Lunch Specials for Friday, December 15, $7.99 plus tax for Dine In or Pick Up Only Monday – Friday (11:00am-2:00pm)

*Specials are subject to change without prior notice. Please feel free to call and verify specials before coming in (213) 742-0303.

Pasta: Penne Siracusa With Smoked Salmon

Sandwich: Sausage Sandwich With Grilled Onions & Bell Peppers and a side of Pasta Salad

Salad: Corn Avocado Chicken Salad

Pizza: Small BBQ Chicken Pizza

Today’s Chef’s Special ($12.95 plus tax – all day long): Lemon Vinaigrette

 

Lunch Specials for Thursday, December 14, $7.99 plus tax for Dine In or Pick Up Only Monday – Friday (11:00am-2:00pm)

*Specials are subject to change without prior notice. Please feel free to call and verify specials before coming in (213) 742-0303.

Pasta: Spaghetti Sausage

Sandwich: Chicken Parmesan Sandwich With a Small Garden Salad

Salad: Mix Green Salad With Artichokes, Feta, Walnuts, Raisins, Cucumbers & Grilled Chicken

Pizza: Create Your Own Calzone Two Toppings

Today’s Chef’s Special ($12.95 plus tax – all day long): Salmon With Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

 

Lunch Specials for Wednesday, December 13, $7.99 plus tax for Dine In or Pick Up Only (11:00am-2:00pm)

*Specials are subject to change without prior notice. Please feel free to call and verify specials before coming in (213) 742-0303.

Pasta: Spaghetti Scallops With Mushrooms & Sundried Tomatoes in a Light Pesto Sauce

Sandwich: Tuna Sandwich With a Small Garden Salad

Salad: Primavera Salad With Baby Shrimp

Pizza: Small Roma Pizza

Today’s Chef’s Special ($12.95 plus tax – all day long): Tilapia With Pink Sauce

 

Lunch Specials for Tuesday, December 12, $7.99 plus tax for Dine In or Pick Up Only (11:00am-2:00pm)

*Specials are subject to change without prior notice. Please feel free to call and verify specials before coming in (213) 742-0303.

Pasta: Linguini Pomodoro With Spinach in Pink Sauce

Sandwich: Salami Sandwich With a Small Garden Salad

Salad: Venetta Salad with Chicken

Pizza: Pepperoni & Sausage Calzone

Today’s Chef’s Special ($12.95 plus tax – all day long): Salmon Lemon Caper Sauce

Lunch Specials for Monday, December 11, $7.99 plus tax for Dine In or Pick Up Only Monday – Friday (11:00am-2:00pm)

*Specials are subject to change without prior notice. Please feel free to call and verify specials before coming in (213) 742-0303.

Pasta: Penne Meat Sauce

Sandwich: BBQ Chicken Sandwich With a Small Garden Salad

Salad: Chicken Cobb Salad

Pizza: Small Cheese Pizza Plus 2 Toppings

Today’s Chef’s Special ($12.95 plus tax – all day long): Tilapia with Pomodoro Sauce

 

Drool-worthy comfort foods from around the world

Drool-worthy comfort foods from around the world

Favorite international comfort food recipes that hit the spot when you’re tired of the usual mac and cheese Image: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images Plus  Print
Favorite international comfort food recipes that hit the spot when you’re tired of the usual mac and cheese

You know what comfort food is just by looking at it. It’s the warm, carby deliciousness that gets us through bad days, homesickness and the flu. Every country has its own version of the stuff, so if you ever find yourself looking for something perfect on a rainy day but feel tired of the usual mac and cheese, why not try one of these international favorites?
Spain: Croquetas de jamón
Let’s be clear: Croquetas — real ones, not the ones that come frozen or on a hospital food tray — are little-fried morsels of delightfulness. Like most comfort foods, this one utilizes little bits of leftovers. In this case, it’s ham. Croquetas are to the Spanish what stovies are to the Scottish.

Japan: Okayu
Some comfort foods serve one basic purpose: to cure what ails you. The next time you’re sick, try a steaming bowl of okayu. You may never accept chicken soup on a sick day again.

Russia/Ukraine: Borscht
There are plenty of jokes to be had about borscht, and I find almost universally that the people who make them have never had a bowl of it done right. This is borscht done right, and you will love every spoonful of it.

France: Clafoutis
Traditional clafoutis is a sweet dish stuffed with cherries (pits and all!), but modern renditions take a savory twist, like this tomato version, and are not to be missed.

Canada: Poutine
Ask any Canadian, and they will tell you there is no such thing as proper American poutine, a dish made with pomme frites, cheese curds and gravy. It is the ultimate food for getting over hangovers and heartaches.

The Philippines: Kare-kare
Kare-kare is a stew that uses a peanut-based broth, oxtail, cabbage and occasionally offal, among other ingredients. If any of that makes you wary, I suggest pretending you don’t know what’s in it. If you miss a chance to have traditional kare-kare, your life will be incomplete and sad.

Poland: Pierogi
Ah, pierogi. Who can resist the siren song of carbs wrapped around starch? It’s the definition of comfort food.

Cuba: Picadillo
Picadillo originates in Spain and is popular in Latin countries.The Cuban version usually has olives in it and is served over black beans and rice.

Mexico: Chilaquiles
Tortillas. Eggs. Salsa. Chilaquiles are the perfect breakfast on any day, and the perfect all-day meal on really bad days.

Ireland: Colcannon
Oh, colcannon. It warms my little Irish heart to be able to share this with anyone who has never had it before. If you think you don’t like cabbage, this dish will almost certainly change your mind.

Jamaica: Oxtail soup
There are tons of versions of oxtail soup, which is made with beef, not necessarily oxen. My personal favorite is the Jamaican version. It’s actually a great soup for hot days too, so you might want to hop on this while there’s still a little bit of warm weather left.

India: Moong dal khichdi
Khichdi is a great dish. It’s easily digestible for off-tummy days, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring. It has a wonderful texture and a great flavor that comes from lovely soft rice and lentils. Just be warned: Turmeric, the spice that gives this dish its rich color, can stain pretty much everything it comes in contact with. I’m of the mind that it’s worth it, though, and once you taste khichdi, I think you’ll agree.

The Middle East: Kibbe
I feel kind of bad lumping multiple Middle Eastern dishes together, but with so many rich cultures and countries, it would take an entire separate post to go over all the great foods from each one. But most Middle Eastern countries have a version of this delicious dish, kibbe.

Greece: Moussaka
Moussaka is technically a casserole, but it just feels wrong to apply the name to something so delicious.

Indonesia: Pisang goreng
Pisang goreng is deep-fried bananas. That right there is perhaps the perfect sentence in the English language.

Sri Lanka: Kottu roti
Vegetables, eggs, a flatbread called “roti,” delicious Sri Lankan spices… I could go on, but I don’t want to take too much of the time you could be spending on cooking or otherwise securing this dish.

Italy: Spaghetti alla carbonara
This bowl of carbs and bacon is the perfect dish for any day, and on top of that, it takes only minutes to make. Just remember, kids: Only total heathens put cream in their carbonara

How to eat pasta like an Italian!

How to eat pasta like an Italian!

”Most restaurants (and hostesses) that feature pasta provide guests with a large spoon as well as the knife and fork. The fork is used to spear a few strands of spaghetti, the tips are placed against the spoon, which is held on its side, in the left hand, and the fork is twirled, wrapping the spaghetti around itself as it turns. If no spoon is provided, the tips of the fork may be rested against the curve of the plate.” I went to my go-to guide for all things proper  ”The New Emily Post’s Etiquette,”

With the integration of different cultures into American life and enthusiasm for fusilli and fettuccine, ziti and spaghetti is at an all-time high, it may be time to pause to examine what is right and what is wrong with various techniques for cooking and eating pasta.

For example, is it proper, as Emily Post says, to twirl spaghetti against a spoon? Or, as she also says, with the tips of the fork resting against the curve of the plate? Should bread be served with pasta, another starch? Is it correct to sprinkle cheese on pasta with seafood sauce? When cheese is in order, what is the best cheese? Should strands of long pasta be broken before being tossed into the pot?

The owners of one of my favorite Italian restaurants recently convened to feast on pasta and discuss just how and with what it should be eaten.

As the meal progressed the discussion became Mount Etna-like in its eruptions, as to the use of a fork plus a spoon for eating pasta, all those at the table were adamant. Spoons are for children, amateurs and people with bad table manners in general.

Giovanetti recounts his childhood days of eating pasta. ”My grandparents spent hours teaching me how to eat pasta without using a spoon, how to twirl my fork so that not a strand of spaghetti would be hanging down as I lifted that fork to my mouth.”

”At home,” he added, ”if I couldn’t master the technique, they’d punish me by taking all the food away.” Is it improper to allow a few strands of pasta to hang down as it is transported to the mouth? ”If the pasta is cooked al dente,” Mr. Nanni said, ”you are bound to have a few strands hanging.” If the pasta fits that neatly around the fork, Mr. Giovanetti added, it is overcooked. volunteered one exception to the no-spoon argument: ”If your sauce is very liquid – a juicy primavera, a clam sauce – you might use a spoon to prevent splattering.”

The first bowls of pasta, served with military sauce, were placed before each guest. Mr. Giovanetti forked his way into his bowl and demonstrated that the pasta, perfectly cooked, would not cling wraparound fashion to the fork. He ate with great relish.

It was generally agreed, however, that it is correct to place a spoon at each place setting. ”In Italy it is customary to first place the pasta in a bowl or on a plate,” Mr. Giovanetti said. ”You then spoon the sauce on top and finally cheese, if you use it at all. You use your fork and spoon to toss the pasta with sauce and cheese, and you then eat it with your fork alone.”

The suggested techniques for using the fork were: Put the fork into a few strands of spaghetti; let the tines of the fork rest against the curve of the bowl or the curved indentation of the plate, while twirling the fork around and giving it brief quick lifts to prevent too much pasta from accumulating. When one discrete mass of pasta can be lifted, hoist away.

As to whether it is best to serve pasta in a bowl or on a plate, most of those present voted for a bowl. But as for the serving of bread with pasta, there were varying opinions. ”I don’t believe in it,” Mr. Nanni said. ”They do that in country homes where there isn’t enough money for meat.”

”I know that purists say no,” Mr. Maccioni said, ”but I think you should serve bread. It is always on the table at the restaurant. In the family one should serve bread to dip in the leftover sauce once the pasta is eaten.”

As for whether strands of pasta should be broken before they are tossed into the boiling kettle, the answer from this gathering was, absolutely not.

”The reason that notion came about,” Mr. Nanni said, ”is that in Italy when you go to the market, you buy pasta out of a large drawer in which the strands may be a yard long.” The pasta is broken in half to make it more convenient to carry, he said. In this country, however, pasta is relatively short (about 11 inches) and there is no need to break it. If it doesn’t fit in your pot, place the ends in first and push down as the water softens it. Tiny strands of pasta, it was agreed, are for children.

What about the best cheese for pasta? The restaurateurs said that their first choice is imported Parmigiano-Reggiano, which must be at least two years old before it is exported. Pecorino goes especially well with certain sauces, Mr. Giovanetti said, and he named three: carbonara made with pancetta (Italian bacon), eggs and cheese; matriciana (or amatriciana) made with onions, bacon, white wine and tomatoes, and pesto, made with garlic and basil.

Two sauces were made that day by Mr. Nanni and a third by Nico Girolla, a guest at the dinner. His was an excellent sauce made with Gorgonzola cheese, pistachios or walnuts and a touch of Cognac.

(P.S. My own preferred technique for eating pasta? With fork and spoon. I won’t be reconstructed.)

Lunch Specials for Friday, December 8, $7.99 plus tax for Dine In or Pick Up Only Monday – Friday (11:00am-2:00pm)

*Specials are subject to change without prior notice. Please feel free to call and verify specials before coming in (213) 742-0303.

Pasta: Spaghetti Baby In a Light Pesto Sauce with Shrimp Mushrooms & Onions

Sandwich: Sausage Sandwich Arrabiata Sauce &A Small Mist Salad

Salad: Blackened Chicken Salad

Pizza: Small pepperoni & Sausage Pizza

Today’s Chef’s Special ($12.95 plus tax – all day long): Lemon Vinaigrette

 

Lunch Specials for Thursday, December 7, $7.99 plus tax for Dine In or Pick Up Only Monday – Friday (11:00am-2:00pm)

*Specials are subject to change without prior notice. Please feel free to call and verify specials before coming in (213) 742-0303.

Pasta: Chicken Alfredo w/ Broccoli

Sandwich: Chicken Pesto Sandwich With a Small Garden Salad

Salad: Mini Sausage Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette, Onions Bell Peppers & Broccoli

Pizza: Create Your Own Calzone Two Toppings

Today’s Chef’s Special ($12.95 plus tax – all day long): Salmon With Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

 

Lunch Specials for Wednesday, December 6, $7.99 plus tax for Dine In or Pick Up Only (11:00am-2:00pm)

*Specials are subject to change without prior notice. Please feel free to call and verify specials before coming in (213) 742-0303.

Pasta: Spaghetti Chicken Teriyaki

Sandwich: Chicken Caesar Sandwich With a Small Garden Salad

Salad: Hearts of Palm Salad

Pizza: Small Spicy Chicken Pizza

Today’s Chef’s Special ($12.95 plus tax – all day long): Tilapia With Pink Sauce