3

Apple Pan

My paternal grandmother is not a good cook.  A wonderful woman, yes, but a horror in the kitchen.  When I was young, my family would drive up from Orange County to visit her and my grandfather in West Los Angeles but always with a caveat – we’d stop at the Apple Pan.  This tiny shack on Pico Boulevard is an LA institution with its original menu and décor which date back to the 1940’s.   In my formidable years, I wanted to be a grown-up just so I could work in the movies and eat at the Apple Pan every day.  I suppose this dream isn’t so far-fetched but if only my waistline would co-sign with these ambitions…

The options are limited but oh so satisfying.  I always order the fries well done as they arrive with the perfect amount of crispiness on the outside that crunch into a soft, slightly salty potato center.  You can’t go wrong with either the hickory or steak burger – it’s just a matter of personal preference.  The hickory features their special house-made barbecue sauce while the steak burger is their take on an all-American classic.  Both come adorned with pickles, lettuce and mayo with the opportunity to add a slice of Tillamook Cheese (which is an obvious yes).  At this point in the meal I’m almost always full…but that doesn’t mean the party’s over.  It is the Apple Pan for goodness sake’s!  Now here’s where things get controversial. Yes, they are known for their apple pie.  Yes, it is great.  However, the banana cream pie is the real show stopper.  The cream mixes with sliced bananas proudly perched on top of flaky pie crust into a delectable presentation with an entrancing fragrance.  It’s pretty close to pure perfection. 

After such a satisfying meal, I’m either ready to curl up on the couch with a good movie or immediately schedule my next appointment at the gym.  Even though I am now firmly cemented in my adulthood, it doesn’t seem like all that much has changed as far as my priorities go. Maybe instead I should call up my grandmother and see if she’d be up for a visit?  

Lauren’s Rating: Worth Going Back Over and Over

Apple Pan

10801 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles 90064

(310)475-3585

Hours: 11:00a-12:00a Every Day

7

The Inaugural Eat+Drink Supper Club - A Smashing Success!

Wow, what an amazing afternoon and evening last night for the first Eat+Drink Supper Club with Charlie Parker from Freddy Smalls.  If you weren’t able to attend, you really missed a special event.  Not only was the food amazing, the wine delicious but we even had the dreamy Naia Kete stop by and play us a few songs - an impromptu concert in our backyard!  Here’s Naia’s cover of Justin Timberlake’s Suit and Tie - delish.  

6

Bespoke Post

I am in love with Bespoke Post and the product isn’t even targeted at me or my demographic (whatever that is at this point). But it’s that good.  

What do they do?  Bespoke Post puts together themed boxes with sweet products from cool brands. If you don’t like a box, you can kip it free of charge.  

The cost? $45 a month and the value of the box is $70-$130.

What’s in it? A few of the boxes I’ve received are in the shots above. Coffee, charcuterie, salt…many boxes revolve around some type of food, wine or spirit. In December I received the MOST amazing, custom made for Bespoke Post wine decanter I’ve ever seen. I use it as often as possible and amaze everyone. 

Why you have to have it? I have had more conversation starters because of these boxes than you can imagine. I actually opened one box in the middle of a dinner party just to show everyone how awesome it was. It’s worth the $ in spades.

What do you need to do?  Click HERE and sign up. It’s that easy.

Teen Chef Makes Debut at Beverly Hills Restaurant

I’m so at this on Wednesday and will ABSOLUTELY blog about the experience!!

He has cooked for more than 120 people at a time, worked in top restaurants across the country, and entertains 12 people at his home monthly for an 18-course meal. These accomplishments may seem like the work of a veteran chef, but this cook is only 14 years old.

Flynn McGarry will be taking his talents to BierBeisl, an Austrian restaurant in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 30 where he will cook a 12-course meal for 40 people - an event that is already completely sold out and costs $160 a person.

"The chef at BierBeisl is super nice and said, ‘Whatever you need, I’ll help you cook,’" McGarry said. "It was a natural thing, and it works with the restaurant’s schedule and is a lot easier to do it in a restaurant. I am going into this a lot more confident than other dinners. I started working on this [Thursday], running around town getting supplies. It is a week process, which people don’t really realize."  Read More

3

Paella Contest

Love this!!!!!!

Westport, Mass. — It all began innocently enough. “Valerie and her sister make the best paella ever,” my friend Ihsan Gurdal said. Even though Ihsan happens to be Valerie’s husband, no one who had ever tasted her paella had any reason to doubt him.

But our mutual friend (and my frequent collaborator) Chris Schlesinger was listening. And Chris has a well-demonstrated knack for turning what might be considered work into fun, very often by making it into a competition.  READ MORE

By John Willoughby at the New York Times

3

Serendipity 3

I love ice cream and I love ice cream sundaes.  What is better than frozen, sweet milk topped with some sort of chocolate or caramel and whipped cream?  It doesn’t get much better.  

I really love ice cream sundaes at Serendipity 3 in New York.  Ten years ago, I could stroll up to their door, wander in and sit down for one of their awesome concoctions.  Not today.  Today there is a line around the block and you have to make reservations a month in advance.  Ah those were the days.

So you can imagine my delight when I found out there was a Serendipity 3 in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace - the hotel I was staying in!  It was a crazy miracle of miracles.  I immediately made a reservation for our post-Celine Dion concert and knew it would be a great way to finish off the evening.  My mother and aunt would LOVE it!

Not so much.  

Serendipity 3 in New York is this quaint store with an upstairs that just makes you want to fall in love with someone.  It’s cozy and special.  

The one in Las Vegas is huge.  Really huge.  And pink.  I know everything in Las Vegas is larger than life and I should have known but I wasn’t expecting this.  It was over run with teenagers, had a sticky floor and reeked of fried food.  There’s nothing I hate more than feeling my skin absorb the oil from the kitchen fryer when I want the exact opposite of that greasy burger and fries.

We sat down and had to flag down a waitress to ask for menus.  When she came back a good bit later, we immediately ordered sparkling water.  When it came, it was flat water.  There was a water spill on the floor near our table that was never cleaned up and when our sundaes came, they were kind of sad.  Small, unadorned, not very exciting at all.  It was a long driveway to a very small house as some would say.  A sad end to an almost perfect evening.

Heather Rating: Not Worth Going Again

8

Imogene & Willie

While in Nashville, a must-shop is Imogene & Willie.  I had read about them a few years ago but hadn’t actually made it to Nashville to check them out until last week.  It’s not a huge shop but they pack in lots of great stuff.  From the semi-custom jeans they are known for to Warby Parker glasses, homewares and more recently Shinola products (like that orange bike) from Detroit.  I picked up a toothbrush made out of charcoal that is supposed to make my teeth pearly white, a field guide of Nashville, a super cute bandana and of course, some super cool jeans.  It was a good day.  :)

Las Vegas Bound

I’m headed off to Las Vegas later today and scheduled to eat at a number of well-talked about restaurants like Rao’s, Caesar’s Bacchanal Brunch, Gordon Ramsay Steak and Joe’s (who DOESN’T like stone crab???).  I’m set to write a number of formal reviews next week but maybe I’ll post a shot and quip or two from our extravaganza.  :)  Have a great weekend!

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