Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Favorite Napoleon

Pastry dough, custard, pastry dough, custard ... repeat, repeat, vanilla icing, chocolate piping.

A napoleon. But this isn't your impulse buy from the Vons refrigerated bakery section. This is the hands down, foot stomping-est, thickest custardy napoleon ever I've had the fortune of tasting.

I had it imported at great personal expense.

Ok. My girlfriend was in the neighborhood, and I made her promise to buy me a couple. But she did have to bring them all the way from San Diego to LA. And my first bite was well worth her time and effort.

If you're ever in the neighborhood, DZ Akins' bakery department is the source for these luxurious pastries. And if you're feeling impish, try a josephine -- same deal, but with strawberry (or raspberry ... something red) layers alongside whipped cream (oh, and the restaurant has great Ruben sandwiches ... but that's for another post).

Lunchtime leftover factor: I have two, and at about 4x6" each, and about a million Joules, it'll take me a couple days to eat each. I don't know what I'm having for lunch in the cubicle Monday, but I know what I'm having for many small snacks. Oh, hell, I'll just eat it as lunch.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Dueling Neighborhood Taco Trucks

There's a long-standing tradition of taco trucks roving the streets of Venice. From the Mariscos truck feeding the futbol players of Penmar Park on weekends to ... well, I'm sure there are others.

But no matter what you call them -- lunch trucks or roach coaches, they're breaking into the discerning foodie market, with its disposable income and all.

In the typical Venetian twist of shabby chic, the venerable taco truck tradition has gone yuppy. If you're in the know, you've at least heard about Kogi BBQ, if not queued up at midnight outside the Brig to sup on Korean short rib tacos (see them rolling down Lincoln here). They cruise UCLA too, and once in a while, points east. The best way to find where and when they'll be is by following their dutiful Tweets.

They were parked outside the Brig on Abbot Kinney tonight, with its built-in clientele in need of grub to buffer a few extra drinks. But just down the street, I found something new: The Green Truck. If Kogi broke the glass ceiling keeping mobile restaurants down, GK is aiming to catapult the genre into the starry LA culinaria by slinging hummus & lavash, harvest salads. Though let's be honest. If you're out for a few beers, you're gonna be wanting the grass-fed beef burger, or at least the grilled cheese. Of course, the shiny Mercedes green machine is a biodeisel running on veggie oil, and they're capitalizing on the organic food revolution.

Who wins the night? Green had two lonely souls milling around its maybe-too-fancy exterior and its coconuts with straws (truly). Kogi was swamped by fans who were drawn perhaps by the word of mouth, possibly visiting out of convenience, perhaps following the irresistable smell, but most likely, it's just that late at night when you're eating outdoors spicy barbecue chicken tastes better than vegan sesame tofu wrap.