Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Are You A Food Blogger? Let Me Link You.

This picture has nothing to do with this post. It just makes me want a raspberry.

I learn something new about food from fellow bloggers every week--a restaurant to try, a recipe to cook, a drink to make, the knowledge that I'm not alone in polenta frustration.

I know it's considered horribly uncouth to email another blogger and ask them to link to you. And I know that some foodbloggers complain that they are drowning in rude request for links--the nerve of the newbies. My philosophy? The more, the merrier, and if I don't already know about your blog, please tell me. If you'll forgive the metaphor, foodblogs are a never-ending smorgasbord -- I like to taste a little of as many blogs as possible, and almost every one I've tried has at least a yummy morsel or two.

So--if you blog about food in LA or beyond and you're not on my blogroll to the right, let me know. Post a comment or shoot me an email erinskitchen [at] gmail [dot] com with the name of your blog and a link, and I'll add you. Don't have a blog or you're already on there? Then share one of your favorites that's not on my list, and I can add that too. Extra bonus points for blogs from my soon-to-be home, New York City.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

LA Favorites #10: Tableau Vivante, Farmers' Market Explorer

Erin's Kitchen is leaving LA! Before I go, I'm asking Angelenos to share their favorite food spots--east to west, high to low. Want to share your favorites? Email me: erinskitchen [at] gmail [dot] com. Read previous LA Favorites, including recommendations from Jonathan Gold, Russ Parsons, Evan Kleiman and fellow foodbloggers here.

LA Favorites #10: Tableau Vivante, a fab farmers' market explorer and foodblogger

How long have you lived in LA?
I was born and raised in Pasadena. I moved to Maryland when I was 15 and stayed until my late twenties. I moved back to the LA-area in 2000 and don't have any plans to leave. If you ask any of my east coast friends, they'll tell you I never left. I've been a California girl all my life.
Quick--a favorite LA food memory. What's the first one that comes to mind? Tasting Zankou Chicken for the first time. I had just moved back to the area and JJ was determined to fill me in on what he thought were the required flavors of LA (since I had essentially been absent from the LA food scene since my teens). The ever-extolled garlic sauce wasn't my first love though. It was their hummus.

What food or drink does LA do best? And where can I find it? The fun thing about LA is that no one food really describes the region best. The expansive cultural diversity here means we have access to the best of all worlds -- from Armenian to Mexican and all things Pacific Rim. Where LA stands out, in my humble opinion, is the base ingredients that go into those cuisines. We have access to some of the most amazing fresh produce here via our farmers' markets (yeah, like you didn't see that coming ;)). It's the quality of that produce that always brings me, and many local chefs, back to the market week after week. And where can you find it? Everyday, somewhere in LA, there is a farmers' market being held. Drink-wise, I'd recommend the lemonade at Hot Dog on a Stick or a Neopolitan Shake at In-N-Out.

Top three spots (restaurants, taco stands, stores, bars, etc) I should visit before I leave LA? 1--Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo. One of the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles. Also a favorite with Japanese ex-pats. Let the chefs surprise you. Some of my most educational and delicious sushi moments have been at Sushi Gen. Counter seat if you can get one. 2--Zephyr Cafe in Pasadena. Their banana-nutella crepe and roasted red pepper panini are incredible. Cash only though. Also? Order their Tea Hee Hee. Iced tea with peach syrup. Mm! If it's a nice day, opt to sit out in the brick-lined patio near the apple tree. 3--Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen in Rosemead. I took my sister there last night and she wishes she had one in San Diego. It's not Nissin. Fresh noodles done to your preference. Get the plain Hakata ramen (I like my noodles soft) with medium strength broth and light oil. Their seaweed salad is also delish. Fried chicken cartilage, too. Plus? It's dinner and a show. Sit at the counter.

palm tree photo by Eric Richardson

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pie in Silver City--Worth the Drive

If the snowcapped mountains, crashing waterfalls, yellow-bellied marmots, and near isolation aren't reward enough for the harrowing 25 mile drive up the Mineral King road's 480+ curves, then the pie at the Silver City Store seals the deal. This store, established in 1930 and located at the 21st mile of the road, contains a small restaurant and the pies are the star of the show.

When we visited, we had our pick of lemon meringue, raspberry, razzle dazzle (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry), pecan, apple strudel, and a gargantuan apple. Choices change daily, and if you come too late you may miss your favorite--I ordered the last slice of apple around 4:30 PM. J went for the raspberry, just out of the oven that afternoon, so it hadn't quite set. Both had flaky, cinnamon-dusted crusts, heaps of fresh fruit, and not too much sugar. The apple could have stayed in the oven a smidge longer, but baking well at nearly 7000 feet is, I'm sure, a challenge.

Connie Pillsbury, the pie maker, waitress, cashier, short order cook, and co-owner of the Silver City Store and Cabins, has held down the fort for over 25 years and her family has owned property in the area for over 70. As we ate our pie, neighbors from nearby cabins popped in to say hello and catch up--Memorial Day is opening weekend for Silver City and the road into the national park. The Mineral King area, once home to a mining craze that went bust, only joined Sequoia National Park in the late 1970s, so many privately owned cabins still remain scattered along the road. During our four days in the park, I fantasized often about buying a cozy cabin of our own, on the condition, of course, that we'd have pocket money leftover for pie.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Getting Some Fresh Air

Off to Sequoia National Park for some much needed time communing with nature, enjoying chili, s'mores, and homemade granola. While I'm gone, read about yummy things at some foodblogs I've been loving lately: Superspark, What Geeks Eat, and Cook and Nifty Wench. See you Tuesday!

(this photo's actually from my trip to Yosemite last summer, but I'm hoping for some similar alpine lake action this weekend)

Colorado Wine Company with Caroline on Crack

If you live in LA and don't regularly read Caroline on Crack, you're missing out on much of what the city has to offer. This up-for-anything fellow blogger is as delightful in real life as she is on her blog--how many Angelenos that you know are excited about exploring a wine bar in Eagle Rock on a weeknight, even though they live in West LA?

Caroline, her roommate and I met up at the Colorado Wine Company last night for Wine Cellar Wednesdays--when in addition to their nightly wine by the glass selections, you can pick any bottle off the shelf and they'll pour it for you, no corkage. Sipping wine at this laid back spot is like visiting a friend's house--a very well-stocked friend. Lucinda Williams on the ipod stereo, the owners chatting up customers throughout the store with a few tables in front, darker bar in the back, local art on the walls. You can wander through the aisles of thoughtfully-selected bottles (many under $25), glass in hand, and select a few to take home with you, or just sit on a comfy couch and snack on some pita chips while sampling the nightly specials.

The store/bar does themed tastings on Friday, "Lazy Sunday Tastings", and Sangria Saturdays (click here for the full calendar). Except on the tasting days, you can order food in at the bar. They're open until 9 PM most nights, closed on Mondays, and only there until 5 on Sundays.

Colorado Wine Company
2114 Colorado Boulevard
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
(323) 478-1985

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Getting Fraiche, Culver City

Memo to our waiter at Fraiche in Culver City: When working at one of the most talked about new restaurants in the city, you can't be shy. Now, I don't want you to hunker down next to us, scrawl your name in crayon on the table covering and call me darlin', but I do want you to meet my eye, refill my wine glass, and check in with us about the slow arrival of our food.

Fortunately, the food at Fraiche was knocking us out right and left, and we mainly forgot about Mr. Bashful. The latest opening in restaurant-crazy Culver City, the Fraiche kitchen is headed by husband and wife team Jason and Miho Travi, drawing on their collective experiences at Spago, Sona, Meson G and La Terza.

The LA Times critic calls the menu "rustic Mediterranean", I call it "all my favorite foods in one place." House cured guanicale? Farro salad with English peas? Rabbit-stuffed tortelli with fried artichokes and sage? Branzino cooked in parchment with clams, purple potatos and sweet corn? Rhubarb-hazelnut cake? If I were on death row, this'd be my last meal. Every dish was well-balanced and bursting with spring flavors (other chefs seem to agree--Govind Armstrong arrived for a bite at the bar toward the end of the evening).

And the prices? Extremely reasonable (entrees $22ish-$29ish, pastas $12ish-$16ish)--makes me cringe when I realize we've spent similar amounts at disasters like Dusty's.

In addition to an airy main room, Fraiche includes a large, street-facing patio, as well as a bar tucked away in the corner. At the bar you'll find specialty cocktails made with fresh juices as well as a different bar menu. You'll also find my pet peeve, a television, and as we ate our dessert in the elegant dining room, it was disconcerting to hear patrons cheering while watching the NBA playoffs. So, Fraiche: train your waitstaff, turn off the boob tube, keep that rhubarb cake on the menu, and I'll drive across town on a weeknight to see you again.

9411 Culver Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 839-6800

Monday, May 21, 2007

Um, There's a Pumpkin in my Pomegranate

On the way back to LA from a whirlwind Wisconsin wedding weekend, I had an extra minute in the Minneapolis airport to grab a snack. After a Saturday spent consuming copious amounts of M&Ms and wedding cake, I was in search of that ultra-elusive airport find: healthy edibles.

At first glance, Pomegranate + Blackberry Radiant Airforce Nutrisoda seemed just the ticket. No aspartame, no sodium, no caffiene. Full of health amino acids, vitamin D, and other antioxidants. And surely some pomegranate and blackberry parts, right? Wrong. Elderberry and Chokeberry juice color? Sure. Carrot and Pumpkin juice color? Yep. But the fruit for which the drink was actually named? Not according to the ingredients on the back of the can.

PS--What the heck is "juice color"? Anyone know what that means? How's it different than "carrot and pumpkin juice"?

Friday, May 18, 2007

LA Favorites #9: Kristy Choo, Jin Patisserie

Erin's Kitchen is leaving LA! Before I go, I'm asking Angelenos to share their favorite food spots--east to west, high to low. Want to share your favorites? Email me: erinskitchen [at] gmail [dot] com.

LA Favorites #9: Kristy Choo, pastry chef and owner, Jin Patisserie, my favorite place for tea and treats in Los Angeles.

How long have you lived in LA?
About four years, but before that I usually stayed for about three months each time.

What neighborhood do you call home?
Easy going, friendly and helpful neighbours--chic!! That is Abbot Kinney!!!

Quick--a favorite LA food memory. What's the first one that comes to mind?I love to eat Japanese food and I've realised that there are a lot of good small restaurants in LA that produce great sushi.

What food or drink does LA do best? And where can I find it? Root beer that comes in a black glass bottle but not sure where they are from. Food will be barbeque beef, you can find it at Manpuku in sawtelle.

Top three spots (restaurants, taco stands, stores, bars, etc) I should visit before I leave LA? Just two--Spago for lunch (asian inspired menu) and Tito's Tacos.

palm tree photo by Eric Richardson

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sweet Corn and Chipotle Salsa

Before mixing in the chipotles, jalepenos and cilantro.

At my BBQ last Saturday, every last morsel of this spicy salsa disappeared. I may have finally figured out the exact proportion of food per party attendee, but I like to think it's because it was addictively delicious. I know I was dipping a chip every 15 seconds. Uh-oh, maybe I was just a rude host and ate it all.

Smoky, sweet and spicy, chipotles (chee-POHT-lehs) are smoke-dried jalepeno chiles, and they're often canned in adobo sauce, which is made of spices, vinegar, tomato sauce and sometimes other chilis. These days you can find chipotles at most grocery stores in the Mexican food section.

I based this Sweet Corn and Chipotle Salsa on a recipe from The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook, but I didn't measure a thing. Here's what to include, in proportions that suit your fancy: fresh or frozen sweet corn kernals, chopped & seeded tomatos, chopped red onion, chopped jalepeno peppers, chopped cilantro, chopped chipotles in adobo sauce, and a generous squeeze (or two or three) of lime. You can also add some salt if you like. This'll taste best if you let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.

Other yummy chipotle recipes:

Pumpkin with tomatos, tomatillos and chipotle chilis from Mental Masala
Chipotle meatballs from Simply Recipes
Roasted sweet potatos with chipotle-maple sauce from Gastronome
Chipotle chickpea salad from A Veggie Venture

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Skinny on Fatty's, Eagle Rock

Fatty's "sloppy joe" made with soy crumbles, aka textured vegetable protein.

Nothing says delicious like textured vegetable protein, or TVP for short. I first sampled this delicacy with my village host family while studying abroad in Zimbabwe, and had the chance to pay about $14 for it last Friday at the vegetarian restaurant Fatty's in Eagle Rock. Ah, the difference between vegetarians-by-necessity and vegetarians-of-choice.

As an unreptentant meat eater and lover of vegetables, I don't understand vegetarians' interest in fake meat. If you truly pine for the taste of meat, how can an overly processed slice of fake soy bacon suffice? Why not eat a delectable vegetable instead? And how do you justify your meat craving, if it truly is "murder"? Does eating vegan chicken nuggets make you a wanna-be killer? I should have asked the tables full of Occidental College professors and eastside hipsters sitting next to us.

Philosophical musings aside, I was somehow compelled to order the TVP-filled "sloppy joe" at Fatty's last Friday, and I actually enjoyed it. However, I think my enjoyment sprang forth from the buttery puff pastry "bun", the diced bell peppers and the spicy sauce, not the soy crumbles.

Fatty's veggie menu veers from other faux-meat dishes to pastas, pizzas and fondue, and many items can be made vegan. It also boasts a fairly substantial starter list that includes a favorite green of mine, sauteed cavolo nero, and hearty eggplant filled gougeres. Also, I wish I'd saved room for dessert, as the cotton candy called to me.

Though I poke fun at the veggie sensibility, Fatty's is a tasty, lovely spot with plenty of wines by the glass. The service could use a bit of polish--a group of six of us waited over 1/2 hour despite a reservation, and the waitress was quick to clear plates away, without asking, though I wasn't finished. Minor points in an overall pleasant evening, but for now, Elf Cafe holds the top eastside veggie honors in my book.

1627 Colorado Blvd
Eagle Rock, CA 90041 MAP
Open Wednesday-Sunday for dinner only

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kumquat, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad

Did you know it's the peels of kumquat that are musky and sweet, while the inner flesh is on the bitter side? I didn't, as my only kumquat experience was in a kumquatini at the Hungry Cat, until I made the clemenquat salad from the book Super Natural Cooking a few weeks ago.

That salad pairs kumquats and clementines with thin slices of mild celery--while tasty, I wanted something with a bit more bite. Thinly sliced fennel did the trick, adding a licoricy crunch. Segments of a nearly-black blood orange, a quick vinaigrette of grapefruit juice and "fragrant and fruity" olive oil, salt and pepper finished this pre-dinner salad, making the sausage I was about to consume seem less artery-clogging.

The entire kumquat is edible, peel and all, making them perfect for slicing into all sorts of salads and desserts. Because of their delicate skins, I use a serrated knife to cut them which helps retain their shape. Here are some more kumquat recipes:

Kumquat compote from Seattle Bon Vivant
Kumquat salsa from Vanilla Garlic
Kumquat chutney from Fresh Approach Cooking

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Downtown Delight: 7 Grand and Komasa Sushi

My Sazerac and the cigar list at Seven Grand Whiskey Bar

When I'm not cooking or saving the world, I read books. The downtown LA public library hosts quite the line-up of authors throughout the year, and Wednesday night's discussion between Kenneth Turan and Michael Chabon provided plenty of sophisticated conversation topics over sophisticated drinks when I met up with J afterwards, at Seven Grand Whiskey Bar. On this visit I drank from the specialty cocktail menu, sampling a signature New Orleans cocktail, the Sazerac--the bartender coats a glass with a few swirls of Pernod, then fills it with a shaken mix of rye, Peychaud's bitters, a splash of water and a drop or two of sugar, served up with an orange twist. Bracingly bitter, aromatic and dry, it's a perfect sipping drink. As on our previous visit, the talented bartenders were gracious and entertaining, though I wished they'd get rid of the TVs--if I really need to watch the game, I can go to a sports bar.

Of course, whiskey whets the appetite, so we followed our drinks with a late dinner at Sushi Komasa in Little Toyko. Since it was nearly 10 pm, the usual crowd waiting outside this spot was gone, and we could decide for ourselves whether the crowds were right. Though it won't replace our regular sushi joint, Hama, which sits right next door, Komasa has a lot going for it. First off, it's cheap! For $27 (no booze) we filled our bellies with fresh fish. Second, it has excellent crab and two interesting, tasty rolls--cooked eel with avocado and yellow tail with green onions.

Sushi Komasa
352 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA

Another review of Sushi Komasa from Daily Gluttony.

Guess the Vegetable

Don't these colors make you smile? Who can tell me the name of these technicolor veggies?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

LA Favorites #8: Lesley Balla of Eater LA

Erin's Kitchen is leaving LA! Before I go, I'm asking Angelenos to share their favorite food spots--east to west, high to low. Want to share your favorites? Email me: erinskitchen [at] gmail [dot] com.

LA Favorites #8: Lesley Balla, Editor of Eater LA, home of the juiciest LA restaurant news and gossip. Click here to check out previous LA Favorites, including Jonathan Gold, Russ Parsons and Evan Kleiman.

How long have you lived in LA?
May 2001.

What neighborhood do you call home?
The 'dena.

Quick--a favorite LA food memory. What's the first one that comes to mind?
In n Out. I wasn’t really eating fast food anymore when I moved here. I heard it was different. Friends in Portland (where I moved from) told me it was the first thing I had to have. It was, and it ruined me forever (Just had it today, actually). Zankou plays a close second. I liked that Beck sang about it. I was broke. It was goooood.

What food or drink does LA do best? And where can I find it?
Sushi and Mexican food. I’m still searching for my favorite sushi spot, but that place J Gold wrote about this week, Hiko, is one of the best I’ve had so far. Mexican food: I had some killer carnitas tacos at Tonny’s in Pasadena. I really got into fresh, rustic Italian here, too. Angeli Caffe, Angelini, Mozza, even All’ Angelo. All tops. Admittedly, I’m still discovering and haven’t even scratched the surface myself.

Top three spots (restaurants, taco stands, stores, bars, etc) I should visit before I leave LA? What should I order?
Some of those I mentioned above. Water Grill and Providence for high-end seafood. Father’s Office for that burger. Stock up on some Central Coast (Paso and Santa Barbara Co.) small production wines. One sip and you’re right back in CA. Silverlake Wine, Moe’s in Brentwood and BottleRock will all have good recommendations.

palm tree photo by Eric Richardson

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spring Peas, Onions, and Artichokes with Lemon Basil

Though the temperatures in Southern California have already jumped to summer (90! degrees today), the farmers' market produce is squarely centered in Spring. At the Sunday Hollywood Market, I filled my bag with baby purple artichokes, sweet peas, spring onions and lemon basil. They all made their way into a simple spring braise last night, pea pods and all.

The lemon basil was a find from one of the Asian vegetable stalls--I can't stop sniffing it in amazement, and am tempted to tuck a few sprigs behind my ear for day-long delight. The pronounced lemon flavor mellows the light basil undertones in the tender, small leaves. It would make a lovely simple syrup for cocktails or lemonade. In this dish, be sure to sprinkle the chopped basil on right before you eat to enjoy its full flavor. This is my entry for Meeta's Monthly Mingle, Spring is in the Air.

Spring Peas, Onions, and Artichokes with Lemon Basil

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 pint basket baby artichokes, trimmed and halved
1 lb sweet peas, trimmed (not shucked!)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp water or stock
salt and pepper
6-7 spring onions, roughly chopped
large handful of lemon basil, roughly chopped

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add artichokes and saute until lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Add the peas, butter,water/stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and turn to medium low. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, until artichokes are fork tender. Uncover and stir in onions. Remove from heat, gently stir in lemon basil, and serve.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Peek Inside Erin's Kitchen: The Fridge

Last week Sam asked, "what does your unedited fridge look like?" Um, a mess. The Franzia's for cooking--I know, I know, cook with wine you'd drink, but I'm a risotto making maniac and I don't want to open a bottle for a 1/2 c. every time. Elseware on the top shelf you'll find a sampling of today's farmers' market run in the form of cherries and baby artichokes, as well as leftover asparagus-sausage hash for tomorrow's lunch.

See those protein shakes in the bottom shelf of the door? Those belong to my apartment's previous tenant--they were there when we moved in--OVER TWO YEARS AGO. At this point, I think I need to leave them for the next tenant. To find out what else lurks in this messy masterpiece, head over to my flickr account.

Other foodbloggers fridges can be found here, here, here, here. here, here, and here.

On Imperfection: Mint Cream Filled Cupcakes

Mistake #1: Overfilling the cups in my mini-muffin pan, resulting in awkward shapes

Mistake #2: Not whipping my frosting to stiff, stiff peaks, resulting in runny buttercream

Mistake #3: Not pureeing my raspberries for the frosting, resulting in unsightly chunks

Mistake #4: Rushing the frosting of the cupcakes, resulting in a gloppy mess

You know what? It didn't matter one bit. I was so embarrassed to bring these mint cream filled vanilla cupcakes with raspberry buttercream to a picnic full of strangers, but as the guests gobbled them up, I realized I've been reading too many food blogs, forgetting about the real world of eating. These ugly suckers tasted delicious (and some folks even said they looked nice, though I think that's a stretch), and that's what matters.

The recipes come from the fabulous Cupcake Bakeshop -- a goddess of baked goods from the Bay Area. The raspberry buttercream recipe is here, while the vanilla cupcakes with mint cream is here. I used a mini-muffin pan and adjusted the baking time to 15 minutes. I also tweaked the mint cream a bit, so I'll give you my recipe--use the leftover syrup in a cocktail or drizzle on fresh strawberries.

Mint Cream

1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
Large handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2-3/4 c. freshly whipped cream

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Ad the mint leaves, stir, and bring to a boil for a minute or two. Turn off the heat and let the syrup sit for 3-4 minutes. Strain syrup into bowl or storage container. Let cool.

Put the whipped cream in a small bowl. Pour 1/2 tablespoon of syrup down the side of the bowl (not over the middle of the cream) and stir vigorously. Taste. If you want more mint flavor, add another 1/2 tablespoon in the same manner, stirring vigorously. Repeat until you have the mint flavor you want.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

360 Degrees of Los Angeles at the BonaVista Lounge

A view from the Westin Bonaventure Bonavista Lounge, Downtown LA.

Friday night J and I sat in a banquet hall full of corporate lawyers and dined on rubber chicken, all so we could listen to Al Gore speak about global warming. He was fabulous, but his inconvenient truths meant we were in need of a drink afterwards.

A spectacular glass-enclosed elevator ride from our banquet hall to the top of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown LA led us to the best view I've had of this city. Actually, make that views, plural, since the BonaVista Lounge rotates slowly, allowing you to catch every angle. The drink menu's full of frothy, fruity, expensive concoctions, but if you stick to the basics you won't break the bank. Besides, the comfy chairs and knockout view more than make up for the modest mark-up and the outdated decor. The friendly staff treat the fanny-packed tourists, young couples on first dates, and ironic hipsters with the same easy going manner and don't mind if you sit awhile after your drink is gone, just so you go the full 360 degrees, global-warming inducing tail lights glowing as far as you can see.

BonaVista Lounge
Westin Bonaventure Hotel
404 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 624-1000

There's valet parking below the hotel, which you can enter on Flower St, one block east of Figueroa. Be sure to get validation at the bar, though it's still not cheap.

Photo by Chickenscrawl

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cheesecake, Cheese Plates, and More

Don't you wish you had a slice of this cheesecake with pretzel crust and peanut butter right about now? Yeah, so do I. You can find the recipe here, as well as many other yummy creations by flickr user sashertootie.

As for cheese plates, the Vertical Wine Bistro in Pasadena puts together a nice one, with Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk triple cream cheese, one of my favorites. The wine list focuses heavily on flights but each flight wine is available by the glass as well.

Remember when I wrote my valentine to LA, highlighting Paris Baguette? Well I couldn't be happier that a new branch of this French-Asian bakery is opening within walking distance of my office, in the strip mall at the southeast corner of 6th/Alexandria.

Finally, Argentinian foodblogger Pip in the City makes me long for a return trip to Buenos Aires, especially her dulce de leche recipe. For now, Il Capo will have to do.