Over the first few days of my visit, all I heard in relation to food pretty much every where I went was "organic", "healthy" and "local". I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised, since the city of Angels is packed to the brim full of aspiring actors trying to look their best. What did surprise me was how easy it was to get your hands on all this great produce. All through the week, you can spot farmers markets around the town, with a seeming abundance of them on Sunday. Chatting with Charlie the night before, he encouraged me to visit one with him right in the heart of Hollywood, home to some of the suppliers of his restaurant.
Lining the streets for a couple of blocks either way were rows of stalls selling fresh fruit, veg, meat and even live seafood. As with most markets, we went along, checking out the stalls, snagging tasters when on offer. Apart from freakishly large strawberries, most of the fruit and veg tasted pretty great, with the oranges in particular tasting like no orange I had ever tasted. Sweet and delicious. Some blueberries, some of those oranges and some apples bought, we headed down to Silver Lake for some coffee.
I don't know a whole lot about coffee, but I know I love it. It seems the Angelenos love it to, and with the queue heading out of the door at Intelligentsia, I knew it had to be good, people normally only queue for the good stuff. When I finally got my lips around a cup, I knew it was. A deeper and slightly more bitter brew, but delightfully smooth. It didn't last very long, so once we were done, we gave up our seats to the waiting hordes and headed for lunch.
Charlie assured me that the food at our next stop Canele was good. He knew the owners who had very much the same ethos in food as he had, try and use the freshest and most seasonal ingredients in the best way that you could. As it was Sunday brunch, I ordered conservatively with a cheese and mushroom omelette, and a side of home cured bacon. The food was certainly good, with a faultless omelette, garlicky crisp home fries and a well dressed salad. The sad thing was that it took over an hour to turn up and the staff were looking sadly flustered with all the people they had to serve. Disappointing, but at least the food was good.
I really wanted an opportunity to meet other "foodies" and when I learnt of a pop up food and cocktail evening at the Roosevelt hotel held by Made by Meg, I signed up. What followed were lovely cocktails by mixologist Matthew Biancaniello paired with plates of food by Meg Hall. Some pairings were great, some were good, and some dishes were a little disappointing, but on the whole, the night was a great success. The chocolate terrarium to end the night was quite a delicious show stopper. I met a gaggle of LA food lovers who kept me company and were lovely to chat to, and all in all had a lovely evening. A really great day seeing and meeting a less touristy side of LA.
Silver Lake Intelligentsia - 3922 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Canele - 3219 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039-1831
Intelligentsia!! They started in Chicago you know!! I used to live down the street from their main shop in Chicago many years ago. Good stuff. Hope you enjoyed. (Personally, I think Monmouth is better. But Intelligentsia is still pretty darn good.)
@ Krista - They seem to have a load of shops all over, with a few roasteries dotted around. I agree, I think Monmouth is better but I was yearning for a good brew and it hit the spot! A bit of a way to travel for coffee though.
It's always so much better being taken around by a local. Sounds like you had a cracking time in LA.
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