marlyd's Profile

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Definition of a fresh bagel?

Wow I've had completely experiences with Ess-A-Bagel: I ate one a week for six years and they were always very soft! To me bagels should have a shiny hard layer of crust, with a soft, yet bready and chewy interior.

Apr 05, 2010
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Definition of a fresh bagel?

Exactly. I was going to tell all my friends about this place, but now I won't, and won't go back. The bagels were sitting out on the deli counter, not airtight. They were not hard as rocks but hard like day-old bread, with the tiniest amount of give when you press on it and too hard to easily take a bite.

Apr 05, 2010
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Definition of a fresh bagel?

Yesterday morning I was thrilled to find this cute Malibu gourmet shop selling the famed H&H Bagels of my previous New York life. They were stacked at the deli counter and I happily bought a bag of them to contribute to the house brunch I was heading to.

I asked an employee twice if they were fresh because I just couldn't believe my luck. The employee said, yes they are, they're made every morning (maybe they are shipped in par-baked?), and the day-old ones are sold as such by the other breakfast pastries. Well you can't just bring bagels to a house, so I picked up a brick of Philadelphia cream cheese and some salmon lox too.

Everyone at brunch was thrilled about the bagels, knowing of H&H, and someone reached into the bag and did something I should have: he felt one. It was hard. They all were. So I called the market and told them what happened. They unsympathetically insisted these bagels were made fresh that morning, and said after sitting on the counter for a few hours will get harder. I replied "I am from the land of bagels, and I've had bagels that were sitting out for most of a day and they weren't this hard." The cold person on the phone said she didn't know what else to tell me. Well!

At that point I looked at my cream cheese brick and noticed the $4.50 price tag, and also noticed the salmon cream cheese container that was made up for me was left half empty probably for the same price as being full.

What I'd like to know is, besides making the mistake of not paying enough attention at the market, am I crazy? A 2-hour old bagel will not be as hard as a day-old bagel, right? My friends and I decided to halve and toast them all for the heck of it, which produced a product similar to a thick wedge of melba toast. Hard to the teeth, and a big waste of money. Unless something about making bagels in LA makes them dry out faster. Anyone have any ideas?

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Malibu Kitchen & Gourmet Country Market
3900 Cross Creek Rd, Malibu, CA 90265

Apr 05, 2010
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Seared foie gras in Los Angeles?

Hey thanks for the tips everyone!

Oct 14, 2009
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Seared foie gras in Los Angeles?

I understand what you're saying. I could have said what I was saying without suggesting that. The waiter said their terrine was amazing, it just wasn't what I wanted.

Oct 11, 2009
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Seared foie gras in Los Angeles?

Hello,

I took my friend to Church & State assuming there would be seared foie gras on the menu (you know, per the other French items on the menu like escargot, steak frites, etc.). Alas they only served foie gras terrine. Now this terrine was probably a wonderful dish, but for my friend's first foie experience I really had my heart set on her tasting seared foie gras.

Does anyone know where this is a menu staple in LA? I looked at Animal's menu, which changes daily, and they had foie gras as an ingredient in a dish or two but a) it may not be offered daily, and b) it may not be seared.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks!

Oct 11, 2009
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Zaatar Bread with Labneh in LA?

Hi Chowhounds,

In NYC one of my favorite dishes was at a midtown takeout place called Bread & Olives. They serve Middle Eastern fare (shawarma, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, hummus, tabouleh etc.) as well as a delicious hand-tossed pizza called zaatar bread.

Of the many plates offered, my boss and I fell in love with the "labneh with zaatar and vegetables" which was simply the pizza mentioned above--a round flatbread disk baked in the charcoal oven with an olive oil & zaatar spice blend--fresh out of the oven topped with chopped tomatoes, kalamata olives, fresh mint and labneh (dollop of ricotta-like cheese), then rolled it up for $7.

This sandwich is such an incredible taste experience! However I wonder if such a thing can be had in LA. I've read about the bread itself served with hummus at Celadon, and I've had a labneh appetizer at Carnival, but not the sandwich itself. Anyone have an idea where I could start looking?

Thank you!

Aug 09, 2007
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

NYC Theater district pics

Hi there - I worked in the food biz in NY for many years. Live in LA now but happy to help. Lots of options for you, here are some:

Pongsri Thai on 48th St btwn 7th & 8th - Thai
Carmine's on 44th St. btwn 7th & 8th - Family-style Italian
Pigalle on 8th Ave at corner of 48th - French bistro/brasserie
Bali Nusa Indah on 8th btwn 45th & 46th - Indonesian rice table

Hope that helps!

Jul 10, 2007
marlyd in Manhattan

ok..where to eat @ 3rd st. farmers market

Yes we do all have our opinions! My favorites are:

Phil's - get a cheesesteak with fries, real good and this from a person who used to live near Philly
Gumbo Pot - very good too. Ok not the sides, but the fried fish plate and the gumbo are worthy
Banana Leaf - had something and don't remember but quite flavorful
Loteria - get the chicken nachos or the mole tacos
Brazilian - personally thought the meat tasted great, you can't get this kind of Brazilian BBQ experience for this cheap (just watch your eyes being larger than your stomach and lay off too many starches)
Marcel - it's true, their warm goat cheese salad was the worst example of this I ever had and yes their store prices are too high. But the environment is charming for an outdoor dining experience.

Good luck!
(ps: I liked your method of organizing markethej, sorry for copying :)

May 16, 2007
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Calling all Seattle hounds . . .

Well for the big splurge it's gotta be the Herbfarm. Sure it costs about $180-$200 per person, you can only dine Thursday-Sunday and the meal takes between 4-5 hours, but everyone should dine there once in their life, it's lovely. Hopefully when your parents are there the dinner theme will rock. Go here and click on restaurant: www.theherbfarm.com

Re: Wild Ginger, yes go for lunch - 2 favorite dishes are 7 Flavor Beef and the Duck with Pancakes: http://www.wildginger.net/fromourkitchen.html

And Dahlia Lounge, yes go for dinner - favorite dishes include the Tuscan grilled bread salad, any pasta, and their famous Coconut Cream Pie: http://www.tomdouglas.com/dahlia/dinn...

Apr 25, 2007
marlyd in Pacific Northwest

Brasa or Restaurant Zoe?

Well considering I live in LA, I don't want that! :)
I will walk around and check all these places out when I get there. Thanks everyone!

Apr 25, 2007
marlyd in Pacific Northwest

Anyone know the name of wine bar with...?

Yeah I was there once and thought it was a fun system, we did $10 per person, but since I'm not a huge fan of Italian wine I didn't love it. Other negs = it was hard to find a seat, and when mixing all those tastes eventually everything tastes the same. I had a better time at Bottle Rocket, where if you get a group it's easy to find a seat and with many bottles in the mid 20's to 30's range, it's easy to afford a bottle or two to split instead.

Apr 23, 2007
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Brasa or Restaurant Zoe?

Thanks everyone! Sounds like an easy decision.

Apr 23, 2007
marlyd in Pacific Northwest

Brasa or Restaurant Zoe?

Hi - I'm in So Cal and flying up to Seattle Memorial Day weekend.

My dining plan is all mapped out save for one evening -- where should I eat, between the 2 places above -- Brasa or Restaurant Zoe? Years ago a friend raved about Brasa, and once I walked by and it looked incredible. However while researching this trip I also came across Zoe. How to decide? Each isn't open for lunch and I only have 1 dinner opportunity left. In addition, I also haven't ever been to Fandango or Flying Fish. So really of those 4 places (most others I've been to) is there a favorite for dining at the bar?

Thanks!

Apr 23, 2007
marlyd in Pacific Northwest

Red Velvet Cupcakes or Cake?

Hi - Someone already said Sprinkles, though I'm not sure what NB means, so here it is again http://www.sprinklescupcakes.com/
I went there and didn't get the red velvet cupcake, my friend got the red velvet and after 1 bite of his I pretty much kicked myself for not ordering one for myself. One bite was seriously not enough.

Apr 23, 2007
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

buon thit nuong in LA?

the noodles in this dish aren't necessarily hot, but the meat on top is...

Apr 03, 2007
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Dinner with younger client

Agreed -- forget about the choices above. I think you should take the client to Public and after that have a cocktail at Pravda. Of the Danny Meyer's, Eleven Madison Park is awesome, a little formal but very impressive and NY-ey. Also could go the West Village route and dine at Employees Only, or go to one of the more casual Mario Batali spots like Lupa. Last but not least, out-of-towners are always impressed with Spice Market.

Apr 03, 2007
marlyd in Manhattan

buon thit nuong in LA?

Hi - this dish of grilled steak on rice noodles is my favorite Vietnamese dish and it seems in LA I am only coming across Pho shops that serve mostly soup. If anyone knows where to find non-soup items like this, or this specifically, that would be great! Thanks.

Apr 03, 2007
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

$1000 pizza

The owner of this restaurant has had poor judgement for years. He spends tons of money on tourist advertising, and every ad features his face. I'm sorry, how will that make people want to go to his restaurant? Perhaps since that hasn't worked, last year he began the gimmick routine, first with his "free bottled water" deal that I think ran as a full page in the Times, and now this pizza (which I also saw on Today and Al or Matt said "that's a lot of caviar.") Anyway the only reason I've noticed this guy is because for years I was placing restaurant ads myself, and every time I saw another ad with him in it I cringed.

Mar 18, 2007
marlyd in Manhattan

Best Breakfast Santa Monica/Brentwood

Hi - There are 2 thoughts... and forgive if these aren't exactly in your locations I'm still getting the lay of the land.
1) Go to City Bakery in the Brentwood Country Mart. For a real breakfast it might cost you $10 but you can also get a famous pretzel croissant (or a scone or a muffin) and coffee for about $5. http://www.thecitybakery.com/
2) Check out Vienna Cafe on Melrose at N. Fuller. They are known for their eggs benefict on pretzel rolls (I really didn't intend for this to be a pro-pretzel post but it just happened!), and they also do that LA thing of serving pasta with egg & bacon, really good for out-of-towners, costs about $10 if I recall. http://www.viennacafe.com/breakfast.htm

Mar 18, 2007
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Coldstone Creamery

I think how you feel about it depends on whether or not you pick the right combo of flavors & ice cream when you're spending all that money. My first try was a hit, so any time I go back (1x per year?) I get the same thing and love it every time. It's their "Cheesecake Fantasy" creation which is cheesecake ice cream, graham cracker crust, strawberries and blueberries BUT (a key but) I substitute M&Ms for the blueberries. Yes it's expensive at $5 for a small but that price every now and then is worth this winning taste sensation.

Mar 15, 2007
marlyd in Chains

Best Nachos?

Don't forget to try Loteria in the Farmer's Market by the Grove (Fairfax & 3rd). They have 2 versions: chicken and also shredded beef. Veeryyy good!

Mar 15, 2007
marlyd in Los Angeles Area

Chile con Queso in LA

Hi - I was actually looking for a good LA chile con queso place today for a friend coming into town who requested it. Followed up the Banderas tip above and wanted to mention that they don't serve chile con queso. That's what they told me! Just wanted you all to know. However Don Cuco in Glendale does, just haven't tried it yet.

Mar 15, 2007
marlyd in Los Angeles Area