Spaghettini Celebrates 30 Years of Success

Laurie Sisneros and Cary Hardwick, the charming owners of Spaghettini, have a lot to celebrate. They’re a few months shy of 30 years in business, have unveiled a lovely alfresco seating area and released a book of Spaghettini’s recipes in collaboration with their accomplished Executive Chef, Victor Avila, called From Our Home to Yours. All in all they have a lot to be proud of.

Their new outdoor space focuses on comfort first and foremost. The surrounding greenery and abundant shade umbrellas enhance the calming experience. So guests can now take full advantage of warm Seal Beach afternoons and evenings.

We sampled Spaghettini’s brunch menu and were duly impressed by the deconstructed Wedge Salad which has a history dating back to 1916. Not only is it beautifully presented, the flavors and textures of crisp cool lettuce and juicy ripe tomato play exceptionally well against the smokey bacon and full bouquet of Blue Cheese Dressing.

For starters, the fresh and healthy ahi tuna tartare is a meaty and supremely satisfying powerhouse that melts in your mouth beside the crunch of oil brushed, toasted baguette slices.

Another winner included in the book, is the Pommery shrimp which is a perennial favorite that has been flying off the menu since the restaurants opening back in 1988. The secret recipes for Pommery Mustard Sauce and Garlic Butter are generously shared, so you can create this crowd pleaser at home for family and friends.

Heirloom tomato bruschetta, on page 18, starts with the highest quality tomatoes elevated by a mix of garlic, shallots, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and fragrant basil.

Spaghetti and Meatballs is of course found here. It’s made from a recipe that accentuates the intensely porky flavor with lots of garlic, parmesan and onions.

For those looking for lighter fare, there is plenty to choose from including the Caramelized Salmon. Ginger and lemongrass incorporate a delicate Asian touch that aligns perfectly with the fatty fish. The crisp topping of  sweet potato strands add not only a burst of color but also a crunch that plays well against the brawny slab of heart-healthy salmon.

A combination of “Peas and Feta Cheese work exceptionally well together, especially if made with French Feta” according to Chef Avila, and we were tickled by this new commingling.

For a serious splurge, the Mac and Cheese is loaded with heavy cream , parmesan and gorgonzola and takes this childhood favorite to a very adult level.

The dessert section is loaded with house specialities and don’t miss the light, airy and supremely satisfying White Chocolate Cheesecake which we absolutely adore and would eat every day if we could.

2018 presents many great opportunities to celebrate life with a visit to Spaghettini for their world class Jazz and delightful California and Italian menu or a whirl around the kitchen under the excellent tutelage of From Our Home to Yours Cookbook. Enjoy the journey.

Please follow and like us:

Chinese Dim Sum Parlor Pleasures


We checked out the bustling, mega dim sum parlor known as Atlantic Seafood in Monterey Park and we’re amazed with the ease, grace, precision and tasty bites we found.  A long line out front on Sunday morning resulted in a 15 minute wait, so don’t be put off by the crowds, they are an indication of the quality and tasty food available inside.


Dim Sum means “to touch the heart” and these little snacks have been a staple of Cantonese cuisine for thousands of years. Although the origins are unclear, dim sum was definitely a part of tea house culture provided to travelers along the Silk Road. Today, Atlantic Seafood brings the tradition to the San Gabriel Valley at the price of $2.58 per order on holidays and weekends from 9 AM to 3 PM.  There is also a per person charge of $1.18 for tea and sauces, a small price to pay for the spectacle and on demand plates provided.


During our brief wait we enjoyed the fish tanks at the entrance that are illuminated in blue light and showcase the fresh seafood available from the menu.  When our number was called we followed a black suited employee to our table in the lively dining room.


Warming carts, manned by servers wearing sneeze guards, are piled high with metal containers containing dumplings, stuffed buns, steamed dishes and Chinese specialties. Customers are offered a glimpse into the canisters to decided if they are desirable and then choose those they prefer. Seafood, chicken, vegetable and pork bites are presented in groups of three or four, so it’s always a great idea to enjoy dim sum with larger groups of people, allowing more variety to be sampled from the scores of dishes being pushed around the room.


Open trays also circle laden with fried dishes, desserts and items that don’t fit inside the metal warming boxes.


We definitely have our favorites and also love to try new things which is why dim sum brunches make us exceptionally joyful.  We started with a scallop and shrimp dumpling in a rice paper wrapper that is delicately steamed to keep the juicy flavors at their peak.


Dim sum parlors are often judged by the quality of their hair gow, the translucently thin skinned, shrimp stuffed dumplings. Atlantic’s sweet shrimp were a testament to the quality of the seafood and skill of the kitchen staff.


Shumai, are open dumplings of shrimp, pork and vegetables, and these succulent beauties are two bite wonders.


Spicy chili oil is available on request, while little cups of hot mustard and Sriracha sauce are laid on the table to dip the dim sum if desired. Hot tea can be requested in a number of brews including jasmine, oolong, and crysthanamum.

DSC_0128 2

We sampled a seafood stuffed, fried tofu dish that combines wonderful textures and tastes.


And the sugared pastry encased “chicken pot pie” is a inspired mix of sweet and savory.


Shrimp egg rolls come with their own special dipping sauce.


While the stuffed, fried eggplant are crisp on the outside and warm, meaty goodness inside that floats in a savory sauce.


We fell in love with the coconut filled pasty dessert and will definitely be looking forward to lots more of these in our future.


For a traditional, hectic Hong Kong style dim sum experience with high quality little plates, Atlantic Seafood is the spot to get your southern Chinese fix.


Atlantic Seafood & Dim Sum Restaurant, 500 North Atlantic Boulevard, Suite 200, Monterey Park, CA 91754                                               Phone – 626-872-0388          web site –




Please follow and like us:

Honey Bee’s Sweet Salvadorian House Of Breakfast


We are always amazed at the bounty of families coming to Los Angeles to set up tiny restaurants where they share traditional cuisine from their native countries. One such treasure is Honey Bee’s House of Breakfast.


The quaint space is warm and inviting with dark woods and burnt orange walls.  And yes they do serve breakfast, but what we found most intriguing is the Salvadorian food that permeates the menu.


Great prices, homestyle cooking, overflowing plates and charming hosts make Honey Bee’s a place we feel right at home.  We warmed up our palate with pupusas, thick corn flat breads stuffed with a variety of ingredients.


There are a number of pupusas to try and being unable to chose we went with the rebuelta, a blending of cheese, beans and pork inside a firm, thick corn packet. The warm, melted cheese filling is gooey and delightful interspersed with fried pork and creamy beans. Served alongside is a crunchy mix of cool, mildly pickled cabbage and vegetables, adding a refreshing tang to the comforting pupusas.


El super clásico breakfast offers a traditional taste of Salvadorian specialties. First a green pepper, tomato, and onion scramble of creamy eggs can be enhanced with a few shots of salsa to pop the flavors, although that is hardly necessary. Also on the plate we found fresh avocado slices, a hunk of hard, crumbly, salty cheese, a mix of starchy rice and beans called casamiento (married, referring to the union of the two), sausage, sweet caramelized plantains, crema and two thick corn tortillas.


This substantial meal radiates with textures as well as sweet and savory flavors.  The coarse sausage, snap under the teeth and provide a mild, yet well spiced experience that adds a smoky essence to the platter.


American breakfasts of pancakes, waffles, eggs, ham, bacon or omelets are available to mix and match with any of the Salvadorian dishes.


For early breakfast, brunch or lunch in an adorable, homespun spot where overflowing plates are both exciting and extremely satisfying, Honey Bee’s House of Breakfast is a sweet spot to start the day.


Honey Bee’s House of Breakfast, 4715 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016       Phone – 323-731-7203      web site –



Please follow and like us: