Saturday, March 13, 2010

California-Day One: Arriving in Los Angeles

Karen flew in from Kansas City, I flew in from San Antonio, and we met at the Enterprise Car rental place to avoid chasing each other around in LAX.  
It is so much fun to be here together two years in a row at the time of Alissa's birthday.  Last year we were ending our road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco.  

"The Next Food Network Star" third place winner last season, Chef Debbie Lee, cooked dinner for us this evening.  She is serving as guest chef at "The Breadboard", which is located about a half-mile from our hotel.  I wish I could tell you exactly where this is, but I can't pull it up in my iphone and I have no wireless internet in the hotel room.  I know we are about a half block from the Beverly Center.

Karen & I enjoy Debbie Lee's Korean cuisine

Her food is themed, "Seoul Town Tapas:  A Modern Take on Korean Pub Grub".  My dining companions were familiar with her from the Food Network show.  I rarely, if ever, watch Food Network so I wasn't familiar with her, but I am now!  What an unexpected pleasure!  I love Korean, but admit that my typical experience is that of the barbeque in the center of the table.  This food is another take on Korean food:  the small plates that would typically be ordered in abundance and shared amongst table companions.  
We ordered a plethora of dishes, which were small plates so everyone had one or two bites.  I kept my printed menu so I could remember her name & food:
Korean Rice Cylinders, Maple Smoked Bacon, Jalapeno Ponzu
Chicken Meatballs, Magnolia Pepper Glaze
Sesame Flatbread, Soy Braised Pork
Kimchee & Rice
Mama Lee's Meatloaf
Slow-cooked Cod, Chile Scallion Sauce, with roasted Daikon

We ordered Bulgogi (my favorite) but it didn't come.  It is just as well, because we were full!

She plans to open a restaurant soon, and has a cookbook in the works.  She came to the table and talked to us for awhile, and I asked her to sign the menu.  What a fun evening!

Tomorrow is Alissa's birthday.  We plan to shop for a sewing machine for her.  She is interested in learning how to quilt, and I am so happy about this.  Once she has had some basic sewing lessons I hope to find a way to get her involved in a quilt-making class.  I can work with her long-distance in some areas, but a basic class would be fun for her.  Last year we spotted a cool little shop in Santa Monica, and we will look at another place in Silver Lake.

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