Olivia Dish

Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Dessert Donuts

In California, Dallas, Restaurant, Sweets, Taste Tests on September 23, 2009 at 9:09 pm
Rustic Canyon donuts

Donuts at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar

Hold onto your canned biscuits Paula Deen:  fried dough has gone upscale.

I’ve been to at least three restaurants recently that offered donuts on the dessert menu: Local in Dallas, the chic Stephan Pyles Restaurant also in Dallas, and Rustic Canyon Wine Bar in Santa Monica.  At Stephan Pyles and Rustic Canyon, on the hearty endorsement of wait staff, I ordered them.

Both were served with fancy-shmancy cups of hot something for dipping—espresso at Stephan Pyles, hot chocolate at Rustic Canyon.  It didn’t matter.  Gorgeous though the presentations were, the fried nuggets of dough came up short.  “They’re our favorite,” my waiters promised.

But I kept thinking: my white trash donuts are better.  Was I wrong?  Read the rest of this entry »


Santa Monica Meals & Deals

In California, Local Flavor, Restaurant on September 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Rustic Canyon Wine Bar

Rustic Canyon Wine Bar

Sometimes when you are traveling for work, you’re grateful to dine in the hotel.  And sometimes, if you don’t get out and enjoy the local sights a bit, you feel as if you’re being cheated somehow.  Lucky for me, in Santa Monica I managed to do a little of both.

It helps when your hotel (The Viceroy) has a fun restaurant with good food and a great wine deal.  Monday and Tuesday nights, wines at Whist are $25 a bottle. So, of course, my colleague  Hallie Butter and I had a bottle of wine, a delicious Pinot Grigio, Livio Felluga from Italy.  Our meal was good too–I had scallops prepared with crispy chunks of pancetta; Hallie (as she so often does, go figure) had halibut–pistachio encrusted on a bed of creamed spinach.

Read the rest of this entry »