Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I'm probably infringing all kinds of copyrights here.  But.  I do it for you.  Wanna see what's up in the art world in L.A.?   Contemporary art has been much in the news over here lately.  A big deal has been made about this:  THE BIG ROCK.  

Otherwise known as.....Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass.  What do you think?  I'll tell you what I think at the bottom of the post.

You will find old friends at LACMA.  (Picasso.)

Some might be a BIG and very pleasant surprise: Matisse (!)

And then you will find the very unexpected.  As, for example, this quilt made of cigarette silks from the "Common Places: Printing, Embroidery and the Art of Global Mapping" show.  (You know what cigarette silks are?  Or you can guess, can't you?)

Go to the museum website here to see a better picture of Chris Burden's Metropolis II.

I know, I know, you could have done this when you were 10, with your erector set and Scale-X-trics.    And five of your favorite uncles and thirteen kids from school that you could actually stand. But you didn't.  And now it's too late. It's pointless to try to best this effort.  Just come and see it and be mesmerized.  Is it art???????  

Do you care, really?  It's just so cool to watch those little cars go round and round and round.

Barbara Krugers "Untitled (Shafted)" installed in an elevator shaft in the Broad building

Robert Therrien: it's not even "Untitled".  It has no title.  Accordingly, Mr. Paradis thinks Mr. Therrien is a very lazy artist.

("How hard is it to think up a title?!")

Richard Serra.  One of the most hated artists in NYC in the 1980's.  Now in the 21st century, it is hard not to be reverent once you've walked around one of these eternally awe-inspiring tilted arcs.  Maybe they actually really need to be experienced INSIDE a giant interior space.  vs. a windy public plaza where federal  employees are trying to eat their lunches.

Here's a  handy way to keep track of what's going on at LACMA.  I'm adding it to my blogroll.

Oh yeah and p.s., the big rock??????  Meh!

Too bad.  It was very expensive.  The installation:  looks like it was designed by someone who's usually building shopping malls.  Besides we have much bigger rocks than that all over L.A.  They're called the Sierras.  Go ahead, tell me what you really think!

For more on LACMA, start with this post from last month.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Food. Not Food.

It's a little what you might think.....

and a lot not.

Do you already know what this is?

Yup.  Paper.

From the Hiromi paper shop at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica  I haven't tried any yet.  Anybody out there?  How did you use it?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wot a Weekend!

Did you watch the Olympics opening ceremony?  I thought it was sweet.  Especially the kiddies in their Cath Kidston pj's.  And what's not to like about 007?  And free universal healthcare!

Whatcha got lined up for the rest of the weekend?  Hope it's a good one!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making Much of Mutz - Italian Food Week

You know it.  You love it?  But Whadayacallit?

OK yes, a caprese salad but what is that pillow-ey tender stuff in the middle?

At our house, we call it  "Mootz-A-Rell", and we made some the other weekend.

You may already know this cheese as "Motts-uh-rell-ah" (mozzarella) and indeed many do, but if you've eaten it most of your life in North Jersey (where the Paradis family used to) you don't pronounce it that way, and commonly, it is known as just "Mutz".   (If you need practice with any of this, just watch a couple of episodes of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.)  

So we were making this with friends and we started with:  Milk!  A couple of gallons of it and it was whole milk and raw.  Because we were making mutz in Petaluma, home to chicken farms of old and steps from the dairy farms of Tomales Bay just north of San Francisco.  (We have a very clever friend who wheedled this out of a couple of farmers).

I'm talkin' about loca-sourcing here!  In a very sweet part of the world.

We also needed a couple more packets and bottles of mystery ingredients.  (You could find them here if you thought that you might also try this at home.)  And yes, a large stein of beer for the Chief Cheese Maker never goes amiss!   

Mr. Paradis did all of the "heavy lifting" since he'd been looking forward to this weekend for so long

and he's the kind of guy who figures it all out really quick and gets stuck in.

But mostly because he LOVES fresh mozzarella.  Sometimes, more than life itself, it seems.

So you saw him pour the milk into a big stewpot, he added the mix of additives - rennet, citric acid    etc.   Heated the milk gently.  In a little time the milk separated into curds and whey and.....

after just a very brief period of pulling and shaping, Bob's yer uncle now!  Fresh mozzarella cheese on chewy bread.   (Yum, go back to the top picture and take a minute to savor it.)

We followed our nice appetizer with a couple of these:

They are called "Aviations" (no idea why but: recipe here.)  Ever had one?  You should try 'em.

*Here's a great online recipe.  Though I'm pretty sure the old guys making this in Italy or North Jersey never used a microwave!   This one is good too, a little easier to follow - no microwaving.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Italian Food Week - Alchemy with Peaches

Apparently, it's turning into Italian food week at Passage Paradis.

And oh yes!  It's still peach season in Los Angeles.

They are at their juicy and voluptuous peak.  Could they be the sexiest fruit around?

I wanted to make a pie over the weekend, but Mr. P. thought that we should grill them - he wanted to save me some trouble.  (i.e., he couldn't wait for pastry to be prepared!)

We found a recipe in the River Cafe Cookbook.  (More on this soon.)  First our lovely peaches were grilled face down to get a light caramel-y crust on their open sides.  And a little bit of charring.

Then we popped them into a baking dish and drizzled them with our version: mix of creme de cassis, warmed-and-stirred red currant jelly, vanilla and just a little more sugar. (Their version had Amaretto.) Back to the recipe, we let them roast 10-20 more minutes in the oven.  And then.........voila!  

Mr. P. prefers them with a side of vanilla ice cream.  (This was his second helping.)  And the blueberries just happened to be in the frig.  Moi, I've been eating them for two days with crepes.

Ah summer!  Don't go away again too soon please!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Oh, OK. Eataly - NYC

So I did refer to Eataly before here.  In a flippant and offhand way.  But really, I was just having a laugh.  Because if you love food (like me)

or even were just the average reasonable person,  (who enjoys chickpea and swiss chard ragout with polenta and gently roasted cauliflowers with anchovies and chunky breadcrumbs on a bed of fregola)

why WOULDN'T you want Eataly?  In your own back yard?

(or asparagus sauteed with thyme and shallots spread on ricotta and toast)

It's true, as the reviews will tell you.  It's like Grand Central Station at rush hour.

But it's a Grand Central Station of FOOD!!!!  Impeccably fresh and varied ITALIAN food.  So if NYC just happens to be your back yard this week, don't think about it, JUST GO!  

And Eataly, when you make it to L.A., I promise never to diss you again.  Not even in jest!   

(Hot tip: you'll have the best chance of getting a seat and eating interesting food if you choose the "Vegetable/Verdura" restaurant.  Alternatively, and if you're an exceedingly cool person, you will have booked ahead for a table at the rooftop "Birreria".  Salut!) 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back to the LA County Museum of Art

I like this museum better every time I go.

and so do other people, it seems.  It's very relaxed.

It's wide open and welcoming.

It had an unfinished feeling before that's beginning to be less so.  With the new Resnick Pavilion and Broad extension.

And how many museums that you know have their own herb gardens?

It is bridging the gap between it's native constituencies and the rest of the art world.

And is good at bringing in art lovers of every age.  (Isn't this room lovely for kids art classes?)

It's unusual.  You'll be both charmed and bemused by the Japanese Art Pavilion.  A little bit Guggenheim NY meets tea house via Star Trek.  (Only in LA, right?)

You might not be able to tear yourself away from the Stark Bar and its pizzas.

Alexander Girard dolls - LOVE!

The gift shop has been recently redone.  It's small, so you'll actually go see the art, instead of spending your whole day shopping there.  But if you're like me, you'll still find something you'll want to take home.

Next post on LACMA:  The Galleries!  Come back soon!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Today we went to the carwash (cuz that's what you do in L.A.) and then,

we went to LACMA because there is something especially new there to see.  But more on that later.

(this is NOT the Kardashians - wink)

It's one of the more relaxing museum experiences you'll ever have.  People really seem to enjoy themselves there.

What did you do today?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Foggy Fourth

We're having a foggy Fourth of July in L.A. so far.  How is it by you?

I've been so busy with such a mix of things, but I hope to post some new "original" Mlle P. stuff for you soon.

Till then, hope you like these v. summery pics

from the inspired and inspiring Hula Seventy blog here.  Go there now to check out a fun road trip.

Happy Fourth of July!