What’s up Foodies?
The transition from Seattle to LA was a tough one on me and I wasn’t able to get out and enjoy tasty morsels as much as I wanted to. Now that I’m a bit more settled (I’ve got a great day-job and a gym to burn those problematic calories) I can venture out and have some new experiences.
I’m sure some of the readers will disagree with me, but I feel like LA is a bit of an over-rated city when it comes to food. First off, LA is so huge and the traffic gets so crazy, it’s tough to venture out far. I currently live in Venice and the thought of driving to Silverlake to try some of it’s top places seems dreadful. Although I love living on the Westside, it’s easy to get bored with the food here. Santa Monica is too touristy, Venice’s Abbot Kinney is out of my price range (there are some good reasonably priced eats on Main Street which I’ll write about soon) and although I adore cocktails from the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey, most restaurants have been nothing to write about.
Mar Vista is a small residential and commercial neighborhood West of Venice. It reminds of Downtown Roseville, which is where I grew up, outside of Sacramento. There are cute shops, cafes and restaurants within walking distance of each other on Venice Blvd. Mar Vista seems to have a family/community type feel to it after researching it online. I found a cute Creperie there and I’m becoming a bit of a regular there now. What girl isn’t a sucker for a Provencal-style cafe with a hint of shabby-chic whimsy to it?
La Petite Crêperie (UPDATED 6/10/15 – CLOSED, RIP)
3809 Grand View Blvd
I was in the mood for a savory crepe and the Poulet à La Crème was just what I needed. This is a different presentation than what I was expecting (ingredients folded into crepe) and I didn’t know it was going to be a Wheat Crepe mix used. Luckily, looks are deceiving because this was just as good as eating a stuffed crepe and the wheat adds a grainy texture that I now prefer over the standard crepe mix. The Crème Fraîche sauce is very rich and seemed to have a great white wine taste to it. The Chicken is also perfectly cooked and soaks up the Crème Fraîche sauce. There’s also enough sauce to mix into the mixed green salad it comes with.
A la Banane
The second time I went it I asked the server what the most popular item outside of crepes was and he recommended the A la Banane; which is French Toast smothered in a Brown Sugar and dark Rum sauce, topped with Bananas, Hazelnuts and imported Marscarpone cheese. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but how could I resist this? It’s like a breakfast version of Banana’s Foster. This was very delicious but I think it covered a year worth of sweets for me. Their menu is online and I’m looking forward to trying the Pommes and the Saumon Fumé.
Blue Flowers – From Mar Vista Farmer’s Market
Mar Vista Farmer’s Market
Sundays, 9 AM – 2 PM
Grand View Ave and Venice Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
One thing I really miss about Sacramento and Seattle are their great Farmer’s Markets. It’s a Sunday morning tradition for me; eat a good meal, get fresh local produce and if I have a few extra bucks, some pretty flowers. It’s also fun to build bonds with the vendors so they hook you up with the best items. In LA, most people flock to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market on Wednesday mornings. I find it incredibly over-whelming. There are way too many people and vendors crammed together- I get claustrophobic! I also heard a story about a person driving through the market and injuring people. I know it’s an irrational fear, but…
I recently discovered the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market (http://www.marvistafarmersmarket.org/) and it has become my Sunday morning ritual. The Farmers are very friendly and they offer plenty of samples. In addition to farmers, there are plenty of activities to keep kids busy and cute kitchen accessories, there are also a lot of food vendors with plenty of hot goodies you can munch on while shopping. A few of my favorite things are below.
Ring Baked Tofu Donuts
I’m going bonkers trying to find any contact info for this business! Such a shame because the Red Velvet was so delicious. Ever since I started working behind the camera donuts have been my enemy. They’re usually greasy and gross. These baked Tofu Donuts where light, lightly sweet and don’t weigh you down after consumption. If anyone out there has contact info for this business let me know. I want to try the Green Tea donut.
Dairy Goddess Farmstead Cheese
I tried them all and not only are all of them fantastic spreads THEY’RE ALL UNDER 30 CALORIES PER SERVING!!!!!!!
I never thought I’d see the day I’d post low-calorie food but I guess there’s a first time for everything. The kind gentleman working the stand started me on the Naked spread, so I could taste the base, a savory Fromage Blanc. Then he had me try all of them. I walked with the “The Valley”, which is a spread with Peaches, Almonds and sweetened with Honey. This is a great addition to Non-Fat Greek Yogurt and to dip your Strawberries in. I also walked with the “Ol West” spread with bits of real bacon and ranch flavoring. I have used this spread to dip Bellpeppers in but it’s also perfect (and guilt-free) on-top of a baked potato.
MASA – Artisan Gourmet Tamales
I picked up a bag of MASA’s Goat Cheese Corn and Jalapeno Tamales but was a little concerned they’d dry out when I tried to heat them up. What I did was put the tamales (keep corn wrapper on) on a plate and put about 2 tablespoons of water on the plate. Also, lightly dampen a paper towel and wrap it around the plate. This way it steams in the microwave and keeps all the flavors succulent inside. The Goat Cheese was a bit of a risk since I am so used to a traditional Mole or Verde mixture inside. These were great tamales though and can’t wait to pick up the Spicy Chickpeas and Guatemalan Rice Tamales next trip.