This post has helped me organize my thoughts and goals for Sofia (at Papaya Pieces) and Patty‘s (Patty Nguyen) visit in September. I’m so excited! We’re packing a lot in, but since we’ll put Sofia on a plane right away to Europe, she can sleep off her exhaustion; Patty has to go back to a schoolroom full of . . . highschoolers, so I’m not so sure what we’ll do with her for her recovery.
What to bring:
1. Hunger/appetite and lots of it.
2. Running/walking sneakers.
3. Energy. Eat your wheaties, quinoa salad, bacon and eggs . . . whatever, and be ready.
*We won’t be doing any yoga, barre, pilates or spinning classes here, nor drinking any green juice, even though if you want to, there’s an option on nearly every corner. My indoor exercise days are over . . . too many bodies, too crowded, and as far as juices go, too expensive. This is primarily a food and fellowship tour.
We wake up early around here (5 a.m.) but I’ll let you sleep (til 7 a.m.). We’ve got a lot of ground and meals to cover, so the earlier we get started, the more we can do.
There are more Starbucks and Peets (“2nd wave”), as well as artisan/micro-roasters (“3rd wave”) coffee outfits per square mile here than I can imagine anywhere else. We’ll hit a 3rd wave place, Primo Passo, that’s a block from my house and procures outstanding french macarons and where the baristas are actually nice.
Red Bread is moving to a new location and for now is closed, so it’s a toss up between Farmshop, Milo & Olive, Huckleberry & The Larder at Tavern. Everything from homemade bread, jam and pastries, to eclectic egg, grain & vegetable dishes. There’s bacon and sausage too. Farmshop is located in the very tony Brentwood Country Mart, where we’ll likely see Gwyneth, Ben & Jennifer, Kate Hudson, Steven Speilberg, Uma Thurman, Tobey Maguire (just to name a few I’m always seeing there) and where there’s also great boutique shopping. Or more like, great browsing (and not buying . . . unless you have a trust fund). There’s a Space NK Apothecary if you want some great makeup and products in a small boutique setting without harassment; a James Perse shop, Calypso St. Barthes and Jenny Kayne just to name a few. Back in the day when I was a little kid, it was just a nice neighborhood gathering, eating and shopping place, where my Dad used to cart me around to his friends so I could spout off the memorized names of the Laker’s 70’s team. Anyhow, moving on . . .
3. Field Trip.
While we’re digesting, we’ll head down town to Grand Central Market just to look, although if you’re hungry by the time we get there (which is a distinct possibility if we encounter any traffic accidents or any typical vehicular congestion), you can get anything from pupusas to chow mein to cheese to home cured pastrami on homemade rye bread. We may also take a stroll through the arts district, as it’s pretty happening right now with lots of galleries and bakeries and loft spaces. If we do hit traffic, I’ll just take you to the original “Farmer’s Market” on Fairfax, next door to the Grove, home of some serious old school Los Angeles eats. From the old (Dupars and Bob’s Donuts and Singaporean food) to the new (Loteria for tacos, Fritzi Dog for a carrot dog — yes, that’s right), it’s awesome!
We may hit up one of the “toss up” places mentioned at breakfast, but we may also go to Sawtelle for some stellar ramen or vietnamese food.
If you like.
It’ll be about time for a stroll down Ocean Avenue, down the hill to the beach perhaps, then up the infamous Santa Monica stairs. You can either do the steps or just people watch. Maybe even hit the 3rd Street Promenade, although I might drop you off and pick you up. Just can’t walk it one more time!
7. Pre-Dinner Drinks
We’ll find someplace cool for you to have a beer, cocktail or wine, I just don’t know where yet!
You are in for a serious treat if this is on your itinerary. Since the owner is, well, my mom (yeah, my Dad lives here too but he may be in the man cave), we’ll get good seats and you can dress real casual. No better table in town!
9. Post Dinner Activities.
There’s a reason why they call Gustavo Dudamel “GOD,” besides the fact that it’s sort of an acronym for his name. His love for music and genuine love of life is contagious, and his hair . . . well his hair should have it’s own blog. It’s legendary. We heard him conduct Beethoven’s 7th (albeit re-telecast at a movie theater), one of my truly most very favorite pieces of music ever. Unfortunately the LA Phil season doesn’t start til the very end of September, and it begins with an epic Mahler series, so we’ll have to put that off til next year. We’ll probably just retire to our house and relax, maybe watch a little TV, visit, listen to music, etc.
10. Late Night Eats.
If we have any appetite or desire, we’ll hit up Stan’s in Westwood for donuts for maybe a Huell (Howser — TV personality; buttermilk bar stuffed with peanut butter and covered in chocolate) and Kogi truck for a korean short rib taco or a black jack quesadilla (too many ingredients to describe!). Stan’s is a tradition when my niece comes to town, and also on Christmas morning with my son, Mom, Dad and husband. Roy Choi of KogiBBQ fame is one of my favorite cooking “personality.” I have his book and I think he not only writes quite well, but has a romantic sensibility, a quick wit, and a great sense of humor. The food served at his truck is absolutely fantastic, too. But I’m thinking probably next visit.
Are you tired yet? I am!
Hope to see you soon.