How awesome is it when you live in a neighborhood that people are learning to love and yet it is still underappreciated. It means that you enjoy the growing number of restaurants that have sprouted throughout downtown’s micro-neighborhoods without reservations (except for that darn delicious Church and State – you always have to call a few days in advance unless you want dinner at 10:30 at night), there is always something to do whether it is visiting one of our many museums, a movie at the new Regal Live, or Pee Wee Herman at the Nokia, AND you get to enjoy nice runs on Bunker Hill without any car congestion on the weekends.
I could go on and on about why I love downtown. The truth is that I have loved it for years- it was love at first sight when my mother brought me as a little kid to shop at the callejones (Santee Alley) for affordable wares. For years I looked up at the then empty buildings (or full of sweat shops) and yearned to live there. In high school I used to skip school (which is not a good idea kids!) and take the Metro 68 to downtown to stroll along Broadway, Spring St., and study at Central Library (I could spend hours reading books I would never find at the local library). It feels like it has been a long distance crush relationship; as I got older and started working at City Hall I used to drive home to Boyle Heights over the 7th St Bridge and sigh as I left downtown behind me.
Now I live here with M, a four-year old and a five-year old and my life is in a completely different place that I envisioned. A lot has happened in my relatively short life making me feel far older and hopefully wiser in the process. The only thing that hasn’t changed is that I love downtown and now I am incredibly lucky enough to live here with the three best companions I could ever dream up of having (at least after two of them were potty-trained).
Downtown is changing just like its inhabitants (myself included) and as I explore it further my love grows.
It makes life so much easier when you can walk to a dinner date or to meet friends for drinks after work. When your kids can go to a preschool that is a few blocks away from work, and when you can get home in less than an hour (by walking!).
So whether you are a downtown cheerleader or a naysayer you have to admit that downtown Los Angeles sucks you in once you live here. Whether you are having dinner in Little Tokyo at Spitz with a sangria – or two, or indulging in Rivera’s late night happy hour you have to admit that we are all incredibly lucky to live here.
Seared Ahi Tuna
Best part of cooking is leftovers!
Seared Ahi Tuna
Ingredients: 3 steaks of Ahi tuna, 1/2 cup of soysauce, 1/2 tea-spoon Chinese five-spice (I found it at Ralphs), 3/4 tea-spoon Chesapeake Bay seasoning (great for all types of sea food), 1 table-spoon wasabi (depending on how spicy you like your food you can add less), 1 tea-spoon olive oil
In a large container pour soy sauce, 1/2 tea-spoon of chinese five-spice, 3/4 tea-spoon of Chesapeake bay seasoning, wasabi, and olive oil. Use a whisk to mix well until it’s slightly foamy. After you rinse your steaks and pat them dry place in the marinade and close container. Refrigerate for 1 hour (you can do 1/2 hour but the longer you marinade the juicier your steak will be).
Heat skillet to medium-high heat and spray a light layer of cooking oil. You can use avocado oil, canola or olive oil. Place your steak on skillet and turn over 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on each side. (I like my steaks seared and raw on the inside so you can do less or more based on preferences but you should do no longer than 2 1/2 minutes of your steak will be dry and fully cooked.)
Remove from skillet and serve to your soon to be happy guests!
Tossed and sautéed Kale
Kale is really healthy and a great anti-oxidant. Try this nutty-flavored recipe for a great side dish.
1 bunch of Kale
Handful of Pine nuts
1 medium-sized red onion
3 small Roma tomatoes
1 tea-spoon minced Garlic
Coarse sea salt
Rinse kale, tomatoes and onion. Chop red onion into slices and separate into strands and toss in a mixing bowl with half a tea-spoon of olive oil. Place on pre-heated medium-heat pan along with your minced garlic (mix well) and stir occasionally for 3 minutes.
Chop kale and mix in bowl with pine nuts. Toss into your pan. Mix with onions (which should be lightly browned) and sprinkle sea salt. Cover and turn heat down to low for 5 minutes.
Chop tomatoes into fourths and toss into pan. Cover for 3-5 minutes.
Serve and Enjoy!
This easy recipe will have your kids asking for seconds! Tender, juicy and crispy on the outside Brussels sprouts.
15-20 small Brussels sprouts (choose closed-leafed, tightly wound- it will prevent them from falling apart)
Extra virgin olive oil (about 1 tea-spoon in a small dish) and 1 tea-spoon for pan
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tea-spoon of grated parmesan cheese
Rinse Brussels sprouts really well making sure to peel loose or brown leafs. Cut off stems.
Cut Brussels sprouts in half (from top to bottom). Rub the inside of the Brussels sprouts with olive oil.
Heat sautéing pan to low-medium heat and add a tea-spoon of extra virgin oil. Place Brussels sprouts facing up on pan (single layer not touching), sprinkle sea salt and cover for 5 minutes.
Turn Brussels sprouts over, sprinkle parmesan cheese (very lightly to flavor and not overwhelm taste), sprinkle sea salt (again) and black pepper and cover. Turn off heat after 5-7 minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!