Archive for the 'Italian' Category

Bestia – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Bestia - Los Angeles (Downtown)

The Astronomer and I traded in Baby for pasta one evening a couple weeks back. With my mom in town helping with June for a few days, we seized the opportunity to enjoy a night out on the town—just the two of us.

We’ve been meaning to return to Bestia for quite some time now, and thanks to Reserve (a “personal dining concierge” app that I highly recommend), we were able to snag a table at the last minute. It’s amazing what a three hour getaway can do for the psyche of new parents!

Bestia - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Upon arriving at the restaurant, The Astronomer and I were led to the hottest seat in the house, literally. Perched in front of the grill and wood-burning oven, we were treated to pizza-tossing, bone marrow-roasting, tomahawk-grilling, and ribeye-searing all night long. It was a splendid performance.

Bestia - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Sommelier Anthony Calian got us started with pours of Bio-Secco Rosé, which he aptly described as “liquid Jolly Ranchers.” My first postpartum drink—mmm, bubbly.

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Chain Reaction: Battle of Los Angeles’ Fast-Casual Margherita Pizzas

pizza collage

If there’s an empty storefront in your neighborhood strip mall, chances are that a fast-casual pizza joint will be occupying it shortly — that is, if one hasn’t already set up shop. In recent months, a parade of customizable pizza establishments has marched across the Southland, offering an assembly line of meats, cheeses, vegetables and herbs for pizza-goers to mix and match according to their individual palates.

PizzaRev - Pasadena

Southern California-based concepts — including Blaze, Pieology, 800 Degrees and PizzaRev — are going head-to-head with out-of-state contenders like Live Basil and MOD Pizza for market share and diners’ dollars. With so many brands entering the market, seemingly overnight, it can be nearly impossible to distinguish one build-your-own pizza place from the next.

Blaze - Pasadena

Examining the major players by assessing their basic margherita pizzas reveals the essential differences between them. Comprised of just tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil, set on a thin and blistered crust, this Neapolitan classic requires pristine ingredients, sound techniques, and a blazing hot oven. When it comes to pizza, it’s often the simplest ones that reveal the most about an establishment.

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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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{swoon} Baby Clam Pizza at Mother Dough

Mother Dough - Los Feliz - Los Angeles

I tasted Mother Dough‘s “Baby Clam” pizza ($17) for the first time last spring while on a lady date with Diana. It was one of the evening’s specials, and though we had our eyes set on other pies, we knew that this one had to be ours as soon as the waiter finished giving us the rundown. Since then, the pizza’s popularity has propelled it from limited time offering to menu mainstay. And that’s where it should remain.

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