Friday, May 30, 2014

He's on a roll

I went grocery shopping this past weekend, and whole chickens were on sale for $.89 a pound, so I bought one.

On Wednesday, I came home from work to find our son had made a delicious boiled dinner with the chicken, some fresh carrots, and potatoes.

On Thursday, he made Chinese-style steamed dumplings stuffed with chicken meat (and also pork, leftover from our neighbor's barbecue) and sauteed Chinese greens.

Today he made chicken soup with barley, leeks, peas and fresh herbs (tarragon and chives)!  Wow!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


This weekend we enjoyed a neighborhood get-together. There were a lot of people!

The menu was barbecue. I helped with the cole slaw.

I had no idea cabbage was so much fun!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Perfect evening

The canyon is mellow, mist at sunset.

Jack's happy. He had a good day, playing with his friend Seamus the poodle, and eating treats.


At some point this weekend, there was pie.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Best sandwich in America

According to Nora Ephron - and if anyone would know, it would be Nora Ephron - the hot pastrami sandwich at Langer's Delicatessen, in the Westlake District of Los Angeles, is "the finest hot pastrami sandwich in the world."

There are some who would disagree. Katz's Deli, on New York's Lower East Side, has its champions. Certainly having a pastrami sandwich at Katz's can been a stimulating experience.

But I'm with Nora. I like Langers.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Night out

It's late - we attended a big celebratory event tonight.

Cocktail reception, dinner outdoors under the night sky.

sound and light presentations.

Orchids in the ladies room, and little dishes of breath mints. I'm exhausted now, good night!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mental health day

Prickly pear margarita at Cafe Habana in Malibu.

Waiting for the staff at the only bookstore left on the west side to reopen after lunch. A drink and a fish taco to pass the time.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Above the bay

We went walking yesterday, up Tuna Canyon, to an outlook over Santa Monica Bay.

Just hazy enough to cut the sun's heat, it was beautiful.

From one direction, Santa Monica and its beaches.

From the other, Malibu and Point Dume.

Happy Mother's Day to all Moms!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tonight's dinner

Braised spiced pork shoulder, mashed potatoes, and steamed pea fronds. With pickled red onions.

Did I mention my son can cook?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fire in Palisades

There was a brush fire in Pacific Palisades this afternoon, in the Palisades Highlands where hundred of homes and condominiums are built in winding cul-de-sacs in the middle of the wild coastal chaparral.

Palisades Highlands is just on the other side of the mountain that rises up behind our neighborhood. When we hike the fire road there, we can look down to the east and see the neighborhood where today's fire burned.

The fire broke out at 12:30 pm and by 4:47 pm, the Fire Department announced it was fully contained, with crews staying on to monitor hot spots or flare-ups.

Just another reason to be alert, and be grateful to our LA County, LA City, and other local regional Firefighters.

Friday, May 2, 2014

So hot today

It was almost 100 degrees in Topanga. I was craving cold Korean noodles, naengmyun. Today I thought I'd try another place, Chilbomyunok, which is on 6th Street in the same area as Agassi Gobchang and Kang Hodong Baekjeong.

Like those places, it's a big modern place, with slick, granite table tops and updated fixtures. The tables and chairs are roomy and elegant, and there's plenty of space between tables, so you don't feel jammed together with other diners. 

Still, it was a little less homey than Yu Chun Chic Nang Myun, and in the late afternoon, smelled a little like chlorine cleanser. 

A bowl of hot broth to start with
A really nice young man waiter brought me a bowl of hot broth when I sat down. It was strong and savory-salty.

They offer a combo deal, with a smaller bowl of noodles accompanied by a side of meat. I asked the waiter for his recommendation, and I chose a combo with naengmyun and beef galbi.

Three panchan - the one on the right is potato salad with raisins
The noodles arrived, and I was surprised at how different the dish was what I'd had at Yu Chun Chic Nang Myun. 

These noodles were very slender and white, not dark brown buckwheat. Here, slices of Asian pear and white radish, and big chunks of cucumber floated in the cold broth. The broth was tangy, but not as sweet as at Yu Chun, and there was less beef. 

I loved the way the pear and radish slices looked so similar that I didn't know whether I'd get a pungent crunch or a sweet yielding bite until I chop-sticked it into my mouth. I liked the broth, but I missed the sesame seeds and the deeper flavor that dollops of gochujang gave the bowl at Yu Chun. Here, they had a plastic dispenser of spicy Korean mustard, and a few drops added a nice tingle.

Beef galbi

The galbi was tasty, but too rich and hot for a scorching day like today. So I savored my cold noodles and sipped my Hite beer, and packed the beef up in a container for later.  

It was good, but I think the next time I crave cold noodles, I'm going back to Yu Chun Chic Nang Myun.