The L. A. Cookbook

The L.A. Cookbook: Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bakeries, and Bars in Los Angeles by Alison Clare Steingold is the ultimate West Coast food lover’s dream. 

Beautiful photography and profiles of all THE places to be are complemented by the shared recipes from those locales. The “Fried chicken sandwich, spicy B&B pickle slaw, rooster aioli” from Son of a Gun, “Tagliatelle with pork ragu” from Union, and “Sweet potato gnocchi with broccolini agliolio” from the vegan hotspot Crossroads are a few examples of the recipes here.  From Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese’s, Eric’s Tomato basil soup recipe is shared as well (look for his cookbook, The Great Grilled Cheese Book coming in August).

While the entire book draws me in from cocktails to sweets, the dessert chapter is killer. Almond-ginger cake from Spago, Rosemary-pine nut tart from Jon & Vinny’s and Butterscotch budino with caramel sauce from Bottega Louie all look amazing. I cannot wait to try some of these recipes when we are settled in our new home. 

I love New York and would move back there in a (pardon the pun) New York minute, but the West Coast has my heart, too. There is something magical about L.A. – the Pacific Ocean coastline, the food scene, the Hollywood sign – it’s a little piece of heaven, if you take away the traffic and lack of rain, it is paradise. This cookbook brings us a taste of Los Angeles to recreate at home wherever that home may be.

Special thanks to Rizzoli for sharing a recipe with our members today as well as for providing three copies of this book in our giveaway below.


Baja yellowtail tostada with peach-habañero salsa and avocado puree [Otium ]
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Next to The Broad Museum is a marvelous setting for chef Tim Hollingsworth to create works of edible beauty. Take this tostada, for example. From afar, the confetti of ingredients could pass for a painting of abstract expressionism! It features brined and quick-seared Baja yellowtail with tiny tomatoes, peaches, cilantro blossoms, micro mint, and shaved radish all splashed with lime juice. A silky avocado puree refreshes like a smoothie with kick; the hot peach salsa could double as a killer chilled soup or liven up simple grilled meats.

Hollingsworth makes his own crisp, flagstone-sized tortillas that float to the table. You can purchase your own or use soft corn or flour tortillas and simply bake them in a hot oven until crisp and the edges start to curl. Poolside or served with salt-rimmed margaritas or cold beer, baked or fried, you can see why tostadas are one of L.A.’s beloved seafood standbys.

Serves 4

Yellowtail and brine

  • 1 cup (140 grams) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • Zest of 3 oranges
  • Zest of 4 limes
  • 5 bay leaves (fresh, if possible)
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 pounds Baja yellowtail
  • Salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper

Peach-habañero salsa

  • Canola oil
  • 3 cups julienned white onions
  • (about 2 medium)
  • 1 to 2 habañero chiles, stemmed
  • 1 pound whole firm peaches,
  • pitted, peeled, and halved
  • 10 to 13 (10 grams) chiles de árbol
  • 2 (1-inch) slices peeled fresh ginger
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt

Avocado puree 

  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 2 serrano chiles
  • 4 large avocados, peeled and
  • seeded
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt

To brine the yellowtail: In a blender, combine the salt, orange and lime zest, the bay leaves, and 4 cups of the water. Puree until the salt has dissolved. Transfer the brine to a container and add the remaining 6 cups water. Place the yellowtail in the brine and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the salsa: In a large saucepan, heat enough canola oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and cook, stirring, until they are browned and caramelized, 7 to 10 minutes. If they are not sizzling, increase the heat.

Char the habañero and halved peaches on a grill or over a gas burner until lightly blackened. If using stovetop burners, a long skewer will help here to turn the chiles without handling them. Do not touch your eyes. When the onions are caramelized, add the chiles de árbol and ginger and cook over medium heat. Add the grilled habanero and peaches and stir to combine. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, and season with salt. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Carefully handling the hot mixture, puree until smooth, and transfer to a bowl to cool. Cover, and refrigerate to chill.

To make the avocado puree: Rinse out the blender. In the following order, add the lime juice, ice, serrano chiles, scooped flesh of the avocado, the cilantro, and olive oil, and puree until smooth. Season with salt.

Grill the fish: Oil the grill grates, then heat the grill to high (or heat a cast-iron pan over high heat). Remove the yellowtail from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Place the yellowtail on a plate and season well with salt and black pepper. Place the fish on the grill (or in the skillet) and sear for barely 2 minutes per side. You want the fish to be rare in the center but lightly charred.

Transfer the yellowtail to a cutting surface and allow the fish to cool completely before cutting into sugar cube-size pieces.


  • 2 handfuls of multicolor cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 peach, pitted and cut into small dice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 to 2 packages tostadas or tortillas
  • 1 radish, shaved
  • Cilantro and cilantro blossoms, for garnish
  • Tiny mint leaves, for garnish

To really go for it, restaurant-style, load both the salsa and the puree into squirt bottles. In a large bowl, gently toss the diced fish with the cherry tomatoes, diced peach, olive oil, and lime juice until coated. Distribute the yellowtail mixture on top of each tostada and dollop artfully with the salsa and avocado. Garnish with radish medallions, cilantro, and mint.

Serve immediately.


The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on August 1st, 2018.

Post a comment


  • matag  on  June 11, 2018

    Fettuccine with fennel sausage, black kale, Parmesan, and bread crumbs [Love & Salt]

  • RNJessicaK  on  June 11, 2018

    Mexican Street Corn!!

  • ravensfan  on  June 11, 2018

    Mexican street corn

  • lauriesk  on  June 11, 2018

    M chopped salad with tofu-peppercorn ranch

  • MiMi60  on  June 11, 2018

    I would like to try Salted chocolate chip rye cookies [The Sycamore Kitchen].

  • jmay42066  on  June 11, 2018

    Cauliflower "risotto" [Little Dom's]

  • ckbkcollector  on  June 11, 2018

    Avocado hummus pistachio salsa verde [Farmshop]

  • eatysmith  on  June 11, 2018

    "Which recipe in the index of this book would you like to try first?" Sticky honey chai!

  • kkhammer123  on  June 11, 2018

    Gruyère-thyme monkey breads

  • jr0717  on  June 11, 2018

    The jicama-wrapped guacamole with chipotle salsa – I love Jose Andres' style!

  • Angryyew  on  June 12, 2018

    Sweet potato gnocchi with broccolini agliolio

  • lean1  on  June 12, 2018

    I would like to try Tan Tan noodles.

  • Siegal  on  June 12, 2018

    I always wanted to tty Mexican street corn

  • sarahawker  on  June 12, 2018

    Tagliatelle with pork ragù

  • rchesser  on  June 12, 2018

    High-hydration long-fermented pizza dough [Slow Rise Pizza].

  • AndieG52  on  June 12, 2018

    Gruyere-thyme monkey bread

  • ebs  on  June 14, 2018

    Gruyere-thyme monkey breads

  • EmilyR  on  June 15, 2018

    Meyer lemon gelato pie with Champagne vinegar sauce and candied lemon zest and the long=fermented pizza dough.

  • Shelley.b  on  June 15, 2018

    Mexican street corn

  • kmn4  on  June 15, 2018

    Sichuan tan tan noodles [Chengdu Taste]

  • Lucicat  on  June 15, 2018

    almond ginger cake

  • love2chow  on  June 16, 2018

    Stuffed grape leaves (Dolmeh) [Adana] and the Roasted butternut squash with dukkah [Bar Moruno]

  • mpdeb98  on  June 16, 2018

    Falldorf salad

  • t.t  on  June 17, 2018

    Beef bulgogi

  • LaurenE  on  June 17, 2018

    Sweet potato gnocchi with broccolini agliolio

  • sgump  on  June 18, 2018

    Wrong season, I know, but the Falldorf Salad from Augustine Wine Bar sounds lovely–and the name is a hoot!

  • verorenee  on  June 20, 2018

    mezcal mule

  • RSW  on  June 21, 2018

    Lavender lemonade [Kali]

  • thecharlah  on  June 21, 2018

    Red chimichurri [Manhattan Beach Post]

  • ladybrooke  on  June 22, 2018

    Sticky honey chai [Cofax Coffee] sounds really good.

  • Jenamarie  on  June 23, 2018

    Cauliflower "popcorn" with chickpea tahini and fermented chile sauce

  • Scotsman61  on  June 25, 2018

    Avocado hummus pistachio salsa verde [Farmshop]

  • tennyogirl  on  June 27, 2018

    Cauliflower "popcorn" with chickpea tahini and fermented chile sauce [Norah]

  • nomadikfoodie  on  June 28, 2018

    I want to try the stuffed grape leaves. I've got some leaves in my freezer and haven't known what to do with them.

  • debbiehb  on  June 28, 2018

    Bucatini carbonara [Superba Food + Bread]

  • PeavineBlues  on  June 28, 2018

    Fermented pizza dough

  • PeavineBlues  on  June 28, 2018

    Brown rice tacos

  • Julia  on  June 28, 2018

    Balsamic barbecue baby back ribs

  • LABeachGal  on  June 28, 2018

    The Mexican Street Corn from Salazar!

  • debgonewest  on  June 29, 2018

    Baja yellowtail tostada with peach-habañero salsa and avocado puree

  • Sfgordon  on  June 29, 2018

    Whitefish salad from Maury's bagels. Best bagels in LA by a mile!

  • heyjude  on  June 30, 2018

    Stuffed Grape Leaves

  • NikNik23  on  June 30, 2018

    Cauliflower Risotto.

  • Dannausc  on  July 1, 2018

    Lavender lemonade

  • bangss  on  July 1, 2018

    Gruyere-thyme monkey breads!

  • Laura1  on  July 1, 2018

    mexican street corn

  • blazin  on  July 1, 2018

    Cauliflower "risotto" [Little Dom's]

  • tcjanes  on  July 1, 2018

    Pots de crème au chocolat.

  • infotrop  on  July 3, 2018

    Salt-crusted branzino alla puttanesca; I've always wanted to try cooking fish in a salt crust

  • Lmocooks  on  July 4, 2018

    Grilled pear gazpacho with Parmesan cheese crisps and red endive-walnut salad

  • artthecat  on  July 4, 2018

    Famous breakfast burrito

  • lgroom  on  July 6, 2018

    Tagiatelle with pork ragu

  • circ2000  on  July 7, 2018

    Fried chicken sandwich, spicy B&B pickle slaw, rooster aioli

  • lisambb  on  July 7, 2018

    Mexican Street corn

  • Julia  on  July 7, 2018

    Beef bulgogli

  • Elena Rose  on  July 8, 2018

    Fig Gorgonzola gratin

  • PeavineBlues  on  July 8, 2018

    Pistachio mole

  • ohyoucook  on  July 8, 2018

    Stuffed grape leaves.

  • RickPearson54  on  July 8, 2018

    Mexican street corn

  • Maaseelulu  on  July 8, 2018

    Gruyère-thyme monkey breads.

  • exlibrix  on  July 9, 2018

    Fig & Gorgonzola gratin [Angelini Osteria]

  • AlexandraCohenSpiegler  on  July 9, 2018

    Jicama-wrapped guacamole with chipotle salsa

  • tararr  on  July 11, 2018

    Tan Tan noodles and Mexican street corn

  • linded  on  July 11, 2018

    Beet Pibil with pickled pearl onions and bitter greens from Broken Spanish! I ate there recently and all the food was terrific. I especially loved their refried lentils with house-made tortillas.

  • orchidlady01  on  July 14, 2018

    Brussels sprouts salad with Pink Lady apples, pecorino, spiced pecans and caramelized shallot dressing

  • BMeyer  on  July 16, 2018


  • Katiefayhutson  on  July 17, 2018

    Cauliflower risotto

  • mduncan  on  July 19, 2018

    Cauliflower "popcorn" with chickpea tahini and fermented chile sauce… Norah's one of my favorite restaurants in LA and I'd love to try to make something from their menu.

  • VeryVigario  on  July 21, 2018

    Sichuan tan tan noodles

  • LSanders  on  July 22, 2018

    Mezcal mule

  • auntietina  on  July 24, 2018

    Sichuan tan tan noodles

  • starzine  on  July 31, 2018

    Jicama-wrapped guacamole with chipotle salsa.

  • jigglesfrog  on  July 31, 2018

    Negroni [The Varnish]

  • stjones  on  July 31, 2018

    Famous breakfast burrito [Lucky Boy]

  • Brancica  on  July 31, 2018

    I’d select Baja yellowtail tostada

  • ejsimpson  on  July 31, 2018

    Beef roll [Pine & Crane]

  • linded  on  July 31, 2018

    Slow rise pizza sounds amazing!

  • rivergait  on  August 1, 2018

    Stinging Nettle cocktail. Actually, all the drinks in the index look good (since I live in California and grow most of the ingredients)

  • mllamas  on  August 1, 2018

    I'd make the Grilled panzanella with white peach, heirloom tomato, and fresh cheese first!

  • beetangsurat  on  August 1, 2018

    Would love to try making Mexican street corn!

  • nacho2100  on  August 1, 2018

    stinging nettle cocktail!!

  • monasli  on  August 1, 2018

    Bone broth!

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!