in Old Town Orange. From the facade, you can't tell that inside is a heaven of wonderful, authentic Mexican dishes created by Chef Gabriela Patrick-Salazar. Schooled at the notable Greystone Culinary Academy in Napa, you can understand why her carne asada tacos made my top bites.  It should definitely make yours!!





My final bite on the top five comes from Costa Mesa's Taco Asylum which opened this year. The duck taco with camembert and dijon crème fraiche was AMAZING. Chef Greg Daniels turns a simple taco into a culinary delight. A definite stop when in the heart of OC.

I hope my 2012 culinary experiences are as wonderful as 2011. I look forward to sharing more food, more memories, and meeting more chefs! Until then, may your 2012 be successful and delicious! Cheers!!

Maylynn Morales lives and works in Los Angeles County, enjoys wine road trips, international travel, foodie outings, and is a pianist and Psychic Medium. You can follow her on Twitter: @Oenophile79, or her website: