Tag Archives: L.A.

The Ultimate L.A. Street Dog & Big Gay Ice Cream

June 4, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 20 Comments

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The snap of a Pink’s hot dog, celebrated by the likes of Jonathan Gold and Calvin Trillin, has never done much for me. In fact, I had one many moons ago when I was visiting L.A. and that was enough for me, thank you very much. I’m a New York street dog devotee: a warm, soft dog straight from the steam bath might be gross to some, but for me it’s heaven. The less it snaps when you bite in the better. I was ready to write L.A. off in the hot dog department until I ran into my friends Doug and Bryan of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck here outside Lindy & Grundy. They told me their truck would be parked on Sunday in front of a gay bar, Faultline, and next to it would be a woman who makes the best hot dogs they had ever had in their lives. I should swing by and say hello.

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Burnt Brioche with Homemade Ricotta and Blueberry Tarragon Jam at SQIRL

May 28, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 4 Comments

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Have you ever eaten something so strange and beguiling you can’t quite wrap your head around it? But you keep eating it and eating it because it’s such a curious phenomenon and, eventually, you decide that you love it but you’re not sure why? That’s precisely what happened to me last week when I finally visited SQIRL headquarters down on Virgil after having enjoyed their jams over the past year and a half that I’ve lived in Los Angeles. The headquarters, which is actually a cafe, may be my new favorite secret lunch spot that’s not-so-secret because lots of people know about it.

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2 Deviled Eggs for 3 People

May 16, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 32 Comments

Sometimes you have a negative restaurant experience that stays with you for a really long time after the fact. This is one such experience illustrated by a very talented illustrator: me.

This fall I went to a hip new restaurant, here in L.A., with my friends Jim and Jess. You might ask, “Which restaurant?” but I’m not sure I want to shame them so publicly. Maybe they deserve another chance. Maybe. Here’s what happened…

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Discovering Amaro

April 10, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 4 Comments

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Recently, the L.A. restaurant Sotto invited me in to experience their new cocktail menu. Having been to Sotto before I knew I couldn’t just go there for cocktails, the food is too good. So I made an actual reservation and while the restaurant comped two cocktails (I had the grapefruit-y Modest Mouse with Espolon reposado tequila, Averna, Punt e Mes, Angostura orange bitters, Pamplemousse rose, and grapefruit oil; Diana, my date for the night, had the lovely Swept Away with Martin Millers Westbourne strength gin, Saler’s gentiane, Nardini amaro, Benedictine, and house orange bitters) the alcoholic highlight, by far, was the Amaro they let us try at evening’s end.

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4 on 6 Sushi

March 28, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 13 Comments

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Here’s what I’m starting to get about L.A.: L.A. cherishes its secret hole-in-the-wall dining destinations. People would rather eat at a restaurant that nobody knows about yet than one everyone’s clamoring to get into. In New York, things are more open. For example, the restaurant-of-the-moment in New York right now is Carbone and everyone’s Tweeting and Instagramming and talking to their therapist about going there. In L.A., there are restaurants so exclusive they don’t take reservations and you can’t go to them unless you’re invited (see: Yamakase). I think the L.A. vibe is a product of celebrity culture, one in which well-known people want to remain incognito while enjoying the best life has to offer. As a result, some of L.A.’s best dining experiences are hidden away like little buried treasures waiting for you to find them.

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Uncle Jerry and Joe Turkel at Fromin’s Deli

January 25, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 12 Comments

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And now a funny story from L.A.

For his birthday, I decided to take my 91 year-old Uncle Jerry out for lunch to his favorite spot, Fromin’s Deli in Santa Monica. It’s a pretty traditional deli with lots of character: salty waitresses, corned beef sandwiches, black and white cookies at the register. We were sitting at a table near the front, despite the fact that Uncle Jerry would’ve preferred a booth (there was a wait), and chatting about Craig’s movie and, later, Uncle Jerry’s experiences in World War II. As we were getting up to go, the man next to us said, “You’re leaving? I feel like I know you guys. You’re talking about the film industry, and you, you’re talking about the war.”

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My 10 Favorite Places to Eat in L.A. (So Far)

September 5, 2012 | By Adam Roberts | 5 Comments

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Imagine a giant hour glass filled not with sand but with calories. That’s pretty much a perfect visual for this first year of living in and exploring L.A., eating my way from ocean to desert, hopping from cuisine to cuisine. As I said in my post yesterday, for my budget and interest-level, L.A. has more to offer than New York. You can eat extraordinarily well without breaking the bank. So here, then, are my 10 favorite places to eat here… the ones I’ll miss the most when I’m gone for 3 1/2 months. Are they objectively the best? Not by any means; they’re just the ones I’ll be running back to when the plane lands at LAX in January.

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One Year in L.A. (A Reflection)

September 4, 2012 | By Adam Roberts | 1 Comment

I came to L.A. with the most open of open minds. As New Yorkers twisted up their faces at the news (“L.A.? You’re moving to L.A.?”) I held my head high with secret knowledge. My secret knowledge was mostly food-based. I knew about Jonathan Gold, one of our nation’s greatest food writers, who, in writing for L.A. Weekly and eventually the L.A. Times, had canvassed the city so thoroughly, so meticulously, his writing archives were like living treasure maps that could keep a food-lover like me endlessly occupied. I knew about L.A. farmer’s markets, how the Santa Monica farmer’s market and the Hollywood Farmer’s market would put the Union Square farmer’s market to shame with its year-round, sparkling produce. I knew, like a sports fan evaluating his new home turf, that while my old team had legendary heroes like Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Eric Ripert, my new team had its own share of superstars: Nancy Silverton, Jose Andres and Susan Feniger, to name a few; also, up-and-comers Ludo Lefebvre, Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, and Michael Voltaggio. Plus: L.A.’s Mexican food, Chinese food, Korean food, Thai food, and sushi are the best you can find in the United States. I held all of this secret knowledge aloft in my brain as I boarded the plane from J.F.K. to L.A.X. with my cat under the seat in front of me and a feeling of endless possibility in my chest.

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