Archive for the 'Italian' Category

Roma Italian Deli – Pasadena

Roma Market - Pasadena

Roma Italian Deli‘s beloved “Sandwich” has been on my list of tasty things to eat since Jonathan Gold touted its merits back in 2012. Ironically, it’s often the food finds closest to my home that take me the longest to try. Go figure.

The Astronomer, June, and I finally stopped in to Roma on a recent Sunday afternoon. We were all in the mood for something low-key, so picking up sandwiches and enjoying them at the park was just our speed.

Roma Market - Pasadena

In addition to a well-stocked deli counter brimming with meats and cheeses, Rosario Mazzeo’s lil’ market boasts produce, wines, and a plethora of imported Italian provisions (pasta, olive oil, and the like). A return visit to peruse the shelves is definitely in order.

Roma Market - Pasadena

Even though “The Sandwich” is quite sizable, we couldn’t resist procuring a trio of cured meats to round out our spread.

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Nancy’s Fancy Coconut Stracciatella

Nancy's Fancy Gelato & Sorbetto Artiginale

Inspired by the desserts served at her fantastic collection of restaurants (see: Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, Mozza 2-Go, Chi Spacca), Chef Nancy Silverton recently introduced a line of artisanal gelati and sorbetti called Nancy’s Fancy.

These premium pints, which are sold exclusively at Gelson’s (for now) and priced at $10.99 a pop, include flavors like Butterscotch Budino (scotch-laced “pudding” with salted caramel swirls), Roasted Banana with Bourbon & Pecan Praline, and Frutti di Bosco (Greek yogurt with mixed berries). While I was pretty certain I would fall hardest for the Budino, one spoonful of the Stracciatella and…swoon.

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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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