l.a. getaway

{we are family...}

I finally made my long awaited (3 years in the making) trip out to visit my sisters in Los Angeles. It was my sister Emma's 26th birthday, so I figured it would be a good time to go out and visit. (surprise!) This should not be a surprise however; what I have returned to blog about is no other, than the amazing food and restaurants I went to. My favorite places were not fancy, but rather casual, fresh, and quirky. If you ever make a trip out west, do stop at ALL of these places.

Warning: If you are hungry or dieting I would advise against reading this post as it defies all rules of healthy eating and may provoke sinful urges to indulge.


{Grace feeling well nourished yet freezing after a meal at Lemonade}

Grace picked me up from LAX and I was tired and starving after a 6 hour flight. Lemonade was the remedy. Lemonade is a cafeteria-style cafe where you choose from "items" and "proteins" and create your own meal from the assortment of salads, meats and desserts, and of course, gourmet lemonades. I got 2 items split, so 4 different samplings from the salad bar, all of which were incredibly amazing. A  broccoli and feta salad, ahi tuna and watermelon radish salad, soba noodle and lobster salad, and a chicken salad with tarragon. The meal was completed with a cucumber mint lemonade. The great thing is you can try so many different things without completely stuffing yourself, but you can also go completely overboard if you wish. I could eat here every day.

{"items" at Lemonade}

Father's Office

{Office burger}

The first dinner stop we made in my culinary tour de LA was a "gastropub" called Father's Office. The place was crowded, and there is no real order. You hover over people and try to get them to leave so you can sit there. (very discomforting to me, however this happens at a lot of places in LA and by the end of the trip I was a pro). There is a whole wall of craft beer taps to choose from of which I maybe had heard of 3 of them. With a beer, comes "the best burger" fully loaded with caramelized onions, bacon, lettuce, and a barbeque sauce of sorts. The beef was of course accompanied by the potato. Us Gardner girls got the regular fries, and an entire basket of sweet potato fries which were incredible. No ketchup in this joint...but none needed. The fries are served with a delicious garlic aioli sauce.

On the Waterfront Cafe

     {Side A }                                                                                 {Side B (Emma Missing)}

For Emma's birthday celebration with all of her friends, we ended up at the biergarten at On the Waterfront Cafe. The main meal served here was beer, with a side of pretzel and french fries. The appeal here was not the selection of food, but the experience and environment. We fit 12+ people at a single picnic table, kept the pitchers of Erdinger Weizenbier coming, and enjoyed the people watching of Venice Beach. It was the same situation where you had to wait and hover over people until they left and you could attack and take over their table. A very entertaining spot.

Abbot's Pizza Co

{Venice storefront}

My last day in California was spent wandering Venice Beach on a beach cruiser despite the foul weather. I ended up at Abbot's Pizza for lunch where my sister's claim they have the best pizza. I took their advice, and ordered a slice of the "salad pizza" which is described as follows:

Chopped Mixed Greens, Onion, Basil, Topped with Feta Cheese and Avocado on a Sour Crem and Olive Base with Lemon Dressing

And looks a little something like this

{salad pizza}

The pizza was clearly not "pizza" but was incredibly delicious and I honestly could've eaten at least two more slices. If you go there, the salad pizza is not on their menu at the Venice location, but trust me, just order it.

In-N-Out Burger

{Emma and I pre In-N-out experience}

My last meal of my left coast experience was at the ever so popular In-N-Out burger. I was advised by those who have been there before so I was set and ready for my experience. I was told to order a burger "animal style" as well as fries served the same way. This "animal style" essentially means added fat and deliciousness but it was completely worth it. They add caramelized onions, special sauce, and melted cheese to your burger and fries. I see nothing wrong with that. Hey, it was my last meal on vacation. Also could've eaten at least 2 more burgers... We were in a rush as a had a flight to catch (across the street) so in and out and off to LAX with my black and white milkshake I went.

If you are headed to the Los Angeles area anytime soon and are trying to find places to eat, look no further then Lucy Gardner's Blog Guide to Gaining Weight in LA.

Back East, trying hard not to eat burgers,beer or french fries...

1 comment:

ashmac said...

I LOVE IN-N-OUT BURGER! Why oh why do they not have these on the East Coast. I have experienced it twice in my life. Animal Style both times. Amaziiiing! Your blog entry has made me very hungry.

- Ashley