Meet Britt, one of our resident foodies:
From a small farm town in So Cal to the big city of Los Angeles, Britt is living the life (on a budget but it's fabulous). You can catch her shopping her life away at Buffalo Exchange or Instagramming the latest trendy cafe in town. Not to mention a sucker for a killer Chai Tea Latte!
Meet Julie, our Vineal Vixen:
Julie Gauvin, accredited Junior Wine Expert and current serving Spokeswoman and Retail Director of Vine Winery, will be here to lend her expertise regarding all things wine. But most importantly, she’ll keep it interesting, light and fun for your drinking pleasure. Stay tuned as she helps you figure out what you like, where to find it, and what to pair it with. This newfound knowledge will give you that extra edge at the dinner table with friends, family or even on that hot date you have tonight. Check back every Wednesday to see what's new!
Meet Kasey, our LA Food Blogger:
This East Coast girl has recently traded in her New England Clam Chowda for California Rolls! Kasey has been whipping up delectable dishes in her kitchen since she was 10 years old. Combining ingredients and trying new concoctions became her favorite hobby. Kasey is a fabulous food blogger representing Kasey's Kitchen, her self-proclaimed food blog! Kasey attends a ton of fun food events around town and she is sharing her fun, healthy recipes with us every week!
As some of you know, my nationality is 1/2 French and 1/2 Portuguese, so not only does that means a whole lot of temper... it means a whole lot of talent in the kitchen too!
In the past, I've shared a few of my favorite Portuguese recipes (click here to see) but a few weeks ago I discovered something even better... Natas Pastries in Sherman Oaks. Natas is a full out authentic Portuguese Restaurant that has everything this little Port-a-gee could desire!
I had the opportunity to sit down with Natas owner, Fatima Marques to enjoy a few traditional dishes that reminded me of the restaurants I grew-up going to in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
In a matter of minutes, Fatima made me feel right at home. As I sipped on a passion fruit Sumol (traditional Portuguese soda) we chatted about her background as a professional dancer, which is what brought her to LA from mainland Portugal. She noticed that there was a lack of Portuguese cuisine in Los Angeles (tell me about it!) so she decided to make some of her favorite pastries from back home, most specifically, the natas. For those who are unfamiliar with natas, it's pretty much heaven in a pastry shell, but we'll get to that in a bit.
We started started our culinary journey with the Chouriços Grelhados which is an appetizer of assorted Portuguese sausages and picked vegetables. This is most like the linguica and chourico I grew up with and love using a bunch of my recipes. Warning... your mouth will start salivating in 3...2....1....
Next up for our main course, Fatima suggested we try one of the dishes they are famous for, the Bacalhau (codfish) com Natas. This is a dish of boiled salt codfish (tastes WAY better than it sounds, trust me) with sauteed potatoes and thinly sliced onions all in a delicious Bechamel cream sauce. Now I won't lie, I was a bit hesitant to try this dish because my memories of Bacalhau all include my great aunt making it and how much it would stink up her house! You could smell that fish a mile away. However, Fatima explained to me that it all has to do with time and the preparation of the codfish.
As if that wasn't enough to satisfy my cultural craving, Fatima had one more surprise in store for me. I had mentioned her that one of my favorite dishes from back home was Pork Alentejana which is a hearty stew with chunks of pork, baby clams and potatoes all in a spicy thick broth loaded with crushed red peppers, a Portuguese staple. No more than 10 minutes after I mentioned it our server presented their Carne de Porco a Alentejana. Yup, you guessed it! Just like back home in New Beige! The best part about this dish was that I had plenty leftover to have for lunch the next day! This is without a doubt my “Dish Worth Driving To”.
Now, you didn't think I could come review a place called Natas and not have one, did you? Again, for those who may not be familiar with this pastry, it is a thick custard that is cooked in a flaky pastry shell until it develops a golden brown skin on the top. This was a staple at brunches and holidays growing up. They are a wonderful dessert (or breakfast... don't judge) that will compliment such a rich and flavorful meal.
The next time you are looking to discover "something different", head on up to Natas for a dinner that will certainly delight your tastebuds and expand your palate!
13317 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks, CA 91423