I was going to have you guess how much I paid for this piece of food art that I found at the Villainy General Store in Echo Park but that’s silly; I paid $20. Frankly, I’m very happy with it. It’s an oil painting and it hits all the marks of the kind of food art you want to have around your house: there’s alcohol, there’s fish, there’s bread…at least I think that’s bread. Or maybe it’s cheese? No matter what that is on the lower left, this is going to hang near our table where guests can gaze upon it as I serve them alcohol, fish, and cheese or bread depending on what the answer is.
Last week, at Cookbook in Echo Park, I spied this bowl of pink lemons. I overheard the woman working there explaining them to another customer; something about a fungus or a disease that turns them pink. (I assume this fungus or disease isn’t deadly.)
I didn’t go into the store with the intention of buying pink lemons–I didn’t even know pink lemons existed–but I decided to buy one and to bring it home. Maybe it would make a nice garnish for a fruity cocktail? Maybe next time I could buy 8 or 9 and make a batch of naturally pink pink lemonade? I wouldn’t know until I cut into it, which I promptly did the next day.
At Cookbook, the delightful store in Echo Park where I bought my first bag of Rancho Gordo beans, I came upon a bag of black chickpeas. “What’s up with these black chickpeas?” I asked the nice people there.
“They’re just like regular chickpeas,” said Robert, one of those nice people. “Except…well…they’re black.” With a sales pitch like that, how could I not buy a bag? So I bought one and brought it home.
It happens to all of us at one point or another; we order a drink without looking at the price and then find ourselves startled when the bill arrives.
That happened to me TWICE last week. The first time I was at Franklin & Company, a cute restaurant near our apartment that serves sandwiches and salads and a smoked chicken dish that comes with smashed potatoes and cauliflower. That dish, which I ordered, has a wine suggestion underneath it–a Pinot Noir–and so I told the waiter I’d do the dish with the pairing. No price was listed. When the bill came, that glass of Pinot Noir was $17. (The dish itself was $18.)
The best dinners are the ones that have a story. This is one such dinner.
It started on a typical day: I was driving to Silverlake to eat lunch at Forage (one of my favorite places to grab a bite here in L.A.) and to have coffee and do work at Intelligentsia. Only, it was street cleaning day which means half of the normally available spots were no longer available. I circled and circled and started to go a little crazy. Trying to find a parking spot isn’t something I had to do in New York; here, it can be a totally maddening experience, especially as you pass the same landmarks again and again, not one car budged, not one person dangling their keys.