Wednesday, January 30, 2019

When not in Rome.....

If you can't afford a trip to Rome to visit museums then I suggest you schedule a visit with Dominic J. La Ferla. There are no words to describe what we recently saw. I have never heard of Dominic J. La Ferla and Sons. Wayne had introduced Amy and me at Panera a month ago though he told me about Dominic's house about a year ago. He said it was like visiting Rome in Italy and Versailles in Paris.

The stars and planet earth finally lined up and Amy, her daughter Lynn, granddaughter Kaela, Sandi and I were at Panera and Dominic was there. Amy approached Dominic and asked if we could view his house and he graciously said yes. So right after our coffee and bagels, we left and headed down to his house in Torrance.

We rang the doorbell and Dominic came out from the side of the house. He told us to prepare ourselves. No amount of preparation could have prepared us for what we were about to witness. As soon as he opened the door, our mouths dropped and essentially stayed that way throughout the tour.

We were transported to Michelangelo's time. Beautiful life-size statues he carved from Carrara marble were present in every corner of the house. It was incredible to see all the detail that was carved on wood or porcelain. The dome on the ceiling was made to look like wood, only to find out that it was porcelain.

The bedroom has mirrors comparable to Versailles. The bathroom has a sunken floor which has a view of a mini garden/grotto with plants and yet another carved lion on the center. All the moldings are not your ordinary moldings but works of art.

By looking at Dominic, you would never guess the talent he possesses. God has truly blessed him with an abundance of talent. He has visitors from all over the world that comes to see this house. He is happy to show his work and you will not believe that he does this for free. Dominic does not live in the house, though I would love to live in a house like that! Who wouldn't?

If you find yourself in the Torrance area, give him a call and you can schedule an appointment to see his fantastic house. You can reach Dominic at (310) 373-3130. Tell him Karina sent you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Happy Birthday Piero

Sandi asked Piero what kind of food he preferred to celebrate his birthday. His choice was Mediterranean cuisine. He has had Sandi's cooking numerous times so he knew she made the best koobideh ever.

My contribution was the Italian appetizers from the restaurant Gaetano's in Torrance. They make the best Bruschetta and Arancini (rice balls) with a wonderful sauce. We started with those and of course some Champagne to celebrate the occasion.

Sandi started us with her delicious Mediterranean salad with her garlic, lemon, dressing. She also made her famous lentil/rice with onions which is so addicting.  We had turkey and beef koobideh cooked on the grill. Her koobideh are always juicy.  The lebni she served went well with both the koobideh and the lentil rice.  Aside from that, she served broccoli which she baked in olive oil and sea salt.

Piero and I were in 7th Heaven. Sandi was probably in purgatory as she never gets excited with her own cooking. We left room for the birthday cake. I was so disappointed that Red Ribbon no longer sells their best ever cake which was Coffee Crunch. So I ended up just getting 1/4 sheet of Chocolate Cake with chocolate fudge icing from Ralph's. The birthday celebrant did not complain.

Another year has gone by. Happy Birthday Piero and congratulations on your recent engagement.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Elbows Mac N' Cheese

This little restaurant opened a few months ago and I finally got to try it the other day. I was excited since nothing is better than a serving of a good mac n' cheese, especially on a cold day.

It took us a while to study the menu. They had all sorts of combinations and fun play of words like; Okey Dokey Artichokey (spinach & artichokes), So Shellfish (lobster with asparagus), Don't Be Afraid O (chicken, broccoli in Alfredo mac) Chillin Out (cheddar mac with homemade chili) etc.

Sandi ordered the Don't Be Afraid O and I ordered the So Shellfish. The combo included an order of salad or French fries. Sandi had the fries and I had the Caesar salad.  We both liked what we ordered but were not too excited.  It was hot (temperature) and cheesy which was comforting.  My mac n' cheese had large chunks of asparagus but very little and small pieces of lobster. I ate half and had the leftover 2 days after.

Elbows also offer pizzas and a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches. Elbows is located in the city of Cerritos, Brea and Torrance, California. The one in Torrance is at 24427 Crenshaw Blvd. #E at the Torrance Crossroads.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Ye Olde Union Oyster House

Ye Olde Union Oyster House in Boston was established in 1826 which makes it America's oldest restaurant. It is located on the Freedom Trail near Faneuil Hall and is now a historical landmark. Presidents have dined there from Franklin Roosevelt to John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton. In fact, John F. Kennedy visited the Oyster House nearly every Sunday at noon and ate Lobster Stew. Preferring the privacy of the upstairs dining room, he always dined at Booth 18 which now has a dedication plaque.

We were very lucky to have dined in the same booth as John F. Kennedy. We, of course, had to order Fresh Oysters on the shell. It was wonderful. The Clam Chowder was also a must along with a Lobster Salad. I opted for the salad only because I didn't want more bread. It was unlike any lobster salad I have had. This salad was full of big chunks of fresh, juicy lobster. I was totally in heaven. The wonderful cornbread was a bonus. My son's friend ordered a steak since seafood was not a favorite.

Union Oyster House has a charming little gift shop where one can purchase all sorts of souvenirs, from magnets to aprons and anything imaginable. Ye Olde Union Oyster House is located at 41 Union St. in Boston, Massachusetts.