"Baby You Got It", Dinner At Lyle's In Shoreditch, London Ranks Among Most Pleasurable Of All Time

Halfway into the fish dish of a five-course dinner last Friday night at Lyle’s restaurant in London, soul singer Brenton Wood unexpectedly came on the sound system cooing one of my all-time favorite songs, “Baby You Got it”. It was a stunning moment of sheer bliss. The song, the comfortable setting, the charming service , the bread and the butter, the brill fish on the bone and - most of all - the woman seated across from me brought a feeling of such contentment, such pleasure that it was immediately placed on the list of the prized moments of my life.

We had a lunch at Lyle’s on a Wednesday and in very unusual fashion returned two days later for dinner to this “casual fine” Shoreditch restaurant. As we nestled in, the staff charmed. They weren’t over the top effusive, nor superlative-heavy in speech, but rather they were all people we enjoyed chatting with. There was Francesca, and Sally and Emma ( who looked like that actress Emma Stone) and they talked when it was right and left when it was right.

The first lunch from chef James Lowe was a hanger steak and a monkfish tail on cartilage that had Nancy going on and on. Familiar with monkfish, but not on the cartilage. this dish had her mesmerized. There were a few superlatives she didn’t use - she knows better to say ‘amazing’ around me - but very few. The beef was delicious, too,

The dinner, our last in London, began the same as lunch; with a loaf of house-made bread and - even better - a slab of house-made butter that had me fooled it was from Normandy. This butter was the closest thing to Rudy ( Rodolphe La Meunier’s buerre de baratte) I have had in recent memory.. It was so good that Nancy asked me to get the recipe - which chef John told us at the table - for the upcoming “The Barrish” restaurant at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. For the record I told her I’m not gonna write him a email asking for the butter recipe. First. let me tell on Krikorian Writes how divine the the meal was. then I’ll ask.

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The main course was a guinea hen, a breast and thigh. Was superb.

Then the kicker, the co-owner/GM John Oiger, came to the table and - speaking with charm and a slight bit of even more charming awkwardness - told us that “The folks on table 31 would like to buy your dinner.” How do you refuse that?

Turns out it was some chefs from New Orleans who had been to the same Miami Beach food festival recently that Nancy was at, but hadn’t met her. They wanted to show their appreciation of Nancy buy buying us dinner. (Nancy calls this my “fringe benefits.”)

Anyway it was a lovely end to a extraordinary dinner. Later we learned the place not only has a Michelin star, but was ranked 38th on that World’s 50 Best list. a list that with the inclusion of Lyles, I now have a little more respect for.

Here’s to fringe benefits and here’s to Lyles. Their website… https://www.lyleslondon.com/

And here’s to Brenton Wood, and the writers of “Baby You Got it , Alfred Smith, Joseph Hooven and Jerry Winn.

Listen here and hear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDTFxK-ssnk

I run after you 
Like a fool would do
But mama didn't raise no fool
And I should know
That baby you got it 
That's all I can say to you

You got soul, too much soul
Foxy clothes, the cutest nose
The greatest shape
There's nothing fake about you 
Baby you got it

People can be cruel
They say I lost my cool
But it's very hard to keep my cool
When I'm around you 
'Cause baby you got it
That's all I can say to you

You got soul, too much soul
Foxy clothes, the cutest nose
The greatest shape
There's nothing fake about you 
Baby you got it

Now that I found you 
Gonna cling to you 
I'll give you lovin', money
Everything to you 
No matter what they say 
Doesn't matter what I do 
I'm never gonna love another girl but you 
'Cause baby you got it 
That's all I can say to you

You got it….


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Nancy Silverton's Five Most Memorable Meals

A memorable meal doesn’t have to be extravagant. It might be a cheeseburger at dive bar that hits the right spots or even a bag of Fritos on a road trip. That said, the most memorable meals I’ve had in my life have been on the extravagant side.

The first was when I was 11; my dad told my sister and I that we were going out for our mom’s birthday. “We’re going to celebrate at some place prestigious,” he said. My sister and I looked at each other and mouthed that word – “prestigious” – in anticipation.

That place was La Serre, then the fanciest restaurant in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, where we lived. I don’t remember what we ate – it was 53 years ago! – but it was a turning point in my dining life. Knowing the impression La Serre left on me, my parents later bought me a set of its serving plates. I still have them.

**

In 1978, after training at Le Cordon Bleu in London, I was working at 464 Magnolia in Larkspur, California, and kept hearing about a restaurant in Berkeley called Chez Panisse. So I went. As clichéd as it sounds, Alice Waters’ food that night changed my life. I can vividly remember the quality of the ingredients: be it a snap pea or raspberry, it was clear they’d been selected with the utmost care. I prefer food where ingredients are the star, not the chef. Chez Panisse (chez panisse.com) continues to shine at that.

When a kitchen is involved in what I call “Manipulative cuisine”, the ingredients do not matter as much as the technique. I’m not a technician. I prefer the food to be the star, not the chef. At Chez Panisse, which came along well before manipulative cuisines, Alice has thankfully stayed true to its original path.

**.

Since 2013, during my summer vacation in Italy, I have been having a lunch – planned months in advance – at Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena. Massimo takes traditional Italian dishes and refines them, increasing their intensity without losing the rustic roots. My favourite memory of “OF” was ordering the first time. We were a group of six and spent 30 minutes carefully selecting from the menu. Five minutes later, Massimo appeared. He looked at our order, shook his head and said, “Let me order for you.” We did. It was a wise decision.

At another lunch at OF, I kept saying to my dining companions, “Who the hell does Massimo think he is? He’s making the rest of us chefs look like slackers.”  I was having fun, but I wasn’t 100% joking. Check that story out here on Krikorian Writes http://www.krikorianwrites.com/blog/2015/7/23/nancy-silverton-to-massimo-bottura-who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are

**

About two hours south of Massimo, nestled amidst the postcard hills of Chianti vineyards, is the realm of the world’s most famous butcher, Dario Cecchini of Antica Macelleria Cecchini, who, by the way, calls me his sister. He does not call the rooms where one eats a “restaurant”, but rather “the home of a butcher.” If you go, make sure Dario is there. He is part of the experience and expect him to hold up two gigantic bisect Fiorentina and, in a booming voice, say “To beef or not to beef!”

If you are fortunate, Dario will tell a touching story about the first time he ever had a bisect Fiorentina.   His family was poor, and they taught him the value of every part of the cow, and how the tendons were as good as the loin. I can’t duplicate the story, can’t do the story justice, just go to the butcher shop in Panzano en Chianti and eat his story.

**

Still, if I had to name a single most memorable meal I ever had in my life it would have to be at the Hotel de Ville, in Crissier, Switzerland, a small town outside of Lausanne. The chef and owner was someone I bet most young cooks and chefs around the world today don’t even know of. Yet, by any measure, in the 1980s and 1990s, he was the greatest chef in the world, a title even Joel Robuchon bestowed on Fred;y Girardet.

Flawless. That’s what the meal was. I’ve had versions of the dishes at other restaurants - seared goose foie gras, lamb loin, pasta with morels and truffles, and so on – but, everything Fredy sent out was the best version I have ever had. The precise Swiss technique combine with a Coltrane creativity, and the almost maniacal search for the best ingredients combined to make Fredy Girardet meal the best dining experience I have ever had.

One quick story form Girardet alumni Daniel Humm who runs Eleven Madison Park in New York City. “We would find these tomatoes, that were magnificent,” Daniel told me several years ago. “And then Fredy would look at them, sniff and say ‘Good tomatoes, but not good enough.”

One more thing at Fredy’s and I’ll finish. The eclairs. You may have seen eclairs with their fillings as bright as crayons. At Fredy’s they brought out these eclairs that had just a hint of hue, just enough tint that you had a inkling of what they were. It might seem curious to end a segment on the greatest restaurant talking about eclairs, but that was part of the thrill of this meal at Fredy Girardet.

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"Major Leaks". New Book By White House Laundry Manager Claims Trump Often Soils Himself

The housekeeping staff of the current White House has a daily - and rather bizarre - ritual. They gather around the laundry quarters and - with room’s manager acting like a modern day Nathan Detroit hosting a floating crap game - make their daily bets. The wager? it’s, well, it’s about crap, but not shooting craps. They bet if or if not President Donald Trump’s underwear is stained with leaked fecal matter.

“Hardly anyone bets that Don’s shorts are clean,” said a laundry assistant who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We call him “The ‘Brown Stainer in Chief”, He’s a major feces leaker. No doubt.”

This Friday, so-called Black Friday, “Major Leaks”, the dredly anticipated new book from White House laundry manager Debbie White will be released and is certain to cause the White House much embarrassment. Already spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders has stated she will not “dignify this toilet trash with a response.”

Still, the book is already generating major buzz. It’s pre-order sales on Amazon have it as the 2nd most popular book, after Michele Obama’s “Becoming”.

And Major Leaks has its fans. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka BSM, said he bought six copies and thinks “Trump should be allowed to shit on himself with impunity because he’s such a good guy.“ BSM, the Arabic initials that translates roughly into “little bitch who sucks male anus and is afraid of writers”, was recently acquitted by Trump of the murder of the brave journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The book’s author, White, a self describe “proud Republican”, said she felt complied to write the book because she felt Trump was doing to America what he is doing to his shorts. “I was a philosophy major at Washington University in St. Louis and it seems to me he is using his underwear to play the role of the American public. So he shits on himself. Trump often says “America first”. I hope this book will help everyone understand what he really means by that.”

MIchael Singer, a former FBI agent who headed the famed Behavioral Science division. said his unit has pinpointed the public brown staining moments. “If you notice during his press conference when he kinda squints? We are pretty sure that’s the very moment when he shits on himself. Another tell is the disgusted look on the face of his wife.”

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L.A. Mayor Garcetti Backs City Council Plan To Officially Rename Homeless People As "Urban Campers"

You’ve seen the tents, from the Figueroa Street financial district to Sunset & Vine, from the bluffs of Santa Monica to the alleys of Koreatown. The tents, tens of thousands of them donated, have replaced cardboard boxes as the “homes” of the homeless. Once banished to the forsaken land known as Skid Row, they are now on view all over town for residents and tourist to glance and ignore.

Well now, hoping to stem the negative connotation that come with the word “homeless”. the mayor of Los Angeles, Gil Garcetti, who has all but announced he is running for president, has backed a City Council proposal to rename those unfortunate folks as“Urban Campers”.

“Who doesn’t like to camp?” said Garcetti, who has clearly never met Nancy Silverton or my sister Jeanine Krikorian Ash. “I think the city will benefit greatly as image is everything in this town. .Besides. if we do rename them, i can boast I got rid of the homeless.”

Several City Council members were vocal in their support of the mayor.

“Some people camp at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite,” said councilman Duke Feldmeier, whose 1st District includes Skid Row. “Others like a spot off ‘Going To The Sun Road ‘ in Glacier National Park in Montana. Then there are those “Urban Campers” who go for 5th and Wall. To each his own.”

Some thought the new term was a natural progression for these downtrodden.

“They used to be called bums,” said Los Angeles deputy archbishop Rev. Lon M Burns “Then we upgraded them to homeless. Now they are going to be urban campers. Who knows? They way they set up camp near courthouses, in another few years we might start calling them judges.”

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George Pelecanos, Cassandra Robbins, Michael Connelly Top New York Times Best Fall Reads

Many publications have their “Best Summer Reads,” articles, but what happens when Autumn comes? People just don’t stop reading after Sept. 20th. Fortunately, the New York Times Sunday Book Review came out today with their list of the “Best Reads of Fall”.

Topping the list were two perennial favorite crime novelists, Michael Connelly and George Pelecanos. But, the surprise was a newcomer who made it into the top three, Cassandra Robbins, whose steamy debut romance novel, “Entitled” has already caused controversy.

Sunday afternoon, at a gathering at the author’s home in East Encino, the LAPD was called when a guest began to read the opening erotic pages to the several hundred attendees.

“Deeper..Yeah…that’s it, suck me hard,” read the man, whose identification was not made public.

Immediately, three mother’s in the crowd yelled in unison. “There are children present!”. One of them called 911. After a bit of confusion and yelling, the police arrested the book reader on charges of “reading hard core sexually explicit material in the presence of minors.”

The man arrested was lead away in cuffs yelling “Children should be present! The book is about Reed and Tess, two 8-year-olds who become soul mates!”

Robbins, who has a second book coming out, said she had no idea who the reader was, but was not at all despondent. “I’ll take any publicity on “Entitled” I can get.” Robbins’ second book, “The Enlightened” is due out soon.

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Brett "Li'l Bitch" Kavanaugh Breaks Shirley Temple's 81-Year-Old Record For Crying

In the 1937 film “Wee Willie Winkie”, childhood superstar Shirley Temple broke down in tears a stunning 11 times in a 55-minute span of the movie, widely considered her best. That pace, one crying fit every five minutes for nearly an hour, was thought to be one of those records that would never be broke. We are talking DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak, here. Chamberlain’s 100 points in a game.

But, Thursday, before a senate hearing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh did what few thought could be done. He broke Shirley Temple’s legendary record as he broke down - weeping, crying, sobbing - an unheard of 13 times in less than 45 minutes. The crying fit earned Kavanaugh the nickname of Li’l Bitch, which he will be formally known as as soon as he gets his new driver’s license.

Kavanaugh’s SWS (Sobbing Webbing Style), has been compared to that of Carrie Mathison, the Homeland Security agent who breaks down several times a season on “Homeland”. But, while the federal court judge uses some of Mathison’s trademark quivering mouth technique, he takes it a step beyond by deploying his tongue deep into his left cheek. This creates the “bulging cheek” look, a look Kavanaugh seems unable to produce in other parts of his body.

After the quiver, then tongue-to-cheek move, Kavanaugh is unable to speak, he reaches for water and goes into the pathetic look mode that has universally earned him the title of Li’l Bitch.

It should be noted that his crying, sobbing, weeping does not produces actual tears, as pointed out by noted psychiatrist Wendi Matthews. “That little bitch is full of shit,” Dr. Matthews said.

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"She's Ruining Mozza", I Am Part of the Resistance Against Nancy Silverton, An Anonymous Op-Ed

In a shocking and controversial opinion-editorial published anonymously in the Los Angeles Times, the writer of the scathing piece, a high-ranking employee of the celebrated Mozza Corner,  asserts schef/owner Nancy Silverton  is dangerously close to ruining her beloved restaurants at the intersection of Highland and Melrose in Hollywood South.

The Op-Ed paints an organization in turmoil with other high-ranking employees banding together like a renegade outfit in effort to reign in Silverton, perhaps the single most admired chef in the United States.

However, the Times is getting tons of criticism for publishing the piece anonymously, and Silverton and her cadre have expressed disgust and worse. While Silverton herself has called the writer "gutless" and and "a nimrod", her chief of security, Michael Krikorian, has vowed to find the culprit and "spray paint his or her bitch-ass hair purple and drop the gutless wonder off in the Nickersons," referring to the Bounty Hunter Blood-controlled Nickerson Gardens housing project in Watts which is associated with the color red. In other words, a death sentence.

Below is the actual op-ed.   For the record, we here at K Writes do not agree, support or condone anonymous articles. 

"I am part of the resistance to chef Nancy Silverton and her running and, dare I say, close to ruining the Mozza Corner. As a high-ranking member of her staff, I can say I am not alone. I will list a few particulars that I feel paint a portrait of a woman who travels too much. whose "inspirations and creations"  are often stolen from other chefs from faraway lands and who always seems just a wee little too nice to strangers.

For example, from June 19 to July 25, the peak of summer business, Silverton was not at the Corner at all, choosing instead to travel to Umbria, Italy and leave the city's most important restaurants in the hands of two young Korean-Americans, a white girl with the last name of Nguyen and an Italian American whose mind is focused almost entirely on someone named Zoe, his girlfriend who lives 2,299 miles away in Washington D.C..

Can you imagine Girardet or Bottura or Soltner  or Cecchini leaving their restaurants for a month during the busiest season and putting glorified teenagers in charge?

In the office, a confusion not seen since Watergate cover-up reigns supreme. The conversation there runs the gambit from Donald Trump to wedding planning to geometric purses to the Dodgers, but rarely does the topic of how to improve the restaurants come up  Though Silverton does not have a desk. she has a "Slot box" on the wall where her mail goes. and she often uses the desk of her chief aide-de-camp. Kate Green, as a drop point.. 

In one recent incident of thwarting Silverton's travel plans, a group of us in the "resistance", took out an invitation for Nancy to cook in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Iraqi army retaking Mosul from ISIS.  She is so excited to travel anywhere she often doesn't do research into where she is going. A trip to Mosul could not possibly  benefit Mozza. Thanks to myself and others, she never knew of this hair-brained invitation.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left or right. We want the Nancy administration to succeed and think that many of her policies have already made Los Angeles a far better dining city. 

But we believe our first duty is to the Corner, and Nancy Silverton continues to sometimes act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our beloved Mozza..

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Rachel Grisafi Becomes 1st Sicilian American To Win Mozza's Employee Of Month Award, Celebrations In Palermo Turn Violent

What began as a joyous celebration of one of their own - Rachel Grisafi - being honored with the coveted Mozza Employee of the Week Award , turned into a raucous free-for -all as an unruly crowd in Sicily's capital city of Palermo smashed pastry shop windows, stole several thousand cannoli, blocked traffic and took at least two dozen sardines hostage.

Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, made a impassioned televised plea for calm, promising to release an unauthorized DVD of Grisafi taking a dip in South of France beach. That seemed to pacify most of the crowd.  It all stemmed from Grisafi winning the prestigious Employee of the Month Award on the Corner, the nearly mythical southwest intersection of Highland and Melrose in Hollywood.

Though "Classified" we have obtained a copy of the report that announced Rachel Grisafi's victory. It follows below:   

Picture this. You’re out on a romantic dinner date, and who walks up to your table but Carmelo Soprano, low-cut and all, big coco brown eyes smiling, earrings big enough for Lebron to shoot hoops through, and she’s holding your magnum of ’98 Gianfranco Soldera Brunello di Montalcino and she says “How’s this two-bit vino rosso working out for you lovers?”

If you know the Osteria, then you know I’m talking about Rachel Grisafi, the newest Mozza Employee of the Month  (aka EOM).

Rachel, aka “Carm”, grew up in – big surprise coming – Philly, and man, does it show.  Story has it when she was 13, she was dating Rocky Balboa. But, the lure of California was strong and Carm headed west.

She joined the Mozza squad on June 25, 2015 and under the leadership of Sarah Clarke, she’s become part of La Famiglia. You could say Mozza is her second famiglia. The first one being La Cosa Nostra in Sicily where authorities detained her briefly this past April . 

“She’s one of the warmest human beings I know,” said Jason Emanuel, a former EOM himself. “Her sense of hospitality is second to none.”

Owen and Sarah have observed something quite unique about her. Her height seems to vary – not anything to do with flats of high heels – but by the size of her trademark hoop earrings.

“It’s kind of bizarre,” said Owen, “But Sarah and I have both noticed that the bigger the hoops, and, as you know, they can be enormous, the taller she appears.”

Still, as much as the praise came in on word was released that Rachel had won the EOM, there was some concern about her floor performance from none other than her Boss of all Bosses, Nancy Silverton.

“The one drawback about Rachel is she is almost too chipper.”

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Top Ten Reasons Michael Cimarusti Hasn't Won The James Beard Award

By Nancy Silverton and Michael Krikorian

For the eighth year in a row, Michael Cimarusti, one of the great chefs of, not only the West, but the entire United States, failed to come home with a James Beard Award. 

Investigative reporters from the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times looked into why this is so. Here are the top ten reasons Michael Cimarusti has not won a James Beard Award

10. Never properly thanked Mrs. Paul for Providence's most popular dish, fish sticks..

9.  Beard voters automatically assume Michael C has already won.

8.  Close ties to feared organized crime figure Donato "Don" Poto 

7.  Actually believes that bullshit line "It's an honor just to be nominated."

6.  Always gets the most votes, but since voters misspell his last name, they aren't counted.

5  Most people think Providence is in Rhode Island, 

4. Backlash by presenters who fear they can't pronounced his name.

3. Doesn't really want to win, because then he can't be nominated

2. It was learned he hired a renowned watercolorist to paint spots on regular prawns

!. And the number 1 reason.....Michael Cimarusti already has a beard.

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