Hey there good people of the Amateur Gourmet newsletter,
So did you see my doughnut post from last week? It's a comic book post about The Best Doughnuts in L.A. Click that link for a fully immersive experience, including videos of me eating each and every doughnut. I wonder if some doughnut fetishist has those videos playing on a constant loop in some dark hidden lair beneath his house now that they're online?
Also, I just did a post about How To Fry Chicken For A Crowd. This is a good thing to know because everyone loves fried chicken and if you can serve it up at a dinner party, you'll be a very popular person indeed.
Now then: this week's newsletter features places I'd been to once but have now returned to for a second visit.
For example, I blogged about Gjelina in August. It's a truly awesome restaurant, with amazing food. So on Saturday, when Craig wanted to visit Venice Beach again, I said we should eat brunch there. We got there at 11:30 or so and only had to wait 10 minutes for a table (if you show up later, you'll be waiting a lot longer).
Craig ordered poached eggs with mushrooms and asparagus topped with parsley and breadcrumbs:
I ordered a spicier egg dish--baked eggs with merguez in a spicy tomato sauce with yogurt:
We both agreed that mine was more flavorful than his; his was more subtle.
We both went crazy for these fried fingerling potatoes topped with Parmesan:
Those are the best fingerlings I've ever had; garlicky, crunchy. Like french fries except with farmer's markety potatoes.
And look how they served up my cappuccino:
That pretty much says it all: Gjelina is a place that cares about details. And it's definitely one of my Top 3 Favorite Restaurants in L.A. So Far.
As for our day in Venice, we walked into a cakestand store where Craig was recognized by someone he went to high school with:
Then we walked along the boardwalk and saw the exterior of a freak show:
Skaters doing skateboarding tricks:
And the canals that give Venice its name:
After all that walking, I was parched. So I was happy to find this place on a corner of Abbot-Kinney:
If you're ordering just lemonade, you can cut the big food line. So I did and ordered this blood orange lemonade:
It totally hit the spot.
Now, then, remember when I went to Pa Ord in Thai Town with Zach Brooks?
I wanted Craig to experience my favorite Thai food in L.A. so far.
We went on Friday night and started with a bowl of Tom Kha Gai (chicken/coconut soup) that we ordered "medium spicy." You can see how that was interpreted:
We both almost keeled over from the heat. But the broth itself--flavored with lemongrass and galangal--was pretty terrific, though Craig said it still didn't hold up to his favorite Tom Kha Gai in Seattle, at Thai Tom. I still haven't been there.
We ordered a seafood noodle dish that was just ok, not great:
The noodles were good, as was the sauce, but the seafood seemed a little less than fresh (and the imitation crab in it didn't help).
What did make both of us swoon is the dish that I swooned over last time---crispy pork with Chinese broccoli:
That's the dish you should get when you go to Pa Ord. (And the boat noodles, if you're brave enough. Craig wasn't.)
Finally, I returned to Gastronomico last week for lunch. It's such a peculiar place. The food is fantastic, but it's in a strip mall and it's decorated like a pizza parlor for kids' birthdays. They need to work on atmosphere. They don't need to work on the food, though; here's my trout on an heirloom tomato salad:
That was my "healthy" lunch before hitting the gym last week. I'm documenting my new workout regimen on my Not Food blog, if you want to follow along. Today I begin Week 2 of working out.
Ok, folks, that's it for this week. Tune in tomorrow for an amazing HUMMINGBIRD CAKE that I served after serving up that fried chicken.
Until next time....
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)
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