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...oh LA

I have such a hot and cold relationship with this city. Growing up two and a half hours south of here, I never really got the appeal. And now after living in the city for 3 years, I still don’t quite get it. You can’t drive anywhere, the rent is insane, the beach is way over crowded, and don’t get me started on parking. But to be honest, LA sort of has started to feel like home. I have a great group of friends, traffic isn’t all that bad once you just accept it, there is no such thing as sticker shock on prices anymore, and then there is all the food. LA has so much great food. From Koreatown to Venice to Silverlake, you could eat out every meal every day and still not make a dent in all the options in LA. If I didn’t live here, I would plan a trip out just to eat. I think it’s a crime that not everyone is going to get to experience Joan’s On Third in their life, and this is my attempt to rectify that. In these pages you will find a handful of recipes that attempt to replicate the iconic items at LA’s best eateries. These places have helped me adapt to LA and rid my desire to pack my bags every week. Now, while I still never know what to do when people visit except take them to eat, I may just be starting to love LA. Don’t tell anyone.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Kitchen Must Haves Apple Pan’s Banana Cream Pie Joan’s On Third Short Rib Melt Gracias Madre Flash Fried Cauliflower Ester’s Wine Bar Baked Ricotta Sidecar Doughnuts Butter & Salt Doughnuts Ledlow: Pork Belly Matzo Ball Chicken Noodle Soup

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4 6 10 14 16 24 28



Lodge 3.5 Inch Cast Iron Skillet: The classic 8 inch cast iron skillet is a kitchen staple, but this 3.5 inch skillet is perfect for appetizers, personal sized entrees, and the baked ricotta dish on page 20.

Gochugaru (Korean Chili Flakes): Gochugaru is not found in many standard grocery stores. If you have a Korean market nearby you can most likely find it there, but it is available on Amazon too. You can always substitute regular chili flakes or powder. Gochugaru is a key ingredient in the baked ricotta on page 20.

Ok, your kitchen doesn’ your needs. These 8 item issue, but they could be

Lodge Dutch Oven: Who doesn’t dream of a Le Creuset dutch oven, or a Le Cruset anything. This Lodge option is a solid alternative and perfect for any stove to oven dishes, soups, or large dishes. Can be used for the Short Rib sandwich on page 13 and the Pork Belly Matzo Ball Chicken Noodle Soup on page 30.

Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer: My candy thermometer hates me. I use it all the time and for frying at heats higher than it reaches. I need to upgrade to one that goes up to 500 for the cauliflower recipe on page 17 and the doughnuts on page 26.

’t need these, your kitchen is probably perfectly stocked for ms are not needed to successfully make the recipes in this e useful. They are items I use almost daily and swear by.

Mortar and Pestle: Does anyone actually know which is the mortar and which is the pestle? You can use a bowl and the back of a spoon or bottom of a knife in a pinch, but having a designated mortar and pestle makes the job a lot easier. Use it to grind the spices for the baked ricotta on page 20.

Silicone Suction Lids: Actually, you do need these. They are amazing. They replace plastic wrap (which I despise) and fit on any bowl. Use them to cover the pie filling on page 9 and letting the doughnut dough rise on page 26.

11 Cup Food Processor: While a 4 cup food processor seems like it would be plenty, you will quickly outgrow it. Splurge for the larger size and you will find that blending spices, chopping nuts and making pie crust is a breeze with the extra capacity. Use it for the pie on page 9 and the nacho cheese on page17.

Slotted Spoon: Slotted spoons are great for anything you need to transfer in or out of hot water or oil. Use it for the cauliflower on page 17 and the doughnuts on page 26.

you ’re t he app l e of my eye ...

...or the banana. The Apple Pan has been serving up classic burgers in their Pico location since they opened in 1947. Walking into the diner is like walking back in time. The counter has about 18 seats that are first come first serve. With no hostess, it is up to diners to fight over the seats, or hopefully work on the honor system. Their menu remains the same, as do the recipes, since they first opened their doors, and most diners don’t even need the menu. The options are classic: burgers, fries, and pies, and drinks are still served from the can into paper cones. You would think the apple pie would be the must try item, but actually the Apple Pan is known for their banana cream pie, and it is easy to see why. The combination of bananas and vanilla custard is topped with inches of fluffy whipped cream. It is made to share, but no one will judge if you keep the piece all for yourself.

THE APPLE PAN’S BANANA CREAM PIE For the vanilla custard filling: ⅔ cup sugar 6 tablespoons cornstarch ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt 2 cups whole milk ½ cup heavy cream 6 large egg yolks, well beaten 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small bits 1 tablespoon vanilla extract For the pie: 1 homemade 9-inch basic pie crust, , or frozen, thawed, and baked 4 large very ripe but not overripe bananas, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds 1 cup cold heavy cream 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract In a medium saucepan, with the stove turned off, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt until well-blended. Gradually whisk in, one at a time, milk, heavy cream and egg yolks, whisking until no yellow streaks remain. Turn burner on to medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula. Custard will begin to lump. Turn off heat, scrape sides of saucepan with rubber spatula and whisk until smooth and no lumps remain. Whisk longer than you think, you want it to be very smooth. Return to heat and, whisking constantly, bring to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Turn off heat, whisk in butter, then vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap directly on surface of filling, to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool. (Alternatively, transfer cooled filling to air tight container and place in refrigerated for up to 24 hours.) Make pie: Cover the bottom of the crust with vanilla custard filling. Scatter sliced bananas evenly over filling. Top with remaining filling. Lay plastic wrap directly on surface of filling. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. In an electric mixer, with whisk attachment, whip cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, 2-4 minutes. Before serving, spread whipped cream evenly over pie. Pie can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in fridge.

...Ocean Blvd. and Ventura Place too

Joan’s on Third needs no introduction. It is a star-studded place that looks like it’s directly out of a Nancy Myers film. Joan’s on Third started on, well, 3rd Street in the Beverly Grove area and has since, to everyone’s delight, expanded to two more locations, one in Studio City and one in Santa Monica. Both locations follow the successful formula of the original: white tiled floors, wood tables, cases filled with delicious food, and of course made to order items. One of Joan’s signature dishes is the Short Rib sandwich that combines shredded short rib, arugula, pickled onions, and topped with a mixture of gourmet cheeses, all on crusty sourdough bread. It’s worth the carbs, which count slightly less if you make it at home.

Short Rib melt Short Ribs Ingredients: 5 pounds of short ribs 1/4 C butter 3 sticks of celery, chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 1 medium red onion, chopped 1 + 1/4 C dry red wine 1/2 C beef broth 1/3 C sherry 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 2 bay leaves 1 sprig of thyme Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Cook beef until browned on each side. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet.

again. Return ribs to pot, propping up on sides and arranging in single layer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour. Using tongs, turn ribs over in pot. Cover and simmer until ribs are tender and sauce is very thick, occasionally rearranging ribs in pot to prevent sticking, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Uncover and cool 30 minutes. Transfer ribs to work surface. Discard sauce. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces. Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill until cold; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm just until lukewarm before using. Pickled Caramelized Onions Ingredients:

Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

1 T butter 2 large red onions, sliced 4 + 1/2 T red wine vinegar 1 + 1/2 t sugar

Add wine, broth, sherry, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprig; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits.


Season with salt and pepper

Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.

sauté until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar and cook until almost all vinegar is absorbed, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Microwave in 15-second intervals until lukewarm before using. Assembly Additional ingredients: Jack cheese Brie cheese Arugula Sourdough bread Line baking sheet with wax paper. Butter both sides of bread, place on lined baking sheet. Place jack cheese on first, then short ribs, onions, arugula, then brie. Top with another slice of buttered bread. Brush grill pan with butter, allow it to get hot. Place sandwich on pan, brown on one side, until cheese begins to melt. Flip and repeat.

gracias MADRE Los Angeles has no shortage of delicious and innovative vegan restaurants. The most beautiful and popular of them is Gracias Madre, located on Melrose in West Hollywood. Prior to housing Gracias Madre, the building was an antique store. The owners brought in colorful tile, light wood floors, white washed walls, and a roaring fireplace to make the space one of the most inviting places in LA.

The standout of Gracias Madre’s plant-based menu is their cauliflower starter. Organic cauliflower is flash fried and then tossed in a cashew based spicy nacho cheese. I could eat that cheese with a spoon, and actually I have, but the ingredient list made it guilt free. From their delicious starters, to tasty tacos, and of course their refreshing cocktails, Gracias Madre should not be missed when you are in Los Angeles.

• 1 head organic cauliflower • Grapeseed oil 1. Wash cauliflower and cut into florets. 2. Allow cauliflower to completely dry. 3. In a high walled sauce pan or pot, add enough oil to submerge florets. 4. Heat oil to 500 F or until oil begins to bubble. 5. While oil is heating up, line a plate with paper towels. 6. When oil is hot, with a slotted spoon, transfer a few florets into oil. 7. Allow florets to cook for about 30 - 45 seconds, until browned. 8. With slotted spoon, transfer florets to prepared plate. 9. Repeat until all florets are cooked. 10. Toss with warm cashew cheese and serve warm.


• 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained • ½ lemon, juiced, plus more to serve • ½ tsp ground chili powder • ½ tsp ground cumin • ½ tsp paprika • ½ tsp garlic powder • 1 tsp coarse sea salt • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast • ½ jalapeño (seeded and chopped) • ½ cup water (less or more depending on desired consistency) 1. Blend all ingredients together in a powerful blender, or food processor. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt or lemon as needed. 2. Keep adding water until you reach your desired consistency. 3. To serve warm, place in double boiler (or saucepan) over medium heat. Slowly add water and whisk to help thin. 4. In an air tight container, cheese can be stored in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Flash frying is the process of frying a piece of food at very high heat for a very short time. Frying food does not mean it is unhealthy. Allowing it to soak in grease for long periods and reusing the oil is when food starts to lose its nutrients. Heating oil up to such a high heat can be dangerous. Be sure the cauliflower is totally dry so that no water mixes with the oil, it will explode. It is recommend to use a splatter screen when flash frying. Alternatively, you can toast the cauliflower florets in olive oil and roast at 400 F for 25 minutes.

If you have eaten anywhere on the west side of LA chances are you have encountered at least one, if not more, of the popular Rustic Canyon family of restaurants. Esters Wine Bar is their newest location, housed next door to sister restaurant Cassia, on 7th St in Santa Monica. The combination of wine bar, cheese shop, and kitchen, teamed with rustic modern decor is enough to draw anyone in. The menu boasts small plates that pair well with their extensive wine list. You can’t go wrong when selecting, but if you haven’t quite gotten to master sommelier but are still looking to pair like one, ask your waiter to select for you. I am such a fan of the baked ricotta plate that I’ve made it at home a few times. The recipe is on the next page...

Baked Ricotta 8 oz whole milk ricotta • 1 egg, lightly beaten • 2 T finely grated parmesan cheese • 1/2 t salt • 1/4 t pepper • 1/2 t gochugaru (can substitute chili powder) • 1/2 t rosemary • 1/4 t thyme • 1/2 t paprika, plus • 2 T mushroom conserva* finely diced • 3 T garlic confit * 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 2. With a mortar and pestle, crush the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, chili powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes. 3. Whisk the egg, ricotta, parmesan cheese and lemon juice. 4. Pour the seasonings into the ricotta mix and stir until combined. 5. Transfer to a small oven safe dish, drizzle olive oil on top and place in oven. 6. Bake until golden brown and slightly bubbling, about 15 minutes. 7. Remove and top with 4 tablespoons of mushroom conserva, 3 tablespoons of garlic confit, and a dash of paprika. 8. Serve with toasted bread immediately *Recipe on following page

Garlic Confit

Mushroom Conserva

2 heads of garlic, peeled About 1 C olive oil, enough to cover all the garlic

8 oz mushroom mix 1 C olive oil 1 bay leaf 2 sprigs of thyme 1 sprig of rosemary 1/2 t paprika 1 T sherry wine vinegar Salt and pepper

Pre heat the oven to 250 F Place the garlic cloves in an oven safe bowl, with lid. Fill the bowl with olive oil until all garlic is fully submerged. Cover bowl with lid and place in oven for about 2 hours, until cloves are golden brown and soft. Let cool then transfer to air tight container. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.

Rinse mushrooms, toss any tough stems or bad mushrooms. Cut mushrooms into an assortment of pieces, scoring larger pieces and stems to be sure marinade is absorbed. Mushrooms will shrink as they cook, but pieces should be at least bite size at this point. Over medium heat, in a small sauce pan add oil, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, and paprika. Place a thermometer on the side of the pan, be sure the thermometer is touching the oil, you may have to tilt the pan in order to read the temperature. Heat the oil to 170 F, and maintain this temperature for 5 minutes. Add in mushrooms and gently stir. When the oil re-reaches 170 F, maintain that temperature for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the stove, add in the vinegar, salt and pepper, and stir well. Allow the mixture to steep for 45 minutes. Transfer all of the mixture to an air tight container and store in fridge for up to 1 month.

I have been a longtime fan of Sidecar Doughnuts since they opened their first location in Costa Mesa in 2012. I am lucky enough to have family in Newport and San Diego, and a rarely did I make the drive without stopping in for one of their famous Huckleberry doughnuts, or their ever-creative seasonal flavor. Back in November, Sidecar opened their second location, on Wilshire in Santa Monica. The menu and store will follow the lines of the original location, but they plan to utilize ingredients from the Santa Monica farmers market in developing their innovative flavors. Their famous Huckleberry will always remain a favorite, but the butter & salt doughnut may just be my new first pick. On the following pages you will find the recipe to enjoy the butter & salt doughnuts in your own home.


• 1-1/8 C Whole Milk, Warm • ¼ C Sugar • 2-1/4 t (one Package) Instant Or Active Dry Yeast • 2 whole Large Eggs, Beaten • 1-1/4 stick Butter, melted • 4 C All-purpose Flour • ¼ t Salt

TO MAKE THE DOUGH 1. Warm milk to about 180 degrees, you do not want it too hot. Pour in sugar, stir until dissolved. 2. Add yeast into a separate small bowl. Pour milk/ sugar mixture over yeast. Stir gently, let sit for 10 minutes. 3. Melt butter in separate bowl. Add beaten eggs to melted butter, stir well. 4. Add the egg/butter mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted

with the dough hook. 5. With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour in the yeast mixture. 6. Allow the dough hook to stir this mixture for about 3 minutes, making sure it’s thoroughly combined. 7. With the mixer still going, add helpings of the flour mixture in ¼ to ½ cup increments until all the flour is gone. 8. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, then turn the mixer on the same speed for five minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl. 9. Turn on the mixer for 30 seconds. 10. Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to sit in the bowl undisturbed for 10 minutes. 11. Transfer dough to a lightly buttered bowl. Toss the dough to coat, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

TO MAKE TH E DOUGHNUTS 1. Remove bowl from fridge and turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. 2. Roll out to ¼-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut as many rounds as you can, then roll out remaining dough and repeat. 3. Cut holes out of each round using a 1½-inch cutter. 4. Place both doughnuts and holes on a floured baking sheet. Cover with large tea towel and place in a warm area in your kitchen. 5. Allow doughnuts to rise undisturbed for at least 1 hour. Doughuts should be visibly puffier and appear to be airy.

TO FRY THE DOUGHNUTS 1. Heat plenty of canola oil in a large pot until the temperature reaches 375 to 380 degrees---do not let





it get hotter than 380 degrees! 375 is ideal; keep the thermometer in the pan to continually monitor. One to two at a time, gently grab doughnuts and ease them into the hot oil. Allow them to cook 1 minute on each side; they will brown very quickly. Remove doughnuts from the oil with a slotted spoon, allowing all oil to drip off. Place doughnut immediately on several layers of paper towels. Count to five, then flip it over onto a clean part of the paper towels. Count to five, then flip it over again; the purpose is to drain as much grease as possible before it soaks into the doughnut. Repeat with remaining doughnuts and holes. The holes will cook more quickly than the doughnuts; about 30 seconds per side.

6. Allow doughnuts to slightly cool. BROWN BUTTER GL AZE I N G R E D I E N T S

• • • • •

1 stick butter 3/4 C powdered sugar 1 t Vanilla Granulated sugar Kosher sea salt

4. 5. 6.


1. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter. 2. When the butter begins to bubble, lower the heat and begin to whisk continually. 3. Whisk until the butter begins to smell nutty and bits begin to lift off the pan, the butter will

7. 8.

be a brownish color at this point. Remove from heat and let cool, about 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in sugar and vanilla. Take a doughnut, flip over, and dunk half into the glaze, flip back over and place on paper towel lined rack. Continue until all doughnuts are glazed. Sprinkle with sugar and kosher salt.




In years passed, downtown Los Angeles was a place most tourists and LA residents would steer clear of. Visitors to LA would head to Hollywood, the beach cities, or Beverly Hills and completely forgo the main business hub of the town. Even people who worked in the downtown high-rises wouldn’t stay down there longer than needed. Recently, in large thanks to Grand Central Market, downtown has been going through a major revival. Every month there are new restaurants and bars popping up on everyone’s radar and it doesn’t show signs of slowing. After a couple name changes, Ledlow has been drawing a loyal following since 2014. The menu offers a creative twist on American cuisine and often changes to highlight the chef’s latest idea. The matzo ball, pork belly, chicken noodle soup is my new standard chicken soup recipe for cold evenings and sick days. The recipe can be found on the following page.

m at y l l e b k r o P

tzo b all ch i

ck n en

1 lb pork belly, cut into large pieces Matzo balls 1 lb chicken breast 2 T butter 1 yellow onion, diced 4 carrots, chopped 4 celery stalks, chopped 10 C chicken stock 3 C wide egg noodles Salt and pepper Parsley Dill 2 Bay Leaves Poached egg

le soup ood

1. Prepare matzo balls according to matzo meal package 2. Season chicken and cook at 425 for 35 minutes. Chop. 3. In a large heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat, cook pork belly until browned. 4. Using a slotted spoon remove pork belly and place on a paper towel lined plate. 5. Remove half of the fat, leaving the remaining fat in the pot and add butter. 6. Add the onions into the pot and sautĂŠ until soft, about 5 minutes. 7. Add in the carrots, celery, dill, parsley, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. 8. Pour in chicken stock and bring to simmer. 9. Add in the noodles, let simmer for 10-20 minutes. 10. Add in chicken and matzo balls and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes. 11. Optionally, add a poached egg to each bowl when serving. 12. Serve warm. Can be kept in the fridge for 1 week, freezer for 3 months.

...see you next month

LA Eats v.1  
LA Eats v.1