I was in LA a couple of weeks ago and Brendan and I had a couple of amazing culinary experiences. We had a lovely dinner at Firenze, a Northern Italian cuisine restaurant headed by former Top Chef contestant Fabiano Viviani. This warm space with an open kitchen, live music and private dining area delivered some exceptional food. First up was the fritto misto with calamari and zucchini complemented by the house made bread with a delicious garlicky tapenade. A salad of baby greens with Chianti soaked pears, goat cheese and candied walnuts was amazing only to be topped by the short rib stuffed raviolis laced with a creamy melted taleggio sauce.
I can't wait to go back for rabbit with black olives and a burrata salad with roasted mushrooms with pine nuts. The choices are unique and mouthwatering. The other hot spot in LA we visited is The Counter. This LA phenom is a franchise that has a line out the door. What is is the hook? A stylish interior, clean and modern, a hip bar that eases the wait for a table and a extensive choice of options for the perfect burger. Sit down, take a pencil and fill in the options--included is 100 percent Angus beef, cheese, four toppings, sauce and bun. The combination onion strings and french fries come with 2 sauces and are outrageous.
Another delicious visit to LA. Also a happy birthday to Kevin Alpert, you are the best. XXX, D.