Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tonight's Dinner: Pan-Roasted Trout with Sauteed Crosnes and Spring Salad of English Peas, Asparagus, Shitakes, Feta and Mint

In an effort to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet, we've been trying to go to the Hollywood farmers market every Sunday. This week, we came across these cute little tubers called crosnes (pronounced 'krones'). The nice guy who works the booth said Michael Cimarusti at Providence has been serving them, so we thought if it's good enough for Providence, it's good enough for us!

The crosnes (and the whole meal) were wonderful, rooty and crunchy. Next time, I think M will cook them a little more as the larger ones were a little crunchy, the smaller ones were more tender.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

REVIEW: Dinner at Izayoi **

Izayoi was perfect for a casual Saturday night out with M. Little Tokyo is so darn close to us in Silver Lake, we really have no excuse for not exploring its eateries more. I had remembered reading about it in the Eating LA blog a while ago and thought = beer + small plates? Sign me up! Enjoy a pictorial journey of our dinner. Oh and it was great! We'll be back. ($49 + tip, big bottle of Asahi, six dishes)

1. Miso Soup: wonderfully soothing

2. Garlic Butter Flavored Grilled Mussels: the chefs cut them in half so very easy to eat, beautifully prepared and super garlicky.

3. Shrimp and Scallop Macaroni Gratin: Unbelievably rich, not that that's a problem, in moderation of course. Creamy, rich with chunks of scallop and shrimp...I'm so glad it was a fairly small portion because this dish takes comfort food to a whole new level and I easily could have eaten a huge serving.
4. Smashed Edamame on top of Homemade Tofu: Did not remotely appeal to me but M wanted to try it so...He reported that it was soft, cool, and cleansing.
5. Black Cod Marinated in Sake and Miso: How beautiful is that? Wonderful too, buttery, delicate, and simple.
6. Minced Sardine wrapped with Shiso and Deep Fried: The most adventurous plate we ordered (we're wusses, I know) and I think the consensus was that this was so-so, kind of bland. A tempura batter, citrusy, herby, almost like chopped liver inside.

(Rating system borrowed from S. Irene Virbila, LA Times) Rating is based on food, service and ambiance, with price taken into account in relation to quality.
** Outstanding.
*** Excellent.
* Very good.
* Good.
No star: Poor to satisfactory

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fashion Shows, Gallery Openings, and Gophers -Oh My!

Whew, we had quite a busy Friday in our little world. After work, I drove across town to our friend Jasmin's studio where she was putting on an impromptu show for her Fall 2007 collection. I was clearly out of my element as I went through the interrogation at the door, "What is your name and who are you with?" Um, my husband? With Jasmin? What I should have said was "I'm with Vogue," but I didn't think of it at the time.
Happily settling in, I sampled a couple glasses of champagne, chocolates and macaroons from Boule. Sitting on the couch with M, we watched the models as they did their thing, photographers snapping away as each outfit debuted. Jasmin's work is beautifully constructed, utilizing her architectural sensibility and amazing fabrics. Way out of my price range, but lovely to look at. I noticed only one celebrity but I know Jasmin has plenty of important fans.
M and I then shlepped back across town to Chinatown where M's old professor from the Art Institute of Chicago was having a show. Again a scene, but one I'm more used to. We chatted with some of our favorite people (Brett, Mari Rebecca) and M got to catch up with Gaylen.
All dressed up and it being 9pm, we decided to hop on over to the Golden Gopher in Downtown LA. Much to our surprise, our neighbor works there and graciously treated us to heavenly margaritas. Some canoodling with my honey and then it was home sweet home.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I Love LA

Sometimes, actually quite often, I really love Los Angeles. She's complicated and it takes a while to get to know her, but once you learn about her ins and outs she's quite lovely. A few snapshots of some favorite moments:

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Husband Extraordinaire!

How I got so lucky, I'll never know. M, my husband of almost one year, is a former personal chef, currently a full-time artist, and cooks for me every night. Every night! I hate to gloat, but I can't help myself.

When he was working as a personal chef for a lovely family in the Palisades, I had to fend for myself and cook dinner for myself which was not only unsatisfying, but rather sad. It would be me and the cats until 10ish when he'd get home exhausted. It was hardly the best situation as we started our marriage.

Now, I come home exhausted and he's home from the studio, cooking up a storm. Last night? It was seared scallops with a cilantro, ginger, and lime glaze (pictured below). Tonight it's Point Reyes blue cheese and pear stuffed pork chops with buttermilk mashed potatoes and broccoli (also pictured below).

M really is a dream come true. We've been together a little over five years and I still think he's pretty damn perfect.

Saturday Highs and Lows

Looking back, I should have been able to predict the outcome of yesterday's culinary adventures but that's the thing about hindsight, it's always so clear.

It was Louisa's birthday bowling extravaganza last night so I took the opportunity to try out Ina Garten's recipe for chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. Long story short, wonderful cupcakes. In my opinion, just what a cupcake should be: light, not too dense or sweet, with a perfect ratio of cake to frosting and in a serving size that could never be called over the top.

The obvious low point of Saturday was our dinner at TGIF. I guess M and I so rarely go to these kinds of chain restaurants that we always forget just how miserable they are in so many ways. Did I mention we were in Orange County? Listen, I don't have any real beef against the OC, it's just an entirely different ballgame.

The bowling alley was in a Grove-type mall and since there are no TGIF's near us in Silver Lake and neither of us had ever been to one (or if we had, we were blocking the memory) we thought, "How bad could it be?"

Our server was nice enough, and the buffalo wings (we had to!) were fine. But the "Cedar-Seared Salmon Pasta" was dreadful. Why we didn't just order a burger, I do not know. The salmon was so over-cooked, it was inedible.

Needless to say, I can't imagine when we'll ever go to a TGIF again.

Loved finally meeting Louisa's partner, Liz after hearing so many stories at work. And although I can't bowl to save my life, we had a great time at Lucky Strike.

On the quick half-hour drive home, M and I agreed that we're relieved to live in Silver Lake, where we couldn't find a TGIF even if we wanted to.