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Leslie Brenner

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  1. In West L.A., just south of Brentwood, Juquila serves wonderful Oaxacan food--for a pittance. Lately they've been offering a special of empanada filled with huitlacoche (corn fungus--a delicacy), zucchini blossoms, and quesillo, a crumbly, salty white cheese. This is a fabulous dish at something like $6.95, and big enough for lunch. (Juquila is on Santa Monica Blvd. between Federal and Barrington). I eat there several times a week. I know it has its detractors, but the dim sum at Royal Star on Wilshire in W.L.A. is pretty good--in fact, terrific compared to most of what you get on the eas
  2. I'm a huge fan of Mori Sushi, too. I wonder if there could possibly be another sushi bar in L.A. as good--if so, I'd love to find it!
  3. Hi Cabrales--that was I who wrote the piece in T+L November issue; I sampled both the foie gras selection at Campton Place and the little foie gras burger at Fleur de Lys. The foie gras at Campton Place ranged from very good to stunning; I loved the roulade with prune chutney; the hickory-smoked version was very original, but I thought less successful. The presentation is wonderful, served off a cart tableside. We shared two orders for a table of four, and that was perfect, matched with a terrific Jurançon. At Fleur de Lys, the little foie gras burger was (if memory serves) a couple littl
  4. I'd go with La Cabana in Venice which you are probably aware of. Or, further East, Loteria in the Farmer's Market. Thanks, Hollywood. I do like La Cabana very much (partly for sentimental reasons--I've been going there for 25 or 30 years), but I don't love it. I'll try Loteria. It's actually in Farmer's Market? I've never noticed it.
  5. She does still serve lots of game. I LOVE her wild boar, a standard on the menu, as is venison.
  6. She does still serve lots of game. I LOVE her wild boar, a standard on the menu, as is venison.
  7. Congratulations, Steven! It's a great idea, and it looks beautiful. I look forward to tucking it into my carry-on on my next trip east!
  8. Interesting thread! I somehow had missed it until now. Especially interesting to me, since I'm a food critic who moved to L.A. from NYC just over a year ago. The tenor of it echos the conclusion I've come to over these past months: the general level of the higher end restaurants in L.A. doesn't nearly measure up to the level of such restauratns in either NY or San Francisco, either in terms of food or service. Or even, odd as it may sound, ambience. There are restaurants I'm quite fond of--Josie, Joe's, Water Grill, Spago come to mind. And many, many others that I find extremely overrated
  9. Oh my goo-ness. It wasn't very very goo, it was very very doog. I mean good.
  10. I was a huge fan of Gras's at Peacock Alley--felt it (and he) were totally underrated. I dined at Fifth Floor a month ago and didn't feel it measured up. It was very, very goo--a warm summer salad, with gorgeous tiny vegetables poached in vinaigrette served atop a purslane salad, blew me away. But other dishes were disappointing, and the place as feels like a money-making-machine--completely unlike Peacock Alley. I think he's tremendously talented, but based on only one visit, I don't feel he's shining there.
  11. Leslie Brenner


    Trim the bottoms by rotating against a sharp paring knife, cut off the top third, then cut in half vertically. Blanche a couple minutes, then saute in olive oil and garlic. Serve hot or room temp for a fab first course.
  12. How about 100% Arabica French roast coffee, $3.99 for 13 oz? I go there just for that, and often wind up picking up other liquids ($5.99 Chiantis, cut-rate San Pellegrino, etc.).
  13. Jaymes, I couldn't agree more. We always approached the food issue with our son (now 5 1/2) from a "get to" rather than a "have to" position. We've always shown him how much we enjoy food (not hard), and we've always done our best not to give him any clues that something might be considered "weird." He eats almost everything (loves stinky cheese, baby octopus, sushi, most vegetables), but is only starting to enjoy fruit. We've never chided him for not liking something, only perhaps made him see that we really enjoy it. He has only eaten at McDonald's once. He liked it, but he likes just
  14. Leslie Brenner

    Corked Wine

    It is my understanding (and I've spoken with a number of winemakers about this) that when TCA attacks a bottle, the first thing that happens is that much of the palate disappears--this happens before the characteristic "corked" smell manifests itself. And you'll notice, if you actually taste a wine you know to be corked -- in other words, once you've identified the corked smell -- that the palate has somehow disappeared. To me, "cooked" wines have a decided off-taste, as opposed to nothing left in the palate.
  15. I just wanted to say thank you to the Egullet community for giving me the opportunity to participate in this Q+A--I've certainly enjoyed it! Thanks especially to all of you who asked such interesting and provocative questions, and a special thanks to Bux for putting it all together, and Jason Perlow for facilitating. If anyone's interested (and I mentioned this somewhere below in a response), Amazon.com asked me several weeks ago to write an "Epilogue" to the book, which they've posted on their Cookbooks page; here's a link. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/featu...6900400-0748112 I look
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