Saturday, October 17, 2015



This pumpkin sticky bun at Republique was very, very good. I savored every single bite. I have eaten at this place of joy and wonder a few times now and it makes me so happy. Walter and Margarita Manzke have created a thing of (food) beauty with their restaurant.

I can be a little jaded about LA food, but Republique is everyday magic* and has quickly made its way to the top of my take-people-I-love-here list. On my first visit, I had their salmon tartine and it was magnificent. It sounded simple on paper, but when I took a bite of all the components together, it was like time stopped. But, that's what Republique does; it surprises you about something you thought you knew (case in point: smoked salmon and some type of bread. I have had this combination many times in life, so didn't have high expectations. But, goodness, gracious, it was so good.)

If you go for dinner, you must have their bread, order something with butter and/or cheese and save ample room for dessert. They really know what they're doing on all fronts. Two things to keep in mind:

1. it is super popular. Patience is a virtue, but maybe have a snack before you leave the house; if you're going for dinner, make a reservation.

2. speaking of dinner, the price point veers towards "celebration" level. Fortunately, they have their menus with prices on their site (it is so helpful when restaurants do this!).

So, in short: I love Republique and hope you do/will, too.

624 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

*this phrase means that even though I understand real people make this food, it boggles my mind.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Milo and Olive

This photo is of a recent breakfast of baked skillet eggs at Milo and Olive, which is a major favorite of mine. I love everything about this place: THE BREAD (this is one of Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb's restaurants; she is a master of baking and basically a local hero in my opinion), the coffee (they serve Caffe Luxxe, which is really strong and superb), the food in general, the beautiful space and the friendly and professional staff. The first time I ate here, I think I had a margherita pizza and it blew my mind. The crust was hold-the-phone good and I was telling people it was the best pizza in the city. Nowadays, I come in for breakfast, which makes for a wonderful way to start the day, especially during those moments when you need a pick-me-up because you're not living in Paris right now, for example.

But, I need to visit at a pizza appropriate time and have that glorious crust again. It was a pizza miracle. Also, if you're anything like me, you may daydream about having all your meals there like an heiress from a Wes Anderson movie, but we take what we can get. Take note: it is a popular place and they do not take reservations. They recently expanded the space and added more tables, but people really love this place, so consider the time of day and your hangry status before heading over. If you're dining solo, you might be able to snag a seat at the counter or the communal tables. But, just try to pick a non-peak time window and you should be okay. Trust me, it is so worth it.

Milo and Olive
2723 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Monday, February 16, 2015

Homemade Granola

homemade granola

I am trying to make 2015 the year of learning basic recipes that will enrich my life forever (please note how I softened the resolve with "trying" rather than just saying this is THE year, people). Now, my idea of "stuff I should know how to make" will probably differ from yours; it's not like I want to cook my way through a famous cookbook. I don't even have a long list. Off the top of my head, it seems to be just "roast a whole chicken without batting an eye" and make-your-own granola. So, as you can see from the photo above, I'm off to a good start and the only thing I need to learn for the rest of the year is roasting a chicken. 50% of my list is complete! What an accomplishment!

As I knew it would be, making granola is super easy. It is somewhere above PB&J, but definitely below chocolate chip cookies on the difficulty scale (I feel like whenever an egg is involved, things instantly become more precarious and the outcome is a little less certain. Just me?). I used this straightforward and helpful recipe (it has a photo stills, you see). My granola turned out pretty good (I used lots of cranberries and raisins), but next time, I would throw in some slivered almonds and more honey. I was short on the honey, so I used only about 1/4 cup. Really, I wasn't expecting miracles from homemade granola; most of the satisfaction comes from knowing I made it and I can do it again. For me, learning something new, however small, makes that particular day special and gives it the tiniest bit of meaning.

Okay, so if I get serious about this list, a few sauces and some baked goods would probably end up on there. Oh, AND PANCAKES. For a fairly simple pleasure, there is so much mystery around making a good pancake. Let's see how I progress this year. Mastering the pancake might be more of a lifelong goal.