One of my favorite reasons for having a birthday every year is a good excuse (not that I need one) to try new restaurants and bakeries for celebrating with friends. My two dear friends and dessert buddies, Rebecca and Mary-Elizabeth, helped me welcome in another year at Valen Dolce, a lovely new patisserie on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. We had seen this place transforming from a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to a beautifully decorated bakery for some months, so we were very excited that it was open by the first week of January.
We drive by Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza on our Hollywood tours…we tell their story…we know the names Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali…we know they have one Michelin star…we also know it’s a month-long wait to get a reservation. So we came up with the idea to treat ourselves to dinner for our January birthdays (a day apart) and this way the month would go by very quickly, as every December does. The reservations were made for January 5, Matt’s actual birthday, and we then set about reading some Yelp reviews to help us navigate the meal. We still needed help from our server to answer some questions. And we immediately realized it might have been more fun for a first visit to sit at the mozzarella bar and watch all the action. We were placed at a lovely private table, but totally tucked away from all the action.
We all want to start the year off with a bang. At one point most of us have made resolutions to eat better and lose weight. Does what we eat determine how the year will unfold? Probably not, but if you THINK it does you might want to try a few of these dishes. For our first blog this year we’ll talk about some lucky foods from around the world.