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Lesley Balla

Los Angeles-based freelance food writer.

Grilled Oysters from the Morro Bay Oyster Company

Meet Neal Maloney from the Morro Bay Oyster Company

Residents of Morro Bay have been harvesting oysters for over 100 years, and this farm may have perfected the art.
Fancy grilled cheese finger sandwiches

Oscar Party Tips From a Catering Expert, and a Finger Food Recipe

We will never walk the red carpet in front of the Kodak Theater, nor will we attend any of the splashy after parties to nibble and nosh with celebrities. But we can look to the caterers who feed them for snack ideas.

The Soul of Berliner's Lives On at Umamicatessen

Umamicatessen, the multi-restaurant-in-one concept in downtown L.A., is not a far cry from the restaurant that lived in that space from the 1940s through the 1970s: Berliner's.
Photo: Sierragoddess/Flickr

Pomegranates and Other Aphrodisiacs for Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, think outside of that box of chocolates -- cook a meal full of aphrodisiac foods.
Photo: Dana Hursey

Mark Gold's Potato Parmesan Soup for National Homemade Soup Day

For National Homemade Soup Day on February 4, the first thing that comes to mind is the story of stone soup.
A Slice at Semi Sweet Bakery/Lesley Balla

L.A.'s Best on National Carrot Cake Day

Where to find the best carrot cakes on this important national holiday, as well as a recipe for our current dessert crush.

Five Santa Barbara Pinot Noir Stars on the Rise

Seeking out the best up-and-coming pinot noir producers in a sea of pinot noir is no easy feat, but we did just that after sipping and swirling around Santa Monica's Pinot Days.
Photo Courtesy A-Frame

What Your Next Party Needs: A-Frame's Furikake Kettle Corn

The furikake kettle corn is the perfect example of Choi's mix of bold yet familiar flavors... It's a wildly addictive snack that your Super Bowl guests with devour in seconds.
Honey-Sriracha Chicken Wings

A Very Sriracha Super Bowl

If there's one thing we've learned by now, it's that sriracha makes everything taste better. Punch up the classic Super Bowl snack with it this Sunday.
Photo: Lesley Balla

Exploring Paso Robles: Wineries, Restaurants and More

You don't have to drive north of San Francisco to find the state's best wines -- one of the largest and fastest-growing regions is Paso Robles, less than a four-hour drive from Los Angeles.
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