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Monday Birthday eating adventure in L.A.

I'm going to play hooky from work to eat to my heart's content, but don't have a clear vision of what I'm going to eat. I was thinking of hitting up Umamicatessen and checking out the Sprinkles ice cream fad...but am open to ideas. I have a window between 8am - 1:30pm...I live in Downey/Cerritos/Norwalk and have to make it home by 2:30pm to pick up my kids from school. I don't need anything fancy...no time for a formal sit-down meal...which is why I thought of Umamicatessen. I love all cuisines, and have no allergies or aversions to food. Anyone have ideas on where I can go or how I can make this adventure fun?
Thanks!

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  1. Portos! Potato ball, little beef pie, a danish or croissant, other little bites. Bring some home -- they're inexpensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nosh

      Thanks, nosh. I go to Porto's almost once a month. It is more than delicious.

    2. Langer's pastrami would be my choice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        Langer's is a fabulous idea...I've been wanting to try that for ages. Thanks!

      2. After UMAMIcatessen, go north a little more and hit Ricky's Fish Tacos... so I can live vicarously (I haven't been, but my sister has, and she says it's great!). Or head east and check out Guisados's taco sampler (I'm going to try it in a week and a half).

        [Edit: Hmm, Ricky's not open Mon/Tue. Oops. Sorry.]

        Check out my thread for other ideas from my own birthday-related food tour/crawl of L.A. Mine's more Westside-centric the first day, and more SGV-centric the second: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852040

        4 Replies
        1. re: PeterCC

          +1 for Ricky's Fish Tacos but unfortunately they are closed Mondays. Only open Thursday-Sunday at lunch time.
          http://twitter.com/#!/RickysFishTacos

          1. re: wienermobile

            Thanks, I realized and edited my post.

          2. re: PeterCC

            PeterCC, your birthday adventure was no joke. That's a super impressive list of places. I shall take a bit of inspiration from you and will try to hit up some of your locations. Thanks!

            1. re: attran99

              No problem! (Somehow I missed the notification this comment, or else I'd have replied sooner.) I haven't gone on it yet, T-minus 3 days and counting!

          3. It was short adventure, but an adventure nonetheless. My sister and I started with breakfast at the Sprinkles Ice Cream shop in Beverly Hills. I got two mini scoops of pistachio and salty caramel ice cream in a red velvet cone with red velvet cupcake crumbles. The salty caramel ice cream was fantastic...the pistachio was good, but the caramel overpowered it. The red velvet cone was really great...it tasted a lot like red velvet cake but in waffle cone form. The cone was so good, we got two to take home.
            Umamicatessen was the next and final stop because we ran out of time. We tried the Pork Corn and Cone o'Cracklins as our appetizers/snacks. The Pork Corn was pork-flavored popcorn with juniper, rosemary, and fresh-cracked black pepper. It was good, but a little stale. It didn't have the fresh-popped crisp that I was hoping for. The Cone o'Cracklins was exactly the kind of chicharrones that I was hoping for. Porky, crispy, with hints of sherry vinegar and sage. They were perfect and had a punch of spice that was nice. The Pork in a Can Pork Rillettes was nice...it had a barnyard-y porcine funk that was fitting of a pork rillettes. It spread really well on the crostini. We shared the country pate sandwich and the Umami Truffle burger and the truffle cheese fries. The country pate sandwich had a think schmear of butter, my favorite french Dijon mustard, cornichon, and thick slices of country pate. It was a good country pate sandwich. Umami's Truffle Burger was cooked well, but there was so much sauce and extra stuff...I don't really feel like I got the beefy flavor of the burger. The truffle cheese fries were excellent. The truffle cheese is house made and was perfectly melty over the hot, crispy fries. I also had the Urban Trader cocktail that tasted a lot like boozey citrusy soda.
            We were so stuffed, we were unable to eat dessert there. But I was smart enough to order doughnuts to go. We ordered the Foie doughnut, lemon curd, and tres leches. The tres leches was by far the winner. The foie doughnut was good, but it was a bit weird to have the gamey flavor mix with the forest berry jelly.
            I'm going to Langer's this weekend...I can't wait! Thanks for the help everyone.

            3 Replies
            1. re: attran99

              Sorry you couldn't hit all the places you wanted to, but glad you enjoyed the two stops you did make. I hope I can make all of my stops, but I won't beat myself up over it. I Love the "barnyard-y porcine funk" description!

              1. re: PeterCC

                Thanks! It was the best and most accurate way of describing the rillettes. It had more of a barnyard flavor than a regular rillettes which could bee off putting for someone not used to it.

              2. re: attran99

                A warning about Langer's for next weekend (June 15th & 16th) it is their 65th birthday and they are serving FREE #19's to all. I expect the lines to be hours long. You may want to wait one more weekend for your pastrami fix and I know how hard that might be. The good news is on both this Friday and Saturday they will be open and serving till 9pm and I can't remember how long since something like this has happened....Just wishing out loud that maybe these special hours might stick around....
                http://www.langersdeli.com