We can all agree that Phoenix is not LA. Good, now that that’s settled, Phoenix does appear to get an event or two on occasion, and the first since I made the big move was the 8th Annual Arizona Taco Festival, which converged at the Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. While the place is better-known for MLB spring training, the vast field was put to good use in hosting dozens of vendors pushing mostly tacos, but also drinks, desserts and the occasional t-shirt.
My lack of any sort of need for dessert has been pretty well-chronicled on this blog by now. Yet, there is one dessert that I have a hard time passing up and that dessert is pie. So, when I found out that Arizona’s best pies were on the way to Prescott before taking a quick trip to, uh, Prescott, I knew we had to make a stop at Rock Springs Cafe in Black Canyon City.
Along with The Apple Pan over in West LA, Pie ‘n Burger is renowned for not only having delicious burgers, but for having seemingly not changed at all in its 50+ years of life. Sure, there are a lot of classic burger spots around, but they have all had tweaks here and there as owners have been exchanged, neighborhood demographics have changed or competition has increased. At Pie ‘n Burger, the only noticeable difference is the price.
To get pick up some pies for a bit of a celebration, we popped into Thyme Cafe in Santa Monica. The place was more packed than any pie place had any right to be, and we added to their packed-ness by sticking around to grab their sandwiches for lunch. The menu boasted about ten different options and some of them were much more unique than I had expected.
Up in North Hollywood, the prospect of a new restaurant is always exciting. And when the theme of that new restaurant is pie, the excitement is off the charts. So in honor of Pi Day (March 14th) I ventured out to Republic of Pie with a couple of coworkers to see what they were all about. Republic of Pie has a total coffee shop feel to it, with a few couches here and there, an exposed ceiling industrial look and an iPad in place of an old-fashioned register. The number of people sitting around on their MacBooks drinking tea really helps drive the point home. This is a good thing, because no one wants to feel like they are in North Hollywood and this feels much more like Seattle or Portland.
Although it seems like the last Dine LA Restaurant Week ended a couple months ago, it seems that it has returned, which means a lot of food and some difficult choices for the unvegan. These difficult choices usually stem from the fact that it is tough to find a veggie-free prix fixe menu. Fortunately, Culver City has a relatively new restaurant called Waterloo & City with an unvegan-friendly restaurant week menu.
Waterloo & City is named after a Tube line in London that consists of two stops – one called Waterloo and the other called…Village. Wait, no, it’s called City. As you may be able to guess by the name, the restaurant serves English food. That’s right, English food, also known as the worst international food ever. The kind of food where when people go to England, the favorite thing they ate was Indian. Well somehow the English food at Waterloo & City had garnered the place accolades for being one of the best new restaurants in LA, so despite the ancestry of their food, they had to be doing something right.