GOOD TASTES LIGHT DRESSINGS.
We thought the Italian and Balsamic Vinaigrette tasted great. We liked them even better than the company's regular dressings. The Italian version has lots of lemon flavor overtones, which we found refreshing.
- Natalie Haughton
FREEBIE BOOKLET: For those interested in cooking with soy, the United Soybean Board is offering a nifty 43-page booklet, ``Great Health, Great Taste Everyday.'' The 21 recipes for all kinds of creations (a few are even low-carb), some featured in color photos, utilize soy flour, soy milk, edamame, soy margarine, tofu, soybean oil, texturized soy protein and more. For a free copy, write to Robin Duranleau, United Soybean Board, 424 Second Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119; call (206) 270-4658; or e-mail info(at)talksoy.com.
FREE SCOOP NIGHT: Mark your calendar. Baskin-Robbins is hosting its fifth annual Free Scoop Night from 6 to 10 p.m. April 28. In celebration of the event, Baskin-Robbins will make a donation to First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides free books to children from low-income families across the country. To date, company's contributions have resulted in a donation of more than 1 million new books.
SANTA BARBARA'S WINE: Previously held all weekend, the hugely popular annual Santa Barbara Vintners' Festival makes it more convenient this year as a one-day trip for L.A.-area wine lovers.
More than 70 Santa Barbara wineries will show off their wines at the Firestone Meadow from noon to 5 p.m. May 15, and although there will be free food samplings all day, attendees are encouraged to bring picnic baskets and folding chairs.
Actual wine pouring and tasting will conclude at 4 p.m., but the live music and food service goes on until 5 p.m.
Tickets ($75) that include all wine samplings can be ordered by phone at (805) 688-0881 or online at www.sbcountywines.com.
Santa Monica's renowned chef-owner pals Raphael Lunetta (JiRaffe) and Josiah Citrin (Melisse), who used to cook together, have rejoined forces to open a side project, the Lemon Moon Cafe in West Los Angeles.
Lemon Moon serves only breakfasts (8 to 10:15 a.m.) and lunches (11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) on weekdays and is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Although Lunetta and/or Citrin may be spotted there occasionally, they have their own restaurant kitchens to attend to. Consequently, resident chef Danny Elmaleh handles the bulk of the new restaurant's cooking.
At lunchtime, salads are the big thing here. The restaurant showcases 20 to 25 salads daily, allowing diners to see what they're getting before ordering. One salad costs $4.50, a two-salad combination is $8.50, and a salad trio is $9.50.
Patrons choose from offerings like grilled Calabrian stuffed squid or a roasted beet salad or mixtures like rock shrimp ceviche with avocado, jicama, mangoes and lime juice.
There are also half a dozen composed salads ($9.95 to $11.95), rotisserie and grill items ($8.95 to $14), a sandwich and panini list ($7.50 to $12) and daily specials such as rotisseried pork mole with corn tamales ($11.95).
At breakfast, the Lemon Moon serves a frittata of the day, changing breakfast quiches, a fruit soup ($3.95), oatmeal and fruit, ($4.25), various egg dishes ($6.50 to $10.25), a croque monsieur ($7.50) and numerous sides.
It's located at 12200 W. Olympic Blvd., West Los Angeles and has a beer and wine license. Information: (310) 442-9191.
(1) no caption (Newman's Own salad dressings)
(2) no caption (``Great Health, Great Taste Everyday'')
(3) no caption (Baskin-Robbins ice cream)