Thursday, April 26, 2012

Girlie Goddess Lunch with Fried Egg

 My friend Jacquelyn, Demeter-personified

I haven't been a "lady who lunches" since shucking my PR company a year ago and moving to the beach to enjoy a more downsized (and less financially-plush) form of quality living. Back then, I had to dine with clients everyday, and was thrilled to not have to punctuate my days with this ritual anymore once I started enjoying a slower-paced life. But recently, I stepped back into those shoes for a moment to meet my friend for an afternoon meal to discuss her upcoming wedding as well as catch up from not seeing each other for a while.

There is something special about a random and unexpected proper lunch with a girlfriend, especially when it involves a glass of wine, really good food, a bustling scene and conversations about love, life, food, success and creativity. We chose Gjelina's, which I had tried once already with the Cute Gardener for an Easter brunch. Unlike the first time, we were seated this time immediately at noon before the restaurant quickly filled up.

We opted for both a carafe of mint iced tea and a glass of Topanga Vineyards, Granache Blanc, Arroyo Seco, Ca ‘09.

The best way to have a ladies lunch is to each get a salad of your choosing and then find an indulgent entree to share. I chose the smoked trout salad with grapefruit, avocado, red onion and lemon, which provided the perfect smoky-tinged tang with each bite to complement the white wine. She chose the Bloomsdale spinach salad with feta, tomato, olive, cherry tomato, pine nut and crouton.

The item of our decadent lust became the fried egg sandwich we shared. A porous and crusty artisan bread was laid with the exquisite runny egg (of which the Gjelina cooks are experts at getting right), soft and pliant roasted red peppers, fluffy mozarella, thin layers of prosciutto, arugula and a creamy, harissa aioli. I will seek out this sandwich again now that I know the best days to go to the restaurant are weekdays for early lunches.

Around glass two of the wine, we decided to plot our world domination and had many giggling, revelatory moments about life and how important it is to stick true to your passions and mushroom your efforts on solitary focuses within these passions until they gain quick fire momentum in an unconventional way in the conventional world. Fired up from the sisterhood exchange and the belly warming food I walked home and spent the rest of the day painting, putting our joint credo to work in the most zesty way.

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