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.
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