I’m going to tell you all about the food in Southern California!
For more pictures and scoop about my trip to L.A., check out Ann Marie’s new post today, too. (I wasn’t thrilled with her choice of post title!)
Do you have a picky palate?
I came to L.A. to see my friend Ann Marie this week and she’s on a mission to mature my palate, but I’m not usually willing to try new foods that have already been filed into the “yuck” category in my brain. However, how often do I come all the way to California? Wait ‘til you hear what a big girl I was!
She couldn’t believe I’d never tried oysters, so after my delayed flight we raced over to Hollywood before the farm market closed. All around me were raw oyster lovers going ga-ga over what looked to me like a shell with dark spots and slime inside. I still wanted to do it. First I got detailed instructions from Ann Marie: slurp them into your mouth, don’t chew, savor the flavor for a bit, and swallow. When she squeezed fresh lemon and some yummy cocktail sauce on it I got more courage. I tipped it back…and nothing came out. She had to scoop it out for me like she does for her two year old.
Then I did it. I really did it!
If I didn’t think about the slimy insides, I really liked the salty, fresh flavor. I’m actually looking forward to trying more when we go to the Santa Monica farm market on Wednesday before I leave. I love knowing how good it is for me (lots of minerals, omega-3’s, vitamins A, D & B12!), and I didn’t hate it, yippee!
It was fun talking to Jack, the sourdough guy. He’s got flyers and signs all around his booth with information to teach his customers why his sourdough bread is so good for us. He’s very passionate about his healthy bread – my kind of guy!
For dinner we went to one of Ann Marie’s favorite LA restaurants, Grace. Beforehand I gave her a good laugh when I told her that my favorite wine (OK, the only wine I drink) is a cheap table wine that I get for $10 in a gallon jug. So she got wine, and guess what I got instead? I ordered the best mojito I’ve ever had! They add thyme along with the mint and oh my they were good.
She insisted that I’d love their foie gras.
But I’m just a small-town Michigan girl, and didn’t know what that even was, or how to pronounce it! When I learned that it’s duck liver, my mind scrambled for reasons why I shouldn’t try it. But since I tried the oysters, I had to try this, too.
Guess what? It was really delicious with NO liver flavor at all! It was tender, with a great flavor seared in along with a little seared pineapple served on the side.
Our other appetizer? Raw fish: Sashimi.
When I blocked it out of my brain that it was raw, I loved the mild, tender fish with a light flavorful sweet and sour sauce.
Our main dish was phenomenal, although it sounded odd to my uncultured palate: wild boar tenderloin over roasted brussel sprouts, on a bed of potato spaetzle, with a mustard reduction sauce. You wouldn’t believe how good this was. I wish I had a picture to show you.
For dessert I had sticky toffee “pudding”, which apparently means a toffee dessert, because there was no pudding. It was a chocolate cake, crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, served with a scoop of some divine toffee ice cream.
Life is good. I miss Kent & the kids, but we’re having a blast!
(It's funny reading this post many years later, I love all of this stuff now and I've “grown up” in the wine department too!)
No more about food, now I’ll just show you some neat pictures of our trip to Malibu the next day. Here was the gorgeous view along the Pacific Coast Highway:
Check out this neat place we went to:
Here’s a picture of how we both like to relax, believe it or not… sitting on the beach, reading our latest issues of Wise Traditions, gathering more post ideas! 🙂
I’m finally reading my comments from this week – what fun to hear from you all!
Liz, I came home to find the house still standing, and all signs of Kent’s partying were long gone! 🙂
Jeanne, yes, I’m sure I could handle your German kraut now!
Maddie! I didn’t know you read my blog!! I’ll email you, ya crazy girl. And of course I already KNEW I have a cool niece! Hey, what’s Mrs. Turnwald’s first name? Is she related to Deb & Mickey? (Readers: Maddie lives in my home town. 🙂 )
Maurice! I didn’t know you read my blog either! It was great to see you again in Santa Monica – thanks for the swine flu vaccines you gave us. (Raw milk samples!) I can’t believe how stinkin’ sweet everyone is there – between you and the Lindner’s and Jack Bezian, I feel like I’ve known you all for years!
Brenda, I was in SF a few years ago, but I needed a local to tell me where to go and what to eat – I totally missed the boat that time!
Emily @ marvelous recipes says
Looks like you had a really great time!
Emily @ marvelous recipes
I forgot to mention that I was anything but adventurous in my eating out there — it’s one of my weaker points.
‘Sounds wonderful out there! I used to live in southern CA when I was 1-9 years old and last visited in 2005. We spent time in Santa Barbara as well as making as big a loop of the state as we could in the week we weren’t working on my brother’s roof in Petaluma. I was so proud of my son who was 8 then. He wanted to try all things seafood and didn’t find anything he didn’t like. He LOVED calamari like Local Nourishment (and is proud to this day to be able to tell people that)! I love the ocean and the sand and the palm trees! Thanks for sharing those pictures and your experiences!
[email protected] says
Oh!! That looks like so much fun, I’m glad to hear (read!) that you are having a great time. I am a pretty adventurous eater and I’m totally jealous! Except the oysters. I have had them a few times. They go down fine, but once they get to my stomach – well, anyway. Glad you liked them though.
Maddie (again) says
Yahoo! Hey aunt kelly! You hear that! You are lucky to have such a kool neice!!
Thank you Elizabeth!!! I’m bored in school again and I’m gonna get in trouble for chatting and when are you coming home? I hope you’re a having a good time!
Srry if I’m bothering you but if I bother my friends I get slapped. kidding kidding they just give me the evil eye cause I’m done with stupid poetry and they aren’t. Their fault right?! P.S. Mrs. Turnwald says you have a vary good blog.
Great post, I am jealous of your trip! look forward to reading more. I just love the pictures of the restaurant on the beach… I want to be there, lol!
And you are a lucky aunt to have such a cool niece! 🙂
go Kelly go taste all you can
If you think LA has good food, you ought to come to San Francisco. The food here is AMAZING!
[email protected] Beauty and Bedlam says
that is a great friend….I probably need someone in my life to expand my palate as well. What a fun trip….thanks for highlighting it at Tasty Tuesday. This was fun to live it through you. 🙂
[email protected] Beauty and Bedlam
You’re still here. Come by Santa Monica market tomorrow and check out Windrose Farms.
Also, there are more oysters.
Glad you could make it out and have a good time. Pleasure to meet you. Come back soon.
High love and yeehah!
Sup Aunt Kelly!!!!?????
I’m just really bored in school. Oysters sound nasty. I’d rather like the toilet seat.:) kidding kidding… So are u havin fun? just curious… are u by any schools closed from swine flu? Mrs. Turnwald was there a few days ago and she said the school accross from her was closed cause of it. So now when ever we talk to her we have our hands over our mouth. lol its kinda drivin her nuts. o well. 🙂
Srry shoulda emailed u instead of leavin a really long comment but i can’t get to my email here. Dumb huh.
Well, email me when u get a chance!
P.S. just 4 any other peoples, I’m her numero uno neice like u probably figured out 🙂
P.S. S. yes aunt kell, numero uno and u know it!
Sue E. says
Knowing you for awhile I know how hard it is for you to try new things! Isn’t it a great feeling to grow in an area where we tend to put on the breaks?? Great virtue of courage you showed us all! (Now, what would you have done if one of the sauces had walnuts in it??!!) hehehe
You look pretty natural sitting there on the Malibu Beach there, chickie poo! Don’t be getting any ideas that you are going to abandon all your friends and family back in cloudy Michigan…..:)
Have a fun, blessed trip, and come home safely!
I grew up eating raw oysters… well, I’m with you Kelly. The ick factor is high. I would eat one quickly and refill my shell with the mix of lemon, salt, and Worchestershire sauce over and over. Ha, I didn’t know there were actually cooked oysters or canned oysters until I was in college.
Same with clams. I loved digging for them and then would be picking them out of my rice at dinner. Oh, all of those opportunities for wholesome traditional food wasted in my youth!!
Glad you are both having a good time. It was a fun read.
Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home says
It’s always great to stretch ourselves and learn to like new things, I’m proud of you!
Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home
Local Nourishment says
Looks familiar. I used to drive PCH everyday on the way to work! Never had raw oysters, but I used to love calamari. Be sure you get a date shake while you’re there, too! MMM. LA has some amazing food.
Okay Liz, I had to lol, since my husband started the loud kickball game of fathers against kids Sunday night and Kasey really was out in the street milling around all the big kids playing!
Kelly . . . yeah! Isn’t it great trying something new and discovering that you really like it (and it is good for you!) awesome?
I am going to have to find a recipe for potato spaetzle and have Stephan try it. We had his mom’s recipe of authentic German fried spaetzle with lots of sauteed onions, garlic and swiss cheese, last night and it is one of my kids favorite things. Are you ready to try my authentic German Sauerkraut now?
…..we are living vicariously through you. And we are having a blast! Thanks for sharing your adventures…traveling AND food! Keep it up! (for those of us stuck back here where it is GLOOMY again…we are waiting!!) Thanks again……and have a great time.
Yay! Oysters are a wonderful thing. So yummy. 🙂
I’m so proud of you for trying new things!
Don’t worry about things here, they seem fine. The littlest one seems to be wandering the street, but every now and then your husband stops his loud partying and sends someone out to retrieve him. 🙂
Sounds great! So glad that you two are enjoying yourselves so much! Feel like I’m there with you both!
This is so much fun to read!
I’m with you, Kelly. I would never in this world order any of those foods myself without someone holding my hand (and maybe a gun to my head, lol).
Maybe Ann Marie should hire herself out. Intro to Food by Ann Marie!!