It’s been a great food week. On book tour Mom and I were taken to some incredible restaurants in San Diego and Los Angeles. The night after I got home my husband’s two best friends arrived from England and we’ve taken in some noteworthy NYC restaurants too.
If you’re ever in San Diego, check out Cucina Urbana where I had one of the best pizzas I have ever tasted – pork belly, potato and egg (so much for the lean, mostly vegetarian Rancho La Puerta diet!)–while Mom enjoyed pappardelle with a short rib red sauce. The next day Amanda took us to Blind Lady Ale House, shortened to the acronym, BLAH. But there was nothing Blah about the food. We enjoyed another great pizza – this time pesto–and a spread of artisanal pork, short rib and lamb terrines. So stuffed from lunch we ordered very light at Avenue 5 for dinner that night.
Back in New York City, we enjoyed dinner at two authentic Latin restaurants. At Yerba Beuno the food was so good I sent Mom and her friend Terrie there the next night. They dubbed it a “gem.” If you ever get there, try a pisco sour and get the steak. At La Iskena (it must be good, Mayor Bloomberg was sitting behind us) we enjoyed mini tostadas–octopus, chicken and pork–and a sampling of tacos.
But thinking over the past week, the food memory that really sticks with me is the quick visit we had with our friend Kathi Johnson whom I’ve known since February when she contacted Three Many Cooks to see if we wanted some Cypress Grove Chevre (did she even need to ask?!). When she heard we were in LA she insisted we stop by. “We live ten minutes from the airport!”
With all the rushing around, Mom and I were exhausted by week’s end. We had been eating dinner in restaurants, grabbing lunch on the go and barely taken time for breakfast. We’d been in hotels, meetings, and on TV sets. It was so nice to be in the warmth of someone’s home. Her son Brandon whipped up a Hendrick’s Gin and Tonic for me and they poured mom a glass of Pinot Noir. She laid out a few simple hors d’ouevres and we talked and simply relaxed. This is a recurring theme in our lives – the best hospitality can often be simple, spur of the moment and just plain casual.