Tag Archives: 2009

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009

Last year, just a few days before the Great Chefs of L.A. event, I came down with a wretched stomach flu. By the morning of the actual event, I felt good enough to attend but my tummy wasn’t fully recovered yet.

Since my husband Peter was out of town on business, I planned on skipping the event altogether. Our $300 donation ($150 each) would still go to the Southern California National Kidney Cancer Foundation, and that was the most important part anyway.

But then I thought about the FOOD, the restaurants, and ALL the celebrity chefs I’d be missing. Could I really have fun at a food event, in the event that I couldn’t EAT the food?

The answer is yes. I made a quick call to my nephew Cody (who thankfully wasn’t working that morning), and an hour later we were strolling the backlot at CBS studio. I took lots of photos and tried a few bites, while Cody ate like only a fire-fighter-in-training could eat. He happily ate EVERYTHING, which of course made me happy too!

For this year’s Great Chefs of L.A., I was honored with a press pass and more importantly, a very hungry (and healthy) tummy! Peter bought a discounted ticket ($75 instead of $150) on GoldStar.com, and we both skipped breakfast to prepare for an afternoon feast.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009Basically we tried to have a bite at each restaurant table (starting on the right side of the street) and slowly made our way around the event. We missed a few dishes, but also returned several times to have more of our favorites.

It was fun to run into my friends at the Bazaar. It’s been awhile since I’ve eaten there (since Michael Voltaggio left) but Peter and I will be heading back to the Rojo room this weekend, to try out all the new dishes on the menu.

Chef Marcel Vigneron was also at the event. If you’re not a Top Chef fan (like me), Marcel was runner-up on season two. When I first met him last year at the Bazaar, I told him how much he annoyed me, when I watched him on Top Chef. His confidence came off as arrogance, and he was the “character” that I (as well as most of America) loved to hate.

After I got to know Marcel, I realized that off camera he is NOTHING like how he is portrayed on TV. He’s an absolute sweetheart, and it bugs me that he gets a bad rap. We talked for a bit about current (super exciting but I can’t talk about it) projects he’s working on, and his upcoming guest-chef stint at BreadBar (which of course I can talk about and have linked below).

One of the main reasons I love going to food events (besides donating to charity) is to try out food from eateries I haven’t been to yet. Restaurants that are on my very lengthy “To Do” list, like Saddlepeak Lodge and EAST (which had my absolute favorite bite of the day). The Great Chefs of L.A. event brings together all these things, and it’s one I’ll return to year after year.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
“Green” Carpet Hostess (ADORABLE, from Top Chef season 1) Chef Candace Kumai (The Stiletto Chef)

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Hungry Crowd!

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Gaspacho Andaluz by Bokado restaurant (Chef Frank Leon).

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Chef Frank Leon of La Loggia and Bokado restaurant.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Pintxo de Pollo/ Lamb by Frank Leon of La Loggia and Bokado restaurant.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Short Rib Grilled Cheese w/ Onion Marmalade and Bel Paese Cheese, Truffled Potato Chips by Govind Armstrong, 8 oz Burger

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Border Grill Truck

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Border Grill’s Avocado Taco: chipotle salsa, creamy corn relish, pickled onion.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Ceviche, Border Grill

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Sushi Poppers (I’m a sucker for ANYTHING on a stick!)

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Peter trying a Sushi Popper.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
The SUPER FAB Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Chef Neal Fraser’s Braised Veal Shortribs with Polenta

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Chef Celestino Drago’s Duck Sandwich, Butternut Squash Soup

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
SaddlePeak Lodge’s Grilled Nilgai Antelope w/ Cabbage, Bacon, Apple and Black Garlic

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Bottega Louie’s Brie, Blood Orange & Watercress Paninis and Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Burrata & Pesto Salad

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
The lovely Josie (UncouthGourmands) with chef Celestino Drago

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Baked Spaghetti wrapped with Eggplant, served on a bed of tomato basil sauce, topped with mozzarella by chef Giacomino Drago at Il Pastaio

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Mr. Cecils Big Beef Ribs & St. Louis Style Pork Ribs

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
George Lopez, spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
George Lopez, with Chefs of Honor, Neal Fraser and Mary Sue Milliken

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Akasha’s Beer Braised Niman Ranch Short Ribs, Betty Kennedy’s Plum-Mustard Chutney

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Scallops on the 1/2 shell, Lemongrass sambal, wasabi creme fraiche, shiso dust, micro cilantro by Chef Kevin Alan, East Restaurant (my favorite of the day!)

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Hawaiian Walu: Miso mustard cream, micro wasabi, chive essence, smoked chardonnay sea salt by Chef Kevin Alan, East Restaurant

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Strawberrylicious Cupcakes by Leyna’s Kitchen

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Adorable (and SWEET!) Cupcake Girls

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Making the Liquid Nitrogen Caipirinha from The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Liquid Nitrogen Caipirinha from The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Peter chatting with Marcel

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Me and Marcel

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Auction Goodies

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
The Awesome Gift Bags (including a fresh pomegranate!)

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Contents (including fantastic coupons for wine, hair salons, headshot photo session and margaritas at Border Grill!)

All my photos on Flickr

Mentioned Above:

Great Chefs of L.A. 2008

SoCal Kidney Foundation

Marcel Vigneron

BreadBar Hatchi Series

Goldstar

East Restaurant

Saddlepeak Lodge

UncouthGourmands.com

The Stiletto Chef

Thanks to Nancy Huang, Slife PR

great chefs of L.A. Great Chefs of LA Los Angeles

Details about Great Chefs of LA:

George Lopez Hosts The Great Chefs of Los Angeles
“Go Green, Go Organic” Food & Wine Benefit at CBS Studios

The 23rd Annual Great Chefs of Los Angeles brings together L.A.’s top tastemakers for an afternoon of food, wine, music and auctions to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California. GCLA draws more than 500 people each year, and has raised more than $4.5 million for the foundation since its inception in 1987. The recently introduced “Go Green, Go Organic” theme promotes eco-conscious living and sustainability, utilizing organic foodstuffs and eco-friendly products throughout the festivities.

WHO: George & Ann Lopez

National Kidney Foundation spokesman George Lopez, a kidney disease survivor, and his wife and kidney donor Ann Lopez, will host the afternoon’s festivities as Honorary Chairs. “Usually I don’t eat, but when I eat, I eat GREEN!” quips George Lopez. The actor/comedian will host Great Chefs just a day before the premiere of his late night show Lopez Tonight,” premiering on Nov. 9 at 11/10c on TBS.

Chefs of Honor Neal Fraser (Grace, BLD) and Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Border Grill, Ciudad) lead a stellar lineup of top toques from Los Angeles. The Chefs of Honor will present awards to their fellow participating chefs to spotlight the use of local, organic and sustainable ingredients. Hostess Chef Candice Kumai, The Stiletto Chef of TLC’s “Cook Yourself Thin,” will serve as emcee for the event and auction.

CHEFS:
Featured chefs include:
* Adam Horton, Saddlepeak Lodge
* Akasha Richmond, Akasha
* Andrea Cavaliere, Cecconi’s
* Benjamin Ford, Ford’s Filling Station
* Bob Lynn, La Grande Orange
* Brian Moyers, BLT Steak
* Calogero Drago, Celestino Ristorante & Panzanella
* Celestino Drago, Drago Restaurant, Enoteca Drago, Il Pastaio, Drago Centro
* Chris Moran, Events D’Elegance
* David Linville, Charlie’s Malibu
* Frank Leon, LaLoggia Ristorante & Bokado
* Keven Alan Lee, EAST Restaurant & Lounge
* Giacomino Drago, Il Pastaio
* Govind Armstrong, 8 oz.
* Jason Johnston, Dakota
* Jesse Perez, Fuego at Hotel Maya
* Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill
* Joachim Weritz, Moonshadows
* Jonathan Burrows, Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs
* Jorge Chicas, The Bazaar – SLS Hotel
* Josie Le Balch, Josie Restaurant
* Margarito Cid, Harry’s Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ
* Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger, Border Grill & Ciudad Restaurants
* Michael Fiorelli, mar’sel
* Neal Fraser, Grace & BLD
* Paolo Sicuro, Via Alloro
* Roberto Maggioni, Lago
* Sam Marvin & Christopher Goossen, Bottega Louie Restaurant & Gourmet Market
* Simon Dolinky, BLVD 16 at Hotel Palomar
* Steven Fretz, XIV
* Tanino Drago, Tanino Ristorante & Panzanella Ristorante
* Yoji Tajima, SHU – Sushi House Unico
* Leyna’s Kitchen

Wines and beverages will be provided by:
Wines
* Barone Fine Winery
* Buttonwood Farm Winery
* Crossings, New Zealand
* Duckhorn Wine Company
* Frank Family Vineyards
* FIFTYROW
* Golden State Wine Co.
* Grgich Hills Estate
* Jaffe Estate Wine
* Jack Wines
* Jocelyn Lonen Winery
* Kunde Estate Winery
* L’Aventure Winery
* Laetitia Vineyard & Winery
* Loring Wine Co.
* Quinta do Castro
* Regal Wine Co.
* Sterling Organics
* Trefethen Family Vineyards
* Vega Sicilia
* Villa Franttina

Champagnes
* Remy Cointreau USA
* Charles Heidsieck
* Piper-Hiedsieck
Spirits
* VeeV Açai Spirit
* Tequila Ocho
* RIGHT Gin

Beers
* Budweiser American Ale
* Bud Light Wheat
* Fireman’s Brew
* Hoegaarden
* Leffe Blonde
* O’Douls
* Michelob Ultra Light
* Michelob Amber Bock
* Shock Top Belgian White
* Stella Artois

Other Beverages
* Bonadea
* IZZE Beverage Company
* Lupicia Fresh Tea
* POM Wonderful
* Smartwater
* Weaver’s Coffee & Tea

GO GREEN:
Get Hip Get Green, an eco-conscious leader in producing stylish reusable bags, totes and water bottles, sponsor the GCLA “944 Get Hip Get Green” Lounge, outfitted with environmentally friendly lounge furniture provided by Girari Sustainable Furnishing. VeeV Açai Spirit, a leading distiller in promoting social responsibility in the beverage industry, will pour cocktails at the “Go Green Go Organic” Spirits Bar. Guests will use biodegradable utensils by Sysco’s Eco Company line.

Guests will receive Get Hip Get Green’s reusable gift totes stuffed with $250 worth of goodies from leading green and eco-friendly companies, including LaRocca Skincare, Healing Skin, Utter Cream, Eco-Panda, Herbal Water, Nelson J Salon, Alterna, OPI, Explorer’s Bounty, Celtic Sea Salt, Edward & Sons Trading Co., Pop Chips, Robert’s American Gourmet and Little Laura’s Sweets, among many others.

WHEN:
Sunday, November 8, 2009
12 to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE:
CBS Studio Center
4024 Radford Dr.
Studio City, CA 91604

AUCTION:
Featured items for this year’s live auction include a Maurice Lacroix Limited Edition 999 Watch, a private dinner party courtesy of Neal Fraser paired with wine from Frank Family Vineyards, a Border Grill Truck Party for 25, a La Loggia party for 25, two round-trip business class tickets on American Airlines to one of their European destinations, and a five-night stay at Aurelio-Lech, a brand new luxury ski lodge in Austria. The silent auction will include items such as a sports memorabilia, travel packages to international destinations and numerous wine and spirits packages.

About the Kidney Foundation of Southern California
The National Kidney Foundation is the major voluntary health organization dedicated to preventing kidney disease, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by kidney disease and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation. Through its offices nationwide, the foundation conducts programs in research, professional education, patient and community services, public education and organ donation.

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I’m Doing It

Today is Earth Day, and I’ve got a fun evening planned with friends. Chef Akasha Richmond invited me to “Battle of the Chefs: Eco-Cuisine”, a cooking competition “to help raise national awareness of the importance of incorporating eco-friendly foods, soy in particular, into our diets”. Akasha is one of the judges and is also cooking for the event.

That’s what I’m doing tonight. Today I’m doing something even more exciting, and it’s something that I know will make a difference in our very fragile world: I am officially giving up plastic AND paper bags at the market.

I know I should have done this long ago, but I just didn’t want to deal with it. I KNEW the statistics, that just one thin bag could take up to a THOUSAND years to decompose in a landfill. I’m estimating that I brought home an average of 8 bags per week, sometimes BOTH plastic and paper. I should be ashamed, and I am.

And the actual reason why I hadn’t switched to reusable bags yet?

I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but if I’m going to be honest and make the change today, here goes… I’ve been waiting for someone to sell “cute” reusable shopping bags that I like. Something with a vintage-look or with some groovy patterns that I’d WANT to carry in public. It’s ridiculous I know but I hated the ones sold with the market logos, and I definitely didn’t want to carry the “I’m not a plastic bag” tote either (it’s white for goodness sakes).

I actually own two amazing, sturdy shopping bags with “Gourmet Institute” embroidered on the sides. I got those when I attended the (awesome) event in New York a few years ago. But honestly, those are too “special” to use everyday.

Just last weekend, Peter and I were grocery shopping at Gelsons market and as we walked up the cleaning aisle, I stopped dead in my tracks. There, next to the dish soaps and rubber gloves were a whole, new bunch of beautiful, REUSABLE shopping bags. Pretty ones with vintage looking paisley patterns, pink ones with yellow flowers, just all sorts of cool designs. There must have been nine or ten different styles and I stood there “oohing and ahhing”… then we continued walking up the aisle, paid for our groceries and brought home eight more plastic bags.

What a waste. Especially when it’s such an easy switch. I’m heading to Gelsons now, but don’t worry, it’s not a special trip JUST to buy the pretty, vintage-looking, reusable shopping bags. I had already planned to grocery shop anyway.

I’m actually excited about this change. I think I’ll have Peter put up a special (pretty) hook for the bags near the wall where we keep our grocery list. Ooh, I guess I should think about not writing my list on actual paper anymore… wait, maybe I should just take this one step at a time.

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Please check back soon to see my pretty, new (and I’ll say it proudly), REUSABLE grocery bags.

Mentioned Above:

Battle of the Chefs: Eco-Cuisine

Chef Akasha

Gelsons Market

25 Reasons to Go Reusable

10 Things You Should Know About Earth Day

Whole Foods “More Shoppers Bring Their Own Bags”

Earth Day

>> I DID IT!

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Filed under Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.), Little Bites

Animal’s Loco Moco

ilikai hotel, MyLastBite.comI first tried Loco Moco back in 2003 while on vacation with my husband in Hawaii. It was Peter’s first visit to the islands, and I insisted that we stay at the Ilikai Hotel on Oahu. I’ve always been a huge fan of  “Hawaii Five-O”, and if you remember the opening credits with the cool, balcony shot of Jack Lord (aka the legendary Steve McGarrett!), then you’ll recognize the Ilikai Hotel. We had such a fun time visiting random locations from the show, and we definitely made an effort to eat like the locals.

Loco Moco Hawaii 2003, MyLastBite.comOur favorite dish was (of course) the Loco Moco. The traditional version is made with white rice, hamburger, fried eggs and brown gravy. We first ordered the burger version for breakfast at our hotel, and also tried a SPAM version (instead of beef) that I loved.

It’s been almost six years since I enjoyed that first plate of Loco Moco and I guess I just never thought about searching it out in Los Angeles. So when I read about Animal’s version on TastingTable last week, my heart skipped a beat and I sent Peter a text: “WE NEED TO GET TO ANIMAL NOW!”

Animal’s Loco Moco (below) is anything but “traditional”, and should probably be called “Beyond Loco Moco”, or simply “WHACK”! The dish exemplifies the reason I love Animal so much… because chefs Vinny and Jon are absolutely FEARLESS. Their version doesn’t come with just the burger or a piece of SPAM. It comes with BOTH, and they top it off with an insanely decadent piece of seared foie gras and a fried quail egg.

Foie Gras Loco Moco! MyLastBite.com

It was so good that Peter and I couldn’t stop laughing while we ate it! You know, that guilty “we should be ashamed but we’re NOT” sort of laughing. I can still taste the runny egg yolk spilling over the seared foie gras, through the crispy spam and tender beef, then down to the bottom of the gravy soaked rice. 

Foie Gras Loco Moco! MyLastBite.com

Of course it was rich… and I admit that I made sure Peter and I both took our 81 grams of heart-healthy aspirin afterwards. A few days later, I’m pretty certain I still haven’t worked off the calories, but it was SO worth it! Foie Gras Loco Moco, Quail Egg, SPAM, Niman Ranch Burger, Anson Mills Gold Rice, $35

Crispy Hominy and Lime, MyLastBite.com

I try to order only new things when we eat at Animal, but Peter insisted on getting his favorite Crispy Hominy and Lime! $5

Fluke Crudo, MyLastBite.com
Along with the Loco Moco we did select a light and healthy dish (above) that we loved. The palate-cleansing and refreshing Sliced Fluke, Citrus, Mint, Sea Salt & Jalapeno, $12. (See? They make healthy dishes too!)

[Visit #11)

Animal Restaurant
http://www.animalrestaurant.com
435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

Mentioned Above:

Tasting Table

Opening Scene of Hawaii Five-O

Ilikai Hotel

More SPAM

Loco Moco on Wikipedia

A few more Hawaii Photos:
Hawaii 2003, MyLastBite.com   Hawaii 2003, MyLastBite.com

< Animal Visit #10

Written by Jo Stougaard ©MyLastBite.com All Rights Reserved.
No usage allowed including copying or sharing without written permission.

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Filed under Eating Out, Food Stories (written by me)

Animal [10]

I was a little worried about taking our friends, Ron and Diane, to Animal over the weekend. Ever since my first visit to the restaurant last summer, I’d been raving, ranting and downright praising the food heavens for bringing us Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Not only because everything they cook is delicious and adventurous (link to previous posts & photos below), but also the profound sentimentality I feel when I eat it. The food at Animal reminds me of my dad’s cooking and since he lives far away in Scotland, a meal at Animal makes me feel closer to him. A little silly I know, but that’s the magic of food and memories.

For our dinner last Saturday, our server was someone new (to us). Joshua was sweet and very helpful, especially when we were deciding which wine would go with our various dishes. After we tasted a couple of different glasses, we selected the La Salette Valpolicella (Italy) 2006, $54. The new manager, Asher, was also very gracious and made sure I went back to see the guys in the kitchen (I missed them!). Jon (chef & co-owner) came out to say hi to Peter and meet our friends, then had to get back on the line for the busy dinner service.

After Joshua took our orders, I was still a little concerned about Ron and Diane. They’ve eaten in the best foodie towns in the world… from Le Bernardin in New York, to the freshest sashimi in Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market. Would Animal be good enough for them? Maybe I overhyped it. Maybe the food wouldn’t be “refined” enough for them.

I need not have fretted of course because, just like me… they LOVED every bite. 

What we ate:

Fried Chicken Livers at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Fried Chicken Livers w/ Jalapeno Slaw $7

Pork Belly at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Pork Belly, Kimchi, Peanuts, Chili, Soy Sauce & Scallions $11

Rabbit Ravioli at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Rabbit & Kale Ravioli w/ Truffle Butter & Parmesan $22. (This dish forced me to have bad table manners because after finishing the ravioli, I couldn’t stop dipping my finger into the truffle butter sauce!)

Flatiron Steak at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Flatiron Steak w/ Mash, Foie Gras Sauce, & Roasted Cipollini Onions $28

Mexican Shrimp at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Mexican Shrimp, Fennel, Olives, Tomato, Borlotti Beans & Green Garlic $26

Duck Breast at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Duck breast with parsnip, apples, bacon, butternut squash & red wine $25

Desserts at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar w/ S&P Anglaise $8, Tres Leches Cake $7, Joe’s Doughnuts w/ Apple & Caramel $8

Donuts at Animal, MyLastBite.com
A close up of
Joe’s Doughnuts w/ Apple & Caramel $8 (As Bourdain would say…”these are purely EVIL… but in a GOOD way”)

We also ordered: Crispy Hominy with lime $5 (Ron said he loved it, and he could imagine movie theaters selling fried hominy by the bucket!)
and
Melted Petit Basque with Chorizo and Garlic Bread $11

Dining Date: 2/7/09

<- Visits 8 & 9

– > Visit 11

Animal Restaurant
435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225
Website

Mentioned Above:

Tsukiji Fish Market

Le Bernardin

La Salette Wines

Bourdain

Eater L.A.

With my dad in Scotland

 

Animal on Urbanspoon

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Ten Minutes To Midnight

My husband Peter and I had reservations at Animal for New Year’s Eve dinner. We’ve been “regulars” for the past six months and there was nowhere we would rather be at years end, than at our favorite eatery celebrating the outstanding food of our friends Vinny and Jon.

So when I came down with a wicked head-cold a few days before, I was a tiny bit distressed. What if I had to stay home and miss out on the Flat Iron Steak with PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) Fondue? Who would be eating the portion of my beloved Foie Gras, Biscuit and Maple Sausage Gravy? And what about the totally addictive “crisp, assertively salted” Fried Hominy that Jonathan Gold recently raved about in L.A. Weekly?

On the morning of the 31st, I still felt pretty lousy and looked even worse. There was no way I would be going out to celebrate. Peter really didn’t want to sit home watching me pout and gulp Nyquil, so he called a friend and kept the reservation. Doing my best to be unselfish, I told Peter that I was happy his buddy Julian would be his New Year’s Eve date. But honestly, I wasn’t happy… I was selfishly miserable.

I tried going to bed early, but the Nyquil wasn’t making me sleepy like it usually did, so I sat at my computer watching the clock. Then I started “timing” Peter’s delectable dinner. “He’s been there a half an hour, so he’s licking his fingers from devouring a bowl of the Fried Hominy with Lime”… “Forty-five minutes in, that means he’s biting into the Pork Belly and Kimchi”… “I wonder if he’s ordering the Quail Fry with Grits, or the Stewed Rabbit with Turnips”?

It was pathetic and I actually worked myself up into a ridiculous, jealous state. I can blame most of this on lack of sleep and continuous sips of Nyquil, but the truth is… I felt like Peter was CHEATING on me! Not with a hot, young girl he met at the bar, but with Animal’s hot, gut-pleasing plate of Poutine (french fries) covered with Oxtail Gravy and Cheddar. How could Peter be so uncaring? How could he even step into Animal Restaurant without me??

At ten minutes to midnight I heard Peter’s car pull up the driveway. This was several hours after I assumed he had finished his dessert (the now famous Bacon, Chocolate Crunch Bar). I was ready for a battle, but didn’t jump up and yell at him like I wanted to. What was I going to say?… “You ate Animal’s house-cured, crispy Pork Belly WITHOUT me, so now you’re sleeping on the couch!”?

With just a hint of sarcasm I blurted out “How was dinner?”. Before Peter said a word, he handed me a bag. “Oh golly, THANKS…. scrappy leftovers” I thought. When I looked in the bag I just smiled. My wonderful and caring husband had brought me my very favorite dish from my very favorite restaurant…. the Foie Gras on a Biscuit with Maple Sausage Gravy. It was perfect and it was officially “MyLastBite” of 2008.
Foie Gras To Go! MyLastBite.com

Foie Gras To Go (plated)! MyLastBite.com

My Dinners at Animal (with photos)

Animal Restaurant
http://www.animalrestaurant.com
435 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

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Animal [8 & 9]

12/13/08 Dinner with Peter and Julian.

Crab Legs & Sweetbreads at ANIMAL, MyLastBite
New dishes we really enjoyed were 
King Crab Legs, Sweetbreads, Hush Puppies & Tabasco Butter$22

and

Flat Iron, PBR Fondue at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Flat Iron Steak, PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) Fondue, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, $25

Foie Gras To Go (plated)! MyLastBite.com
 12/31/08 Foie Gras on a Biscuit with Maple Sausage GravyOfficially “MyLastBite” of 2008.

Animal Restaurant
http://www.animalrestaurant.com
435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

Dining Dates:
12/13/08
12/31/08

-> Visit #10

<- Visit #7

Animal on Urbanspoon

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Animal Gets Cookin’

When I heard that my favorite L.A. chefs (Animal Restaurant’s Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook) were offering a cooking class, I immediately signed up and invited two friends, Jade and Afaf. I love the chefs new cookbook “Two Dudes, One Pan” which recently was voted one of the “Top 10 Cookbooks of 2008” by National Public Radio. The chapters in the book are divided up by pans: “The Big Bowl” (for salads & dressings), “Nonstick Skillet”, “Frying Pan”, “Dutch Oven”, “Roasting Pan” and “Baking Dish”. I’ve already tried some of the delicious recipes and am continuing to post them here.

The cooking class was held at “Let’s Get Cookin'” in Westlake Village. It was my first visit to this little gem and I loved the small culinary store up front. The shop is stocked with gourmet ingredients, artisanal pastas, cookware and tons of groovy gadgets!

The classroom area was located in the back of the space. It consisted of a long counter which worked as the “stage” area for guest chefs. We students were seated in chairs with tables that face the cooking stage. To the left of the students, there were in-house chefs assisting Vinny & Jon throughout their presentation.

It was all very organized and the evening flew by quickly. We watched as the chefs prepared five recipes from their book, and yes indeed…. we got to eat everything! Delicious and good fun!

On the menu:

Fennel Apple Salad, MyLastBite.com

Winter Fennel Salad w/ Apples, Grapes, Cinnamon Maple Vinaigrette

 

 
Carbonara, MyLastBite.comBucatini Carbonara w/ C Pancetta and Peas

 

 

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower, MyLastBite.com

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower w/ Capers and Parmigiano

 

 

Lemon Roasted Chicken, MyLastBite.comLemon Roasted Chicken

 

 

Fallen Chocolate Cake with Rum Caramel Sauce, MyLastBite.comFallen Chocolate Cake w/ Rum Caramel Sauce

 

 

The recipes can be found on the following pages of “Two Dudes, One Pan” by Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo.

Winter Fennel Salad w/ Apples, Grapes, Cinnamon Maple Vinaigrette, pg. 30

 Fennel Salad, MyLastBite.com

Bucatini Carbonara w/ Pancetta and Peas, pg. 154

Pasta Carbonara, MyLastBite.com

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower w/ Capers and Parmigiano, pg. 178

Spicy Cauliflower, MyLastBite.com

Lemon Roasted Chicken, pg. 189
Lemon Roasted Chicken, MyLastBite.com

Fallen Chocolate Cake with Rum Caramel Sauce, pg. 231
Fallen Chocolate Cake, MyLastBite.com

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Photos after the class…
Jon, Jo, Vin, MyLastBite.com
 Jon, Jo & Vinny

Afaf with Chef Jon Shook, MyLastBite.com
 Afaf & Jon

Jade with Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, MyLastBite.com
 Jon, Jade & Vinny

Original Class Date: Wednesday, November 12, 6:30 PM

Cost: $80 per person

My visits (with LOTS of food photos) to Animal Restaurant

About Let’s Get Cookin’

The Book

Animal Restaurant Website

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Filed under Food Events (festivals, classes, etc.), Recipes