I'm home now and the days have just flown. So fast, in fact, that I think the jetlag is still trying to keep up with me! But I did promise you all a foodie blog post and I do like to keep my promises.
As I mentioned in my previous travel updates, I spent a great deal of my time in the US sampling the vast array of food and drinks available to me. I have to say that being located in LA was a good thing, because the cliches about the organic/vegan/wholefood culture there are, well, a little bit true. And for a gal eating out pretty much every day, that wasn't a bad thing. Not that it means I kept to that unsullied diet all the time. Oh no. I sampled from the meat, carbohydrate, and yellow (deep fried) food groups plenty too.
I'm going to start off covering my neighborhood -- particularly the street I spent most of my time on: Abbot Kinney. For Melbournites, I'd compare Abbot Kinney to Brunswick Street -- lots of groovy stores, vintage shops, and more cafes and restaurants than you can poke a stick at.
I'm going to tell you about my favourites, first.
I have to start with Abbot's Habit. Mostly because I probably went there the most often. As a lunch spot it was perfect -- healthy food, a casual (very!) attitude, low fuss. As a quick lunch break from writing it was perfect. And my favourite was this:
My other favourite "take a break" place was called Zinque. A bar more than a restaurant, Zinque not only had a decent wine list, but was also able to make an outstandingly good cup of tea. (And we know how important that is to Emmie.) In fact, I'm pretty sure I had more tea than wine at Zinque.
Lemonade, across the road from Zinque, fascinated me with their Coles-Cafeteria-style approach to serving the most delicious, brightly colored and beautifully presented salads I've ever seen. But it headed quickly into 'special treat' territory when a small salmon and salad lunch veered towards $20. Another slight disappointment was the much raved-about Wolf In Sheeps Clothing, where my duck main (or entree, as the US would have it) was very meh and so tiny I was still ravenous afterwards. Luckily my dining companion ordered fried chicken and it was so huge she couldn't eat it all and I got to gobble from her plate. Lucky for me in two ways, because it was also delicious. I would totally go back and order that.
I also enjoyed delicious meals at Wabi Sabi (was with some other Aussies and got a bit tipsy, so to be perfectly honest, I don't remember the food that well, but I'm pretty sure it was good), Primitivo (I ate tapas-style at the bar and it was fine, but not awesome), and Gjelina (very delicious Brussels Sprouts char-grilled with figs!). The Tasting Kitchen was also wonderful, for a delicious Manhattan, beautiful pasta (a rare treat for this gluten-intolerant gal), and a to-die-for waiter. (Don't judge! When dining alone, the scenery is very important. :) )
I also had lunch at Gjelina take-away very early on in my visit but didn't bother going back. My 'grilled cheese' was toasted to the point of charcoal and so oily I couldn't balance it on my lap for fear of imparting grease stains onto my clothes. But it was fun sitting in the little alcove next door, on the milk crates provided as seats, soaking up the sun and watching passersby.
There are two other neighborhood spots I want to mention. First, Oscar's, which is not on Abbot Kinney, but around the corner (sort of) on Rose Avenue. Oscars served me probably the best Mexican food I had during my time in the US.
Also on Rose Avenue is the legendary Cafe Gratitude. At Cafe Gratitude the food is vegan and organic, and every dish is named for an affirmation. So when you order your food you have to say something like "I am relaxed" or "I am peaceful".
I think that's about it, for Venice. Although, of course there were more! Seed down near the beach, and Mao's Kitchen, and more! And I haven't even covered the amazing (and weird and wonderful) edible things I found in Texas! Ah well, another post awaits being written, I think...
Writing this has made me hungry! What a pity there's no Abbot's Habit a short walk away to go grab my Alvino wrap (no onions)!! I shall just have to make do with what's in the fridge...