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Special to The TimesRat Packer Dean Martin put the martini on the table in Las Vegas and made it the cocktail du jour for all those who bought into the formula that Vegas + cocktails = cool. In fact, he lived his famous one-liner onstage at the Sands night after night when...
Los Angeles Times Staff WriterAs a city that has set trends for entertainment, shopping, fine dining, hotel and spa design, Vegas hit a turning point last weekend with the opening of the Palazzo Las Vegas. It turned boring, at least by Vegas standards. The gargantuan property is the...
Special to The TimesWhen you stop to think about it, Las Vegas is as Italian as a tray of manicotti. Diners can get a better-than-average meal here, but not where they might think. Some of the oldest Italian places attract a tourist crowd. Battista's Hole in the Wall,...
Los Angeles Times Staff WriterANNE WILLAN is shopping at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market when out of the blue an attractive young woman comes up to introduce herself. "I met you at a Les Dames [d'Escoffier] dinner," she says earnestly. "I just wanted to say how glad I am that you...
Los Angeles Times Staff WriterTHE white marble counter top veined in gray is cool to the touch. I take a sip of Vermentino, enjoying its delicate minerality, and look over the menu at Osteria Mozza, which might be the hardest reservation in town right now. But for me, the best seat in...
Tags: Olives, Game, Restaurants, Hazelnuts, Lemons
Special to The TimesIT'S THE hottest day of the year -- 91 degrees -- and Phil Rosenthal is stacking almond wood kindling in the pizza oven of his Hancock Park home. In little more than an hour, a cook from Pizzeria Mozza will arrive, as he does most Sunday nights, and begin...
Los Angeles Times Staff WriterIN THE good old days, when a man went through his midlife crisis, he bought a big noisy motorcycle or found a 24-year-old yoga instructor who really understood him. Nowadays, it seems, he learns to cook. And then he writes a book about it. Bob Spitz's...
Los Angeles Times Staff WriterAN EMOTIONAL ovation greeted chef Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea restaurant when he was named outstanding chef for 2007 at Sunday night's James Beard Foundation Awards ceremony in New York City. Achatz, known for his avant-garde cuisine drawing on...
What do chefs Mario Batali and Mary Sue Milliken pack when they go on a cooking vacation? Hint: It's not all clothes.Times Restaurant CriticI should have been suspicious when my husband, Fred, offered, oh so sweetly, to carry my suitcase out to the car. We were heading to the East Coast to spend 10 days cooking and eating and lazing at our friend Mary's Long Island house. Fred not only...
Tags: Salt, Italy, Long Island, Anchovies, Trips and Vacations
Times Restaurant CriticTHE server shows off the charred bistecca fiorentina, then carves the massive porterhouse into finger-thick slices. At $160 for two, it's easily the most expensive steak I've ever eaten, if not the most expensive piece of aged meat in the country. Want to...
Tags: Gravy, Restaurants, Casino and Gambling Industry, Lemons, Travel
Los Angeles Times Staff WriterI'd always saved the last of my Burgundy or Brunello di Montalcino to savor with the cheese at the end of the meal, until one afternoon years ago, at the celebrated Michelin three-star restaurant Auberge de l'IIl in Illhaeusern, France, the sommelier...
Special to The TimesWHO knew chefs see macarons in Christian Louboutin colors? Who knew restaurant plates and saucers are sold like hot dogs and buns, in mismatching quantities? And who would ever expect chefs to be as proficient with a keyboard as they are with a knife?...
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