Let Me Feed You L.A.

August 17, 2012

LA, what an unfortunate city. Everything is conceited, and the people are like cardboard cutouts; all incredibly vain, all claiming to be talented actresses or screenwriters waiting to be discovered. There is a disappointing fixation on material goods, and every street is called a Boulevard though there is very little that is pretty or admirable about these highway-like death roads.
Honestly, the best part of LA by far was the food and sleeping in my bed at the Beverley Wiltshire (BIG thanks to Mum and Dad for treating me to a night there), which was like sleeping on clouds, so soft and silky and snuggly. Thankfully I was only in LA for 24 hours, but as you will see, I managed to pack in quite a few excellent gastronomic experiences!

Jar

8225 Beverly Blvd

Upon the recommendation of the concierge at the hotel, I had dinner at Jar steakhouse. It’s quite a swanky place; low lighting, noisy but not rowdy, white linen tablecloths and excellent service. I perched myself at the bar and ordered a G&T before commencing a good bout of my favourite pastime, people watching.

The bar staff, once they’d cottoned on to the fact that I wanted a meal and not just several gin and tonics, brought out a menu and I ordered myself an eye fillet steak with horseradish sauce and some sauteed pea tendrils. The steak was incredible, one of the best I can ever remember having. Coupled with a glass of Californian red, I was almost delirious with happiness by the time I made it back to my hotel and crawled into bed.

Cut

9500 Wilshire Blvd (inside the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel)
Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, Cut, is also in Beverly Hills. Having driven past his mega-mansion earlier that day while on a bus tour of Hollywood (and yes the tour guide was a budding writer), I was keen to see what had made this man so successful. The actual restaurant is quite formal, but because I was catching my flight home and didn’t have much time, I opted for a quick meal at the bar.

While munching on the delicious onion focaccia and olives provided, I noticed a middle aged man sitting at the bar with a chihuahua on his shoulder. Just standing on his freaking shoulder like some sort of parrot and yapping occasionally! The bar staff didn’t seem to mind, so I can only assume that this sort of thing (that is, dogs sitting on people’s shoulders in bars where people eat and drink) is normal.

I didn’t have one of the steaks sourced from Blackmore in Victoria (given my steak binge the night before), but did enjoy a whole roasted Loup de Mer with tomatoes. It was served whole but then filleted for me which was great because you get the taste of a fish roasted on its bones but with zero fuss. On the side, I had some polenta with parmesan; a warm bowl of creamy goodness.

The Farmers’ Market

The Farmers’ Market is a set of takeaway food stalls and food-related shops that’s partly under cover and attracts people because of its casual atmosphere. I wandered around a bit looking for somewhere to eat but couldn’t go past a place called the Gumbo Pot, which serves (supposedly) authentic New Orleans cuisine. Always keen to try something new, I jumped at the chance!

The Po Boy was HUGE and choka block full of succulent, crumbed prawns, and the bread was super soft and squishy. Amazing.

The cornbread, which I wrapped up and ate later, was dense but wonderfully sweet and very moorish. May have to look up a recipe for home.

And the jambalaya – oh the jambalaya! A tomato-y, wet stew of rice, chili, chicken and pork with just the right amount of spices. Tasty comfort food, it’s the sort of thing you want to cuddle up on the couch with in winter.

Everything really was so, so brilliant, it only cost me $15 and kept me full for the rest of the day. I was also keen to try the drunken shrimp, or some even catfish. Methinks a trip to New Orleans is in store!

To finish my posts on the US, a humourous foodie experience.

Light My Fire is undoubtedly the best condiment shop I’ve ever come across. Hundreds, possibly thousands of bottles of hot sauce line the shelves of this little shop, all beckoning and taunting and daring you to try. In addition to the G-rated photos I’ve provided here, they had plenty of labels and names that were quite rude and, frankly, mildly pornographic. All very amusing – though I don’t know how anyone could possibly choose one sauce above the rest in this shop – perhaps having a wild, attention-grabbing label is the way to go!

Burn Jane Burn.

That’s it for my US posts; hope they’re been somewhat useful for anyone planning a trip to the States!

Now all that’s left is for me to face the huge backlog of posts from Melbourne I have yet to write up. Unfortunately law school has the unpleasant tendency to overwhelm you with work – so either I won’t be posting much in the coming weeks, or I’ll be posting more frequently than usual as a form of procrastination! What is certain is that I will be enjoying a good coffee or two (especially after the caffeine wasteland that is America), and hopefully finding the time to write about it!

Filed under: United States

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