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Joan's on Third Is Coming to Santa Monica...

Late to the party here, but I wanted to add that the first time I went to Joan's in SM it was 2pm on a weekday and I had no problem finding a metered spot, but when I went in I was very pleasantly surprised to see the signs saying they provide 90 minutes free validated parking in the building's garage.

about 10 hours ago
cookie monster in Los Angeles Area

Fresh roasted turkey sandwiches ?

Gjusta and GTA in Venice both make sandwiches with their own fresh roasted turkey. Not cheap, but really tasty.

Anniversary Dinner

I would vote AOC or Republique. I love the food at both (fellow non-seafood eater here), and they're both very pretty in different ways.

What are you baking these days? August 2015

Continuing with the classics ... had a bulk bar of Valrhona dark chocolate from Whole Foods so I made brownies from this Epicurious recipe, which has been my go-to for years:

I had done some recipe comparing and realized this one is very similar to the famous supernatural brownies, other than the absence of brown sugar, so I subbed brown sugar for half of the white and was very pleased with the results. And added some dark chocolate chunks, because why not?

One night solo in Beverly Hills

Another vote for Spago. Less than a mile walk, and a pleasant one as you say. Or there's always Uber if the hotel doesn't have a car service.

Had dinner there last weekend for the first time in many, many years and we really enjoyed it. The sweet corn agnolotti really is all that. And the bar / lounge area looked like a great spot for a solo dinner. They have a separate bar food menu; not sure if they also offer the regular dinner menu at the bar as well.

I need help on cake baking

That recipe just seems odd to me. 8 eggs with 1-1/4 cups flour and 2-1/4 cups sugar? If what you're looking for is a dark, moist chocolate cake that will hold up to layering and decorating and be pleasing to kids, I highly recommend the Hershey's perfectly chocolate cake. It's pretty close to foolproof. Many many variations on line, but here's the original:

Beverly Hills / West Hollywood recs?

While saying up front that none of these are omg the best ever Chowhound-type recommendations, I will add The Churchill, Eveleigh, Laurel Hardware and Tortilla Republic as places in that area that have decent food and drinks and a fun, festive atmosphere and are relatively moderate in price.

I need help with my picky eating teen

To add to what others have said - she's 15, not 5. If she doesn't like what you're making, she can fend for herself. Just stock your fridge and cupboard with the things she will eat. Her diet is limited, but it doesn't sound horribly unbalanced nutritionally.

Aug 13, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics

Those people at Starbucks who tie up the milk counter fine tuning their drink

Irks me too, especially because usually all I want to do is grab a straw or a napkin, but I can't do that because they're blocking the whole counter ...

Aug 10, 2015
cookie monster in Chains

Whole Foods on the receiving end of some more mockery

yes! on the frozen haricots verts. My favorite frozen vegetable as well. I go through at least a bag a week. I've also gotten some great steaks on sale there. Still not cheap, but totally worth it for the flavor.

I see people debating the cheese section. I'm a big fan of the $4 and under basket, which has all sorts of treasures in the form of small "remainders" of $20, $30, $40/lb cheeses. Great for a single person who wants a single serving of some really great cheese.

What are you baking these days? August 2015

Sometimes you just want to go with the classics ... dark chocolate chunk cookies, no nuts, still slightly gooey in the centers.

A Mad Libs Game for Every Food Blog Commenter

This is fun.

I’m making my first ever visit to [exotic foreign city] with my [family member] who is allergic to [spice], [vegetable] and [dairy product] and only likes [protein], [carbonated beverage] and [packaged snack food]. Please recommend authentic, non-touristy local restaurants specializing in [signature dish of exotic city] that will be able to accommodate us.

lamb dish for a virgin to the meat

Agreed. One of my bad experiences with lamb involved choking down under- (or maybe un-) seasoned, well-done lamb chops made by a friend's mother.

Jul 30, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

lamb dish for a virgin to the meat

I didn't grow up eating lamb, but now I really like it ... except every once in a while when it crosses some threshold of lambiness and I can't stand it. Lamb meatballs and lamb sausage are definitely good intro to lamb dishes, but as others have said they don't really fit with your menu. Grilled lamb sirloin is another option - never cooked it myself, but I have enjoyed it several times at restaurants.

Jul 30, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Vegetarian-friendly and upscale on Westside?

Exactly! It can be intimate or awkward, depending on how well you know your dining companion ...

How many different appetizers should I serve for a party of 40 for 4 hours?

How many M&Ms per person?

Jul 28, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

Vegetarian-friendly and upscale on Westside?

Yes! My carnivorous friend ordered the curried vegetable entree when we were there a couple weeks ago and loved it.

Vegetarian-friendly and upscale on Westside?

You know how much I love Gjelina, but the being able to have a conversation part is tough unless you're on the patio, which they won't guarantee when you make a reservation.

Vegetarian-friendly and upscale on Westside?

Rustic Canyon is good but loud with a capital L in my experience. Tough for a first date. Hinoki & The Bird in Century City has a bunch of interesting vegetarian dishes, and the patio is pretty with a reasonable decibel level. Fig in Santa Monica could also work, especially if the vegetarian is a cheese lover - great cheese selection. Or maybe Wilshire in Santa Monica.

Two New Yorkers spending two nights in Los Angeles. Help us eat great!

Not sure what you're reading, but they're definitely open for dinner on Saturday nights (unless there's a private party or such)

Looking for some good restaurant mushroom dishes

Mushroom toast and mushroom truffle goat cheese pizza at Gjelina

Mushroom pizza at South End

Mushroom pasta at Republique (preparations vary)

Weird bananas

I don't shop at Costco, but I have had that happen with supermarket bananas a few times. Super annoying since I like to buy a few that are really green so they'll gradually become ripe enough to eat through the course of the week. But they're still good for banana bread :-)

Saturday Lunch

That's Salt, right, Mark Gold's latest spot? I'm curious to hear what you think of the food. I haven't eaten there yet even though it's right in my neighborhood, but the view certainly is lovely.

Beloved picky guests

You're right, Isolda. And you sound like an exceptionally considerate host. I suppose my point is that a host could avoid having pickiness/aversions sprung on him/her at the last minute by asking in advance, setting aside the people whose aversions change with every shift of the wind - I don't know anyone like that, and I don't envy the hosts who do have to deal with that.

Jul 23, 2015
cookie monster in Not About Food

Rustic Canyon - good, but way too expensive!

I have to say I agree (other than that the 3% health care charge is obscene, but that's another thread). I liked Rustin Canyon pre-Jeremy Fox, for dinner or a glass of wine and a cheese plate at the bar. I was excited when he came on board, but pretty disappointed by two subsequent dinners. The bill seemed pretty high compared to similar places in the area (by similar I mean farm-to-table, small plates, buzzy, no table cloths or cushioned chairs - a style of restaurant that I quite love btw), and at my last visit a couple of the male members of my party actually left the restaurant still hungry.

Beloved picky guests

Geez I had a feeling some of the responses here would harsh. People who know me would not describe me as a picky eater, and I never "declare" or "announce" anything (I will "inform" if asked), but I have a very strong aversion to seafood of all kinds (exceptions being the occasional well-cooked scallop or heavily seasoned and sauced crab cake). I cannot force myself to eat it for the sake of being a polite guest. If I'm asked in advance of being someone's guest for a meal, I will tell the person about this. And I'm always grateful when I am asked, since it's pretty awkward for both host and guest when the beautifully grilled salmon or seared ahi sits untouched on my plate. If I'm asked why I'm not eating it I will tell the truth in as gentle a way as possible - no fake allergies for me.

Because I have this aversion to an entire protein group, I always ask my own guests for their own lists of strong dislikes, as well as allergies - especially since I know that some of my favorite foods make frequent appearances on other people's hate lists -mushrooms, blue cheese, beets, brussels sprouts, coconut ...

There's No Such Thing As Bad…

I tried it. Vanilla was ok (but won't fool you into thinking you're eating real ice cream). Chocolate and chocolate peanut butter both had an unpleasant not-creamy texture. I am however a fan of the Halo Top light ice creams. Not as low calorie as Arctic Zero, but still pretty darn low and the taste and texture is much better imho.

Taste of egg

I agree. I have a friend who despises eggs in any form, and he can detect egginess in baked goods when it's not noticeable to anyone else. two eggs in an entire batch of cake batter or cookie dough seems to be his limit. It's like when someone tells me "yes, there are anchovies in the salad dressing / pasta sauce / etc. but you can't taste them."

Raspberry desserts

I really like this raspberry cake from Smitten Kitchen. You'd probably need two for your size group. It's pretty simple to make and can be dressed up with ice cream, whipped cream, more fresh berries ...

Jul 16, 2015
cookie monster in Home Cooking

There's No Such Thing As Bad…

The only use of that exact phrase that I've heard is "there's no such thing as bad publicity." Splitting hairs maybe (but isn't that what we do here?), but I think what most people mean is more along the lines of "even when ____ is bad, and objectively I know it's bad, it's still pretty good. Or at least good enough that i'll still eat it." So yes, pizza falls into that category for me. Also cake, wine, french fries.

Jul 15, 2015
cookie monster in General Topics