Joan Nathan Sets King Solomon’s Table Beautifully

The award-winning “Queen of American Jewish Cooking”, Joan Nathan, has pulled together recipes from countries near and far in her latest book, King Solomon’s Table. This compilation celebrates the vast reach of both Joan and the Jewish people. Pages overflowing with explorations of culinary highlights from around the world, personal stories, historic insights, biblical references and health and wellness mentions, make this book a captivating read.

You can expect a delightful journey through Joan’s travels, insights, wealth of knowledge and recipes that guide readers to the heart of Jewish cooking. Local ingredients and produce from far flung corners of the globe add new twists and honor the core essence of these ancestral dishes. The book spans the spectrum from light and refreshing summer pleasures such as Herbert Samuel’s Tomato salad, to hardier dishes including Salyanka, a beef and vegetable stew from the country of Georgia.

Vegetarians, Vegans and Omnivores will all be nourished by the handsome photos, clear direction and comforting properties of recipes including Quinoa Salad with Squash, Feta and Pecans.

Don’t miss one of Joan’s favorites, Harira, a spiced Moroccan vegetable soup made with chick peas, cilantro and lemon that warms the body and soul.

There are treats in the book as well and we couldn’t stop eating the Pizza Ebraica, which is not pizza at all, but a fabulous Italian dessert made with nuts, dried fruit and wine.  These little slices of heaven will be gone in a flash when served at any happy gathering, which is its tradition.

King Solomon’s Table extols the virtues, blessings and warm embrace that Jewish food has always brought to the table. And Joan’s incorporation of a wide array of cultural influences, entices indulgence into the historic traditions and cuisine of the chosen people. To meet up with Joan, check out her book tour schedule and discover when she will be signing books at an event near you.


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The Oldest Bakery In Los Angeles


The famous Beverlywood Bakery, established in 1946, claims to be the oldest bakery in Los Angeles. They have been servicing the Los Angeles community and surrounding areas for 68 years.


Beverlywood offers a variety of fresh baked gourmet breads, pastries and desserts, as well as a wide selection of Jewish bakery items (Challah, Rugelah, Hamentashen), specialty Jewish Holiday items, custom Birthday/celebration cakes and catering style platters for parties and events.


They are a non-kosher Jewish bakery offering a variety of traditional Jewish baked goods as well as bakery items from a variety of cultures, while also catering to a range of diets, including gluten free and sugar free. The bakeries longevity can be attributed to decades of steadfast commitment to their patrons.


The scope of Beverlywood’s offerings span from elaborate custom party cakes, to giant challah breads for Bar/Bat mitzvah, to party platters and catering services.


Some famous favorites include twice baked rye bread, bread pudding and florentine chocolate dipped cookies.


A selection of Beverlywood Bakery breads and sweets can also be found in the gourmet bread sections in many Pavillions and Vons supermarkets around Los Angeles.


Original recipes and unwavering commitment to quality make them a favorite with generations of patrons.


Beverlywood’s recipes are as hallowed as they are secret, and they are proud to have served customers the same scrumptious cakes, breads, cookies etc. as the founders of the shop did 68 years ago.


The buttery, flakey, sweet and savory rugelah should not be missed.  Our favorite is the cinnamon nut.


For a welcoming and inspired old-fashioned bakery experience embracing decades of commitment and high quality ingredients, Beverlywood Bakery is a Los Angeles institution that should be high on everyone’s party list.


Beverlywood Bakery, 9128 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone – 310-278-0122           web site –

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Pastrami Paradise


We’ve been hearing so much good buzz about Wexler’s deli we finally decided to pop over and give it a shot.  It’s been a while since we visited Grand Central Market and we were surprised to find the one hour free parking replaced with $2.00 for 90 minute parking.  Guess it was bound to happen.


The menu at Weller’s Deli is straight up Jewish delicatessen, with all our favorites lined up and calling to us.  The talk has been about the smoked fish and pastrami so that’s where we went.


There is counter seating or the option of taking orders to go and we did both.  Our favorite indulgence is bagels, lox and cream cheese and knowing that Wexler’s smokes their fish on the premises, we had to try their smoked salmon.


We normally order an onion bagel, but that wasn’t an option, so we chose a toasted everything bagel which tuned out to be a more than respectable substitute.  They can prepare it fully loaded , which means with capers hiding under the lox and a smattering of paper-thin slices of red onion on top.  The loaded option turns out to be just the ticket.


The fish is fresh, light and melts away in your mouth like cotton candy. The pink lox is sliced thin, with blemishes and imperfections removed, so all we get is the clean, lightly applewood smoked flavor of high quality salmon. Fresh cracked pepper is the finishing touch that accents the perfect balance of ingredients.  They also sell half pound packages of house smoked salmon and sturgeon if a more comfortable environment is preferred.


After devouring the fish, we ordered pastrami to go and found each component packed individually, keeping everything pristine until we’re ready to assemble the masterpiece.  We were warned not to ever reheat the meat in a microwave and we took that suggestion very seriously.


We baked the thick, hand-cut, well-marbled pastrami in our toaster oven and watched it turn bright red under 350 degree burners for about 10 minutes.  The kitchen smelled of smokey meat for the rest of the day.


The fresh brown rye bread has a soft chew and with a slather of deli mustard, is the perfect container for any of the sandwiches Wexer’s puts out.  But it’s the hit of smoke, spices and a desirable fat to lean ratio that makes Wexler’s pastrami so monumental.  We love pastrami and have had our share, but we have never experienced anything that tastes like this one.  We don’t know if its the dedication to tradition, new spins on smoking and spicing or simply huge love that goes into this beautiful meat, but whatever it is we want more.


At a time when Jewish Delis seem to be disappearing before our eyes, we are thrilled to find Wexler’s bringing back a commitment to tradition, craftsmanship, and quality that shows up in every bite of the finished product.  Thank you for continuing this tradition and setting the bar higher than we knew it could be set.


Wexler’s Deli, 317 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone – 213-624-2378       web site –

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Middle Eastern Market Experience


Elat Market is a Middle Eastern, kosher supermarket that draws customers in with great prices, specialty products and a central location near Pico and Robertson.


The busy aisles require some finesse to navigate and we have learned the hard way not to get in the way of elderly patrons hellbent on finding affordable flawless produce.


Once we got used to the assertive nature of the clientele, we found the shop to be a wonderful resource.  Elat is mid sized and easy to navigate, while also stocking everything we need.


Prices far below those at conventional markets are the norm, as are nontraditional items such as Persian cucumber which are referred to simply as cucumber.


Hard to find seasonal fruit, such as fresh dates are readily available.


The market is divided into sections that overflow with each particular item, such as the nut and dried fruit corner where bins as well as prepackaged items abound.


The deli counter lays out freshly made sushi as in most markets, so we don’t feel we are missing out in any way.


A preserved fuit and vegetable case offers olives and pickled vegetables to adorn the dinner table.


While the feta cheese case displays the tangy white dairy product from a variety of  countries.


Both the meat and fish counters provide an assortment of kosher products for the orthodox and nonreligious alike.


The beautiful meats and fish adhere to strict standards and tend, in our experience, to be of high quality and freshness.


A small area houses bread including challah, lavash and a number of other exotic loaves and flatbreads.


While pastries galore line the shelves.


We love Elat Market for its diversity, reasonable pricing, foreign ambiance and fresh produce, fish, meat and poultry.  They have everything we look for in a supermarket experience with the added benefit of Middle Eastern flair.


Elat Market, 8730 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone _ 310- 659-7070  web site –

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Educational Treasure


Open to the public since 1996, the Skirball Cultural Center has established itself as one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and among the leading cultural venues in Los Angeles.  Its mission is to explore the connections between 4000 years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideas.  It seeks to welcome and inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity in American life, with the aim of building a society in which everyone can feel at home.


The Asian elephant presides over the entrance to Noah’s Ark, one of the Skirball’s award winning permanent exhibitions. Almost all of the materials used to make the elephant are Asian in origin, including a gong from Thailand, vegetable steamers from Laos, handmade Lokta paper from Nepal, and bronze Thai rain drums engraved with decorative elephants. The deer sports shoehorns as ears. The elegant, endangered Grevy’s zebras are fabricated from wind turbines and keyboards.


Noah’s ark is an old story, so they chose to use old stuff. Stuff from attics, stuff from e-bay, and some stuff right off the street.  Children and adults alike find a new sense of wonder exploring and becoming one with the animals, the ark and the thrill of creating the rain, thunder and lighting integral to Noah’s story.


Docents, puppeteers and guests all recreate the tale together in this interactive space.


Birds Fly, coyotes howl, giraffes stretch their long necks to get a better view, all at the guidance of visitors whims.


There is great joy found in the identification of the mundane objects used to craft the sculptures inhabiting this space of ingenious simplicity, movement, storytelling and playful artistic expression.


Not to mention a jungle gym of an ark to climb, crawl through, explore and learn from.  This family friendly collection is a must see for locals and visitors to Los Angeles.


Current running at the Skirball, is Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, the first comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham (1931–1991). Recognized as one of the most influential concert promoters in history, Graham launched the careers of countless rock & roll legends in the ’60s at his famed Fillmore Auditorium. He conceived of rock & roll as a powerful force for supporting humanitarian causes and was instrumental in the production of milestone benefit concerts such as Live Aid (1985) and Human Rights Now! (1988). As a promoter and manager, he worked with the biggest names in rock, including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones.


The Skirball’s exceptionally well produced exhibitions offer unique glimpses into traditional and non traditional Jewish heritage and culture that is fascinating, entertaining and delightfully educational.

Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone – 310-440-4500    web site –










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Blintz Nirvana


As part of Orthodox Jewish tradition, milk and meat may not be cooked or eaten together.  Kosher restaurants are either fleishik, serve meat products, or milchik, serve milk products, following the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut.


Kosher restaurants are abundant on Pico Boulevard between Beverwill and La Cienega and today we were charmed by one of the standouts, The Milky Way.   As the name suggests this establishment is milchik, serves dairy, and we happily jumped on the milky bandwagon to explore the cuisine.


The vivacious owner Leah Adler, also known as Steven Spielberg’s mother, came over to greet us and was happy to make suggestions,  “The blintzes and the potato pancakes,” rolled off her tongue.


The menu is an eclectic mix of Italian, Mexican and American food.  We began our exploration with the hot mushroom sandwich, a layering of sliced avocado,  tomato, and spicy mushrooms atop garlic bread, all smothered in melted swiss cheese, resulting in a hearty open-faced homey creation with a kick.  We then moved on to the famous off-menu pistachio pasta which was a garlic laden enchantress.  But the star of the day, after Leah herself, were the blintzes.


We love blintzes and have been searching for the perfect cheese filled package. We believe we have now located our Shangri-la.  The secret to a flawless blintz is the quintessential balancing of its parts.  From the warm, rich, mildly sweet, creamy cottage cheese based filling to the crisped brown, light yet sturdy crepe, to the sour cream and strawberry preserve toppings, all of Ms. Adler’s blintz components are in perfect zen alignment.  Nirvana achieved.


Most prices land below the $10 mark and the quality definitely goes into each dish.  Order whatever tickles your fancy, but don’t miss the blintzes.

The Milky Way, 9108 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035    Phone – 310-859-0004

Open 11:30 to 2:00 and 5:30 to 8:00 Sunday thru Thursday.  Closed Friday evening and all day and evening Saturday.

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