Passing it Over on Passover

So, if it was your birthday and you had a friend who was an excellent cook who knew how to make anything in the world what would you request for your birthday lunch? A beautiful cheesy quiche? Some homemade fried chicken? A lovely seafood salad with lobster and crab? Well I'm the friend who's the excellent cook and X is the friend who's having the birthday. Now I love X more than anyone in the world, but I'm having second (and third and fourth) thoughts about X's palate. More that anything else, X wants a meatloaf sandwich with ketchup. But wait, it's not as bad as it sounds. The meatloaf has to be from Huntington's Meats. Now for those of you who have never seen or heard of Huntington's get in your car or UBER it over to Farmer's Market right now! For $3.99 a pound the meatloaf is the best you will ever taste. Sorry Whole Foods, yours is second. Buy 2 pounds because it will all be gone and bake it at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. (Whole Foods is already baked-so if you're really lazy go this route) Now, really folks, this is the best meatloaf in town. But that's not where it ends! Whenever we want fantastic steaks Huntington Meats is our go to butcher. Meat seasoning is free, parking validations are free, and it's like visiting an old-time butcher shop. Sure Kobe steaks are $110 a pound but were not buying those! Grass fed beef abounds, as well as prime cuts. If you're feeling Fred Flinstonish check out the Tomahawk Steaks. We bet you can't eat the whole thing. We also enjoy the Ribeye, Striploin, Porterhouse, Filet Mignon, and Tri-Tip. Next time you're at the Farmer's Market stop by. They'll even give you cooking instructions! Huntington Meats 6333 West 3rd Street Los Angeles (323) 933-5383. Hours: Monday: 9am-9pm Saturday: 9am-8pm Sunday: 9am-7pm 

Well I've been off the radar for a bit, but I'm back in full swing as Springtime approaches. I've been super busy doing report cards, trying to score some summer reviewer work with Time Out LA, and whipping up some pretty tasty dishes of my own.

Last week we ventured out to Granada Hills. Now that's not some place that we often visit, but you should! If only to eat at CF Food Kitchen; it's worth the journey. And it is a journey, but it's worth every one of the 5 star Yelp reviews it has, including my own. Chef Edwing Flores cooks with only the best high-quality fresh ingredients!

On the corner of Woodley and Devonshire, located in a tiny strip mall, this truly is a "hidden" gem. Enter the tiny eatery and you'll be greeted by the lovely Silvia, Chef Flores' wife, and the main server.

Start with a glass of wine like the La Playa Sauvignon Blanc ($7) or the Alamos Malbec ($7) both great inexpensive libations by the glass or bottle. Beers are $5 to $6 and range from domestic to microbrews.

We ordered from the Dinner Specials menu which includes an appetizer and dessert. Start with the homemade bread. You'll definitely eat a basket or two. It's light and fluffy with a crispy crust. From the appetizer list we ordered the Fried Brie with organic greens, a balsamic reduction, and basil oil. Eat it on the homemade bread and it's a taste explosion in your mouth! We also ordered the New England Clam Chowder which was thick and creamy and the Shrimp Cocktail. For dinner we had the Filet Mignon ($35) with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a cabernet reduction that is out of this world! Meat was tender and juicy and perfectly cooked. We also enjoyed the French Lamb Chops ($35), Beef Wellington ($32) with a port reduction, and Pecan Chicken ($22) with Creole Mustard sauce.

For dessert enjoy the homemade bread pudding or the salted chocolate cake. CF Food Kitchen 16205 Devonshire Street Granada Hills (818) 363-5781. Hours: Closed Monday. Tue-Thurs. 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday: 4-10 p.m. Sunday 3-8 p.m. Reservations suggested.

 

Recommended Dishes:Fried Brie, Clam Chowder, Filet Mignon, Beef Wellington, Pecan Chicken, French Lamb Chops, Bread Pudding.,

If you ever visited 220 Rose Avenue in the late 90's you surely remember The Rose Cafe. I have fond memories of the best pasta salad ever. Yes, that was the trend back then, pasta salad. Fast forward to February of this year when restaurant millionaire Bill Chait bought the famous Venice landmark and decided to update the the food. With Jason Neroni in the kitchen and partners Kamul Kapur and Manhar Patel The Rose Cafe just may be another hit in 2015. With a brand new $750,000 kitchen hit dishes are a far cry from pasta salad. We went today for brunch and the eclectic menu is interesting to say the least. For Bites, Snacks and Apps try the Salmon Tartare ($15). From the Farmer's Market the Tomato Salad ($14) with za' atar creme frache, shallots, boquerones (white anchovies) and tomato vinaigrette is our favorite salad. If you're after a pasta dish the Smoked Bucatini Carbonara ($15) is where it's at! With bacon, black pepper, parmesan, cream, and a poached egg, it doesn't get better than this. For All Day breakfasts try the Chef's Bread Basket ($15). The bread and pastries are incredible! Baguettes are crispy and chewy all at once. Chocolate croissants are buttery flakey layers studded with huge chunks of bittersweet chocolate! Ham and Cheese melted on a baguette ($12) is melt in your mouth delicious. We also tried one piece of fried chicken. Vanilla Latte is made with Verve coffee which is one of my favorites. They've only been open for 6 weeks but here's to a long life! Rose Cafe Restaurant 220 Rose Avenue Venice (310) 399-0711. Hours: M-Thurs: 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Fri: 7:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Sat: 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Sunday 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m

 

Recommended Dishes: Bread Basket, fried chicken, ham and cheese sandwich, croissants salmon tartare, carbonara, tomato salad, coffee bar.

I think I visited Leo & Lily a couple of times before and did not find it to be anything out of the ordinary. The first time it was for a quick breakfast and the second a brunch with my family. Last week, however, I met my friend for a long leisurely lunch and we enjoyed the European Mediterranean food very much. We sat outside on the patio and caught up for hours! We started with the home made freshly baked bread basket ($3.95) with assorted breads served with freshly made kalamanta tapenade, feta cheese, and butter. If you're like me, you'll end up eating the whole darn thing! The Leo's Steak Salad ($13.95) is outstanding. Arugula, endive roasted tomato, crispy shallots, asiago cheese, and sliced sirloin are all served in a delicious balsalmic reduction with extra virgin olive oil. This salad was fantastic and a huge portion too! We also had the L&L Veggie with Sauteed Salmon ($17.95). This refreshing dish came with Italian mixed greens, radicchio, chickpeas, tomato, red onion, cucumber, red pepper, ricotta cheese, sunflower seeds, and creamy tahini dressing. Service was very good. We look forward to more memorable meals. Leo & Lily's 22420 Ventura Blvd. Woodland Hills. (818) 222-6622. Hours: Mon-Wed: 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Thurs-Fri: 7:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Sun: 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

Recommended Dishes: Bread Basket, Steak Salad Veggie Salad with Salmon. 

 

Walking down Abbot Kinney, there are lots of opportunities to eat, but Thursday, we opted for a healthy choice. Wait are you shaking your head yet? Are you thinking you're reading the wrong blog? Well stop, because it's true! My daughter, Carly came for lunch and she loves Kreation's pressed juices. Much to her delight, the "kafe" was attached so she jumped at the chance to eat there. I begrudgingly trailed in behind. As soon as we sat down, Carly ordered the Mod.ify ($7.95) composed of apple, strawberry, and pear cold pressed juices. It was delicious and refreshing. This from someone who is not a juice lover. (me). Premium detox drinks ($10.95) with names such as Serenity (Tumeric, lemon, agave, ginger, and cayenne) and Clarity (Kale, cucumber, parsley, celery, spinach, romaine, lemon, chlorophyll, aloe vera, ginger, and Himalayan salt really clean the system. Pressed Nut Milks (Almond, walnut, cashew-$10.95), Lemonade ($7.95), and cold pressed coffee ($5.50) are on the menu too.  Breakfast is served all day and includes eggs from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. For lunch we had the Organic Chicken Breast Kabob ($9.90) It's a lunch special served with a side of hummus and yougurt dip and a small salad. Chicken was very juicy and flavorful and grilled onions and peppers were cooked well. I liked it so much that even I, the junk food junkie am going back to try something else (dare I say the word?) healthy. Kreation Organic Kafe 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice. (310) 314-7778. Hours: Daily 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

 

Recommenmded: Chicken Kabobs, Cold Pressed Juices

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