A Weekend in LA – Part 2

21st June 2009

Every time I visit LA I finding something new to love. It’s a sprawling city and with almost every turn I’m excited to see what little neighborhood we’re going to find. The only thing I’m really sad about is that we didn’t get a chance to venture over to Silver Lake and Atwater Village. Next trip!

Eat

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Joan’s on Third – this place gets a lot of press and it should! It’s one of the best grocery/deli/restaurants ever – I’d eat there every day if I could. We tasted fabulous cheeses and ate wonderful little baguettes with ham and brie.

animal – I’d been reading a lot about animal, but didn’t realize until we got to LA that the “two guys” were from a Food Network show. Generally that’s a turn-off for me, but it was a really lovely dining experience. And, there is a reason it’s named animal – the menu is jam-packed full of meat. We went outside our comfort zone and tried pork belly with kimchi, peanuts, chili soy and scallions, poutine with oxtail gravy and cheddar (aka fries with melted cheddar cheese and gravy – yum!), and finally, a flat iron steak with potatoes, morel mushrooms and truffle parmesan fondue. The food was super-rich, but super-delicious! I’d eat there again in a heartbeat.

Tasca – this little wine bar on Third Street is a gem. It’s small and intimate, and the food is fabulous. We tried just about every tapa on the menu, as well as a cheese plate. I loved everything. (PS – we had my birthday dinner there, so I’m biased.)

Lucques – we decided to try the special Sunday night supper, which I’d read a lot about. Everyone has a choice of two entrees on the menu – ours were chicken or halibut. It was a great meal – maybe not as legendary as I’d anticipated, but great nonetheless. I think I’d rather go on an evening when I could order off the regular menu.

See and Do (and Shop!)

We ventured all over LA on our trip. My favorite places were the Farmer’s Market, the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica and the Brentwood Country Mart. (And of course, Venice, which you can read about in an earlier post.)

The LA Farmer’s Market is not your average farmer’s market (at least, not like the ones I visit here on the East Coast). The booths are fixed and open at a set time each day. There is virtually no fresh produce, rather meat and fish markets, shops with trinkets, restaurants, and even a peanut butter store. It’s a great place to get a cup of coffee and roam around. We had an early lunch at a great little spot called Loteria. They have a fabulous taco sampler that is not on the menu – I highly suggest trying it out!

The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica was another favorite spot of mine. It’s pretty commercial, but a great place for people watching. And, don’t get me wrong, there is definitely some great shopping!

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My most favorite find on this trip was the Brentwood Country Mart. I’d read about it, but never visited. We literally stumbled upon it one afternoon on our way back to our hotel. It is full of wonderful shops, restaurants, and the most fabulous little post office I’ve ever seen! If you’re there around lunchtime, stop for a burger at Barney’s. All their food is local and sustainable – and totally delicious!!

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