Monday, December 14

leaving LA full

Here it comes, my last week in LA. I've been taking suggestions from friends on what I absolutely have to do before I leave. Responses mostly consist of places I should eat (I do love to eat). So I've been pigging out. A few of my favorite spots from my year here are as follows:

1. IN-N-OUT Burger
I can't resist this place: simple and delicious. Best, freshest (no kidding!), cheapest. The menu is basic as can be, but there's a secret menu that locals will gladly fill you in on. This is a must-have for anyone visiting or living in the southwest. Animal style fries can't be beat.

2. Wokano
A little more expensive, but great Asian food within walking distance from my apartment, and, if I'm really lazy, they also deliver. Very modern and great happy hour appetizers. Gotta love the traditional dishes like Pad Thai and orange chicken, but they have really original sushi rolls (one dish's ingredients included Doritos!?). My favorite is The Black Pearl which consists of: salmon, tuna, yellowtail and cream cheese wrapped in seaweed and topped with black sesame and a butter garlic sauce. YUM. [Note: the very best sushi is also found in any Little Tokyo eatery, of course.]

3. Urth Caffe
Completely organic! Known for great coffees (I like the honey vanilla latte) and teas, but the pastries are to die for. The menu consists mostly of sandwiches and salads, but they also throw in the random lasagna, tamales, and sushi. They have multiple locations around LA, but I like the one in Santa Monica the best, and they have a cool outdoor section. The standards for the coffee is very high; for instance, all source farms must be sustainable, eco-friendly, fair trade, 100% organic, and high quality. That works for us earthy people!

4. Burrito King
This is where I experienced for the first time, ladies and gentleman, the California burrito: guacamole, cheese, (I skip the carne asada), french fries, sour cream, and hot sauce, super large BURRITO. Honestly, not the most amazing food ever, but it's just a tiny little walk-up Mexican place on Sunset and Alvarado that we go to after hours and it definitely satisfies. Oh, Tom Waits references this place in his intro to "Better Off Without a Wife", which makes it almost cool no matter what.

5. Big Mama's & Papa's Pizza
All the Italian faves, but what you need to get is pizza... HUGE pizza. (And sometimes french fries because they go with everything, right?) Home of the world's largest pizza at 36" which makes about 60 good-sized slices. In that size you can get a plain cheese one for $44.99, pretty inexpensive and there are leftovers for days. Get this: to deliver it they have to put it in the trunk.

If all else fails, opt for the many wonderful flavors of Yogurtland!!!

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