Monthly Archives: December 2008

Tom Colicchio’s Crostini w/ Roasted Tomatoes & Fresh Ricotta Recipe

Tom Colicchio 

Tom Colicchio's Crostini w/ Roasted Tomatoes & Fresh Ricotta Recipe and Photo courtesy of our favorite Top Chef judge, Chef Colicchio from Eat Drink or Die…



2 quarts whole milk

Half a cup of heavy cream

1 tsp. animal rennet*

or 1 tbsp. lemon juice mixed with ¼ cup of water

*Rennet is an enzyme from calves that causes cheese curds to form from milk. It can be purchased online (we got ours from ) or at high-end groceries, like Whole Foods.

If you can't or don't want to use Rennet, substitute lemon juice instead.


Fresh Ricotta

Roasted Tomatoes from original recipe

Roasted Garlic Cloves from original recipe

1 Loaf of crusty bread (ciabatta or similar) sliced



Mix milk and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to 200˚.

(Don't allow the milk to heat above 200˚, or curds will be too small.) 

Stir gently with whisk occasionally to keep milk from scorching, and skim off any foam or scum that forms on the surface with a spoon or ladle.


When the milk reaches 200˚, pour it into the stainless container/bowl set into the bain-marie.  Chill mixture to 125˚.


Transfer mixture to another saucepan and add the rennet/water mix or the lemon juice.  Stir and allow to rest for about 15 minutes, or until mixture starts to firm up.


Cut an X in the cheese and gently stir to break up the curds.  Ladle the curds into a bowl lined with cheesecloth.  Drain liquid, and set ricotta aside for use in assembling crostini.


Cut a loaf of crusty bread (i.e. ciabatta or similar) into slices.

Heat skillet or cast-iron pan with olive oil and one or two of the roasted garlic cloves from original recipe.  When pan is hot (not smoking) add the bread and toast on both sides until golden. 

Remove bread from pan and spread with some mashed garlic from original recipe.  Lay a roasted tomato on each slice of bread.  Lay a generous tablespoon of ricotta on each slice alongside the tomato. Finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and some torn fresh basil

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Daniel Boulud Gifts for the Holidays

Daniel boulud gifts

Let us help you make it simple and delicious to offer the connoisseurs on your
list wonderful dining experiences as holiday gifts. Daniel Boulud dining gift
certificates can be used to enjoy lunches and dinners in Chef Boulud's
restaurants in New York City and Palm Beach. You can also use them to
reserve one of a kind wine and tasting events.

Gift Certificates from $25 –

Here are just a few events that are planned for this coming winter:

Three Course Prix Fixe Lunch


Dessert and Cocktail Pairing
in the Lounge at Restaurant DANIEL

January through March 2009
$25 PER PERSON Monday to Thursday after 9:30PM

Restaurant DANIEL Tenth Anniversary Celebration Menus
Three Courses with wine pairings featuring new favorites
and classic DANIEL dishes of the last decade
January through March 2009
$98 PER PERSON – Monday to Thursday 5:30 to 6:30PM

BYO Burgundy 1985 Vintage at BAR BOULUD
Wine Director Daniel Johnnes hosts a dinner featuring this rare vintage.
A unique opportunity to pair Chef Damian Sansonetti's
bistro cooking with the best of your own cellar!

Monday, January 26 2009 – $225 PER PERSON ALL INCLUSIVE

Four Course Beer Pairing Dinner at Restaurant DANIEL
featuring Kasteel Cru and many artisinal beers from around the world
Tuesday, January 27 & Wednesday, January 28 2009 – $135/ PERSON

Zagat Presents: "Vintage Dinner"
at Restaurant DANIEL

A five course tasting menu inspired
by the grand classics of 19th century cuisine
Tuesday, February 3 2009 – $500 PER PERSON ALL INCLUSIVE|

Riesling d'Alsace Tasting Dinner
at Restaurant DANIEL

featuring 10 vintages of Clos St. Hune
Wednesday, February 4 2009 – $325 PER PERSON

Piedmontese Wine Dinner
at Restaurant DANIEL

Wine maker Giorgio Pelissero presents
10 vintages paired with a five course menu

Wednesday, February 18 2009 – $325 PER PERSON

Visit later this Winter
for details of delicious 2009 events including:

BAR BOULUD Spring Saturdays at the Tasting Table

Black Truffle BYOB at Restaurant DANIEL

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Patina – Joachim Splichal’s Magical Restaurant


It is no wonder why Patina and their Executive Chef/Owner Joachim Splichal have consistently earned rave reviews including their own distinctive MICHELIN Star. From the moment you step out of the car from the valet, to the last bite of your petit four, the experience is a truly memorable one. Only fitting that Patina is located at the street level of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, because this truly is a magical restaurant where your dining wishes can come true.

Patina quartet of the sea

Patina's Quartet of the Sea

The Frank Gehry designed space is innovative and modern. The room is an ideal backdrop to Patina’s masterful cuisine. The dishes were not only absolutely ambrosial, but the presentation of the cuisine was stunning as well. We started off with an amuse bouche of Butternut Squash Soup and a heavenly bite of salmon. For an appetizer, I selected the Quartet of the Sea while my dining companions started off with the Maine Lobster Tail with Mango, Hearts of Palm and Mint, and the Green Pepper Crusted Tuna Belly with Vegetable Ravigote and Green Apple. The first courses were superb and we were all relishing in our Patina experience. For entrees, we chose the Pan Roasted Black Cod , the Mediterranean Loup de Mer, and the Bone in Turbot with Baked Butternut Squash, Porcini Mushrooms, and Lobster Butter. Once again, the second course completely delivered and we each finished every single last bite of our entrees.

Patina turbot

Patina's Bone in Turbot

Patina dinner

Enjoying a Lovely Dinner in Patina's Beautiful Dining Space

Patina loup de mer

Mediterranean Loup de Mer Entree

Our fabulous server Kevin was gracious and a true professional. He explained everything with precise detail and knowledge. He really made the entire dining experience at Patina a truly exceptional one.

Patina Tea Service

Patina's Table side tea service

Patina chocolate parfait

Chocolate Parfait w/ Marshmallow Ice Cream

Patina coconut soup

Chilled Coconut Soup w/ Mango Gnocchis & Pistachio Ice Cream

Along with stimulating the sense of taste, a dinner at Patina also struck a cord with the visual and scent senses as well. In addition to the table side caviar and cheese service, Patina takes it one step further by providing a table side tea service. As a life long tea enthusiast, this was very exciting. Kevin courteously offered us an aroma sampling of the teas and I selected the Summer Peach with Ginger which was recommended as an excellent tea to go with my dessert of Chilled Coconut Soup with Mango Gnocchis and Pistachio Ice Cream. We also ordered the Abuelita Chocolate Parfait with Marshmallow Ice Cream and the Chocolate Coulant Cake with Cane Sugar Honey and Strawberry Sorbet.

Executive Chef and Owner Joachim Splichal is an unquestionable pioneer to the fine dining scene of Los Angeles. Anyone who challenges the city of angel’s penchant for a top notch gourmet dining experience needs to make a trip down town to visit the tried and true Patina.

Patina is Open for Lunch Tues- Friday and Dinner Tues – Sunday

Walt Disney Concert Hall (Street Level)
141 S Grand Ave. (at 2nd Street)
Los Angeles, CA

Patina is a part of Mika's Los Angeles MICHELIN Guide Discoveries

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La Botte – Mika’s MICHELIN Guide Discovery

Mika Takeuchi & Carrie Nagy at La Botte

Carrie & Mika dining at La Botte

When it comes to dining, creatures of the sea are at the top of my list. So when I read “Stuffed Calamari with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, and Arugula”, while browsing through my Los Angeles MICHELIN Guide, within 5 minutes I was on making an 8:30 p.m. reservation at one star MICHELIN restaurant, La Botte in Santa Monica.


Stuffed Calamari with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, and Arugula

While driving to La Botte from my home in West Hollywood, I do admit I had the slight fear of the Stuffed Calamari not being on the menu, or having been 86’d since it was a later reservation. To my food obsessed relief, I arrived and the Stuffed Calamari was on the menu, available, and ready for me to order.

La botte risotto

Risotto Mantecato, with Burrata, and Santa Barbara Spot Prawns

Being a huge fan of Burrata cheese, I was excited, yet curious to see that La Botte served a “Risotto Mantecato, with Burrata, and Santa Barbara Spot Prawns” as an entrée. I’ve eaten many risottos before both in the U.S. and in Italy, but I’ve had yet to try one prepared with Buratta. When the risotto arrived, it was absolutely divine.

La botte restaurant

A couple of the desserts at La Botte

Since there were no champagnes by the glass, I ordered a glass of the Jeio Prosecco Bisol. My friend Carrie was craving a nice red wine for the evening, so our server Cristian brought three different reds with three glasses to the table for her to sample and choose her favorite. This was a notable courtesy, and from there on out, it was those well thought out details that made our dinner at La Botte memorable and truly welcoming. From the hostess to chef Luigi, the service was friendly, precise, and professional. The staff definitely makes you feel like their special guest in this dimly lit Italian hideaway. La Botte’s dining space resembles a wine cellar and the vibe is private, intimate and romantic.

w/ Chef Luigi Fineo in La Botte's Wine Cellar Dining Room

La Botte is located right on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard at Sixth Street. I’ve driven by it many times, but never noticed it before. This is definitely a hidden gem that I discovered from my MICHELIN Guide and I will be sure to make a trip back soon.

La Botte serves lunch Mon-Fri: 11:30am-2:pm & Dinner Daily: 5:30pm-10:30pm.

La Botte Ristorante
620 Santa Monica Blvd – Btwn 6th St & 7th St
Santa Monica, CA 90401

310 576-3072

La Botte Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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M Café de Chaya – Mika’s MICHELIN Guide Discovery

M cafe de chaya  

Being a woman on the go, and a proponent of fresh and healthy cuisine, I knew that M Café de Chaya and I were going to become fast friends. It also didn’t hurt that in vast and spacious Los Angeles where everything is a bit of a drive, it was nice to see that M Café de Chaya, according to the MICHELIN Guide was in close proximity to my home and office.

When I first heard macrobiotic, I thought you’ll have to sacrifice taste and variety, but when I read in the MICHELIN guide that M Café de Chaya serves not only salads and wraps, but a selection of both hot and cold sandwiches, and rice bowls, it definitely piqued my interest. M Café de Chaya focuses on a macrobiotic diet and deters from serving anything with refined sugar, dairy, or red meat and poultry. Instead, M Café de Chaya only serves items prepared by the most natural, and organic ingredients. How pleasantly surprised I was when I arrived and found an abundant variety of healthy goodies including M Café de Chaya’s version of sushi, soups, burgers, fresh squeezed juices, and a vast selection of desserts including pastries, cookies, cakes, and chocolate truffles. .

M cafe de chaya

At Café M de Chaya, you order at the counter, and with so many choices, I was honestly at first a bit overwhelmed. I quickly pulled it together and decided on a very interesting combo of a Korean style Bi-Bim Bop for an entrée, a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert, and fresh squeezed lemonade to quench my thirst. The Bi-Bim Bop included a base of brown rice, an assortment of veggies, grilled tofu, and the chili pepper paste to mix it all together. Familiar with the traditional preparation of the dish from Korean restaurants, I must say, the macrobiotic version was a satisfying hit. The pumpkin cheesecake’s texture was less a cheesecake and more of a pumpkin pie. It was dense, filling and quite delicious. I didn’t feel as if I was missing out on taste and satisfaction by eating something that was prepared with all natural ingredients and no eggs, dairy or sugar.

Macrobiotic food

M Café de Chaya is a bustling lunch spot. There are 8 small tables and 1 large communal table inside. In addition, they have an outdoor covered seating area. This casual spot on Melrose is a great place for take out and as the MICHELIN Guide suggests, a great place for a meal under $25. They also serve breakfast and dinner seven days of the week.

Given my busy schedule, it’s deliciously satisfying to have discovered a neighborhood spot where even on my most hectic days – I can grab a fairly quick, healthy meal made with top quality ingredients.

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Hide Sushi – Mika’s MICHELIN Guide Discovery

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Often when you think of eating very fresh sushi, you think of paying fairly high prices, so when I spotted Hide Sushi in the MICHELIN guide’s, “Where to eat for less than $25”, I thought, hmmm…I have to check this place out.  

Located on Sawtelle Boulevard on the West Side of Los Angeles, Hide Sushi is right in the center of a mini “Japantown” surrounded by Japanese grocery stores, ramen noodle shops, bookstores, and other Japanese businesses. Born in Japan, I felt like Hide Sushi and its neighborhood were a home away from home – its Japanese staff, and no frills décor, Hide Sushi was clean, simple and straight to the point.


Hide Sushi offers a well edited selection of nigiri sushi, rolls, and other non-sushi items including teriyaki, tempura, sunomonos, salads, and kai yaki (dynamite). One thing you won’t find at Hide are rolls covered in a mask of heavy dripping sauces or American-inspired rolls like the Boston or Philly roll. The fish is fresh, and Hide’s sushi chef’s goal is for you to experience the true delicious flavor of the fish. The sake (salmon) was perfectly sliced, and melted in my mouth. I enjoyed it so much I ordered two more pieces. I also loved the hamachi (yellowtail) and scallop special, which included a special sauce of smelt egg and mayonnaise.


Another great choice at Hide is the tempura with the batter light in color and texture. You can always determine the quality of good tempura by the oil that they use. At Hide, you can tell the oil is regularly changed therefore leaving your palate light and satisfied rather than heavy from the oil.

In addition to dinner, Hide is a great spot for lunch. Hide offers a fantastic lunch combo for $8.50 which includes rice, tsukemono, shrimp and vegetable tempura, and your choice of either beef or chicken teriyaki. It does get crowded, and they don’t take reservations, so come on the earlier side. Hide only takes cash so make sure to stop at the ATM before heading over.

Hide is open Tue-Sat 11:30am-9pm, Sun 11:30am-8pm

Hide Sushi

2040 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

310- 477- 7242

Share your own MICHELIN Guide discovery in 150 words or less using the current 2009 guide.  Prizes include a $150.00 weekly prize or a lavish Grand Prize of a New York Experience for two worth $3,500.00.


Hide Sushi on Urbanspoon

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Mika’s MICHELIN Guide Discoveries

Mika Takeuchi Michelin
Although it says December 1st on the graphic above, a sneak peak of my writings for the MICHELIN Guide site will actually go live mid-day today. Besides the three restaurants that will be featured on the MICHELIN site, I will continue to make my own MICHELIN discoveries and share them with you all on with detailed photos, etc.

Be sure to join in on the fun and share your own MICHELIN Guide discovery in 150 words or less using the current 2009 guide.  Prizes include a $150.00 weekly prize or a lavish Grand Prize of a New York Experience for two worth $3,500.00. The Big Apple getaway includes a stay at a top tier Michelin Guide Hotel, transportation costs, spending money, and last but not least, the most unforgettable meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

To Read Mika Takeuchi's MICHELIN Guide Writings, visit the image above or visit HERE


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