Phew, what a whirlwind over the last few weeks! Right after getting back from Philadelphia, it was off to Los Angeles to visit my elementary school best friend, Mia. I'll spare you the squeals of joy that emanated from this 20-something-year-old-turned-13-years-old. They were shrill. They made the police officer at the airport smile at the reunion of two good friends who've known each other since they were 8-years-old
Anyway, not only did I get some sunshine and much needed relaxation, along with a brief sighting of Mario Lopez (cue me imitating Jessie Spano's "I'M SO EXCITED!"), but I ate at some pretty great places. Sadly, I did not manage to get to In N Out burgers. Next time. Before I break this trip down by all the tasty treats I consumed, I have to give a big thanks to my friend, Zack, who put together a fantastic list of places to eat and see on my trip. Here's what I ate in Los Angeles:
Pink's Hot Dogs
Okay, so it's a cliche tourist spot. But I had to eat here. One Today Show dog later (that's two all-beef hotdogs on one large bun with chili, cheese, onions and guacamole, thankyouverymuch), I was sold on this place. I will say that Ben's Chili Bowl has Pink's beat on chili any day.
Oh, you thought the burger craze was all the rage just in DC? LA is essentially the burger maven's haven. Short Order, the Counter, Umami Burger, In N Out, are just a few of the places I spied as I roamed Los Angeles. I only could eat one burger during my trip. I'm only one woman, after all. Short Order did indeed deliver on a juicy, flavorful burger, though it could have used some more secret sauce on Ida's Old School Burger.
I never would have expected to encounter so much Italian food in Los Angeles. But Mario Batali's spot proved to me that fantastic, thin crust pizza does exist on the west coast. Our other dishes were a little on the salty side, but the meatballs and fried zucchini blossoms were tasty. Mozza also reaffirmed my newfound love for (read: borderline obsession) the heavenly dessert known as budino--pudding with a salted caramel topping. Be still my heart.
I practically thought I was back in New Jersey when I stepped into this place. Real Italian deli sandwiches, the biggest cans of Cento tomatoes I have ever laid eyes on, amaretti cookies and a case full of homemade antipasti and salads. Their salami and mozzarella sandwich felt like home.
The Coffee Bean
In the words of my friend Zack, "If you ever want a Starbucks, go to Coffee Bean instead; that's super LA." Indeed it was. And their coffee was pretty tasty (and not burnt!).
The Original Farmer's Market & Bennett's Ice Cream
While it's not exactly a classic farmer's market (read: there are booths with trinkets and other non-food items), this was a pretty cool location to wander through on a sunny afternoon. I stopped at Bennett's to grab a scoop of their delicious ice cream with chocolate-covered toffee bits in it.
Rosewater and lavender ice cream were just the beginning of the unique flavors I found here. Perfect little treat on a hot day in LA.
So those were the highlights of where I ate in LA. Next up on my travel itinerary: Boston. Holler with suggestions on where to eat in Beantown!
Take a bite: www.bonappetitfoodie.com.