Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quiche Italiano...

A few days ago I saw Julia again, owner of Julia's Kitchen, for a photo shoot at her place. She needed a few more pictures for her website, main dishes and savory stuff rather than desserts and baked things, which she has plenty of already.
We ended up shooting about ten dishes, chicken, pastas, lobster, quiche, veggie platter, home made granola, etc., BUT... one stood out big time for me. She called it quiche caprese, you know... the mozzarella, tomatoes, basil combination, a quiche shell. The "twist": instead of basil leaves... pesto! Both the presentation and the taste were brilliant. Light, savory, fresh and satisfying. We both agreed that this dish would be great especially in summer, but I can see myself eating it any time.
This quiche was the second dish we photographed, and although everything else afterwards was as good and fun to shoot, my mind kept on going back to it. Paraphrasing Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire, I have to say: "Julia, you had me at the quiche caprese!" Thank you, and I'm looking forward working with you again, and being surprised by your talent!

The other dishes....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Chinese Dumplings, Arcadia

I visited this place 3 times in the last month! Will go again soon! The best and most popular dumplings are the "juice pork" ones. Like in most Chines places you have to go with pork, or shrimp... chicken just doesn't do it.
Beware of least 30min waiting.

Plaisir Pastry Store

Plaisir is a little gem of a pastry shop just opened a few weeks ago by owners Philippe Dray and Daniel Salva. It means "pleasures" in French and as they explained to me, they think that everybody should indulge a little, or better yet, everybody has the right to a little bit of pleasure once in a while, it's a democratic/constitutional right we all have, especially in this economic situation. Don't forget these guys are French and the "liberte, egalite et fraternite" is in their blood. I for one... agree!
The main "pleasure" at Plaisir is their signature pastry, a puff pastry filled with mousse. I would have one everyday if I could, especially in the morning with my coffee. I had one that Philippe just took out of the oven and it just melted in my mouth.
The "original Plaisir" is just a mousse, very light and sweet, topped with a slice of strawberry, and served in a very cool and unusual little jar. No, you can not have the jar, it stays with the store.
We also shot a couple of quiches, ham and cheese and spinach, which you will go back for, if you like quiche, both "home made", savory and tasty!
After a few croissant sandwiches (turkey and cheese, ham and cheese and soon to come salmon and cream cheese) we went back to shooting sweets again: waffles and sweet crepes. I love crepes! When I was a kid, my grandmother would make them every week, and even though now I make my own, I would go back to Plaisir and have theirs as well.
The inside is very cool too. You can sit at the counter and while you eat your "pleasure" you can listen to music on one of their ipods... how cools is that!
Enjoy! ... and don't forget, it's your right to have a little "pleasure" at PLAISIR.

8613 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA. 90069