I haven't posted anything since June (fabulous guest posters aside). I can't really say why. Could it be the distractions of baseball season? Maybe. Soul-crushing depression? Possibly. The fact that my computer died and it took me a few weeks to convince myself that buying a laptop was an absolute necessity? Perhaps. For whatever reason, I stopped writing. And I don't mean just this blog. I stopped writing everything. Screenplays, notes to friends, emails, grocery lists. Nothing. This must change. I will make it change. Thank you, Blogger, for not deleting my blog. Thank you, good reader, for occasionally checking here to see if I've returned. I hope this post finds you well. As an apology for my months of absence, I give you several flash reviews of restaurants I've been to recently:
Intelligentsia Coffee: Located in the Sunset Junction, near the fabulous Cheese Store of Silverlake, this is the first LA outpost of the Chicago-based coffee chain. I went to the kickoff party the night before Sunset Junction (What's that? No, no, I didn't go to Sunset Junction. Why? Because it's a huge, expensive, hot, waste of time.). The joint was packed, and the coffee was free. Each cup of roasted coffee is brewed fresh as you wait (It does take a minute), and it is good. They have different roasts or beans or what have you, and they treat coffee more or less like wine, talking about "hints of blueberry on the nose." The design of the shop itself is very hip, and there's plenty of outdoor seating. Try the Iced Angeleno, which Edan has been raving about ever since the opening.
Edendale Grill: My father-in-law took me there last Monday night, after four different restaurants were either closed or deemed unacceptable. Expensive drinks, but a pleasant patio, and good enough food. I wasn't floored by the beat salad or by my Shrimp, Asparagus, Artichoke Couscous. The calamari was good, and the atmosphere and pleasant ambiance will probably bring me back again, but it was far from a home run.
Cobras & Matadors (Los Feliz location): Just as good as the one on Beverly, with more seating and wine by the glass and bottle. I'm never leaving Los Feliz again.
Scoops: Bizzarro ice cream flavors abound at this cute little shop in a very weird area off Melrose Avenue. I had Vanilla Jim Beam (yum) and Brown Bread, which was exactly what it sounds like -- like eating a loaf of pumpernickel, yet strangely good. Edan had Spiced Cheddar, which was very good as a sample but cloying after a few bites, and Vegan Cinnamon Tiramisu, which was good.
Best Fish Taco in Ensenada: Strange fish taco stand operating out of a storefront on Hillhurst. They have three items on the menu: fish taco, shrimp taco, and drinks. Cheap and yummy, on all accounts. I got the spicy mango salsa, which tasted good, but which my body greeted roughly as it would a shot of petrol. The pleasant woman running the register waited a very long time before accepting our payment. She was seriously focused on her knitting. I can see myself eating many a lunch at this place.
Alegria on Sunset: Gourmet Mexican food, with many vegetarian options dished out in a cute, but unassuming location in a strip mall with a Baskin Robbins (Somebody really ought to write about how many totally ass-kicking strip mall restaurants there are in Los Angeles. Off the top of my head, I can think of Alegria, Cafe Suanomaluong, Carousel, and Zankou Chicken. Seriously, somebody get on this already). Our group shared potato tacos, which were good, and I had a steak dish, whose name I cannot recall. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't cheap, and as we were leaving, there seemed to be a substantial wait for tables. On a Monday night.