DanaB's Profile

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Driving from LA to SF on 101, where to stop?

I'm going to revive this link, as I'd love to know what's delicious and close to the highway. I've got some time on my drive, but also have that expedient traveller gene that keeps me moving. Will leave Ventura county around 9 am and would love a good spot for lunch. Would stop anywhere along the way north of SB. Would love a good Mexican rec not far from the highway. Mahalo all!

Jan 06, 2015
DanaB in California

Need Rec for Good Meet Up Place in Studio City or Thereabouts

Thank you for the suggestions! Will report back on how it goes ...

Dec 25, 2014
DanaB in Los Angeles Area

Need Rec for Good Meet Up Place in Studio City or Thereabouts

Aw, come on folks! I'm sure there are some good suggestions out there! I've been away from LA since 2008 and a lot has changed on the scene since I lived here. Any thoughts? Is there someplace like Cooks County in this neck of the woods, for instance? Many mahalos!

Dec 24, 2014
DanaB in Los Angeles Area

Need Rec for Good Meet Up Place in Studio City or Thereabouts

Hi All! Old-time chowhounder helping to plan a get-together of folks I used to work with at a yoga retreat center in Hawaii. We are going to have a reunion of sorts, around 8 to 10 people. A meet up of various eating preferences and budgets, so something that has a full bar or at least a choice of beer/wine, has vegan/vegetarian options, pupus/small plates for the grazers and decent entrees for the diners, and someplace with a little ambiance and where we can make a reservation, and is also not a fortune. Is this asking too much? For comparison, the last time we did this, we met at Little Beast in Eagle Rock, which kind of hit the nail on the head, being a neighborhood spot, good price point, lots of appetizer choices, and they even had happy hour pricing on the wine. The Studio City location is based on the critical mass of where people are staying/coming from, but we could venture to Burbank or Hollywood if a great recommendation was forthcoming. Mahalo all! Missed you guys :-)

Dec 22, 2014
DanaB in Los Angeles Area

Sonoma Farmer's Markets and Local Restaurants serving Seasonal Fare

Thanks for the tips, everyone! We had dinner last night at the Vineyards Inn . . . had a nice glass of wine and a delicious grilled artichoke. We stopped at a roadside stand and got some delicious strawberries on the way into Kenwood, and also stopped at the Glen Ellen Village Market for provisions. Today we are doing a "bike and sip" bike ride in Calistoga :-) I'll keep you posted!

Jul 29, 2012
DanaB in San Francisco Bay Area

Sonoma Farmer's Markets and Local Restaurants serving Seasonal Fare

Hi All! Oldtime chowhounder who has been outside of CA for a while here. I'm going to Sonoma for the first time and I've been perusing the Sonoma posts, and am a bit overwhelmed by all the general and specific inquiries. Would love some help being pointed in the right direction. We'll be leaving the bay area on Saturday, July 28th after 1 p.m., and will be leaving before noon on Wednesday, the 1st of August. We'll be staying in Kenwood. What I'm looking for is:

1. Not-to-miss farmer's markets or farmstands. I was sorry to learn that we'll miss both the Saturday and Wednesday Healdsburg markets. Any other recommendations on good farmer's markets, or local grocers for that matter, especially Sun, Mon, Tue markets, where we can stop to pick up some seasonal treats? We have a kitchen and plan to cook.

2. Good Sonoma-area restaurants that aren't high end. This is not the trip to try the French Laundry. We'd love some local places that cook seasonal produce and regional fare, that aren't too pricey in the Wine Country? Is that an impossibility?

Thanks for reference to threads I might have missed, or any suggestions you can offer!

Jul 19, 2012
DanaB in San Francisco Bay Area

Springtime in Sonoma

Hi All! Are there any farmer's markets you'd recommend in the Sonoma area that are open between Saturday at 4 p.m. and Wednesday morning? I was super-psyched to see this post, and am going to Sonoma for the first time next week, but we'll miss both the Sat a.m. Healdsburg market and the Wed afternoon/evening market . . . we'll be driving up from SF, leaving the bay area around 1 p.m. on Saturday, and will be returning to the bay area on Wednesday. We'll be staying in Kenwood, in a place with a nice kitchen. I'm super-excited to check out the summer offerings from the local farmers! Point me in the right direction. Mahalo!

Jul 19, 2012
DanaB in San Francisco Bay Area

Another one bites the dust

So sorry to hear it! I went to Jacopo's first around 1980, when I was an 8th grader at El Rodeo. we'd go after school for a slice, at the location on little SM. My grandmother lives in BH, and over the years since then, I've been an irregular patron (I never lived in the neighborhood, but patronized it when visiting), but I always loved the pizza. I'm visiting LA now, and my brother just told me that the S. Beverly location had closed. I'll really miss the chopped salads!

-----
El Rodeo Restaurant
700 E Arrow Hwy, Pomona, CA 91767

Apr 13, 2011
DanaB in Los Angeles Area

Anyone else miss Gourmet Magazine?

Do either of these feature recipes and/or menu ideas?

Nov 30, 2010
DanaB in Food Media & News

Anyone else miss Gourmet Magazine?

God yes! I've actually been boycotting all food magazines this past year in mourning. Reading anything other than Gourmet makes me sad. :-(

That being said, I'm ready to get back on the food magazine train . . . I recently got a job cooking and I need a steady stream of ideas and inspiration. Are there any worth subscribing to these days? I'm NOT a fan of the Cooks Illustrated familiy of magazines and I've always found Bon Appetit too dumbed-down. Used to get Saveur years ago, but haven't looked at it recently -- is it still any good? How about Fine Cooking? Any smaller magazines out there that people find inspiration in? Thanks all!

Nov 28, 2010
DanaB in Food Media & News

Need the name of a restaurant on La Brea

Nope, none of these are it. It's sort of an entertainment industry lunch spot. Definitely on the west side. Farther north than Luna Park/Camanile/Ca Brea. Ammo? Acme? Something like that . . .

Edited to add . . .it's on Highland, not La Brea. I *was* thinking of Ammo. Thanks for the replies :-)

Jul 30, 2010
DanaB in Los Angeles Area

Foods you love at Trader Joe's that got discontinued? [OLD]

They recently discontinued my favorite coffee that I'd been buying there for years and years ... the moka java whole bean coffee.

Jul 30, 2010
DanaB in Chains

Need the name of a restaurant on La Brea

What the heck is the name of the place, on the west side of the street, north of Wilshire, probably north of Beverly, kinda hollywoody, good lunch place . . . has tofu and rice on the menu, no beef, but yes to turkey burgers. Good place to lunch if you are shopping at LA Rag. Store with good art next door or nearby. I've been away too long and my brain has failed me. Thanks all!

Jul 24, 2010
DanaB in Los Angeles Area

What do you eat with artichokes?

Brush the chokes with a little lemon juice mixed with garlic and olive oil before you put them on the grill. Yum!

Apr 17, 2010
DanaB in Home Cooking

What are your favorite cost-saving cooking tricks?

My cat would flay me if the liquid squeezed out of a can of tuna went anywhere but in his bowl. :-)

Apr 17, 2010
DanaB in Home Cooking

What are your favorite cost-saving cooking tricks?

To net 2 lbs of favas, you'd need far more than 2 lbs of fresh beans in the pod -- I'd say around 3 lbs. I personally would use dried or canned beans for a soup -- with the amount of work it takes to shell fresh favas, you'd waste your effort and their delicious fresh flavor making them into a soup. Canned or dried butter beans would be a much better choice for a soup, unless you are going for a light spring soup that features the whole beans.

Apr 10, 2010
DanaB in Home Cooking

Mayo mixture for chicken salad

with cranberries and cashes in the mix, it might have had curry in it. This recipe from Epicurious for curried turkey salad is TO DIE FOR. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Other than that, for a basic chicken salad, I agree with those who think you may have under-seasoned your salad at home. Don't skimp on the good mayo. My basic recipe is really basic: minced scallion, diced celery, a grating of dill pickle or a sprinkle of dill, mayo, chicken and salt and freshly ground pepper. Maybe a touch of lemon juice if it needs a little brightness. Check for seasoning, and if it's bland, try a bit more salt and pepper.

Apr 10, 2010
DanaB in Home Cooking

What are your favorite cost-saving cooking tricks?

Several people have noted this already, but the freezer is your friend. I live alone, and almost everything I cook, I'm going to have leftovers that I'm going to be tired of long before the number of days it takes to eat it all fresh.

So, if I make a roast for dinner, the next night I'll have a french dip sandwich for dinner, and then the rest I'll make into a stew and freeze in meal-sized containers. If I make a bolognese sauce, after the first day, I'll portion it into containers, some for the next day in the fridge, and the rest in the freezer. If I make a roast chicken, I'll eat it for dinner one night, use some sliced breast for a sandwich or a chicken salad the next, and the rest I'll make into a chicken soup or stew and freeze in portioned containers.

Your leftovers in the freezer, if organized into serving-sized portions, are much more likely to get eaten, than a giant container of who-knows-what that gets buried in the back of the freezer. I have about a dozen of the same sized plastic containers, about 2-cup size, and they stack well in the freezer. when I don't have time to cook, I always know I'll find something good in the freezer. Right now I've got containers of spaghetti sauce with meat, beef stew and pork chili in there.

I also freeze english muffins, bread and corn tortillas. The muffins/bread keep great in the freezer, especially if you are going to toast them, and the tortillas keep perfectly -- just heat them over a burner on the stove.

I also tend to keep on hand mainly veggies that don't go bad quickly. Romaine lettuce keeps a long time, as do those butter lettuces you can now buy with the roots on. Cherry tomatoes keep well, as do celery, carrots, onions, etc. Unless I'm cooking it that day, I try to stay away from things that perish quickly, for I find that's my biggest source of waste. Get creative with what you can keep on hand. Roasted root veggies are a treat anytime, and carrots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips keep practically forever in the fridge or a root cellar. If you are out of lettuce, slice celery at a diagonal, mix with halved cherry tomatoes, scallions and a vinaigrette, and you've got a refreshing salad. Serve that salad with an omlette made with a little cheese (also keeps a long time), a slice of toast from your freezer, and you've got a satifying dinner made of whole foods that is also economical, unwasteful and ready in minutes, whether you've been able to get to the market or not.

Apr 10, 2010
DanaB in Home Cooking

What do you eat with artichokes?

I do the same thing. Hellman's/Best Food's mayo mixed with dijon mustard, a bit of lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper. This sauce is amazing with chilled cracked crab as well. My all time favorite dinner when both are in season is a whole cracked crab and a steamed artichoke. Takes a bit of time to eat, but oh so delicious :-).

By the way, this sauce resembles the dijon mustard sauce in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, although that one is made with an oil emulsion in the mustard. The recipe is for "Sauce Moutarde" on page 95 of my edition. It's great with many green vegetables in addition to as a dipping sauce for artichokes, in particular over blanched green beens or asparagus, especially if it's for room-temp service.

Apr 10, 2010
DanaB in Home Cooking

UK Pub-style Chicken Curry???

I came to this board tonight wondering if there were any posts on English-style curry, and came across your's. My mom used to make "curry" for us as kids (in the 1970s), and her version was basically a chicken stew seasoned with curry, and served over rice with condiments such as golden raisens, chopped apple, minced onion, diced hard-cooked eggs, Major Gray's chutney, and crumbled bacon. We loved it as kids, and I still make it every once in a while for nostalgia's sake (and also because it's pretty darn tasty). Certainly not authentic, but I don't mind.

I usually start with a leftover roast chicken. Stew the chicken in water/broth, and when chicken is tender/falling off bone, remove the chicken and strain the broth back into the pot., Pick out the meat from the bones and set aside. To the broth, add onion and/or garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes and/or cauliflower. Once veggies are cooked, make a roux and thicken the stew. Return chicken to the pot, and add curry powder to taste (make sure you leave time for the curry to mellow/blend it. Best made the day before). Serve over white rice, and provide a variety of sweet, tart, savory and salty toppings, as noted above.

Apr 10, 2010
DanaB in Home Cooking

Trefethen 2K Cuvee Chardonnay 1997 bottling for Millenium New Years . . . think it's still good?

I did! Decent and drinkable, but definitely past its prime -- I suspect it was a pretty tasty chard in its day, but not made to age as long as it was. Oh well . . .

Mar 26, 2010
DanaB in Wine

Trefethen 2K Cuvee Chardonnay 1997 bottling for Millenium New Years . . . think it's still good?

Hi All,

My brother, who is not a wine drinker, just gave me a bottle of Trefethen 2K Chardonnay. It's been stored in a cool, dry place . . . think it's drinkable?

Thanks! :-)

Mar 26, 2010
DanaB in Wine

If I was on Top Chef...

I'm guessing that Natalie Portman's food restrictions went beyond the common term of vegetarian, as none of the chefs used eggs, cream, cheese or wheat. Perhaps there were publicity reservations on Portman's part why they didn't broadcast further the restrictions on their cooking, but I'm guessing the challenge was actually closer to vegan and gluten free than straight vegetarian.

If it had been ovo-lacto vegetarian, with no gluten/wheat restrictions, somebody would have made pasta, for sure (that was my first thought, had I been faced with this challenge, I would have made a fresh pasta based lasagne, using the Marcella Hazan tomato sauce with butter). However, the starches used were very limited. One person used lentils, but other than that, it was all vegetables, which seems much closer to vegan and gluten-free than anything else.

Oct 30, 2009
DanaB in Food Media & News

INEXPENSIVE (!!!) shower location

Joe's in Venice is going to be above your price point. For under $15 a person, you are likely going to have to go ethnic or casual. I'll leave the ethnic suggestions to others (or you can search this board for your favorite kind of cuisine -- you could do a dim sum brunch, or thai, or any of a variety of other options for $15 a person).

For casual with a decent party atmosphere and generally good food:

You could do a shower for brunch on the patio at Cha Cha Cha in Silverlake for $15 per person for food. Price point is higher for dinner, but their brunch is good and affordable.

http://theoriginalchachacha.com/about...

Luna Park (on La Brea near Wilshire) is known for their affordability. Brunch and lunch menu items are generally under the $15 price point.

http://www.lunaparkla.com/index.asp?p...

Edited to add: Just checked the brunch menu at Joe's and while it is over $15 a person, it's not significantly higher. It *would* be a great spot for a shower.

http://www.joesrestaurant.com/menu_br...

Another thought on the Westside would be Hal's Bar & Grill in Venice, also for brunch. It's prices are a little lower than Joe's, but still with tip would be more like $20 a person for food depending on what you ordered.

http://www.halsbarandgrill.com/pages/...

Oct 12, 2009
DanaB in Los Angeles Area

How many people buy supermarket chicken and meat?

Are you serious? Where do you live? That is really sad!

Oct 11, 2009
DanaB in General Topics

Gourmet magazine to close

I don't want to hurt Conde Naste per se, but I do want to send them a message that they made a bad decision. It was an ignorant, ill advised decision to kill Gourmet magazine for 6 months worth of bad ad revenues, when its circulation numbers are strong and recessions only last so long. I guess the current recession hasn't taught companies ANYTHING, if they make decisions like this. It is a decision that panders to a lack of vision, and a lack of faith in the readership, the demographic and the hope for civilized dialogue in America. Fine, if you are the National Inquirer. Not good, if you are Conde Naste, which publishes some of the better magazines in the world. I want to send them a message that I DON'T LIKE THEIR DECISION. Period. If they don't want my money, fine, let them pander to the lowest common denomenator, but it's an absolutely perfect consumer response for people who liked Gourmet but don't like Bon Appetite to not allow that to be a default substitute for them, to cancel their subscriptions and let the company know they are not happy. If it hurts the company, good. Then they will know they made a mistake.

Oct 10, 2009
DanaB in Food Media & News

Gourmet magazine to close

I've tried to like Bon Appetit, I really have, but I really do find that it's recipes and its approach to cooking is dumbed down. It always offers tips for replacing the original ingredients with pre-prepared foodstuffs, and while that might be more practical, it is certainly NOT inspirational. Gourmet tried to keep up with the dumbies in recent years with their 30 minute recipe sections, etc., but I truly feel that this cancelation was the result of a lack of imagination on the part of the magazine publishers. Recessions only last so long, and the magazine had weathered almost 70 years' worth of them yet retained its readership and popularity. Killing a magazine like Gourmet for 6 months worth of losses is akin to the same mentality that got Wall Street in trouble in the first place. No long term goals, no vision, and no creativity for how to deal with a changing publishing atmosphere. The fact that they didn't sell the magazine, but kept the brand and logo for use on the internet makes it clear that there is still value in the brand.

My hope is that somebody will knock some sense into the publisher to stop solely listening to the Money Men and start having some creativity, and they will bring it back once the recession is over. I am so mad at Conde Naste over this, I think I will boycott all their magazines. I have this image in my head of some business school grad who has crunched the numbers but who has never read a book other than The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, and who's favorite meal is take out from Boston Market, telling the company that they will save money by killing Gourmet Magazine and that Bon Appetite is a perfectly good substitute. Somebody with no soul or no history with the magazine, some economist reducing a consumer's preference for one or the other to a number value, and basing the decision on that. I am actually studying economics on the graduate level right now and I can just imagine the analysis. I'm queasy just thinking about it.

Oct 10, 2009
DanaB in Food Media & News

Gourmet magazine to close

Thanks for sharing that memory! It's a great one :-)

Oct 07, 2009
DanaB in Food Media & News

Gourmet magazine to close

Gail Zweigenthal. Here's the wikipedia link for the magazine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gourmet_...

I'm amazed that it's only had four editors in cheif in its 68 years! I loved the magazine under Gail Z. as well (1991-1998). That was really when I started getting into cooking in a big way, and I cherished every issue. I liked it as well under Ruth Reichl, but not as much as I did in the 1990s. I especially liked the contributing writers in the 1990s, including Laurie Colwin. There have just been so many great things about the magazine over the years.

Oct 06, 2009
DanaB in Food Media & News

Gourmet magazine to close

I was absolutely stunned to hear this news. God damn money grubbers over at Conde Naste. After almost 70 years, ya think they could tolerate 6 months of down advertizing, especially when circulation numbers were good.

I started reading Gourmet in college over 20 years ago. Until last summer I had every issue from 1987 to the present. In a now unwise move, I got rid of my back copies in a move to a smaller place. I thought Gourmet would always be there, and if I wanted the back issues again, I could get them anytime. I regret it now. Especially July 1995 and the 60th Anniversary issue.

I had a terrible day yesterday, and woke today hoping for better. This was NOT the news I wanted to get today.

Oct 06, 2009
DanaB in Food Media & News