Lara Bowman

Texas transplant now living in LA. I enjoy cooking, eating, traveling and am passionate for all things culinary. My grandmother was a wonderful cook and we enjoyed watching Julia Child together. I owe my love of food and zest for life to her.

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Favorite foods: oysters, shrimp, salmon, tuna, lobster, sushi, steak, pasta, pizza, cheeseburgers, pot roast, fried chicken, po-boys, gumbo, chili, enchiladas, eggs, cheese, potatoes, pinto beans, artichokes, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado
  • Last bite on earth: Tex-Mex in TX. Queso, guacamole, red & green salsas, fresh tortilla chips, single layer nachos w/ pickled jalapenos, crispy ground beef taco, cheese enchilada w/ chili gravy, sunny up huevos rancheros, creamy refried pinto beans and Don Julio margaritas.

Damon Gambuto's 14 Most Memorable Burgers in Los Angeles and Beyond

@Damon: I moved to LA 5 years ago and started reading Serious Eats and your AHT reviews several months later. I always loved your reviews (I love burgers!) and you certainly guided me very well on my burger eating adventures around my new city. I have enjoyed burgers at the following joints thanks to your reviews: Bill's (a favorite gem!), Bird's, Boneyard Bistro (going again tonight), The Counter, Dillon's, Hamburger Hamlet, Hook Burger (awesome), Island's, Jack's Classic, Pie N Burger (another favorite gem!), Rustic Canyon (divine), The Smokehouse and Umami. I have also avoided the bad burgers at the Federal Bar, Delphine's and Bottega Louie when visiting those restaurants so thanks for taking those burgers for the team! Still on my list of must do's based on your reviews are Comme Ca, Father's Office and Oinkster which I am sure I will adore. Long story short, I will really miss reading your LA reviews and I hope you stick around SE. Best wishes on your return to New York! Cheers!

Open Thread: When Did You First Fall in Love with Pizza?

I must have been around 5 or 6 years old. My mom and her best friend would take me to a neighborhood pizzeria called Square Pan Pizza in Houston, Texas. I can still remember the taste and smell of their pies. They made very thin crust pies in rectangle sheet pans and they cut the slices in small squares that were perfect for my little hands. They served small crumb sausage and tiny dice pepperoni that were perfect for my little mouth. I think this is where my crust preference began because they spread their ingredients all the way to the far edges and had very little perimeter crust. I literally cried when they closed the place several years later. I never knew why they closed and I've never found another pizza quite like it.

Adam Kuban's Bar Pie Pop-Up: Feeling Like a Proud Papa

Excited for you and proud of you! Gorgeous pies! Congratulations Adam!

Two Pounds of Ground Beef- What to make?

Chili, bolognese sauce or cheeseburgers.

How to Make Real Texas Nachos

Finally! Proper nacho respect! I was raised in Texas and SO MUCH prefer the classic single layer (with required pickled jalapenos) to the big, messy piles of train wreck nachos that are so often served outside of Texas. Thanks Josh!

What do you guys prefer plastic or wooden

Wood for vegetables and plastic for meat.

Deviled eggs

LOVE deviled eggs! My standard is mayo, yellow mustard, S&P, white vinegar, Worcestershire and Tabasco which was also my grandmother's recipe. She would top with paprika but I also vary the toppings with fresh dill, chives, Sriracha, or capers. Need to try horseradish and wasabi!

How do you like your hummus?

I prefer a very smooth, creamy hummus with tahini, lemon and garlic and like olive oil drizzled on top rather than mixed in. Spices sprinkled on top are welcome but I'm generally not a big fan of flavored hummus.

Poll: Are You a Blotter?

Reminds me of Phillip Seymour Hoffman (R.I.P.) in Along Came Polly when Ben Stiller blots grease from his pizza slice... "What are you doing?!? That is the best part!"... then he proceeds to drip Ben's extra grease on his own slice.

Open Thread: White Chocolate, Yay or Nay?

What's For Dinner- Sunday Edition

Grilled cheeseburgers, potato salad and beer.

Poll: How Do You Eat Your Leftovers?

Usually either cold or room temp. If I warm, I use the oven.

Grilled: John Eckre of Santa Fe Bite

This green chile cheeseburger is on my bucket list. Thanks John!

The 'Influential' Burger (That Influences You to Order Chili Dogs Instead) at The Varsity in Atlanta

I've been to the Varsity once when visiting a friend in Atlanta. I really liked the history, charm and chili dogs... the fries, not so much. I'm now grateful I did not order the horror burger!

Staff Picks: What to Drink at a Not-Great Bar

Food-related deal breakers when dating?

My last 3 boyfriends had the following food issues:
BF 1) Severely allergic to garlic (hospital allergic)
BF 2) No vegetables (none!)
BF 3) No pork, no turkey, no dairy, no eggs, no sushi
I was understanding of these issues, however frustrating at times. But now, it will be a total deal breaker for me. I can understand if someone does not like 1 or 2 things (I have a small list myself) or has a legit allergy, but if they eradicate entire food groups, are closed minded about food or are not open to try new things, they are completely out.

Surviving Vegas

I will be staying at the Luxor myself in May - they did have some great deals recently!
Here are my suggestions:
Burger Bar (in walkway from Luxor to Mandalay Bay)
In N Out (a must if you've never had)
Border Grill (next door in Mandalay Bay)
Lotus of Siam (Thai)
Raku (Japanese)
Bouchon (French)

Open Thread: What's the Best Frozen Pizza?

Stouffer's French Bread Pizza

4 Close-Up, High-Def, Insanely Awesome Shooter's-Style Sandwiches

Serious Entertaining: Ramps Ramps Ramps Ramps Ramps

Taste Test: We Try Every Flavor of Cheez-It Crackers

I prefer hot & spicy or original. Need to try Asiago!

Open Thread: Which Burgers Are On Your Bucket List?

Louis' Lunch - CT
Ted's - CT
Matt's Bar - MN
Holeman & Finch - ATL
Bobcat Bite - NM
Shake Shack - NY

So what did you have for St. Patrick's Day?

I usually make a long simmering Guinness beef stew but it was much too warm for that in L.A. Summer weather here lately! Instead I made Irish Colcannon (mashed potatoes & braised cabbage) with lots of Irish butter and sea salt. Simple but divine. And lots of Guinness!

What's For Dinner?

Grilled tequila lime chicken tacos with sauteed onions and peppers, refried beans, and chips with fresh salsa. And mucho margaritas!

Open Thread: What's at the Top of Your Pizza Wish List?

New York: Pizza crawl that includes Di Fara and Motorino
Arizona: Pizzeria Bianco and Pizzicletta
Los Angeles: Paulie Gee's (you're coming right? :)

Lara Bowman hasn't written a post yet.

North Hollywood, California: Pitfire Artisan Pizza

Inspired by the rustic pizzas they found in Northern California, Pitfire Pizza co-owners Paul Hibler and David Sanfield opened their first branch in North Hollywood in 1997. They have since expanded to three additional locations in West Los Angeles, downtown, and Culver City. With the motto "Slow food, fast", they strive for simplicity, focus on quality, and specialize in wood-fired pizzas, pastas, salads, and paninis. After hearing several friends rave about their pizzas, I was eager to check them out. More

Field Report: Terroni, Los Angeles

Here's another community-submitted bit of intel from the field (again from L.A., what is this!?!) from Lara B. (aka "Leebo" in Slice/SeriousEats-land). Thanks, Lara! And remember, if YOU want to submit your review, here's how. —The Mgmt. [Photographs: Lara "Leebo" B.] Terroni 7605 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90036 (at Curson; map); 323-954-0300; Pizza style: Neapolitan Oven type: Electric Price: $12 to $17 for medium (the only size) Being a recent transplant to Los Angeles, I discovered that great pizza is actually hard to find here. Well, it wasn't that big of a surprise, but I was on a... More

'Culinary Slumming'

What is your guilty pleasure? Crab rangoon, cheap canned beer, quarter pounders—we all have things that don't fit our "foodie" persona. What's yours?... More

The Top 50 Talk Threads of 2009

In the Best Thread Overall nominations post some folks were asking about the top threads of 2009 in terms of most-favorited or most-trafficked. I'm going to list most-favorited first, since that's probably a truer reflection of popularity among SE'ers than... More