tinseltown eats.

the cf editor chows her way across los angeles…

march 15: flew into lax, went to ashley (formerly known as cf’s edna) and justine’s adorable venice cottage. ashley had a recession haircut party and forced nine of her pals to get haircuts. the haircutter, jeanine, had a great haircut and did most of the heads proud. I was pleased to know she’d heard of hair star veronica lake and requested something along those lines (unlike ashley, who channels joan jett beautifully). I was starving most of day but later on had some miso soup, fried veg dumplings and much later pizza (we tried for a salad pizza but got something else delivered. the greek pizza was ace. we watched bad tv. knowing ashley, it was gangland or lockdown or something.
march 16: first up, a trip to trader joe’s to stock up on essentials. lunch: hummus and avocado sandwich from those ingredients. that night we walked down to abbot kinney and I picked up some black beans, rice and guac, the parfait accompaniment to more bad tv (I had never seen the intern torture show, running in heels. awesome!). stomach: satiated.
march 17: hmm, I think this was the morning I was updating my silly eff-book status with “ashley please feed me.” eventually I got to eat a mountainous salad at tender greens in culver city, across the street from the gone with the wind ‘tara’ house. said salad was called “happy vegan” and featured mounds of green stuff reminiscent of food served in my beloved terry gilliam film brazil, but in fact it was dreamy raw hummus or somesuch. I was very happy almost vegan indeed. somewhere in there we ran errands, went to fred segal (yawn!), coopertunity where I had a cru-created raw chocolate dessert that was absolutely sublime. tonight we dodged the drunken irish bar crowds by opting for dinner at the santa monica branch of real food daily, which ashley dubbed the “ghetto angelica” and is the kind of place people always want to take me but I can’t seem to order the right thing. tonight’s soba noodle salad was huge and heavy and could have had a tastier dressing and more interesting stuff on it. the tempeh was coated in some kind of weird seasoned salt that reminded me of that packet of stuff moms used to add to tacos. the berry cobbler or something was also goopy and liquid with little real fruit, not much to the crust either. nowhere near the artistry of angelica’s soba sensation (or my own udon miso creations) or blueberry trifles.
march 18: ashley and I borrowed justine’s vehicle and embarked on a journey to the junk warehouse district to find shareen vintage, again just the kind of place people would want to take me based on my lust for fine vintage clothing. it’s a girls-only place and they clearly get some good stuff in every day but it made me glad I did all my shopping for vintage clothing between the early 80s and 2000, when there was some good stuff left to be had at a bargain. I’m sure there still is, but not for me, not in this place, not much. too pricey, too 80s (not vintage in my book). after leaving there and driving past places like “dopey’s smoke shop” and “los angeles nihgt [sic] club”, we headed over to the eagle rock hood to have a coffee and see cute shops. the comic shop had a giant sof’boy figurine for $700! tempting. regeneration had some ace vintage home stuff. tonight we had dinner at elf cafe in silver lake: we split some kind of roasted beet and fennel thing over rice and some kind of vegetable pie with parmesan pesto that reminded me of the pie I used to get at friend of a farmer in my old NYC hood. not bad.
march 19: lunch: first time at m cafe, which has a menu so overwhelming to me…I choose badly under pressure. I went with the gado gado, fairly delish. the choc pudding was ace, the choc cake a little too faux tasting. we met up with ethan and stephin for dinner at real food daily in west hollywood. we started with some nachos — not bad — and I had the “road house blues”, which was a mundane attempt at southern cooking. greens weren’t bad. all else was mediocre. we had a conversation about child stars — can an interesting child star grow up to be an interesting grown-up actor? we couldn’t think of many. can you? one has to remember to look around in h’wood to make sure the star herself isn’t sitting at the next table. no, jodie foster wasn’t but we did see peter bogdanovich so that was exciting. we headed over to the silent movie theatre to see shadow players about factory records (a bit long and slow and could have used some actual *music* in it!) and made in sheffield, about the late 70s-early 80s sheffield scene and provided some wildly amusing footage of phil oakey and the human league, ABC on TV, etc. if I were to move to LA, I would no doubt hang at the silent movie theatre. cupcakes! movies! couches for movie watching! love it.
march 20: the place we had lunch today was so bad it was not worth even mentioning. we only went there because it’s across the street from the place we wanted to go to but…too crowded. we went to a fab yard sale and things were bought. we went to a vintage furniture shop too. kerthy and I did some filming much of the day, then I went up to connie and ravi’s neck of the woods and hung there tonight. she fed me a carbless combo of broc, squash, mushrooms, almonds, etc. yum. connie’s one of the main reasons I eat the way I do. can’t wait for her book on dumplings to come out in october!
march 21: started the day with some green juiced concoction and some fresh fruit courtesy of connie. today we met sarah silverman!!! and lizz winstead!!! very exciting indeed. we did some filming. we had lunch at cru and it was truly disappointing. why does raw food have to be as bland as dido? they know how to do the desserts but not the mains. I had a mezze platter and it was one big mound of yawn. how can you muck that up!? the tapenade was edible but the hemp crackers and cashew cheese was deadly dull. I know, go ahead, laugh. that food is supposed to be blah, gail. but no, it is not. it doesn’t have to be! shouldn’t be. doubters should go to pure in NYC. (no, it’s not run by the creepy guy who used to flash women in the subway!) after a nice housewarming-st. pat’s soirĂ©e at felicia’s, we went to dinner at lou — nice place, nice wine. what did I have? a goat cheese tart.
march 22: once again I started the day with some green juiced concoction and some fresh fruit courtesy of connie. then it was off to the hollywood farmers market for some produce procurement and some big coconuts with a straw stuck inside. add to that a big bottle of water and I felt better today than I have in eons. must have been the coconut juice. lunch was vegan eggs benedict at m cafe (thanks ashley for making that happen) — yum! we did some more filming today. tonight stephin and ethan had us over for dinner; well, actually ethan and ashley made us dinner. it was meat and veg kebabs with a lovely quinoa salad and berry crumble kinda thing. I have kitchen lust and house lust at their house!
march 23: back to culver city for a last lunch at m cafe — this time a club sammich and kale peanut salad. I picked up a few more salads and a ginger cookie to take on the plane tomorrow. I am overwhelmed by the glare and traffic of los angeles but I am feeling the pull to move there — especially considering my friends and food options there! I mean, they’re even going to open a babycakes there…
ps. no, I didn’t see any pop shows — the entire world was at sxsw all week!

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