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Nov 11, 2008 12:16 AM

Polenta; Risotto; Eggs

I want to learn to cook things that I haven't eaten a lot of, which means that I need to find some good examples around town to get a better sense of what I should be emulating. I'm not looking for the best (budget restrictions apply), but merely the respectable. The kind of thing that you think of when you think of what's typical.

Polenta: I've had some and I want more. It seems like restaurants always serve polenta as a cake, but I want it creamy. Do I have to go to cucina fancypants for that?

Risotto: There are two things I'm trying to figure out--the texture of the kernels and the viscous creaminess of their goo. Are there other places than trattoria moneybags to get a decent bowl of risotto?

Eggs: I've recently realized that everything I thought I new about eggs was wrong. I want to taste a real french omelette with the skin and scrambled insides (though I'll take a poached or fried egg on top of most anything too). Do I need to be richie rich to afford such an egg?

Thanks for contributing to my education.

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    1. For the polenta, my suggestion is Dunarea on Euclid Street in Anaheim, near La Palma. It's not an Italian restaurant, but Romanian, and it serves mamaliga, which is Romanian for polenta. Polenta isn't hard -- recipes abound -- you just have to stir.

      Same for risotto... though for risotto that's mid-priced, I would go to Maria's Italian Kitchen, which is a small chain, mostly in the Valley.

      I can't help you on French omelettes as I hate omelettes.

      1. I had really good creamy mushroom polenta at Little Dom's in Los Feliz last night. It was the first time I'd had it in that creamy style. Much much better than the cakes, I thought. More like grits.

        1. Galletto's Bar and Grill in Westlake, a typical Brazilian family restaurant like you would find in Sao Paulo, with Brazilian and Italian food.They serve a soft polenta with sausages and a mushroom risotto. Soft polenta and rissotto can be found all over Brazil, finding these tiems is as easy as falling off a log.Around $20 each dish.

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            1. You didn't say what area but if Glendale works, there is Far Niente for your risotto request. It's been a long time but I used to get really good risotto there I just thought of something regarding your egg request. Totally not what you are asking for but bi bim bap is a dish that you will find at many Korean restaurants which is essentially left over vegetables and meat with rice that comes in a volcanically hot stone ware bowl. Many places serve it by bringing the egg and cracking it on top of the dish in front of you for you to mix in. It cooks instantly. Yum!