My wife (henceforth referred to as "She," to fully capture her greatness) shoehorned so much wonderful food into a thanksgiving/hannukah weekend, I'm not sure how we handled it all, but boy, it sure was awesome!
-- Sticky Toffee Pudding with Dr. Bob's Vanilla Ice Cream
After reading a rave on this board, I asked for a pint of the ice cream, which She found at Surfas. (For more on the ice cream: http://www.drbobsicecream.com/drbobs....) Little did I know what else She had up her sleeve: Sticky Toffee Pudding (www.stickytoffeepudding.com), available frozen (FROZEN?!) at Surfas at something like 1/2 the Williams-Sonoma price. Made by some British dude in Venice, this is really a soft date cake with a caramel topping soaked in. I'm not saying that it's good, I'm just saying that if you haven't had it, your life is a meaningless existence. Oven warmed with Dr. Bob's dripping over it -- oh-my-goodness. Heaven.
-- Campanile for Breakfast
I've been a fan of them for a long time. Our favorite meal may very well be breakfast, and this was our first breakfast...er, "Brunch" there. Her Quiche was great...but the real star was the olive oil cooked eggs with oven roasted heirloom tomatoes, on top of long cooked broccoli with artichokes. Whoa. This is Campanile at it's best -- the best ingredients, simply prepared. I cannot really remember a better breakfast dish anywhere else.
Coffee = excellent.
In addition, we even ordered "dessert" -- a brioche filled with custard, and the real winner...one of their special Rustic Tarts, with pear filling. (It's like a mini-pie; buttery, shortbread crust, crumbed topping, and sweet filling. They barely mark it up over the prices at LBB next door, which is a nice touch!
-- Cobras & Matadors.
Every time we come here, I feel lucky to have a restaurant like this in L.A. Fun, friendly, DEEPLY Los Angeles (of the two pairs of folks who sat next to us, each included an unrecognizable alpha-female who spent the evening talking about her trailer, or following in Lisa ling's footsteps, and so on), but with excellent food. (Still no corkage on bottles purchased next door: we had a delightful Martinsancho Verdejo 2001 that's earned Parker raves for $9 after tax.)
Oh, and the food:
Tortilla, churros -- excellent as always. Socca cakes are wonderful, as was a crisp and crunchy lentil salad (sin jamon) and a creamy/tangy gaspacho. (Anyone know how they cook their lentils? Or what kind of lentils they are? They almost taste like they've been pan-fried only, or haven't seen a lot of water.)
Note for dog-havers: maybe one of the only restaurants in L.A. where you can eat dinner with your pup. They've got outside seating at all hours, and we were able to sit with one very patient puppy. She enjoyed the socca cakes, but really preferred the tortilla.