Tag Archives: cheese

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Deluca Trattoria

restaurant

My only relationship to El Segundo is the Tribe Called Quest song; this past weekend, we drove an hour to the charming little beach city, for a hosted dinner at Deluca Trattoria

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…I’ll be shooting a very body-conscious project for the next few months (<—sorry, can’t say what!) and brought some extra stomachs to help check out their newly-launched menu.

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Phil, Joanna, and Abe enjoyed wine…

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…fresh bread with spiced olive oil…

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…and a couple appetizers.  Baked Mozzarella Meatballs…

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…Acorn Squash Croquettes, with Taharti Cheese + Garlic-Avocado Aioli…

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…and Bruschetta.

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Next up, the trio dug into a veggie pizza…

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…followed by several pastas – Alla Checca (Tomato, Garlic, Basil, Mozzarella) with linguine…

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…Alla Carbonara (Bacon, Egg Yolks, Pecorino/Parm)  with Penne…

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…and Alla Arrabbiata (Spicy Garlic Pomarola Sauce) with Spaghetti. (The vegetarian ones got the best reviews; Abe said his leftovers were even better.)

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The kitchen was very accommodating to my diet and grilled a delicious, simple piece of salmon…

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…with steamed veggies…
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…and two types of dipping sauces – Pesto with Sundried Tomatoes + Pomarola with Artichokes.

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Finally, the desserts – Berry Creme Brûlée…

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…Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Gelato…

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…and Triple Chocolate Mousse.

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I didn’t touch the other sweets at the restaurant, but I devoured these leftovers as an afternoon snack.

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Pono Burger

dessert - restaurant - salads

Pono Burger has been on my radar since it opened last year; I was invited for a hosted lunch, to see what Chef Makani Gerardi (of Hawaii’s Ultimate Burger) did with the Santa Monica Space…

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…housed in a Quanset Hut from World War II.

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They’ve got a Wood-Fire Grill…

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…where all their burgers are cooked.

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The Paniolo – English Smoked Cheddar, Niman Ranch Bacon, Coffee/Bourbon/BBQ Sauce, topped with Buttermilk Beer-Battered Onion Rings…

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…The Piku “Fig” Burger – Fermier Brie, Niman Ranch Bacon, Crushed Hazelnuts, Arugula, Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Drunken Caramelized Fig Jam…

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…and The Kuawa Crunch – Hook’s 1 Year Cheddar, Housemade Potato Chips, Lettuce, Coleslaw, and Guava Rum Sauce.

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My favorite was the fig, though each one was quite juicy, flavorful, and unique.  All of the above were made with Organic Beef; they also have a free-range, antibiotic-free Turkey Patty and a Portobello Mushroom Option.
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Another vegetarian item – a Seasonal Salad with a Beet’s “Nest,” Chèvre, and pistachios, tossed in Balsamic Vinaigrette…

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…and of course, the fries.

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Last, but not least – dessert – there are several milkshakes on the menu, made from Straus Family Organic Ice Cream.  We sipped on the Seasonal Special – a Pumpkin S’more, complete with hot fudge, whipped cream, crushed Graham Crackers, and Toasted Marshmallows.

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Great food, great ethics, great space – kid friendly (with sliders on the menu) and if you want to bring your pooch, they’ve got a patio too!

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La China Poblana

sandwich - video

If you’ve watched the BuzzFeed Sandwiches Around the World video, you know who had my favorite…

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La China Poblana specializes in Cemitas – a Mexican sandwich from Puebla…

DSCN6664 …daily fresh bread, meat of your choice (I ordered Milaneza – fried steak), avocado, white and Oaxacan cheese, onion, jalapeño – I hope they’ll make a vegetarian version for Abe because I’m already planning my next pilgrimage to Boyle Heights.
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Here’s the unedited clip of my initial reaction – as you can see, I couldn’t shut up.

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