I’ll Eat LA


I went to Los Angeles armed with lists of places to go – Father’s Office, Campanile for grilled cheese, Mozzo Pizzeria, the Kogi Truck – and didn’t get to go to any of them.  Instead of seeking these hyped places, my dining experience was a random selection of wherever we happened to be.  Good food isn’t just where you find it, it was everywhere we were.

The takeout steam table in the back of India Sweets and Spices (9409 Venice Blvd., Culver City) is everything that you want from an Indian meal, but so often don’t get.  Flavors are fresh and redolent with bright, not muddled, herbs and spices.  Everything is distinct, not a blanket in brown.  A spicy paneer in a tomato-chile sauce stands distinct from a similarly hued but drier eggplant and potato dish.  Creamy yogurt curry and a sublime lemon rice balances out the bold flavors.  The samosas are an A+ knish, flecked with cumin seeds and wrapped in a crisp shell.

Not far from India Sweets is Gloria’s Cafe (10227 Venice Blvd., Culver City) for Mexican and El Salvadoran food.  A papusa heaven with a variety of fillings is made a meal with rice and beans, and my beloved curtido.  A low key atmosphere, with a gracious visit from Gloria herself.

Better than average cafe food was at the Gallery Cafe (2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica), a restful stop from the art at Bergamot Station.  For $8, a salad and half sandwich is a great recession meal deal, freshly made on the spot.  Wash it all down with the refreshing minty lemonade.

To solve my return flight food dilemma, the Pacific Palisades Farmers Market (Swathmore Avenue and Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades) is an indecisive’s nightmare with way too much bounty to choose from.  Aside from the beautiful produce that is lacking on the east coast this time of the year, the prepared foods were creative and plentiful, and mostly up for tasting.  Tamales with non-traditional fillings like goat cheese and spinach, go beyond the call of duty.  Mom’s Middle Eastern food offers a triple threat of three items for $10 – pita chips, chipotle and black bean hummus, and falafels – bring new meaning to an extra value meal.  

My foray into LA’s large culinary canvas was neither extensive nor vast, but I sure liked what I had.  There was just too little time and too much ground to cover.


One Response to “I’ll Eat LA”

  1. wendy Says:

    Next time that you visit, we must go to Scoops and get some crazy gelato. So yummy. I went there the other day.
    Also, I have the name of the “BEST” Korean restaurant in LA.

    You forgot to mention the organic pups that we had…


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