DINNER FOR TWO FOR LESS THAN $7 EACH – TWICE

By Larry Levine – How about dinner for two for less than $7 each? Twice. – A whole roast chicken and chicken in mushroom sauce Start with a whole chicken, about 4 – 4 ½ lb. Mix together 4 tablespoons of extra version olive oil, 1 teaspoon each of granulated... Read More

THE FOUR-CENTURY JOURNEY OF THE UBIQUITOUS BAGEL

Let us consider the ubiquitous bagel, that round piece of dough with a hole in the middle that has transformed itself from the food of old country Ashkenazi Jews into a symbol of cross-cultural unity. As a youngster growing up in Brooklyn, New York in the 1940s, I... Read More

AT LAST, A SUCCESSFUL MUSHROOM SOUP

By Larry Levine – The sun was bright and the morning temperature had inched north of 60 degrees on the way to a high of 69 for the day. It was the third day of winter and the Studio City Farmers’ Market in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Los Angeles was... Read More

The one true international food / DUMPLINGS

By Larry Levine – Call them piroshky, or pierogi, or kreplach, sui mai, won tons, or quenelles, matzo balls, gefelte fish, ravioli or any of a thousand other names. You can boil them, steam them, fry them, bake them, or cook them pretty much any way you want. You can... Read More

BEST LAID PLANS / a look at fast food egg products

By Larry Sheingold What’s in an egg? Seems like a simple question. Yolk and white, right? Right. Unless the egg is part of a fast food meal. Then you’ll probably have to expand your definition to include a list of non-egg add-ins. How can the call their adulterations... Read More

POTATO LATKES ALMOST DAD’S WAY

By Larry Levine – Each year about this time my father would get out the old box grater and set to work hand-grating potatoes and onions for Hanukkah latkes. Mom would peel the potatoes and put them in cold water to keep them from discoloring until Dad could get... Read More

Progress Report – COOKING FOR A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN

The “final” edit for my upcoming food memoir – COOKING FOR A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN / the tastes and tales of a wonderful life – has been returned to the publisher along. Now, we’re on to book design and cover design. I’m waiting for final galleys for... Read More

AN AMERICAN ABROAD AT A STRANGE TIME

By Larry Levine – PART ONE – DEPARTURE I should be brimming with excitement and anticipation as I wait to board our flight to Paris. Instead, what I’m feeling about our three-week vacation in France and England is curiosity at how we will be received. We... Read More

IT’S PIXIE TIME – The Little Tangerine That Could

By Larry Levine – This is a story of The Little Tangerine That Could – a fruit that succeeded against great odds just as The Little Engine That Could made the unlikely climb up that hill in the book we read as children. It’s the Pixie, a relatively new tangerine on... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

The winner is Evelyn Alexander, who lives in Topanga, CA. She correctly identified the meal in this photo as a Ploughman’s Lunch, a meal popular throughout the United Kingdom. Evelyn first tasted a Ploughman’s Lunch when she visited England at the age of 13. Evelyn is... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

Simple question for the first contest of the year. This is a photo of our lunch. What are we about to eat? What is it called? Email your answer to tabletalkatlarrys@earthlink.net. The winner will be selected at random from among all the correct answers. The prize: an... Read More

WHERE TO EAT IN L.A. / what our readers have to say

By Larry Levine – Ask 10 people in to name their favorite restaurant for a celebration dinner and you’ll get at least 20 recommendations. Big city or small town, west coast, east coast or in the middle, people everywhere will be passionate about the places they like... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

The avocados are Reed avocados and the winner is Caroline Little of McKinley TX. She was selected at random from among all the correct answers. Caroline is a vegan, who was born in California and moved to Texas for school four years ago. She’s married and about to... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

Perhaps the toughest WHO? WHAT? WHERE? contest ever at Table Talk atLarrys.com. We know these are avocados. But what kind of avocados? Email to tabletalkatlarrys@earthlink.net and name the type of avocados. A winner will be selected at random from among all correct... Read More

SOUP’S ON / healthy, hearty, easy fish soup

By Larry Levine – My mother used to make the best fish soup I’ve ever tasted – not chowder; it was actual soup. But she left no recipe. I don’t know what she used to flavor it, or what kind(s) of fish she used. I do remember it was tomato based and there were no... Read More

SOUP’S ON / dad’s favorite Navy bean soup

By Larry Levine – White bean soup, Navy bean soup, Senate bean soup, Yankee bean soup … Call it what you want. But it’s still bean soup and on a cold winter evening it will warm the chilliest of bones. I grew up in a soup household. There was nothing my father,... Read More

RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE CHILI AND BEANS

By Larry Levine – Every once in a while we hit on a dish that proves the notion that in cooking it doesn’t need to be complicate or difficult to be good. My Ridiculously Simple Chili and Beans is one such dish. This recipe came to life a few years ago, when I... Read More

IT STARTED WITH A MUSHROOM / Teriyaki chicken recipe

By Larry Levine – It started with a shitake mushroom grown in a “farm” given to me as a gift. Next thing I knew, I burned a sauce pan while making a homemade Teriyaki sauce, which spilled over on the stove top and caramelized. Then I had to run out to the market to... Read More

SOUP’S ON / chicken soup like Mom made it

By Larry Levine – “Is it really colder than I remember it ever being, or am I just getting older and less able to deal with it?” A friend asked me that question in the closing days of 2014. I told him it’s probably some of each. Another friend said recently, “The best... Read More

NOTES FROM THE FARMERS’ MARKET

By Larry Levine – I stopped by the farmers’ market in Studio City this morning. It had been quite a while since my last visit, what with our recent trips to England, San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Diego. For the last year most of my produce shopping occurred at... Read More

THE WEIGHTING GAME WINNER / 159.6 pounds

By Larry Levine – Sue Treadwell of West Sacramento is the winner of THE WEIGHTING GAME. She guessed my weight would be 159.1 pounds the morning after I returned home from a three-week vacation in England. She missed by one-half pound. My actual weight the... Read More

WEIGHT A MINUTE / or three weeks

By Larry Levine –   How much weight will an American gain during a three-week visit to England?   It’s a real game, not some carnival trick.   If you can guess how much I will weigh the morning of July 14, 2014, you could win a $20 coffee card for either... Read More

SILLY SPORTS BETS and the food they inflict

By Larry Levine – From the Department of Silly Food Bets – Stanley Cup Finals Division – I realize Langer’s Deli and Pink’s Hot Dogs are Los Angeles icons. And I realize that Katz’ Deli and Grays Papaya Dogs are kind of New York institutions. But as a former New... Read More

Who? What? Where?

The winner is Betsy Hite, owner & chef at Elegant & Easy Gourmet, just outside the City of Sacramento CA. She was selected at random from among all those who correctly identified the item in the photo as a clothes pin from the French Laundry restaurant in... Read More

ON THE TRICKY SUBJECT OF TIPPING

By Larry Levine – Do you tip in a restaurant? If you don’t, you probably wouldn’t be reading this magazine. But do you tip 20%? 15%? Do you tip pre-tax or on the whole bill? Do you tip the full percentage on that expensive bottle of wine? Do you tip the host or... Read More

TELL THE SULTAN I WON’T BE DINING TONIGHT

By Larry Levine – If you’re like many people I know you think what I do as a food writer and editor is all fun and games. For the last six years, since I founded the restaurant recommendation website atLarrys.com and this online magazine, you would have been... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

And the winner is … Steve Beckley of Woodland CA. He correctly identified the photo as a mound of almond hulls. It’s at an almond processing plant along the I5 in California’s central valley. Steve works with associations whose members provide... Read More

A BONA FIDE SUSHI PLETHORA DILEMMA

By Larry Levine – I can hear the sarcastic groans of sympathy even before I write these words. But I’m suffering with a sushi plethora dilemma. There are too many excellent sushi restaurants in my life. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know; there can’t be such a thing. So, how... Read More

ALOHA FROM KAUAI / and forget about the air travel

By Larry Levine – We’re going to skip the nightmare of dealing with United Airlines and having to pay an upgrade to get the first class seats for which we already had paid. I’ll deal with the airline about that when we get home. We’ll skip talking about the... Read More

SOLVANG HAS BECOME MORE THAN JUST KITSCH

By Larry Levine – Solvang California has defined kitsch for well more than half a century – a Danish village in Santa Barbara County complete with a faux windmill, plenty of restaurants that serve aebleskiver, and shops that sell Christmas ornaments and... Read More

CONGRESS TO AMERICA’S POOR: Let them eat dirt

By Larry Levine – There are times when food writing intersects with public policy and politics in a way that makes it difficult to write about great restaurants, new recipes and self-indulgent browsing in artisan food stores, times when things happen that shake... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

We have a winner in the latest Who? What? Where? contest. Bonnie Shatun, retired teacher and union leader, correctly identified these mallets as being for cracking blue crabs. Bonnie wins a $20 Starbuck’s card. A few others got the blue crab part right and... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

The winner of our latest Who? What? Where? contest is Kess Kessler of Woodland Hills CA. He correctly identified the mushroom as a porcini. His name was drawn at random from among the very few correct answers. This mushroom weighed in at 1 1/2 pounds. My son, Lloyd... Read More

A QUICK DIP INTO THE WORLD OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR

By Larry Levine – White Balsamic vinegar? A friend told me she saw it recently and asked if I knew anything about it. I told her it sounds familiar, that I think it’s the natural color and they add coloring to get the dark stuff. Wrong. Balsamic vinegar gets its... Read More

BREAKFAST HASH FROM LEFT OVER PORK ROAST

By Larry Levine – Talk about stretching a piece of rib end pork loin. First night it was served marinated in Chinese flavors, sliced with roasted potatoes. First batch of left overs went into a hot pot for a second dinner. Last batch of left overs became... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

We have a winner. Mary Ward of Merced CA was among those who correctly identified the item in the photo as a meat grinder. Her name was selected at random from among all those who submitted the correct answer. Mary is semi-retired and says she is “enjoying time... Read More

A BRATWURST BY ANY OTHER NAME IS STILL A SAUSAGE

By Larry Levine – Stop at 40 sausage shops in Germany and ask for bratwurst; there’s a good chance you could get 40 different sausages. That’s right. Bratwurst is not a name of a specific sausage. “Brat” is German for chopped meat and “wurst” is German for... Read More

15 TOP PICKS BY READERS IN 2012

By Larry Levine – Can you name 132 countries? I can’t. I tried it recently and topped out somewhere in the mid-80s. The venture was precipitated by information that came to me by way of Google Analytics: The online food magazine you currently are reading... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

Sacramento-based political consultant Sandi Polka is the winner of the latest Table Talk atLarrys.com WHO? WHAT? WHERE? contest. She correctly identified the cut of meat in this photo as a center cut pork loin. Other answers we received included pork loin rack, pork... Read More

MY MOST MEMORABLE MEAL / Upside Down and Alone

By Carol Celeste – Two-story high glass walls opened the restaurant to the Circular Quay. Lights from nearby moored boats reflected on the water. More lights from surrounding high-rises decked the sky. A vase of fresh flowers graced the formal table service.... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

WE HAVE A WINNER – IT’S MARY ROSE OF SANTA BARBARA. Mary correctly identified Elsie the Borden cow. Now a political consultant, Mary remembers eating Borden ice cream as a child. She now prefers Cherry-Garcia. Check back for our next contest coming soon.... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

The winner of our second contest is Maggie Shandera Linden of Rancho Murieta, CA. Maggie was among the many people who correctly identified this photo as the extended hand of a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant statue. Her name was chosen at random from among all the... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

Contest #2 The photo at the right could have been taken at any of 654 locations in the U.S. and Japan. Tell us what it is – not where, just what – and become eligible to win a copy of the food memoir Mediterranean Summer, autographed by the author. The... Read More

LET’S TALK DELI / stop claiming what’s new is old

By Larry Levine – Let’s talk deli – Jewish deli. It will be a discussion inspired by the latest edition of Bon Appetit. The cover of the September issue touts: “Holy pastrami. The Jewish deli is back.” That’s more than enough to pique my curiosity and send me... Read More

THE VIRGIN FRYER AND GRILLED SHRIMP DISASTER

By Larry Levine – Fried chicken? Grilled shrimp? What’s going on here? I don’t fry. I don’t grill. Or I didn’t fry. I gave up deep frying many years ago. I never could figure out what to do with all that used cooking oil. I didn’t grill either. I don’t like the... Read More

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

We have a winner. It’s Ed Jackson of Culver City California. He correctly identified the photo as Scandia, the iconic Sunset Strip restaurant. Ed used to work a couple of blocks from Scandia before it closed. He drank Aquavit at the bar. Contest #2 will go up in... Read More

ON THE MERITS OF MELONS

By Larry Levine – There’s something they do in Italy that rivals the quality of the tomatoes grown there: they grow great cantaloupes. Is it the water? The soil? The absence of factory farmed, engineered produce? Is it pride of heritage? Is it that consumers... Read More

REMEMBERING DAVID SHAW / a hot dog retrospective

By Larry Levine – It couldn’t be said that we were close friends. What tied us together were our love of food and journalism; our friendship existed mostly in emails and phone conversations about those two subjects. We were two guys who dined in many of the... Read More

THE ALLURE OF THE ELUSIVE PERFECT ROASTED CHICKEN

By Larry Levine – There’s something wondrous about a whole roasted chicken sitting in all its golden glory on a carving board. To the eye or the camera lens it’s an icon of culinary perfection, the stuff of food magazine covers, usually surrounded by a colorful... Read More

GADGETS AND GIZMOS TO CLUTTER A KITCHEN

By Larry Levine – You know that drawer in your kitchen that’s so stuffed with stuff that you have trouble opening it? The one where you have jammed in all manner of gadgets and gizmos through the years. The one you have to reach into and start to empty things... Read More

CHERRIES / little bundles of flavor and more

By Larry Levine – It was a tree and it grew in Brooklyn. But it had nothing to do with the 1943 novel by Betty Smith. This tree was in the back yard of a two-story red brick apartment building at 311 E. 92nd St., where my grandparents lived. David and Lena... Read More

A SUSHI LOVERS’ GUIDE TO SURVIVAL IN TOUGH TIMES

By Larry Levine -It’s been a tough 13 months or so for sushi lovers. First, the Fukushima nuclear power plant poured radioactive iodine and cesium into the ocean off the coast of Japan. Anything that lived or swam in those waters – things like Japanese uni, saba... Read More

TRADITIONAL GEFILTE FISH FROM THE OLD COUNTRY

By Larry Levine – One of my most prized culinary possessions is a recipe for Gefilte Fish in my mother’s own handwriting. Mom made Gefilte Fish twice a year and served it as an appetizer for the Passover and Rosh Hashanah holiday dinners. A couple of weeks... Read More

LOUVAR – a fish you may never taste, or even see

By Larry Levine – “Perhaps one of the most prized and sought after fish on the West Coast, a fish shrouded in much mystery …” “… the best fish I ever tasted.” “Buttery, but not rich … A slight crunch like halibut fin … Smooth texture, no gristle …” These quotes... Read More

FEAST OF THE 7 FISHES / In memory of Jim Tabilio

(We first published this article in January 2011 – a bit late for the 2010 holiday season but we found it warm and tender. Marika Tabilio is the daughter of the late Jim Tabilio, who was one of the original co-hosts at the restaurant recommendation web site... Read More

FROM ACROSS THE POND / a travel journal

(Jennifer and I spent two weeks in the south of England and then in Paris in the fall of 2011. This journal, posted on a daily basis, followed our travels, with a definite emphasis on the culinary.) By Larry Levine – November 4-5, 2011 The real hero of this trip... Read More

HOW BIG IS IT?

It’s not the size of the menu that counts; it’s what’s on the menu. We came across this sign on a restaurant in Mariposa, CA. Made us wonder if there was a contest, how many entries, who judged it and if size matters.. – LL Read More

RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK – Nancy’s Airport Cafe

By Larry Levine – Farmers, ranchers, hunters, big rig drivers and an occasional traveler fortunate enough to stumble on the place … That’s who you’ll find at Nancy’s Airport Café in Willows CA. And befitting the crowd, the portions are hefty, the food is great... Read More

BUT I STILL LOVE TO EAT – The journey back from the operating table to the dinner table / Chapter 5 / Cardiac Surgery Leads to Learning Some Important Stuff About Cholesterol, Triglycerides and Blood Pressure

By Larry Levine – In race track terms, I hit the trifecta with my bypass surgery: high cholesterol, high triglycerides and high blood pressure. The cholesterol issue had plagued me for some 20 years, although I never could remember which was the bad cholesterol... Read More

BUT I STILL LOVE TO EAT – The journey back from the operating table to the dinner table / Chapter 4 / A Chicken Soup Disaster and the cardiologist who blessed a heart-healthy chicken soup recipe

By Larry Levine The full wisdom of my son Lloyd’s words about low vs. no fat/cholesterol/sodium (see Chapter Three) had not yet completely sunk in, when my sister Elisa came to visit two weeks after my quadruple coronary bypass surgery in July 2008. Elisa and I each... Read More

RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK – Biba

By Larry Levine – As Sacramento has grown into an outstanding restaurant town, Biba has remained a mainstay, attracting a loyal local following that includes many of the state’s political and governmental leaders. Biba is one of my two favorite restaurants in... Read More

SAY, WHAT?

“The seasonal American menu will feature cured meats, pasta, artisanal pizzas and fresh breads.” That’s a sentence from an L.A. Times article of June 22, 2011, announcing the opening of a new restaurant. Pasta, pizza, prosciutto and mortadella are consumed by... Read More

FOOD BOOK REVIEW – “Save the Deli”

By Larry Levine – “Save the Deli” by David Sax tracks the history of Ashkenazi Jews – the plight they faced as they were chased around the globe, scapegoated, killed and survived for hundreds of years. And it is the story of the food they took with them... Read More

BAGELS AREN’T JEWISH ANY MORE

By Larry Levine — What’s your favorite kind of bagel? Strawberry? Sun dried tomato? Pumpernickel? Garlic? Or are you more traditional? Plain? Onion? Sesame seed? One thing has become clear: Bagels are multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-national. Bagels... Read More

EXCITING CHANGES AND NEWS ON OUR 1ST ANNIVERSARY

Table Talk atLarrys.com – your online food magazine – is one year old and we want to brag about some of our successes and tell you of changes that will make the magazine even more interesting and attractive in the year ahead. The actual anniversary of the launch of... Read More

THE LOBSTER – Restaurant of the Week

By Larry Levine – It’s spring time in Southern California and that means the beach, the sun, the surf and dinners on the coast. And at The Lobster in Santa Monica it’s all about seafood. There are a few other items on the menu, but this bustling place is all... Read More

KIDS IN RESTAURANTS & CELL PHONES, TOO

By Larry Levine – What do you do when the kid three tables over in the restaurant is banging his or her fork or spoon on the glass table top? Or kicking his or her heels against the wood under the banquet in a thunderous quest for attention? And the parents are... Read More

MITCHELL’S ICE CREAM – Restaurant of the Week

By Tony Fazio – I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. I have a thing for really good ice cream. When I was a little boy, my grandmother would make homemade ice cream with fresh fruit. I have been searching for the best ice cream ever since. In San... Read More

AN INTRODUCTION TO KOREAN DINING

By Larry Levine – I can make my way through the menus of most ethnic restaurants. Chinese, Japanese, Thai – no problem. French – with a little effort. Spanish or Mexican – fairly easy. Italian – I ordered in Italy in restaurants where no one spoke English. But when it... Read More

KITCHEN QUICKIES – Shrimp & Scallops Chow Mein

By Larry Levine – Before I was released from the hospital after my quadruple coronary bypass surgery in 2008 I was told, among other things, to stay out of Chinese recipes because of the high sodium content of the food. Chinese food had been a favorite of mine... Read More

KITCHEN QUICKIES – Poached Salmon

By Larry Levine – The season for great, northwest wild caught salmon is just around the corner. I’m in Issaquah Washington as I write this and two nights ago our son John prepared a wonderful dinner of troll caught white king salmon on a bed of a spinach salad.... Read More

KITCHEN QUICKIES – Chicken Fricassee

By Larry Levine – Sometimes something magic happens to an old recipe. I’ve been making chicken fricassee at home for decades. Recently I made a mistake at the super market and bought a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes instead of just plain old Roma... Read More

FOR JIM

(atLarrys.com, the restaurant recommendation web site, lost a unique and refreshing voice February 16 with the passing of Jim Tabilio. We suspended publication of new material at this magazine web site and atLarrys.com for four days in Jim’s honor. We resume... Read More

VIVACE – Restaurant of the Week

By Larry Levine – This resort has everything. Plush rooms, breath-taking views of the lagoon and the ocean, an Arnold Palmer designed golf course, a top notch spa, and Vivace, a restaurant that’s worth a visit whether you are staying at the resort or not. Just... Read More

CHUNG KING – Restaurant of the Week

By Gail Block and Elias Davis – Chung King, a Sichuan restaurant in Monterey Park, was included in a 2006 New York Times piece by Mark Bittman about the best Chinese restaurants in Southern California – years after Jonathan Gold of the L.A. Weekly and a host of... Read More

KITCHEN QUICKIES – Linguini with shrimp

By Larry Levine – Whoever invented pasta, shrimp and tomatoes must have had a 9 to 5 job. Give me a nice fresh tomato, some jumbo shrimp and a pantry well stocked with pastas and other basics and I can walk in the door and have you sitting down to eat in a... Read More

SLOW FOOD / LOCALLY SOURCED – But is it healthful

By Larry Levine – “Slow food” – A cute slogan designed to represent the antithesis of fast food, aka junk food. “Locally sourced” – A slogan that imparts a message of environmental friendliness. “Farmers’ Markets” – They’re promoted as places... Read More

KITCHEN QUICKIES – London Broil

By Larry Levine – When Jennifer and I both were working and our two sons were in school, dinners in a rush were a way of life. If one of the boys got home before us we would ask that they turn the meat in the marinade when they got home and take it out of the... Read More

900 GRAYSON – Restaurant of the Week

By Larry Sheingold – We asked Gene Agress of Berkeley Mills for a lunch recommendation. He pointed toward the long block of parking lots and storefronts across from his furniture showroom and started telling us about two brothers with San Francisco French... Read More

OBSERVATIONS ON ETHICS, INTEGRITY AND FOOD WRITING

(Recent events created a discussion of some of the difficult issues involved in food writing and restaurant reviewing. This article delves into some of those issues.) By Larry Levine – With some regularity, people tell me how much they would like to be doing what I’m... Read More

SECRETS TO KEEPING FRUIT AND VEGGIES FRESH

By Larry Levine – There’s an old saying that you’ll learn more by keeping your mouth shut and your ears open. Turns out keeping your eyes open works pretty well, too, as I learned when we returned from a recent vacation. While away, I emailed our house sitter... Read More

MORE ONLINE EDIBLES

By Larry Levine – (Cheeses and meats, sauces and treats, and so much more. Another in what is becoming a series of articles about online shopping for specialty food products.) Back in July, Larry Sheingold published a piece at Table Talk atLarrys.com titled... Read More

ANGELINI OSTERIA – Restaurant of the Week

By Larry Levine – Angelini Osteria is two different restaurants – a bustling, noisy place with great food at dinner and a more sedate, relaxed place with great food for lunch. I can’t explain why Jennifer and I hadn’t visited Angelini years ago. It was among the... Read More

KITCHEN QUICKIES – Oh, Those Golden Pork Chops

By Larry Levine – This is another recipe that is a by-product of my desire to continue to eat well after by coronary bypass surgery. I’m a meat eater – not necessarily beef, but definitely pork and lamb. While I was at home healing I browsed through every... Read More

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEARS EVE?

By Larry Levine – What are you doing New Years, New Years Eve? That’s the refrain from an old song. It’s also a question you should start to think about now if you haven’t already done so. Even in this down economy, New Years Eve tends to loosen up people and... Read More

TURKEY – THE DAYS AFTER

By Larry Levine – I love turkey leftovers almost as much as I love turkey dinners. That’s why I always buy the biggest bird I can find. When the kids were young and living at home, picking over the carcass the day after Thanksgiving was anticipated for weeks.... Read More

KITCHEN QUICKIES – Stir Fry on the Fly

By Larry Levine – Jennifer was in Sacramento for the birth of our grand daughter Alise when I came up with this recipe. It was a very busy, pre-election time in my office – one of the few times of the year when food fades to the recesses of my mind. I didn’t... Read More

KITCHEN QUICKIES – Curry in a Hurry

By Larry Levine – It happened a long time ago – maybe 25 years ago – but I remember it clearly. I walked into the store around the corner to order some frozen yogurt to take home after dinner. The clerk eyed me and asked, “What have you been cooking?” It was the first... Read More

ARE THE GREAT CHEFS TRYING TO KILL US?

By Larry Levine –                 Three dishes sent back to the kitchen at restaurants I’ve long enjoyed … all in the last month and all for the same reason – too much salt.                  First it was grilled loup de mer with asparagus and sautéed baby... Read More

CHICKEN SOUP – It Really Works

By Larry Levine – It’s jokingly called Jewish penicillin, but it’s no joke. The name is well-deserved because it helps cure not just the common cold but also all manner of other maladies, including flu and chest congestion. It’s chicken soup. There are generations of... Read More

BRAD’S – Restaurant of the Week – 10/4/10

By Lenn Grabiner – A few years ago, I was watching Bobby Flay do a show on clams. Did I mention I love clams? He spotlighted a number of places that boasted unusual preparations of this humble mollusk. The one that caught my attention?: BBQ’d Buffalo Clams... Read More

Food Book Review – Far Flung and Well Fed

By Larry Levine – Where to start? It’s about food; it’s about restaurants; it’s about diverse cultures; it’s about the people who cook food, grow food, raise food, appreciate food, earn their livings from food and in other ways make food a vital part of their... Read More

BAKED BRISKET OF BEEF

By Larry Levine – 1 Brisket of beef, point end or about 1/2 lb per person 2 Tbls Olive oil Onion powder Paprika 2 brown onions, sliced 2 carrots, sliced 2 celery stalks, with leafs, diced 1 cup water 1 cup red wine Trim surface fat from meat. Trim most of... Read More

MEMORIES OF FAMILY DINNERS GONE BY

By Larry Levine –  There’ll be no house full of people for a holiday dinner once again this year. Those times and those memories are part of a very warmly recalled past. Tonight is the first night of Rosh Hashanah, and while our family has never been... Read More

WAS IT AN ORGY OR AN ODYSSEY?

Ryan Prosser pictured above, with his aunt Jennifer Levine and uncle Larry Levine at Biba in Sacramento. By Larry Levine – 33 restaurants in 23 days. They ranged from the best Michelin star dining establishment in the state to a malt shop. Was it an orgy or any... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 18

By Larry Levine – Any time you come back from a 22-day vacation at the exact weight at which you left, that part of the trip is a success, especially when one purpose of the trip was to write about great food and meals you discovered along the way. Well, I made it. I... Read More

CEVICHE

By Larry Levine I’ve tried different kinds of fish for this recipe, including shrimp and tilapia. I like red snapper best. But it’s all a matter of taste. If you want to experiment, go ahead. 1 lb Red Snapper juice from 6 limes ¼ cup olive oil 1 tsp chili oil... Read More

RUMANIAN EGGPLANT SALAD

By Larry Levine This recipe has been in my family for well more than 100 years. My mother got it from her mother, who brought it with her when she emigrated from Rumania in the late 1890s. How long it had been in her family before that is beyond knowing. 1 Eggplant,... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 17

By Larry Levine Sally Tanner and Pat Hofstetter are two women of extraordinary accomplishment. Now in their 80s, they will be spending the first half of next week fishing for salmon on the Rogue River in Oregon. Sally is a former member of the California State... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 16

By Larry Levine Jennifer and I once stood in the center of Union Square in San Francisco and couldn’t see a Starbuck’s Coffee shop in any direction. I phoned my son John, who used to work at Starbuck’s headquarters in Seattle, and said, “I’m standing on the only spot... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 15

By Larry Levine It was an act borne of utter desperation. I asked the young woman who checked us into the Holiday Inn Express in Grants Pass Oregon for the best restaurant in town. She immediately answered, “Taprock Northwest Grill, on 6th near the river.” “What about... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 14 – 7/26/10

By Larry Levine If every neighborhood had a fish market like the one Jim Oswalt runs in Issaquah Washington the U.S. would be a healthier nation because more people would eat more fish on a regular basis. Issaquah is about 20 minutes southeast of Seattle Washington.... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 13

By Larry Levine – I don’t know of a better town for oysters than Seattle. It’s not that there aren’t good oysters in other places. Gulf coast oysters were excellent before the oil spill. Now, we’ll have to wait and see. I first tasted them at Acme Seafood in New... Read More

A COME BACK FOR THE PERFECT MANHATTAN

By Larry Levine – Try as I may, I can’t recall when and where I learned to drink Manhattan’s. I know it wasn’t from my parents. They drank gin martini’s – always with extra olives, which they gave to my sisters, who were too young to drink. What I do know is... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 12

By Larry Levine – It’s probably the silliest thing I’ve seen on this entire trip. But tonight I picked up a brochure for Chez World Cooking School – Fairbank’s Newest Attraction. I did this on the way back from a dinner of over-cooked, tough Alaskan halibut. On the... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 11

By Larry Levine –  Denali Natural Park and Reserve is not about food. There are no edible fish in the local rivers and streams, which are largely fed by glaciers that carry too much sediment into the water. The local growing season lasts only about 100 days. The... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 10

By Larry Levine – There is no one home in Dixie tonight. They are all up here with us in Denali National Park in Alaska. They come from Louisiana, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and just about everywhere else that people speak southern. Funny thing is when we... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 9

By Larry Levine – “Alaskans like to eat.” So spoke Anna, the driver who steered our bus from Anchorage to Talkeetna this afternoon after I asked if we should eat at the Lodge or go into town. Town in this case is 500 people and the shuttle from the Lodge stops running... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 8

By Larry Levine – There are a hundred reasons or more why I’m glad I turned to the business of political campaigning some 40+ years ago. Many of those reasons have to do with the people I call colleagues in this business. And tonight that list it topped by Maggie... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 7

By Larry Levine – OK. Now we’re talkin’. This is what I came for – local seafood that could only be fresher if we dove to the bottom of the ocean to eat it. I should have listened to Jennifer in the first place. Not Jennifer, my wife, to whom. I listen all the time.... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 6

By Larry Levine – Once we finished taking our country away from the British 227 years ago, we set about the task of appropriating some of their ways and customs, which we then adapted to our own purposes and tastes and offered to the world our way. Two such... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 5

By Larry Levine –  I can’t get fresh springer (coho) salmon in Los Angeles fish markets and I can find it in restaurants only rarely. So, I probably should not complain that it was pink springer instead of white that I had for dinner tonight. It was still very... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 4

By Larry Levine – Where to start? The smoked heirloom tomato soup? The Saltspring Island clams and Mussels? The Petrale Sole? The fresh whole Dungeness crab? The locally-produced Nicole pinot gregio? We crossed the threshold today as we ferried from Seattle to... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 3

By Larry Levine – Ponder these: what makes some people out and out foodies while others eat simply for fuel, and why are so many people in the world of political campaigning devoted foodies? These questions ran through my mind today as we motored north from Salem... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 2

Chapter Two – July 10, 2010 – A FOOD LOVER’S TREK tracks the travels of Table Talk editor Larry Levine and his wife Jennifer as they make their way by auto, ferry, plane and train from Los Angeles to Fairbanks Alaska and back. A new chapter will be published every day... Read More

A FOOD LOVER’S TREK – Chapter 1

Chapter One – July 9, 2010 – A FOOD LOVER’S TREK tracks the travels of Table Talk editor Larry Levine and his wife Jennifer as they make their way by auto, ferry, plane and train from Los Angeles to Fairbanks Alaska and back. A new chapter will be published every day... Read More

WHEN THE BEEF MEETS THE BUN

By Larry Levine – Ask someone to name his or her favorite burger restaurant and no matter what the answer, someone else will throw out the name of a place they like better. Then there’s the debate over which is the preferred meet for a burger – Angus, Chuck, or... Read More

I HAVE GRILLED

By Larry Levine – I’ve taken a lot of ribbing (pun intended) since I disclosed a couple of weeks ago that I don’t have a barbecue at home and I don’t like to barbecue because I never have and never intend to deal with cleaning up the ashes of the burnt coals or... Read More

QUATTRO ITALIANA

By Larry Levine – From south to north California boasts some outstanding Italian restaurants. As you travel the state this summer, you may want to consider a stop at one or more of the following. In the Brooklyn neighborhood, where I spent the first decade of my... Read More

MELISSE – Restaurant of the Week – 6/14/10

By Larry Levine – Jennifer and I loved Melisse long before Michelin discovered it and hung two stars on the wall. It’s not just one of my two current favorite California restaurants, it ranks up there alongside many of the other great spots I’ve enjoyed through... Read More

HAS TV FOOD PROGRAMMING GONE ASTRAY

By Larry Levine – I think Jacques Pepin’s weekly program is the best cooking show on television. He doesn’t compete with anyone, or chop anyone. No reality contests, or hopscotch travels through diners and dives; no tours of bar-b-que joints, or endless... Read More

SANTA MARIA BARBECUE

By Larry Levine The City of Santa Maria on the central coast of California is well known for Santa Maria Barbecue. There are many restaurants and barbecue stands throughout the downtown area. The basic Santa Maria Barbecue is tri-tip beef. But there also are chicken... Read More

GRILL, BABY, GRILL

By Larry Levine –  It’s barbecue season and I feel lonely. According to the latest Weber GrillWatch Survey, 75% of Americans own an outdoor barbecue grill and about 33% of them own two or more. Gas continues to be the most popular type of outdoor grill – 67%.... Read More

Food Book Review – Makerel at Midnight

By Larry Levine – The full title is Mackerel at Midnight – Growing up Jewish on a Remote Scottish Island. It’s written by Ethel G. Hofman, a syndicated food journalist, cookbook author and past president of the International Association of Culinary... Read More

TO VEAL, OR NOT TO VEAL

By Larry Levine – Jennifer won’t eat veal. It’s an ethical issue for her. She’s seen the photos and documentaries about how the animals are raised. I don’t have any such problems. To me veal is part of the food chain. I love veal – a great veal chop served at... Read More

TAVERN OFF THE GREEN

By Larry Levine – If the second highest grossing independently owned and operated restaurant in the nation can’t make it, what does that say about a) the state of the restaurant business, b) the economy, c) the management of the place, d) the City of New York,... Read More

ALEXANDER VALLEY COMES TO SANTA MONICA

By Larry Levine – The emailed invitation couldn’t have been more timely. Melisse was having a special wine pairing dinner featuring wines from the Alexander Valley in Northern California. It was one of those “life sends me a message” moments. The event was on my... Read More

PINK’S? Are you kidding?

By Larry Levine I’ve been pondering Larry Sheingold’s “Hoppin’ Down the Wienie Trail” posting for a while and I find I have to respond. I trust Larry’s taste in restaurants. After all, he recognizes Langer’s in L.A. for the best pastrami sandwich anywhere and he... Read More

CACCIUCCO LIVORNESE

By Larry Levine This is the recipe I created after reading about the dish in Mediterranean Summer (see recipes page on Table Talk at Larrys.com). Later, I discovered a simpler recipe at the back of the book. The recipe in the book substitutes a pre-made marinara sauce... Read More

My Favorite Farmers’ Market

By Larry Levine – My favorite farmers’ market? The Hollywood Farmers’ Market at Hollywood Blvd. and Ivar St. on Sunday mornings. What’s yours? Believe it or not, this old Brooklyn street kid has been shopping au natural since he was 5 years old. It started with... Read More

Food Book Review – Mediterranean Summer

By Larry Levine Author David Shalleck has worked for more than 20 years as a chef and producer of television food programs. This book, however, recounts the experiences of one magic summer in his youth, when he was hired on a 154-foot yacht as the chief cook with... Read More

A View from Two Coasts

By Larry Levine What do the River Café in Brooklyn and the Lobster, 1 Pico and Catch in Santa Monica have in common? All three defy the old adage about the impossibility of getting good food and a good view at the same place by the water’s edge. The River Café is in... Read More