Tag Archives: steak

Squash Habañero Chutney

A great big THANK YOU to TasteSpotting, for graciously adding my Squash Habañero Chutney recipe to the Patrón Social Club: “TasteSpotting this summer brings the perfection of Patrón into your kitchen with entertaining tips, ideas, and recipes created especially for Patrón.” (Links below)

Squash + Habañero Chutney, MyLastBite.com

About the recipe:

I like it fiery hot. Whenever I mix up a big batch of my homemade Habañero Chutney, I’m usually the only one who ends up enjoying it. So, for the whole room of dinner guests to eat and enjoy, I make a version that includes apple and squash, which temper the heat of the Habañero.

Making a chutney is really quite simple. It just takes a little bit of patience to stand next to the stove, which just happens to be my favorite spot in the house.

The chutney is the perfect accompaniment to a simple grilled Flat Iron Steak.

My Step-by-Step Photos Recipe on the official Patrón Social Club website

Squash & Habañero Chutney, MyLastBite.com
Ingredients

Squash & Habañero Chutney, MyLastBite.com
Prepped & Ready to Cook!

Squash & Habañero Chutney, MyLastBite.com
Slowly Cooking Chutney. Grilling Flat Iron Steak on Grill

Squash & Habañero Chutney, MyLastBite.com
Grilled Flat Iron, Squash Habañero Chutney

TasteSpotting

About the Habañero Chili

About Flat Iron Steak (my current favorite beef cut)

Recipe posted soon

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Charlie’s, Malibu

THIS RESTAURANT IS UNFORTUNATELY CLOSED.

I’m always dragging my friend Laur with me to try out new restaurants. From casual gastropubs up the street like Laurel Tavern, to “modern (molecular) cooking” at The Bazaar across town. She’s always up for a new dining adventure no matter where we go.

When she invited me to dinner at a new place in Malibu last month, I thought to myself, “Seriously, does anyone DRIVE to Malibu just for dinner?” I wondered if trying to get there during rush hour would be worth all the trouble.

If you live in Los Angeles, you understand the hell that is our freeway system, especially during the work week. Sometimes it can take hours to crawl across the 405 freeway, and even shortcuts are clogged with hungry diners trying to make that 7 or 8pm dinner reservation.

It wasn’t just the thought of midweek traffic that bothered me: it was also the general consensus (I think) that Malibu proper is for locals only. I’ve lived in Studio City for fifteen years now, and I can remember driving to Malibu only once for an actual dinner. It was an intimate gathering at some restaurant (can’t remember which one) for a friend’s 40th birthday party. 

Family Beach Vacations, MyLastBite.comDon’t get me wrong, I LOVE the beach. I lived in Pacific Beach (San Diego) for ten years before marrying Peter, and totally embraced the casual lifestyle of a beach community. Over the years, Peter and I rented a beach house in Newport (near Balboa Island) several times, and invited our families for fun, group vacations. Luckily, we also have friends that own a beach house steps from Hollywood Beach in Oxnard, and they let us use it whenever. By the way, the BEST breakfast in the world is nearby at a place called “Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut”.

Those three SoCal beaches I’m most familiar with (Pacific Beach, Newport Beach and Hollywood Beach) are all very laid-back: and growing up, they really never sounded as glamorous as Malibu. I don’t recall Mattel making a “Newport Beach Barbie” that’s for sure. “Malibu Barbie” was, and is still (in my opinion), the best Barbie doll ever. I still have mine tucked away, although her “self-tan” is now blotchy and streaky.

In the early sixties, Roger Vadim and Jane Fonda epitomized the casual (yet still glamorous) Malibu lifestyle that I fantasize about visiting. Photos of them at their Malibu bungalow are included in a book by Dennis Hopper called, “1712 North Crescent Heights”. It’s one of my favorites: a large, black and white coffee table book filled with photos he took around Los Angeles, before he filmed “Easy Rider”. Another favorite shot in the book is of Peter Fonda jamming on an acoustic guitar. He’s just sitting on a large piece of driftwood in the sand, looking cool, but I guess everyone looked cool hanging out at the “Colony” back then. It always makes me laugh when celebrities reminisce about living in the “Colony”, they never say “Malibu Colony”, it’s usually just “The Colony”, as if no other “Colony” would matter in their world anyway.

From Wikipedia: Malibu Colony was one of the first areas inhabited after Malibu was opened to the public in 1929 and it is one of Malibu’s most famous districts. It is located along Malibu Road, westward of the Pacific Coast Highway, on the opposite shore of the Malibu Lagoon State Beach and adjacent to the Malibu Bluffs Park. Long known as a popular private enclave for wealthy celebrities, the Malibu Colony today is a gated community, with multi-million dollar homes on small lots. 

Life in Malibu, MyLastBite.com

The new Malibu spot my friend Laur wanted me to try is called “Charlie’s”, a steak and seafood restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway (in the former Allegria space). Peter decided to join us for dinner, so we headed out to Malibu on an early Thursday evening. I was surprised the drive from Studio City only took about an hour. Guess what? Malibu’s not that far away after all! What was I thinking?

Charlie's Restaurant, MalibuFrom photos I saw online (before I went), Charlie’s looked like a large space, but in reality it’s more like an elegant bistro than a classic steak house. The decor is very stylish (leopard print chairs by Dolce & Gabbana) but easygoing at the same time. I’d be comfortable there wearing a cocktail dress and heels or a little sundress with sandals. 

The three of us were seated in a beautiful booth with a panoramic view of the restaurant. And I must say, as we sat there looking over the menu and sipping our wine (Fess Parker Syrah), we were as comfortable as any local would be. And looking up from the table was the most beautiful hand-blown glass chandelier. It really gave the room (and us!) a nice glow. We felt great and heck, because of the gorgeous lighting, we looked great too!

Our server Amy was terrific and patiently went through the menu with us. Laur had been to the restaurant several times before, and always ordered the Braised Beef Short Ribs. I was in the mood for pasta and went for the Spaghetti Bolognese (made with veal). Peter went for the manly-named Greg Norman Premium T-Bone.

We pretty much shared the six dishes we ordered, including green mussels, crab cakes and a refreshing, roasted beet salad (no photo). I have to say that Laur was right about the short ribs. My pasta was delicious; hearty, savory and perfectly cooked, but next time I’ll be having my own plate of those killer short ribs (and not sharing either!)

Charlie's Restaurant, Malibu. MyLastBite.com
New Zealand Green Mussels Meuniere in lemon, garlic and white wine, $12.
A wonderful, aromatic way to begin dinner by the sea. Delicious, with plenty of broth left over to soak up with bread.

Charlie's Restaurant, Malibu. MyLastBite.com
Crab Cakes with Bell Pepper and Sweet Corn Compote, $14. Gone in Sixty Seconds, so good we almost ordered another plate.

Charlie's Restaurant, Malibu. MyLastBite.com
Greg Norman Premium T-Bone (organic signature selection),$42 with an order of Crispy Sage on the side, $4. I wasn’t sure about this “sauce on the side” idea at first. I’m sort of from the school of “eat what the chef has thoughtfully prepared for you”, but honestly, it’s a great way to customize that already gorgeous piece of meat! 

Steak Sauces to select from ($4 each) are:
Crispy Sage
House Barbecue,
Course Grain Mustard
Bourbon Peppercorn
Creamy Porcini Muchroom
Roasted Garlic Demi-Glace
Classic Bearnaise
Port wine with Walnuts & Stilton Cheese

Fried Sage, MyLastBite.com
Crispy Sage, $4. I swear these were cooked in ghee (clarified butter). They were so good, the three of us ate them like potato chips!

Charlie's Restaurant, Malibu. MyLastBite.com
Classic Roasted Veal Spaghetti Bolognese, $18. I was SO ready for this bowl of comforting goodness, and it did NOT disappoint.

Charlie's Restaurant, Malibu. MyLastBite.com
Braised Beef Short Ribs, Truffle Demi-Glace Drizzle, $26. My favorite dish of the night. No knife required (or teeth for that matter). Slow-braised and quickly eaten by the three of us!

Charlie's Restaurant, Malibu. MyLastBite.comCharlie’s
22821 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 456-3132 

Executive Chef Eleano Camboni

http://www.charliesmalibu.com/

Dining Date: 3/26/09


Mentioned Above:

1712 N. Crescent Heights by Dennis Hopper

Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut

Malibu Barbie

Celebrities, Malibu Colony

Wikipedia – Malibu Colony

Laur & Peter

Fess Parker Wines

The Bazaar

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

BLT

BLT – Bistro Laurent Tourondel

Dinner at BLT with good friends Marty and Kathy. I had read about the “amazing” popovers, but thought “seriously… how good can they be”. UM.. pretty damn good! They were crispy on top, pulled apart easily, steamy and airy inside and came with a small recipe card.

It turned out that Marty was a regular at BLT, so the sommelier spent extra time with us making sure we (especially Marty) were well cared for throughout the evening. Before dinner, Peter and I had a drink in the bar and nibbled on the nondescript looking popcorn on the counter. It was fantastic…. tart, salty and spicy.

My two favorite dishes were the appetizer of Artisanal Slab Bacon (of course) and the Onion Rings. The steak was fantastic, perfectly fine… but I’ve had plenty of fantastic steak in Los Angeles (my favorite steak is at Mastro’s served up with lobster mashed potatoes). But still, I did enjoy the steak here and totally recommend the slab bacon, onion rings, and the addictive popcorn at the bar!

BLT KILLER Popovers, MyLastBite.com

 Killer Popovers!

BLT Slab Bacon, MyLastBite.com
Amazing Slab Bacon as an appetizer!

BLT OnionRings, MyLastBite.com

Super crispy and light onion rings.

BLT Steak, MyLastBite.com

BLT Steak

BLT Doughnuts, MyLastBite.com

Cinnamon Doughnuts, Blueberry Compote and Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

BLT Popover Recipe, MyLastBite.com

I love that the Popovers come with the recipe attached!

http://www.bltrestaurants.com
8720 W Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069 (310) 360-1950
Dining Date 6/28/08

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