February 12, 2006


Leaving to Linda the fun of coping with a 18" (50cm) of snow, I had to spend an extra day here in the sun, picking up some loose ends in LA.

First, I went to the old Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax, where I had a plate of very respectable huevos rancheros morita and bought a big jar of French mustard and a small bottle of Italian vinegar.

Then, I went to the Norton Simon museum. Absolutely astonishing: in a year in which it seems everyone is doing a Degas show, their permanent exhibit is absolutely overstuffed with wonderful Degas. Plus amazing Corot -- some early work I adore, a ton of very good Henry Moore, and plenty of Maillol. And, I'm a big Maillol fan: it takes a heap of Maillol to be enough.


And then, just because The Writer said I should try it and could probably eat at the bar, I stopped by AOC for a fine plate of rillettes (with a very good Gigondas) followed by a wonderful little square plate of coq a vin. The best chicken I've had since Da Ilia in Milano about a decade ago (goodness -- she has a web site now! ), the best braised chicken ever, with lovely little bits of bacon and a delicately perfect sauce. My first impression of the immaculate little leg and thigh, centered on a circle of potato so neat I thought perhaps it was a tortilla that had wandered in from the next cuisine and gotten lost, was that this coq a vin was altogether too genteel. But it was simply very, very well done.

And if I can find any of the Arcadian Jill's Cuvee 2000 Pinot Noir in Boston, that was terrific, too.