Los Angeles

goldenstatelogo.jpgTwo years ago, I made a decision that forever changed my dining experience. I stopped being friends with anyone who doesn’t like to eat. Living in Los Angeles, the city of beautiful people, this wasn’t an easy feat. But frankly, I was tired of sharing meals with the likes of someone who either pushed their food around their plate as if eating were a punishment, called themselves fat during the entire meal in their size zero glory, or deliriously eyed my order because the last time they ordered anything that truly tasted good was a distant memory. Turns out it was a damn great decision because without this new rule in my life, I wouldn’t have my fellow foodie girlfriends Tannaz and Rachel in my life which means I would have never been introduced to my summer food crush and what I seriously consider the best new addition to my Fairfax district neighborhood – The Golden State Café.

Located on Fairfax Blvd, smack dab across from Canter’s Deli, is the laidback and downright delicious Golden State which serves the kind of food that even if you were on the date from hell, you’d be able to withstand it because the food here is just that good. Seriously. So courtesy of the advice Tannaz and Rachel gave me, here is what you should be indulging in the next time you want to eat a meal that reminds you why eating is an activity that is meant to be enjoyed.

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artisan-cheese-gallery.jpg So, I was like, driveen in the valley ‘n’ stuff? And I like drove past a shop that said Artisan Cheese Gallery, ‘n’ stuff? And I was like “wait, did I just, um, this is like the valley, ok?  And I think I jist saw sometheen with the word ‘artisan’ on Ventura Blvd.”.  No way, right? So, I go “maybe I’ll jist turn around and check it out, right?” So, alls I wanted to do was see if I dint eemagine it? 

So anyways, I turn around and park and go in.  Let me tell you darlings, it was as if a magic wand was waved over me, imbuing me with all manner of sophistication.  This was no ordinary cheese shop. It was a ‘gallery’ indeed. The light streaming in from the street reminded me of my days spent in the South of France (NOT). Wooden shelves lined with cheeses that were in their natural habitat of room temperature beckoned for my palate to take the journey.  A sliver of Boschetto with Black Truffles from Italy brought on such a surge of ecstasy through my body, I could have used something to hold on to. A bedpost, perhaps?  I closed my eyes with rapture as I allowed Brie Nangis from France to slowly dissolve on my tongue.

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berkeley.jpgDuring the Great Depression, Hollywood did its part by providing people with the ultimate escape. It didn’t try to provide its audience with everyday situations that just reinforced their misery. Sullivan’s Travels made that point brilliantly. Instead, Hollywood gave them fantasy and opulence. The glamour of the Busby Berkley movies, the optimism of Shirley Temple; all these movies were a respite from the bleakness that awaited them when the lights came up.

Nobody wants to admit that the country might be facing a depression. At the very least, right now, times are tough. That’s why, when I tell you about Gold Class Cinemas, you must understand the spirit in which my husband Chad and I went. First of all, we were invited by our friend Nigel, who is already a member and was very excited to see our reaction to the whole experience.

We were to see Iron Man 2 and the theatre was in Pasadena. When I went online to check it out, I saw that there were, what looked like big orange Bark-a-loungers with smiling people resting with cocktails.  Hmmm.

 

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ice-cream-cones.jpg Despite the fact I have parents who eat ice cream almost every day (if they could have it at every meal, they would), until recently I thought I could live happily without ever lifting a dessert spoon again.

I know what you’re thinking. Quelle horreur! C’est impossible! I tell you it’s true. When I gave up my 2-liter a day Coca-Cola habit  in college in an effort to regain a good night's sleep (caffeine is not my friend), I found, after a few months, I no longer craved sugar. As my tastes matured, I discovered the savory complexity of wine and eating dessert no longer interested me. Since ice cream was never one of my favorites, I didn’t miss it.

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PonoStrawberry-MilkshakeOn this very hot day I can’t stop thinking about the strawberry milkshake I inhaled for dessert at Pono Burger a couple weeks back. Strawberry was all time childhood ice cream fave flavor.

But somehow I abandoned it in adulthood in favor of the “more interesting” salted caramel, brown bread, you know the drill. But seeing those frosty glasses brimming with pink creaminess being carried across the room seduced me. I wish I had one right now.

Strawberry is Back!

I’ve passed the quonset hut at the corner of Broadway and 9th many times, wondering what it was but never stopped in. How lame! Turns out it’s Pono Burger and as treat we ladies of Good Food went for Pono’s first anniversary dinner to meet Chef Makani.

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