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Cooking Classes in L.A.

was it your business? if so, sad to hear. imagine it's a very tough business to sustain unless you're charging students a fortune, like Cordon Bleu.

Sep 17, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Overnight at LAX - outbound and inbound

I'm intrigued by Custom Hotel on Lincoln. run by Joie de Vivre, who have a great chain of boutique hotels in San Francisco. free shuttle to LAX so you could taxi/uber to MdR/Venice or Manhattan Beach for food.
and who knows, maybe Deck 33 is a hidden treasure:
http://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/calif...

Sep 17, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

IL PICOLLINO - ALWAYS OUTSTANDING

right on.

Sep 17, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

IL PICOLLINO - ALWAYS OUTSTANDING

Kerkhofs. Belgian-born owner of Il Piccolino. former owner and chef of Le Dome on Sunset.

Sep 16, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

IL PICOLLINO - ALWAYS OUTSTANDING

Silvio de Mori! I had to google him to figure out where I knew his name from. he's had a ton of restaurants but I only ate at Mimosa and loved it.

for some reason Piccolino's menu just reads "continental" to me. regardless, the place is charming—I prefer the second, back room and if enough people, that one large wood table—and has an old-world buzz that's becoming a rarity.

off-topic but what was the name of Eddy Kerkhof's original partner at Le Dome. It wasn't De Mori. driving me crazy.

Sep 16, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

IL PICOLLINO - ALWAYS OUTSTANDING

always enjoyed going there and was my go-to place when I had business lunches/dinners in the area.
but last time I was there (couple of years ago) owner Eddy Kerkhofs looked awful—very frail, walked with a cane. Does he still own it. Remember him from Le Dome, which is what the menu here reminds me of—High Continental.

Sep 16, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Great Outdoor Breakfast in Beach Areas: South Bay, MDR, SM, Malibu

I was taken to Fig Tree for lunch last week. I haven't been in maybe 20 years, when it was considered the "best" place on the Boardwalk. I can honestly say that was the worst lunch (we shared ahi tuna sandwich and chicken/sun dried tomato sandwich) that I have had in the last 20 years. Sides were a choice of organic greens or "caesar salad," which was just a heap of chopped up iceberg lettuce and croutons, and I hate croutons, so that left me w/ some leaves and extra dressing on the side, which was the best part of the meal.
The waiter looked embarrassed when he served our food. The crowd was strictly tourists and they were mostly eating breakfast, which is obviously what I should have stuck to. Can still taste that sandwich. Blech.

Sep 16, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Great Outdoor Breakfast in Beach Areas: South Bay, MDR, SM, Malibu

Geoffreys. Had a superb brunch there in July. Easy to park, even if you have to valet, and it always feel like you're stepping into a romantic shady terrace in the South of France. Every seat has an ocean view. The quality of the food is typically unpredictable because you never know who's in the kitchen and I only go once every two years or so, but we had excellent eggs benedict, soup, crab cakes, all washed down with a good bottle of white that was reasonably priced. Great service and even dolphins on cue.

Malibu Farm. New spot at the end of the pier. I'd put this on the "maybe" list. We had one good plate—cauliflower lavash—and 2 mediocre salads. My "fresh" guava lemonade was incredibly sour. But I love the interior and there's plenty of seating outside and upstairs. We went on Labor Day weekend, which meant the traffic and parking was insane so we ended up paying $10 to park at the pier just to save my sanity. http://www.malibu-farm.com

Malibu Pier Restaurant. This is another new place at the beginning of the pier, on both sides. It was practically empty when we walked past, so maybe it's better for cocktails/dinner. The brunch menu looks amazing—who knows about the actual food.
http://www.malibupierrestaurant.com/m...

Back on the Beach. Can't speak to their breakfast menu, but they've completely revamped their dinner and made it more appealing to the Santa Monica family crowd—lots of kale, organic, etc. Only issue is parking. Get there early for a spot and drive to the lot on the north side of the Annenberg Center.

Sep 16, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Frogs Organic Bakery

bought a fantastic selection of pastries from Frogs, which was at the Beverly Glen farmer's market this morning.
chocolate chip croissant, almond croissant, almond brioche, 2 different kinds of "beignets" (which looked and tasted more like donuts than a beignet)—apple cinnamon and chocolate/hazelnut.
all fantastic, with a flaky chewiness, if that's not a contradiction. everything is certified organic, not that I think I need organic flour/dry ingredients, but I guess it can't hurt.
they are based in Gardena and sell at different FMs and online as well as Good Eggs. http://www.frogsorganicbakery.com
if you do go to this (rather small) market, go early because the parking becomes more of a PITA than usual.

on a side note, the Beverly Glen Market, after closing to renovate a couple of years ago, is gone for good. I always thought the layout sucked—the deli, which had a great selection and where I got my "jew food" for holidays, was hidden in the back. it should have been upfront next to the bakery. the wine shop took up too much space in front. the produce and meat/poultry were always priced too high, even for this hood. still, I'll miss this place.

Sep 13, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Going to make Porchetta. Want to get my pork belly and loin this weekend. Any good spots on the Westside you can recommend?

I've bought from Peads & Barnetts—he's at the SM farmer's market every Wed. but not sure if he's there Sat. as well.

I saw this on Ming Tsai's show....slow and (seemingly) easy, even with coke.
http://www.ming.com/food-and-wine/rec...

Sep 11, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Cooking Classes in L.A.

not sure exactly what you're looking for in terms of cuisine, expertise or location, but here are some suggestions on the westside:

Surfas (their calendar is for Culver City and Costa Mesa)
http://www.cookingschoolsofamerica.co...

Gourmandise School, top floor of Santa Monica Place
https://www.cookingschoolsofamerica.c...

Chef's Inc. on Pico in West L.A.
http://www.chefsinc.net
but their calendar isn't linking, whatever that may mean

New School of Cooking, Culver City
http://www.newschoolofcooking.com/cla...

Sep 10, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Moderately priced large b-day cake

+1 for Ralphs. have always done a great job for my daughter's bday cake.

also recall hearing about Westchester Bakery from a neighbor when I lived in PDR. http://www.westchesterbakery.com

Sep 04, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Cornesh Pasty in LA?

Cornish (as in Cornwall) pasties at Kings Head, Santa Monica. I'm sure they are fine but doubt they are "standouts"—we stick to Scotch eggs and fish and chips there. then again, I don't find any pub food over here to be outstanding. they're also usually large and too heavy to be considered an appetizer.
http://www.yeoldekingshead.com/menus/...

other British pubs would probably have them, but their numbers are dwindling. the Kings Head in Studio City is supposedly closing. think Robin Hood in Sherman Oaks is still in business.

you could also try empanadas. always thought they and cornish pasties were related.

Sep 03, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Marina del Rey recommendations please

bummer on both--for her (third bust in a row?) and for PDR. I lived down there for a couple of years and it was always a dodge between the Shack and the crazy-ass decorations in Salerno or the bad BBQ joint across the street. Too bad because it's a sweet place that deserves something decent.

Sep 02, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Marina del Rey recommendations please

Playa Provisions in Playa del Rey, the new restaurant from Brooke Williamson and her husband. Group of 4 different restaurants that will take you from breakfast thru whiskey bar. haven't checked it out yet, but you can explore the Ballona Wetlands and PDR always feels a million miles from the Marina/Venice scene.
http://playaprovisions.com

Sep 02, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Brunch delivery

you probably need to define "brunch items" and your location.
most delis (Nate n Al's, Canter's) will deliver bagels, cream cheese, lox, etc.

can't imagine anyone delivering eggs benedict or omelets....or anyone wanting to eat egg dishes an hour after they've been cooked.

Aug 27, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Frida - Beverly Hills MANAGEMENT IS A JOKE

we like terrace at Bar Bouchon for HH. here's the online menu but it seems outdated—I'm pretty sure they offered more choices last month. plus every Thurs. during the summer there's a concert in the park—noisy but fun and always good people-watching.
http://bouchonbistro.com/storage/menu...
there's also a new bar at Porta Via. haven't been but heard from friends they have a good HH:
http://portaviabh.com/about/the-bar-r...

Aug 26, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Fun upbeat restaurants in Beverly Hills?

Bar Bouchon (not the restaurant upstairs) for happy hour/drinks on the terrace.

Il Pastaio for lunch—always crowded.

Nic's Martini Lounge for cocktails and the VodBox.

Jul 03, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area
1

Copper River salmon at Costco

you're quite right. heads were missing. I didn't realize they had been gutted as well—I'd have bought one to try. might return in a couple of weeks.

Jul 01, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Copper River salmon at Costco

I saw Ivory at SM Seafood a couple of months ago. Didn't buy any—thought it was an albino offspring. How does it taste exactly.

And what's with the Copper River backlash. It's still a gorgeous piece of salmon.

Jun 28, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Malibu in the Mornings

The Dume Room! dear lord—just a whiff from that front door was enough. never set foot inside. now it's too late, for better or worse.

Jun 28, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area
1

Malibu in the Mornings

as Spoonlicker says, there is no one center, just 20-odd miles of strung out neighborhoods, which makes it tough for any restaurant to build a dependable, year-round clientele.

I worked in Point Dume for 7 years, so I've eaten at the higher end and the blech and the in-between, and I watched as people tried to raise the bar and failed.

not sure how a "soft spot" for Taverna Tony was interpreted as "getting excited about tired Greek food in a shopping center." If you are going to succeed, and your name doesn't end in Ellison, then high-traffic Cross Creek or the shopping center where Ralphs is or Point Dume or Trancas seem the most central and logical places to open. regardless, you will be dependent on locals, not seasonal homeowners or tourists, for your business.

here's my reality check—I wish you great success w/ your dream restaurant.

Jun 28, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area
1

Copper River salmon at Costco

I'm waaaay late for my annual Copper River salmon run at Costco. Finally got some today at Van Nuys—$10.99 a lb.
But this year, for the first time, they are selling whole CR salmon (in the seafood cases they put out on weekends, and no they will not fillet it for you) for $7.99 lb. Each weighs 3 to 4 lbs. A pretty good deal if you can deal with boning/scaling.
Can't recall if people have had luck freezing these—anyone?

Jun 28, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area
1

Malibu in the Mornings

Apples and oranges. Venice has a deep multi-ethnic demographic base that right now favors hipsters, tech start-ups and tatted, edgy chefs. Malibu has a strong year-round population but is still seasonal, and restaurants rely on that summer surge. Sage, Savory and even The Sunset started out strong and faded or closed. There have been numerous places between Carbon Beach and the pier that have failed.
Tra di Noi to me is like the old La Scala...classic Italian, maybe not brilliant, but certainly better than "just ok."
also have a soft spot for Taverna Tony. Dommy can do a light lunch solo or order the lamb and take it home for dinner w/ hubby.

Jun 28, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Malibu in the Mornings

Cafe Vida, hugely popular w/ Palisades crowd. I can usually find street parking in the a.m. Great smoothies, veggie quesadillas....

Malibu Country Kitchen, always a line for sandwiches/deli. If you want humongous pastries/cakes/sweets, this is the place.

Tra di Noi at Malibu Country Mart for a higher-priced lunch. Otherwise grab a salad/smoothie at John's Garden and hang out at one of the tables in the shade.

+ one for Lily's—love their chicken quesadillas. either order ahead or be prepared to wait.

haven't tried the new Malibu Farm on the pier but the menu looks great and it's a place that probably could use a boost to stay in business.

Farmer's markets in Malibu and PP on Sundays, alas.

Jun 27, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

"Old Palm Springs"

RIP also Ken Kellogg's brilliantly original Chart House in Rancho Mirage, which burned down a couple of years ago.
http://www.pspreservationfoundation.o...

I'll let PS'ers address your request for Mexican. All I can say is do not go to Las Casuelas—horrible. Blue Coyote much better even though it's not mc modern.

on a final note. Spencer's at the Tennis Club isn't bad, but the renovation of the classic Paul Williams/A. Quincy Jones building didn't leave much intact. don't recall if the oval swimming pool remains.

May 19, 2014
iOnLa in California

"Old Palm Springs"

yes, Johnny Costa's sounds right.

and if you're seeking Continental, then you need to check out Wally's. less cool rat pack, more country club, but still swinging.

May 19, 2014
iOnLa in California
1

"Old Palm Springs"

at the top of your list should be Melvyn's at the Ingleside Inn.
http://www.inglesideinn.com/melvyns_r...
next: Le Vallauris, owned by Paul Bruggemans.
http://www.levallauris.com
then: Wally's Desert Turtle in Rancho Mirage
http://www.wallys-desert-turtle.com
fourth is a classic Italian joint on the right hand side as you drive into PS between the Tramway Gas Station and Chino Canyon. can't remember the dat-blatted name but they had an RIP sign up when Harold Robbins passed away. classic, but may be closed.

May 19, 2014
iOnLa in California

Suggestions for day in LA with 3 year old

Cross Creek, Malibu, for lunch at Tra di Noi. not oceanside but you can sit outside right next to grassy area with small playground and then browse expensive boutiques.
skip Marina del Rey and Venice: Abbot Kinney is too hipster for small kids and the boardwalk is horrible.
Santa Monica is kid-central—3rd St. Promenade (Loteria Grill) or SM Pier (the Albright) or Montana Ave. (R+D Kitchen)
Spago always treated our daughter royally but I find the new revamp cold plus there are plenty of newer places to try.
for a mall: Westside Pavilion has a kids play area on one side of mall and Westside Tavern on the other.

Apr 18, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area

Dan Tanas - what to order?

spaghetti caruso—pasta and chicken liver. my idea of heaven.

Apr 09, 2014
iOnLa in Los Angeles Area