Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brunch at Bouchon Bistro, Beverly Hills


Thomas Keller. The man is the God of chefs. Not godfather; I mean he is literally some higher non-human power whose touch makes food turn into something other-worldly. He is known throughout the universe for his perfect attention to detail and is revered by chefs, food journalists, food bloggers and probably even some carrots or cows hoping to make it into one of his famous creations one day. Like I said, the man is GOD. Chefs want to be him, food wants to be cooked by him.

Although I’ve never been to his flagship restaurant, The French Laundry, I have had the extreme pleasure of meeting Mr. Keller after spying him at Church & State one night. My sudden burst of liquid confidence was brought on by several (we don’t need to discuss exact numbers now, do we?) glasses of rosé and I didn’t think twice about grabbing my sister and practically chasing the poor man down the street. I latched onto him, told him I loved him and made him pose for several photos. Do I even need to tell you how profound my “morning after” shame was the next day? I mean, who cares if you wake up in bed next to a stranger, grab your things and sneak out? It hardly compares to making a drunken fool out of yourself in front of ThomasFreakingKeller. Talk about shame spiral.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Artisanal LA

Over the weekend, I got a chance to check out Artisanal LA, a 2-day showcase of local bakers, chocolatiers, chefs and other food artisans held at the Cooper Building in Downtown L.A. It was nice to go to a food event that was extremely inexpensive ($10 tickets, if purchased in advance) where you actually get to speak at length with the people behind the yummy food, all of which were being sampled. Uh, sign me up!

The airy, well-lit loft space was well organized, and my parents and I decided to tackle the event from one end to the next. We immediately were drawn to these beautiful baguettes from Homeboy Industries (me + bread = happy) and almost gave into the smell of tacos coming from their flattop but we resisted since we had to save room for all of the other goodies being dished out. I was glad to see Homeboy Industries represented, and got a chance to congratulate them on the upcoming restaurant in LAX that will in the near future. The person I spoke with said that although they are happy about having an income source for the struggling company, the location (in an international airport) prohibits ex-felons from working there…which kind of defeats the purpose of having a Homeboy Industries restaurant, since the mission of the company is to help ex-convicts to get back into the work force. It’s unfortunate, and I hope the company will be able to open up additional businesses that can actually employ they people that they are helping.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quick And Easy: Shrimp Soft Tacos

Over the weekend, I attended Artisanal LA, a gathering of local food artisans showcase their handmade items. I sampled a LOT of yummy food, met some incredible people and took many photos, so I'll be posting more about the event later. In the meantime, I got a chance to use one of the things I purchased while I was there and I wanted to share it with you.

Chef Zarate (of Mo Chica fame) was selling one item- a Peruvian salsa called anticucho. The minute my parents and I tasted a bit of the fiery marinade we all decided to bring a bottle home. At the moment I wasn't sure what dish I'd use it for, but when I got a sudden craving for shrimp tacos the next day, I thought of the anticucho and got cooking.

Since I used a bottled marinade, I don't really have a recipe for you, but if you don't use something pre-made you could always dust your shrimp with a mix of chili pepper, a touch of cayenne, cumin, ground coriander and garlic, then sear them off. I tossed my raw shrimp with the
anticucho, salt and pepper and let them sit for about 30 minutes before cooking them quickly in a hot pan.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Recipes: Meatballs Marinara + Garlicky Kale Bruschetta


Lately, I’ve become the kind of person who’d rather eat a little bit of many things, rather than a lot of one thing. At restaurants, I usually prefer to order two or three appetizers than feast over a big entrée, and I’ve never met a tapas bar I didn’t like. I also find that appetizers tend to be more interesting than main dishes, but that’s just my opinion. How else am I going to get my tuna tartare and caramelized onion pizza and asparagus with a poached egg in one sitting? Food rules be damned, I love to mix and match mini foods into the perfect meal.

At home, it’s a little harder to eat this way, since it requires preparing several different dishes. However, with a little extra thought and planning, it’s totally possible, and I made one such meal the other night.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weekday Lunch: Tender Greens, Hollywood


I first tried Tender Greens a couple of years ago when it first opened in Culver City and fell in love with the concept of fresh salads and proteins prepared right in front of your eyes. I was happy when one opened up near my office, and yesterday my friend Dmitri and I decided to go for lunch.

The place was packed at 12:45pm, and it's easy to see why- Tender Greens is a mecca of healthy, delicious options that are all reasonably priced. I opted for something I get often- The Happy Vegan- not because I'm vegan, but because it's damned good and I'm a whore for hummus...a Hummus Whore, if you will. For around $10 you get a gigantic green salad dressed with a sherry vinagrette, a scoop of edamame hummus, another of tabbouleh, yet another of red quinoa and yet another (I know, wow right?) of a particularly delcious farro salad with toasted hazelnuts and dried cranberries. It's always way too much for me to finish but I love the different flavors and textures this dish offers. Too bad I didn't lift up the green salad veil to reveal all of the elements on my plate...but you get the idea. Actually, here is a better photo from another blog.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Recipes: Butternut Squash Soup and Turkey Stuffed Mushrooms

After over a month of letting this here blog lie dormant, I’m back (again!) and hoping to update more frequently. The redesign isn’t really much to write home about, but I wanted a brighter, lighter look for Tuna Toast and this is what I came up with! So I hope you’ll come back around and check it out from time to time.