Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cook: Roasted Cauliflower (and Broccoli)

As you may have noticed, I love eating vegetables and one of my favorite ones to prepare them is by roasting them in the oven.  I recently came across a ready to cook package of colorful cauliflower and broccoli at Trader Joe's. Although the package recommended microwaving them, I knew there was a tastier way to prepare them.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bon Iver - Calgary (official music video)

Hey everyone! We were out of town in Portland this past weekend and took a little break from the blog, but I'm back with a new song for music monday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cook: Roasted Fennel with Parmesan

Recently, I was introduced to a new vegetable by my friend Anna. Sure, I had heard of fennel before, and occasionally have used the seeds for seasoning...but I had never ever eaten an actual fennel bulb until she brought it over for one of our potluck dinner with friends. It was a first for J as well. One thing was for sure, it would not be our last- we both loved the exotic taste that is reminiscent of licorice or anise.   It makes for an excellent and easy vegetable side dish!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Must Eat: Stella Rossa Pizza Bar, Santa Monica

When we lived in Boston, we kind of took pizza for granted. There was the classic italian Pizzeria Regina type, as well as the fancy nuovo Upper Crust in the Back Bay. The pizza in Worcester @ Border Grill was also fantastic. My all time favorite was the grilled pizza nearby in Providence, RI @ Al Forno's, or for more every day satisfaction, Bob and Timmy's. 

It has taken us a while to discover our favorite pizza places in LA. In all fairness, we have still not gone to Pizzeria Mozza - which we have heard numerous sources rave about. Over on the West side, we like the thin crust artisanal pizza at Gjelina.  Then, Stella Rossa Pizza Bar opened up and I found my new go to pizza spot in Santa Monica. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cook: Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage, Broccolini and Peppadew

As noted in my previous post, I LOVE the orecchiette at Bottega Louie. I order it every time I go there. So, this week, I decided that I would try to recreate it at home. I pieced together several different recipes that I found online and came up with this one. J said it was fantastic and delicious - as good, if not better, than the orecchiette at Bottega Louie! :)  This recipe serves 4-6

Drink: Rosenthal Estate Block M Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

A couple of weeks ago, we had a bunch of friends over for Memorial Day BBQ.  One of our friends brought over this bottle of local wine from Malibu. We decided to enjoy it with our homemade orecchiette dinner. Neither J or I know much about wine, but we do know when we drink something special, and this one was.  We are such lightweights, that we enjoyed this wine with a couple more dinners through the week. Thanks Dave!

It's described on the Rosenthal website as
"Exhibits deep purple-red color, with aromas of cedar and toasty oak. Polished flavors of cassis, and black fruits on the mid-palate with hints of black raspberry, dark cherry, anise, and exotic spices on the long, full finish. Robust tannins soften with aeration."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Must Eat: Bottega Louie, Downtown LA

Bottega Louie is one of my favorite restaurants in LA.  It's downtown, so I don't go often. But every time I go, I leave happy.   I like the space and the ambiance - it's always bustling, but never hectic. Service is fantastic. Despite how busy it is, I've never had to wait more than 15 min and all the waitstaff are cheerful and enthusiastic.   But the main reasons why I love it here are : 
  1. french macarons - no, not quite Laduree, but pretty good for LA
  2. chocolate souffle - BL definitely makes the best souffle in LA (off vine was a close 2nd) 
  3. the simple pasta dishes - I've tried the orechiette with sausage and bolognese and both are so comforting and yummy. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Must Eat: Sushi King, Santa Monica, CA

We love sushi. We have some favorites in the area (sugarfish and happy hour @ chaya), but we love that this restaurant is only 5 blocks away!!! Sushi King is a no frills (not much ambiance), but solid sushi establishment that satisfies our sushi craving. 
The yelp reviews had raved about the miso glazed sea bass with green beans appetizer for good reason. It was melt in your mouth delicious! 
We got some salmon, yellowtail, and halibut sushi. All were very fresh and delicious.  Also pictured is the spicy tuna roll. 
This was the catepillar roll, which was a fantastic combination of eel and avocado. The first photo (at the top) is of their take on the rainbow roll which was quite good. 

Sushi King
1330 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Monday, June 13, 2011

Listen: Florence + The Machine - Dog Days Are Over

Happy Monday everyone!  Florence and the machine is in LA - We're going to see her tomorrow night at the Greek Theater! :)
PS: Sorry for the ad that you have to watch before the video. :(  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Red Velvet: Yummy Cupcakes, Santa Monica, CA

It has been a little while since I posted a red velvet review. Today, while I was walking around Santa Monica with my friend Steph, we walked by Yummy Cupcakes. I was still so full from brunch at FIG (review to come), but didn't want to pass up the opportunity to sample and rate this take on red velvet....so, I settled on a mini cupcake.  :) (L side of photo, compared to regular cupcake)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Must Eat: Bao Dim Sum, West hollywood, CA

We love dim sum for brunch.  We used to go to Boston Chinatown, but ever since we moved to Los Angeles, and specifically the "West Side"/Santa Monica, it has been hard to find good dim sum close by. Sure, there are plenty of options in the San Gabriel Valley, but that is > 45 min drive.  There is a place in West LA, "Palace Dimsum" that is okay, but not that great.  So, when I discovered that there was dimsum closer by in West Hollywood that was actually rated quite highly on yelp, we decided to give it a try.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Must Eat: Beard Papa's Cream Puffs!

Tonight, we went to Tofu-Ya and stuffed our bellies with delicious Korean food.  We barely had room, but we found a way to fit in a few more cream puffs.  Beard Papa's is a franchise of cream puffs that started in Japan and is now available throughout California. They are SO GOOD!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cook: Pan Seared Scallops with Crispy Bacon, Sage, and Lentil Salad

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe. Here is a nice light, yet complex and sophisticated, salad by Jamie Oliver that I tested out a few weeks ago.  I used pre-cooked ready to eat lentils from Trader Joe's so that cut prep time by a lot.  I bought my scallops from local Santa monica seafood.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Listen: Eddie Vedder Longing to Belong

J has been learning how to play the guitar over the past few months. While we were in Hawaii recently, he picked up a Ukelele. As I was looking for new songs for music monday, I discovered Eddie Vedder has just come out with an album calls "Ukelele Songs". it is interesting. Here is a track from the new album...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Must Eat: Brunch at Off Vine, Hollywood, CA

After a fun morning of horseback riding through Griffith Park last weekend, we went to brunch with our friends at Off Vine in Hollywood, CA. It was such a pleasant dining experience. The ambience was fantastic- we sat on the patio which was lovely and cozy.  The food was also fantastic ....and their souffle (chocolate or grand marnier) is the real deal ..... this is now one of my new favorite spots for brunch in LA.
Complimentary banana bread - among the best i've ever had!!! 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Do: Horseback Riding in Griffith Park

There are so many reasons why we love LA. The fact that you can "get away" from it all in the middle of the city is pretty amazing. Last week, we joined our friends Liv and Miguel on a local adventure. We went horseback riding through Griffith Park.    

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Must Eat: CakeBar and CakeMonkey

After work today, I stopped by Fred Segal to pick up J's new Ray-Ban's.  As I walked out of the store and by Umami Burger, something caught my eye. Sitting alone at the picnic table outside, was a young girl with a foil wrapped treat in her hand. I took a closer look - it was a red velvet "cakewich" covered in chocolate. All of a sudden, I knew I needed one. I asked her where she got it and she told me you could buy them inside.