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Easy and Delicious Cooking Recipes from Top Restaurants

written by Alexandra Azouz

We all have way too much time on our hands to be cooking mediocore meals in quarantine. So, make the most of your time with home-cooked meals that taste like your favorite restaurants. Take a look below for recipes from Malibu Farm, Magnolia Bakery, and Gjelina.
1. Malibu Farm

Malibu Farm is located at the end of the Malibu Pier in southern California, and has become a staple in Angelenos diets thanks to the beautiful dishes and memorable ocean views. Here are two recipes from Chef Helene Henderson’s beautiful Malibu Farm cookbook.

Fried Egg Sandwiches

Sandwich with egg, bacon and tomato next to two bottles of beer.

Ingredients (2 sandwiches)
4 eggs
Olive Oil
2 slices Havarti cheese
Lemon aioli; add grated garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice to mayonnaise
4 slices of good crusty bread, toasted just before using
small bunch of arugula
4 slices of bacon, cooked until fat rendered and drained on paper towels

Photo from Mailbu Farm Cookbook

Assemble your ingredients. Then fry the eggs, two at a time, in a dab of butter and a little olive oil, until crispy around the edges- cooked as much or as little as you wish. Sunny-side up or flip it over. Top with a slice of cheese. Give them a dash of salt, then remove to a plate and cook the other two eggs. Put the sandwich together: slather aioli on each bottom slice of bread, top with arugula, add two cooked eggs each and crispy bacon. Finish with the top slices of bread, also slathered with aioli. 

Halibut Sandwiches with Black Olive Aioli

Sandwich with fish, arugula, tomato, and dressing next two a bowl of fries.

Ingredients (4 sandwiches)
4 6-ounce halibut fillets (although any fish can be used)
4 brioche burger buns
Baby arugula
Tomatoes, sliced
Red onion, chopped
Black olive aioli; 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup pitted black kalamata olives, 1/2 cup parsley, 1 garlic clove, 1 tablespoon red onion or shallot, and salt all in the food processor until chunky

Photo from Mailbu Farm Cookbook

Season fish lightly with salt, and pan sear or grill. Toast the brioche burger buns, and put some arugula on the bottom. Add tomato or onion. Place the cooked fish on top and smear it with a large dollop of black olive aioli. Top with the bun and celebrate!

2. Magnolia Bakery

Ever since Allysa Torey opened Magnolia Bakery in 1996, Greenwich Village has been waiting patiently in line to satisfy their sugar cravings. Here are two simple and sweet recipes from their cookbook

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Round blueberry cake with drizzles vanilla glaze on top.

Ingredients (one 10 inch cake)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil (preferably canola)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, lightly coated with flour
Vanilla Glaze Ingredients
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vailla extract

Photo from The Red Headed Traveler

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch tube pan. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the oil, sugar, and eggs until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla, beating after each addition until smooth. Fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour. Remove from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack. 
To make the vanilla glaze: In the top of the double boiler, over barely simmering water, combine the sugar, cream, and vanilla. Stir until the ingredients are well blended, about 2 minutes. Pour into a glass measuring cup and cover until ready to use. When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze decoratively over the cake. Allow the glaze to set for 1 hour before slicing and serving the cake. 

Coconut Oatmeal Drop Cookies

Bowl of oatmeal cookies.

Ingredients (3 1/2 dozen cookies)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Photo from Buzzfeeed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until smooth, about 2 minutes. 
Add the egg and vanilla, and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the oats and coconut. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, and enjoy! 

3. Gjelina

Chef Travis Lett has captivated Angelenos with his unforgettable dishes. Stuck at home? Can’t seem to get a reservation? No problem! Here’s an easy pizza and pasta recipe from the Gjelina cookbook.

Pizza Pomodoro Crudo

Pizza with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil on top.

Flour for dusting
One 6 1/2 ball of pizza dough, proofed and stretched until 10 to 12 inches in diameter
2 cloves of garlic confit, roughly chopped
6 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Flaky sea aslt
3 oz stracciatella or burrata, torn into walnut size pieces
1 teaspoon olive oil (high quality recommended)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Photo from Gjelina Cookbook

Preheat oven to highest possible setting (500 degrees). Place baking sheet or pizza stone in the preheat this in the oven for 1 hour before cooking. Sprinkle flour to both sides of your pizza dough. Distribute the garlic confit over the dough, flicking the garlic oil that clings to your fingers onto the dough. Spread the cherry tomatoes around. They will not cover the entire area; there will be many gaps. Crumble half the oregano over the top, and season with a generous amount of salt. Slide dough onto heated stone or baking sheet, allowing it to bubble up and rise, 4 to 5 minutes. Once the rim starts to look pillowy and airy, turn it around in the oven to ensure it browns evenly all over. Open the oven and sprinkle stracciatella about 1 minute before the pizza is finished baking. It’s ready when the rim is a deep golden brown and beginning to char and the bottom of the pizza is crisp, 4 to 5 minutes total. 
Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle remaining oregano on top. Season with more salt. If the basil leaves are small, leave them whole and scatter them over the top, tear larger ones in half. Slice and serve hot. 

Spaghetti Pomodoro

Spaghetti topped with tomato sauce, parmesan, and oregano.

3/4 cup Pomodoro Sauce
6 fresh basil leaves
Pinch of dried oregano
Flaky sea salt
6 oz. dried spaghetti, preferably no. 7 thickness
2 tablespoons olive oil
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Photo from Gjelina Cookbook

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Place the Pomodoro sauce in a 10-inch stainless-steel sauté pan over medium-high heat and slowly bring to a simmer. Stir three of the basil leaves and the oregano into the sauce. Taste for salt and adjust as necessary. The sauce should just reduce slightly. Remove from the heat while the pasta cooks. 
Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook at a rolling boil for 4 minutes, stirring often. It is done when a noodle will drape over your tongs and raised out of the water. It will still be very firm. Using the tongs, remove the spaghetti from the boiling water, transferring directly to the sauce. 
Place the pan over medium-high heat, and cook the spaghetti in the sauce. Splash in additional pasta water as necessary. 1 Tbsp at a time, to keep the sauce at the ideal thickness (not too thin or too solid) and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Tear the remaining three basil leaves into the sauce. Add the olive oil, toss, and taste for seasoning again. The spaghetti should be well seasoned, with a fruity olive oil overtone. You can add crushed red pepper flakes if you like it spicy. 
Divide among two places and serve immediately. Parmesan at the table for topping. 

Meet Alex!

Name: Alexandra Azouz
Pao username: @alexazouz
Bio: Alexandra is a music-loving foodie influencer from Southern California. Alexandra holds a B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles, and was a brand ambassador for restaurants near campus. After graduation, she backpacked across Europe, visiting 12 countries in three months. She then moved to West Hollywood and immersed herself in the LA food scene by working in restaurant PR, attending food festivals, and making it her mission to find all hidden restaurant and speakeasy gems in the city. She spends her free time planning next travel, staying active outdoors, attending concerts with friends, and food blogging. Her favorite part of Pao is sharing treasured spots and finding new ones so she never has to go to the same place twice.

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Anna Zervos


Anna graduated from UCLA in 2017 where she studied psychology and cognitive science. Her passion for travel, design, and psychology fuel her passion for Pao. On the Pao team she is in charge of feature development, business strategy, UI/UX, and big picture marketing strategies. Anna has been to over 40 countries and plans to keep that number growing. She hopes to inspire people to get outside their comfort zones and eventually give back to people who aren’t able to.

Favorite food

Tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas

Favorite band

The 1975

Favorite movie genre

Psychological horror/thriller

Favorite hobby

Singing and playing guitar

Favorite place in the world

Antipaxos, Greece

Sara Zervos


Sara is has a PhD in Economics and spent 22 years in the finance industry managing teams and over $20bn in assets. She is Pao’s CFO and CTO, and also spearheads business development and AI initiatives. She has traveled to over 57 countries, adores animals and the outdoors. Sara loves to connect with people and help them learn and strive to be their best selves.

Favorite food

Peanut Butter

Favorite band


Favorite movie genre

Sci Fi

Favorite hobby

Salsa Dancing

Favorite place in the world

Kauai & New Zealand are tied