The question of “what would be your last meal” is often asked with varying results. And as they say, there’s a blog for that. Last month, a last meal in Los Angeles had to be chosen before a month-long forray in foreign lands and Olio was the answer.
Bradford Kent, Olio’s chef/owner is a man with a historied CV; he’s done everything food related short of giving birth to a Kobe cow.
Here, a hellaciously hot wood burning fire – pardon the ashes on the pie, they sweep frequently, but you know how it goes – churns out bubbly, crusty, pies in roughly 4 minutes. The only problem is the pizzaiolo can never turn the pipes fast enough for even char. But please don’t call Mr. Kent a pizzaiolo. He’s a cook, a chef, and the pizza is merely the delivery vehicle. Sitting at the bar, we’ve tasted some of the speck, some of the wood fired eggplant. Everything the fire breaths upon carries a gentle smokiness. It’s nice.
And the pizzas! Caputo flour for sure, but there are house made meat balls, sausages, etc. Ask for the pies to be made extra thin for the near-Neapolitan pie but be careful when taking that first bite, especially if your’e sitting at the bar. The cheeses will be bubbling and still be hot enough to take cells right off your tongue.
Oh, and the man gave me an espresso tamper.
8075 West 3rd St., Ste 100
Los Angeles, CA 90048
[Photos courtesy of Toddy G's flickr stream]
Previously, Garage Pizza dutifully served up NYC slice, except it was just getting harder and harder to randomly stop by. Toddy G solves this problem by being exactly half way between the house and Garage Pizza. Here, Bakers Pride is the oven of choice, just like all the non-charcoal fired pies in NYC.
The pies aren’t as “affordable” as an actual New York Pizza Parlor, but this is LA. Did I mention these guys buy all their sodas from Real Soda and there are Virgils and Rat Bastard Root Beer in glass? Yes, Co-owner Salman Agah did jot down “Sparky’s” when I suggested another kick ass root beer. No one’s paying more attention to the root beer and pizza combo in LA than Toddy G’s. It’s worth mentioning there are pies by the slice, and you can order a slice to go then proceed directly to Tony’s next door. It’s like the Italian name 1 2 punch on this stretch of 7th right before the bridge.
2019 E. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
A few nights ago, I received a short message: “LQ cheese is so good. Did I mention that? Then I mention again.”
Granted, Mr. Quenioux isn’t milking cows nor making the actual cheese, but he is hiring the fromager cum FOH manager slash the-French-dude-with-really-spiffy-shirts. On Twitter, he’s more enjoyable than most Tweeting chefs, covering both the ups, and downs (but mostly ups), of his line of work.
Here, he dishes advice on where to purchase eel for eel Bordelaise.
And this is what kills me: the man references TWO Chinese markets, 1 of which I’ve never set foot inside. His latest collab with Vertical Wine is driven by his desire to be closer to the SGV. And by SGV, he means last minute legs of lamb available at grocery markets on Valley Blvd.
Chef Laurent Quenioux
NOWHERE ELSE IN LA CAN ONE FIND FRESHLY CHURNED GOAT MILK ICE CREAM. None. There are 2 places to buy fresh buratta in LA, but only 1 for fresh goat milk ice cream. Delicieuse isn’t part of the “artisanal” market hype. Patricia Samson is prideful of her work & her closely guarded receips; this place deserves much more business.
The various goat milk ice creams taste dreamy. While the retail shop is only open on the weekends, there is a food (and espresso) menu beyond ice cream if you chose to stay in the most cuddly faux-Parisian sitting room.
Delicieuse Ice Cream
2503 Artesia Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
I’ve always found cemitas milanesas rather dry and hence avoided it as much as I can. The thought of thick doughy bread stuffed with arid meat was never attractice. However, I finally got to try cemitas de pierna (roast pork leg) at this cemitas truck earlier this year, and it ended up being the better pierna of the year. From drive-by observation, pierna isn’t a standard torta/cemita stuffing, and there are probably better assemblages in LA, but Tapeaca calls out to me with its bagel-esque tough bread and furiously spicy chipotle sauce. At $5, these cemitas are no bargain versus the typical banh mi, but the slow cooked pork is about sophisticated as a sandwich comes. The pierna, lightly seasoned sans sauce, is much more viable as a sandwich stuffing than the greasy, atrocious cuts of beef from tacos al vapor carts found near by.
364 N Indiana St
Los Angeles, CA 90063
(NE corner of Indiana & Caesar Chavez)
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