hitting the high notes in Los Angeles

You can not go to LA and not hit up a Farmer’s Market.  When I am out here for the winter I hit up Mar Vista every Sunday but this week I took the gang to Santa Monica’s Farmer Market.   Beautiful bok choy

Fresh ginger.




Emu eggs.  Curious to say the least.

Eggs.  All the essentials.

Over to Huckleberry’s for a late breakfast.  One of my favorites in town.  They make a fine Chilaquiles.

Afterward we made our way over to Bergamot Station.  An area around a huge parking lot filled with galleries.  Now the new above rail train stops there.  I have heard that the city plans on growing this area into something even larger with more restaurants, galleries etc.  Blending in a Series:  Tupperware Party I by Shalene Valenzuela

Bourbon or Scotch by Brighton Smith

The Lotus Series that was done by Robert Rauschenberg, his last set of work before he had a stroke.  He had been traveling in Asia.

Cereal art?

There is a gallery in there that has art and also a collection of objects.  I have been into all the plates being produced by artists, this one of Alex Katz’s work.

Here is another piece in the midst of their items.

Lastly a gallery that shows artists from mostly Mexico and South America.  The ceramics were amazing by Gustavo Perez.

That night we returned to Yamakase.  We had been two years ago.  Not a place you want to go often but thought it was time to return.  The chef has moved into a new location with a much larger kitchen and even extra seating that is not situated around the bar.  Although part of the experience is really watching them prepare the food.  The place is too decadent as the chef overpowers the nuances of the flavors.  It was too much and honestly I remember it more flavorful.  Here are a few of the dishes.  This was one of the first 3 out of the gate.  Scallop, quail egg, uni, caviar and a slight taste of truffle.  It is just too much.  The caviar and egg would have been plenty and the flavors would have sung.

Soft toast with a large scoop of crab salad over the top, uni and a large piece of frozen toro.  Ridiculous.  The crab alone is so good that would have been plenty.

The man is a master with a knife.  This is the crab dish.  They literally break down dozens of crabs in minutes.  Before he was solo but now he has a sous chef to help for a larger place.

Underneath this mound of white truffles is wagu beef.  Rich?

The last thing is a warm crab salad roll stuff with chopped toro and a dollop of uni on top.  More uni?

It is a feat that the chef does every night for his guests but it is too much.  We all felt it the next day.  An experience to talk about but not sure I am returning for a very long time or if ever.



Comments (Archived):

  1. Mario Cantin

    I love the food when I go to California. I also love to drive by the sea or up past Sausalito toward Napa Valley with the song “California Dreaming” from the Mamas & the Papas cracked up with the windows opened. Corny as it may sound, it never fails to exhilarate.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I get it. There is something about the right music, the windows down and the California sunshine overhead while you drive up the coast.

  2. Twain Twain

    That piece of frozen toro looks so wrong!Sushi-Ran in Sausalito is a-ma-zing. Their Wagyu is melt-in-mouth perfect.

  3. Erin

    Holy shit, that cauliflower looks like it’s from a different planet!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Italian variety

  4. awaldstein

    I did a project in SM last Spring for three months and once a week the street in front of WeWorks on Arizona was a market. Too cool.I like the West side a great deal and am working to spend more work time there every month.

  5. Laura Dierks

    There are a few things I miss about living in CA and the markets are definitely one of them! Growing up a New Yorker, I didn’t know produce could be that fresh and boy, once you’ve had that, it’s hard not to miss it, even with the great markets we have here. Now that I spend all my time here in NYC, I think about those markets a lot and miss it terribly! Enjoy it for all of us former bi-coastals!

  6. AMT Editorial Staff

    Curious what you do with dates? Always a conundrum…But do have a brownie recipe that sounds over the top good….I’ve tried chia balls, date bars…family doesn’t really like dates. Goal is to hide 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      just eat them whole!

      1. AMT Editorial Staff

        We wish! No one likes them on their own….too sweet and the texture. Date shake!