BHAppeal's Profile

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drinks before chi spacca

Another vote for Hatfield's -- solid cocktails and a terrific wine selection. Nice bar area too -- very comfortable.

Mar 07, 2014
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Los Angeles Dish of the Month (February 2014) - Nominations


Jan 22, 2014
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

LA Dish of the Month (January 2014) - Voting


Dec 31, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

What are the most unusual bitters flavors you have tried, and what recipe(s) did you use them in?

I like Fee Brothers Peach Bitters, but as you note, a little goes a long way -- one dash too many and the drink goes from having pleasant peach notes to cloying after taste. A dash or two in a Martini can be nice for a change of pace, and it works with a Bourbon based Manhattan, less so with Rye. The cocktail recipe on the back of the bottle is nice -- equal parts dry Vermouth, Gin and a dryish Sherry (Fino is a little austere, Amontillado seems to work bettter), shaken or stirred with ice and served up. A particularly good apperitif.

I find Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters a little too candy like for most cocktails, but it livens up plain seltzer. I've liked the Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrel Spiced Cherry Bitters a lot in Rye and Bourbon Manhattans.

I just tried the Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters (got them mail order from the folks at The Boston Shaker) and thought it was really delicious in both Rye and Bourbon Manhattans, but it is another one where you need to use a very light hand.

Love the Angostura Orange Bitters --very different from the complex Regans Orange Bitters and the Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, though I like them as well. The Angostura seems to have a sharper orange flavor, which I find really shines in a Negroni.

Dec 11, 2013
BHAppeal in Spirits

Fried pickles (spears) and fried pies

The Umami Burger at the Grove has very good fried pickle spears. I don't know if the other locations have them on the menu as well.

Dec 04, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

LA Dish of the Month (December 2013) - Voting


Nov 26, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

SOUP - LA Dish of the Month (November 2013)

Tortilla soup at Black Dog Coffee, on Wilshire between Masselin and Hauser, just east of LACMA. Always very fresh and light, good broth, quality chicken and a nice little spicy kick.

All of their soups are pretty good, with some outstanding -- love the Pea soup, as well as the Corn Chowder. I work in the area and always check the monthly soup menu online to see when a favorite is coming up or if something new is being dished out.


Nov 09, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Remember these Restaurants?

That's right -- I had forgotten about his bringing out a gristle ridden piece of raw meat and displaying it proudly as "your selection" before going back into the kitchen to allegedly cook the thing.

Quite an act --and it was an act. On slow nights (which were rare) he would sometimes stop by our table and chat about various things in a perfectly normal manner. I recall once heading to the restroom and seeing Mrs. Eckberg in what I think was their den, sitting in an armchair and watching TV during a lull in the dining room.

A testament to a love of showmanship and hospitality, as well as efficiency. (The key was that limited, but high quality menu -- maybe three or four entree items, pork chop, lamb chop, one or two cuts of steak, all broiled; basic green salad; a stuffed baked potato I think; and hot apple pie, a slice of melted cheddar on top optional.)

Nov 08, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Remember these Restaurants?

Same here. Nothing like bringing a newcomer to Eckberg's. When you say steakhouse, you mean steakHOUSE --it was actually a converted residence. A very small dining room (essentially a converted living room) a smallish kitchen where you could watch the owner cook (what appeared to be a home kitchen fitted with professional level ovens/grills/stoves) and outstanding steaks. The owner had been in the meat business before semi-retiring to run the place and as a result had connections to obtain top level prime beef at a time (the 70's) when there were not many top level steakhouses in the LA let alone the parts of the Valley where Eckberg's was located that could give you that quality of meat. Very basic -- just steak and lamb chops as I recall, and when asked if he served fish, he would reply, "No, no, only people." When you paid -- cash only --you would be rung up at an old fashioned register with Eckberg muttering "money, money, money" and chortling as he counted out the bills and placed them in the register, kissing a rubber chicken as the cash drawer closed and the register bell rang. As noted, if someone put "I'm looking Over A Four Leaf Clover" on the juke box, Eckberg (who did all the cooking ) would pump up the volume of the music, run out of the kitchen and start dancing around, ringing a massive collection of bells hung on every available wall space, and then just abruptly head back to the kitchen without a word or extra gesture when the song concluded. I once saw him do it twice in a row. (If he was busy in the kitchen though and someone tried the twice in a row bit he would turn the music down --the man was an entertainer, but was serious about turning out a quality meal, hence you were not getting an improperly done steak just so he could dance around.) Terrific homemade apple pie for dessert. Just he and his wife ran the place --he cooked and occasionally waited tables, and she waited tables and bussed them, (He called her Gunga Din, because she would bring you water.) When he took your steak order he would ask you if you wanted it"rawraremediumraremediummediumwellwelldoneburnt" running all the words together in a two second burst. When the Eckbergs finally sold the place, a somewhat high end French place demolished the house and put up a new building and I recall that the menu as a tribute had a steak or lamb "ala Eckberg" that was served "rawraremediumraremediummediumwellwelldoneburnt." If you asked how the beef was, he would inevitably say "tough and stringy, tough and stringy" smiling all the while. Soft drinks and beer available, no wine as I recall, though among the beers was Heineken Dark, which seemed wildly exotic to find at a place in the Valley in those days. A real character, who clearly enjoyed what he did and gave you a terrific meal at a reasonable price. Thanks for jogging my memory on this unique and wonderful place.

Nov 07, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

LA Dish of the Month (November 2013) - Voting


Oct 26, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Los Angeles Dish of the Month (November 2013) - Nominations


Oct 23, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Los Angeles Restaurants in the 80's

Sofi's is still around....


Oct 17, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Need alternate dinner idea... have reservations at Craft, but....

The Grill On The Alley in Beverly Hills is pretty much a low key locals' place on Sunday night. (I think all the rich folks that used to have Sunday dinner at Trader Vic's at the Hilton have moved to the Grill....) The food and service are excellent, and the menu is very broad, so everyone should be able to find something they like.

Aug 30, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

LA Dish of the Month (August 2013) - Voting


Jul 27, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

LA Dish of the Month (July 2013) - Voting


Jun 27, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Scandia and Chasen's - Just Another Nostalgia Reminiscense

From the early 1970's to the time it closed, Scandia was one of my regular haunts -- I worked in Beverly Hills, and lived in the Valley off of Laurel Canyon so it was close to my commute routes over the canyons and a great place for a drink and late supper after working late. The open faced sandwiches in the bar were terrific, with an excellent variety of Aquavits poured from bottles encased in ice and chased by various Scandinavian beers. (A great bar -- copper topped, intimate and welcoming, with shelves over the bar where regulars from the charitable club the Vikings kept personal steins.) The formal dining room was a perfect place for special occasions. The veal Oskar --in fact all veal dishes were excellent, and I especially remember the Viking Sword -- various fine broiled meats on a skewer. Perfect gravlax. The highlight for me was the herring appetizer (perfect with Aquavit and beer). They would bring out a stand with several jars of different types of herring on it which you would eat along with one of the many exotic (well, for the 1970's) varieties of bread from the basket. (Swedish Limpa, a rye krisp sort of thing and pumpernickel.) A good example of a place where the owner set the tone of hospitality and service. When Ken Hansen died, it was never quite the same, despite the best efforts of one of Hansen's best customer's, Robert Petersen (of Petersen Publications) to carry on the Scandia tradition. The current lack of any Scandinavian places in Los Angeles, let alone a fine dining place such as the old Scandia, or something like Aquavit in NYC, still surprises me.

Jun 26, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Dan Tana's ??? So has anyone just sat at the bar for a few drinks ?

Thor 123 you definitely converted me to the Chicken Beckerman with dark meat. For years I pretty much ordered the Scampi, which was always delicious, but I tried the Beckerman with dark meat per your suggestion and loved it. I can never finish all the chicken, and so have leftovers, but almost every bit of carmelized onion (and there is a lot) gets snapped up by me or whoever I am with.

Jun 21, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

LA Dish of the Month (May 2013) - Voting


Apr 30, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area


A great site on BBQ, not just ribs (despite the title) with plenty of recipes and tons of info on pretty much every aspect of smoking and grilling.:


Burritos - LA Dish of the Month (April 2013)

Thanks to everyone for the La Azteca recommendation. I love CRBs and so after reading this thread I finally made the journey to La Azteca. The CRB was perfect -- just the right balance of flavors, terrific beans, not too heavy, and that amazing tortilla that held the whole thing together perfectly. I have enjoyed the CRB at Tacos Por Favor and Ana Maria's, but the La Azteca version is my favorite by far.

Picked up a dozen flour tortillas as well, and my wife tried a chicken tamale, which was also very good.

Again, many thanks to all for getting the word out on this terrific CRB.

Apr 13, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

For Those Who Like Martinis

Slate.com has been running a series of articles about Martinis, which includes a Martini Madness bracket of 64 versions squaring off for a highly subjective, tongue in cheek taste-off.

Many interesting versions, some with stories, worth a look if you like Martinis. Here is a link to the bracket with all 64 "finalists, " but the articles in the series are interesting as well.


Mar 23, 2013
BHAppeal in Spirits

Seeking soy marinated chicken drumsticks recipe

I have made the Huli-Huli Hawaiian Chicken recipe from the Amazing Ribs website with just thighs and drumsticks and they were delicious. Lots of great recipes on that site.


Mar 22, 2013
BHAppeal in Home Cooking

Please help. Who can repair old vita mix 3600?

If it is the retainer nut, check below for the part and tool to replace it -- that might be easier and cheaper than a repair shop:


Feb 27, 2013
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Best Soup, Mid-City?

Black Dog Coffee, Wilshire between Hauser and La Brea. Fresh every day -- Tortilla Soup, Black Bean, Corn Chowder, Corn Cactus, Tomato with Prosciutto, Chicken Ginger etc., -- they put out a schedule of soups each month.


Oct 30, 2012
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Speculoos in L.A. other than TJ's

The branch of Le Pain Quotidien on Robertson just below Third has jars of speculoos for sale, and other branches may as well. Shaky Alibi on Beverly Boulevard at Martel serves two types with its waffles, but I don't know if they package any for sale.

Feb 16, 2012
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Where is a good resturant with the best bread pudding (preferably with liquor!)

The Grill On The Alley in Beverly Hills has an excellent Bread Pudding with whiskey sauce.

Kate Mantellini also has very good Bread Pudding.

Jul 26, 2011
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Need a festive holiday punch recipe!

Charles Dickens punch is pretty good. Here is a recipe set forth in a letter he wrote to a friend, followed by a more modern (and precise) version that works well.

"Peel into a very common basin (which may be broken in case of accident, without damage to the owner's peace or pocket) the rinds of three lemons, cut very thin and with as little as possible of the white coating between the peel and the fruit, attached. Add a double handful of lump sugar , a pint of good old rum, and a large wine-glass of good old brandy‹if it be not a large claret glass, say two. Set this on fire, by filling a warm silver spoon with the spirit, lighting the contents at a wax taper, and pouring them gently in. Let it burn three or four minutes at least, stirring it from time to time. Then extinguish it by covering the basin with a tray, which will immediately put out the flame. Then squeeze in the juice of the three lemons, and add a quart of boiling water. Stir the whole well, cover it up for five minutes, and stir again."

Modern Version
Zest of 3 lemons, peeled off in spirals with as little white pith as possible
1 packed cup brown sugar
2 cups dark rum
1/2 cup brandy
Juice of 3 lemons
4 cups very hot water
More sugar to taste
In a 4-quart saucepan combine the lemon zest, sugar, rum, and the brandy. Warm over low heat. Be sure there's no exhaust fan running. Stand well back as you light the liquid with a long match. When the flames have gone out, stir in the lemon juice and the water. Taste for sugar. Bring the punch to a very gentle bubble, cover completely and cook 10 minutes. Remove the lemon zest. Set aside up to 3 hours, or refrigerate overnight. Serve warm, ladled into handled cups.(Some folks serve it cold, and it is very good that way too.) Other variations include adding cinnamon sticks when re-heating,or a pinch of nutmeg, or cloves, but if you want the real Dickensian deal, stick with the original recipe.

Dec 02, 2010
BHAppeal in Spirits

HELP! Cheap (but good) eats in Beverly Hills near Wilshire & La Cienega?

An update -- Cafe Flore is no more --replaced by Marchello's Pizza. Decent pizza,sandwiches and salads, but not outstanding. Sorry to see Cafe Flore gone. It was a gem.

Cafe Flore
214 S Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Marchello's Pizza
5937 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

Nov 13, 2010
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

HELP! Cheap (but good) eats in Beverly Hills near Wilshire & La Cienega?

I agree with the Al Gelato recommendation. Very good "red sauce" Italian. The prices can sometimes seem pretty steep for that type of food at first glance, but bear in mind that the portions are pretty big.

Cafe Flore on Robertson, South of Wilshire on the East side of the street between Charleville and Gregory is also very good. Tasty salads, along with a good burger and other fare.

I also second the suggestion of Chulada Grill on San Vicente.

Chulada Grill
5607 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Cafe Flore
214 S Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Nov 10, 2010
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area

Tom Colicchio Visits!

I was at Craft last night (Saturday), having made reservations several weeks earlier before the visit was announced. I've had many excellent meals there, and last night it was terrific as always. I only saw Tom in the dining room once over the course of 2 and a half hours, a quick chat with one table and then back into the kitchen. The place was pretty much full, but service was smooth and pleasant as usual. Not any different than when he is not there.

Oct 17, 2010
BHAppeal in Los Angeles Area