Sunday, August 23, 2020

Best Meals in LA: The 2017-2019 Edition

I thought I had the LA food scene pretty well-documented on this blog, but then I saw that my last LA Eats post was from 2016 – and I’ve been back five times since then!

Instead of sharing every single meal I had, which would be an enormous list, I have decided to curate it by sharing the best meals. Here they are in order:

Guerilla Tacos
My first Michele-star dining experience and boy did it exceed my expectations! I especially loved the Mexican-Japanese fusion. Where else can you eat a tostada with peach and uni?

Bottega Louie
I dine here on every trip to LA. At first, I was just ordering cakes and macarons, but after seeing all the delicious pizza sitting at other diners’ tables which walking through the restaurant to use the bathroom, I decided to order a pizza for myself one time and I became hooked. I love the TARTUFO pizza which includes mozzarella, fontina, truffle pecorino, crème fraîche, black truffle mushroom pâté and a soft cooked egg. Absolutely amazing!

My first experience at Perch was in the evening with a group of friends, and I was the only one who ordered food. Thank goodness I did because I was able to try their incredible Steak Frites and thus inspired to return on my next trip to LA. We made reservations and were lucky to get outdoor seating next to the edge so we had a fabulous view. The whole experience of being at Perch is awesome from the food, to the service, to the ambiance and view.

The Row at DTLA
The first time we went to The Row it was a Tuesday evening and everything was closed. So we decided to return on a Sunday afternoon to see the place when it was open. That Sunday was packed and people were lined up to get food at some lobster carts outside. I was tempted to join the crowds and line up at the most popular carts, but by chance ended up ordering a Patita, which is slow cooked then deep fried pork shank coated with special spoon & pork sauce served on jasmine rice & cucumber flower, from Spoon and Pork. This was one of the best meals we had on our trip and I am so happy I discovered them.

Daily Dose
Now, I am not a sandwich person. When someone suggests sandwiches I tend to decline. But a friend took me to Daily Dose in a group and I could not dissent. I am so glad I didn’t, because since that first time I tried their delicious sandwiches I retuned on every single trip since. Unfortunately the Daily Dose closed, but the owner opened a new café in the same location that I am eager to try.

Grand Central Market
I love this hawker-style food court and like to try a new restaurant there every time I visit. I have had bagels at a deli, Mexican tacos, and an egg sandwich from the popular Eggslut.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Dispatches from Addis Ababa

I spent a week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in February of 2020 for work. I did not know at the time that it would be the last business trip of the year one the pandemic hit. This is an excerpt from my diary as I await my flight at the airport.

"I’m sitting here in the terminal awaiting my flight to Addis Ababa. I have been wanting to go on this trip my whole life. Finally I am being paid to go, and yet I am miserable. Shouldn’t I be excited? Shouldn’t I be honored that I have the opportunity to participate on a trip in the way that I always wanted to? And here I am, getting paid to go to a new country, a new continent, on a trip where I am working at my top expertise. And yet I am sad, I am frustrated, I want to return home.
There’s something especially rough about being awake and at an airport in the wee hours of the morning, whether its because I had to leave my bed and ride a Lyft here, or because I had a long layover. I just don’t like missing a night of sleep, or being awake and sitting up when I want to be asleep and sitting down, or having to be in a place where nothing is open. Maybe that’s why I’m bitter now. Because I’m tired and uncomfortable and displeased with this airport and nervous about my very long 13-hour flight. Didn’t I write a blog post once that said, “the journey is definitely not the reward” after a particularly brutal trip to Japan, but that how it was oh-so-worth it once I got to Tokyo and had sushi with my best friend? And didn’t I question, every single time I was on a flight, why on earth I would want to put myself through such misery, and that I am never traveling again? And yet each time I get to my destination I quickly forget the misery of airplane travel and fall in love, once more, with this beautiful earth.
I think I am realizing now, that nothing I do is without sacrifice. A long time ago, when I was young and single, I once longed for nothing more than to escape life on an airplane and arrive somewhere in Asia. But now that I have a husband and a baby, every time I leave without them I leave them behind. I sacrifice time with them for these trips. But if I take them with me, I sacrifice time alone. Nothing I do from here on will be without sacrifice. I will always be giving up one thing for another.

- Diary Excerpt, February 14th, 2020 6:35am

Monday, August 3, 2020

The most anticipated date

We've been dying to check out Korean restaurant Han Oak for years. Every time we make a reservation we end up needing to postpone or cancel. Finally, after two years we made it in, and were not disappointed. This one of the best prix meals we every had.

Jacket: vintage via my aunt
Dress: H&M from Portugal
Bag: vintage Coach
Belt: Primark in London

The restaurant:

The meal:

The Gambia: Photo Diaries from the City

Although I flew into Banjul, I spent very little time there. Most of my time 'in the city' was actually spent in Banjul's sprawl...