Notes from the Road: Los Angeles

October 15, 2013

Here for a panel on California Cuisine.  Interesting multicultural, inter-generational conversation.

Later I had dinner at Bucato, in Culver City, with a big group of friends. We sat outside, surrounded by huge heaters shooting flames into the air.  To a New Yorker, just  being here is a kind of Los Angeles dream: the chic people walking in, the balmy air, the fantastic fire.

But the food here is a surprise. The best dishes are all carbs. Superb breads, some crusty, some soft, warm and pliable, served with a variety of fats: goat butter and whipped lardo both make an appearance.  I could happily spend an entire evening munching on these. 

But that would mean missing the pastas, which are in a class by themselves. Portions are small, the hand-rolled shapes strangely soft and seriously sexy.  My favorite was macaroni di busa, a sinuous Sardinian shape, dotted with pungent little crumbles of white ragu that make it clear the starring role belongs to the pasta.

Afterward we had a serious hunk of ribeye, and I spent the rest of the evening chewing happily on the bone.

 

 

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Things I Love: Small Wonders

October 10, 2013

 

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They're tiny – maybe two and a half inches high – and I use them for everything.  To hold olives on a cocktail table. As a perfect little egg cup. Or a vase for wild flowers on the kitchen window (or the dinner table.) To stash a few sprigs of parsley in the refrigerator.

And of course, they' feel so wonderful in your hand that they're perfect when I want a little sip of wine. 

The potter, Daniel Bellow, calls them "babies." I just call them useful. 

 

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Things I Love

October 7, 2013

A Perfect Salad Bowl

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This vintage Dansk salad bowl was one of the best gifts I've ever received. It's a majestic creature – ten inches in diameter – and large enough to hold greens for a dozen people. But even if there are only two of us for dinner, the sight of this beautiful bowl sitting on my table is enough to make me happy. 

You can often find bowls like this on EBay. But my favorite place to shop for vintage Dansk kitchenware is Neven and Neven Moderne, a wonderful antique shop specializing in mid-century modern furniture, in Hudson New York. 

 

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