05 January, 2010

Why I love Los Angeles, CA. (It's not the wine)

No, I don't love LA because of the balmy 70 degree late December weather. And I could care less about the film industry and celebrity culture. What I love about LA is the variety of culinary treasures available. I am not talking about the trendy, upscale eateries. I am talking about the food of the people! The pupusas, pancakes, fried chicken and bread pudding! All the stuff that is good for you, especially the pig candy. So here is the synopsis of my mini culinary tour:

So yes, Robert and I really pigged out starting with the pig candy, the specialty dish of the wine bar known as "Lou" in Hollywood. This porcine delicacy is a small serving of bacon house-cured in brown sugar and a combination of 10 secret spices, including smoky paprika. It is a chewy, sweet, rich concoction of pig meat with a smoky poke. Simply addictive...By the way Lou on Vine is a wine bar in Hollywood specializing in wines from Europe (and a few Californians) that also serves entree-sized plates (think Divers Scallops, Merguez sausage and Steak frites.)

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Next on the foodie agenda was Dinah's Famous Chicken. Admittedly this ain't Thomas Keller's fried chicken but I cannot resist crispy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside fried chicken. Although they don't serve the kinda southern style sides I like (collard greens, sweet potatoes and red beans and rice,etc.) I still love Dinah's chicken with green beans and smashed potatoes. And even better, it is on the way to LAX.

A happy camper at Dinah's.

Next up: pancakes at the LA breakfast institution "The Griddle Cafe."

Snow-covered mountains or Oreo Pancakes?

Modern art or nutella-stuffed French Toast?

It doesn't matter what they look like because they taste phenomenally good. This is what I call breakfast decadence and The Griddle has the most creative pancake and french toast menu. Ever have corn flakes or cinnamon toast crunch in your pancakes? You can have it at The Griddle. You can have pumpkin pie pancakes, carrot cake pancakes, the infamous "bluesberry" pancakes and they even have Red Velvet pancakes for the holidays. The pancakes are the size of the plate and you get three per order. When the server brings the plate to the table your mouth drops they are so shockingly large. Normal people cannot finish the whole plate. Check out the size compared to the average person's hand:

Dang! That's a huge-ass pancake. Check out their menu at: www.thegriddlecafe.com

An honorable mention for Pupuseria del Valle in Burbank, CA. Tuesdays are $1 pupusa day. I don't have pictures of these delectable, cheesy corn cakes cuz they simply did not last long enough to be photographed.

Alas, I have saved the best for last: the most amazing bread pudding on Earth. Next time you are in the Echo Park neighborhood get yourself to "Masa." I had an oral orgasm eating this bread pudding. Oral orgasm? Is that possible? Well go experience your first one at Masa. Chef/Baker Steve explained how this orgasmic dessert is made. First the bread: buttery croissant bread, chocolate croissant bread and almond croissant bread all baked together with vanilla custard. It arrives to the table drizzled with caramel and dusted with cocoa powder. One serving is perfect to share in the charming restaurant. Visit them at www.masaofechopark.com

This concludes our culinary tour. We pigged out so much that we forgot to find the Korean BBQ taco truck. There's always next time.
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