What the Hell am I Doing Drinking in LA?

I just spent a few sun soaked days celebrating my friend's birthday in LA.  In our usual fashion, we spent most of the time eating and drinking.  Here are some of the highlights... bukowski


We started our meal with crispy beef tendon chips, a lot like pork rinds, served with charred onion pho dip.  I think the best way to describe the dish would be the world's best chips and onion dip.  The dip was so intensely flavourful we went into absolute silence.  Next we enjoyed the crispy pigs ears which had been slow cooked for days and then crisped up, served with a fried egg (yolk porn) and tons of fresh lime and spices.  This was followed by a not-so-light oxtail poutine, which I told the waiter was "mouth sex" (he asked if he could steal my description) and the butteriest bone marrow.  It was a fantastic meal.  Very rich and intense flavours.  My only complaint was that the meal felt a little rushed.  I could have savoured the mouth sex a little longer.

The Varnish

The Varnish is a speakeasy tucked inside an old storage room at Cole's - around since 1908 - marked solely by an etching of a cocktail on the door. Exquisite drinks and great live music from the small band that and serenades you under dim lighting.  I soaked my liver in Last Words and swayed to Take me to the Moon.

La Cita 

Five minutes from the Varnish is La Cita.  We made it just in time for last call and the biggest shot of tequila you've ever seen.  Pretty much the ultimate dive bar.  It was fully decked out for Cinqo de Mayo including a drag queen in a sequin dress and skeleton mask.  George at the the tiny sketchy taco stand next door served me up some of the best el pastor tacos I've ever had.

Neptune's Net

Probably my favourite spot in LA.  I went here nine years ago and haven't stopped talking about it since.  It's a family owned seafood restaurant off of Highway 1 notoriously crowded with biker gangs.  We feasted on sweet spicy fries, a huge seafood basket and the house sangria.  Super friendly service and young guys who thought it was hilarious to call out our order for the "hipster chicks".  I'll be back (hopefully next time on a Harley).

Captain Kidd's Fish Market

This is another great place to hit up some of the freshest seafood.  Located in Redondo beach it's half fish market, half casual seafood dining.  The Mexican shrimp and shrimp tacos were fantastic they poured the fullest glasses of California Chardonnay I've ever seen.

Cafe Gratitude

This is so cheesy LA health craze, but a great place to fill your body with kale before going out for a meat feast.  The coconut cream pie was fantastic.

Glow Bio

I used to have an obsession with nutritionist Kimberly Snyder and her plant based recipes.  Finally made it here and enjoyed a kale caesar salad (needed a bit more kick) and juice to soothe my tequila hangover.  The acai bowl is a great way to start the day.

Sprinkles Cupcakes

I am not a cake or cupcake person.  At all.  But we indulged in these for my friend's birthday and the gluten-free red velvet was the best cupcake to ever meet my mouth.


I had to leave sooner than expected, so here's the rest of my to-do list I'll have to hit next time...

Korea town, Barkowski, Rainbow bar, Blipsy bar, Frolic bar, Tacos punta cabra, Jumbos clown room for burlesque, Tacos por favor santa monica, Mama's hot tamales cafe west 7th, Handsome Coffee