Monday, November 4, 2013

Around Town: Break the fast, head to the gym

September 18, 2013 | 4:12 p.m.

Ever since Lisa Dupuy reviewed the “new” Café Solé we've been eager to check it out. The new owners are Salvatore and Alessandra Attanasio.

We stopped by the La Cañada restaurant last Saturday evening. Café Solé was the perfect place after a 25-hour, hot-weather Yom Kippur fast.

As Rashi, the great medieval rabbi and commentator, once said, “the flavor of a fish which comes out of the sea at Acre is not similar to the flavor of a fish which comes out of the sea in Spain.”

The new owners of Café Solé have made two important changes. All the pasta is fresh-made by Alessandra. Salvatore arrives at 6:30 each morning to bake bread.

Everything good about the old Café Solé is still there. The patio. The wine. The friendly staff. With a few tweaks, the Attanasios have morphed Café Solé into sheer perfection.

We started with lots of water. Then we shared a glass of wine and dug into the bread. The bread is awesome. It comes with a complimentary side of chopped basil, fresh tomato and, I think, garlic. Voilà! Instant bruschetta.

Munching on the bread, we discussed the day's events. That afternoon, in between services, David Siegel, the Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles, had come to Adat Ari El to address the congregation. The questions were wide-ranging. Syria. Turkey. UC Irvine. Technology.

Among other things, the Israeli Consul's website reports that an Israeli company called Wi-Charge can power up mobile devices, such as cellphones, laptops and wireless speakers “through the air” without power cords or mats. Wi-Charge “can follow you around the room, like WiFi,” it is claimed.

Later that night, at Café Solé, there was lots to discuss.

We decided to share a simple Caesar salad. The greens were crisp, unblemished, tossed with just the right amount of an anchovy-based traditional dressing.

Salvatore checked. He wanted to make sure that we enjoyed our salad.

It was perfect.

We split an appetizer special, made from what tasted like a homegrown tomato, thin-sliced with layers of buffalo mozzarella and a touch of basil. For our main course, Len had the filet mignon ravioli. I chose the salmon, served with a side of spaghetti puttanesca.

What can I say? We were hungry. It was a feast. A great way to start the year.

The next morning, I went to the gym.

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