One last post from the City of Angels, even though it’s been almost a week since we’ve been back…
Thanksgiving normally means a comfortable home-cooked meal, stuffing yourself silly with starchy and richly flavored foods, then relaxing on familiar plush couches and falling asleep to whatever football game or series marathon happens to be on the tube.
But not this year…and that was a good thing.
Since my sister J was working in a theatrical production (which is just ending its run), she didn’t have the time to host a Thanksgiving dinner at her house. Instead, we dressed up and ate at Jar, an understatedly elegant restaurant in the mid-city area of Los Angeles normally serving modern takes on classic American comfort food. Given those culinary offerings and its lauded reputation, it’s no wonder that we had a fabulous tradition holiday dinner.
I guess I’m still surprised that a lot of people go out for Thanksgiving.
The girls managed to behave – something I should be expecting with more frequency now.
The menu offered a mostly traditional meal:
After this sublime and flavor-bomb meal, you’d think we wouldn’t have had any more room to eat until dinnertime two days later. But we managed to indulge in some pies my other sister C brought from Marie Callender’s, before we all headed out to see the new Disney movie, “Frozen” (very entertaining, BTW, even if it is geared to kiddos).
Marie C’s is no longer in Colorado. So I welcomed the inevitable bellyaches and ensuing food coma with slices of yummy coconut cream and chocolate cream that I couldn’t get at home.
On Black Friday in steady and chilly rain, RAS and I drove to the Farmers’ Market, a forever-standing L.A. landmark near the CBS Television City. It was just we two, as my sisters and one of my brothers-in-law took the girls back to Little Tokyo for the shopping they didn’t get done on Tuesday.
This place doesn’t really sell a lot of the fruits and vegetables characterizing most “farmers’ markets” now, but plenty of little retail shops and food stands abound, everything from pizza to Indonesian cuisine to crepes. And what we sampled was surprisingly tasty, especially the New York-style pizza slice we eventually chose, at Patsy D’Amore’s.
Our post-lunch walk consisted of window-shopping in the adjacent upscale Grove outdoor mall, trying to avoid as much of the crazy crowd as possible. The rain probably kept the hoard smaller than it might’ve been. Since we didn’t have the common sense to bring an umbrella, we eventually became soaked and ducked into a coffee house to warm up and dry off, successfully avoiding any impulse purchases.
Even if we still felt the remnants of the previous day’s massive turkey dinner, we wolfed down the tender garlic-soy-chili marinated sirloin and chicken grilled right at our table. The girls were surprisingly willing to try this cuisine they’ve never had before and ended up loving it.
If you’ve gone to any Korean restaurant, you know that the meal begins with roughly 5 to 8 little dishes of spicy pickled vegetables and appetizers. The most famous of these is kimchi, which I happen to love. I could’ve made meal of just these starters alone with maybe some steamed rice, except we also had the main meat course coming – and before that was a silky and savory egg custard that melted in my mouth.
Aggh…the food coma continued.