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Best dishes at various restaurants - my faves

Clare | Mar 10, 200612:47 PM

Still laid up with my slipped disc (got the diagnosis yesterday, getting treatment later today - thanks for all your well wishes!!), so I thought I'd post about some of my favorite dishes here in LA. It's cold and gloomy outside and these are the foods that are coming to mind as I sit here and watch the rain fall:

1) Truffled Mac & Cheese at Blair's in Silverlake:
I absolutely love this side dish. It's rich without being overly creamy, and there's just a hint of truffle oil flavor. The pasta is just chewy enough with a bite that really allows one to feel like he/she is sinking their teeth into something hearty. Perfect to split with one other person.

2) Eggs from Hell - Coffee Table (Silverlake and Eagle Rock locations):
Scrambled eggs with a blistering hot sauce served with black beans and flour tortillas. This not for the faint of palate - it is truly hellishly spicy. Though it's firey as all hell, it has great flavor and is fantastic on a cold day (or if you are sick, you'll sweat out whatever's ailing you).

3) Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice at Koi:
I know, everyone loves this and I can see why. When I was a kid, I loved scraping the burnt rice off the bottom of the rice pot, and Koi has found a way to ball up that burnt rice and put spicy tuna on top for an absolutely fabulous taste sensation. The thinly sliced jalapeno on top finishes this off perfectly.

4) Cocoa Crepes - Parkway Grill, Pasadena:
Lobster pieces inside thin, unsweetened cocoa crepes covered in a thin but flavorful lobster sauce. It just doesn't get much better than this.

5) Pizza Marghertia from Michaelangelo's, Silverlake:
Super thin crust, just a hint of sauce, lots of basil and bubbling mozarella make this one of my favorite east side pizzas. Everything tastes like it should: the tomatoes are tomato-y, the basil is fresh and the cheese is creamy.

6) Asian Salmon Steaks - Whole Foods, Glendale:
I don't know what they do exactly but these salmon steaks (just baked in teriyaki, I believe) are juicy, lean and fabulously delicious. I got them last time with their roasted brussell sprouts (with pecans) and the combo was perfection. If you have to get food to go, I highly recommend this.

7) Crispy Rock Shrimp with Spicy Mayo Sauce, Z's in Alhambra:
Chef Toshi does an amazing job on everything he makes, but this is a stand-out amongst his cooked items. Light, crisp, hot and just spicy enough. I also highly recommend the Agi sushi - the best I have ever had is here at Z. Actually, I think you'd be hardpressed to find anything you don't like at this amazing restaurant. One of my all-time favorites.

8) Ina Garten's (Barefoot Contessa) Homemade Mac & Cheese:
OK, you can't get this anywhere but you can make it yourself. It is probably the best mac & cheese I have ever made, tasted, dreamt of, etc. She uses 70% Gryere and 30% good cheddar and that makes all the difference. The only substitution I make is using Japanese panko breadcrumbs instead of regular.

Happy Friday everyone :)


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