What follows …is FOOD #1
Just available in English: There are a few things you should know about me. I love to travel, I search out new / good food wherever I go, brunch being my preference over other meals of the day, and I have a strange fascination with iced drinks in the warm weather months.
On my recent visit to Los Angeles I was not disappointed with what I found. For those of you who have visited Los Angeles, the food has always been pretty healthy and the Mexican food is some of the best in the USA, but new and creative was a bit behind other major US cities like San Francisco and New York. On my recent trip I found out that Los Angeles has caught up with these other culinary cities, enough to even warrant some Los Angeles restaurants opening 2nd branches in New York and visa verse.
I was happy to find out that one of my favorite New York vegan/vegatarian Juice bar/café’s, Butcher’s Daughter, opened up a branch in Venice. My favorite meals are their breakfast/brunch menu, which include creative juices and smoothies, but they also serve good dinner (note, juices and smoothies are not served in the evening). On this visit we had dinner and enjoyed vegan crab cakes, as well as a spicy kale salad and a vegan burger as our main. All were easy to share and delicious. Definitely worth checking out.
On any trip to Los Angeles my go to restaurant for any meal is Gjelina and their sister Deli/ Juice Bar/ Bakery Gjusta. The menus at both establishments are so overwhelming, they you want everything! Gjelina is a beautiful restaurant that doesn’t take reservations during the day, but they become a necessity at night. The dishes are easy to share and full of farm-fresh ingredients. I stopped for lunch and had a Grilled Brocclini Plate and a Salmon Pastrami Sandwich. If I could wish for any restaurant to open where I live, in Berlin, this would be the one. Luckily for me they have come out with a cookbook, so I can at least attempt to recreate their tasty dishes.
We stopped at Gjusta after our lunch and enjoyed an Ice Coffee with their homemade nutmilk and some dessert. I had a Cornmeal Snickerdoodle Cookie and my friend a Berry Scone. Both were out of this world. It’s worth noting that Gjusta makes amazing breads and has a vast selection of delectable smoked fish, it’s hard to walk out of there without ordering more than you intended… It looks and tastes that good!
*** worth noting is that they will open up a New York branches around Bond street in the near future.
On another day my friend took me to a newish café in Silverlake called Sqirl. It was well worth the journey. It opens at 6:30am and serves breakfast and lunch, it’s self-service and there is always a line out the door of people waiting to order. The menu is creative, healthy and tasty with a variety of egg and vegetable dishes as well as delicious sweet choices as well. We ordered Sorrel Pesto Rice served with watermelon radishes, feta and a poached egg, which was very popular, and a Chickpea Curry w/ Kale and a poached egg on top. I accompanied it with a Vegan Horchata Drink. (I have been told the Riccota Toast here is also a must, but we were already full.) All were good, but I’m not sure I would travel that far and wait in a long line for it on a normal occasion, but it’s still worth checking the place out and they are also coming out with their own cookbook shortly!
For those that are Downtown and are not sure what they want to eat, Grand Central Market is for you. The location opened up in 1917 and has been in continuous operation since then. The vendors have changed over the years but we found everything from a Jewish Deli (Wexler’s Deli), Vegan Ramen (Ramen Hood), Egg dishes (Eggslut), Burgers (Belcampo Meat Co.), Mexican and more. There really is something for everyone and many of the vendors offer delicious innovative choices. It is open for breakfast and lunch and from Thursday to Saturday for early dinner as well. For any foodie that is downtown, this is a must visit.
Gourmet Doughnut shops are popping up everywhere these days and in Santa Monica I was not disappointed with Sidecar Doughnuts. With flavors like ‘Mexican Hot Chocolate’, ‘Butter & Salt ‘(brownbutter and fleur de sel glaze) and ‘Horchata’, to name a few, and always a gluten-free variety as well, one could quite happily eat their way through their selection without a second thought. For those who are wanting something more savory they offer a “Country Ham & Egg’ with a poached egg, with ham and hollandaise sauce inside which looked delicious!
My report would not be finished without including the coffee shop that I tend to always get a lot of Ice coffee’s from on my visits, Groundwork . They have several locations throughout the city, as well as a Roaster, and offer a wide selection of certified organic coffee and tea drinks that they also sell wholesale. On top of that they have a tasty food and pastry selection with something for vegans and gluten intolerant guests as well. I loved it even more because they make their own cashew milk, instead of selling it packaged, which was a great addition to my ice coffee.
Thank you Los Angeles for your delicious food, and for letting me somehow get on the plane still able to close the top button of my jeans.