Someone told me recently, “It seems like you’ve been eating well.” Every once in awhile, I get accused of being a foodie, something I vehemently deny. I don’t know nearly enough about food or cooking to warrant such a haughty title. But I do realize that if you look at my blog, the vast majority of my posts involve food of some sort.
Everyone eats, but I guess I’m particularly enthusiastic. Once you get past the age where playing house, running around the playground or watching cartoons are no longer considered acceptable forms of entertainment, then most social activity revolves around food–eating together, cooking together, going out for drinks or dessert.
Because the way to my heart is definitely through my stomach, this doesn’t bother me all that much, though I am constantly searching for things that are more wallet and waist friendly (like rockclimbing, hiking, etc). Recently though, I seem to be eating out quite a bit.
My friend Ann came into town from NorCal last week — a perfect excuse to visit my dear friend Christina, catch up with Ann, and try out a new restaurant. We ended up at UMAMIcatessen in downtown LA, a high-ceilinged, metal/wood decorated space filled with trendy gastro-yuppies. They say that the noisier the restaurant, the better the food, but I’m not a fan of having to yell over the din. Other than that, I’m really looking forward to going again.
UMAMIcatessen is an interesting concept, with an anything-you-could-possibly-want kind of spirit. Like a high-class version of the Malaysian mamak stall cafes, with the central seating area surrounded by options, options, and more options. In this case, you can order cocktails from the bar on the right, charcuterie from PIGG on the left (with a very interesting glass display), burgers from the Umami Burger menu and pastrami from The Cure, a latte or espresso from Spring for Coffee in the back corner, or fried-to-order donuts from & a Donut.
Christina and I shared an order of jamon serrano (which I haven’t had since my trip to Almeria, Spain), which surprised us, because it came in thin slices on a sheet of parchment paper. The waitress kindly brought us a few slices of bread, which turned out to be a great way to eat it. The crispy pigs ears were very rich and a little salty, so we weren’t able to finish them, though they were tasty.
The highlight of the meal for me was dessert and coffee. I don’t eat many donuts, but if I do, I prefer cake donuts like the moist tres leches donut we had. And I wasn’t sure how my latte would turn out, since I asked for it with simple syrup, but it was perfect. I think my reaction to both was something like a contented sigh.
Since I’m no longer working in Los Angeles, I don’t have as many opportunities to try out new restaurants, so I really enjoyed myself that evening. Even though I’m not traveling right now, I have to remind myself of how blessed I am to be living in a place where food is innovative and diverse, a great mix of thoroughly authentic ethnic cuisine and non-traditional, forward-thinking fare. I may not dress, talk or think like trendy LA person, but I don’t mind eating like one.
Note: Apologies for the dark, blurry photos. See PART 2 for the rest of my LA outings.