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Weeknight Dinner Party Challenge

a non-dairy/parve dessert we love is the olive oil citrus cake from Rustic Fruit Desserts. It's easy to find the recipe online and will keep just fine if you make it ahead.

Jan 05, 2011
roxhills in Home Cooking

Would love to get your feedback on our Paris Dining Itinerary- Dec 20-27

food fatigue is real and even my husband who would never miss a meal and doesn't believe in "light meals" gave in on this trip. I had a 2 dinners of French Onion soup and he had a lot of duck confit. Definitely check out the menus ahead of time and see if you are up for eating all that food and spending the time sitting and just plain dining. We flew from Los Angeles and only had 4 nights in Paris so I didn't want to spend the majority of our time in restaurants.

Also, some places are closed on odd days. When we were in the Marais, I wanted to go to Pain de Sucre which I heard so much about but it was closed tuesday and weds, I believe, and we just never made it back to that neighborhood so do yourself a favor and do a little research so you don't spend lots of time looking for a particular shop only to learn that it is closed.

Also, I brought bubble wrap, ziploc bags and scotch tape and packed light to bring things like macarons, chocolates, christine ferber jams and all kinds of mustards home with us. My husband thought I was nuts but it worked out well.

Dec 15, 2010
roxhills in France

Would love to get your feedback on our Paris Dining Itinerary- Dec 20-27

My husband took me to Paris in October for 4 nights for my birthday and we stayed at Le Meurice. Our rate included a wonderful breakfast every morning in the exquisite dining room. our lunches were on the go: Eric Kayer (delicious sandwiches), L'as du Falafel- yum!, Kiwi Corner near Luxembourg Gardens and a touristy place at Montmarte that was easy and tasty. Our lunches were all very inexpensive-- under 20 euro for 2 ppl.

We ate and walked all day long. We visited as many chocolate shops as we could (he worked in the hotel room for a bit and I went out and found more chocolate). The apple tart and Poilane was unforgettable, as was the setting in Luxembourg Gardens where we enjoyed it.

We canceled our reservation at Jules Verne and only ate casual dinners except for our last night, my birthday, when we went to L'ami Louis which was fun and good and has its fans but it is crazy expensive for what it is.

Check our David Lebovitz's blog and Dorie Greenspan's for their suggestions of places to visit while you're there. I had lists upon lists and there wasn't time to visit a fraction of the places I wanted to check out.

Have fun!

Dec 14, 2010
roxhills in France

meatless on the strip

Looking for a fabulous place to go for a birthday/anniversary dinner on Sunday, Dec 26 on the strip before a show. Price is not important. Need suggestions for excellent selection of meatless and shellfish free entrees for a non meat eater and someone with a shellfish allergy. Thanks!

Dec 14, 2010
roxhills in Las Vegas

Culina at the Four Seasons

I had lunch there for my mom's birthday in March. The patio was beautiful. The service was very good. The Crudo bar looked terrific but we sat outside and had a lovely ladies' lunch. I am not sure what you're looking for but there were 4 of us and we all really enjoyed our meals. The affogatto dessert with cotton candy was memorable both for the presentation and the taste. I can't really remember what we each chose to eat but I do remember that each of us really enjoyed what we chose. Sorry I can't be more helpful other than to suggest you give it a try. We'd definitely go back.

May 26, 2010
roxhills in Los Angeles Area

cooking with a newborn

Congrats on the new baby!

For us, number one was twins. They're 7 now. I didn't do much cooking and lots of people brought food. My 30th birthday was when the girls were 2 weeks old and my parents babysat so we could go to Spago in Los Angeles for dinner (it is very close to our house). The waiter asked us "where we just flew in from" because we looked so tired. we kept at home meals really simple. also, the girls were born in October, so we just hunkered down with soups and stews for the winter and by spring, we were back to our routine.

When our son was born 4 years ago, I was happily roasting chicken when he was a week old. He was a super easy baby and would sit in the bouncer on the kitchen floor while I cooked. I vividly remember cooking and baking like crazy when he was a newborn.

A lot will depend on the personality of the new baby. Some babies are totally portable and dining out is easy because they love to sleep through noisy places.

My suggestion is to stock your pantry really well and maybe freeze some soups. I am not sure a CSA is your best bet. You may enjoy heading out to the farmer's market with the baby (the basket under the stroller can fit lots of fruits and veggies). Good luck.

May 01, 2010
roxhills in Home Cooking

recommendations for yummy outdoor birthday lunch in beverly hills, westside

Check out the new restaurant at Four Seasons on Doheny-- Culina. We went in March for a birthday lunch. The setting is beautiful. The food is Italian. The price was not astronomical. There were 4 of us and I can't remember exactly what we ate but everyone really enjoyed their food and the affogatto dessert was amazing-- vanilla gelatto with cotton candy on top! Also, Cecconi's on Melrose has a nice patio.

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Cecconi's
8764 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069

May 01, 2010
roxhills in Los Angeles Area

Santa Barbara Kid-Friendly

I just looked at their website and we must have arrived at the end of breakfast, not brunch. I think the "brunch" is much more elaborate. If I remember correctly, the total cost was around $65 or so for 1 buffet ($22-25), 1 egg dish off the menu (15-18) and 2 kids meals at around 6 dollars each. The service was great. The setting was spectacular. The patio was nearly empty, possibly because they get a crowd for brunch and we were gone by then. The kids had a great time running around on the lawn. I think I remember that the kids meals at the zoo were around $8 so our zoo meal there would have come to approximately $50.

Apr 07, 2010
roxhills in California

Carlsbad this weekend with young kids

I didn't slam Carlsbad. maybe you want to re-read the entire thread. i asked for help finding places to eat that were "chowish" and American. the only timely suggestion (before we were home from carlsbad) was for Bucca De Beppo which other locals slammed. I thanked the people who made suggestions.

Our meal at Legends wasn't very good and they were very understaffed so we chose not to go back. We spoke to the hotel staff about it and they were very responsive but we made the choice not to have a second $75 breakfast that consisted of 2 orders of eggs, an shared order of silver dollar pancakes and a box of cereal. it took 15 minutes to get 2 cups of coffee. it wasn't worth a second try on a holiday weekend.

Apr 07, 2010
roxhills in San Diego

Santa Barbara Kid-Friendly

This may sound crazy but consider about the Four Seasons Biltmore for brunch.

We have driven up from LA for the day on a Sunday to go to the zoo and stopped for brunch at the 4 seasons. parking was free (near the tennis courts), the kids meals were less expensive than the "kids meals" at the zoo, the setting is spectacular and the kids could run around on the lawn. My kids are 7 1/2 (twins) and 4 now and I think we did this 2 years ago. My husband had the buffet which my toddler picked on, I ordered off the menu, as did the twins.

After brunch, when we arrived at the zoo, I remember looking at the menu at the quick service place near the entrance and thinking that our hotel meal was not more expensive than it would have been at the zoo and it was certainly better food in a beautiful setting.

Also, a few weeks ago my little guy had a day off from preschool and I drove up to SB with him while the girls were at school. We brought a picnic to enjoy at the zoo. After the zoo, we rode bikes on the beach. Then, we stopped at La Super Rica for tacos before the drive home.

Have fun!

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La Super Rica
622 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Four Seasons
1800 Prescott Rd Ste C, Modesto, CA 95350

Apr 06, 2010
roxhills in California

Carlsbad this weekend with young kids

Thanks for all your help. This wasn't a chowish weekend at all. After an overpriced and barely marginal breakfast at Legends at La Costa, we gave up eating at our hotel. When the wait at Casa de Bandini was an hour for dinner, we dined at Ruby's diner. The price was right, the shakes were tasty and the kids were happy. I learned that there is not much to seek out food wise in Carlsbad but we had fun. Also, the food at Legoland was surprisingly good. They had nice "healthy" options for kids-- string cheese, organic yogurts, cereal, fresh fruit. And the meals/snacks were better than I expected.

Apr 04, 2010
roxhills in San Diego

Carlsbad this weekend with young kids

We're heading to La Costa this weekend from LA with our 7 year old twins and our 4 year old.

I'm hoping someone can help me out with some breakfast suggestions and possibly a fun, casual dinner near the hotel.

We're going to Legoland on Sunday.

Something chowish but American would be good. We can always go to Ruby's diner if all else fails.

Thanks!

Apr 01, 2010
roxhills in San Diego

Disney World with 3 young kids

Thanks for all your suggestions. I went ahead and made a few reservations:
Jiko (for the Thursday night we arrive in Orlando)

California Grill at 7:40 Friday night-- figure the kids will be on CA time and we'll go to Animal Kingdom that day, which I understand is not a "full day" into night park

50's Prime Time Cafe at Disney Studio for lunch on Saturday

Akershus for Princess Breakfast on Sunday morning

I tried to get something at Le Cellier but there was nothing the entire time we're there.

Any other suggestions for things we may want to reserve ahead of time?

Thanks for all your help so far! I think we're going to stay at The Beach Club.

Apr 01, 2010
roxhills in Florida

Disney World with 3 young kids

Hi! We live in Los Angeles, not far from Disneyland.

We'll be visiting WDW for about a week at the end of September with our 8 year old twins and our 4 1/2 year old. One of my twins ONLY eats hamburgers and peanut butter sandwiches.

So, I am hoping you can help me out with suggestions for the best burger choices throughout Disney World.

Also, I am looking for recommendations for the "best" character meals and dining experiences.

I know there are lots of Disney World threads but I am looking for more chowish suggestions, if possible. For example, at Disneyland, there is a great corn dog cart of Main Street next to the Plaza Inn that we never knew about until someone on Chowhound mentioned it.

Please help me with any tips/suggestions for planning meals, etc. We're not going to do the dining plan. I don't think we'll have more than one full service meal per day and I haven't yet figured out which days we'll be at which parks.

Thanks for your help!

Mar 31, 2010
roxhills in Florida

Taste on Melrose or Amarone Kitchen tonight

we wound up at the cheese bar at AOC. Yum!

Jan 09, 2010
roxhills in Los Angeles Area

driving from Vegas to Grand Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix with young kids-- need suggestions

Thanks for all the suggestions! We had a great trip! In Las Vegas, we did some fine dining and the kids did really well. Our favorite "kid friendly" place was BLT Burger in Mirage. In addition to great burgers and other kids choices, they offered us kids sized versions of their amazing milkshakes for $3 each. The toasted marshmallow milkshake was probably the most delicious thing any of us have ever sipped through a straw!

We wound up spending the night at Grand Canyon instead of Flagstaff. We stopped at Mr D's Route 66 Diner in Kingman for lunch along the way. The staff was friendly and the food was pretty tasty and it met our goal of not stopping for drive through fast food on our trip.

The food at Grand Canyon was probably a step above prison food but we managed. The fajitas at Bright Angel's coffee shop were barely edible but we didn't go there for the food. Our dessert at El Tovar wasn't much better.

We stopped for lunch the next day at Beaver Street Brewery. It was packed! The staff was nice. The food was good. We're glad we had lunch there. We continued south and spent some time at Slide Rock Park which was beautiful. We didn't stop for a meal in Sedona as we were short on time.

In Phoenix, our first meal was at Frank and Albert's in the Biltmore. We finally arrived at our hotel in Phoenix at 6:30 pm and decided just to eat there as we were tired and hungry. It was easily our worst meal of the trip. The service was awful. We had a pretty straight forward order and they couldn't get it right. My daughter's hamburgers arrives as cheeseburgers, we reminded them we asked for no cheese. When they brought them back, they were barely cooked. When they brought them back for the 3rd time, the rest of us were finished eating. My husband had asked for his salad without bacon-- it came with and it came with our entrees, not as a starter. My other daughter's chicken with veggies was pretty good but it didn't make up for the rest of the meal. also, my flatbread with salmon, which was highly recommended by our server was not great. The kicker was when the bill arrived, we were charged for 3 items-- 2 tequilas and another drink, that we didn't order. After they took those items off the bill and after I told the manager that we were really disappointed by both the meal and the service, he asked if we'd come back so he could make it up to us. We were only to be in Phoenix for 2 more nights and I am not a glutton for punishment.

The following night, we had a nice dinner at Bandera in Scottsdale. They had the exact same burger problem-- brought cheeseburger instead of hamburger, then brought back raw hamburger then finally brought cooked burger when everyone else had finished. We walked over to Sugar Bowl for dessert! Everyone loved that.

Our last night, we got the Chelsea's Kitchen and 6 and there was a 1 hour wait-- on December 30, a Wednesday! So they called over to Radio Milano and we had a nice dinner there. The kids meals were lovely-- sliced apples, cute divided plates, but the portions were terribly small. My kids are not big eaters but my daughter needed a second order of spaghetti. For dessert, we walked across the street to the Gelato place near Le Grande Orange.

Thanks so much for all your suggestions! We had a wonderful family trip and learned about some great chow thanks to you!

Jan 09, 2010
roxhills in Phoenix

Taste on Melrose or Amarone Kitchen tonight

dropping my kids off at a birthday party in w hollywood tonight at 5pm -- have time for a quick dinner nearby. The party is near sunset/doheny. Any suggestions? If not Taste or Amarone, someplace else?

Jan 09, 2010
roxhills in Los Angeles Area

driving from Vegas to Grand Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix with young kids-- need suggestions

we're staying at the Biltmore

Dec 28, 2009
roxhills in Phoenix

driving from Vegas to Grand Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix with young kids-- need suggestions

Thank you! This is a week long road trip so we'll have plenty of time to eat. We have hotels booked in Vegas, Flagstaff and Phoenix and hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Dec 23, 2009
roxhills in Phoenix

West Side Burgers - The Counter vs, The Stand vs The Colony? Where should we eat?

Been to all 3 (but haven't had a burger at The Stand). Give Colony Cafe a try. I have 1 kid (out of 3) who ONLY eats burgers (and crackers with peanut butter) so we've eaten at nearly every kid friendly burger place in LA. She wasn't crazy about the Counter. She really enjoys Colony Cafe. Also, think about Hole in the Wall -- not sure if it is open on Sundays but the burgers are great. It is off SM, 1 block west of Sepulveda. Also, Umami burger is good if your son is a little older-- maybe 10+.

Dec 20, 2009
roxhills in Los Angeles Area

driving from Vegas to Grand Canyon, Sedona, Phoenix with young kids-- need suggestions

We're taking a road trip between x-mas and new years from Vegas to the Grand Canyon (sleeping in Flagstaff) then driving through Oak Creek Canyon/Sedona to Phoenix. I'd love some suggestions of where to get great food with kids (7 year old twins and a 3 year old). One kid is a burger eater, none of them like pizza. Any suggestions-- breakfast, lunch, dinner, great snacks/desserts would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Lisa

Dec 19, 2009
roxhills in Phoenix

Hostess Gift for a Major Hosting?

You could order a fun food from out of town-- Ice Cream from Grater's, Pizza from Chicago, etc. For my husband's 40th birthday a few years ago, I did a different gift every day for 40 days and those were 2 food gifts that we really enjoyed.

Nov 08, 2009
roxhills in General Topics

Epicurious Double Chocolate Layer Cake - scaling down recipe?

This is my favorite chocolate layer cake recipe. I wouldn't mess with it. It is amazing and if you're not a very experienced baker, I'd suggest sticking with the recipe as written. It looks great once assembled. I weigh each filled pan before baking to be sure the layers are all the same size and bake evenly. It is a heavenly dessert. Enjoy!

Oct 17, 2009
roxhills in Home Cooking

DineLA- running reviews of places so far

DineLA $$$ at Montage BH last night. Last minute-- had a babysitter and the hotel is close by. We had a wonderful meal. Husband started with the ahi, I had the jar of tomatoes-- both were unusual and delicious. For entrees, he had short rib and I had halibut (the other choice was NY strip which he enjoyed there once before). Dessert was cider donuts for him and chocolate/hazelnut goodness- can't remember the exact name but that is a fair description. The drinks are pricey so the final bill was high but the meal itself was a good value in a fine dining venue. The service was excellent and the staff was happy to have us. I would suggest trying it if you're close by and are looking for a special occasion type place.

Oct 15, 2009
roxhills in Los Angeles Area

Rosh Hashanah needs

try pico kosher deli on pico/robertson for the kugel. they can probably also sell you a cooked chicken if you need one. any of the bakeries around there can sell you a round challah. Or, try Western Kosher on Fairfax, across the street from Canter's for the chicken if you want to cook the chicken yourself.

Sep 15, 2009
roxhills in Los Angeles Area

need simple roasted chicken parts recipe for Rosh Hashanah

I'm making Rosh Hashanah dinner Friday night for 12 people and need some recipe help. There are going to be so many strong/sweet flavors that I think I need to serve simple roasted chicken BUT I don't want to have to cut up the chickens after they're cooked. Can you please help me out with your best simple baked/roasted chicken recipes that use cut up chickens.

The rest of the menu is: gefilte fish, matzoh ball soup, stuffed cabbage, tzimmes, salad or green veggie and apple crisp/honey cake for dessert.

Thank you!

Sep 13, 2009
roxhills in Home Cooking

40th birthday celebration for 20 women

check out the new Montage Hotel in BH. I have been to a few events there-- private 70th birthday tea in the downstairs library, corporate event in the ballroom, 40th birthday dinner upstairs and have enjoyed meals in the downstairs dining room and the roof dining room and have enjoyed them all. The food might be what you're looking for and the venue is beautiful and the service is top notch. At the tea, my kids came (6 year old twins) and they made special "kid sanwiches" for them with berry jam, nutella, etc. and brought lemonade and hot chocolate for them. It is pricey but probably on par with the Getty and Hotel Bel Air.

Jul 06, 2009
roxhills in Los Angeles Area

Best croquembouche (croc en bouche) or piece montee in LA?

try porto's in burbank. we were at a christmas party a few years ago and I seem to remember a delicious croquenbouche and porto's provided the desserts.

Jul 02, 2009
roxhills in Los Angeles Area

should i try to make candied orange peel?

We have an old orange tree in our garden and the oranges aren't worth eating because they are so tart but my kids are enjoying the harvesting part. I am wondering about trying to make candied orange peel with them. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any recipes to suggest?

Jul 02, 2009
roxhills in Home Cooking

Nanaimo bars in LA?

pretty sure clementine still makes them. i saw them there in may.

Jul 02, 2009
roxhills in Los Angeles Area