We used to have a Studebaker when I was growing up. I have no idea where my my dad found a 1950's, black convertible Skylark with red interiors, but I thought it was very cool. People teased us and called it the Seaver-mobile.
I always liked their logo:
I thought of that car again when I recently spotted this painted billboard near the L.A. convention center, about to be covered up with new modern signage:
There's nothing like a combo of fishnets and mary janes to add a certain gamine panache to a look
I liked this photo, too because not only does it feel timeless, it reminds me of the tap shoes I had long ago when I dreamed of dancing like Ginger Rodgers. Emphasis on the dream.
These are incredible," she said, "they were a gift."
There was something mesmerizing watching her carefully unwrap the delicate tissue paper stacks filled with the thinnest wafer cookie I'd ever seen.
She offered both sugar and spice versions. And what a treat. Simple, minimalist and spectacular: their full flavor balanced with the great taste of real butter...and certainly it wasn't that decadent to have so many -- because they were hardly much cookie at all, they were whisper thin, right?
I've been thinking of them ever
since. Every brand I've seen prides themselves in no artificial flavors
and all made with real butter. Amen.
These cookies are amazing and addictive and perfect for tea. Or at the end of a meal with some fruit or sorbet. Use the broken end bits as part of a crumble topping. If you don't eat them all first.
You can order the original from the old Salem Baking Co
Or Trader Joes has a really good lemon version
Where ever you find them, a handy delight to stash in your pantry.
I always get tempted by those little pumpkins popping up everywhere in October.
But they usually end up just perched on my windowsill or doorstep...so I really liked this inspired use of the tiny vegetable. A really nice way to spiff up a simple side and make it oh so swanky on the plate:
or a savory soup laced with cumin...
Ahh, that last piece of bread that sits in the fridge for a few days. It has seen better days and is not the most inspiring item. Or is it?
I'm hungry and craving an an elegant nibble.
Well, maybe this quick fix:
Cut it in half on the diagonal, four times and there will be 8 little triangles.
Spread each with a thin layer of butter
Add some smoked sock-eye salmon,
Here's the fun part:
Skip the laborious and messy peeling apart layers of fish...
Simply cut triangles of the salmon the same size as the bread.
Add some fragrant, fresh dill, a squeeze of lemon and voila!
Snazzy lunch snack .
Might be even better with a glass of champagne ...
My grandfather used to fly a plane like this one.
There's something dreamy and magical about this picture.
I'd like to step in to the photo and fly away for a while.
This photo is by Martina Woll
A couple of years ago when Vinoteque first opened in their former Culver City location, I liked their creative policy allowing you to pick a wine from their extensive bottle list and drink it by the glass if you committed to 2 glasses. Once that bottle was opened, a TV screen would display the name of the special bottle now open for others to taste by the glass, as well. Not sure I was thrilled with a huge monitor as part of the decor but appreciated the very user-friendly policy behind it.
But I confess, the location was way out of territory for me coming from downtown and I never made it back.
When I heard Vinoteque had reopened on Melrose -- that alone tempted me to give it a try.
They took over what long ago was the Tommy Tang location near Gardner. Right away it projects a completely different vibe. In Culver City, the decor could be described as, er...Bunker/Lounge.
Here, the entrance finds you in a pretty garden setting that feels very Mediterranean on the side of the restaurant. It's lush and bathed in pretty ambient lighting. Plants growing in boxes against the brick walls are herbs and veggies used in the kitchen -- sweet.
I took a quick look at the interior looking for my friends but since they hadn't arrived yet ( I'll admit I am a pushover for a lush and comfy al fresco patio), I settled outside in an especially appealing corner banquette in the back, strewn with cushy pillows. Also was happy to be far away from that garish monitor hanging over the bar.
The Wine bar's transformation does not end with the atmosphere. The menu is completely updated with a new chef and what a good change it is.
The food offerings have a global feel with all sorts of sophisticated and delicious small bites including this enticing "all" charcuterie platter:
We were three and it was the perfect size to share but you can get smaller versions, too.
Also good: The lamb meatballs, the roasted bone marrow crostini - an acquired taste but I love and not always easy to find.
On the wine list, the by glass
menu is short and the bottle list is several pages long, encouraging
you to opt for exploring something intriguing with the 2 glasses deal
-- easy enough if you go with a friend.
The interior seemed perfectly fine with an impressive, curved sculptural wine rack but it is the back garden that makes me want to go back soon with friends to share more goodies.
7469 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA. 90046
A couple of weeks ago when I was in New York, I went to see to see Jenny Allen's one woman show, I Was Sick and then I Got Better in the East Village. I predict this will return for a longer run -- it was terrific: smart, poignant and funny.
Knowing the theater was in the East village on 4th street, I remembered there was a wine bar one block over that I really wanted to try, Degustation. In August, I had actually eaten at their sister restaurant, Harvest Supper, in New Canaan and was so impressed with the stellar food that I was thrilled to be able to slip in to their New York wine bar that night.
I used to live in the East village, and still have great affection for that neighborhood. Yes, of course it has changed but I was happy to be strolling there again, enjoying the wonderful vibrancy on the street.
Degustation is the perfect example of how the neighborhood has been upgraded. Discretely tucked behind an elegant but unassuming exterior, you could actually pass right by the place. It actually is 2 restaurants at one address on East 5th street, although each is completely separate once you're inside. (The other is the well regarded sushi Jewel Bako -- but I must save that for another post).
Degustation seats only 21 people, all at a sushi style bar:
There, you get to see the young Spanish/American chef, Wesley Genovart, deftly juggling pans and executing elegant surprising small tapas plates right in front of you.
The artful, dark lighting and stone walls make for a very cozy spot.
The service is excellent with very well informed staff expertly steering you to wines and dishes to suit your tastes.
We had an amazing broccoli rabe with pineapple foam -- not at all overwrought, just a surprising and magical combo of flavors.
Other standout plates:
Perfectly tender and grilled octopus with avocado:
A bright, fresh crudo:
A fantastic cheese plate with side by side sweet pairings including a golden chunk of honey comb:
I'm not overlooking the wine...we tasted a white and a red -- and I know this is lame, but I was so busy enjoying my meal that I didn't write down the names of either winery...but I can attest that they were exactly in tune to our specific requests and reasonable.
This is a very special spot that is so professionally run and the quality of the cuisine and wine makes it shine. Wish we had one of these intimate perfect spots in Los Angeles.