Critic Profile: Lisa McNamara

Photo: Courtesy of EDWINS

EDWINS Restaurant

11/17/13

There are many platitudes one could use when speaking of EDWINS Restaurant: every journey begins with a single step; give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime; if you talk the talk, you’d better walk the walk; 90 percent of success is showing up.

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SMS_market

Santa Monica Seafood

8/17/13
A family-owned, SoCal tradition: Impeccably fresh fish in a market setting

Every time I visit Santa Monica Seafood’s newest space on Wilshire Boulevard, I’m struck by the harmonious cohabitation of market and restaurant. Sitting at the raw bar for a glass of wine and platter of oysters, a cup of ceviche, or any of the other offerings from the comprehensive menu, one’s back is a mere several feet from the enormous fish counter. But rather than finding it annoying to be so close to the retail case, seeing the glistening shrimp, plump lobster tails, and colorful crabs artfully arranged on their beds of ice fills me with a sense of possibility and wonderment; I’m the kid in the candy store, all grown up.

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Tomato

Summertime

8/08/13

Summertime
And the livin’ is easy…
–DuBose Heyward

Or so it should be. Yet, in a place where the produce is as good as it gets in the United States, why does the question “But what do I do with it?” dominate the conversation at the farmers market? Why do those words hang in the air, following us from stall to stall? Mind, it’s not as if that question is reserved for the more arcane products like ramps or cherimoyas or stinging nettles. Rather, I hear it more often at the stands that sell peaches and corn and tomatoes–things that most people in upscale Calabasas have likely eaten for most, if not all, of their lives.

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