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Cookie Chef

Kati's serves up sweets, sandwiches, special coffees.


Kati Arvanitas, who used to make her living as a gaffer and lighting technician in the movie and television industries, has opened up a bakery in Calabasas offering, as she puts it, "the kind of cookies your mother baked for you at home."

Which must mean that Arvanitas' mother baked such cookies for her, right?

"She did--and I helped her," Arvanitas says. "I've been making these cookies since I was 5 years old. I bake tollhouse cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, the cookies you see on the oatmeal box--all the standard stuff."

That would include macaroons and chocolate chip cookies with nuts, with white chocolate, with white chocolate and macadamia nuts, sugar cookies and several other varieties, all for $1 each.

For $1.25 you can get a muffin with lemon, with lemon and poppy seeds, with almonds and poppy seeds, with chocolate fudge and banana, with Dutch apple, with blueberries, with raspberries, and so on.

Arvanitas also makes croissants, biscotti, lemon bars, brownies, pecan bars, butterscotch chocolate chip bars, and fruit shortbread bars, plus a variety of coffees and sandwiches.

Last but not least, she sells ready-to-bake cookie dough for those who would make cookies from scratch themselves were it not for the mess in the kitchen, plus fresh and dried pastas and a variety of sauces.

Located at 3840 Old Topanga Canyon Road in Calabasas, (818) 224-5284, Kati's bakery is next door to Calabasas High School. Small children can busy themselves at low tables stocked with toys and coloring supplies while mom and dad remember the tastes of their own childhoods.


Cinnabar in Glendale has an inventive new chef and an almost-new menu. The new chef is Damon Bruner, who, as the child of divorced parents, learned to cook from one of the books of the French master chef Auguste Escoffier (1847-1935), which was presented to him by his father--who also told him to learn to cook for two.

Bruner made a career of his skill. He was executive chef at Azzura Point restaurant on Coronado Island in San Diego Bay when Alvin Simon, who runs Cinnabar with his sister Flame, tracked him down and hired him last fall.

His menu retains three of Cinnabar's signature dishes--spicy lemon-grass bouillabaisse; grilled yellowfin tuna with braised greens and a black olive tapenade; and a crispy Chinese-style roasted duck with a tamarind bean sauce.

His new entrees include pan-roasted potato-wrapped halibut with fennel and spinach in a red wine sauce, pan-roasted salmon in a lobster curry sauce, stuffed Cornish game hens, lamb chops with a smoked pepper relish, and an herb-crusted filet mignon, among other dishes.

Prices are generally under $20. Appetizers include a charbroiled ostrich tenderloin; Japanese yellowtail sashimi layered between crispy won tons; and pan-smoked lobster on baby greens with soy sauce, ginger and scallions.

Cinnabar is at 933 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale, (818) 551-1155.

* Juan Hovey writes about the restaurant scene in the San Fernando Valley and outlying points. He may be reached at (805) 492-7909 or fax (805) 492-5139 or via e-mail at

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