Sunday, August 7, 2011

STEINGARTEN-LA - Restaurant Review

This weekend we ate out more than usual.  Friday night we were exhausted and headed over to our favorite neighborhood Thai restaurant for curry. Delicious, but I woke up Saturday with swollen eyes and massive congestion. Something in my curry caused a wee bit of inflammation in my system. I am that sensitive to food. Since it was not the first time I had swollen up after a dinner there my husband declared my favorite Thai restaurant no longer Paleo Chick friendly. He is right. I really hate waking up with a sinus headache and allergic double shiners.

Saturday we had to be in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles our favorite place to eat is the Brazilian BBQ in Farmer's Market. Everything there is prepared with olive oil! My husband asks what oils restaurants cook in. Everyone should. If you want to avoid health damaging man made oils ask what your food is cooked in and suggest alternatives to canola and vegetable oil. After a delightful lunch we went out to dinner with good friends at their new favorite neighborhood restaurant- Steingarten-LA.

Steingarten-LA is a sausage lovers dream. They have everything from bratwurst to sausages stuffed with duck, venison, elk, or lamb. I decided to go for the duck and bacon along with the blueberry venison topped with caramelized onions and sauerkraut. My sausages arrived in what looked like a pretzel bun which I promptly removed. The sausages were smothered in tangy sauerkraut and slightly sweet caramelized onions. Delicious! The duck and bacon tasted exactly like it sounds. I could taste the saltiness of the bacon with the delectable savoriness of the duck. They had an amazing horseradish mustard and curry ketchup to dip in. Both were quite tasty. I never say no to curry or horseradish. The blueberry venison was my favorite. The sausage had the sweet taste of blueberry along with a subtle meatiness. If you like fruit and meat then the blueberry venison would delight you. No gamey flavors at all.  I also had a pretty little side salad of pickled red onions on baby greens. The meal was heaven!

I didn't take any pictures of my dinner. Sorry folks but my dear little bunhead drained my phone playing Angry Birds. Next time I will take some photos because I am totally going back!! The picture you see is from the Steingarten-LA website. Hope they don't mind.

Definitely check out Steingarten-LA the next time your in Los Angeles. The interior is both trendy and a little serene. Definitely a cool place to hang out. I wouldn't call it child friendly but my kids eat non child food with gusto and can behave like small little people instead of caged monkeys. I am told Steingarten-LA  has a wicked fire pit seating area with lush vegetation.

Did I mention they also serve beer? They do. We are not beer drinkers and beer is not paleo but hey I know some serious beer connoisseurs who will love this place!

One more thing they serve grass fed beef !!! Yes, you heard correctly GRASS FED !!  Next time burger for sure!! And you can get coupons for this amazing eatery from Open Table!

1045 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

Whole Foods Mergeza Lamb Sausages

I do love Whole Foods. Where else can one find eggs from New Zealand and octopus salad? I like to spend a lot of time in the meat and poultry section during my Whole Foods treks. I am always looking for something new and exciting. Food makes me wildly happy and shopping for food rates up there with shoes.  Last week I discovered the lamb Mergeza sausage.  The Mergeza sausage is typically a spicy, red sausage made from mutton, lamb, beef, or a mixture seasoned with chili pepper or harissa, sumac, fennel, and garlic stuffed into a lamb intestine casing. The Whole Foods Mergeza is made from just lamb and spices.

At first glance they looked a lot like chorizo which is one of my favorite childhood flavors. My digestive system however would prefer the spicy flavor of the chorizo to stay in my childhood where it belongs. I am not a huge lamb fan unless the lamb has been seasoned so well that it doesn't taste like lamb. Needless to say I took my first bite with a wee bit of hesitation.

 My taste buds were met with what at first tasted a bit like chorizo but with half the heat. I could taste the harissa immediately. As I continued to chew I was met with the strong gamey flavor of lamb. Gaminess is a huge obstacle for me. I have a typical American palate that can't quite handle strong flavors in meat. I have found ways to get around this problem when preparing liver pate and other lamb dishes. The gaminess of these sausages is too strong for me. Shame really as they probably would have been tastier had they been spicier. I had them with eggs and they distorted the taste of the eggs as well. My husband however loved them.  If you enjoy strong flavors in meat and a little heat Whole Foods' Lamb Mergueza sausages would be a wonderful addition to your breakfast menu.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Will be back shortly

I've had to take a little hiatus due to bit of family troubles and a super busy schedule. I'll be back later this week with some delicious recipes and a few reviews. I have been busy making lovely dishes like fried almond crusted fish, coconut milk strawberry ice cream, and banana bread. I plan on kicking off August with a series on cooking Paleo Moroccan and other Middle Eastern styles or perhaps Southeast Asian. Can't decide what I want to devote August and September to as I am in the mood to cook both.  Until then....