Outside Cole's after imbibing at the Varnish. (Apparently that's what the guy behind us had been doing, too.)
Outside Cole’s after imbibing at the Varnish. (Apparently that’s what the guy behind us had been doing, too.)

I was born in L.A. My parents met cruising down a boulevard in the valley. Few people believe this story – it sounds like I stole it from Grease, but it’s true. My mother, whose father was a VP at Lockheed, was driving his Cadillac. My father, who came from a family of machinists and hot rod builders, was driving a Camaro he had rebuilt himself. They pulled up to a stoplight. My father challenged my mother to a race.

Oddly, I never lived in L.A. until recently. I never thought I’d call it home. But I do. And I love it here.

My L.A. picks
I’m slow to update this with restaurants, because I am trying to be more thorough and eat at a place several times before I write about it. Some of the best eats I’ve had in L.A.: Red Medicine, Waterloo & City and Night + Market (see blog entry below) and Aburiya Toranoko. Also notable: Superba and The Gorbals.

For ramen, I can highly recommend Yamadaya. I love this little one-dish wonder on Venice Beach: Poke Poke. One night, after sailing, craving a burger, Chef took me to an L.A. institution called The Apple Pan. As Chef would say, that hickory burger was no joke – apparently neither was the pie.

For drinks, I have long been a fan of downtown’s The Varnish, hidden inside this fabulously-named roast beef sandwich place. I love the atmosphere inside this classy but not stuffy old L.A. hotel called Casa del Mar and at happy hour the cocktails are affordable.

For more tips and stories, click on the photos below.

Don’t bother
I’ll step out on a limb and also say, here are a few places I won’t go back anytime soon: Pink’s Hotdogs are not worth the hype, the money you pay for them or the line. Craving Indian one day, I went to the closest one I could find. This place, Hurry Curry, was disgusting. It was dirty, the food was tasteless and the curries were murky and muddy, as if hiding the identity of the ingredients.


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