Resolutions provide opportunities for adventurous eating
I‚Äôve discovered a dependence on Yogurtland‚Äôs Original Tart with gummy bears as well as the free muffin samples at Seeds. I‚Äôve missed the spiced almonds at Moreton Fig, which by the bowlful make a satisfying meal, and Bottega Louie‚Äôs breakfast pizza, which comes with a cracked egg on top ‚ÄĒ a Saturday brunch favorite.
You, too, might find yourself in similar food ruts, resorting to the same foods over and over again. And you might not realize how unsatisfactory those ruts can be.
My new year‚Äôs resolution will sound like everyone else‚Äôs: I want to eat better in 2012.
I want to eat better, although not necessarily healthier ‚ÄĒ a goal that differs from those who regrettably ate their weight in peppermint bark over the holidays.
And my resolution wasn‚Äôt always to eat better. The first thing I ate in 2012 was just a few strawberries.
At 12:02 a.m., I was well on my way to a nutritious year. But then a tray of stuffed mushrooms pocketed inside buttery phyllo dough caught my eye and ‚ÄĒ boom ‚ÄĒ my willpower got the best of me.
New Year‚Äôs resolutions are like Pillsbury cookies: They are as easy to break as they are to make. But Los Angeles, a place where noteworthy restaurants open weekly, is a city overrun with forward-thinking chefs. How difficult can exploring the city‚Äôs many restaurants, markets, trucks and stands be?
While reflecting on your favorite dining establishments, you‚Äôre likely to experience a train of thought similar to mine: Yes, there are restaurants in Venice other than Gjelina on Abbot Kinney. There are options on the Barney Greengrass menu other than potato pancakes and matzo brei. And there are pastry options at the Original Farmer‚Äôs Market every bit as satisfying as Bob‚Äôs burnt-apple fritters.
2012 is about discovering other places ‚ÄĒ and about eating better by eating with more curiosity.
I am not a foodie, and I‚Äôm guessing neither are a lot of Daily Trojan readers. The term itself seems to connote a sort of pretension, the adventure of finding the most unusual foods rather than an actual apprecia-tion for food itself. I tried being a foodie ‚ÄĒ it‚Äôs not for me. Better eating is not about eating for eating‚Äôs sake; it‚Äôs about expanding your palette and your food knowledge.
Los Angeles has an ever-developing food culture, and our curiosity should be developing with it. In November, food-truck king Roy Choi of Kogi truck fame opened his third restaurant, Sunny Spot. Patrons can dine on whole split lobster and homemade caramels there, a serious departure from the novelty of Choi‚Äôs other ventures, where he offers updated college dorm food and backyard picnic fare.
And Nancy Silverton, whose upscale Osteria Mozza is still one of the city‚Äôs hardest reservations, has recently opened, of all things, a burger joint. The restaurant, Short Order, opened in November and features a variety of intriguing hamburger combinations you‚Äôve likely not tasted before.¬† The restaurant marks a new direction for Silverton, a long-renowned pastry chef, more recently a classic Italian connoisseur and now an expert in traditional American fare.
Los Angeles‚Äô most notable food authorities are asking us to progress alongside them in all sorts of fascinating ways. Silverton and Choi have given this city new establishments that challenge the expectations they have set for themselves and the food their devotees are wanting to eat.
Their lead is a wonderful rally for other chefs to follow suit. But it‚Äôs an equally motivating message for those diners seeking new and satisfying food experiences.
And great food experiences need not be synonymous with stunning prices. The $80 tasting menu at Michael Voltaggio‚Äôs ink. beginning later this season should be every bit as much of an event as an all-you-can-eat ‚ÄúBeefsteak Sunday‚ÄĚ at Bacaro, a $30 steal that includes free-flowing liquor. If you can, get in line for both. Los Angeles is a city well-known for its food, so we should take advantage of it.
Bernard Leed is a junior majoring in narrative studies. His column ‚ÄúAmuse-Bouche‚ÄĚ runs Wednesdays.¬†