Hello. How was your week? The weather in Los Angeles was amazing, as was my trip. There is so much to write about, but where to start. Backwards I think, and want to know why!? The first full day in Los Angeles I’m drinking my chai latte from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (this is how I start every day in a city where there is a CB&TL) and reading this great magazine Sunset. Thumbing through the pages of gardening tips, new looks for a bathroom, recipes..and OMG how cool is this a company that sources reclaimed wood (from old barns, the woods…) and matches clients and their project (fence, table…) with wood and a local craftsman. I finished my latte and headed there to meet the folks behind the company. That visit turned into a sort of blog interview, which I’ll publish later this week. That was day one. So, while waiting for responses from not just those folks but a few others I thought let’s start where I have all the information and artwork. Makes sense, right?
So… a 5 1/2 hour flight, 12 hours of sleep, dog walk, cleaning of muddy paws and feet, messages from my friend Eli about the surf at Higgins (really good), and bunch of work emails later…I’m ready to get started blogging.
Sunday I flew back on United (seriously, starting backwards on this trip) and had a frightening experience, or more an uncomfortable one. I’m in my jeggings, which basically leave little room for guess work, and a t-shirt. Somehow or another the security folks think there is something in one of my back pockets, the back pockets I never bothered to unstitch. Great, so the woman with her plastic gloves proceeds tell me she is going to pat me down. Now, I am already a bit uneasy about flying and this is how the morning travel session is getting started? So she doesn’t find anything and decides time to take my fingerprints! Folks I’ve never done anything more than get a parking ticket and those are all paid. So she swipes my hands with hydrogen peroxide and runs my fingerprints through a computer. I’m getting odd looks from passer-bys and thinking okay I don’t have a lawyer and really don’t want to miss my flight and….tick tock okay she comes back no problem go on through. Seriously, no big deal and I’d rather have security than not…but not fun folks really not fun.
Saturday night was a good one spent with two friends, one from my Miramax days (years ago) and another who I met less than a year ago and is one of LA’s top food bloggers. We started out at this uber-cool gallery/scavenger shop in Venice where I am now coveting some of the lighting fixtures.
From there it was dinner at Gjelina (pronounced “ja-lee-na” and named after the owner’s mother), a restaurant offering seasonal food with a Mediterranean influence on Abbott Kinney Blvd. We couldn’t get a reservation, so we went knowing we would wait and folks go because not only is the food really good the staff is so nice. Don’t be intimidated by the line of people along the wall waiting for communal tables, because (a) you can drink there (b) it provides a great opportunity for people watching. One thing, if you do not have a reservation go after 9 p.m. or that wait might not be so fun after an hour. I loved, as in could have easily just had second helpings of these and been fine, the Braised Butter Beans with Gremolata. The Wood Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Chili & Vinegar got polished off, and the Salt & Pepper Frites with Romesco and Aioli went well with my The Long Walk Home (Bordeaux, Bitters, Citrus) – think sangria. I would love to go back for some of the pizza. Please let me know if you go and what you recommend. Oh, and the lighting in this place was also pretty cool (industrial, but less rustic than the pieces at Obsolete), as was the bathroom (the sink “knob” was an iron wheel).