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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Fresh Fig Galette

Fresh Fig Galette

It’s fig season. Hooray! In celebration of this most joyous time of year, I baked a Fresh Fig Galette. The figs, Black Mission and Kadota, arrived at my doorstep from Farm Fresh to You, a fantastic new-to-me service that brings local and organically grown produce to homes and offices across Southern California. Pro Tip: Use code CATH3482 for $10 off your first order. You’ll love it, I promise.

Farm Fresh to You Delivery

Whereas most Fresh Fig Galette recipes call for for a layer of jam, cream, or marzipan between the fruit and crust, this recipe from Cooking Light only requires the essentials. Simple is best when it comes to highlighting the season’s finest and ripest.

Whereas the Black Missions tasted wonderfully earthy, the Kadotas were juicy and sweet. Together, they made for an irresistibly jammy filling. The crust, made from a combination of all-purpose flour and ground almonds, came together in rich and crumbly fashion, like a fine shortbread.

Figs will only be around from now until early fall, so hurry up and bake this galette before this much-too-short season comes to an end. What are you waiting for?

  • 6.75 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons almond meal (Note: Almond meal is finely ground almonds)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 pound fresh Black Mission and/or Kadota figs, stemmed and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Fresh Fig Galette

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, almond meal, 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Scatter butter into processor; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in oil; pulse to combine. Add ice water; pulse just until combined. Turn mixture out onto a sheet of plastic wrap; pat into a disk. Continue reading ‘Fresh Fig Galette’

Dune – Los Angeles (Atwater Village)

Dune - Atwater Village - Los Angeles

The Astronomer, June, and I made our way to Dune for lunch last Sunday. I’d been meaning to check out this highly touted Atwater Village falafelria since it was opened earlier this year by the folks who run Elf Cafe.


June really liked Dune’s outdoor seating and fast-casual service, while The Astronomer and I appreciated that our spread arrived quickly. Efficient service is one of the perks of waiting a solid six months before trying a “hot” spot.    

Dune - Atwater Village - Los Angeles

The menu here is awesomely simple, offering just a trio of sandwiches, a few composed plates, and a smattering of salads and snacks. The Astronomer and I ordered a little bit of everything and enjoyed leftovers the following day.

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China Tasty – Alhambra

China Tasty - Alhambra

Word of made-from-scratch, hand-pulled noodles at China Tasty lured me away from my cubical and to Alhambra for lunch the other week. While hand-pulled noodles are easily found throughout mainland China, noodle pulling specialists are surprisingly scarce in the San Gabriel Valley. Props to the L.A. Times’ Amy Scattergood for unearthing this gem.


China Tasty makes four different noodle shapes. There’s “standard round” (like spaghetti), “small flat” (like linguini), “medium flat” (like papperdelle),  and “triangle noodle” (like no other). Amy describes the lattermost as “kind of like the noodle version of laminated dough, pulled into layers and cooked until beautifully chewy.” It was my favorite of the varieties we sampled.

China Tasty - Alhambra

First up was the “Szechuan Dan-Dan Noodle” ($5.99). We requested the triangle noodles to pair with this dish.

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