Chicken Liver Toast

TERRINE
8265 Beverly Blvd. bet. N. Harper and N. Sweetzer Avenues
323.746.5130


Liver has an unfortunate yet understandable reputation as "mystery meat", however, with the right touch, its rustic quality can be taken to the heights of refinement, as seen in the chicken liver toast on the happy hour menu at Terrine.* Chef Kris Morningstar's spin on this dish coaxes out the best of liver pâté. He creates such a luscious and delectable mousse that you wonder how he magically whipped out everything off-putting about liver. 

"This chicken liver toast is so addictive," I said to my friend, "Is it me or does it taste a little like Doritos?"

She took a bite and chewed on it thoughtfully.

"Oh my god, it does!"

A mystery, indeed.


*Try it with a glass of light and fruity Beaujolais.

The L.A. Mystique

A door in West Hollywood

I learned about L.A. from Sex and the City, just as I had learned about toxic bachelors, Manolo Blahniks and the importance of having good friends. Los Angeles, it seemed, was populated with a mix of Paris Hilton clones, aging bachelors and vegans. Surely, it was no place for someone like me–someone who relishes wearing long sleeves year-round, has introverted tendencies and orders steak like a Texan. 

I remember when my boyfriend took me around L.A. for the first time. We got a car wash, went to a denim store, had lunch at a sidewalk restaurant, drove around, and ate dinner at a hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant. The day felt like a cardboard cut-out of itself. I had no connection to any of it. I thought to myself, I could never live in L.A.

If L.A. were a fabric, it'd be rayon, something that's not natural yet not exactly artificial. There's a strange sense of detachment that pervades this city. It feels like a village composed of millions of closed societies. There are canyons and strip malls and magnificent homes behind hedges and ivy-covered walls. The weather is eerily nice nearly all of the time. 

I didn't know if I would like L.A. but, now, I'm unexpectedly loving it. 

I enjoy going on morning hikes at Runyon Canyon with Taylor, strolling along Melrose Place, hanging out with Bill at his apartment while we cook dinner and watch TV shows, having lunch at Croft Alley, browsing the book selections at Book Soup, grabbing happy hour at Marvin or Terrine, and reading or writing back at The Clubhouse.

All of the places that I've been frequenting and all of the people who have become friends happened through an organic gravitational pull. Because of that, I'm experiencing this city authentically for myself. It's through the little choices and decisions that you make everyday that create your world, your reality. 

I don't know when or if I'll ever qualify as an Angeleno. To be honest, I still consider myself a New Yorker when people ask where I'm from, even though I haven't lived there in nearly three years. However, I'm finding myself easily trading in New York's dynamic energy for L.A.'s relaxed vibes. Instead of being pulled together, I now feel comfortably unraveled, like a head of beachy waves.

 

Marvin

 

MARVIN
8114 Beverly Blvd. near N. Crescent Heights Blvd.
323.655.5553


When the urge for solo bar dining hits, I know exactly where to go: Marvin. Although I'm just starting to get a feel for my new city, the chill and lively vibe at this eclectic French bistro has already become my go-to SGD spot. I've been here twice and became friendly with Jesse the bartender and Emilie, their sommelier–not to mention their regular bar diner Lizz who I've run into both times having her #singlegirldinner too!

 The happy hour menu at Marvin is spot-on. It has oysters, two different types of toasts (ratatouille & goat cheese and jamon tomato), steak tartare, mussels, mac n' cheese, a cheeseburger and pommes frites–pretty much everything I'd love to order on any given day! They also have an incredible wine list with over 200 to choose from. 

If you're catching up with a friend for dinner, I highly recommend their rigatoni bolognaise. (It's spelled the French way here.) I've noticed that their pasta is consistently cooked perfectly al dente. This has to be noted because such a simple thing can be such a rarity. Trust me, it's not as heavy or overwhelming as it sounds–their bolognaise sauce is very refined. In fact, if you're super hungry, you may even find that ordering the rigatoni alone isn't enough! I love that they have a a variety of add-on options to boost up your meal with sections on their menu like: Cheese, Charcuterie, Snacks, Salads, Small Plates and Sides. 

Unlike spaghetti, which needs the aid of a spoon to twirl around your fork, you can just poke at the rigatoni and have a free hand to sip your wine in between bits of gossip.