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Alta Bob's Profile

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carbonara pairing, with wild boar bacon

My first meal in Italy was at Macaroni in Rome. I had my first ever plate of pasta carbonara. The wine was perfect: Docetto by Pio Cesare. I can remember the combination two years later.

Dec 09, 2008
Alta Bob in Wine

Pre Reunion Dinner Pasadena

In Old Towne on Raymond, I highly recommend Yujean Kang's. Nearyby in One Colorado I like Il Fornio. On Lake, Celestino's is always consistant. They should all be in your price range.

Jul 23, 2008
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

shelf life of commercial beer? (while in fridge)

I recently toured the Anheuser-Busch plant in Van Nuys. They like a 90 day rule on the store shelf. One interesting tip is that you should pour your beer into a glass. That can of beer has soaked up odors and a glass lets you smell the nice beer much better than a can or bottle. That's why we tend to like draft beer better because it is drunk in a glass, they told us. It is the same beer into bottles, cans and taps.

May 11, 2008
Alta Bob in Beer

Looking for British bitter beer in Newport Beach

My sister's husband is a Brit who prefers his bitter beer. I picked some up at the Wine Exchange but is there a place closer to Newport Beach, CA? I am interested in both retail stores and pubs.

May 09, 2008
Alta Bob in Beer

Dordogne, Lot, Aveyron, Lozere Gard and Tarn

Martel has a very good farmer's market on Saturday's. It is a cute little town just above Rocamadour.

Aug 05, 2007
Alta Bob in France

Phoenix pizza

I have yet to get into Bianca but I really enjoyed Cibo.

Aug 04, 2007
Alta Bob in Phoenix

Is there a pocket guide to French wine?

I have the Vino Italiano buying guide (pocket guide) by Joseph Bastianich and David Lynch. I found it very helpful when on vacation in Italy last year.

I was hoping there is something similar for French wines. I know my varietals of the major regions well enough but I am not that famiar with the producers. And I really would like to have more confidence about the smaller regions.

When out in a little village somewhere, I usually ask the waiter for a recommendation of a local wine and that can be exciting too.

Aug 04, 2007
Alta Bob in Wine

Dordogne, Lot, Aveyron, Lozere Gard and Tarn

Le Recreation is worth a trip. It is the subject of a fun book, From Here You Can't See Paris.

Also, there is a good one-star restaurant nearby, Le Gindreau.

Aug 04, 2007
Alta Bob in France

San Sebastian, Spain

I Googled San Sebastian and restaurants and saw that this is the place. I was told today by someone who has been there that there is a tapas walk that people take. There is even a map showing where to go and which tapas to get at each stop. I got to get this.

Jul 25, 2007
Alta Bob in Spain/Portugal

LUNCH ON THE PCH

I haven't been to Gladstones in a long time but the seafood is fresh and the location is right on the beach. I always got the raw oysters. It can be a bit of a scene.

Jul 21, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

What southwest French wines should I look for in the Basque Country?

We will be staying six nights in a b and b outside of St.-Jean-de-Luz and another three nights in a b and b south of Lourdes. We will try to hit a top restaurant or two but mostly we will look for the good value ones with local wines. Any suggestions of what to look for?

Jul 19, 2007
Alta Bob in France

Where should we stay and eat in the Basque country?

These are great posts. Any more? I also want to post on he wine page for advise on the southwest French wines to look for in the French side of the Basque Country. We have booked to places: one is outside of St.-Jean-de-Luz and the other is south of Lourdes.

Jul 19, 2007
Alta Bob in France

Brasserie Flo at Paris airport--very good

I had a very good andouillette there last October.

Jul 16, 2007
Alta Bob in France

Any ideas for a Bastille Day BBQ in LA? [Moved from France Board]

Nice ideas. I should add that we will be eating outside and it might be warm. So I will have some chilled whites and roses available.

Jul 07, 2007
Alta Bob in Home Cooking

Best wine pairing for barbecue?

Anything from Tuscany is my personal preference, especially 100 percent sangiovese Super Tuscans. I don't like big-fruit, high-alcohol new-world wines like Zin any more.

I would also go for Beaujolais, which is the #1 cafe wine in France and perfect for enjoying in the outdoors. Another new favorite is Spanish wines, which tend to go well with grilled meats. The grape varieties are similar to those in Southern France.

I would discourage opening an expensive Bordeaux, Burgundy or Barolo if eating outdoors. And really, a more rustic wine is best with BBQ.

Jul 04, 2007
Alta Bob in Wine

Any ideas for a Bastille Day BBQ in LA? [Moved from France Board]

What would be nice for 8-10 adults and six children? Somehow BBQ is more LA than French.

Jun 30, 2007
Alta Bob in Home Cooking

GREAT Italian in Pasadena?

Celestino's is part of the Drago family. You can ask for a side room for your party. It is my favorite place here in Pasadena. We usually have all the courses through the pasta and skip the meat course. They have the best pasta courses because the sauces are magnificent.

Jun 30, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

Bordeaux: where's best to eat?

As a side question, how about where to have lunch in St. Emilion? This is supposed to be a beautiful place to eat outside, looking down on the vineyards.

Jun 27, 2007
Alta Bob in France

Cru Beaujolais

I never cared for Beaujolais until I started drinking the expensive stuff, you know, pop for a $15 bottle. A lot of what they export to the US is bland.

They say that Beaujolais is the most popular cafe wine in France. They re-use a plain wine bottle by filling it up from a keg. I usually save my best bottles of Burgundy to be enjoyed indoors.

Jun 27, 2007
Alta Bob in Wine

Problems at Mozza?

I've had two very good meals at Mozza although I haven't been recently. I have recommended it to many. But recently I got poor reviews from two seperate people.

The first incident occurred on Father's Day, June 14, and the second was Sat., June 23. Both meals had the same theme: The pizzas were swimming in oil creating a soggy crust. This did not happen to me. One thing in common on those days was that Nancy Silverton was not present. The Sunday meal was salvaged by going to the special lasagna.

Jun 26, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

Help in San Sebastian

I have a thread on the France page: Where should we stay and eat in the Basque Country?

Here's the first response: "I liked Kaiku in St. Jean de Luz. Great seafood in a casual atmosphere.

In Bayonne, Cheval Blanc has a Michelin star. I had a very good meal here last fall but the service is a bit cold. I can look at my notes if you want more detail..

In San Sebastian, Cuchara de San Telmo has amazing tapas; their specialty is foie but there are lots of seafood and meat pintxos as well. I ate through the entire menu on three successive nights in the city."

Here's the second: "Do try to make it over to San Sebastian where you will many of Spain's finest restaurants as well as some of the best pinxtos. One can dine at three star restaurants such as Arzak, Akelare and Martin Berasategui for about half the cost of those in Paris. La Parte Vieja in San Sebastian are filled with terrific tapas/pinxtos places. One can't go wrong by just dropping by on any that looks good, have a few pinxtos then move on to the next. Some of the best are the above mentioned Cuchara de San Telmo, Ganbara, Alona Berrie, La Cepa and Bergara. They are all clustered together so hopping from one to another is the common practice. You can find many postings on the Spain board. On weekends, cars with French license plates are very common in the parking areas of many of the restaurants in the Spanish Basque area."

And here's the third: "I second Akelare where I had a wondeful dinner. They so kind as to accomodate thier menu with half portions so that we coudl taste more dishes. I still have a vivid memory of the portk trotter.
On the other hand I was slightly desappointed by Arzak which was suppoed to be the highlight of the trip. I am sure it is a very good restaurant if you're around, but it is not worth the trip as El Bulli can be."

Jun 24, 2007
Alta Bob in Spain/Portugal

Where should we stay and eat in the Basque country?

I would like to find a B and B outside of St.-Jean-de-Luz or Bayonne. Of course, I need to find out about the restaurants and am willing to drive in any direction at least an hour, including dropping into San Sebastion in Spain and going up the moutain to Espelette. I am open to all levels of restaurants, bistros, etc. Stars are not important.

Jun 21, 2007
Alta Bob in France

Delivery from ROCKET PIZZA (downtown)... Yuck!

Let's hear about the new Los Angeles Pizza Co.? What else besides pizza? Salads? Can I bring a bottle of wine?

Jun 19, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

Need authentic Italian in Santa Monica

Il Moro for authentic Emilia Romana food. Pasta with wild boar sauce is classic.

Jun 19, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

Mozza: good, but not worth the effort

I have given Mozza recommendations but heard back from one about a poor evening Sunday (Father's Day). I guess Nancy took the night off. The pizzas were bathed in grease. There was a waitress who was rude too. My friend said both parties sitting to his side agreed that the pizzas were greazy and the help sucked.

Jun 18, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

Bulgarini - Bad Experience

That Asian lady is Elizabeth's mother. I was getting their product from the courtyard of the Asian Pacific Museum. Leo was nice enough to give me some tips on eating in Roma, where he is from. Pizza at Monte Carlo and fried zucchini flowers at Da Gigetto were memorable.

May 28, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

Bulgarini - Bad Experience

Custard (egg yolks) and marsala (wine).

May 28, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

Bulgarini - Bad Experience

My favorite flavors:

Blood orange granita;
Chocolate orange;
Pistachio;
Cococnut;
Zabaglione;
Hazelnut;

May 27, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

Mozza: good, but not worth the effort

As someone who makes pizza, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of toppings and the outcome of the dough. If you have had pizza in Italy, then you know what I am talking about. The pizza lovers I know put up with Mozza's problems because they do appreciate the pizza. If Mozza was a disappointment, then don't even bother with Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, which has a 2-3 hour wait with no reservations. My last trip to Mozza, we sat next to a couple who regularly makes this trip.

May 27, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area

Yes, it's another Pizzeria Mozza review...

I believe that Joseph Basianich of Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy has something to do with Mozza and its wine list. Mozza's theme is 50 wines under $50. I think they do very well. I like to bring my wine to most restaurant but not here. I am always interested in these relatively inexpensive representations of small producers. I think a lot of thought went into their list.

To further explore this topic, I recommend Wine Expo in Santa Monica (retailer) and A-16 in San Francisco's Marina District (restaurant).

May 27, 2007
Alta Bob in Los Angeles Area