Every so often I get the itch. The Los Angeles itch. I moved to San Francisco over 3 1/2 years ago but I never stopped loving LA. Many people give it a bad wrap and to those people I say - dont knock it until you try it! It's not all limousines and cocaine and the part that is is super early 90s and its sort of fun in a hilarious parody sort of way. I left still adoring the sunshiney days, the relaxing power of dining outside, the hiking in the middle of the city - granted, I do think San Francisco is a far superior city than LA, I still think I'd be happy there. so I visit. Not as often as I'd like, but I visit and pretend I still live there even though every thing and everyone has changed.
FACT#1: YOU MUST EAT AT AFRAME. My bestie Pamela and her fiance Eric brought me to this amazing restaurant called AFrame where we ran into an old friend Adam B. You know how your mom knows exactly what you need when you're sick? And your partner knows exactly what you need when you PMS? Well, Pamela knows exactly to a T my culinary tastes. We had deep fried thai BBQ ribs, spicy octopus salad and fried tempura spinach fries. This may be a must stop for EVERY trip to Los Angeles.
FACT #2: EVERYTHING IS CUTER WITH YARN. Whenever I come to LA I make a craft date with another bestie Jenny. She is having a baby so we did a few decorations for her shower, which I could not attend. Check out these yarn letters we made from wooden letters and yarn. This alone makes me want a little one in the tum. Okay, maybe not - Im pretty scared to have kids these days but it may be due to living on a hill like rapunzel and only having a 1 bedroom apt.
FACT #3: DINNER WITH FRIENDS IS BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE. But, like, why choose? Every year we usually go on a ski trip to Mammoth but this year with Jenny being preggo and our other friends whose kid is an adorable ham --- we didnt go. But we did a Mock Mammoth cookery night in Highland Park with them. We made falafel and I made the lamb tagine again. It filled my heart AND innards.
Lamb & Prune Saffron Tagine
16 Pearl Onions
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 Pounds of Lamb Stew meat, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
10 threads of saffron
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/3rd cup of honey
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8th tsp mace
1 cup pitted prunes
20 sprigs chopped cilantro
1/4 cup toasted almonds
Salt and pepper
Step One: Preheat oven to 375. Blanch the pearl onions, peel and set aside.
Step Two: In a dutch oven heat olive oil over medium - brown the meat in batches and set aside.
Step Three: Pour in the beef broth and grind up the saffron into the broth. Add back the meat. Stir in honey, tumeric, cinnamon, mace, prunes and cilantro. Cover the pot tightly and bake for 50 minutes. When you are done cook for 5 additional minutes with the top off to reduce the sauce down to a thick gravy.
Step Four: serve with almonds on top.