Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cafe Gratitude

I was at the Paramount Pictures lot for Paris Photo, an incredible display of thousands of photographs presented for sale by 50 or so galleries from around the block and all over the world. It was a fun crowd with lots of cool shoes and artsy hair on the men and women, couples with tape measures checking to see if a monster print fits the needed dimensions, and a potential customer questioning why the price for an image was now $3,500 when it was $2,800 earlier in the week. Jesse Metcalfe and Gary Oldman were among the spotted celebs. After a couple hours of this, it was time for some chow. We had a vegan in our group who suggested Cafe Gratitude on Larchmont, and I assumed cardboard would be on the menu. Was I ever wrong!

Here you see my Awesome sandwich - Cafe Gratitude's name, not mine - which is eggplant parmesan. That's cashew ricotta and Brazil nut parmesan if you're tracking the vegan-ness of my sandwich. And it was awesome!!

Cafe Gratitude gives all their dishes wonderful names. My ginger lemonade was called Effervescent. My vegan friend ordered a Happy wrap, and the vegetarian in the bunch chose an off-the-menu BLT with "bacon" created from coconut. I didn't taste it, as you know I'm good with pig as the source for my bacon. We shared the I Am Lovely apple cobbler and the Cherished cashew cream cheesecake for dessert. Granted, they weren't my Granny's baked good, but they were tasty.

And, what are you grateful for? Your answer may change after Cafe Gratitude's delicious fare.

Click here for Cafe Gratitude's Web site.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

World Art Day at the Getty Center

Pee-wee Herman's Facebook post announced today as World Art Day, and I celebrated accordingly at the Getty Center. It was an excellent decision!

This Queen Victoria exhibition was pretty spectacular! On display are hundreds of images, dating from the start of the photographic process in 1839 (which coincided nicely with the beginning years of Victoria's reign), to many private family photographs, and the expansion of the art form, including some hand-tinted images. Queen Elizabeth II is the great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and QEII lent multiple images to the exhibition. It was very touching to see how Victoria and Prince Albert gave each other photographs for special occasions; she was devastated by his death as we can see in the photos. What she would have thought of the iPhone snapshot of her grand exhibition!

Hatched! was even more worldly, with artwork by Dutch masters Rembrandt and Vincent van Gogh, among many others. Vincent crafted this image, and you can totally see his individual lines and dots giving shape and dimension to the postman. Hatching (with lines) and stippling (with dots) are drawing techniques I have used, so it was phenomenal to see the work of the masters!

There was also an Ansel Adams gallery, with a cool comparison of different printing techniques from the same negative, and a Jackson Pollack mural that had been conserved by Getty. It was truly an out-of-this-world dive into all kinds of art!

Click here for the Getty's Web site and more details about each of these exhibitions.

Monday, April 14, 2014


I just finished a hike in Franklin Canyon, including looping the lake made famous in the Andy Griffith Show intro where Andy and Opie are heading to the fishing hole, and I'm hungry. On the drive around Sherman Oaks afterward, I spotted Carney's bright yellow railroad passenger car on Ventura, and I decided it was a hot dog kind of day.

It was hard to decide, but I went with this Spicy New Yorker: split and grilled with sauerkraut, chili peppers and grilled onions, along with a cup of their pineapple slaw and lemonade. Delicious! I guess I need to do a few more hikes and maybe try a burger and fries next time. Yummy!!

Carney's dates back to 1975, and Ventura is the second location after Sunset Boulevard. You can't miss them if you're in those 'hoods. And, as a side note, Franklin Canyon is considered to be near the center of Los Angeles, so you're not too far from either location.

Click here for Carney's Web site.

Click here for information on Franklin Canyon.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spaghetti Eddie's and Donut Man

One of my besties from Milwaukee is working on a project at City of Hope in Monrovia, which gives me a chance to hang with her and try out some new restaurants in that part of the valley. This time we scored on some winners in Glendora.

We knew we'd hit Donut Man for a massive strawberry donut while in the 'hood, so we had to lay a base first. Spaghetti Eddie's on South Grand Avenue was a delicious discovery! We started with crispy artichoke hearts and this roasted red pepper and goat cheese salad with grilled asparagus, caramelized onions and roasted mushrooms. Wow!!

Next, we shared this Capriciossa pizza with mozzarella, rosemary ham, more artichoke hearts and mushrooms, and asiago cheese, plus an order of classic chicken parmesan with spaghetti. Each dish was amazingly flavorful, and the four dishes in combination hit all the taste sensations.

And then there's this Donut Man strawberry masterpiece! It is openly mocking the standard jelly-filled versions. This is actually spurring a new donut bracket - the fruit-stuffed donut! I'm thinking the peach version is the first contender. I also tried the Tiger Tail, a foot-plus-long twisted donut with chocolate and cinnamon woven tastily throughout. And, I can't wait to try the peanut butter and/or pumpkin seasonal treats. Oh, and they are 24/7. Who wants to make the Donut Man run with me?!

Click here for Spaghetti Eddie's Web site.

Click her for Donut Man's Web site.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Omelette and Waffle Shop

I'm in San Pedro to take a necklace-making class at Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles. (Click here for my earlier Crafted post.) I got down there early to have some brunch beforehand. I'd heard great things about the Omelette and Waffle Shop on Gaffey; I could tell by the line out front that this would be a score!

Here you see my Kings Hawaiian French Toast with strawberries, bananas and walnuts. Oh, and a can or so of Reddi-wip! To the left is the protein plate to balance the carbs and fat. Wow, all was deeeeelish!! I sat down at the counter and had delightful conversations with the couples seated on either side. The gentleman on my left ordered a Crane Driver: three scrambled eggs served atop two homemade biscuits with home-fried potatoes and three turkey sausage patties smothered in homemade country gravy. The lady on my right ordered the pork chilaquiles with verde sauce. They both licked their plates clean! I'll admit here that the French Toast won this battle, as I stopped about three-fourths of the way through.

Both the Crane Driver and the chilaquiles deserve a return visit. I also noted the 80 or so omelettes on the menu, in addition to a smorgasbord of pancakes and waffles. Who wants to make the trip with me?!

P.S. The class was great, but I think I'll leave my jewelry-making to the professionals!

Omelette and Waffle Shop does not have a Web site. Street address is 1103 S. Gaffey Street. Phone is 310-831-3277. They close at 3 p.m. daily.