Friday, November 21, 2008

Birthday Trip to LA

Just a quick comment on my trip. It was entirely food. In twenty-four hours we managed to eat dim sum at Elite, shop at a nearby Asian market, eat tapas at Cobras y Matador, a midnight snack in Thai town at Ruen Pair, and a late breakfast/lunch at my old haunt, HOME in Los Feliz.

A side note: I recently read an article in Wired saying that blogs are dead and that twitter-like sites are taking over. Perhaps there should be food twitters instead of blogs. Since I never have time to blog I'm thinking I should "twitter" my food thoughts.

So here's a breakdown:

1.)Dim Sum at Elite: long wait, everything was tasty, prices on the higher end, sweeter items (BBQ Pork Bao, Almond shrimp ball and Snow Bun with Almond Flavor) were satisfying but some of the dumplings didn't have enough flavor for me (ex: the shark's fin and red clam dumpling). They were also missing a few items I love. Overall I'd go back but I missed the carts. Didn't think I would but I did. It's not better than Pearl in San Diego but it's worth the wait.

2.)Cobras y Matador: I've already been there but remembered it fondly and it was near the concert (The Black Keys!) we were attending. Service was a bit slow considering the place was nearly empty but the food was good. I think we had artichoke fritters and roasted mussels (oven dried tomatoes, saffron, wine). Now I know inflation has greatly affected restaurants but even though the food is good it's way too pricey.

3.)I did a LOT of research before this trip on where to go for Thai food since I had to have good dim sum and good Thai. Well, Ruen Pair is the place and I'm so glad we went. They serve the best papaya salad I've ever had. Truly addictive. I even ate the leftovers for breakfast. We also had tasty shrimp cakes and chicken sate which was also pretty good. The papaya salad was so good (in my opinion) that I'm still thinking about it.

4.)HOME: The neon sign (which has, sadly, changed a bit) says "There's No Place like HOME". It's true. This is still one of my favorite restaurants and it serves simple salads, sandwiches, etc. The prices are still affordable, the portions are large and easy to share, and they have great waffle fries and excellent bruchetta. I almost always get their chicken cesaer salad wrap but this time I got a different sandwich that was just as delicious. I'm sure plenty of people would say I'm exaggerating but, for me, this truly is home. Oh, they also renovated and the whole place is clean and cozy (in a good way, not a "cramped" way) instead of crumbling like it was when I first moved to LA.

While I missed LA food, I did not miss the traffic. The weekend we went it was hazy and crowded and reminds me of why I live in wine country (Santa Barbara's). Being in close proximity to good wine has made it worth it to live without some of my favorite foods. I'm just going to have to improve upon my Asian home-cooking skills and learn how to make a mean papaya salad myself. Guess I'll be stocking up everytime I find an Asian market. Until I can afford to open up my own dim sum restaurant up here, that is. Would it be weird to have a small plates restaurant witih dim sum, tapas, and Thai appetizers?

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