Tacos Delta & Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Tacos have entered my life in a big way. Ever since I moved to L.A. in September, I’ve been eating many, many tacos. Tacos at Loteria, tacos at Malo. In fact, there’s a very good chance that today I’ll be eating tacos for lunch and dinner, no joke. What makes the tacos here so great? Rid your mind of those orange tacos shells that you crunched through at your middle school cafeteria growing up. Here, tacos are served in freshly pressed tortillas; the fillings are often equally as fresh (no ground meat slop) and made piquant with pico de gallo and a splash of hot sauce. On the east side of town, where I live, I’ve discovered two great places for tacos. Let me tell you about them.

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The Best Sushi Of Our Lives at Sushi Zo

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Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking. “Adam,” you’re saying, shaking your head while sipping a vanilla iced latte (why are you drinking that, anyway?), “you’re losing credibility. You just wrote a post below this about some blood-infused noodles and said that the Thai restaurant where you ate them offered the best Thai meal of your life. And now here you are, one post later, and you’re talking about the best sushi of your life. Don’t you think you’re overselling things a bit? If you keep calling things ‘the best of your life’ no one’s going to take you seriously. You’re like the boy who cried ‘best fill-in-the-blank of your life.'”

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Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord

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At a certain point, if you want to earn your stripes in the food world, you can’t act squeamish or repulsed at the prospect of eating a bowl of pig organs floating in a broth thickened with pig blood. Truthfully, I’m at a point now where such thoughts don’t repulse me; in fact, I think I have a mature attitude about such things. For example, I once attended a dinner cooked by Chris Cosentino of Incanto and the first course was a raw venison liver served on a spoon. I ate it. It popped in my mouth and did I cry? Did I enter psychoanalysis afterwards? Well, yes, but still. I got over it. And so it was that after interviewing Zach Brooks last week, I joined him for lunch at Pa-Ord, a deeply authentic hole-in-the-wall in Thai Town.

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Tavern, Wurstk├╝che & Gastronomico

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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.

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One Night in Bangkok (Dinner & Dessert in Hollywood’s Thai Town)

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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.

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Mo-Chica & A Sunday Supper at Lucques

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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.”

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A Trip To The Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

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To get to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market from where I live, you have two choices: you can take highways (the 101 to the 110 to the 10 West) or you can take streets. If you do take streets, there are probably many speedy options; streets that take you far west with minimal traffic. Of all the streets that you can take to Santa Monica, the slowest is probably Santa Monica itself–it moves at a crawl–and that’s something I learned the hard way (even though I’d be warned!) as I chose that as my primary route last Wednesday to the farmer’s market most frequented by chefs and food lovers here in L.A.

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