Archives for the month of: November, 2011

this is the kind of recipe that amounts really vary and ultimately are to your own taste, but put them all together and it’s a winner, winner great with a chicken dinner…or fish…or steak…or…


  • slivered almonds, toasted
  • olive oil
  • kale, chopped
  • green onion, white and green parts, sliced thin
  • wine, red or white
  • wine vinegar, red or white
  • s+p

toast the slivered almonds until golden brown, and set aside. heat some olive oil in a pan that has a cover. add the kale and onion and sauté until just coated with the oil, and sprinkle with some salt. add a decent splash of wine (just use whatever is open and/or have on hand) and toss. let it steam for a few minutes covered, stirring occasionally until the liquid is evaporated and the kale has softened a bit. toss in the almonds and add fresh cracked pepper to taste. finish with a light splash of wine vinegar, type dependent on what type of wine used to steam the kale and onions. serve immediately.


ever since working at al’s breakfast in dinkytown during my college and post-college years at the university of minnesota, i have been highly critical whenever ordering eggs benedict. don’t get me even started on the one at bottega louie which i sent back twice. nick’s cafe has a pretty good version, but i have yet to find one that equals the one at al’s, especially the hollandaise sauce. the one at mf gourmet in grand central market comes close. they make their’s with applewood smoked bacon (which i prefer to canadian style), kendor farms eggs, on top of fresh baked baguette. i was skeptical because the hollandaise looked a bit thin, but the flavor was all there, and even though it didn’t quite have the lemony taste of al’s, it was combined so well with the quality ingredients i didn’t even miss it.

grand central market is filled with meat and fish vendors, produce stands and restaurants, but mf gourmet is unique because their

“offerings are prepared from scratch, executed by skilled artisan craftsmen…[they are] committed to sustainability, through locally sourced ingredients when available…with health and nutrition always in mind.” (from their website)

they only have a small counter covered in brown craft paper with maybe 8 stools (reminiscent of al’s too), so i assume during busy lunches there could be a bit of a wait.

the menu is on a chalkboard, sugar comes in a lidless canning jar, s+p is in tiny metal cups, and tea is served in pretty floral cups on saucers. cute touches all around, not to mention, the coffee is good as well. also, in order to promote cake pops la, we were given complimentary desserts!

they only have two items for brunch right now: the eggs benny, and french toast with potatoes and bacon. they do have a more extensive lunch menu including a burger, fresh pasta, and a fish of the day.

besides being able to purchase a few basic items at the counter to take home, such as apples, select cheeses, potatoes and garlic, they also have several different fresh baked breads and pastries to choose from.

i chose sourdough. the loaf was so big i wondered if i would be able to eat it all. no problem…three days later it was gone!

a couple months ago while on a bike tour on my 5 year anniversary of living downtown, i was tooling around checking out places i hadn’t been before such as the bradbury building, angels flight, and the central library, but also taking in a lot of the street art that has become a prevalent movement here in los angeles. i stopped into angel city brewery for a beer and read an article in the downtown news about a new pizza place called pizzanista. since i was famished from biking around all day and it is located on the south end of the arts district near to where i was, i thought i’d check it out. on my short trip there, it took me past some of the most impressive murals i had seen yet, by the artist roa i recognized from the show ‘art in the streets’ that was just at the geffen contemporary at moca this past spring and summer.

also fitting is that the owner of pizzanista, salman agah, is an ex-pro skateboarder, which is often a scene linked to street art. the music playing is always a wide mix. the last time i was in it went from the yeah, yeah, yeahs ‘heads will roll’ to musical youth ‘pass the dutchie’ in one fell swoop. the interior is small, has only a few tables, and a handful of stools that you can belly up to at the front window. the menu is on a large chalkboard on a brick wall and the red padded chairs and the wood panelling reminds me of an old-timey pizza parlour.

i have been back a few times, and salman is always there. he’s always super friendly, saying hello like he remembers me, and even if he doesn’t, he genuinely makes me feel like he does. it’s my new favorite pizza place…hands down the best downtown, and dare i say in all of los angeles? there are a couple places that i like, such as two boots and damiano’s, that get that crispy yet chewy crust, but pizzanista takes it one step further and combines fresh (and as much as possible organic), delicious, and quality ingredients into some incredible tastes. for example, their latest special: pumpkin pizza with sage, shallots, ricotta and fresh arugula. i, for one, don’t think pizza is pizza unless it has two ingredients: cheese and tomatoes. i don’t get ‘white pizza’…never have, never will, so i was a bit hesitant to try the pumpkin pizza, but it sounded so wonderful i just had to.

the pumpkin sauce was a great substitute for tomato, and the rest of the flavors complimented everything so well, i forgot about the tomatoes…well almost.

this morning i was dreaming about ordering a pepperoni pizza from pizzanista just before i woke up. no lie. thankfully i slept in so it wasn’t too long before i could take off on my trusty steed and head over to my new local pizza joint for lunch, and make my dreams come true.

a slice of pepperoni and a slice of mushroom, onion and ground beef. oh and they have mexican coke!

pizzanista!  • 2019 e. 7th street  los angeles, ca  90021 • 213-627-1430 • closed mondays

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