I did receive an enthusiastic welcome home from my cat, Ernie, which was nice. Although she has practically been glued to my side since, and has received extra treats regularly to soothe my guilty conscience. And I've finally gotten used to the idea of going back to work, that was an unusually hard one to accept this time around.
While I’m glad to be back home in NH and (finally) settling back into my life, I feel like I reconnected with my city in a way that I haven’t had a chance to in the past. When I visit Los Angeles I typically have a few places that are a must for me to go eat at so I can get my fill of the things I'm missing in NH, surprisingly I didn't go to any but one. I wanted to, but my schedule didn't really allow for it and in the end I got to see a whole new side to my city. Every place I dined was a new and fresh experience for me, which made me fall in love with the diversity that I’ve always known L.A. to have but sort of limited myself off to the places I was determined to be loyal to, this is a little taste of what I experienced.
I had my first burger from the restaurant inside the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood called 25 Degress at midnight the night I arrived, I didn't want to miss an opportunity!
The next day my friend Dione treated me to a roasted carrot salad from the cafe where she works called The Sycamore Kitchen on La Brea. A nice little cafe with a full bakery, espresso bar, seasonal breakfast and lunch specials and a lovely outdoor patio.
I got to spend a full day with my friend Andrew, my most trusted food and restaurant adviser, catching up and fooding around L.A., mostly Korea Town. Our usual goal is to pack in as much food and as many new places in as possible when I'm in town so I had my first experience with Korean dumplings which were amazing and then headed over to Kyochon chicken, a Korean fried chicken chain that will make you want to eat their garlic soy friend chicken for days.
After our Korean feast we headed over the La Mill Coffee boutique in Silver Lake for some dessert and coffee. My inner barista geeked out on a new coffee and I got to try a brewing method called Eva Solo which is actually very similar to brewing loose leaf tea. Andrew knows the way into my foodie heart.
More of the food experiences that I failed to photograph included several bags of Flamin' Hot Cheeto Puffs my favorite processed food, and the discovery of Tapatio lays which were almost as tough to stop eating. A trip to Lemongrass in Eagle Rock with my lifelong friend Sara for a long chat over a delicious bowl of pho and crispy spring rolls. Happy hour at Kabuki for the spicy tuna salad with my favorite girls. My first taste of Bulgarini Gelato, scoops of both goat's milk with cocoa nibs (sort of a cool riff on chocolate chip) and macadamia nut, totally killer. A lovely meal from Taix at my dear friend's wedding, where I also indulged in a couple delicious, and strong negronis. Although the nicest food experience while I was home was getting an excellent home cooked Egyptian meal by my new friend, Warda, on my last night in Los Angeles.
While I'm sad I missed out on some of my go-to favorites like Pho Super Bowl in Alhambra and of course my favorite west coast burger chain In-N-Out, it was so nice to break out of my shell a little bit and see the food in L.A. from the point of view of my friends in 2013.
I love L.A.