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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ethan's L.A. trip.

I used to hate L.A. In fact I didn’t much care for any of southern California. Perhaps it was one too many trips down there stuck with my family in a cramped relatives house in Anaheim, no offense Auntie. Whatever it was that has all changed now. I love that town. A lot. I love the scenery. I love the culture. I love the smell in the air. I love the ocean. I love the food.

The unexpected chance to eat at a couple of restaurants in L.A. arose when Sarah and i made better time driving down to California than expected. If you want to eat in L.A. just ask My wife's sister Emily. She knows more little gems in that city than anybody i know.

We started with a mean bowl of Pho. The place doesn't even have a name. No sign. Nothing to tell you that it is a restaurant. You walk in and there is a long row of tables running parallel to the kitchen, chair, and lights. Simple as can be. But the soup is the antithesis of the decor. Rich, complex, spicy, aromatic broth. Thin, ever so slightly toothsome rice noodles. Crunchy sprouts. Fragrant basil. A little kick from the samabal and chilies. Truly a beautiful soup.

Well with time to kill before our dinner reservation what else are you going to do but get dessert? Have you ever been to Milk? You should. Fabulous homemade ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, chocolate and nut covered "drumsticks", chewy cookies of all sorts: dark molasses with icing, chocolate chocolate chip, oatmeal, etc. And oh yes we tried a bit of it all.

Although our dinner spot wasn't my idea, i was more than excited to try it out. Street. Susan Feniger's restaurant. Creating a menu based on street food from around the world. Dishes such as saag paneer, Brazilian black eye pea fritters, ma po tofu, chicken tatsutaage with yuzu kosho mayo, melon salad, corn with pork belly and Chinese 5 spice (a personal favorite, don't be surprised if you see a rendition of this on our menus). The flavors were bold, and the execution of the dishes was great. Although we had to wait quite some time for our table despite having a reservation, the staff more than made up for it though apologies and complementary snack. We also had the pleasure of talking to Susan as she had just walked off the plane from Vietnam and in to her restaurant for a bite to eat with her friends. She is a bubbly woman who isn't shy about talking to each guest in her restaurant.

We packed a lot into about 5 hours of eating plus sight seeing. I can't get enough of that place. Can't wait to go back.

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