Monday, August 21, 2006

Parents' Weekend: Campanile, Papa Cristo's, and More

My parents were in town for a long weekend, and boy-oh-boy did we stuff ourselves silly. Other than the always pleasant company, here were some of the highlights:

Picnic at the Hollywood Bowl: In addition to Mahler's First Symphony, we savored Trader Joe's finest picnic snacks and some homemade muhammara, a Lebanese - Turkish - Syrian (depends who ya ask) dip made of walnuts, roasted red peppers and pomegranate syrup.

a blurry spoonful of muhammara

Lunch at Papa Cristo's: This Greek place at Normandie and Pico is both restaurant and Greek food emporium, with an impressive deli and butcher shop. The fresh, pillowy pita bread puts other versions to shame.

Dinner at Campanile: J and I had only done grilled cheese night and brunch at this LA institution. Now we can add dinner to the list of good meals we've had here. The service was impeccable: for example, a too-cold air conditioning vent was fixed immediately, and apologized for by both the busboy and the maitre'd. J and my mom each had a ridiculously large yet succulent pork "t-bone"--more than enough to generously share with my dad and me (we opted for fish). Other highlights included a sprightly heirloom tomato salad with cukes, and a carnival doughnut (funnel cake!) with huckleberry sauce for dessert.

Tipsy Afternoon at Silver Lake Wine: I'd never been to a Sunday tasting at Silver Lake Wine and now I can't imagine ever going back to the elbow-to-elbow Monday and Thursday events. The small crowd allowed owner George to give the group more details about each of the Sangioveses we tasted--his explanations were the perfect mix of wine geek details and info the non-initiated could appreciate. The substantial snacks provided by Brandon Boudet of Dominick's completely changed my opinion of this restaurant's food; I'd eaten there once for Sunday Supper and left unimpressed. Not any more--Boudet's arancini (risotto balls) and spicy meatballs had me drooling and wanting more.

heirloom tomato salad with basil and oregeno

Market Dinner at Home: Sunday morning we made our usual trip to the Hollywood Farmers' Market and gathered ingredients for a blowout final dinner. Chicken from Kendor Farm, teeny-tiny potatos from the Weisers, heirloom tomatos, sweet corn and herbs from various other stands. After an excellent lesson in cutting up a whole chicken from my mom, we slathered our bird with the Boyfriend Chicken marinade, a further guarantee (other than our sparkling wit and fabulous good looks) that we hang on to our respective husbands.

Papa Cristo's (closed Monday)
2771 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006

624 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Silver Lake Wine
2395 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039


Anonymous said...

Hi Erin
What a fantastic read! It really sounds like a fabulous weekend. I just got back from 6 weeks in sweden and really missed my morning ritual of checking in on my favorite blogs - yours being one of them!
Are you doing the writing workshop?
Happy Tuesday.

Erin S. said...

Thanks Petra and welcome back! I hope your trip was a good one. Yep, I'm taking the UCLA class.

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