When I was out at dinner with friends last week, getting my favorite Mexican food for one last time, a friend asked me what I wanted to do before I left LA. When I told her, she asked, “You realize your LA Bucket List just involves food, right?”
Ummm… yes. Yes it does.
So without further fanfare, here is the list of things I am going to miss most about LA.
1. My friends. Duh. They’re pretty awesome.
2. The food. As you may have heard somewhere before, I like food. The best part about the LA food scene is that you can get food from practically any country in the world. Some of my favorites (other than the aforementioned El Cholo for Mexican food and margaritas and the best waiter ever named Mauro at the original location on Western) include Pho 87 (Vietnamese noodle soup), Shiki (sushi), El Cochinito (Cuban), Gangadin (Indian… their chicken tikka masala is life-changing), Joon (shabu shabu*), Empress Pavilion (dim sum**–except they closed so I’m not sure if this technically should make the list), and Palermo (Italian.) Sorry, I think I just got drool on my blog.
3. The hiking. Despite being in the middle of LA’s 500(ish) square miles of urban sprawl, there are gorgeous hiking trails in every direction. Seriously, I could drive 20-30 minutes and be in the middle of nowhere, climbing beautiful mountain vistas. There are to-die-for ocean views if you hike in the Santa Monica Mountains to the west, and rugged desert landscapes to the east. And if you wanted to drive further, there are even more options. I could hike once a week and never do the same trail twice.
4. The weather. It’s in the 70s and sunny nearly year round. ‘Nuff said.
5. The film industry. I know, I know, I’m not technically working in the film industry at the moment, but staying connected to The Biz made me feel, well, kinda cool.
6. My neighborhood. After my ex moved out, my house was too big for one person, and as I was cleaning it out these past few days, I realized it didn’t feel like “home” any more, but I sure did like my neighborhood. Lots of awesome local businesses within walking distance including vintage shops, restaurants, grocery stores, bars, and coffee shops. Even the post office was a few blocks away. And my weekly farmer’s market was just a couple blocks past the post office.
7. Wine country. There are the close regions, like Malibu and Temecula, and there are the far ones, like Napa and Sonoma. There’s even some delicious wines being produced outside of Sacramento. Yay wine!
8. Oh, and did I mention that I’ll miss my friends? And the food? Oh, I did? Well then…
* Shabu shabu = Japanese style of cooking meat and vegetables by “swishing” them in a hot pot of boiling water and spices/herbs, and then dipping into sauce.
**Dim sum = Chinese food served in tiny individual portions, often in various forms of dumplings