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If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

Thanks...never knew that!

about 6 hours ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

Still don't get it. Why is a less botanical gin better on a empty stomach?

about 6 hours ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

Why do you say that? Isn't it more the proof (percent alcohol x 2), rather than the botanicals, that makes different gins more or less potent? Bombay Sapphire is especially strong because at 94 proof, it's one of the more potent gins.

about 9 hours ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

+1. A classic martini is gin and vermouth!

about 10 hours ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Speaking of Newport Beach Restaurants - A Blast from the Past

She's long gone. I'm sure we're she still around Rothschild's would still be serving her cakes.

about 10 hours ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Speaking of Newport Beach Restaurants - A Blast from the Past

Yep...they were made for Rothschild's by a local woman who was an amazing baker...perhaps Viennese. This was at least 25 years ago!

about 10 hours ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

We're both on the same page Kevin. Now, I insist on at least a bit of vermouth in my Bombay Sapphire martini, something that has gone out of style. To me, by definition, a martini must have vermouth. What about you?

about 14 hours ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Speaking of Newport Beach Restaurants - A Blast from the Past

Two restaurants from the 70's which still exist and are relatively unchanged are Rothschild's and the Quiet Woman. Rothschild's is still owned by the same family, is still quite good…but oh, the Viennese layer cakes they used to serve are long gone. They were apparently made especially for the restaurant by a local woman. The Quiet Woman has changed hands once or twice, but still serves pretty much the same menu and is still good. They no longer have the bluegrass music nightly…it was their signature…but they still have music.

about 14 hours ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

It won't be a deal breaker for me in any case, nevertheless, it would be a shame not to be able to enjoy a cognac after a meal at TFL.

1 day ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

But no cognac, Armagnac or similar spirit?

1 day ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

Wow Kevin. You probably are a kin-mate of mine. I generally will not go to any restaurant where I cannot get a Bombay Sapphire martini before dinner (I make great ones at home). But I guess I'd make an exception for TFL where I would hope that with a wine pairing, my thirst would be quenched at the end of the evening. But you know, after a meal like that, I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy a cognac at night's end. Does TFL have cognac or after dinner drinks available??

1 day ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

I can't imagine that all the hotels in the Napa Valley have an in with TFL, but I bet that the better hotels in Yountville right near the restaurant have some pull. I've heard from another source however that the Vintage Inn does have some clout there…as does AmExp Platinum (which has gotten me very tough reservations in NYC).

1 day ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area
1

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

What do you mean…all these hotels? He was talking about different rates a the Vintage Inn!

1 day ago
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Three dinners in San Francisco.

We'll be in SF for 3 days in November and are looking for 3 excellent dinners. We've been many times in the past, but not for many years. A few considerations...we like nice places that are comfortable and not unreasonably noisy, one of us is a vegetarian, but sometimes eats fish, we have a $100 dinner gift card for Campton Place (we're staying there) that we'd hate to waste, but will if need be, and one of us would like to try Gary Danko (unless CH's really pan it). Where would you go?

Jul 22, 2014
josephnl in San Francisco Bay Area

One Dinner in SF - Where and Why?

No one has mentioned Gary Danko! Is GD no longer the very special restaurant it once was?

Jul 21, 2014
josephnl in San Francisco Bay Area

Please 3 dinners in Amsterdam!

Unless one is used to bicycling in a very busy city, with narrow streets and often frenetic traffic, and knows precisely the route they wish to take, I think that the trams are a much more relaxing, efficient and safe way to get around in AMS!

Jul 21, 2014
josephnl in Europe

Gluten Free Diet, how do I alter/change recipes?

Of course you are right. It still amazes me that so many folks are misinformed and think that somehow a gluten-free diet is healthier. Just had dinner at a very high-end restaurant in southern CA where they bragged that at least half of their menu was identified as being gluten-free. Interestingly, no such identifier was on the menu for vegetarian choices (I'm not a vegetarian, but know many). It's ridiculous! Unless you have celiac disease and/or are truly gluten intolerant (~1% of the population), there is no benefit and perhaps even harm from avoiding gluten containing foods.

Jul 19, 2014
josephnl in Special Diets

Gluten Free Diet, how do I alter/change recipes?

Does your wife have celiac disease and/or true gluten intolerance? If not, it not only makes no sense to be gluten-free, it's absolutely ridiculous and indeed not healthy to avoid foods containing gluten. See:
http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kit...

Jul 19, 2014
josephnl in Special Diets

Removing Oil Stains From Fabric - Any foolproof methods?

But, as I said "on something of value". Yes, I'd much rather spend $5 to dry clean an oil-stained silk shirt or cashmere sweater worth perhaps $100 or even much more, than to risk setting the stain and ruining the garment by using talc, Dawn or whatever else. For "something of value", I would definitely leave it to the professionals...without thinking twice!!

Jul 18, 2014
josephnl in Not About Food

Simple Cannelloni!

The Mel's Kitchen recipe (apparently based on the ATK version) looks great, and seems to be pretty much like that which I loved. I'm going to give it a try...and if I'm really lazy might use some Rao's or Silver Palate jarred marinara.

Jul 18, 2014
josephnl in Home Cooking

Simple Cannelloni!

About 6 months ago I was at a catered party where one of the entrees was a truly delicious cannelloni. I was unable to get the recipe from the chef, but one of the servers told me that it was really a very simple recipe with lasagna noodles wrapped around a cheese mixture with added herbs, seasonings and egg, and topped with jarred marinara sauce, grated Parmesan and then baked in the oven. I suppose I could try to replicate by trial and error, but am wondering if anyone has a simple similar recipe.

Jul 18, 2014
josephnl in Home Cooking

Bread and Butter

The closest to Poilane bread I have found in southern CA is at the Pain Quotidien in Newport Beach. I've had the same bread at the PQ in West Hollywood, and although very good, the bread at the NB store seems better.

President butter from Normandy is readily available in southern CA, but I'm not sure that it's better than the Kerrygold Irish butter which is my current fave.

Jul 18, 2014
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Best pan for flipping eggs

Durability is totally a non-issue if the non-stick pan is used only for eggs, and the eggs are flipped in the air. No utensil (other than perhaps a silicone spatula occasionally for a guest who likes scrambled) touches the pan, and the $20 pan will likely continue to serve me well for a very long time.

Jul 17, 2014
josephnl in Cookware
1

Best omelet pan?

I've been doing it for 3-4 months now, and have become pretty much a pro. It's not that hard and it's fun. The main trick is to make sure the eggs move freely in the pan, and then flip briskly without hesitation. Although I've broken a few yolks, I've never missed the pan, but I still flip over the sink. Go for it...or as the folks at Nike would say "just do it"!

Jul 17, 2014
josephnl in Cookware

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

Porthos...you have seen that n/naka does have a strictly vegetarian tasting menu much as does TFL? Although my partner does eat some fish, he would likely opt for the "safer" all vegetarian menu. You would still opt for TFL?

Jul 16, 2014
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

If can't get into French Laundry for 50th bday where should we eat in Los Angeles?

Porthos...I was planning to try to celebrate a very special occasion with my mostly vegetarian partner at The French Laundry. After reading your post and looking at the menus, I'm wondering if n/naka might not be a better choice. Of course the food takes top billing, but I want the atmosphere and service to be special as well. What do you think? I too am concerned about getting a res at the FL (although I do have an AmEx Platinum Card which is supposed to help)...is this a problem at n/naka?

Jul 16, 2014
josephnl in Los Angeles Area

Best marinara sauce in a jar?

It's very widely available, at least in southern CA. I'm sure it's made in a factory, not in the restaurant (but hopefully at least with the restaurant's recipe and QC).

Jul 16, 2014
josephnl in General Topics

Removing Oil Stains From Fabric - Any foolproof methods?

Repeat message...but still really important!!! I've said this before on this thread but I think it bears repeating. Yes, detergents such as Palmolive or Dawn dish soaps may work some of the time, but if you are trying to remove a grease stain from something of value...a silk shirt, a cashmere sweater, a fine linen tablecloth, using a detergent may ruin the item, or make the stain more difficult to remove. If you know that the stain is oil-based, by far the safest approach is to take the item to a good professional dry cleaner. For something of value, this should be the first step, not something to try after the talc or the Dawn approach fails!

Jul 15, 2014
josephnl in Not About Food

Restaurant suggestions in Mendocino and Fort Bragg area?

Obviously, the Ledford House is very inconsistent. I have pretty much always enjoyed it and had good to very good food there, but never anything truly outstanding. I think maybe the variable is whether or not Tony, the owner, is present. He seems to keep a reasonably keen eye on things...and his wife is in the kitchen. But then again, unfortunately since Margaret Fox (and Chef Christopher...I think was his name) left Cafe Beaujolais, there has never been anything really great in the area.

Jul 15, 2014
josephnl in California

Removing Oil Stains From Fabric - Any foolproof methods?

But…Johnson's also makes baby powder which is "pure cornstarch" and at our local pharmacy, this seems to be more commonly stocked than talcum!

Jul 14, 2014
josephnl in Not About Food