Hot Tomato

All summer I look forward to tomato season. I’m giddy with anticipation. After eight months of tasteless slabs of mealy hot-house tomatoes, my long wait is over. Ripe, juicy, sweet, and tangy, they are by far, the best thing to come out of the garden.

Alas, not all tomatoes are created equal, and not all restaurants choose their tomatoes with the love and attention they deserve. So, for those of you who also celebrate the tomato, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite tomato-centric meals this summer. Simple, traditional summer favorites at restaurants where the chef is careful to choose the best produce and ingredients to complement, not mask, summer’s shining star.

Town Hall
Fried green tomatoes rolled in a cornmeal batter and served piping hot. Topped with tuna tar tare and a green onion Tabasco vinaigrette, the combination of hot and cold, and tangy and spicy were Delicious. My mouth still waters just thinking about it!

Delfina Restaurant
Heirloom tomatoes, basil oil, and fresh-stretched mozzarella. Sweet, tangy, full of flavor, the tomatoes were perfect and the mozzarella and basil oil struck the perfect balance.

Bar Jules
Sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes add pizazz to the squid salad with baby green beans and basil. Tossed in a light tarragon vinaigrette, this was a refreshing dish for lunch on a hot afternoon.

The heirloom tomatoes make a panzanella special, and Beretta’s is superb. Panzanella’s are often too mushy, but at Beretta, the Tuscan bread is still crusty, softened just a bit by the juice of the tomatoes. Yum.

Blue Barn Gourmet
The perfect balance of B, L and T with a pesto aioli, served on whole-grain toast not too thick to fit it in your mouth, but substantial enough to soak up the tomato juice without falling apart.

Scrambled eggs on a rustic roll, topped with bacon and slices of tomato so ripe and juicy it’s hard to believe it wasn’t picked minutes before we arrived.

La Boulange
I can’t imagine, nor do I want to know, how many calories make up a tomato and mozzarella tart, but I assure you, each and everyone are worth it.

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Allie MacKay









YUP, it’s KTLA Morning Reporter Allie MacKay!! We cannot get enough of her!

If we have some emergency that forces us to rise before the sun, the first thing that we do is flip on KTLA to see what trouble Allie is causing today.  She announces herself with wit, charm and humor, while highlighting many of LA’s most beloved and fascinating happenings.  With a ready smile, Allie reminds us all why we live here and why we love Los Angeles. 

Allie has also proven a huge supporter of our extraordinary local dining scene, regularly highlighting fun and special offerings around town.  She covered The Running of The Bulls at Pasadena’s Bar Celona Restaurant; The Heart of Los Angeles’ Kids Cooking Classes with Madame Chocolat in Beverly Hills; and our friend Noah’s blog “Man Bites World” when he visited Tradition by Pascal in Newport Beach.  She has featured weeklong spots on LA Restaurant Week, and was actually seen baking – or tasting – pies just last week with KCRW’s GOOD FOOD host, Evan Kleiman.  This morning, we watched, tears rolling down our cheeks with laughter, while she interviewed The Watermelon Queen and her court. 

allie at pascal

The value of beginning the day with a smile is priceless.  Sincere THANKS to Allie MacKay for all the smiles…and her unending support of our city’s many treasures.

Catch Allie weekday mornings on KTLA.

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DCPR received an email from another PR firm this week.  The email said, “Quick, take a look at this site.  LOL!”

We took a look.

There, before our eyes was our writing, copied and pasted into another website – written exactly the same, with the same punctuation, in the same order.  The only difference was a couple of items that had been added, and they were, quite comically,  misspelled.  Sadly, a couple of future items that do not pertain to this firm were also included.  Clearly, they had not bothered to proof read very carefully.

Since everyone got a chuckle, turns out “Imitation IS the best form of flattery!”

Moral of the story?  Words are powerful.  Choose them carefully.

Better moral? PR is effective even when you least expect it!  And, we can always use a chuckle these days!

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I often have a difficult time understanding why everyone doesn’t come around to my way of thinking (sooner).

Similarly, for some reason, the following question always haunts me:

“Did you get a box?”

(take deep, cleansing breath here…)

“No,” I reply.  “I don’t do boxes at the Bowl.  WHERE WOULD MY CHEESE SIT?”

Or wine, for that matter?  Or charcuterie? Or fruit?  Or pastries?

Did I mention WINE?

The Hollywood Bowl is the ONLY TIME that I do not just leave the cooking to those that have been professionally trained…trained to cook, that is!  And yet, even if its a few tubs of dip grabbed from a TJ on the way to Hollywood, the Bowl remains one of the greatest evenings of dining in all of LA.  It’s even better if someone in your group can cook.  I, sadly, do not know ANY cooks.  At least… no one admits it on Bowl nights.  (BOWL ALERT:  The food pictured here was lovingly and laboriously created by the hands of KT.   Thank you, KT!  It was delicious and my little brownie photographed it beautifully.  KT is now accepting orders for Hollywood Bowl cooking services!)


Grab a row or two of $5 seats, bring some pillows and blankets, and let the feast commence.

Oh, and the music is often quite nice, too! (Even though we are still in mourning over the loss of John Mauceri, Feinstein & Jewel were…..INSPIRED.)

Other than the music, A few items are ESSENTIAL…


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People of LA,

I ask you…

I beg you…

I implore you…

I beseech you…


Think of the Bowl as you would the Hollywood Hills.

Ralax atop the mountain, and look down upon those all cramped and crowded…

those poor, poor souls that don’t know any better.  (Bless their hearts!)

I raise my glass…

To good friends.  To Good Music.  To Good Memories…

Good wine & Good Food…



Oh, how we LOVE THE BOWL.



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