Sunday, May 2, 2010

How I Ate My Way Through LA - Day 3

Day 3: Our trip to LA was busy, and I couldn't be bothered to track down the Kogi truck, no matter how much I wanted to try it or how hyped it was. Not to worry- it found us, as we were walking down the street by Venice Beach, looking for lunch.

It was fate that we found the Korean tacos. I know this because after I ordered a chicken, spicy pork, and short rib, the dude who took our order even gave the two of us free samples of their newest dessert - a chocolate concoction that you simply must try if you ever get the chance! It goes a little something like this: chocolate with crispies, topped with a layer of liquid chocolate and caramel, then hazelnuts, and dusted with a spiciness that lends warmth. To die for! The tacos (pictured below) were sensational too- juicy meat topped with fresh kim chee, sitting inside tender tortillas. This is fusion cooking at its best - and cheap, too! Just $2 per taco.

Gimme Some of Your Tots: Next to the Kogi truck, which is known for its persistently long lines, sat the Dogtown Dogs truck. Partly because we felt sorry for it and partly because we were still a lil hungry after sharing the 3 small tacos, we decided to show some love and order a couple of specialty dogs. Mine came with grainy mustard, fennel slaw, and roasted red peppers. Paul's was topped with chili, cheese, and Frito's. Both were accompanied by 3 small, perfectly crisp tater tots, and no, I did not steal Paul's tots, in case you were wondering. And the dogs were good, but they're no Kogi!

The Macaroon Trend: Our friend Charlie tipped us off to a patisserie in Venice Beach where we could try macaroons, the tiny, delicate French cookies which are popping up everywhere these days. We got a variety pack (see half-eaten picture below) with flavors ranging from ordinary (chocolate and raspberry) to exotic Ube. They were ok, not something I would crave, but I'm glad I tried them so I can now differentiate the French version from the more familiar dense coconut macaroons.

Joel's Wedding: Last but certainly not least, let's talk about the reason for our trip to LA, my cousin's wedding reception. Influenced heavily by the bride's Persian heritage (her father and many of the guests were Persian), the food included grilled beef and chicken kebabs with pita bread; grilled lamb chops and salmon; lots of fresh fruits; an orange-peel studded rice pilaf (my favorite new ethnic dish!); and for dessert, there was even a rosewater-flavored ice cream (which my family felt tasted similar to old ladies perfume). It was an enlightening cultural experience and very unique!

This brings us to the conclusion of our memorable food tour of LA. We tapped into the varied ethnic roots of the city, the vegetarian/health vein, and many food trends, from gourmet cupcakes to Korean tacos. We enjoyed it so much that we hope to have many more food tours in the future!

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