Up Popped a Restaurant

In cooking, as in many things in life, it’s all a matter of scale.

The chefs — (l to r) your humble author and pals, Ernie and Peri

The chefs — (l to r) your humble author and pals, Ernie and Peri

“That’s not enough gazpacho for 60 people!” my wife declared, alarmed, as I walked through the kitchen with a gallon bag a quarter full of soup. “I have another bag,” I said.

“It’s still not enough!” More

Mama Annie

Some things change a lot over the years. Other things don’t change that much.

I remember coming out of my bedroom in the morning as a kid, and there was my mom — wild haired, rumpled bathrobe, cup of coffee — already cooking. Now, when we go to visit her in Sonoma, my children wake up early and find her, grandma now whom they call “Mama Annie” — wild haired, rumpled bathrobe, cup of coffee — already cooking.

Me and Mama Annie, back in the day

Me and Mama Annie, back in the day

My parents were adventurous eaters, especially for the time. As I child, I ate escargot in French restaurants and learned to say Pouilly-Fuisse, sampled sashimi and sushi at the Joy of Tempura — the only Japanese restaurant in town — and was complemented on my chopsticks skills by old Chinese women at the Twin Dragon. More

In Search of Pliny the Elder

While in Sonoma for a holiday visit, my mother said, “I was just telling Leslie about Pliny the Elder. She didn’t know about it.”

Pliny the Elder, the guy

Pliny the Elder, the guy

According to Wikipedia, Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist and philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire and close personal friend to emperor Vespasian. Why my mother was telling my wife about Pliny the Elder was lost on me. Until she said, “It won best beer in the world!” And I realized she was talking about beer. More

A Guerrilla in Skinny Girl Country

If you’re going to spend an afternoon with a guerrilla, what better occasion than Bastille Day — a holiday celebrating the storming of a symbol of monarchal oppression by the common man.

The “guerrilla” we would spend Bastille Day with would not be a camouflaged, gun-toting, beret-crowned rebel, but rather our family wine, Wine Guerrilla — and my mother’s long-time partner, Bruce, producer of the wine and himself often referred to as, “The Wine Guerrilla.” More

One Man’s Burger Odyssey, Pt. IV — Outtakes, Afterthoughts and Honorable Mentions

Following are some of the additional reflections, aborted videos, also-rans and other tidbits that didn’t make it into my main burger odyssey posts. But which I thought worth sharing either as humorous asides or worthwhile nuggets of wisdom. You decide.

BBQ Soul burger, levitating

Best Burger I Never Tried
In the face of burger trends and zeitgeists, I admire those who hew to their own path. Toni’s Soul Burger, a stand in a part of Inglewood not on any of my itineraries, got a full-page spread in the L.A. Times Food section awhile back. Sort of the opposite of the upscale gourmet burger. So I thought it worth a trek south and set out one fine Monday around lunchtime. More

Next Newer Entries