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Archive for Food

99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die via [laweekly]


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Fugu to foie gras, pizza to panuchos

By Jonathan Gold

View more photos in Anne Fishbein’s “99
Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die” slideshow.

The theme of this issue is somewhat morbid. We’ll admit to that.
We were going to call it “99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Move to
San Diego,” but it didn’t have the same ring of finality. You could
probably drive up from San Diego if you were really, really in the mood
for a maple-bacon biscuit but from beyond the grave? I’m afraid our
metaphysics isn’t quite up to that one. 


Border Grill’s green corn tamales

And as long as we’re on the subject of
metaphysics, we will also confess to being a bit judgmental, because
judgmental is what we do around here. If we’re suggesting that some
things — 99 things — are on this particular list, we’re also suggesting
that others are not. A Tito’s taco:
Eat before you die. A Pink’s
hot dog? You’re on your own.

See — you’ve barely started reading and we’ve already absolved
you of the responsibility of standing in line behind Leonardo
DiCaprio. You’ve already recouped the entire cost of the issue,
and then some.

To eat, perchance to dream, in no particular order.

Urasawa’s Fugu

Eat before you die? If you get it from the wrong guy, blowfish can be
what you taste rather immediately before you expire — tetrodotoxin,
the nerve agent concentrated in the innards, is enough to paralyze a
charging bull elephant, and is rumored to be the agent used to turn men
into zombies. Usually, we satisfy our fugu cravings at Dae Bok, the
Koreatown specialist that cooks the blowfish into a spicy, garlicky
stew, but everybody should experience, at least once, the translucent
petals of fugu sashimi prepared by Hiro Urasawa
in its early spring season. But be warned: If the toxins won’t get you,
the size of the check just may. Urasawa, 218 N. Rodeo
Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 247-8939.

Bulgarini’s Goat’s Milk Gelato

Angeles is a world capital of so many things, including, it turns
out, goat’s milk ice cream. Delicieuse, in Redondo Beach,
is the most obvious source, sporting reams of literature about the
health benefits of goat’s milk and eight flavors of ice cream made with
the stuff, all of them delicious but none of them particularly goaty.
And then there’s Leo Bulgarini, the Zen gelato master of Altadena,
who amps up the strong, animal taste of his goat’s milk gelato by
tossing goat cheese into the mix along with a handful of toasted,
unsweetened cacao nibs for maximum pungency — it’s petting-zoo gelato,
gelato you can almost imagine nibbling on your sleeves. Leo recommends
that you pair it with a glass of rose prosecco from Valdobbiadene. Bulgarini
Gelato, 749 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena. (626) 791-6174.


If you’ve been to a local farmers market midwinter, you’ve probably
seen these things — lumpy, glowing, pale-green vegetables, the size of
footballs bisected on their horizontal axes, plunked down near the
counter at any Weiser Family Farms stand. If you’re at the Pasadena
farmers market, there may be a Caltech student or two nearby, admiring
the peculiar geometry of the vegetable; fractal pyramids flowing in
tight logarithmic spirals, cruciferous Fibonacci series, galaxies
expressed in the medium of cauliflower. Nudge the postdocs out of the
way and take one home. Made into a salad with pureed anchovies, roasted
whole with a dribble of olive oil or sliced and sautéed with garlic and
capers, the nutty, deep-flavored Romanesco is the queen of winter
vegetables. weiserfamilyfarms.com.

San Nak Ji

I have read more about cephalopod nervous systems in the last couple
of years than most of the people of my acquaintance, and I’m still not
sure about the morality of eating this dish — which is to say, the
tentacles of a humanely dispatched octopus, served chopped and still
wiggling on a platter. The predominant school of thought states that the
tentacles move purely by reflex, like beheaded chickens or the
twitching frog legs many of us encountered in high school biology.
Another theory, which begins to make sense when your next bite starts to
crawl up your chopsticks, claims that the octopus brain is rather
decentralized, and that the suckers adhering to the roof of your mouth
are still very much alive. Imagine a dish so delicious that it
occasionally outweighs pretty serious ethical concerns. That’s san
nak ji. Masan, 2851 W.
Olympic Blvd., Koreatown. (213) 388-3314.

Sherry Yard’s Kaiserschmarrn

Everybody who hasn’t been to Spago since the 1980s knows exactly what
to get there — pizza, chopped Chino Ranch vegetables, and pasta with
goat cheese and broccoli. They’re the dishes that made California
cuisine famous, that fed Hollywood and made Wolfgang Puck
America’s first celebrity chef. Except that Spago hasn’t really served
those dishes in a while: Puck’s and Lee Hefter’s
palates lean more toward the Austrian palette than toward the pizza
party, and the one dish that has remained on the menu for the last dozen
years has been the beet layer cake with goat cheese and pumpkinseed
oil. Which leaves longtime Spago pastry chef Sherry Yard’s
Kaiserschmarrn, an ethereal, fluffy pancake served with strawberries.
What does Tony Curtis
have in common with Emperor Franz
Josef I? Do you even have to ask? Spago, 176 N. Cañon Drive,
Beverly Hills. (310) 385-0880.

Tito’s Old-School Tacos

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | Next Page >>

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NOT Like A “Raisin in The Sun” : With Ceja Vineyards; Latino Immigrant Family IS Achieving the American Dream via [examiner.com and napavintners.com]


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San Jose Wine Examiner
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Ceja Vineyards – Latino immigrant family acheiving the American

San Jose
Wine ExaminerSteve Ferree


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In celebration of Cinco de Mayo and Mexican heritage in the United
States, I proudly introduce you to Ceja Vineyards, a story of how a family from Mexico
pursued their dreams in the wine industry.

After many years in the brasero work program, Pablo Ceja, his wife
Juanita and their six children said goodbye to their friends and family
in their small village in Mexico in 1967 and immigrated to America to
work in the vineyards of Napa Valley. As the family worked and grew in
Napa Valley, Juanita constantly encouraged her children to follow their
dreams and go to college. Their sons, Pedro and Armando pursued their
dreams, Pedro in engineering and Armando in enology and viticulture.
Pedro married his love Amelia Moran Fuentes in 1980. As they began
their own family, they were also focused on the common family goal to
buy land and grow grapes in Napa Valley. In 1983 Pedro and Amelia,
Armando, and Pablo and Juanita pooled their resources and purchase 15
acres in Carneros.
Pedro and Armando inherited their parents’ strong work ethic and
love of the land. Armando became a respected vineyard manager in the
valley but never lost sight of the family plan. With their first
harvest of Pinot Noir from their Carneros property in 1988, they
celebrated with family and friends
The Ceja Vineyards wine
label came on the scene in 2001. The Ceja family now has 113 acres of
rich vineyard land, produces over 10,000 cases, and the second and
third generations of the family are active in leadership of the
enterprise. Amelia Ceja is President of Ceja Vineyards, the first
Mexican-American woman to be President of a wine company in the history
of New World wines. “The success of Ceja Vineyards is due to my
family’s collective effort,” says Amelia.
Ariel Ceja, son of Pedro and Amelia and General Manager of Ceja
Vineyard has inherited the work ethic and drive of his parents and
grandparents, adding his own touch to the family enterprise, whether it
is salsa dancing at the tasting room Saturday nights, new Web 2.0
technologies to reach a growing young market, or the soon to be
introduced online, bicultural cooking show.
Ariel states, “We focus on wines we enjoy. Food and wine are
important to my family. My mom’s cooking skills are famous and my uncle
handcrafts wines that will pair well with her cuisine. Ceja wines have
moderate levels of alcohol, none are over 14%, and pair well with
foods, bringing out the flavors of the food and the wine without being
Armando and his team match vines to the Terroir, growing each
variety in the areas where it does best. The fruit is handled gently to
create a collection of handcrafted wines. This drive for excellence is
reflected in the trademark of Ceja Vineyards vinum, cantus, amor
wine, song love.
2006 Ceja Vino de Casa White Blend – this is a
blend of Pinot Grigio, Semillon and Viognier from Napa Valley that has
the aroma of honeydew melon, almond and baked apple pie that leads to
flavors on the palate of citrus blossom with mineral and flinty
2007 Ceja Sauvignon Blanc from the Sonoma Coast
ruby grapefruit and key lime aromas are powerful on the nose. On the
palate the tartness of citrus and tropical fruits leap into your mouth.
2006 Ceja Pinot Noir – you will enjoy the fresh
floral aroma mixed with ripe red plum and black cherry blossoms. The
balanced mixture of soft tannins with layers of textures emphasizes the
medley of dark berry, herb and spice flavors in the mouth
For more info: Ceja Vineyards

Ceja Vineyards

Ceja Vineyards is an ultra premium Latino family owned winery in
the Napa Valley. It was founded by Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha
Ceja – Mexican-American immigrants.The Ceja’s dedication to
sustainable agriculture and the gentle handling of the grapes in the
cellar can be tasted in every sip of their award-winning Pinot Noir,
Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and two
Vino de Casa blends.These are estate grown wines that are
fabulous by themselves and delicious with your favorite dishes. Try
Chardonnay with lightly grilled oysters and salsa de tomatillo, Pinot
Noir with ceviche de salmón, Cabernet Sauvignon with chocolates, and
Syrah with almond infused flan. 

Ceja wines can be purchased
over the Internet at http://www.cejavineyards.com, or, by phone at
707-255-3954. Enjoy with family and friends. ¡Salud!

Wine Label   <br/>for Ceja Vineyards

Winery Contact:

Website: http://www.cejavineyards.com
Phone: (707) 255-3954
Email: wine@cejavineyards.com
Hours: Daily 12:00pm – 6:00pm & Saturdays until 11:00pm


1248 First Street
Napa, CA 94559

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This makes me miss that cheap ‘ol snooty retail gig @Godiva where I was essentially paid…in Chocolate. *Heavy Sigh* via [Trend de La Creme]


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Living the Chocolate Life, Fashionably

Maybe you’re a lover of all-things-chocolate, but have you ever dreamed of living the chocolate life? You know, 24/7 chocolate. Frankly, it sounds a little nuts to me, but maybe I’m missing something.
* A Japanese spa in Tokyo now features pools where you and your friends can bathe in chocolate, wine, and coffee.
* The DC Ranch Village Health Club & Spa in Arizona just launched ‘Chocolate-Covered Yoga’ classes to teach yogis more satisfying chocolate eating.
* European line MSC Cruises and Nestlé Perugina have joined forces to offer the ‘Chocolate Cruise.
* Salon Du Chocolat (or The Chocolate Show) has become a worldwide phenom, turning chocolate confectioners into would-be couture designers.
* Fiesta recently launched a new line of gourmet chocolate condoms (a nice concept, if he/she doesn’t bite down).
* The ‘Cherry Chocolate Rain’ video has already received over 3 million hits on YouTube (compared to only 17 hits for the new Heidi Montag video — ha, kidding! Her video has gotten at least 26 hits.)
The ‘chocolate life’ has even sent some people over the edge. In the March ’08 issue of Men’s Vogue, Renee Zellweger accused Viggo Mortensen of being a ‘chocolate crack dealer.’ And I quote, “There was never a day that he wasn’t plying us with dark chocolates. It was ridiculous. Bags full. Bags full! Bacon-covered truffles. Where was he getting it? He was the chocolate crack dealer.” Now that is my kind of man. Well, except for the bacon part.
What does all of this mean? That life really is like a box of chocolates. That there really is an M&M in all of us. That Augustus Gloop is bringing sexy back? Or does it mean that chocolate can now officially be considered a lifestyle rather than a simple high-calorie confection? (Argh!! I seriously need a Hershey bar right now.)

You don’t have to make chocolate a lifestyle (unless you really want to), but you can certainly add some chocolaty goodness to your daily routine. Here are some of my faves:

Chocolate-Dipped Banana Necklace & Ring at viaalley.com

Moschino Vintage Dripping Chocolate Bag at bagborroworsteal.com

Choco-licious Bracelet at shanalogic.com

Philosophy ‘Just Because’ Chocolate Shower Gel Trio at sephora.com

Chocolate Covered Cherry Necklace at faeriesmak.com

Edible ‘Chaussure a Talon’ Chocolate Shoe at chocolatbydaniel.com

Laura Mercier ‘Chocolate Truffle’ Candle at nordstrom.com

Chocolate Ring at strapya-world.com

Bare Minerals Chocolate Decadence Kit at ulta.com

Hershey’s Sweet Milk Chocolate Lip Balm at sephora.com


And for those of you craving even more chocolate, I leave you with today’s headlines:

via [YouTube]

Haute Couture Sweets: A great gift for the Fashionista with Cookie Fetish via [Trend de La Creme]


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Cookie Couture: Almost Too Pretty To Eat

When you’re surrounded by fashionistas, it’s near impossible to buy gifts for birthdays, holidays, etc. that they’ll truly appreciate. (Personal style is such a bitch!) But in my experience, you can never go wrong with cookies — especially cookies as fashionable as these.

Assorted Couture Cookies from gumdropcookieshop.com

Assorted Designer Handbag Cookies from elenis.com

Assorted Fashion Show Cookies from cookiepursonality.com

Louis Vuitton and Hermes Handbag Cookies from bakedideas.com

Chanel Handbag Cookies from flourpotcookies.com