Those of you that read my entry on the Gordon Ramsay restaurant will have noted my anxiety at having to cook for a semi-famous, pretty well-established Los Angeles chef. I did. It was fine. And here's a word for the wise: don't do it. It really isn't worth getting yourself into a state of anxiety over someone who's really not going to pay attention to the food anyway. Get a pizza instead. Order in. Go out. Get burgers. (Thank God, my friend Amy was here for moral support.)
I found Jerusalem artichokes (not artichokes, not from Jerusalem), fresh runner beans, shiney & fresh satsumas, and amazing bunches of herbs (parsley: 3 for $1) at Farmers Produce, an Armenian market on Coldwater & Sherman Way. (Please do visit this place. It will make you question why you ever went to Ralphs for anything). Ottolenghi chicken with za'atar and sumac is always a great standby dish, with Lebanese rice, roasted Jerusalem artichokes, flash-boiled green beans with butter and black pepper. This was followed by a lemony green salad with thinly slice fennel and dill. Pudding (dessert) was tiny petit-fours from a little French/Persian bakery in Reseda, glorious satsumas and the tiniest baklava with cardamom. I burned the artichokes (really, can you believe it?) but the chicken was fine. Everyone said nice things. Except Mr Famous Chef. He didn't say a word.
The moral of the story is, as my beloved likes to say, You can't f-ing outpaint Picasso.
And I don't care who you are, I'm gonna get all Emily Post on your arse; If you are invited to someone's house for supper, if someone makes the effort to prepare dinner for you, if someone opens up their home to you, you call or email or something the next day. It is the most bourgeois and dull thing. Manners makyth man.