Water Heater

I am installing the water heater today. When I purchased it yesterday at Hirsch in Glendale the salesman thought I was crazy for buying an electric water heater with 18 KW. He thought it must be a mistake. There is no need for something so powerful for a tiny restaurant. I don’t know. I am just following orders.

I walked down to Mike and Anne’s in South Pasadena and spoke with the owner, Ashley to ask about her water heater. She had the same problem that we are having. The health department required her to have an overabundance of hot water. Ashly said that the people who she bought the water heaters from said she has enough hot water to supply a 120 unit apartment building. Is that crazy or what?

Here are a few photographs from the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market

To do list

I wrote another to do list today. I wrote it across the first draft of the menu on  6 pieces of  18 by 22 pieces of off white drafting paper that I taped together with scotch tape. This draft started out as a mark up of the menu but it has morphed into a collage of phone numbers, to do lists and grocery lists.

Today’s to do list:

– Get a land line. Why does a land line cost so much when no one uses a land lines anymore? We only need one for incoming calls yet it’s still expensive.

– Apply for business license. Done.

– Find a 50 gallon 16KW water heater. The 40 gallon tank works  fantastic, but the health dept wants me to upgrade. What about being environmentally conscious. Where is that old one  end up? If anyone needs a great 40 gallon electric water heater give me a call.

– Make a decision about the espresso machine. Yikes. I have a perfectly good (free)  machine without  NSF certification. I need to now spend $1500-$5000 on another machine. The silver lining is that the old machine will come home with me.

– Order patio chairs. Anne found them at a great price. She ordered 10 tables and 20 chairs today.  With the community table we can seat 34 people. That’s pretty good. I am happy with that. Done

– Logo Logo Logo. We need to get a jump on this. We’ve been dealing so much with construction that we haven’t finalized our logo. We love the look of typewriter font. We also like this logo

Radish We’re pretty crazy about Radish. Anne says our place will look just as cool when she gets done with it.

– Find or have manufactured an 18 inch stainless steel safety guard for the back of the 4 burner stove. This was unanticipated. The first inspector made no mention of a problem with the stove, but her replacement found a need to make a change.

Down to Washington Street tomorrow to have some one make  one for me. Hopefully it won’t cost too much.

I haven’t written for two weeks. Maybe I have been lazy or maybe it’s been the distraction of the LA county health department that has kept me busier than I wish or maybe it’s been the falling rain. It’s been raining in LA for days which is extremely unusual for this time of year.

Today the clouds parted and gave us a  brief glimpses of a blue sky. I drank an espresso on the patio at Fiore while I pondered the leaks from my newly installed prep sink. I spent  too much time taking the fixtures on and off, tightening them before adding more white tape, putting them back on only to be greeted by the long slow drip of water from the back of the sink. By the time I left the restaurant I got the leak down to about 4 seconds from when the leak formed on the bottom of the flex pipe until it dropped to the floor. The puddle was small but definitely present. I pretended it wasn’t too bad. I’ll give it another try tomorrow.

Anne set tables on the patio last week to see how they look. We ate lunch on the tables and watched the people pass by. Immediately we were interrupted by mothers with strollers wondering if we were open. It was an encouraging sign.

I’ve posted some new pictures. Some of them are rather crude. They show our current reality. A month ago I posted some really sweet looking pictures of my ideal kitchen. I was so damn proud of how it came together, but now after consultation with the health department the kitchen looks like a motorcycle workshop. There are  tools everywhere and those tools are surrounded by dirty espresso cups, used espresso, a bottle of olive oil and my beautiful and wonderfully performing espresso machine that was on hiatus in my garage for 7 years. Now that i have it working like a dream I was informed by the health department that I can’t use it because it is not NSF certified. It doesn’t have that little blue sticker. Those inspectors are like blood hounds, but instead of looking for something good they spend all there time looking for these little blue tags. The tags glisten on the stainless steel sinks. They are usually hidden on equipment, but if caught in the right light they stand out like a light on a Christmas tree.

The work table is my 8 foot long wood table that I bought to use in the kitchen. I was inotified by my new friends that it was too old and worn to be used in the kitchen. I must replace it with a shiny new stainless steel table. Oh the warmth of it. Can’t wait.

Sorry for the deep sarcasm.

We’re actually ok with everything. Fiore is moving along. I hope to have the majority of the work finished by next week. It’s been a fun ride so far.








Health Department Part II

It’s been a few days. I have been preoccupied with Fiore and the health department. The health inspector was very good about the first round. It should have taken 20 days but she made the corrections in three. She called me yesterday about 3pm to let me know I could pick them up. Yes. that was quick. The woman behind the counter was condescending. She said, “now make sure you read the instructions carefully and when you are done call for an appointment”. I felt like I was  5 listening to my kindergarten teacher give me instruction on how to open a book.

The corrections are not too complicated. A few of them are simple. I named items incorrectly. I  labeled  a service counter a pastry display counter which requires a special NSF certificate. We named the floor sink a floor drain.  On the drawings we did not state that they were drawn to 1/4 inch scale which they were. A few items  require more money as usual. The most expensive being the certified air balance test in the kitchen. The test was done early this morning.

My friend Gary and I will work on the drawings this weekend. I should say he will redraw them I will do my best to help. Thankfully we made a few extra copies of the original drawing. Thankfully they were done in pencil. I will stop by Staples for an extra large erasure. I wore the other one out.

Here are some pictures of the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market. I took them with the hipstamatic app.

Brother Bob back to Chicago

Brother Bob flew back to Chicago today. We had a great time this week laughing our asses off. Bob is probably one of the funniest people I know. He has a gift at making people laugh. I will miss him.

We ate and drank much too much coffee and espresso. Every morning we had to figure out  where to find the best espresso for the day. A few places that we checked out. Cognoscenti in Eagle Rock. Intelligentsia, Cafecito Organico in Silverlake, Kaldi in South Pasadena, Peets in Pasadena and finally today at Fiore Market Cafe. It took us a week but we eventually made a good espresso at Fiore. Grazie mille Bob. Sei un fratello molto buono.

Health Department

The health department came yesterday and shook our world. I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. She was tough and direct and unflinching in her demand to get this old restaurant up to the new codes. It has operated for years with an A grade in it’s current state, but if we wish to open it again we must make some major changes. The most significant is replacing all the dish-washing sinks with ones that have different dimensions. The prep sink, currently is too small. The 3-compartment sink is too large. The water heater must be re-placed with a 60 gallon unit.

Worst of all I can’t use the hardwood work table because it’s too worn. I also have to figure out a different location for the espresso machine. It must be close enough to the floor drain so that the waste water can be drained.

Well we press on. This weekend we do the plans for a second time. I hope to get them submitted by Monday or Tuesday. Here are some new pictures from the week.

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