It seems like every day brings the world a new food festival. Some may say there are too many, but I say that is crazy talk and then go on my way to eating at another. The LA Food Fest is one of the biggies and took place this past weekend in Exposition Park – right next to USC making it easy for Metro-goers. As media I got in an hour early and took the time to figure out what looked good, with the help of my trusty assistant.
The Palm Springs area isn’t exactly known for its culinary prowess. You see, septuagenarians don’t really care how their food tastes as long as they can be done with dinner by 6:00. Nonetheless, there are a few places willing to take some risks and offer unique eats (even if they do sport an early bird special to boot). One of these is Catalan in Rancho Mirage, a Mediterranean restaurant in the sense of the European parts of the Mediterranean at least.
The Madrid airport sucks. There. I said it. It does have a cool rainbow spanning the entire building, but otherwise it has nothing going for it. Or at least that’s what I thought when I first rolled through the place. But when I came back again for another layover, I found Deli & Cia, which gave me a reason to not completely write off the place.
Although they border each other and both speak English, South Africa and Zimbabwe couldn’t be more different. Granted, my only basis for comparison are Cape Town and the town of Victoria Falls, but you know, they seemed pretty different. Essentially, Victoria Falls and Zimbabwe are poor. Like dirt poor. As in, so poor that their own currency has no value and they use American dollars instead. So with all this poverty, we were surprised to find a tapas restaurant called Lola’s in the middle of Victoria Falls.
Taking advantage of a special from Living Social, the girlfriend and I headed to Cobras & Matadors in Mid-City for a bit of a date night. The place specializes in tapas and is BYO with a slight corkage fee. We forgot the booze, so had to make up for it in food instead. The deal was for 70 bucks worth, so that meant we had a lot of tapas to eat. As usual, I eyed cheeses and meats, and was happy to be eating small plates because so much looked good.
While wandering the Hermosa Pier in search for some sort of food to eat, the girlfriend and I discovered a place called Mediterraneo. It seemed like one of the few places on the pier that would be a better restaurant than a bar, so we decided to check it out. While the name implies Greek food, we were surprised to find that this wasn’t some simple gyro and pita place (although that wouldn’t necessarily have been a bad thing). Instead, we found that they were a tapas place that didn’t limit itself to the Spanish style. In addition to Spanish, there was also a nice Greek influence that could be found in menu items like hummus, beets and feta cheese.
So in the middle of dineLA’s Restaurant Week, we decided to pay a visit to Upstairs 2 for some dinner. This little restaurant hangs out above the Wine House in West LA and if you didn’t know what you were looking for, you would probably never find it. Luckily, we knew what we were looking for and found it just fine. After parking on the roof, I found the restaurant to have a pretty swanky atmosphere that was just light enough to read the menus.
Bar Pintxo. How the hell do you pronounce this place? It’s not an easy thing to do. If only the x moved back one letter to be before the t, things would be much easier. Alas, that is the restaurant I went to for some tapas.
Ordering at this tapas bar was kind of a double-edged sword for an unvegan. On one hand, I could take a look at all food available and decide what to order based on which tapas didn’t have vegetables. On the other hand, all the tapas were prepared ahead of time and I couldn’t order without the veggies.
Before, ordering, however, we had to get ourselves some libations.