If you’re writing your doctoral thesis on The Amateur Gourmet, you’ve probably discovered, at this point, the methodology behind my madness. Or, if you haven’t, it works like this: in a given week I take a bunch of pictures. Some of the pictures I take on my iPhone, the others I take with my fancy camera. On Monday morning, I process all of the pictures and put them up on Flickr and then I sort through them: which ones are good enough for the blog? Which would do better in my newsletter? It’s not always based on the quality of the pictures–sometimes, even if the pictures are bad, I know something will make a great blog post; inversely, sometimes even if the pictures are great, there’s just not enough there there to blog about. Usually, restaurant pictures are relegated to my newsletter; but sometimes if a restaurant experience is notable enough, I save it for the blog. And thus this is a post about three restaurant meals that I consider blog-worthy.
The end-of-the-day meal is a funny thing. For people who spend their days away from home, working in offices or out in the field, nothing’s more appealing, after a hard day’s work, than returning to the place where you live, lured in by the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven or the prospect of a crisp glass of white wine waiting for you on the kitchen counter.
Then there are those of us who work from home. If, like me, you spend your days at your computer, occasionally popping into the kitchen to cut yourself a slice of cake, when the end of the day comes, you’ve got a hankering to leave and to experience the world. And that’s a healthy thing except when your partner fits Category A, and there you are in Category B, that can spell trouble.
Zach Brooks, who created the blog Midtown Lunch, moved from New York to L.A. over a year ago. From my perspective, he’s been like the canary in the coal mine; the fact that he not only survived the move but is flourishing out here gave me inspiration to move here too. And, of course, once I got here we quickly made plans to hang out. I told Zach to pick a place, which was a tough task seeing as he’s done such a thorough job of canvasing the city on Midtown Lunch L.A. After a few e-mail exchanges we decided to go to Mo-Chica, which Zach described as “this unbelievable Peruvian place located in a weird food court just south of Downtown.”
Stand back, mere mortals. You are about to encounter a sandwich that is not meant for the meagre constitutions of wimpy humans. This is food for giants, food for gods. “God” is even in the sandwich’s name: meet The Godmother at Bay Cities in Santa Monica. A sandwich with so much meat on it, if Noah opened a deli on his ark, he’d still have nothing on this. We’re talking Genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, and prosciutto. That’s like 40 pigs right there.
Maybe because of all the stress of moving (and don’t kid yourself: moving is stressful), last week–having survived the ordeal of flying with a cat (I gave her a test sedative the week before which worked almost instantly; the morning of the flight, I gave her the pill at 7, went to a diner, and when I came back at 7:30 she was totally unaffected leading me to believe she’d done like Rosemary in Rosemary’s baby and secreted the pill somewhere. So I gave her a 2nd sedative, which she promptly threw up. Freaking out and already late for my flight, I gave her half a pill, put her in her carrier, and sure enough her eyes glazed over in the cab and she was fine on the flight. Phew!) and the endless ordeal of leasing a car (a Toyota Camry) and getting car insurance (Geico) and the thankless task of dealing with movers (“we’re coming Tuesday” “now we’re coming Wednesday” “now it’s Friday”)–I got sick. This happens to me; when I’m stressed out, I get sick. So I had a nasty cold and I felt crappy and depressed and unsettled. And having been as enthusiastic about Yuko’s guest post as you all were, I decided that I wanted ramen.
In 2003, a funny thing happened. My parents were visiting Atlanta, where I was attending law school, and they were staying at a nice hotel in Buckhead. They asked me to meet them there for a drink and, as often happened when I’d sit with my parents in a hotel lobby sipping a gin and tonic, they pointed out a piano and asked me to play it. The lobby was pretty quiet so I shrugged and sat down and knocked out a few tunes. After all, I used to play the piano professionally (I was the pianist at the Boca Raton Hotel & Resort Sunday brunch buffet).
Last week was such a hectic week searching for an apartment in L.A., I wasn’t able to do my usual business of researching restaurants, plotting dinners and constructing photo essays for you, my hungry readers. (Exception: Loteria & Gjelina.) We did, however, enjoy many random bites that I photographed, dutifully, in the hopes of writing a post like this one you’re about to read. So buckle your seatbelts!