l’amande french bakery

I was recently treated to a tasting of the many offerings at L’Amande French Bakery in Beverly Hills. All I can say is this place is legit! From baguettes to pastries, hot sandwiches to cold and salads to deserts, L’Amande provides traditional French cafe dishes along with boulangerie specialties. The croissants are truly special requiring 72 hours of preparation to produce the perfectly thin, buttery, flakey layers. Don’t believe me? Check out these pics!

cinroll

Escargots aux fruits.

Cute, clean, modern interior with images of Paris and music to match.

Cute, clean, modern interior with images of Paris and music to match.

Pistachio croissant!

Pistachio croissant!

Papillote - flakey light crust with sweet fruit filling.

Papillote – flakey light crust with sweet fruit filling.

Specialty of the month - lavender scone with lemon custard spread. Yum!

Specialty of the month – lemon lavender scone with lemon custard spread. Yum!

Lavender scone.

Lemon lavender scone.

Super legit baguette - crusty on the outside/cloud like interior.

Super legit baguette – crusty on the outside/cloud like interior.

Perfectly prepared Croque Madame.

Perfectly prepared Croque Madame.

Quite possibly the best hot chocolate I've ever had and the only one prepared table-side!

Quite possibly the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had and the only one prepared table-side!

L’Amande French Bakery
9530 S Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 734-8922

2553 Pacific Coast Highway
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 326-8980

persimmon 75

Use a persimmon to completely change the flavor of a French 75!

Use a persimmon to completely change the flavor of a French 75!

Yummy persimmons are available in abundance at local farmer’s markets. I thought I’d put them to use this week and try a few experiments. Here’s an easy tipple that you can make by substituting the lemon juice in a French 75 with muddled persimmon. Persimmons are highly underrated – this is a great drink!

2 teaspoons fine white sugar
1 persimmon
1 ounce dry gin
3 ounces brut champagne or other dry sparkling wine

In a shaker, muddle 1 diced persimmon and sugar. Add the gin and a bunch of ice and shake vigorously. Strain using a Hawthorne strainer into a chilled goblet. Add 3 ounces of sparkling wine and garnish with a persimmon. Enjoy!

foie gras legalized in california!

Fois Gras legalized in California!

It has come to my attention that foie gras is legal again in California! Chef Ken Frank of LA Toque, led the effort to lift the ban which prevented importing foie gras from out of state. The law suit was initiated by a collective of out-of-state foie gras producers, retailers and importers. Today, a district court judge ruled that the California health code preventing the import of the product was invalid because it is superseded by the federal Poultry Products Inspections Act in regards to the sale and distribution of foie gras. Sometimes, loopholes can be a good thing I guess!

So as of today, foie gras is once again legal! Time to get your gout on ladies and gentleman!

Note: The above picture is a trio of foie gras taken the day prior to the ban on foie gras at Redd in Napa, CA.

rye ginger sling

The spiciness of the Rye Whiskey compliments the ginger so nicely.

The spiciness of the Rye Whiskey compliments the ginger so nicely.

My mentor Andrew Willett recently posted his  Rye Ginger Sling as his “drink of the week” on his blog Elemental Mixology. I decided to try it and ended up falling in love with it – no surprise as it’s roots have been around for more than 100 years! It’s super simple to make and doesn’t require many ingredients. The Rye Ginger Sling is also easily adaptable by making it into a charged sling by serving it over the rocks with the addition of an ounce of soda water. Here’s how you make it:

Rye Ginger Sling
4 coin sized slices of fresh ginger
1-2 teaspoons fine white sugar
2 ounces Rye Whiskey (If using higher then 100 proof I recommend 2 teaspoons of sugar)
Ice

Muddle the sugar and ginger together. Add whiskey then ice into a mixing glass. Stir until well chilled and diluted. Strain using a hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail goblet. Garnish with a strip of ginger. Enjoy!

gift ideas

Craft A Brew kit arrived!

Craft A Brew kit arrived!

I’ve got two great gift ideas for the beer lover in your life.  First, Craft A Brew has produced a home-brew system that comes with everything you need to brew a whole gallon of beer at home.

Comes with everything you will need to create a gallon of home brew!

Comes with everything you will need to create a gallon of home brew!

Craft A Brew is a great gift idea because it comes in a variety of styles and has really simple instructions for first timers to use. Also, it’s under $50! I’ve never brewed beer before so I will follow up on this post to share how it turns out.

Additionally, Govino has released a portable shatter-proof beer glass as well! These could go with the Craft A Brew kit or serve as a nice gift all on there own. They’re great for outdoor parties or picnics where things tend to get dropped… and a set of 4 costs less than $15!

Govino beer glasses are a great gift idea and won't break the bank.

Govino beer glasses are a great gift idea and won’t break the bank.

Also love these shatter-proof Govino Champagne flutes.

Also love these shatter-proof Govino Champagne flutes.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! CHEERS!