Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Emotional Restaurant List (subject to change)

1) Blue Hill
2) The Spotted Pig
3) Blue Ribbon / Blue Ribbon Bakery
4) Brown Cafe
5) Souen
6) Raoul's
7) Omen
8) Totto Yakitori
9) Five Points
10) Sripraphai
11) Kuma Inn
12) Eleven Madison
13) Bao 111
14) Shorty's 32
15) Mermaid Inn
16) Palacinka
17) Market Table
18) 9th St. Market
19) Prune
20) 'inoteca
21) Minca
22) Soba Koh
23) Hummus Place
24) Una Pizza Napoletana

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eat In Don't Drive Through

It's easy to forget how pervasive the drive-thru culture of LA is: In & Out, El Pollo Loco, Del Taco (my most recent visit, I drove through a Starbucks!) However, on this particular evening, J and I chose to dine in at one of those 'high quality' fast food chains called Chick-Fil-A. Strangely, I had never been. Growing up in SoCal, there was one planted across the Banana Republic at my local mall, but the small pieces speared by toothpicks on a tray for anonymous sampling never enticed me. This evening was different. It was a good first time. J (probably Chick-Fil-A's oldest fan) and I ordered the original Chick-Fil-A Sandwich, waffle fries and chicken nuggets. Simple: a layer of mayo, dill pickle chips, chicken and the fluffy bun. The outside of the chicken was crisp, the meat was juicy and hearty, the mayo cut the spicy seasoning and the zesty pickles and the bun completed the intensity of flavors and textures with a neutral taste and softness to the bite. The nuggests were of the same nature, just bite-sized. The waffle fries were delicately crisp. The clientele was odd - but I like odd - the atmosphere was immaculate and the extra service was a pleasant surprise. One of the employees (who also happened to be our cashier) walked around the tables asking each if they would like refills on their drinks. You don't get that if you drive-thru.