Jan 2020

Pasjoli – Santa Monica

Pasjoli - Santa Monica

Mom and I braved a brutal Friday night drive from Altadena to Santa Monica to experience Chef Dave Beran’s neo-bistro Pasjoli. The place was very much humming along when we arrived for an early dinner.

Pasjoli - Santa Monica

Seated on the quieter side of the brightly lit dining room, we were separated from the open kitchen and casual bar by a wall. Mom sipped some wine while I honed in on the menu of French small and large plates. We focused mostly on the small plates this evening — it’s the way we like to eat.

Pasjoli - Santa Monica

The first dish to arrive was the blue crab with cauliflower cream and sorrel ($26). The tender hunks of crabmeat were dressed ever so deftly so as not to distract from their intrinsic sweetness.

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Jan 2020

80 Hours in Baja: Puerto Nuevo, Valle de Guadelupe and Ensenada

Familia

I have been meaning to return to the Valle de Guadelupe and Ensenada ever since an epic trip back in 2009. It took an entire decade to make it happen, but I finally made my way this past November along with The Astronomer, my mom, and June. We had a fantastic time.

Puerto Nuevo #1 – Puerto Nuevo

Restaurant Puerto Nuevo #1

While we could have driven from San Diego straight to our lodging in the Valle de Guadelupe, it was far more delightful to swing through Puerto Nuevo for lunch. Rounding out the feast of lobsters were rice, beans, salsa, made-to-order flour tortillas, and plenty of drawn butter.

Lumi – Valle de Guadelupe

LUMI - Valle de Gauadelupe

From Puerto Nuevo, we drove to the Valle de Guadelupe. A fortuitous internet rabbit hole led me to Lumi, a Scandinavian-Mexican escape in the heart of Mexico’s wine country. While my mom stayed in a well-appointed converted shipping container, The Astronomer, June and I glamped our hearts out.

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Jan 2020

Bon Temps – Los Angeles (Downtown)

Bon Temps - Los Angeles (Downtown)

Happy 2020, everyone! Thank you for making Gastronomy a part of your internet surfing routine. I dined out far more frequently than I blogged in 2019, so I still have a few more meals to recount before diving into the new year. Now up is Bon Temps, my favorite Los Angeles restaurant experience in 2019.

Chef Lincoln Carson is making magnificent food at Bon Temps, his newish and French-ish restaurant in the Arts District. From start to finish, every single dish dazzled and delighted with the kind of polish that can only be honed over time and tenure.

Bon Temps - Los Angeles (Downtown)

There were cocktails to start for me and my dining companion Thien. For her, a “3rd & Revolucion” with tequila reposado, aperitivo, lemon, pineapple, and spice ($15). And for me, predictably, a cognac Old Fashioned with grand Champagne cognac, maraschino, absinthe, and bitters ($14).

Bon Temps - Los Angeles (Downtown)

First to arrive was a complimentary fougasse, a crisp and rich loaf with preserved lemons and leeks.

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