A lot of this blog is going to have to do with food, restaurants, markets, maybe some cooking. That's because I love to eat, I love to find new and unusual restaurants from all over the world, I love cooking and I love exploring markets. Whenever I go to a new country or city - and I travel extensively - the first place I go is to a food market. That's where you'll learn the most about a place, about its people, its economy, its culture. If an alien ever shows up in their flying saucer on my driveway, knocks on my door and tells me that I have exactly two hours to show them the most I can about the world I live in, I'll take them down to my local markets. In my case that would be Gelson's, Ralphs, Super King or A Grocery Warehouse.
In Los Angeles we've got a huge variety of markets. I tend to go shopping almost every day. I spend my days sitting in front of my computer writing, and in the late afternoon I get over it by going to a market, figuring out what to cook for dinner, shopping, then coming home and cooking dinner. (Somehow, I also go out to eat a lot.) In the course of an average week I will often shop at an "American" market (is there really such a thing), a Mexican market, a Thai, a Chinese, an Armenian-Middle Eastern market, sometimes a Korean market or an Italian or German deli. There's a small Portuguese market in the middle of Little India. I go there about once a month and stock up. There are general Asian markets I go to for, mostly, Indonesian ingredients. Every few weeks or so I'll go to one of several Japanese markets.
You can travel most of the world and never leave Los Angeles, at least Greater Los Angeles. This will be a travel blog, of sorts, travels around the world in my town. Sure gas is expensive. But less than a gallon gets me to China, or Mexico or Russia or Argentina and lots of other places.
Here, for a teaser, are just a few of my favorites that I'll be writing about in the days, weeks, months and years to come:
LAX-C, 1100 N. Main St. - just north and east of Chinatown. As big as a Costco, as varied and just as cheap, if not cheaper, and all Thai.
Hawaii Supermarket - Corner of Valley Blvd. and Del Mar in San Gabriel. Astounding variety of Asian groceries, meats (whole frozen armadillos, bull penises), live fish, fowl, dry goods, Asian fruits and vegetables and very cheap.
Vallarta Supermarket - For no particular reason I like the Burbank branch at 10950 Sherman Way. Fantastic deli counter, great meats, wonderful produce section. The salsa verde they make there is one of the best anywhere.
Sunland Produce - 8840 Glenoaks Blvd. in Sun Valley. A great Middle Eastern market with an array of hard to find produce, nuts, dried fruits, spices, olive oils, wines, vinegars, dried and canned goods, Middle Eastern cheeses, olives and meats. Also very cheap.
Marukai Market - in Gardena, the big one a bit west of the small 98 cent one. Sort of the Japanese Costco, but not so cheap. Still, everything and anything Japanese you'd ever want, hard to find items and fantastic quality.
Those are among my favorites. There's plenty more. I'll be better describing them and photographing them in the weeks to come