Wednesday, 9 September 2009

California eating

OK, playing serious catchup now on blog entries. Its been more than 2 weeks since we got back from LA and I still haven't provided the full lowdown on all the places we hit during the holliers. In the words of Jackie Mason, the most obvious thing that comes to mind about food in the US is......the POITIONS!! (aka. portions with a New York twang!!) It is very rare that you will leave a restaurant hungry, you're more likely to be going home with doggy bag in hand and also missed dessert ....bizarrely enough, I think the restaurants know this and so, the desserts are never any good. California cuisine is generally very pretty and ambitious when it comes to flavour combinations; sadly, more often than not, they don't always work and that can sometimes be a little disappointing. We did try our fair share of ethnic cuisines whilst out here and they were pretty good. So in no particular order, here's a quick run-through of some of the places we hit whilst in town:

Sol Food -  casual but great little restaurant in Marin County (in the town of San Rafael) serving homely Puerto Rico food in generous portions......plantain heaven!! Very amusing customer letter framed at the front door complaining of the colour of the building, a vibrant lime green! Some folk think that it doesn't really fit in with the town....see for yourself!

Turtle Bay Taqueria - recommendation from our kayak instructor for a yummy Mexican lunch in Monterey. Burritos all around this time, I plumped for a tasty fish kind :)

Cracked Crab - hugely popular crab restaurant in Pismo Beach (we waited 1 hour+!) Their speciality is the Bug Bucket for 2 where you pick 3 types of seafood which is steamed and served with spuds and corn (a bit cheeky as the better types of crab have an additional supplement) in a bucket; the contents get dumped on your table and off you go. Very impressive collection of utensils to get all that crab meat out!! (also some crayons for us to doodle with, I is the one on the left with the rotund belly :))

Edomasa - local Japanese restaurant in Santa Barbara which serves an individual katsu curry fit for 2 and a beef sukiyaki fit for 3!! Nice sushi also and great value.

Urth Caffe -  a personal pilgrimage since we are both HUGE fans of Entourage and this is where the boys hang out in LA. JD noticed something really funny when we were here for lunch; the place is order by the counter and then busboys (mainly Mexican) bring out the food to your table. In Entourage, the guys are always served by a hot waitress (yeah, right!) that Vince usually ends up shagging so hate to break it to you, but the reality is not exactly like it is on TV :) 
Coffee comes highly recommended by JD!

Chosun Galbee - swankyish looking Korean restaurant in Koreatown, where I made the eternal mistake of ordering too much food and we ended up rolling out of the place :) 
Great bibimbap, panchan coming out of our eyes and generous BBQ portions - did I mention the gargatuan fish casserole for 2 as well?? Oops!

Trastevere - last meal in LA at a very good Italian located in Santa Monica, can highly recommend that seafood linguini!! 

All in all, a great holiday and a lovely culinary experience, the only 2 bummers were a regular reader of my blog telling me afterwards that he might've been able to get us into the French Laundry (char!) and also Anthony Bourdain hitting SF after our visit - some good recoms on the programme and also the fact that there were taco trucks galore in Oakland! 

Having said that, our experience of a taco truck was pretty funny; we rolled up to a taco truck in our Go Car in Golden Gate Park in SF thinking it was serving to the general public but it was actually hired out for a private function!!! The people who had hired it out had miscalculated how much food they would need (too much!) and insisted that we get something from the truck so thats how we ended up with free tacos!! Muchos gracias chicos! :)

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