Perpetually Full in LA
One of the perks (and downfalls) of visiting my parents is that we go out to eat. A lot. And their refrigerator is always full. Which is great, except for the part where I always gain five pounds per week I am home. When I was young, going out to eat meant fast food or chain restaurants, but my parents have branched out quite a bit since those days and I can always count on excellent food choices.
Before RFC and I said good-bye to the Bay Area, though, we stopped by Arizmendi Bakery for a carbohydrate loaded breakfast of cheese rolls, sticky buns and muffins. It tasted wonderful at the time, but unfortunately we had a sugar high crash a couple hours late...it was worth it. And on the drive down to LA we made the first of two In-n-Out stops. Always a must when traveling in California. Make sure to ask for the grilled onions!
In Los Angeles, I was lucky to get to try two very different bakeries. While popping over to Venice to see a friend, we took a walk on Abbot Kinney. I stepped into Jin Patisserie, a Japanese-influenced bakery that I have heard much about. On the expensive side, I splurged and bought a lavender chocolate gateau and a bag of green tea shortbread bites. I was most impressed with the textures of both. The cream filling of the cake was very smooth with just the slightest hint of lavender and the cookies had a very fine crumb. The second bakery was in the San Fernando Valley, Big Sugar Bakeshop. I wasn't planning on going there even though it has been on my to do list for the past couple of visits. I just happened to be reading the local paper and saw listings for Harry Potter release event. I love Harry Potter and while I'm not one to be waiting in line at midnight for a copy of book I can buy at Target the next day (which is just what I did), I can be persuaded to wait in line for Potter-inspired goodies. The line at the bakery wasn't too bad...there was a fog machine, treats for those of us waiting (muggle chocolate coins and orange slugs), and the chance to be on the 11 o'clock news. Once at the counter we tried cauldron cakes, pumpkin pasties, pretzel wands, all washed down with butterbeer and pumpkin juice.
Before I end this post and we move onto the trip back to NYC, I have to mention the amazing Mexican food we had at Las Fuentes in Reseda, which RFC proclaimed as some of the best he has ever had. And the incredibly tasty Indian food that was eaten at Clay Oven in Sherman Oaks. The San Fernando Valley may get a lot of knocks (some coming from me) but there are some gems to found hidden among the strip malls.
(from somewhere in the Rocky Mountains)