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April 15, 2009

Goodbye to sunny LA



And back to wet, green Baltimore. It's nice to be home.

The good, the bad and the ugly about my trip:

The good: Ordering a fruit plate and discovering it not only has fresh pineapple, strawberries, and about six other fruits, but a fresh fig and two baby kiwi that you eat skin and all.

The bad: A sign in the Beverly Hills Public Library that said, "April is Earthquake Preparedness Month. When it rocks, are you ready to roll?"  Uh, no.

The ugly: Getting rear-ended at the entrance to the 405 at rush hour (but luckily not getting propelled into the traffic).

I took this photo as we were walking to our car after Easter dinner in Hollywood.

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 6:36 PM | | Comments (6)


And that just about sums it up. Maybe I would like LA more if I weren't allergic to strawberries.

Welcome home!

As for the Good: my sister lives in San Diego County, and every time I visit her I am amazed at the copious amount of fresh fruit available. I always say "this is like paradise"! She agrees, but adds (the Bad) "except for the constant drought and annual wildfires". [There isn't as much earthquake threat in SD county, although she's felt some trembles].

I guess there's a downside wherever you live.

What is it about public libraries that attracts cutsey, awful slogans?

What do baby kiwis taste like? I saw them for the first time in a store the other day but didn't indulge.

Like big kiwis except with a smooth skin so you can eat them whole. EL

Lissa, my favorite slogan was when Baltimore City had the bumper stickers that said "Believe" and people changed them to "Behave".

I think that slogans tend to be pretty sappy in general.

Topic swerve warning!

We went to Si' Salsa which is the new restaurant in Pomona Square recently. I'm honestly not sure what it looked like before in it's last incarnation as a kosher restaurant because the only times I ate there we were in the "party" room. However, the first thing that I noted upon entering Si' Salsa was how bright and large the dining room appears. A combination of booths and tables where the booths actually seem to outnumber the single tables (a good thing IMHO). There are Christmas type lights on the ceiling that are shaped like red peppers and I believe they are also on the patio where there are some tables for outdoor dining.

The wait staff appeared very eager to please and while not completely polished, our waitress did a pretty good job of explaining the specials and answering our other various questions. The iced tea we discovered is previously sweetened. Something at which Dad and I were not totally pleased because we like to do the Splenda thing. But, we were pleasantly surprised to discover, it was delicous. Not too sweet or lemony nor brewed too strong or weak. We whispered to each other across the table in amazement "the iced tea is REALLY good!"

The food is a varied mix of Latino with an emphasis on southwestern. My son who always orders one of the most expensive things on the menu got the paella. It was by far the best thing at our table. Other entrees were the mushroom strudel which was good but could have used more spice or some goat cheese, grouper - deemed excellent but small and some type of chicken that didn't get raves but was pronounced 'alright'. I think it may have been a boneless leg stuffed with chorizo and it was just a bit too spicy but I didn't try it.

The chips and salsa that are served immediately were both freshly made and quite delicous - unless you have an aversion to cilantro.

We finished our meal by sharing the fried cheesecake which was quite delicious and came with vanilla icecream and a caramel sauce.

As we paid the check, our waitress inquired if everything had been alright and was there anything that we'd like to see them do differently. The ass't mgr came over and introduced herself and pretty much asked the same thing. We were pretty much positive in what we had to say.

Entree prices can be steep - I stayed away from the lamb that I really wanted because I knew Dad would insist on treating and it was around $25. But some prices were around $10 dollars or so, I believe with most in the median range of around $17 or so.

I'd really like to see this place make it. The new owners (who we didn't meet) seem very eager to make this work. Oh - and they serve alcohol too although we did not partake this particular night.

Thanks so much! I've been meaning to get some information on this, but it's been tricky without going there in person because the name was hard to Google. EL

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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