The Written Word

I continue to work on The Confusion by Neal Stephenson. In the meantime, I also finished Emma by Jane Austen and read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. That last one, by the way, was the weakest of its trilogy.

I’m more pleased with my discovery of Tana French. So far I’ve read In the Woods and The Likeness. While the “reveal” in each has not been much of a surprise to me, I have enjoyed the characters she created and the way in which she writes about them. Book #3 (I’ve forgotten its title) is on the way, courtesy of Amazon.com.

Additionally, I’m reading What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman. It’s based on a true story to which I have the most tenuous of connections, and I’ll discuss it in a later post. Also, I haven’t finished it yet.

After that, I’ll move on to books by Robert Crais and Linwood Barclay, both of whom are new to me. The opening pages, however, seem promising.

A Whole Lot of Food in One Post

It’s been a long time between posts. So let’s go to the highlight reel, shall we?

Recently we were introduced to Fabrocini’s Italian Restaurant in Tarzana. Best chicken piccata I can remember.

Little Toni’s in North Hollywood has great pizza–we had Canadian bacon, meatballs, and garlic on ours. It makes me wonder why we haven’t been adding garlic as a topping all along.

Tacos Michoacan serves some awesome carne asada, and the price cannot be beat.

But the real news is that my dear friend Madame Scandal (of Tea & Scandal) came for a long weekend. As she, like the Sandwiches, loves food, I figured that a tour of Los Angeles food institutions was in order. No, we did not enroll in L.A. Trade-Tech, although I hear their cafeteria–run and staffed by the culinary arts students–is excellent.

So what did we do?

First, we had lunch at Salsa and Beer. This may not be an institution, but it’s mighty fine Mexican food, which is tough to find in Madame Scandal’s home state. Dinner, naturally, was In-n-Out. You just can’t beat a good double-double.

The next day, we packed up Baguette and headed to Hollywood. Our destination? Pink’s. Verdict? A hit. That evening we invited a few other friends over for a cookout over the wood-fired grill that Mr. Sandwich has installed in our back yard.

Saturday started off slow, but wrapped up nicely with the second L.A. Street Food Festival at the Rose Bowl. Yes, I know that’s not in L.A. But the field was the site of dozens of tables stocked by local food trucks, which have become a Twitter sensation. We ate so much, and enough time has passed, that I don’t remember all of the details. But I loved the banana pudding at Nana Queen’s, and I’ve never been a fan of banana pudding. I’d go back for more of Nana Queen’s, though. Manila Machine had good adobo, although unfortunately they had run out of lumpia. And although I didn’t spot The Grilled Cheese Truck until I was too full for anything but dessert (the concourse or mezzanine or whatever it’s called midway up the stands still seems like an odd spot), I did finally get to try Coolhaus‘s ice cream sandwiches. While I had never before imagined ice cream that includes candied bacon, I can tell you that it? Is delicious.

One suggestion to the organizers: although there is a cool factor to being on the field, the need for vendors to run food down from the trucks added to the slowness of quite a few lines–even for those of us who spent the extra $$ for VIP tickets (totally worthwhile, I might add). Why not have the event in the parking lot, like the monthly swap meet held there? You can still control access (the swap meet does), and it seems like there would be fewer delays.

On Sunday we made a trip to the Encino Farmers’ Market (who doesn’t love farmers’ markets?) in the morning, and made our way to Philippe’s in Chinatown for French dip sandwiches.

And then, sadly, on Monday Madame Scandal had to go home. Frowny face. We live too far apart.

But the eat goes on.