Immediately after my parents picked me up from the airport at 8am, we headed to The Grove where where ate my weight in egg whites, turkey sausage and shared a stack of pancakes from Dupar's. I'm not a pancake person, so believe me when I say that these pancakes will convert any savory breakfast fan. They're fluffy, light, not too sweet and are perfect enough to eat without syrup.
After having a huge breakfast, I basically starved myself the rest of the day to indulge in my favorite pizza place for dinner, Pizzeria Mozza. You really can't go wrong with any pie you order because what makes each pizza so delicious, aside from the one of a kind toppings, is the amazing pizza dough made from the genius mind behind La Brea Bakery, Nancy Silverton. I indulged in a cheese-less pizza and a delicious green salad, but left room for dessert because on the way home I made my parents stop at Yogurtland to curb my craving of tart pistachio yogurt topped with mochi and fruit. I love Yogurtland so much (way more than Pinkberry or Red Mango) and wish I had money to open a franchise in Chicago, but sadly I don't. :(
The next day, my parents and I took a stroll through Manhattan Beach, CA with my uncle's dog Bailey and had breakfast at one of my old haunts, Uncle Bill's Pancake House. I used to work in El Segundo, not too far from MB, and on days when we could sneak away for a long lunch we'd make our way to Uncle Bill's for all day breakfast items like french toast topped with cheddar cheese and bacon or breakfast potato stroganoff. Sitting outside along the strand, eating a fat kid's breakfast with 80 degree weather, was pure bliss. Later that day we picked up my favorite asian chicken salad from Rascals Teriyaki Grill and made me wonder why Chicago doesn't have more teriyaki joints. On the West Coast, they're as common as Chipotle's, but in the Midwest they're nowhere to be found. Maybe I should get some Asians together and we petition to open one?
My last day rounded out by making a mandatory pit stops to Coffee Bean for a Vanilla Ice Blendid and See's Candy for lollis, but we saved the best places for last. Since we were going to be in Burbank watching a taping of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, I made my parents go to Porto's Bakery for lunch. I can't stress enough that if you're ever in the LA area, make a trip out to this cuban bakery and try one of the guava pastries and potato balls - they're truly life changing. The place is always packed no matter what time you go, but the lines go quick and it's worth it...trust me! For dinner, we kept it low key and although I really wanted to fit in more of my favorite eats, I landed on filling my craving for Zankou Chicken. This Mediterranean take out may not look like a big deal, but for $8 you get the best roasted chicken served with hummus, pickled vegetables and a garlic sauce that I dream of at night.
Needless to say, I ate a lot on my 3 day vacation and although there are times I do miss living in LA, truthfully, I miss the food more. Even though there were many non-food related things I wanted to see or could have done, all the food stops were enough for me. For me, vacations are an opportunity to soak up local culture and enjoy food you won't get at home...and I did just that.
|Does food play a huge role in your vacations? Do you like to research the best places to eat before getting to your destination or do you let food be secondary to seeing tourist attractions?|