Saturday, March 24, 2007

Everybody loves pizza!

Last Thursday was my 'L.A. Day' for work. As I was driving into Beverly Hills, I was thinking Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali's new pizza joint Mozza just might be nearby. Punch it in my nav and there it was...3 miles away from my final destination!

You know, I read a lot of glowing reviews and then the ones that worn you about the long lines and craziness, but I encountered none of that. There were about 10 people waiting (it was lunchtime), and got in without a reservation. Since I was alone I opted to sit at the bar where you can watch them weave their pizza magic. The pie I ordered had spring onions, roasted garlic, Coach Goat Cheese and bacon. Coach Farms is owned and operated by Mario's in-laws. Keepin it in the family!

I've always made my first judgement of any pizza by the crust. It's got to be cracker thin and very crisp. They get an A+ here. The pizza was certainly tasty, (and I'm sure I could quickly become very unpopular here...) but I would have made some changes with the toppings. Don't get me wrong, great combination of ingredients, and not overpriced ($14), but some minor changes non the less. The roasted garlic was delish... but gigantic. Huge cloves dotted the pizza and I felt it would been more enhancing if the cloves were smaller. The cheese and the bacon were outstanding, but the springs onions were cut into 3 inch long stings, which promptly embedded themselves into every space between my teeth they could find.

Did all this stop me??? Pllllleeeeease! It was extremely good, just not one I'd order during lunch time again. The staff was unpretentious and attentive. Small space...fills up quickly. Go for the bar. It's much more fun!

I struck up a conversation with an older couple while waiting to get in. They lived near by and made a weekly lunch or dinner trip there. They did tell me dinner reservations are at 1 to 1 1/2 months out, but you can almost always get in for lunch with no problem. The husband said he was a 'pizza hound' and they hadn't served him a bad one yet. Would I go back for dinner (or on a weekend)?, no. bet!

Pizza $14
water- $0


Mozza Pizzeria
641 N Highland
Los Angeles, Ca. 90036

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Can we eat or what?

Should I be bragging about that??? When the food is great... I say yes!

Took a little mini vacation to see my fiance Mike in Portland. He planned a little over night road trip to Seattle and what a great time. We ate our way back to Portland! Thursday before we left we checked out Ken's Artisan Pizza. We ordered a classic Margarita. It was evident the ingredients were fresh and nothing beats a brick oven, but the crust was lacking. We like the classic Sicilian Pizza's. Paper thin and crisp. The center of the pizza needed just a few more minutes to get there. We ordered a Sausage & Olive to keep our Margarita company. They each served 1-2 and yes.... we polished them both off (along with some vino & beer!)
Forgive me... I thought I was being such a diligent food blooger by taking notes & menus, but got home and can't find them!

Friday we get to Seattle and check into our hotel in the Queen Anne neighborhood. We asked the front desk for a lunch recommendation and landed on Phuket. This was our lucky day!!

We started off with mini spring rolls, then Mike ordered Chicken Curry Rice and I had a Tom Kha Gai with Chicken Curry. We'd never seen Chicken Curry Rice prepared with the curry blended into the rice (versus laddled over it)but Mike was in love. My Tom Kha Gai was good, but a little sweeter than I like. I prefer it tart and spicy. NEXT!

Mike had stayed up late and researched someplace for breakfast (it's my favorite meal!)
So before heading back to Portland, we hit Portage Bay Cafe. This was a keeper! The picture does not do it justice! I ordered Eggs Benedict with a twist...Spicy black black bean-pancetta cakes, homemade organic cornbread, with our house-smoked tomato and saffron sauce. It was incredible!!!!

Once back in Portland we did what we do best....explore the city. Mike needs a little something to go with the pot and a half of coffee he's consumed, so how about some chocolate at Sweet Masterpiece!
He went for the beautiful Chocolate Tower...layers of chocolate on chocolate and a few additonal pieces 'to go'.

Vino Paradiso is the hot ticket for some great wine and even better small plates. The Cheese and Salami plates were great, but the real treat was the Filet topped with Sun Dried Tomato & Garlic Butter with a side of Butternut Squash & Parmesian Risotto.

Before this turns into something imitating a poorly written book...I'll shut it down, but not without leaving you with a 'closer'. ;)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Whaaa.....I miss my 'Joe'!

I seem to be breaking down...literally. I've been exhausted (I mean REALLY exhausted) for some time now. Then I pinched a nerve in my back...this week I have the flu! What the #@*%?! On top of doc says to cut the coffee. Talk about killing me!

Thursday I was heading into L.A. to see clients and thought it the perfect time to hit one of my favorite coffee/tea haunts, The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa in Culver City. It's a little joint that backs up to Sony Studio's on Washington. They roast their beans daily and the smell alone drove me crazy. I imagined diving head first into the sacks of beans waiting their turn to hop in the roaster. Knowing how great the coffee is, I thought I'd pick up some tea. There is nothing like great brewed tea. I know it sounds snobbish, but I won't get tea from Taco Bell unless it's brewed. That concentrate/machine stuff is horrible!

After perusing the large selection I landed on a quarter pound each of Yerba Mate',Cinnamon Apple Spice, Hibiscus Flowers & Cherry Senchea. I've had a cup of each and they're all very good. My favorite is Yerba Mate', I'm sure due to the small amount of caffeine it contains as well as it's neutral medium bodied flavor.

It was a little to dark to get a decent picture of the inside so you'll have to check it out for yourself. It's just what you'd expect...small, a little eccentric and a great cup of brew...whatever you choose!

The Conservatory for Coffee, Tea & Cocoa
10117 Washington Blvd
Culver City, Ca. 90232

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The most beautiful things.......

Last weekend I went to Dim Sum lunch with several food blogging friends and I asked the question "Anyone know of a good French Bakery". Who I am kidding.... I was in the presence of Chubby Panda and Elmo (O.K....I knew one of them could give me the skinny). Sure enough Panda Man gave it up. Not one, but TWO bakeries right next to each other. I thought Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie was exceptional. You need to understand that I do not like sweets. I know.... it's weird, but I never have. I can't even get a graham cracker down, but I think baked goods and pastries are some of the most beautiful foods there are. So pictures and Boulangerie's reputation will have to do.

That's all I have to say about that!

Boulangerie Pierre & Patisserie
14352 Brookhurst St
Garden Grove, Ca. 92843
801 E Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, Ca 91776