Flying to Los Angeles seems so easy after lots of east coast US travel over the last few years. The luxury of a single flight.
Our primary purpose for visiting was a conference, where processed chicken meat and lettuce sandwiches were the lunch offered for all four days to the 15,000 delegates in attendance. As I’m fairly seasoned at the pitfalls of eating at large conferences I opted for the Indian Vegetarian dietary option which is a pleasant way to eat. Also there were bananas! I was excited enough to take a photo. A very clever group marketing their product to conference delegates organised for a Kogi Taco Truck to attend one lunch time – I’d got wind of this in advance and managed to get in line 19th from the front of the queue. Despite the heat, the tacos were worth it. Fresh, vibrant flavours, smoky succulent meat, a twist of lime and a hit of sriracha – it’s a good thing there was a limit on tacos (they were free) or I may have been rolling under the table like a turtle afterwards. I think any food safety officers who feel food trucks can’t work here in Brisbane need to see what a slick operation Kogi is.
The following night, we were hosted by our lovely friends Ange and Steph and their company for a group dinner at the Standard Hotel in Downtown LA. Part of the portfolio of André Balazs’ hip hotels, we dined in courtyard restaurant, part of the hip yellow and chrome 24/7 dining room. None of the typical hotel fare here either, with sustainable local produce featuring. We ordered a bunch of starters and sides to share. Highlights included Berkshire pork chop with a grilled whisked peach, violet honey mustard; Portobello mushroom fries with smoked paprika aioli; duck fat smashed potatoes; grilled california asparagus and an excellent tuna tartare with watercress and cucumber served with salty pita chips. The wine list is short but cleverly composed. So nice to find drinkable things on a US wine list. We chose the Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru 2006 and Marc Bredif Chinon Bourgueil Touraine 2009.
It’s a treat to find such good eating in Los Angeles and our visit to Santa Monica Place for some last minute shopping before heading to the airport further confirmed this. Our trip finished with perfect weather, delicious food, Italian wine and a lap around one of the best market style food halls I’ve seen in a retail centre.
In N Out Burger will have to wait for our next trip.