Jan. 30, 2010

30 Jan

10:45 am

2 fried egg sandwiches

1 glass of water

I woke up craving eggs benedict, which is my favorite breakfast dish and my probable choice as my last meal. I actually had intentions of making it this morning, but who are we kidding? Making hollandaise sauce as the first thing you do in the morning is too ambitious of a task. Besides, it takes at least five eggs to make an eggs benedict, two for the dish and three yolks for the sauce, and I only had three left. So I jerry-rigged a fried egg sandwich with what I could find in my refrigerator, which ended up being basil and ham. I fried both of them as well and used olive oil as a condiment. I learned a trick for fried egg sandwiches from a Tom Colicchio cooking demonstration; after flipping over the eggs to make it over-easy, puncture the yolk with your spatula a few times and let it cook briefly. That way, the yolk’s still runny but not messily so.

3:30 pm

Vito’s Pizza

1 slice of meat lover’s pizza

1 slice of white pizza

1 medium Diet Coke

Pizza in Los Angeles is always a touchy subject. East Coast transplants, and there are a lot of them, will always make a point to tell you that it’s nowhere as good as Boston or Jersey or wherever they’re from. And don’t even get a New Yorker started on pizza. They will argue amongst themselves as much as they will with out-of-towners. Fair enough, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it in LA too. We might not have the experience of a historic 100+ year-old Lombardi’s, the fastidious nature of La Pizza Napoletana, the checkered-tablecloth ambiance at Grimaldi’s, the coal-fired slices from Patsy’s or the hairy wait-time at Di Fara’s. But the best slices in LA can acquaint themselves pretty well. I’d even argue that Vito’s, my personal choice as the best pizza in LA, is good regardless of neighborhoods or time zones. Like all good pizzamakers, Vito’s take their crusts seriously and they might make the best one in LA (outside of the charred bread from Pizzeria Mozza). It’s properly thin and crunchy but with a good amount of chew, and it has a clean, slightly yeasty and slightly salty taste of good bread. The simple pizzas, like cheese, margerita or white pizza, is a study in proper crust maintenance. The only thing preventing it from being a truly great crust is the oven, which is a high-powered gas one. The pizzas won’t cook to a blistering intensity like brick-ovens. But the flavors are spot-on, more so than any other pizza place I’ve been to in this city, and you can fold it over onto itself for about as quintessential pizza experience as you can have in LA.

I frequented Vito’s for years, back when they were at their original location across from Los Angeles Community College. Despite the hour plus wait times and pricey delivery service, my former roommate and I would order it regularly to watch football and what-not. When they took a three year sabbatical several years ago with no warning or explanation, some locals actually put candles in front of their original location to keep vigil. It’s a bit much, but I understand their sentiments. When they re-opened in their new place on La Cienega just south of Santa Monica Blvd. with no advanced notice a couple of years ago, the regulars flocked back like jilted lovers brought back. “Half my customers remembered us from our old location,” Vito’s son told me in the opening week. “I don’t know how they found out we re-opened this quickly.”  Hey, if the passion was there before, it can be re-ignited again.

8:30 pm

1 cup of instant ramen

1 bowl of white rice

1 glass of water

10 pm

Den’s of Hollywood

3 pints of Blue Moon beer

1 pint of Sierra Nevada

3 am

Del Taco

2 chicken soft tacos

1 small fries

1 small Minute Maid Light Lemonade

This is what happens when you’re not in bed at a proper hour. I accidentally saw the nutritional information for Del Taco while standing in line and this meal isn’t too bad. I’ve done worse damage in off-hours before. Beside, a bowl of instant ramen is not a great dinner. There, I justified my 3 a.m. meal pretty well.


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