Thursday, May 15, 2008 2 clear things up.
Maybe "materialistic" isnt the right word for some LA folks.
Dawn's dad said it very well when he put it like this:

-LA is very "image-based"-

I like the sound of that.

Ok...onto the goods.

Day 2 was Sunday, which was Mother's Day.

As I was picking more fruits, I gave my mom a call and wished
her a happy Mother's Day. I couldn't ask for a better mother.

Her open mindedness helped me progress much quicker as a young person,
and she really taught me a strong work ethic.
She introduced me to gardening and landscaping too :)
Endless thanks Mom...

After speaking for a bit, we all went for a walk through the hills of Silver Lake.

If I had the chance to live in LA, I would seriously consider this area first.
Its quiet, still close to the freeways, and very green. The yards are lush
and the people take pride in maintaining their landscapes.

We headed to the Hollywood Farmer's Market after that.
I thought the Union Sq Farmer's Market in NYC was good...until I saw this.
The LA markets are leaps and bounds beyond anything here.
John McCabe from Sunfood Living said that Santa Monica is even stronger,
but I couldnt even imagine it being any better.

They have musicians, TONS of organic growers, and so much VARIETY.

Anyone that frequents the NYC markets...let them know that they should
get musicians put in. It adds so much to the atmosphere and gives the whole
scene a lot more liveliness. I was really impressed.

I bought some avocados that I've never tried before, apricots, jujubes,
kale and sugar snap peas. I forgot how good sugar snap peas could be.

You LA people have got it good! Be thankful!

We headed down to Au Lac in Fountain Valley after the market for lunch.
Now...I was a little nervous because I had been building up Au Lac so much
while telling Dawn about it...I was hoping that she wouldnt be let down.

Why would I ever doubt the magic of Chef Ito??
Au Lac AGAIN left us leaving with huge smiles on our faces.
NOTHING compares. yourself and favor and go here as often as you can.

Ito works wonders like no other. We were speechless. Here is what we had.
Im glad we were hungry.

We started with the "Creme Cheese"...beautiful presentation and the taste was GREAT.

Then we moved onto three entrees:

The Veggie Chow Mein.

The Pasta Primavera.

The Paella. A Masterpiece.

And then we had a piece of Chocolate Xctasy Cake.

After having one, we ordered 4 more to take home.
It really is THAT good.

We also got to try his Donut Holes
(Remember, Ito is on a vow of silence so he writes everything for you)

and his Raw Chocolate Candy.

Its likely the BEST BEST BEST raw chocolate Ive had.

The place was packed too.
Ito serves cooked vegan food as well, and I believe that its a big part
of their revenue, but when you go there you get the Raw Menu as well.

I was so happy to go back...and I was even more convinced how magical that food is.

It was great to see the place SO busy too. sure to check it out.

We visited Dawn's family after that and her mom showed me their fruit trees
in the back yard. Fig, Nectarine, and Lemon. Very cool!

They didnt want to really try the Chocolate Xctacy cake though!
If we would have brought it and said that it was Ice Cream Cake from Baskin Robbins
they would have been all over it, but because we mentioned the word "RAW",
they IMMEDIATELY shut down on us. Oh well...MORE FOR US!!!

We hit up the beach a little after that...nice but too windy,

then made it over to Erewhon Market on Beverly Blvd next to the Grove.

VERY IMPRESSIVE. Massive selection of raw goodies,
especially in the refridgerated section. Lots of stuff I have never even heard of.
Its really important to have access to that packaged stuff when we are on
the go and don't have enough time to make our own food.

Big ups to Erewhon...again, you LA guys have got it pretty good.

Since we were right by the Grove, we went and saw Iron Man.
At first I was a little hesitant because I assumed that it would be
a dumb action movie, but it was actually really smart and lots of fun.

I like Indie movies and documentaries more than most people,
but once in a while its nice to watch a movie and have fun and simply
be entertained. I take things too seriously sometimes...its good to just let go.

GREAT movie...and Robert Downy Jr. was drinking his own GREEN SMOOTHIE
in one part of it! WHAT? That was a cool surprise.
Iron Man...literally.

We drove home to the fresh jasmine scent of Silver Lake,
ate a few more loquats with some tea and smiled about how great that day was.

Day 3...Euphoria in Santa Monica, and Cru with Bueller from Bueller's Kitchen.



Antony said...

It's weird the way people decide that they don't like something even before they try it. IF they try it! Thanks for sharing this gorgeous food here.. We have so few raw restaurants in London but they're beginning to show up. It's gotta happen :-)

Anonymous said...

I am the same way about movies. I have a masters degree in sociology so I rip media apart with my critiques of the underlying themes. It tends to drive others crazy, but I can't deny the truth!


Wow...I live in LA and my husband and I rarely ever go to any of the places you mentioned. Our excuse is always too far and too much traffic.
You were all over southern California.
You motivated me to try Au Luc...which I've been considering.
Gosh, We only live about 30 minutes away ( without traffic of course).

Anonymous said...

I love L.A. I guess you got a taste of why I do. I did visit New York only to go to Pure Food and Wine. (they gave me a 19 course tasting menu..special order for my birthday!) I stopped at your Union Market, but I am spoiled by ours. So spoiled because we have a farmer's market everyday of the week in some city around L.A. So, if I miss Sunday's Hollywood, or Santa Monica's Wednesday and all organic on Saturday, I can go to Culver City on Tuesday, South Pasadena on Thursday....on and on. But, I am glad you got a taste of what the "down to earth" segment of L.A. is like! When people comment about feeling sorry for me having to eat raw, I just smile on the inside and think "if you only knew!!!!"

Anna Alexopoulos said...

I am a little jealous of those amazing meals, but happy you guys are enjoying them:)

I am coming out to NYC in a few weeks and eventually relocating. I have heard of Pure Food and Wine as well as the Counter (thanks for the blog and pics), but do you recommend any others? And some places for something quick or juice/coconut?


Ankit said...

i completely know what you mean about people rejecting food when they hear it's raw. since i'm in high school, i bring green smoothies to school in the morning (don't have time to have breakfast before school) and sometimes i'll bring a little dessert cake or something of the sort i created for myself.

the few occasions i get people to actually try the "nasty green stuff" or "that weird looking crap [the cake]," they fall head over heals for it. the last few days, a few kids have come up to me asking if i have some more of the green smoothie for them to sip. the second someone tries my cake, they freak out and when the rest of the kids in class see their reaction, they immediately want to try. the whole raw thing in high school has really made moves in opening up the minds of the students around me.