DSC02391-200x300Jennifer Sommer is The Dish. Want to know where to eat, take your favorite date, impress your clients from out of town? Just ask Jennifer or check out her directory. She cuts through the clutter and only her favorite eating, drinking and cooking discoveries are featured here.

And, as Food & Wine’s Los Angeles Correspondent and a Tastemade Tastemaker, she has a bit of credibility. So follow along, share with your friends and eat, drink, discover.

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Absolutely Aestus

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As I watched our friend, a Londoner who fancies himself (and is) quite the food expert, literally lick the roasted carrot plate clean of every last trace of goat cheese, kumquats and argan oil it became clear that aestus is not just a hot new opening for Santa Monica’s up and coming food scene. Rather aestus is poised to become a classic worthy of attention far beyond the 405 and the 10 confines. Chef Alex Ageneau, formerly of Patina and The Royce, has created a brilliantly paired down menu that will please both the plate-sharers and the entree-lovers alike. My husband, aforementioned friend and I, forks flying, couldn’t choose a favorite from our dinner of the “sea” sar dip (the ultimate crudite plate), the warm octopus salad (I always order the octopus and you should too) and the fire roasted 1/2 chicken (finally no longer a protein relegated to the banquet hall.) All made fast friends with a bottle of 2012 Bonaccorsi “Fiddlestix” Pinot Noir chosen from owner/sommelier Kevin O’Connor’s wine list which, not-surprisingly,  includes many of his own wine and a favorite of mine, Lioco. Top this all off with the expertise of bar manager, Marissa Grasmick, and you too will be absolutely hooked.

http://www.aestusrestaurant.com/

 

 

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Mangia Meatballs

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While I love a Bay Cities meatball, I can’t say the parking and the lines make it that easy to pop in and grab a dozen. And with a great meatball not lurking on every corner, or really many places at all, Elizabeth Kaye and Erica Powell have made it their mission to change that. The Ultimate Meatball Company all began with the quest for the perfect meatball recipe and has grown into a full-fledged business delivering meatballs far and wide throughout Los Angeles. Whether you prefer a party-ready platter of meat and pork or a dozen organic chicken minis for an after school protein boost, the ladies at UMC have you covered. Gluten free too! Easy ordering for home delivery directly through their website or via Farm Box LA. Just make sure to throw a couple extra containers of frozen onto your order so you always have a super easy, super satisfying dinner at the ready.

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