Author Archive for Gastronomer

Lincoln – Pasadena

Lincoln - Pasadena

I have the biggest crush on Lincoln. Situated at the border between Altadena and Pasadena in a former machine shop, this delicious and stylish new restaurant from Little Flower Candy’ Co.‘s Christine Moore is my go-to spot for laid back lunches and pastry fixes. Three visits in and I still can’t get enough.

Lincoln - Pasadena

The menu, which is comprised of breakfast dishes (served all day!), sandwiches, and salads, strikes a balance between familiar and innovative. Whether you’re in the mood for classic or creative fare, there’s something for everyone here.

Cecilia Leung | Lincoln - Pasadena

One of the highlights of dining at Lincoln is scoping out the pastry counter. Chef Cecilia Leung always has an enticing spread of cookies, cakes, scones, breads, and muffins available at all hours of the day. Try as I might, I can never limit myself to just one treat (as you’ll see below).

Pro Tip: Follow Cecilia on Instagram to see what irresistible delights she’s currently baking and serving.

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Pitfire Artisan Pizza – Pasadena

Pitfire Pizza - Pasadena

I’ve been a fan of Pitfire Artisan Pizza ever since sampling their slices a few years back, so I was pumped when Paul Hibler and team announced that their eighth location would be right in my own backyard. There certainly isn’t a shortage of pizza purveyors in Pasadena, but you know, a girl’s got to have choices.

Pitfire Pizza - Pasadena

Housed in the abandoned Sizzler on Arroyo Parkway, the new Pitfire is airy and spacious with communal tables, high ceilings, and wide aisles (perfect for parents with strollers—like us!). An eye-poppingly red Mugnaini oven provided a fitting centerpiece to the room.

The Astronomer and I came in for lunch with Baby June last week—our first solo food outing with the little one. Fortunately, she slept through the whole meal.

Pitfire Pizza - Pasadena

Service here is of the fast-casual variety, with orders placed at the front counter and food delivered when it’s ready.

The first dish to arrive was the Fall Farmers Market Plate ($10.85), which included roasted mushrooms with herbed citrus bread crumbs, ginger tomato jam and ricotta on grilled rustic bread, roasted brussels sprouts with salsa verde, and chile roasted pumpkin with garlic oil. The Astronomer and I both agreed that the ginger-spiked tomato jam on toast was most definitely our jam.

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Love & Salt – Los Angeles (Manhattan Beach)

Love & Salt - Manhattan Beach

While some folks are juicing their way into the New Year, I’m doing quite the opposite. Sure I’ve got a few postpartum pounds left to lose, but first, pasta, pizza, and mortadella hot dogs!

With The Astronomer on baby duty last Monday night, I made my way to Manhattan Beach to join my friends Darin and Diana for dinner at Love & Salt, where we feasted on the aforementioned indulgences and so much more.

Love & Salt - Manhattan Beach

Opened late last year in the former Café Pierre space, Love & Salt is a collaboration between Chef Michael Fiorelli (most recently of mar’sel at Terranea Resort) and restauranteurs Guy and Sylvie Gabriele (Zazou, Farm Stand).

Love & Salt - Manhattan Beach

The restaurant, by the way, is named for the team’s philosophy that great food needs only love and salt. True that.

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Ngày Đầy Tháng: June’s One Month Celebration

Ngày Đầy Tháng: June's One Month Celebration

While pregnant with Baby June, I spent many afternoons listening to my grandmother recall various myths and traditions regarding motherhood and babies within Vietnamese culture. Ba Ngoai has personally experienced nine pregnancies in her lifetime, so she knows a thing or two about the subject. While some Vietnamese postpartum rituals are rarely practiced in the U.S., others remain quite common.

For me, the custom of staying indoors and “roasting” by a fire (nam lua) for an entire month after giving birth seemed impractical (and a bit nuts), but baby’s one month anniversary (ngay day thang) seemed an important milestone to recognize.

June's Ngày Đầy Tháng | First Month Celebration

From what I gather from my family (and from scouring the Internet), the purpose of ngay day thang is to prepare a feast for the mười hai bà mụ (twelve midwives). According to Vietnamese mythology and folk religion, these twelve “fairies” teach babies various prosperous traits and skills such as sucking and smiling.

June's Ngày Đầy Tháng | First Month Celebration

My grandparents, along with my mother and great aunt, traveled from San Diego to assist with day thang preparations.

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