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planning a visit to La brea bakery...

You must go to the La Brea Bakery. Some of their pressed sandwiches are divine! My favorite is a turkey, smoked mozzarella, balsamic onion, bacon and sage pressed sandwich - smoky, sweet, salty, filling and delicious. My bf swears by the "Autostrada" sandwich which is all sorts of meats, a thinner slice of cheese than the turkey and hot cherry peppers. Autostrada is richer but ultra satisfying for a meat lover without being TOO much food for lunch.

Also, Susina Bakery (on Beverly Blvd. just west of La Brea) has a deeeeeelicious berry bread pudding made with brioche.

Feb 23, 2007
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area

Mozza Prices

Yes yes yes. I agree as well. I've been 3 times and each time was underwhelmed but wanted to like it so badly. I think, at best, it's a good lunch place. The butterscotch budino was heavenly but the pizza itself...well, it is, indeed, quite naan-like.

Plus, on one of the occasions, Silverton chose to leave on Verrrry burnt parts of the crust (normally she'll cut the air bubbles) which made my bf's pizza inedible.

Feb 23, 2007
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area

Best night to order fish at LA restaurants?

Does anyone have insider's info or particular insight into when fish will be the freshest at L.A.'s nicer restaurants? I've sometimes heard that great restaurants manage to get fresh fish 7 days a week and sometimes heard "Never order fish on Monday" (I think in Bourdain's book). I'm trying to suss out the truth. Can anyone help?

Feb 15, 2007
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area

Decanting CDPs

I have to politely interject here... it seems that your only straightforward recommendation here has been "decant for 10 minutes."

I strongly disagree...5
These young CDP's you mention could benefit from up to 5-6 hours of time in the decanter before they reach their peak and then start to go downhill...

So, in my opinion... Open the bottle(s) and pour it into a decanter about 4-5 hours before dinner and these young wines should be at their finest.

Cheers, and enjoy!

-Justin

Jan 21, 2007
ladymonty in Wine

Vietnamese Restaurants in/around Hollywood

Finally went there and oh my goodness, had such a fantastic meal. It's funny, Michelia generally doesn't have good reviews here on Chowhound but I absolutely loved it. Everything tasted very fresh, the flavors shined...I would recommend to anyone. Thanks for the suggestion.

Jan 08, 2007
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area

Ultimate Restaurants 2006

BLD
Spago
Jar
La Buca
Grace

Dec 22, 2006
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area

Friend Likes Caymus Cabs....What should I get in its' stead?

I'm tempted to disagree with most responses here. I don't think you'd need to substitute a Caymus with another Napa/Rutherford Cab.

But first... if you DO want an older vintage of Caymus, 2020 Wine Merchants in West L.A. has the 1997... they don't say so on their site but if you call them you can get it. 2020wines.com

But it sounds to me like your friend likes a good fruit-forward California Cab with good legnth and tannins that are not too austere or present. That's basically what Caymus is all about. Yes, the '04 is their best vintage (for this sort of thing) in years, but for people with a fancy for Caymus, the "Justin Isosceles" is usually even better. It's about a $55-80 dollar wine, depending on where you buy it and what vintage. The 1999, 2001, and 2002 are all great and all ready to drink now. It's a cabernet with obvious fruit-forward character and complexity that satisfies most cal-cab-loving palates.

Dec 20, 2006
ladymonty in Wine

Good red wine to go with a cheeseboard?

A fantastic pairing for cheese would be a young, ripe Zinfandel. Rosenblum makes some ultra-ripe Zins that go great with rich cheeses. It's hard to find just one wine to go with all of your cheeses, given that they have varying degrees of richness... but to ensure that your wine doesn't disappear under the richest ones, I'd go with a Rosenblum Zin... especially if you can get your hands on a Rockpile, Lyons, or Hendry's vineyard output from '02, '03, or '04.

I do however get the impression that you are in the UK... in which case finding Rosenblum Zins would be very difficult. You'd have better luck finding a Ridge Zinfandel... I'm pretty sure they have them at Berry Bros & Rudd. Any vintage and vineyard of a Ridge Zin would be pretty great with assorted cheeses.

Dec 20, 2006
ladymonty in Wine

Expensive Red Wine for X-mas Dinner

I have 2 suggestions... both of which have been tried and proven to go with rich, hearty, meaty dishes.

#1: 2002 Staglin Cabernet 20th Anniversary: This is very, very hard to find but it's better than any mass-produced high-end California Cab like Joseph Phelps or Caymus or Dominus. You really just have to taste this to understand how incredible it is. It is not in need of any serious aging... a 2-hour decant will open up the wine just fine.

#2: 1998 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape... this wine's age really DOES matter... this is a pretty perfect CdP to drink right now and it is probably one of the most food-versatile wines available. It is definitely at its peak... its texture is like velvet and its finish is LOOOONG! This is another one that must be tasted to undetstand how incredible it is.

Both these wines are very hard to find but within your price-range... try www.wine-searcher.com (and register for Pro) to find your nearest source.

Enjoy!

Dec 17, 2006
ladymonty in Wine

Wine pairing for PB&J?

I am planning to write a blog on the best wine pairings for peanut butter jelly sandwiches but I realize that I haven't got much of a clue where to start.

I've tried a California Viognier (Rosenblum 2004) which paired pretty nicely, but given how it's winter I'd really like to find a red wine to have with late-night pb&j snacks.

Tonight I had a Beaujolais Villages (2005) that went OK with some peanut butter crackers, but other than that I don't really know where to start.

Any suggestions?

Nov 28, 2006
ladymonty in Wine

Great everyday red wine

19 dollars at pavillions in hancock park right now if you have a pavillions club card.

Nov 23, 2006
ladymonty in Wine

Great everyday red wine

Pinot Noir: Casa de la Cruz - Sonoma Coast ($15)

Zinfandel: Rosenblum Richard Sauret ($20)

Syrah blend: Rosenblum Chateau La Paws ($10)

Cabernet: Justin - Paso Robles ($18)

Nov 21, 2006
ladymonty in Wine

Favorite Pasta Dish

I know most people crave a bowl of delicious pasta at some point or another. I'm curious to get some recommendations of what your favorite pasta dish is. Could be neighborhood trattoria to Spago, tomato based, cream sauce, whatever your fancy. Any pasta dish that makes you smile when you think about it....

Nov 10, 2006
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area

Vietnamese Restaurants in/around Hollywood

I would love to hear any suggestions about great Vietnamese spots in the Hollywood/KTown/Wilshire areas (if there are any). Anyone?

Nov 02, 2006
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area

la terza: unimpressed

I'm very sad to say that I agree with the subject heading for this post. However, even more than unimpressed, I was sorely disappointed without having even tried the food. We went to La Terza to celebrate a special occasion. We were seated promptly but it took 10 long minutes before someone came to ask us if we wanted water. We had made a reservation several days earlier but were still seated at an incredibly noisy, trafficky table. We asked for another table and were given one. But again, once we were moved, we waited another goddamned 10 minutes before deciding to get the hell out of there.

Now, I hate to be so harsh on a place because we've had a WOnderful experience at Angelini. But this was too uncomfortable and annoying to pretend we were having a good nightl. We paid for our water and left, heading over to Spago instead where we had a truly wonderful and delicious and comfortable meal.

Regrettably, I never want to give La terza another try.

Nov 02, 2006
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area

Best Burger in LA?

The burgers at 25 Degrees in the Roosevelt Hotel. Choose your cheeses and fancier toppings. The burgers are a bit pricy but so delicious and satisfying.

Oct 30, 2006
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area

Is there any decent Indian food in the Hollywood area?

I've recently gone to a little Indian restaurant in a strip mall on Sunset b/w Fuller and Poinsettia called Gate of India. Unassuming little joint but some really delicious Indian food. Favorites so far are any of the meats in the Vindaloo sauce...delicious. The onion kulcha bread is fantastic and I would be happy just eating that with some mango chutney on the side. If you like spicy, as I do, make sure to ask for very spicy dishes, as they tend to be milder than some other places.

Oct 30, 2006
ladymonty in Los Angeles Area