Tuesday, July 8, 2008

California recap

Hello everyone. I hope you're having a nice summer so far. I had a blissful, beautiful and relaxing time at the festival. Most of my time was spent at the Lavender Green Cafe making sandwiches and salads and gaining some front-of-the-house experience. I'm not exactly a social creature, but I really got a kick out of making customers happy, especially when they seemed to get excited about the smallest thing. Kitchen-inhabiting chefs don't often get to see the smiles on their customers' faces, but at the end of the day that's what this industry is all about isn't it? Pleasing the peeps.

As for eats, I sustained myself on lavender-infused chicken wraps, BLTs, burgers, salads with lavender-honey-mustard vinaigrette, and crumb pastries with lavender custard, lavender ice cream, and iced lavender green tea and lemonade. Not too shabby a diet for a vacationing volunteer, but I was pretty lavendered out by the end of the first weekend.

Outside the festival, I encountered mostly culinary bombs, including the worst meal of my life at a faux-Brazillian steak house and the most Chinese sushi I've ever had. Life is too short to have such bad meals, and towards the end I had enough of them and decided to consult my trusty Chowhound.

My tummy my senses were appeased with a beautiful dinner at Lucques, Susanne Goin's restaurant in L.A. the plates were simple, elegantly rustic and colorful. And as my friend pointed out, quite feminine. In San Diego, I inhaled about five utterly addictive fish tacos at Blue Water Grill and washed them down with a surprisingly decent non-alcoholic Becks (California = driving, driving and more driving). And on my last day before my flight, a trip to The Hungry Cat in L.A. Though not exactly a value meal, it was made memorable with a watermelon and heirloom tomato salad with feta and the grapefruit-rootbeer soda. And finally, one must never forget the comfort of In-N-Out burgers.

I wish I had taken more time to take careful pictures of everything and I'm actually appalled at myself for my lax attention to photographing food, especially at the festival. But in all honesty I think my mind was elsewhere for once. I hope you'll at least enjoy what's here, a random collection of shots from my trip in a very different place from here called California.


Jenny said...

You're making this cat hungry with those pictures! That food looked fantastic!

Undercover Cook said...

Hey Jenny, the food was quite yummy indeed. I've been making many a watermelon salad since. I just wish I knew the secret recipe for the fish tacos... sigh.