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How Much We Love Cook's Library
Diane Scalia
Diane Scalia
March 24, 2009

The Cook's Library

Well, welcome back to me I guess...it's been over a month since I last posted which was never my intention, so sorry!

Today's story is about one of Melting Pot Tours' proudest tour stops on West 3rd Street in mid-city LA, on our current Friday and Saturday walking-tasting food tour.

The Cook's Library.

This small, fabulous store gives whole new meaning to unique, as it is one of America's two last standing brick-and-mortar bookstores dedicated solely to cookbooks. And, they are sadly closing their door April 30th, after 20 years in this one location. They have said internet booksellers have been fierce - and now their final - competition, and we are so sorry for this.

The lovely Ellen Rose (left in photo above) is the owner and one of LA's dearest angels for certain. For nearly 9 months now, our tour guests have enjoyed meeting her and hearing her personal story of how this landmark came to be. I won't spoil it for you, but the upshot is that her daughter Molly was dancing around the kitchen one day and told Ellen she had enough cookbooks to open a library.

melting pot food tour guest checking out some cookbooks

Molly, I am certain, is glad that she wasn't careful what she seemed to wish for

Molly, I am certain, is glad that she wasn't careful what she seemed to wish for. By now her mother and staff have given and shared so much joy with so many of us.

Tim has been Ellen's manager for years and years, and he too is one of our favorite people on the planet. We adore the rest of the staff as well - Tehra and Amy very kindly and lovingly keep us company, and then there's Alan, who is said to live there so his hospitality usually equals the feeling that a red carpet is rolled out...sigh. Such a first-class operation, in so many ways.

Since each of the staff cooks and bakes, we get the pure joy and privilege of tasting the most incredibly delicious samples when we stop by and, they are experts bar none, on the treasures they stock. From books for children to those from Europe to those from our own top LA chefs and those all around the US...it's rare that you can't find what you seek. Their undivided, top-notch expertise is at your service for the duration of your visit. Imagine that - extraordinary customer service - what a concept!

One of the most comfortable couches in town

One of the most comfortable couches in town graces their front library section. I am here to tell you, that spot in the window on very warm days/freezing cold days/perfect spring days/not-so-perfect other days alike, is considered by more than one of us, as the most-coveted in town. Here is truly where heaven-meets-earth, for those who enjoy perusing and reading cookbooks possibly more than bestseller-anything-else.

For years, the famous Sunday Hollywood Farmers Market co-hosted chef authors for book signings, and these will probably cease as well. Besides that, my favorite LA chef icon, Kerry Simon, will have to find another afternoon haunt to visit in his vast spare time.

I can't begin to tell you how much we will miss this place and, the people there whom we've come to love like family. We can however, begin to encourage those who have not experienced our tour, or those of you who are due for a return visit, to please consider booking with us by the end of April.

How often do you get to experience history in Los Angeles? We would love to share this exquisite pearl of just that with you, while we still can.

Until we meet again, I remain your tearful Tour Maestra today,

Diane Scalia

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