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ayana

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  1. Cafe Los Feliz, on Hillhurst, has terrific savory croissants - the chicken-smoked mozzarella-spinach one is especially good.
  2. I don't think anyone has mentioned the ICE CREAM at Boule... which I think is the best in LA, honest!! They always have 8 flavors and they change all the time. Last time I was there I got Yuzu Buttermilk, Cardamom Ginger Caramel and an Apricot Jasmine sorbet. YUM. Any time I've had the fruit flavored ones they've been especially incredible. Cantaloupe was great, as was Red Grape. They're also a great deal compared to the other sweets in the shop. And they let you try as many flavors as you want. My only complaint was that they no longer serve their fresh-baked waffle cones, which were unreal, they were so damn good. For some reason now they only come in cups. Ayana
  3. Hi everyone, Husband & I doing a roadtrip from LA to Colorado and back. We're going to drive on the 70 via Arches National Park to Rocky Mountain National Park, and then drive back via Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the San Juan Skyway, Durango, Mesa Verde, and Monument Valley. Any good places to eat that you can think of along the way? Also, any food festivals that are worth a stop? This will be late July - mid August. Thanks!!
  4. oops. didn't see your last little bit until now. Yes, sir, okay! For one thing, I took somebody's advice from another thread and went to the Fresh Corn Grill in Westwood. Quite cheap & cheerful (though empty - but I think it's new), and the corn chowder was (as you might expect it to be) especially nice. I also went to Gilbert's El Indio, which I liked all right, nothing to write home about, but I suspect I'll be back because it's open late. I attempted to get into Father's Office for the second time, and failed yet again. I'm just going to get take-out next time. I have a feeling that Famima on 3rd St Promenade is going to be my late-night nemesis. Open till 2 am every night! And those chicken curry fried bread thingys are pretty tasty, damn them! Yesterday I went to Cora's Coffee Shoppe on Ocean/Pico for breakfast. They're on the pricey side for lunch, but breakfast is quite reasonable though they don't have a huge selection of dishes. However, the orange-blueberry pancakes were really fantastic. They are of the huge, doughy variety of American pancakes which I don't usually care for too much, but the intense orange flavor and the freshness of the blueberries more than made up for it. My SO had the burrata-caprese omelette which was pretty good, but the best part is that it came with toast and 3 homemade jams: strawberry, orange marmalade, and something that I thought was pluot and he thought was peach and actually turned out to be green tomato jam! Delicious. Cute little patio with Ladies Who Lunch on it (of course I ate breakfast at noon). Not on the Westside, I served jury duty for one day downtown last week and walked over to the Chinatown Mandarin Deli for the first time. Old news for most of you, most likely, but quite the revelation for me. YUM! And just a few days ago I made a Food Pilgrimage to East LA, where I've never been before, to Tacos Baja Ensenada for the fish tacos. It was worth it, I'll definitely go back. If you like fish tacos in Ensenada as much as I do (and you SHOULD) it's worth the drive to East LA to try this place out. I would only suggest that you ask for the crema on the side, because they put on too much for my taste. And that was the only thing - unlike in the Ensenada fish market, where the goblets of crema/different salsas/cabbage/limes/etc are on the table and you get to put them on yourself, here they make the taco for you. Too bad, but the fish was damn good. So were the shrimp tacos. The restaurants you all suggested are on my list and I will try them all at some point. Especially looking forward to the Sawtelle places. And I really want to try that Beacon Cafe, I love black cod. I go back and forth on the 10 to downtown all the time so I'll figure it out. Also that Sorrento market sounds great. Is it better than Bay Cities? (or Domingo's in the Valley?) Ayana
  5. Some advice about hilbeh - smell some fenugreek in the jar. If you think you might like a sauce that tastes like concentrated fenugreek, go for it, because hilbeh is very very good for you. Supposedly Yemeni people have the lowest rate of heart disease in the Third World because of it. Unfortunately, despite my dad's best efforts since I was a little kid to get me to "acquire" this very acquired taste, I just can't stand the stuff. Mellawach is also available in a frozen version, and it's pretty darn good.
  6. Probably this should start a new thread... Most of what my grandmother used to cook wasn't specifically Yemeni, since she was born in Jerusalem and grew up in both Arab villages and the Sephardic/Mizrahi Jewish community. But there are a few quintessentially Yemeni things that I have recipes for - let me know if you want them and I'll post. Mellawach - a kind of savory, flaky, fried bread/pancake, traditionally served with hard-boiled egg, tomato sauce, tehine and zchug (but you can top it with anything) Kubaneh - Yemeni bread that is cooked overnight in the oven on low heat in a tightly sealed pot - traditional for Shabbat since you're not allowed to actually turn the oven on, so you do it on Friday night instead. Traditionally served with huevos haminados (hard-boiled eggs baked overnight so they turn brown) and hilbeh, a fenugreek sauce Hreime - fish in spicy tomato sauce. Daniel Rogov posted a link to his recipe somewhere on this site Zchug (above) Yemeni Soup - Either chicken soup or beef bone soup is made Yemeni by the addition of Hawaij, a spice mix for soup. Around here you can get it at the Israeli market. It has a lot of turmeric but otherwise I'm actually not sure what's in it. Yemeni Coffee - like coffee elsewhere in the Middle East (ie Turkish coffee) but with Hawaij for coffee, another spice mix that has cardamom, cloves, ginger and other things but again I'm not sure of the exact ingredients, you can get it at the Israeli markets around me. Of course there are many other Yemeni food recipes, these are just the ones I've got that I know are specifically Yemeni. There are a few recipes at http://www.al-bab.com/yemen/soc/food.htm. There are a bunch more in Copeland Marks' Sephardic Jewish cookbook. there's a start... Ayana
  7. mmmmm. i've been hearing about Sahag's Basturma for a while. Seems like it warrants a special trip. Anyone been to Aladin in the Valley, or to Wahib's in Alhambra? And I know there must be some good OC places since most of the SoCal Palestinians live there... but I'm not familiar with anything.
  8. thanks everybody, these suggestions are great!! i'll put them into practice right away.
  9. Let's say for the purposes of SO-and-I-are-hungry-it's-9-pm-and-we-better-get-something-to-eat (hmmm, that's true RIGHT NOW!), I'm willing to drive anywhere up till the 405, a little past the 405 to Westwood, a little past the 10 to Venice. Culver City might be pushing it. I have restaurant recommendations further afield, and of course I'm always willing to drive further away for things like good Middle Eastern food or dim sum, but I need some good staples relatively nearby that I can pillage on regular occasions.
  10. ayana

    I need new salads

    A staple of the Israeli diet (delicious, but quite potent, be warned): Moroccan Carrot Salad 4 to 6 servings 1 kg carrots ¼ cup olive oil 2 tsp zchug (purchased Yemeni-Israeli hot pepper sauce, you can get it at an Israeli market), or 1 minced green serrano pepper Half a head of garlic (or 5-6 cloves) Juice from 2 lemons 1 tsp cumin salt ¼ cup parsley cut thin Cut off peel of carrots with a sharp knife - do not peel. Chop in circles (1-2 cm thick). Put them in pot with water to cover (a little salted) and cook about half an hour until soft but not too soft - still firm. Drain and cool. Mix lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic cloves and spices in a bowl. Add the cooked carrots to the mixture and stir. Cool. (It’s better if it sits for a few hours in the fridge). Mix in parsley just before serving. In Vietnam I had an unbelievably delicious salad of shrimp, avocado & fresh pineapple: Hanoi Shrimp-Avocado-Pineapple Salad Replication attempt of yummy salad at Moca Caphe, Hanoi, Vietnam About 10 medium fresh shrimp, cooked in salted water and peeled Several slices of fresh pineapple (do not substitute canned), chopped into bite-sized pieces 1 ripe avocado 1 small red onion or ½ large one, chopped Olive oil to taste Lemon to taste Mix all ingredients except avocado in a bowl. Chop avocado into bite-sized pieces and gently fold in. Serve immediately. The Naked Chef has this great grilled zucchini-dried mint-minced garlic-lemon-olive oil-red hot pepper flakes salad that I like to make. He's got more ideas here: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/cats/salads.php Happy salad eating! Ayana
  11. This recipe is DELICIOUS. It's for 2 eggplants so just halve it. Israeli Eggplant-Tomato Salad 2 eggplants 1 big onion, minced Salt, pepper ½ of a big lemon, or more to taste 2 heaping tsp sugar (yes, sugar! It's the secret ingredient, don't take it out!) One can chopped tomatoes, unseasoned Broil eggplants under the broiler about 15-20 min, turning them halfway through. Test by sticking a fork into the neck, showing that they’re mushy. Peel and mash with a fork in a bowl. Drain if there’s any liquid. In the meantime, fry 1 big minced onion in vegetable oil – NOT olive oil – till done. (I know, you think olive oil would be better. But for some reason, it's not.) Add eggplants to the onion in the pan, along with one can chopped tomatoes, salt and lots of pepper, ½ of a big lemon or more to taste, and about 2 heaping tsp of sugar or more to taste. Don’t be scared to add the sugar, that’s what makes it good. NO GARLIC. Simmer on low heat for a while. Cool completely, garnish with fresh parsley, serve with pitas. Everyone always loves this.
  12. Swiss, don't fuss over finding the molds. You don't really need them, I don't have any. Just use a small (1/4 cup) ramekin or your hand to form the cookies. They might not look like the traditional ones, but they will still be wonderful. ← My mom just got me molds which she bought at Shuk Hacarmel. However, until now I never used them, and my grandmother didn't either. She shaped them with her hand and then made little ridges on top, three little ridges that look nice when you pummel them with powdered sugar later.
  13. Hi Ayana, Next time you hop over to Israel I'll be more than happy to introduce you to some more hot chilies of sorts. I am situated in Tel Aviv, and if allowed 2-3 hours I believe can come up with at least 10 different varieties of red, green and yellow hot peppers, some are Habanero, Jalapeño and more. One farm, about 3/4 of an hour, south of Tel Aviv, grows many kinds, and I can arrange a visit in no time. Here is a link: http://www.mesheklevy.co.il/index.html note that it is only in Hebrew, and they grow many other great products. (If someone needs translation assistance, let me know). Naturally there are many other growers. Boaziko ←
  14. In my family (Israeli) we make Moroccan mint tea using fresh spearmint, black tea, sugar and a few drops of orange blossom water per glass - although it's even better to use actual citrus blossoms (any citrus is fine, they all smell the same - ie WONDERFUL). You just add 1-2 blossoms per glass. And... not savory, but I always add a few drops of orange blossom water to rice pudding. And to haroset (a traditional apple-date-wine mixture) for passover. Ayana
  15. When I asked one of my Israeli customers what he used it for, he said "whatever a person uses ketchup for, I use Schug"... he also said that about lemon baliadi Ayana - I have the same question... is the stuff made with green peppers also called schug/zchug or is it something else? Any ideas? ← Hi Pam, I grew up with "green zchug" and "red zchug" - the only difference was the type of peppers used. I'm not sure of the name of the red peppers in English - in Israel, you've only got the two kinds of hot peppers in the market, but here of course there are a million kinds. It looks like a serrano pepper, but red instead of green. Ayana
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