A.G. Newsletter #156: Little Dom's, Blue Plate Oysterette, Fiestaware, Harlowe, Outfest & CousCous Salad for Grease

Hey Newsletter Friends,

We're back from our epic European adventure! In case you haven't been following along, we ate haggis and danced a Céilidh in Edinburgh, Scotland:

I ate the best Indian food of my life, and chowed down at St. John and The River Cafe in London:

Met up with my friends Mark and Diana in Paris and had none other than David Lebovitz tour us around:

I spent a night in Strasbourg on the way to Germany, where I sampled my first Choucrute Garni and treated myself to a multi-course dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant:

Met up with Craig in Munich, where we ate pretzels and beer and lots of sausage, and then continued on to Berlin. My post about it is all about my conflicted feelings about Germany and ultimately how it won me over:

Once back, I did a post about British and German supermarkets.

And a post that's gone a bit viral: Ten Lessons American Restaurants Can Learn From European Restaurants (And Vice-Versa).

I've been a busy fella!

Now that I'm back, though, I'm ready to newsletter for you again. So let's get to it.

Even though I'd seen Mark and Diana in Paris, Craig hadn't seen them for almost a month so we all met up at Little Dom's in Los Feliz upon our return to talk all about our trips. We drank Negronis and shared Little Gem salads, which were very good:

But my entree--baked ziti with ricotta and sausage--was really disappointing.

It's a replacement for a very different dish that I used to love there: rigatoni, also with ricotta and sausage. The difference is that this is easier for them to do; they can pre-make a bunch and bake them off as necessary, but the problem is that the finished dish tasted like dried out pasta sitting in a pool of cream. Not enough salt, all of the elements were poorly integrated. I was not a fan.

Luckily, this chocolate caramel tart redeemed things at the end:

On Friday of last week, we met up with our friend (and Craig's manager) Emily for dinner at the newly opened Blue Plate Oysterette in West Hollywood:

The place was positively bustling, it was quite a scene:

Things started appropriately enough with a big plate of oysters, all of them excellent (and served with four little sauces: two types of mignonette, cocktail sauce, and horseradish):

Entrees were all pretty good:

My lobster roll tasted good, though the sweet potato chips were a little "meh." The lobster mac and cheese was gooey and good (maybe my favorite of the entrees); Emily liked her linguine with clams and Craig was satisfied with his ahi tuna tacos.

But the thing that dazzled all of us, almost knocked us out of our chairs it was so incredible, was the dessert: the must-order Key Lime Pie.

Do I even need to say anything? Look at that picture. It's everything you want it to be and more. My advice? Go to Blue Plate Oysterette for oysters and wine, skip dinner, and order the Key Lime Pie. You won't regret it.

After dinner, we went to a party at our friend Jim's and he had the coolest collection of Fiestaware. Don't you agree?

Now I have a new thing to obsess about when I'm finished with transferware.

On Saturday, Craig's movie played at OUTFEST, the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival here in L.A. By the way, did you know The Skeleton Twins trailer is out? You can watch it here: it's been seen almost 1.5 million times!

Before the screening, Craig was a little nervous and wanted to get a drink. So we went to a new bar in West Hollywood called Harlowe that had a great vibe:

I love any place with lots of light streaming through the windows. I had the "Our Man in Rio" with La Blon cachaca, Beneditine, jalapeno-infused Green Chartreuse, agave nectar, and lime. Craig had a smoked Negroni which was only $7 at Happy Hour (mine was $14 because I wanted to try something more unique).

These were good! I don't have huge reactions to newfangled cocktails, really; either I like them or I don't. These I liked. Plus, Craig's Negroni gave him the courage he needed...

...to face the 350 people gathered to see his movie.

People loved it and you're going to love it too when it comes out on September 19th. Woohoo! That's so soon.

Finally, on Sunday we joined our friends Jimmy and Raef for a GREASE singalong at the Hollywood Bowl. At the last minute, I decided to whip up a couscous salad:

My technique: make two boxes of plain couscous and after pouring them into the boiling water, and before putting the lid on, put it some dried fruit to reconstitute--golden raisins, regular raisins, or chopped dried apricots (what I used here). Then, once the water's absorbed, add oil, vinegar, lemon juice, chopped onion, chopped scallions, chopped parsley, and toasted almond slivers to taste. Play around. Add more of whatever you like the most. Add other things. When you're happy with it, that's when you know it's done.

As for the GREASE singalong, had me a blast:

That's all for this week folks!

Until next time....

Your friend,
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)

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