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Delicious Summer Ahead!
strawberry salad
Diane Scalia
Diane Scalia
May 18, 2010

Summer is just around the corner

Rainy day greetings from LA to all of you!

As I write, I see tiny patches of blue sky out my window here at the beach, but woke up to light rain this morning. As much as I love my rain boots, enough already ... the sun is rumored to return for our tours coming up this week.

Today's post is about what else is peeking through right now, gently reminding that summer is just around the corner.

I love that yummy California cherries have just made their debut at the Original Farmers Market, both at Farm Boy and Farm Fresh Produce stores. Find amazing strawberries too ~ spectacular in salads with butter lettuce and fresh basil. Fresh sweet corn, which by the way is wonderful just cut from the cob and eaten raw in salads and homemade salsas, is also front and center at Farm Fresh Produce.

a handful of strawberries

The local organic farmers are making their annual appearances now, on weekends in the Plaza by the main clock tower, offering the season's first crop of temptations like apricots and even white peaches and nectarines. Have I mentioned lately how incredibly good summer fruits compliment Monsieur Marcel's Cantalet cheese that we taste on our tour? I have now!

Speaking of Marcel, next month (or sooner) there ought to be an impressive array of gourmet products from South Africa gracing its floor and shelves, celebrating what else is fabulous about the nation hosting the 2010 World Cup. Please stay tuned for more on that.

One more! His brand-new fresh salmon cakes, alongside his fresh crab cakes, have finally taken their rightful place at Bob Tusquellas Seafood Market, for a very good $2.99 each.

Now if you happen to be in the mood to try some delicious seasonal specials that others have prepared for your dining pleasure, I am excited to share a couple of winners that surely serve up pre-summer extremely well .... especially if you're hungry while in the LAX or Orange County areas ...

We recommend ....

Second City Bistro in Old Town El Segundo

Not only is the fare here famous for farm-to-table with flair, their Monday night wine tastings are one of their finest signatures. Our tour guest, fan, and very sweet friend, is their sommelier Gus, and he would love to know that we sent you. They are open for lunch and dinner at their exquisite historic location, and just a mere read of Chef Nikki's menu items will make you salivate!

Zov's Bistro, Cafe, and Bakery in three Orange County locations

Zov and her husband Gary are two of the loveliest, most generous people I have ever met, and their contemporary homemade signatures with Eastern Mediterranean influences, are truly some of the best on the planet, even for breakfast! While I adore their original Tustin location, I haven't dined there for quite some time, and I've just learned that their new cafe/bars have opened in Newport Coast and Irvine. Any or all of these three places deserve your - and our - time and attention! They're also on Facebook ~ consider 'liking' them!

Well, my beautiful friends, I leave you with those savory thoughts and, that's all she wrote for today because, it's time to make lunch!

Here is wishing you and yours a delicious week, filled with lots of special time around the table together!

Until next time I remain,

Your Chef and Tour Maestra

Diane Scalia

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