A.G. Newsletter #56: My Thanksgiving Guide, Quinoa at Fred.62, Back to Fromin's & Mozza

Hey there gang,

I imagine that most of you who are cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year already have your game plan in motion, but just in case, I spent the morning typing up recipes and embedding pictures for my Thanksgiving Guide 2011 (click those words to check it out). Here's the plate I made this weekend for my pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving:

Everything came out great and it was fun to celebrate Thanksgiving here on the west coast (with Craig's aunt and uncle) before heading east tomorrow to celebrate Thanksgiving in Florida with my family.

In the meantime, if you've been keeping up with my Workout Journals on my Not Food Blog, you'll know I have a real challenge in store sticking to my routines--circuits and cardio--while back home visiting the family. We'll see how disciplined I can be over a holiday. Should be interesting!

As for what I ate this past week, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the quinoa salad at Fred.62 in Los Feliz:

Fred.62 is a diner-like place where you sit at the counter if you're sitting alone and the only other thing I'd had there was a mediocre tuna sandwich on toast. But this quinoa salad was certainly not mediocre. It's a generous portion of quinoa, well-dressed (it has Asian flavors--sesame oil, etc.) with crunchy vegetables--celery, red peppers--strewn throughout. For someone who starts out the week pretending to eat healthy, this is a perfect solution.

Yesterday--that would be Sunday--I went to visit my 89 year-old Uncle Jerry in Santa Monica. This time, I wanted to take him to Huckleberry which I heard is a terrific place to eat brunch.

I picked him up where he lives in the middle of a gigantic rain storm. It was raining BUCKETS. We drove to Huckleberry and I dropped him off and parked. By the time I got into the restaurant, I looked like I swam there rather than walked there.

And it was only when I was inside that I realized what a miserable situation this was. A Black Friday-style line snaked its way all the way towards the back by the bathrooms and there, 5,000 people deep, I saw Uncle Jerry waiting. You'd have to wait 2 hours to place your order and then another hour to find a table. It was madness. So I said, "Uncle Jerry, let's get out of here." We went back to his favorite spot, Fromin's.

Here's Uncle Jerry with his mushroom omelet and potato pancake:

And here, this time, I tried the L.E.O. omelet (that would be Lox, Eggs and Onions):

It was tasty, rib-sticking goodness on a rainy Sunday morning.

Then in the afternoon, yesterday, Craig and I went to see "The Descendants." Alexander Payne is Craig's favorite director and both Craig and I connected early on in our relationship over our love of "Election." I really liked this one--the more that I thought about it, the more I appreciated how subtle it was (it's really a meditation on themes of what we leave behind). It's probably my least favoriate Alexander Payne movie but even a least favorite Alexander Payne movie is better than 99% of what's out there.

Afterwards, we went back to Pizzeria Mozza (it's so easy to get seated right away if you sit at the bar; also, avoid the $10 valet fee and find street parking) and shared this amazing gem lettuce salad with blue cheese dressing and dates:

Then I had a margherita pizza, which was phenomenal:

And Craig ordered the famous lasagna which is the same recipe that I made a few weeks ago on my blog (see here):

Craig and I agreed that though mine was a valiant effort, this one had the edge because it was more boldly seasoned.

For dessert, I was in absolute awe of the caramel copetta with marshmallow sauce and Spanish peanuts:

I was so enamored of this dessert while we were eating it--the salty peanuts, the creamy marshmallow sauce, the slightly bitter caramel--that I said, "This is one of the best desserts I've ever had." I'm still thinking that hyperbole over but I think it may be true. It's not to be missed (I liked it even better than their famous butterscotch budino).

That's all for this week folks! I'm heading home in less than 24 hours.

Wishing all of you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving....

Until next time....

Your friend,
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)

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