Pleasin’ Pu Pu Platter…

joes stone crab
Joe’s Stone Crabs

Since Tuesday is Restaurant Day, I am serving up a Pu Pu Platter of tasty options. These are geographically desirable, delicious destinations.
Los Angeles-Marina Del Rey and great restaurants is an oxymoron…but fear no more, Paiche (South American tropical freshwater fish and one of the largest freshwater fish in the world) has arrived on Maxella across from the Gelsons shopping center and Equinox. Eat without guilt, knowing you can stuff your face and spin in the morning. It is an eclectic combination of Peruvian and Japanese food…who knew that this cuisine has been served for generations in Peru as a wave of Japanese immigration began in the 1800s.  Noted chef, Ricardo Zarate (Picca and Mo-Chica), has created not only a yummy, innovative menu, but a serene, acqua shaded setting. Do not leave without sampling the uni shrimp toast, yuquitas, yucca and manchego stuffed beignets and chaufa de langosta, lobster and mixed seafood fried rice. End the meal on a sweet note with churros. Sit outside. 13488 Maxella Avenue, Marina del Rey, California.


New York City-Chez Sardine, Gabe Stulman’s wackiest addition to his restaurant empire (Joseph Leonard, Fedora, Perla, Jeffrey’s Grocery). He serves up inventive sushi (pork and unagi roll) as well as fab cocktails, breakfast mini pancakes with fish tartare, salmon roe and yogurt, charred asparagus and the must try once, grilled cheese and foie gras sandwich.  183 West 10th between West 4th Street and 7th Avenue. Thankfully, no sardines!

Greenwich, CT-If you are a commuter or head north from the city in the summer or premium time, the fall, go to my childhood ‘hood, Greenwich and dine at Eleven14 Kitchen located in the hip J House hotel…locals find it hard to believe this new sleek boutique hotel and restaurant it is a former HoJo’s. The décor is stunning…Philippe Starck clone hits Connecticut. Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo, formerly of Wolfgang Puck’s West Hollywood and Chicago’s Spago, serves up a seasonal farm to table American menu. Highlights are a succulent organic salmon, a tasty and rich rigatoni Bolognese with veal, pork and beef and an amazing organic grilled chicken. The hamburger is outstanding and cheat a bit and order tempura onion rings for the table. I recently organized a celebration here and the service and staff could not have been more helpful and gracious. If the weather is cooperative, dine outside. 1114 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT…you can be there in way under an hour from the city.

Miami Beach, Florida-Joe’s Stone Crab. An institution (celebrating 100 years!), serving the best stone crab you will ever eat. Order the hash brown potatoes and the creamed spinach. Then, walk next door and take home the greatest key lime pie in the universe. Store in the freezer and when you wake up from having a key lime wet dream, march into the kitchen during the middle of the night and carve a slice. Calories don’t cut when the lights are out and you are eating vertically. Expect a wait so enjoy a cocktail and crispy, meaty conch fritters in the lovely outdoor patio. Fall into step with the Floridian Early Birds and arrive by 5pm to avoid the standard 1 hour wait. The waiters are a trip and the environment electric. They are presently on summer vacation and re-open July 28th.  11 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida.

Refer to last Tuesday’s restaurant blog which covered one of the great culinary cities, San Francisco. If readers have restaurant favs or suggestions, please drop me a line…knowledge is power. Enjoy, as excellent food is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Nova Smoked Salmon Ring compromised and ripped from the menu pages of Norma’s restaurant in NYC and Palm Springs, California

-6 eggs

-1 lb smoked salmon (Trader Joe’s sells packaged smoked salmon, delish and reasonably priced)

-Crème Fraiche


-Fish roe (Whole Foods has fab black and red lump caviar in a small jar, reasonably priced-lump caviar is an inexpensive substitute for caviar roe from sturgeon-the real thing-fished from the Caspian Sea)

-1 English or Persian cucumber

-Kosher salt

-Fresh Ground Pepper

Scramble eggs, add kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, fat free half and half. Mix in blender and get the eggs frothy. Scramble until semi-dry. Stack eggs on plate. Slice cucumber and create a circular wall around the eggs. Top eggs with an amble amount of smoked salmon. Top salmon with a dollop of crème fraiche and top crème with caviar. Insert clive leaves. Yummy, filling, creative, gorgeous presentation and easy!

Smoked Salmon Ring


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