Friday, August 29, 2008

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company

Santa Barbara Shellfish Company, 230A Sterns Wharf, Santa Barbara CA 93101, 805-966-6676, is a must go and eat whenever I am in the SB area. Yesterday, I ordered the local rock crab which was fab!!!!


My daughter loves Persian food. So do I. Artist Mona Kasra and her husband David Meheranian introduced it to me. One of my daughters best friends introduced it to her. We hadn't had Persian food for a while so we went Baran Restaurant, 1916 Westwood Blvd. LA CA 90025, 310-475-4500 for lunch. I got a stew dish, Ghormeh Sabzi, which I love and she and my son got a chicken dish. The Ghormeh came with Barbary, a rice with little red tart raisins. It was fantastic. It's the kind of food that you can just keep on eating past your usual threshold. The Ghormah Sabzi is made of kidney beans, herbs, and chinks of beef. The food was delicious and I was full for the rest of the day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sakura (mochi)

Sakura-ya, 16134 South Western Avenue Gardena CA 90247, is easily my favorite place to get Japanese confectioneries called mochi or omochi. This wonderful family-style mochi shop makes fresh mochi's with all of the authentic ingredients. Most places use color dyes, sell yesterdays mochi, or are at best mediocre. This is the mochi I would buy for my grandmother when she was alive. It's that authentic and delicious which of course is equals "nostalgia".


Otafuku, 16525 South Western Avenue Gardena CA 90247, is one of those places in our little Japanese culinary community that doesn't need to advertise. On the weekends they are open for lunch and dinner and on the weekdays they are only open for lunch. Why is this? Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertisement and everyone who loves Japanese noodles knows about this place so why waste money to advertise? Indeed, it is that good, that great, and that wonderful, especially if you've had soba or other noodles in Japan. Noodles made on the premises, if noodles could kick ass, Otafuku would be the sports Staple Center. Wow. WOW!!!! Also, the mini ikura and uni donburi melted my heart. It's a secret and this one may get me in trouble.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

iL Chianti

iL Chianti is located at 24503 Narbonne Ave Lomita, CA, 310-325-5000. I really love the upscale nature of this place while being affordable and hospitable. You can sense that if they really wanted to, they could be snobby but as long as your humble, they are too. It makes for a wonderful dining experience. The foods awesome. It's a definite date place or intimate friends hooking up kind of a place. We ordered Prosciutto Pizza (stone oven baked) and an amazing pasta dish. Even if you don't drink alcohol, I recommend that you order at least the house wine and take a sip or two. It's worth opening up your palette to enjoy the subtle and often hidden meaning in their use of color.

Down Beat Cafe

Another memorable lunch with artist Jose Lopez. I picked him up at the LA Shakespeare studio. Operatic singing was booming from the theater. It appears Woody Allen is co-directing an opera there. Many of the younger staff and interns didn't even know he was. I found that funny and joyous. So Jose and I drove in his vintage Volkswagen Vanagon to Down Beat Cafe in Echo Park at 1202 North Alvarado, Echo Park CA 90026, 213-483-3955. It was a very hip place with delicious, oh absolutely delicious Cafe Latte. I ordered the Mediterranean Salad and quiche. Later I found out the peanut butter cookies are famous there but I was too full to have any. The salad was so fresh and and refreshed me. The quiche was incredible and huge. I highly recommend that. They cook it just right where the crust is thin and snappy and the egg inner is hot and filled with tasty surprises. Sorry, I didn't take my camera so I don't have any pix. The price is a little high but I felt the freshness of the food and the rich tastes were well worth it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Kio and I went to Alcove for breakfast beofre we started working on our installation for the eagle Rock Art Center. Alcove is located on Hillhurst in Silver Lake just a couple block north of Sunset. I had the crabcake benedicts and Kio had the pancakes. Un fortunately, they hand you your dessert before your main dish comes. Pecan Pie for breakfast before the main food is and was a bad idea. Otherwise, it was amazing.

La Fama Panaderia

La Fama Panaderia in East LA on Ford. The address is on the canopy. Artist Jose Lopez's favorite. There's nothing like some coffee and a pan dulce after lunch.


I'm sure I wrote about Port's before. If not, here it is. There's two of these now. One in Glendale and the other in Burbank. We went to the one in Burbank. This Cuban bakery/ cafe is well known for it's Cuban style pastries and lunch type foods. For instance, I ordered the Cubano, a smoked slice ham pressed sandwich. The drink was a shake called the banana split. How could I resist? But, in fairness I did order the Green tea shake first and they came back saying they were out of green tea ice cream. Porto's is at315 North brand Avenue Glendale CA 91203, 8181-956-5996.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Tortas Las Nuevas

Here ya go, one of the top 50 sandwiches in the USA according to Esquire Magazine. Tortas Las Nuevas, 3701 East 1st Street, East LA, CA 90063, 323-264-0678, is awesome. I got a fried steak sandwich, La Malinesa (I think that's how you spell it?). I also ordered a chocolate shake with that. The shake was frosty and not too sweet. So, what makes this sandwich so awesome? My co-worker Scott said we had to go. He'd been there a few times and mentioned the Esquire ranking. He reccomended the La Malinesa. We think it's 1) fresh ingredients 2) fantastic bread crispy outside and soft inside 3) lots of butter 4) the red and green sauces are excellent (you get it on the side and splash it onto your sandwich).