• Posted by Califia Suntree on September 28th, 2012, 4:24 PM

    Four weeks in, I’ve eaten my way through what feels like an epic array of restaurants here in Portland, OR, but which is in fact just a weensy sliver of what this town has to offer. It’s really no wonder New York has a crush on Portland, something that is not lost on the locals. (It’s like when that one nerdy kid is beloved by the cool kids, mostly because he honestly doesn’t care if anyone likes him and he just does his thing. It’s pretty much exactly like that.) I’ve dutifully sipped Stumptown, though given the choice I’d much rather sip Heart–and if there’s one thing you have as a coffee drinker here, it’s choice. I’m sure it’s to combat SAD. My ranging included obligatory stops at Pok Pok and Salt & Straw, where the noodles and fudge sauce, respectively, did not disappoint. But here are some highlights from the first four weeks, should you decide to visit (and you should!): Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on March 9th, 2012, 10:59 AM

    With the annual February 29 memorial of the late City Restaurant as his entry point (he’s so unswervingly loyal to Milliken and Feniger! They must go way back…), Gold’s first column for the Times since 1996 lays out what could be characterized as the Gold Manifesto of L.A. Dining. Haute/mini-mall, authentic/homage, truck/valet–“an allusive, ever-shifting mosaic.” In short, its diverse, tangled, and shambolic food scene encapsulates “the way Los Angeles — the best Los Angeles — looks at the world.”

    Gold has proven himself a brilliant and wide-grazing guide; it’s just too bad he is now behind a paywall, and can’t say “fuck” in his reviews anymore. A new day indeed…

    Los Angeles’ reflection in a plate – latimes.com.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on January 19th, 2012, 10:19 AM

    True story: Yesterday I’m rushing home to have lunch before an appointment, and as I approach my front door I see a nattily-attired gentleman rooting around under our lemon tree. Neighbors are constantly raiding our Meyer lemons, so I approach the man, irritated.

    “Excuse me, what are you doing?”

    The man jumps up, alarmed, and I see that he’s holding a big bouquet of purple and green sourgrass, both flowering wood sorrels that grow (as weeds) all over our neighborhood.

    “What do you have there?” I ask.

    “Just these. They’re for my restaurant!”

    I look at him skeptically, “What, for the tables?”

    “No,” he says, “for the plates.”

    This guy knows his edible weeds.

    “What’s your restaurant?” I ask.

    Mélisse!” he answers, gesturing to the celebrated, two-Michelin-starred palace of haute cuisine two doors down (and yet a world away…) Yes, indeed, this man in my flowerbed, in his Persols and cashmere scarf, was celebu-chef Josiah Citrin!

    I start to chuckle, imagining our humble sourgrass adorning the oversized white plates of one of Los Angeles’s poshest restaurants. “Ok,” I say. “Just ring the doorbell next time, or you’ll freak us out.”

    “I don’t want to freak anyone out!” says Citrin, scurrying quickly away, still a bit alarmed. “Thank you!”

    For some reason, I didn’t demand free food in exchange for our coveted weeds. But I definitely have a new respect for the chef, for his daring, his knowledge of edible plants (though I’m 99% sure he thinks he’s picking the very edible Oxalis stricta rather than our sort-of-edible Oxalis pes-caprae) and his obvious devotion to locally sourced ingredients!


  • Posted by Califia Suntree on January 13th, 2012, 11:40 AM

    Industry publication Restaurant News offers 20 menu trends for 2012, as predicted by chefs. With the emphasis on local sourcing and healthy options, it all seems like good news for diners…but…one thing: What on earth is a “non-traditional fish”?

    Chefs predict top menu trends for 2012 | Nation’s Restaurant News.

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