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Ruth Reichl
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"Here?" said the Uber driver. "You sure?" From the outside N/Naka does not look like a restaurant. It's just another nondescript building on a nondescript stretch of Overland Avenue in a nondescript section of West L.A. Inside, however, is one of the most luxurious restaurants in the city, a simple but serene setting where some twenty lucky people are treated... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Ruth Reichl
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When we pulled up for dinner at Alma last night, I went to park the car in the lot next door. Meanwhile Michael sat on a bench outside, having a chat with a man who hit him up for enough to buy a bowl of chili. "I gave him ten bucks," Michael said, "and I bet he's going to enjoy... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Ruth Reichl
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Perfect little meal sitting at the bar at Osteria Mozza. A little mozzarella. One perfect bite. A few sprightly greens... ....and what may be my current favorite dish in LA Tripe, stewed until it's soft, tender, almost silken, to scoop up with slightly charred toast. The best kind of peasant food. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Ruth Reichl
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My friend Margy told me that the last time she ate at Maude the woman the counter next to her confessed she ate there once a month. Margy looked at her in surprise; she didn't seem like the kind of woman who'd routinely spend a hundred bucks on dinner. "The rest of the month I eat mostly at Souplantation," her... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Ruth Reichl
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They're called hundred year old eggs, and they look the part. But although pidan may look like scary eggs from hell, when you take a bite you discover something remarkably delicate. I love them. See that flash of amber light on the plate? That's the sun from the garden, reflected through the beautiful eggs. I bought them last night in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
Making Do Threw a rather insane party the other night here in LA. Tiny rented house. Five chairs. Five plates. Five forks. But people who'd said they couldn't come kept texting to say their time had suddenly freed up, and before we knew it a dozen of us were gathered in this little bungalow. I told everyone to bring a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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A Fascinating Sweet Roll This isn’t my recipe; it comes from my friend Sukey, but it's so delicious that I'm passing it on. Sukey prefers orange to cinnamon, and when she discovered candied bergamot in an Armenian grocery store, she was inspired to create this recipe. They're extremely citric; the floral orange filling perfumes every inch of this dough. Beware:... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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Some people say New York has no good Mexican food. Those people are wrong. But it can't compare to LA, where the Mexican food is so rich and varied I dread the thought of returning back east. The bar is high here: great tacos are everywhere. The only reason to make your own salsa is to avoid the traffic; getting... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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What I stupidly neglected to take a picture of was the truffles themselves - huge, gorgeous black diamonds, just a day or two out of the earth, and so fragrant one whiff was enough to make me dizzy. I've never had truffles this good outside of France. This is the peak moment in black truffle season. My friend Samir Arora... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
My friend Laurie Becklund passed away the night before last, after a heroic struggle with cancer. I admired her so much; she refused to accept the definition of herself as "a sick person," doing more in these last few years than most people manage in a lifetime. She outlived the experts' predictions by so long that those of us who... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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This is the MOST delicious congee from the Hollywood restaurant, Porridge and Puff. (In the daytime it's known as Field Trip, and is equally worthy.) The restaurant focuses on various kinds of congee - all wonderful. It's right in the Hollywood Farmers' Market, so it makes a great Sunday morning breakfast stop. Sea urchins are everywhere now. They even sell... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
Zin, I think you're probably thinking of Portraits and Prayers. Dad did a lot of Stein's books, but that one is memorable. It was the first time a photograph was used on the cover (not the jacket) of a book - printed right on the binding. Dad wanted to put her face on the front and the back of her head on the back, so it would seem like the book held all her thoughts. Bennett Cerf, head of Random House, wouldn't let him do it. I don't think Dad ever quite forgave him.
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2015 on Recipe for a Snowy Day at Ruth Reichl
Jo, It's true, you have to know how to cook if you use Toklas' recipes - but that's pretty much true of all old cookbooks. They just assume a level of knowledge that no modern cookbook writer can count on. But her scrambled eggs are the BEST!
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2015 on Recipe for a Snowy Day at Ruth Reichl
I've been reading Alice B. Toklas a bit, and just came across this funny recipe. Seems perfect for a snowy winter day. (Should you be fresh out of mutton, plain old lamb will do.) Toklas writes: The recipe for the Roast Beef of Mutton is by no less a person that Alexandre Dumas, senior, author not only of the Three... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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Are you experiencing kale fatigue? Much as I love the stuff, I sometimes think it's time to look at other greens. Yesterday, standing in the produce section, my eye landed on a beautiful—and mammoth—bunch of collard greens. I've always loved their clean, nutty snap, and I decided to take them home. I had a sudden memory of filming Adventures with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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Okay, I'll admit it. I was at Whole Foods the other day, and marinated chicken wings- in about a dozen different permutations - were on sale. I bought their version of Spicy Korean Chicken Wings and brought them home. Put them in the oven, took them out. And threw them right into the garbage. They were dreadful. So now I... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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Stopped in at The Little Jewel of New Orleans Grocery and Deli today, to get some gumbo to go. It may be one of L.A.'s best bargains- a really righteous bowl of gumbo, a side of rice, along with toast and butter for about ten bucks. A fantastic dinner. Haven't tried anything else here, although I'm thinking those muffalettas would... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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That's Nancy Silverton, serving the focaccia di Recco at Chi Spacca, which may be the most irresistible thing I've eaten this year. Think crisp, paper thin layers of dough. Rich stretchy cheese. Olive oil. Salt. The play of textures is arresting - you focus on the amazing things happening in your mouth - and then you just stop thinking altogether... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
There are too many food blogs. We all know that; it's impossible to keep up. But I've just stumbled on another one that's really worth the time. Paper and Salt examines the favorite foods of literary icons, which is, of course, a whole new way to get to know your favorite authors. It's a fascinating look at writers as diverse... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
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I can't resist antique kitchen utensils, which is why I have so many cast iron pots. Lately I've been looking for a copper egg white bowl because I have a strong urge to make zabaglione. But my most recent find here in my rented kitchen in LA was this little beauty: a well-seasoned iron popover pan. Popovers are descended from... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
Dickshell: Yes, the bread gets really crisp - as does the cheese topping. That is part of the joy of this particular little snack. I'm sorry to say I never got to B&G - sounds kind of great.
Hi Alexis, I don't have a specific brand of saffron. The truth is that I always buy mountains of it when I go to Spain - it's so much cheaper there - and use that. I'm just about to run out, but happily I'm heading to Bilbao on March 1st for the Parabere conference, so I'll have a chance to buy more. Sorry not to be more helpful here. Anyone have a brand they like?
Toggle Commented Jan 22, 2015 on Sholeh Zard at Ruth Reichl
Poor Man’s Tarte Flambée This was a big favorite at Gourmet, but around our house it’s known as “Robert’s Cheese Toast” because my friend Robert likes it so much. The truth is, everybody I know loves this old-fashioned American classic, and no matter how much I make, it vanishes in a flash. Which is why there is no photograph: every... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2015 at Ruth Reichl
This is from the Cooking of the MIddle East. A revelation to me, when I first read it....
Toggle Commented Jan 21, 2015 on Sholeh Zard at Ruth Reichl
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Sunny Buttery Saffron Rice Pudding Rice pudding is the chicken soup of desserts. Ultimate comfort food, it's an international dish that changes its style as it travels the world. Once again perusing my stack of Time-Life books I came upon another recipe I couldn’t resist: sholeh-zard, or Persian saffron rice pudding. A goldenrod smear on the page suggests I once... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at Ruth Reichl