Tuesday, May 29, 2007

LA Favorites #10: Tableau Vivante, Farmers' Market Explorer

Erin's Kitchen is leaving LA! Before I go, I'm asking Angelenos to share their favorite food spots--east to west, high to low. Want to share your favorites? Email me: erinskitchen [at] gmail [dot] com. Read previous LA Favorites, including recommendations from Jonathan Gold, Russ Parsons, Evan Kleiman and fellow foodbloggers here.

LA Favorites #10: Tableau Vivante, a fab farmers' market explorer and foodblogger

How long have you lived in LA?
I was born and raised in Pasadena. I moved to Maryland when I was 15 and stayed until my late twenties. I moved back to the LA-area in 2000 and don't have any plans to leave. If you ask any of my east coast friends, they'll tell you I never left. I've been a California girl all my life.
Quick--a favorite LA food memory. What's the first one that comes to mind? Tasting Zankou Chicken for the first time. I had just moved back to the area and JJ was determined to fill me in on what he thought were the required flavors of LA (since I had essentially been absent from the LA food scene since my teens). The ever-extolled garlic sauce wasn't my first love though. It was their hummus.

What food or drink does LA do best? And where can I find it? The fun thing about LA is that no one food really describes the region best. The expansive cultural diversity here means we have access to the best of all worlds -- from Armenian to Mexican and all things Pacific Rim. Where LA stands out, in my humble opinion, is the base ingredients that go into those cuisines. We have access to some of the most amazing fresh produce here via our farmers' markets (yeah, like you didn't see that coming ;)). It's the quality of that produce that always brings me, and many local chefs, back to the market week after week. And where can you find it? Everyday, somewhere in LA, there is a farmers' market being held. Drink-wise, I'd recommend the lemonade at Hot Dog on a Stick or a Neopolitan Shake at In-N-Out.

Top three spots (restaurants, taco stands, stores, bars, etc) I should visit before I leave LA? 1--Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo. One of the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles. Also a favorite with Japanese ex-pats. Let the chefs surprise you. Some of my most educational and delicious sushi moments have been at Sushi Gen. Counter seat if you can get one. 2--Zephyr Cafe in Pasadena. Their banana-nutella crepe and roasted red pepper panini are incredible. Cash only though. Also? Order their Tea Hee Hee. Iced tea with peach syrup. Mm! If it's a nice day, opt to sit out in the brick-lined patio near the apple tree. 3--Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen in Rosemead. I took my sister there last night and she wishes she had one in San Diego. It's not Nissin. Fresh noodles done to your preference. Get the plain Hakata ramen (I like my noodles soft) with medium strength broth and light oil. Their seaweed salad is also delish. Fried chicken cartilage, too. Plus? It's dinner and a show. Sit at the counter.

palm tree photo by Eric Richardson


Chubbypanda said...

I'm very fond of Table Vivante's blog. Well done.

Erin S. said...

Yeah, it's a great site, isn't it? I want to make her my personal farmers' market shopper :)

Emily said...

Well, hey, SIPA buddy, I had no idea you also were a Tableau Vivante fan, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I'm a huge fan of her feed over on LiveJournal. Small world when you love food, hmm? Maybe we can be dinner party buddies next year. It'll be September by then, and I could make some of my marinated mushrooms and squash puffs.

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