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Happy Meal at The Farm: Pray, Eat, See Bart Simpson’s Sister

August 10, 2010

What do a cranberry drink, a chocolate brownie and a yellow cartoon character have in common? My power lunch of course.

It was down to two choices.

9021Pho, a Vietnamese restaurant that’s worth going to just for the name, and  The Farm.  The latter is known for its bakery and down home, well as down home as Beverly Hills can be, ambiance.

We went as far as walking to 9021Pho but in the end, my dining companion, coach, author, speaker and movie producer, Judith Parker Harris and I opted for The Farm.

My Order

A salad can be luscious, really. When I spied another patron eating the Maple Baked Salmon Salad, I had to bite.

It was like eating on the farm because  all the ingredients, from the baby greens to the watercress were uber fresh. The tomatoes were as if I’d plucked them from my own garden.

The taste profile was also, fresh. I would have never added the  green apples, red grapes or candied pecans to the mix. It actually tasted good although I asked for my pecans to be on the side.

Traditionally I love cheesy dressings but the aforementioned mixins combined with the  maple mustard vinaigrette were perfect.

The only critique I have was of the salmon. It was too crusty, if that’s possible.  It almost seemed dry at first bite. The exterior was too chewy.  But the interior of the fish was parfait. I’m figuring the sugar in the maple put the caramelization on turbo charge. I know that I’m not a chef  or anything, but I’ve made my share of salmon fillets. My suggestion would be to either dilute or cut back on the amount of maple syrup.

I washed my greens and dose of Omega 3 down with my signature drink of cranberry juice. Another healthy choice, right?

Then came dessert.

I did say The Farm is known for its baked goods so Judith and I  shared The Farm’s the most popular dessert. The Famous Farm Brownie has had shouts out from Los Angeles  and  Gourmet magazines. Now it gets one from me.

It was precisely as moist and chocolaty as it needed to be. And come to think of it, parts of that brownie were good for me.

II requested non-fat milk chaser, as if that mattered.


We arrived at prime time for lunch service so we did have to wait ten minutes. The hostess seemed a bit harried. However the waitress was relaxed, unobtrusive, and attentive.

Ditto the support staff.

As is true in most restaurants these days, if you want rolls or water, you do have to ask for them.

I asked. I received. No problema.

The Farm is not to be confused with The L.A.Farm in Santa Monica. That restaurant is nestled in a complex of production houses so it’s very Hollywood. I’ve recorded voice overs there and  the only time I dined at that restaurant director Robert Altman was sitting a few tables away.

The current chef of The L.A. Farm  is Stefan Richter, runner-up of  Season 5’s Top Chef.

When I went there the  joint was comfortable enough. The Farm in Beverly Hills is even more so. Out to lunch  yesterday was mix of  tourists,  families and show business. So if you are visiting from out of town with your family and you want to see stars in casual setting, this is the place to go.  The dress code is chill.

It’s a bit noisy, but not so loud that I did not hear about Judith’s progress on her latest book. Earlier this year one of her articles was published in the Huffington Post. We also swapped tales about our recent speaking gigs.

Amuse Bouche

The last time I was at The Farm I went with an exec for a ginormous internet firm. I was trying to convince her to fund some video projects about Africa.

On my way out that day I saw the Bionic Woman’s boss.

On our way out for my lunch with Judith I spotted Bart Simpson’s sister Lisa. Actually it was the voice actress who plays her, Yeardley Smith.

The only time I’ve ever played fan and spoken to someone dining at a restaurant was Joni Mitchell when I met her at The Ivy.

Even for the sake of the blog,  I did not say holla to Yeardley who is seated on the right in blue. She looked too comfortable although I think she busted me when I snapped her photo.

What’s on your plate. Is it making you shine?

13 Comments leave one →
  1. blackwatertown permalink
    August 10, 2010 5:13 pm

    Oh dear goodness, that food – all of it – looks superb. Great photographs of it too.

    • lenanozizwe permalink*
      August 11, 2010 3:47 am

      It tasted as good as it looks, thanks.

  2. August 10, 2010 9:00 pm

    Mmm, you certainly sold me on The Farm. Too bad I live hundreds of miles away from it! Everything you ate looks just perfect, from the salmon to the brownie to the ambiance. =)

    • lenanozizwe permalink*
      August 11, 2010 3:48 am

      Glad you liked it. It was wonderful, although it did keep me from perfecting my quinoa recipes.

  3. August 10, 2010 10:45 pm

    My pleasure to dine with a food critic! While unaccustomed to waiting to dig in while my table mate takes the perfect picture of the food, I nibbled without destroying the picture. One thing I can say for sure, Lena Nozizwe has an equal passion for food, journalism, speaking and teaching. She does it all with style, including her selection of wardrobe — today a beautiful white summer dress paired with a fabulous wavy, picture hat. She was admired by autograph seekers wondering who she was. Now, why is her picture not in this blog? I know I took a lovely one.
    Bon Appetite!

    • lenanozizwe permalink*
      August 11, 2010 3:49 am

      It was too much fun! And at your request I posted the photo you took.

  4. August 13, 2010 1:15 am

    Hey i like your blog is very informative, i will book mark it and come back more often.


  5. October 11, 2010 1:07 pm

    Love it. Great job of putting this work together.

  6. October 31, 2010 9:31 am

    Thanks for sharing us informative entries.

  7. Julie Willingham permalink
    December 3, 2010 2:41 pm

    Just keep doing good content.


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