Monday, December 29, 2014

A gastronomical review of 2014

Breakfast at Milo & Olive
As this year draws to a close, it's time for another foodie recap!  Since upgrading to the iPhone 5s I've been enjoying its improved camera and using Instagram and VSCO Cam. I tried Squarespace briefly and liked it, but for now I think I'll stick with my Blogger-powered site. So here we are!

Favorite restaurants in...
LA: Milo & Olive (now my go-to breakfast spot - photo above - but wonderful for lunch and dinner too), Joan's on Third (also a great breakfast spot), fundamental LA (casual for lunch and elegant but unassuming for dinner), 800 Degrees (tasty and inexpensive pizza), ROC Kitchen (soup dumplings), Sunny Blue (onigiri), Flame Persian (it's hard not to love fesenjun, i.e. Persian pomegranate-and-walnut stew)
San Francisco: Delfina
Davis and Sacramento: Jade Garden (my family's go-to, and this year they have a new and improved menu), Zen Toro (tasty sushi)
Favorite baked goods and desserts in...
LA: Milo & Olive (anything they bake), Joan's on Third (cakes and cupcakes), Sweet Rose Creamery (salted caramel, coffee, and anything seasonal), Milk Bakery (brownie sundae), Farmshop (strawberry almond croissant) 
San Francisco: Bi-Rite Creamery
Davis and Sacramento: Konditorei (the cakes are the star but the cookies and truffles are also scrumptious)
Favorite coffee and tea in LA: American Tea Room (their Earl Grey Shanghai is my morning go-to and their customer service is always excellent), Caffe LuxxeMilo & OliveBricks and SconesUrth Caffe (tea lattes), Demitasse
Favorite bars or wine bars in LA: Venice Beach WinesNapa Valley Grille
Favorite other businesses: Queen Bee Salon & Spa (LA), Wat Po Thai Spa (LA; no-frills and super effective Thai massage with frequent Groupons that make massages here an affordable treat), Everlane (online; my referral link here)
Favorite food-related books: A Homemade Life (Molly Wizenberg), The Man Who Ate Everything (Jeffrey Steingarten)
Favorite savory dishes cooked: Salmon with red pepper hazelnut salsa (recipe from Ottolenghi), roasted Cornish game hen with sweet potatoes, probably others that I just can't remember right now
Favorite desserts baked: Bienenstichflourless chocolate cake (from Molly Wizenberg)
Culinary goals for 20151) Resume more regular cooking. Last school year I established a pretty regular routine of cooking a big batch of something on Sunday, which I could eat throughout the week. It was both healthful and economical, and I'd like to reestablish that routine.  2) Learn to make pies.  I've baked pies with friends before, and I've made tarts and crumbles on my own, but I've never made a classic pie by myself. 2015 will be the year!