Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ode to Lawry's Beef Marinade*

As a general rule, I try to avoid convenience foods. You know...the increasingly dangerous American obesity epidemic and all. That whole thing.

But I, like most young single professionals that I know, do not have time on my side. I work a 50-60 hour workweek, and at least one weekend a month. So for those very reasons, I like pre-chopped veggies and bagged salad. I'm thankful for the companies out there that make fresh pasta and put it in the refrigerator section at my local supermarket so that I don't have to make it myself. But in my defense, I do think Cool Whip is an abomination.

Normally, I don't like pre-packaged marinades. I know there are people out there that swear by Lipton's Onion Soup Mix. (I also know that my mother has always and will always have at least two boxes of the stuff in her pantry, but will mysteriously be out every time she actually needs it.) But not me, and not until I found this stuff: Lawry's Beef Marinade.

It's so tasty. It takes less than 15 minutes. It's great on the BBQ, and in the broiler. I love it. And, it costs $1.44. That's practically free. There's no reason for anyone not to keep it around the house!

*I have absolutely no idea why I felt it necessary to write a rave review for Lawry's Beef Marinade!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Everyone is doing it

Everyone is talking about it, blogging about it, reading about it, writing about it.

It is Pizzeria Mozza, and it is good.

I’m not going to even discuss the comparisons to NY style pizza, and whether or not it’s the best pizza you’ll find short of a vacation in Napoli. In this carb-conscious town, there is a shortage of good pizzerias, and when you find one, it’s my firm belief that any smart Angeleno should appreciate it and tell no one. But its too late for that, so I’m amending my statement. Any smart Angeleno will leave the CPK vs. Chicago-style vs. NY-style argument to the snobbish foodies and start crank-calling the restaurant and name-dropping with gusto to get their next reservation.

As everyone already knows, Pizzeria Mozza is the brainchild of Mario Batali (Food Network supa-stah) and Nancy Silverton, the lady of Campanile/La Brea Bakery and my own personal goddess of cheese. They took their love of rustic Italian blah blab blah and were looking for a location with a wood-burning oven blah blab blah to create a casual blah blab blah dining experience. On to the food!

We ordered everything we were supposed to, and then some. We started with one (which rapidly became two) orders of the fried squash blossoms. They were stuffed with ricotta and what I believed to be burrata mozzarella, then deep-fried in a light, tempura-like batter. The stuffing wasn’t overwhelmingly flavorful, but it was tasty. We also had the white bean bruschetta, which oddly came with just three toasts. I think it odd because in my experience, people tend to dine in pairs. It ended up being fine, but it was a touch odd and barely worth mentioning. The four of us ordered four different pizzas, and then swapped a slice of each with one another so everyone tasted all four pizzas. While we may not have been the first person to think of this, at the time the idea felt like we were teetering on the edge of brilliance.

Pizza 1: goat cheese, bacon, leeks and caramelized garlic
Pizza 2: Fennel Sausage, Panna, & Red Onion
Pizza 3: arugula & speck
Pizza 4: burrata mozzarella (and probably some other stuff, too)

Guess which one was mine? I’m a bacon lover to the bitter core. And although no one was playing “who ordered the best dish” except me, I totally won. I actually had a serious case of “food envy” as I saw my dining companions devour my pizza.

My favorite part of the night came when I realized that I’d eaten two fried squash blossoms, half a bruschetta, four pieces of pizza and drunk 1 ½ glasses of wine and still had room for dessert. So we did what anyone would do – ordered two orders of the notorious butterscotch pudding, a fig crostata and the yogurt gelato soffiata. The fig crostata was, in Bri’s words, “the best Fig Newton you’ve ever had,” but a Fig Newton nonetheless. The yogurt gelato was tart and creamy, but I could have done without the soggy profiteroles. And the butterscotch pudding…with just a slight sprinkling of salt…. Uh, yeah. Wow.

It is Pizzeria Mozza, and it is good. Go, if you can.

Pizzeria Mozza
641 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Friday, December 08, 2006

blonde quote of the day

"She was what we used to call a suicide blond - dyed by her own hand."

- Saul Bellow (June 11, 1915 - April 5, 2005)