July 8, 2009 |
reporting from napa valley Every couple of years I feel that siren call to go up and spend some time in Napa Valley. For most of us, this was our first wine country experience, as exotic as anything discovered later in Burgundy or Piedmont. Who can forget the smudged violet of the hills, the rows of vines with mustard blooming bright yellow at their feet? The cool dark of the cellars or the view from Auberge du Soleil or Domaine Chandon?
January 6, 2010 |
To say that I eat out a lot would be something of an understatement. The question I'm always asked, of course, is what is my favorite restaurant? That's understandable, but it's also basically unanswerable. Because the answer depends on whether I'm in the mood for something simple or something sublime, pasta or sushi, a quick bite or a piece of restaurant theater. And though I rank restaurants according to a star system, that doesn't necessarily predict where I'll want to eat on any given night.
December 30, 2010 |
Well, that was interesting. A couple of days before Christmas, one of the owners of the new Beverly Hills restaurant Red Medicine created a firestorm by confronting Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila while she was waiting for a table, snapping her picture, kicking her and her party out of the restaurant and then posting the picture on the Internet for all to see. By the next morning, more than 15 years of working to remain anonymous were...
December 15, 2012 |
You can use your iPhone or iPad to watch movies, listen to music, text and surf the Internet. But special, surprisingly inexpensive apps make them nifty environments for learning or upgrading cooking skills. I've bought or borrowed quite a few culinary apps - some terrific, some boring, some duds. The best are full-on apps, with hours of video included. Others are more like enhanced books, but even those include tricks such as dumping all the ingredients for a recipe into a shopping basket with the click of a button.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2010 |
Los Angeles Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila ducked into Red Medicine, a new Beverly Hills restaurant, for some modern Vietnamese food the other night, but got nothing to eat. Instead, she was outed and ousted, her party turned away, her picture snapped and critic's anonymity shredded by the restaurateur himself. "I always knew at some point a blogger or somebody would take a secret photo. But I never expected that a restaurateur would stick a camera in my face," Virbila said Wednesday.
December 1, 2010 |
When I first got my iPhone, I was thrilled to discover Convertbot, which made it fun and easy to convert ingredient quantities or temperatures from my British cookbooks. That app, it turned out, was just a taste of the onslaught of food and wine apps to come - so many, you'd have to be a full-time app tester to try them all out. (Unfortunately, I have another job.) But I do try a lot. Here are apps for the iPhone that I've found most useful. Several are also available on the Android platform.
April 27, 1997 |
Dungeness Crab and Lobster Bisque Jean Franois Meteigner's rust-colored seafood bisque can hold its own against the Riviera's soupe des poissons any day. Thick and delicious, it tastes as if dozens of lobsters and Dungeness crabs went into just one bowl. The soup comes with garlic toast to smear with a classic rouille (basically, an aioli blushed with red chile and cayenne). Float it like a raft in the soup to soak up all the flavors. La Cachette, 10506 Little Santa Monica Blvd.
October 13, 2011 |
Régis Bouvier is something of a genie, turning out lovely Burgundies at affordable prices. The 2009 Marsannay from the lieu fit (named vineyard) Clos du Roy hit my buttons with its lush Pinot Noir perfume and taste of fresh cherries and earth. This is Burgundy, sweet and gentle. Bouvier's Marsannay vineyard isn't premier cru but may as well be for the quality of the juice it produces. A fine value from a fine winemaker and grower. Open a bottle for a braised chicken dish, maybe one with bacon, mushrooms and pearl onions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2001 |
Jean-Louis Palladin, the consummate chef's chef who modernized and enhanced French cooking in America and influenced a generation of foodies with innovative combinations of the freshest ingredients at his restaurant, Jean-Louis at the Watergate, has died. He was 55. Palladin died Sunday in McLean, Va., of lung cancer, a family spokeswoman said. The chef, a heavy smoker, was diagnosed with the disease late last year.
May 9, 2002
Critic's Notebook by S. Irene Virbila will return next week.