Coffee in Studio City at Alfred’s, dinner at The Tasting Kitchen in Venice, breakfast at The Butcher, The Baker and the Cappuccino Maker in West Hollywood, another dinner at Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica and our final breakfast at Hampton 818 in Sherman Oaks.

Jeff and I were looking forward to dinner at The Tasting Kitchen but were disappointed in our meals. Everything began well with mussels and clams in a delicious broth accompanied by freshly baked bread with a crunchy crust and soft in the middle. The entrees, however, were interesting but lacking any levels of real flavor. I had a shredded lamb with fig coulis over torn whole wheat pasta topped with shaved parmesan. Good idea but something was missing. Jeff’s pork served with cheesy polenta was slightly underdone. Since the menu changes often, we might give it another try.

The next morning, our breakfast at The Butcher, The Baker and the Cappuccio Maker was a delight. Great outdoor atmosphere complete with trees, granite tabletops and linens.

A basket of fresh muffins  to go with our cappuccinos, then eggs benedict for Jeff and a seafood frittata grilled in a skillet. This place is definitely a keeper. I can see having morning coffee and hanging out for a while enjoying the sun.

IMAG1490    A little Summer Shandy for me At Rustic Canyon

There were four of us for dinner, and it was a culinary experience to remember.

The menu features shared plates.  Our feast included…. Lavender Almonds (sounds weird but they were delicious!!)

 Persian Cucumbers with black olives, tomatoes and burrata

Chicken Liver Mousse with pickled rhubarb, poppy seed and grilled bread

Masumoto Stone Fruit with beet gazpacho, almond and chevre

Grist & Toll Polenta with fresh ricotta, strawberry-pinenut sofrito and basil

Local Rice Porridge with duck leg carnitas, cherry, savory and macadamia

Roasted Chicken with summer squash, hazelnuts and curry sauce

Strauss Grass-Fed Hanger Steak with tomatillo and padron peppers

             Pavlova for dessert – Strawberries, yogurt with a white chocolate crust


On to Hampton 818 the next day for another memorable breakfast. This place has a very unassuming entrance with a delightful surprise inside. It has an outside atmosphere complete with hanging lights, crystal chandeliers, live plants in small pots on the tables. The wall behind the bar contains a real fireplace.

Breakfast specials of the house are the French Toast and Egg Benedict so that seems like the wise choice for our first visit. Jeff’s toast had cornflake breading and served with berries. I had the vegetarian benedict with grilled tomatoes and spinach. Both tasted as good as they looked.

This Blog-a-Thon was also a great time with my son.  I checked my blog journal to determine which of the 100 restaurants Jeff and I both had not tried. New dining experiences for both of us as well as a chance to spend time together.

My stomach says “let’s slow down” so I am going on a slight hiatus.

***The Other Thing this time is my apology for the layout and font style for this blog. I can’t seem to fix it, and I am too lazy to start over.