Goings On

Saturday night, La Brea Avenue.

Saturday evening, South La Brea.

As it tends to do of late, the weekend got away from me like a slippery fish.

You wouldn't imagine this mellow-looking fellow can be quite the bully.

You wouldn’t imagine that this angelic fellow can be quite the bully.

It feels like such a California cliché, but our dog is on Prozac. He’s always been a very “alpha” and headstrong dog and we’ve worked with multiple trainers and behaviorists over the years, but in the last year or so his aggressive episodes have increased. He “guards” things. Not just valuable (to a dog) things, but at times anything that manages to make its way to the floor, including miniscule scraps of paper, dead leaves, paper clips. And he’d kill ya for it. He even started getting up in the middle of the night to search out shoes or other items to guard. So after his regular vet ruled out anything obviously medical causing the escalating anxiety/aggression, we called in the behavioral vet. Along with a whole battery of behavior modification exercises and techniques, a hypoallergenic diet, Scat Mats to keep him out of some areas, and nighttime crating, we’ve pulled out the big guns in the form of a little pill. And it does seem to be helping quite a bit.

republique 1

The building was originally constructed in 1929 by Charlie Chaplin.

Saturday night we took a chance and showed up without reservations at a restaurant we’d been hearing a lot of buzz about, République. They managed to squeeze us in at one of the communal tables, where we enjoyed a fabulous meal (and company…you meet the most interesting people at communal tables!). Among the imaginative dishes we tried were “chips and dip”…

republique 2

the “chips” being fresh pork rinds and the “dip” concoction of ocean trout, yogurt, cucumber and dill.

Republique 3

Having lived in Central California for a a few years in my twenties (including some months working for a wholesale fish company), I know what a treat Santa Barbara spot prawns are. When I saw these on the menu, there was no hesitation. They were sweet and tender. The glasses of wine recommended by the sommelier were excellent as well. I didn’t get a picture, but the Bombolini le Monsieur ordered for dessert was also worth a mention.

Segue from the sublime to the mundane….

Making "Burritos In A Jar" lunches.

Making “Burritos In A Jar” lunches.

If you are on Pinterest and follow any food/recipe boards, you may have noticed the “…in a jar” trend. I’m not one to jump on recipes that seem like a lot of work just for cleverness, but when I spotted this “Skinny Burritos In A Jar” pin, it looked like something that had possibilities for a workday lunch that I could make ahead. OK, so gourmet it’s not. But at 5 WW points each, it’s a pretty easy and yummy lunch that sticks with me for a few hours. I also add fresh cilantro leaves on top of the yogurt layer. I can put together 4 days’ worth of lunches in about 10 minutes, which is a winner in my book.

How was your weekend? Do you have any great make-ahead lunch recipes?

Stay in touch.

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  1. Ginger
    July 14, 2014 / 4:11 am

    I’ve seen some places with communal tables, it’s a bit like eating at the bar, another way to get in at a buzzy restaurant . A Midwesterner at heart I’m willing to eat early to avoid a wait. It looks to me like that is a restaurant worth some effort to sample.

  2. July 14, 2014 / 4:52 am

    Beautiful images…and I so agree about communal tables…my husband loves them! Last week there was a news story about a couple attacked and held in a bathroom by their mean cat. That is what we fear…we have a very persnicketedy cat…in fact, I keep her far from the grandbaby because I do not know what she will do. So, I understand about cute difficult animals. Our cat’s name is Madeleine and sometimes we just call her MAD. Have a great week!

  3. July 14, 2014 / 5:52 am

    Oh…I laughed out loud at that line about feeling like a “Californian cliche”….the dog being on Prozac. Not funny if you are dealing with an animal you love running amok… but still funny at the same time. During the height of the steroid scandal (at least up here) when the Canadian runner Ben Johnson was disqualified from the Olympics for drug use…our 21 yr old cat (who was failing and not in good health) was given a steroid shot by the vet. The next day I saw him dart by the window and into the hedge with a bird in his mouth! My husband called him Ben after that.
    Our weekend was spent getting ready for our wilderness canoe/fishing trip coming up next Saturday …..so it also slipped away “like a slippery fish”…and next weekend I will be able to say that literally!
    Licking my lips over that shot of your “chips and dip.”

  4. July 14, 2014 / 6:04 am

    That meal looks great! I love spot prawns as well, and we move quickly when they’re in season.
    My weekend was busy as well. Long runs, dinner with a visiting GF, baby shower and prep for a big family lunch today. And we’re in the middle of a prolonged het we’ve here. Will sound fun by your standards, as we’re only in high 20s, barely at 30, 31, but we aren’t heavily air conditioned in Vancouver….

  5. Linda
    July 14, 2014 / 6:07 am

    We were once advised by our veterinarian to put our cat, Lars, on Prozac. However, his behavior (in my mind) wasn’t all that bad, and the thought of pilling him regularly was a nightmare! I did work with someone who went to a doggie behaviorist and said it was worth every penny. She had a rescue dog who had been abused as a puppy and was becoming impossible to deal with. The behaviorist recommended Prozac and some approaches to make like easier for the poor pup.

    That restaurant looks fantastic! I’ve only eaten at a communal table on a cruise. I don’t think that there are too many restaurants that have that on the east coast.

    I love the lunch ideas, as I’m a Lifetime Weight Watcher (who wouldn’t mind losing 10 pounds). My latest make-ahead lunch ideas include cutting up tons of fruit for a fruit salad and packing it with 1 cup of fat free cottage cheese. Very refreshing and filling for 3 PointsPlus! I also buy turkey breast at Costco and divide it up into 4 oz portions and freeze it wrapped in freezer paper. Then I take out a package and use 2 oz to put on a sandwich flat with some reduced fat cheese and mustard with tomatoes and lettuce. (Not all that inspiring, but it works!)

  6. sybes1
    July 14, 2014 / 6:53 am

    I love the skinny burrito in a jar. I’m curious about the portions: is it a tablespoon you use for the various ingredients? Is it a 4 oz jar you pack it in?

  7. Marguerite
    July 14, 2014 / 7:36 am

    I’ve been there too, with a 17 yr old cat. We finally went the Prozac route, but didn’t find much relief for her nocturnal craziness. Eventually, we had to euthanize. We have remained pet less for a long time. Your dinner choice looks fabulous. I love a communal table, be more extroverted. Happy Bastille Day, Femme!

  8. July 14, 2014 / 9:41 am

    My black Siamese-cross Renzo sometimes yowls at night, but other than that his behaviour seems fine, given that he is 18 and some months. No idea whether he’ll make it to 21, for the time being, I just value his presence.

    Oui, Bonne fête du 14 juillet!

    Ça ira! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzu01gO3pi4

  9. Cecilia
    July 14, 2014 / 10:20 am

    Hello. I discovered your site about a month ago and I’m really enjoying it. Most days for lunch I make a quick rice and vegetable lunch. One cup of cooked brown rice, 1/3-1/2 can of low sodium chickpeas, 1/2 bag of frozen vegetables and a tablespoon of grated cheese. Cheap, fast and healthy!

  10. citizen spot
    July 14, 2014 / 10:53 am

    At least with a dog you can hide the pill in some food or a “pill pocket” and the dog will gobble it up. My cats were on to that trick after the first try, and will always manage to leave the pill behind. If I grind the pill up and try hiding it in food or a treat, they won’t touch it. I have to wrap the cat in a towel like an angry furry burrito just to survive long enough to throw the pill down the cat’s maw! Oh, the screaming and the crying! The cat doesn’t much like it either.

    Have you tried a “thunder shirt” on the dog?

    • Ascumbas
      July 14, 2014 / 2:12 pm

      “Oh, the screaming and the crying! The cat doesn’t much like it either.”
      Laughed out loud at this! And the “angry furry burrito”! And have been there too with two sick cats. Here in France there’s some meat-flavoured paste you hide the pill in (you get it from the vet) but ours would lick off the paste and leave the pill. So the husband and I had to do the burrito number – never fun.

  11. Jill Ann
    July 14, 2014 / 10:57 am

    Need to check out the burrito recipe! I’m a Lifetime WW member too, but retired so I usually eat lunch at home. My standard go-to is a wrap, using Flat-Out wraps (2 pts) plus low sodium turkey, avocado, raw spinach and a drizzle of low-fat ranch dressing. Six points, healthy, filling, and tasty. But I was concerned about eating too much processed meat, so have lately bought antibiotic-free chicken breast which I cooked up and sliced, and will freeze in small packages.

  12. stylecrone
    July 14, 2014 / 6:48 pm

    Sounds like you’ve had a fantastic weekend! Including a calm dog. Love the photos and your restaurant review. Searching for new and interesting restaurants is one of my favorite things to do in Denver.

  13. Karen
    July 14, 2014 / 7:22 pm

    SPOILER ALERT: I had a great Sunday with Pseu! Read all about it on Wednesday.

    • une femme
      July 14, 2014 / 7:38 pm


  14. July 14, 2014 / 9:02 pm

    That food looks so unusual. I’m not sure about the pork rinds and trout dip, but I love to try new food. In fact, forget planning lunch in a jar – I’d eat out every day if i could!

  15. greenleafhill
    July 15, 2014 / 1:40 am

    What happened to Campanile? That was the restaurant that occupied the space now called Republique. I know that La Brea Bakery moved up the street, but where has Campanile gone?

    • une femme
      July 15, 2014 / 5:31 am

      They closed in 2012 or 2013 I think. I saw something a while back about them opening a spot in Terminal 4 at LAX, but don’t know if that’s happened.

  16. July 15, 2014 / 3:20 am

    One of our dogs was just diagnosed as hypothyroidic. Random acts of aggression is one of the symptoms. Zippy didn’t show that, but he did lose all the hair on his tail. That’s how the vet figured it out. 🙂

    • une femme
      July 15, 2014 / 5:34 am

      The vet ruled that out for our boy, I think. According to the behavioral vet, there are some other obscure medical conditions that could contribute but the tests for those are very expensive, so she wants to try the normal interventions first.

  17. July 15, 2014 / 3:37 am

    I clicked on the Pinterest link, and got to the picture. How do I find the recipe? They look great, btw.

  18. July 15, 2014 / 9:23 am

    We make and bake burritos assembly-line, freeze, and eat for lunch almost every day. My daughter did it in college. And now her friend is doing it in med school–he sent us a pic of a giant pyramid. I never had a burrito till I met DH, a California boy who had eaten at Mijares all his life!

  19. UmmLila
    July 16, 2014 / 6:09 pm

    Your dog is so adorable… A cav, right? Mine (a PBGV) gets very possessive with certain things … Usually long lasting chewy things. After he nipped a kid over a rawhide bone, they were banned for all eternity. Even now, when he makes off with e.g. a dropped paper towel, we usually swap him for something else rather than make a direct demand to drop it.

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