A Peek Inside the Cheesemonger’s Kitchen

I have a secret.

Sometimes when I need a recipe or inspiration on how to prepare a certain ingredient there is generally one person I turn to. He is a chef and he always has the answers I’m looking for.

I have another secret.

I love cheese.

Here is where these two secrets meet: I am often looking for a new and creative way to cook with cheese. It just so happens my friend with all of the answers, Chester Hastings, is coming out with a book from Chronicle Books. The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen: Cooking with the World’s Finest Cheesesis exactly what I have been waiting for.

In honor of springtime and Chester’s upcoming book here is a sneak peek at a recipe from The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen.

Burrata with asparagus, pinenuts and golden raisins is so simple to prepare. Asparagus evokes springtime. Vibrant and crisp, it is a beautiful way to celebrate the season. The burrata is a delicate, creamy base for the warm, tender asparagus. The asparagus is lightly tossed with fruity olive oil, toasted pinenuts and succulent golden raisins. Top the asparagus salad with browned breadcrumbs for a nice crunch. Add a few strands of saffron and the whole dish is enlivened. This dish is light, fresh and uncomplicated.

Here is the recipe with an excerpt from the upcoming book:


The distinctly Sicilian combination of pine nuts, raisins and breadcrumbs is quickly becoming a classic all over the world. From light pastas with fried sardines and fennel, or fillings for swordfish or beefsteak rolls to lovely and light springtime fair such as this presentation of early April asparagus and fresh burrata cheese.

The addition of saffron, if used judiciously, adds a lovely perfume and an elegant effect if the threads are left whole.


2 balls fresh burrata, roughly 6 ounces each

1 bunch asparagus

2 tbsp toasted pinenuts

2 tbsp golden raisins

6 threads of saffron

½ cup best quality extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup bread crumbs

Cut the woody ends of the asparagus off and discard. Blanch the asparagus spears in plenty of salted boiling water until tender, just giving when pinched where the tip begins (do not overcook!). Shock the asparagus quickly in a bowl of ice water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Cut asparagus on the angle into pieces resembling penne pasta.

Soak the golden raisins in warm water for 5 minutes to re-hydrate, then drain and pat dry with a kitchen towel.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked and cut asparagus with the pine nuts, re-hydrated raisins, saffron and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Heat 4 tbsp of the olive oil over a medium heat and add the breadcrumbs. Shake the pan vigorously over the heat, frying the breadcrumbs to a light and golden crisp. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cut the burrata balls in half and lay individual plates ‘skin side’ down. Divide the asparagus mixture among the burrata pieces and sprinkled the fried breadcrumbs over the top.


Drizzle with a bit more extra virgin olive oil and serve cold or at room temperature.

Serves 4.

*a thin slice of prosciutto di parma would be a welcome addition to this dish, simply served alongside or draped over the top to hide the jewel of a salad hidden underneath.

Latin American Dessert Crawl

A few weeks ago, after a truly delicious day of exploring the streets of Los Angeles with Bill Esparza (StreetGourmetLA), we started to talk about desserts.

And more desserts.

Eventually we started talking Latin American desserts.

A few weeks later, Bill had the brilliant idea of going on a dessert crawl. I messaged a few fellow food enthusiasts, settled on a date and time and we were ready for sweets.

We began our crawl in Huntington Park at El Carriel, a Colombian bakery. El Carriel is an unassuming small panaderia tucked away in a strip mall. The space is snug and clustered with the focal point, a glass case enclosing an array of Colombian confections, in the middle. El Carriel offers a full breakfast menu as well as pastries. The owner Myriam told us that her recipes are what she learned to make while living in Cali, a city west of Bogota. To accompany our hot fresh coffees, Myriam prepared for us Pandebonos and an Arepa de Choclo.

Pandebono is Colombian cheese bread made from cornmeal or masarepa (precooked corn flour). Shaped like a small donut, the exterior is crusty while the innards are warm and toothsome. The cheese baked within the dough imparts an irresistible nutty flavor.

Arepa de Choclo is a delicate griddled corn cake that is found throughout Colombia. The corn was sweet and buttery. The Arepa was topped with queso fresco that added a nice salty contrast.

For added indulgence we each enjoyed a Colombian version of Bunuelos.

Bunuelos are simply fried doughy balls. When cut open they are fragrant and soft. They are more like a beignet than a doughnut, very cakey and eggy. They were simply divine.

We caravanned to the next stop on our crawl, Amalia’s Guatemalan restaurant. Amalia’s is a converted house turned restaurant located on Virgil in East Hollywood. Here we enjoyed plantains served two ways, representative of Guatemalan cuisine.

Rellenitos de Platano is a mashed plantain filled with black beans and served with a side of crema. The rellenitos were tender perfection. Delicately sweet with a distinct cinnamon flavor, the black bean filling melded with the plantains and was almost indiscernible.

Next up was Platano de Mole. The mole is a chipotle and chocolate sauce bursting with sweet and savory spice. The platanos were swimming in mole and after a few bites my taste buds were burnt out. Throughout all three platano versions cinnamon seemed to be the dominant flavor.

From Amalia’s we ventured a few blocks west to Rincon El Chileno. With minimal décor and minimal crowd I was not sure what to expect, but I bite of the Panqueques Celestino and I was in heaven.

Panqueques Celestino is a Chilean version of pancakes. They are somewhere between a pancake and a crêpe and are filled with manjar, also known as dulce de leche. The dough is sweet with crisp edges. It is slathered with manjar and rolled. Dusted with powdered sugar, each bite of panqueques celestino is irresistible. This is a sexy dessert.

We were able to squeeze in one more stop on our crawl. The last stop was El Colmao Cuban restaurant. Here were sampled Flan de Guayaba and Coco Rayado Con Queso Crema.

Guayaba seems to be a favorite ingredient of Cuban desserts. Guayaba is guava shell that has been boiled with sugar. It is super sweet and grainy. The flan was smooth and pliant but to my dismay was swimming in sweetness from the guayaba. A few bites and I was well on my way to a sugar coma.

Coco Rayado con Queso Cream is grated and sweetened coconut with cream cheese. While many around me loved it, I have yet to understand or appreciate the marriage of super sweet fruit in syrup with cream cheese. Not for me.

Stop after stop, this dessert crawl was the perfect day of indulgence. I only wish we had more time or more room in our stomachs to try more desserts.

El Carriel Panderia

2405 Randolph Street

Huntington Park, CA 90255


751 North Virgil

Los Angeles, CA 90029

Rincon El Chileno

4354 Melrose Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90029

M-Sun 10am-10pm

El Colmao

2328 West Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90006

M-F 10am-8:30pm Sat/Sun 12pm-8:30pm

Breakfast at the Farmers Market

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. When done right, there is really nothing better. I love a perfectly buttered and toasted piece of bread with fresh cheese and jam. I love crispy salty bacon with a nice chewy bite. I love oily flash fried potatoes with rosemary and garlic. But most of all I love pancakes.

Sunday mornings the Gastrobus parks at the Los Feliz farmer’s market for their Organic Sunday breakfasts. This truly is one of my favorite breakfasts in Los Angeles. A bold statement I know, but having had my fair share of breakfasts in my life as an Angelino I have to say the Sunday breakfast from the Gastrobus is always inspired. I have yet to be disappointed by their seasonal fresh menu.

Today we enjoy Raspberry Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Mint.

Fluffy, tart and fresh.

This was the perfect marriage of flavors.

This was springtime in a pancake.

And The Winner Is… #51

Elle of Elle’s New England Kitchen you are the lucky winner of this beautiful bottle of Macallan 10 Fine Oak Scotch. I hope you enjoy making that Scottish Honey Cake, but have a glass before you start baking!

Elle said…And now following @EdenAlgie on twitter. Thanks for the opportunity to win this!MARCH 24, 2010 9:55 AM

* I chose the giveaway winner using Random.org here are a copy of the results:

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1

Max: 62



Powered by RANDOM.ORG

The Blueberry Pancake Shoot Out

My idea of the perfect breakfast is a stack of pancakes with hot melting butter and sweet maple syrup dripping down the edges. Throw in some juicy fresh blueberries and add some ricotta cheese and you have a perfect pancake. Slightly sweet, bursting with flavor, and light as a cloud. While nothing beats a hot fluffy pancake for breakfast, nothing is worse than going to a restaurant and ordering pancakes that taste like a thick, rubbery, bland mess. Here are a few of my favorite Blueberry Ricotta pancakes in Los Angeles.


BLD serves up a heaping stack of pancakes ($13). The serving is truly more than you could ever eat so here is a little tip: you can order just one luscious blueberry ricotta pancake, and that is precisely what I did ($6). One giant pancake later and I was bursting at the seams. The pancake at BLD is dreamy. It is golden and thick with blistering blueberries throughout. The syrup is warm and rich. Forkful after delicious forkful you will be sighing over each bite.

7450 Beverly Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90036

Little Dom’s

These pancakes are perfection ($8). Just the right amount of pancakes that yield easily under the fork. The ricotta creates a light-as-air texture and the blueberries offer a vibrant burst of flavor. These pancakes had a nice delicately crisp and buttery exterior. While I was full after three little pancakes, they were so good I was left wanting more.

2128 Hillhurst Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Gastrobus


For a cheap and quick breakfast I visit the Gastrobus. The Gastrobus offers a seasonal menu of market fresh ingredients. On a recent visit they featured blueberry pancakes with lemon curd($4). The pancakes were delicate and light, enlivened by the thick, puckery topping. It was the perfect balance of sweetness to acidity. The thick lemon curd was a pleasant change from the tradition maple syrup accompaniment to pancakes.

* you can follow the Gastrobus on Twitter to find their location*

Pudding for a Rainy Day

It seems like lately just about every weekend here in LA has been rainy. While I love the rain, I do miss the California sun. Rainy days make me crave comfort and warmth. I love to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and a creamy pudding and listen to the rainfall. Here are a few pudding recipes to get you through those rainy days.

Salted Caramel Pot de Crème

I love caramel. To me, heaven is a salted caramel pot de crème. Each bite is velvety and rich. I dotted this pot de crème with a soft Australian River Salt that melts in your mouth. The salt was delicate and flaky and perfectly complimented the buttery caramel. This dessert is the embodiment of simplicity.

Recipe from Bon Appetite January 1998

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

1 3/4 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup whole milk

6 large egg yolks

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Place six 2/3-cup soufflé dishes or 3/4-cup custard cups in large roasting pan. Combine sugar and water in heavy large saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 6 minutes. Gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups cream and milk (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until caramel dissolves, about 2 minutes.

Beat yolks in large bowl until foamy. Gradually whisk in warm caramel. Strain into 4-cup glass measuring cup. Divide among dishes. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of dishes. Cover pan with foil. Bake until custard is just set at edges but still moves in center when shaken gently, about 1 hour. Remove from water; cool on rack. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)

Beat 1/4 cup cream in small bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon cream into pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe 1 rosette in center of each custard. Serve chilled.

Café Au Lait Pudding

If you love coffee like I do, this Café Au Lait pudding is for you. It is tantalizing and creamy. Not cloyingly sweet like some puddings tend to be, this pudding is just dreamy. The delicate coffee flavors linger on the palate. Milky, rich and understated, it is everything a pudding should be.

Recipe from Gourmet November 2009

2 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar, divided

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon or nutmeg for sprinkling

Whisk together milk, coffee granules, cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, and a small pinch of salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Transfer to a metal bowl set in an ice bath and cool, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Pour into cups or ramekins and chill, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Beat cream with vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoon sugar using an electric mixer just until soft peaks form. Spoon whipped cream onto puddings and dust cream lightly with cinnamon.

Panna Cotta with Citrus Compote

Panna cotta is so simple to make, I can’t believe I have never made it before. It takes only five minutes to cook the cream and mix it with the gelatin. The mixture sets in the refrigerator for about four hours and the panna cotta is ready to be served. It is silky and lush. It has a delicate vanilla flavor that pairs harmoniously with a number of toppings. Since citrus is abundant at local farmers markets right now, I decided to make a citrus compote with mandarins and blood oranges. The contrast of sweetness from the mandarins and a nice zesty tang from the blood oranges was the perfect accompaniment to the panna cotta. This dessert is a dense mouthful of bright luscious flavors. Snuggle up, dig down, scoop up and savor each bite.

Recipe from David Lebovitz

4 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean

2 packets powdered gelatin

6 tablespoons cold water

1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or microwave. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.(If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.)

2. Lightly oil eight custard cups with a neutral-tasting oil.

3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

5. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, which will take at least two hours but I let them stand at least four hours.

6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnish as desired.

Foodbuzz 24 24 24: A Glimpse Inside The Foodie Underground- Chicks with Knives

Each month Foodbuzz.com selects 24 food bloggers from among their Featured Publishers to prepare or enjoy a meal all on the same night across the globe. I was selected for February’s 24 24 24. My meal? Shhh! It’s a secret! Around Los Angeles, people whisper of a supper club that pops up once a month in an undisclosed location. The address is given only to those fortunate enough to receive an invitation. Welcome to Chicks with Knives.

Chicks with Knives is an underground, invite-only supper club. It is a gathering of individuals with one thing in common: an interest in consuming delicious dishes creatively prepared using sustainable, organic, local, and ethical ingredients. The night is a celebration of one of life’s simple joys – pure gastronomic pleasure.

I was fortunate enough to join these secret ranks for an evening, and so I offer you a rare glimpse inside Chicks with Knives.

The setting for tonight’s dinner is a non-descript building on a quiet Downtown street. The night is dark and the sky dewy from the day’s rain. I walk up a narrow staircase along the side of a building to the loft above. When I enter I am greeted by warm smiles. In true Chicks with Knives fashion, the space is big, bright, and convivial, just like the women behind the dinner.

The main course of the evening was duck. For an amuse bouché, our hostesses used the delicious duck liver to create creamy duck liver mousse on house-made brioche toast topped with apricot-saffron jam. I’m generally not one for mousse or pate, but this improvised concoction was a savory delight. The brioche toast had a nice toasted edge to compliment the smooth duck mousse. Flecks of salt enhanced the sweet, smoky apricot jam. A few of these and our appetites were whetted.

The dining area contained three small tables that were precisely set. At each table were the cutest Kichu tangerines fresh from the farmer’s market. They were a sweet palate cleanser. While we waited for the appetizer, we nibbled on the Easter-egg radishes with cultured butter, pickled Persian cucumbers, and German butterball potatoes.

I have never enjoyed pickled food more than I do when it is pickled by the hands of Rachael of Chicks with Knives. She has a talent for pickling that is unmatched. At a previous dinner I had the pleasure of attending, I enjoyed the most amazing pickled beets. For tonight’s dinner, we were served a lovely dish of pickled Persian cucumbers. Crunchy yet soft, tangy with a hint of sweetness, these pickles were altogether perfect.

There is something so wonderful about a simple plate of radishes with butter. Sprinkle a little sea salt on top and each bite is blissful. To go with tonight’s radishes, the Chicks provided homemade cultured butter that had more flavor than any other butter I’ve tasted. This butter was truly inspired.

The roasted German butterball potatoes with green olive and roasted garlic tapenade surprised me. This was not your average spud. The green olive and roasted garlic tapenade was explosive with flavor. The rosemary spike in each potato provided a fragrant compliment to the fla

The first course was a wild mushroom consommé with smoked mushroom tortellini and roasted chanterelles. The broth was comforting and rich. There were a few beautiful strands of chanterelles sprinkled throughout. Tender pillows of tortellini rested in the broth. With each loud slurp satisfying warmth filled my body.

The second course was a pain d’epices blini with roasted fennel, winter citrus and hollandaise. The verdant flavor of the fennel paired well with the zesty Oro Blanco grapefruit, while the Cara Cara oranges provided delicate sweetness to offset the rich Hollandaise.

The main course was a duck pot-pie with pate a choux crust and English peas. This sat atop a duo of buttered carrots and sautéed garden greens (kale, sorrel, Swiss chard, amaranth and collard greens) with garlic. The duck was tender and rich, swimming in a sea of savory béchamel and peas. This viscous stew was pleated between two soft flaky crusts of bread- the pate a choux. The bitterness of the sautéed greens nicely offset the lush pot pie. This meal was sumptuous and memorable.

Along side the main course was a vanilla scented rutabaga puree. This was the most heavenly bowl of creamy, smooth, vibrante mash I haven’t ever tasted. The vanilla beans shine through the buttery rutabaga. Each bowl was practically licked clean. (Find recipe below)

Already full from the bounty of amazing dishes, each guest was presented with a bowl of key lime cheesecake with key lime curd and rhubarb compote. These petite works of art were crowned with a “graham cracker” tuille. The dessert was transcendent. The cheesecake made from farmer’s cheese was silky and lush. The key lime curd was so deliciously tart there were puckered lips around the table, followed by satisfied smiles. The subtle rhubarb compote paired harmoniously with the bright flavors of the key lime. The graham cracker tuille was firm with a delicate crumble. I wanted three or four more of these tuilles they were so good.

Our small group left bewitched and delighted. Each course was mesmerizing and impossible to forget. To be invited to one of these secret dinners is to be one of the lucky few that gets to enjoy one of the best meals in Los Angeles among the a select group of new friends.

** Chicks with Knives recipe Vanilla Scented Rutabaga Puree**

1 tablespoon hazelnut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes

1/2 pound rutabaga (aka Swede)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup heavy cream (yup!)

2 (more) teaspoons vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, and seeds scraped out


Preheat your oven to 275F.

Toss the hazelnuts with the oil, extract and some salt. Roast for 5 -8 minutes or until just fragrant. Rough chop and set aside.

Peel and chop the potatoes and the rutabaga. Boil in salted water until soft (the rutabaga takes longer…so either chop it smaller than the potato or boil them separately.)

Drain and mash with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning to preference.

Worth Every Penny

Sometimes there is nothing more soul satisfying than a well-seasoned patty of beef and a slice of flavorful cheese on a soft toasted bun. Throw in a heaping helping of crisp tender fries and all of my troubles melt away.

When Diana of DianaTakesABite told me that she had never had a cheeseburger before, I knew I had to be present for the momentous occasion when she enjoyed her first cheesy, meaty bite. After much debate on Twitter over where to get the best cheeseburger in Los Angeles, Diana settled on Rustic Canyon for her cheeseburger and me as her dinner date.

Rustic Canyon is an upscale restaurant and wine bar that offers an extensive menu of contemporary, market-driven comfort foods. The menu ranges from Butternut Squash soup, Crispy Polenta, Parpardelle to Roasted Jidori Chicken. A cheeseburger would hardly seem like the thing to order at a restaurant like Rustic Canyon, but the burger is definitely part of the attraction and does not fall in the shadows of the restaurant’s other dishes.

Rustic Canyon serves a Niman Ranch burger with sharp cheddar, onion fondue, bread and butter pickles and an herb remoulade on a Rockewagner brioche bun ($16). Each strata of this cheeseburger is well thought out and inspired from the beef to the bun to the pickles.

The ratio of ingredients is ideal. The thick juicy patty is coated with the right amount of sharp melted cheddar cheese. A resonant onion fondue sits atop the melted cheese. A nice slather of herb remoulade brings all the flavors together. The slightly sweet brioche bun is tender and firm and cradles all of the components. With each bite the bright and spicy notes of the arugula stand out. The cheeseburger is unfailingly juicy.

Rustic Canyon demonstrates how with the right ingredients even the most ordinary dish can be transformed. This may be one of the more expensive burgers in Los Angeles, but it is worth every penny.

Rustic Canyon

1119 Wilshire Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90401


Xiomara: Foodies Beware!

I drive by this restaurant all the time. The name grabs me. I wonder what kind of food they serve and who goes there. I decided finally to give it a try during DineLA week. My reservation was made for Xiomara (See-o-mara), a Cuban fusion restaurant on Melrose Avenue just past Highland.

The reservation was for four people at 9pm. The restaurant was quiet on this Monday night with only four other parties seated. Having looked over the DineLA prix fixe menu before arriving, we were all hungry and eager to enjoy the food at Xiomara.

Then the waiting game began. Our party was promptly seated at our table, but no menus were given. A server came to our table and took our drink order. Four tantalizing mojoitos arrived at our table, but still no menus. We sat for 20 minutes before receiving a menu.

Our appetizers came out relatively quickly and we thoroughly enjoyed them, however the rest of the meal dragged on. Our plates were cleared, our drinks finished, and no entrees in sight. By the time our entrees were delivered, only one other party remained in the eerily quiet restaurant. By the time we received dessert, even they were gone. To make matters worse, the ice cream accompaniment to our tres leches cake was half melted. Our friend’s three-gelato sampler turned out to be three samples of mango. Our server told her that this was the only gelato they had. Suffice it to say she did not order mango at all and did not eat her dessert.

At this point we were ready to leave. We waited for our check and had trouble even finding one of the two servers to bring it to us. Did I mention that it was already 11pm! The bill was presented and we immediately put down our payment. I could see one of the servers behind me cleaning silverware while the other server was at the front of the restaurant setting tables. No one was acknowledging us. I would have asked for a manager, but it was very evident that there was no manager working that night. Finally in our frustration we called for the server across the room. We waited another 19 minutes for the bill to return and watched as the two servers struggled with splitting our check. The check returned manually written and the server explained that the Micros system had crashed. Fine. Yet, another problem occurred- we had been overcharged. Imagine how frustrated we are at this point, tired from all the waiting and ready to go home. I again flagged down a server and tried to explain that we were charged incorrectly, but rather than understanding their error and fixing the mistake, the servers argued over it in front of us.

We left Xiomara upset and completely disappointed. From the minute we sat down to the minute we left, we received poor customer service. Throughout our dinner we were kind and tolerant, but we should not have spent $200 on a dinner that took 2 hours and 20 minutes. What disappoints me most is that we enjoyed our meal and were looking forward to sharing a positive experience, but after receiving such completely horrible service we will certainly never be back.

I wrote to the General Manager to explain what happened on our visit. It took her almost a week to send this response:

Xiomara had a meeting with all the employees that worked on Monday night to discuss the service your received.

According to the servers the reason you did not receive menus as soon as you were seated is that your group did not all arrive at the same time and they waited until your group had completely arrived before giving you the menus.

The problem with the melted ice cream was that it literally had just finished churning and had not had time to freeze- it should not have been served. it seems that the server did not put the sorbet order in with the flavors that were requested. the server should never had told you that we only had mango, since we did have all the flavors on the menu.

The disagreement on how to split your check happened because our pos
system was not processing credit cards, the filter on our water heater had burst over the weekend and shorted out several different electronic systems and the hardware to process the credit cards had not been replace yet. However, they should not have disagreed in your presence nor should they have double charged the sales tax, that was someone not understanding how to fill out the credit card slip.

The service you received was not our normal standard and Xiomara would like to send you a gift certificate for 2 mojitos and 2 appetizers.

I cannot believe that a restaurant would be so apathetic to this situation. I expected a sincere apology and acknowledgement of what went wrong on our visit. Instead Xiomara’s General Manager passively justified all of the evening’s mistakes. In a sense she validated the poor customer service we received. Her offer of 2 mojitos and 2 appetizers hardly compensates for our four meals. Take my advice: there are many fantastic restaurants in Los Angeles – do not waste your time or your money on Xiomara.