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PeterCC’s 24-Hour L.A. Food Tour, Saturday Edition

[I was going to wait until tonight or tomorrow morning to post this, but it seemed like kinda a slow day, so I thought, "Why not now?"]

Below is the final schedule of stops for Saturday evening, with the dishes I plan to order. I will try my darndest to stick to my list, but everything is subject to change, based on traffic, wait times, availability, new specials, etc. Asterisks still mark the restaurants I haven’t been to before...

6 PM - Animal*: Pig tails, “buffalo style,” celery, ranch; foie gras, biscuit, maple sausage gravy. (~60 minutes, $36+)

7:30 PM - Red Medicine*: Heirloom rice porridge, egg yolk, hazelnuts, ginseng, echire butter; add Santa Barbara red uni; a.k.a. “uni congee”. (~45 minutes, $27+)

9 PM - Hatfield’s*: “Croque Madame”, yellowtail sashimi, prosciutto, sunny side up quail egg, grilled brioche; Bobo Farms foie gras, apple-rosemary “butter”, caramelized cippolini, molasses toast . (~60 minutes, $43+)

10:30 PM - Leo’s Tacos*: Tacos al Pastor; tacos de lengua. (~15 minutes, $2+)

The biggest change to the schedule is that _all_ of the stops are now new-to-me restaurants (I removed Shunji, the only place I’d already been). In the original thread, I had also mentioned replacing Plan Check with a mystery spot, which I had planned to be Gjelina, as they _were_ serving Beavertail oysters from my home state of Rhode Island. I think, though, I will like Hatfield’s much better (thanks for the rec, Lambster).

Not sure if Leo’s will actually happen after all I’ll have eaten by then, but we’ll see. Not gonna beat myself up if I can’t stomach it (no pun intended).

Final Google Map for Saturday: http://goo.gl/maps/HI2F (Yes, it is a bit circuitous, but I have reservations at both Red Medicine and Hatfield’s that necessitate this order of stops.)

Estimates:

On the Road: 5:30 PM
Arrive Home: 11 PM
Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: $108 (before drinks, taxes, and tips)

If anyone has any additional comments or suggestions, I’ll be checking this thread regularly, even while “on tour” (cellular reception permitting).

[The original discussion thread is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852040]

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  1. The look on your face afterward: priceless!

    Have a good time, and let use know how it turns out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: raytamsgv

      I will, thanks! Expect words and pictures.

    2. You're not going to get out of Hatfield's in an hour.

      In fact, I'd be sort of surprised if you got out of Animal in an hour's time, but you're there early enough so it might be doable.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I am counting on the fact that I'm arriving at Animal before it opens to get a seat quickly, and I'll order the two dishes I'm having right away. The durations listed are just estimates anyway. However, I do have a reservation at Red Medicine at 7:30 PM, so if need be, I'll take whatever's left over of my pig tails and foie gras to go.

        Likewise, my reservation at Hatfield's is at 9 PM, but since I'm ordering only one dish at RM, I'm hoping a 45-60 minute time frame at RM is realistic. And I've built-in travel time and a little bit of cushioning between each stop, so I should be able to get to Hatfield's on time.

        Luckily Hatfield's is essentially my last formal stop, with Leo's being a rather open-ended stop that I may not even make, so I'm not going to rush out of Hatfield's. In fact, I expect to slow down as the evening progresses (as I eat more), so I'm definitely planning on taking my time with the two dishes I'm having there.

        After all, it's not a how-much-can-I-eat contest, I want to taste and enjoy the food too! :-)

        1. re: PeterCC

          Animal has always had great and efficient service and I'll bet an hour is generous for your needs.

          1. re: Servorg

            Thanks Servorg, that's reassuring. I figure, they have such a small space, and are fairly popular, and I don't hear horrible things about the service or wait, that they must be at least a semi-well oiled (or should I say greased?) machine.

      2. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention/ask, what do people know about how the parking is at each of my stops? Animal's site mentions offering valet (how much?), and free meters after 8 PM (which wouldn't apply to me). RM's site mentions a managed parking lot next to the restaurant. Hatfield's site mentions valet ($7) or meters on Melrose. Does anyone have anything to add, any tips/tricks for parking at any of these locations?

        4 Replies
        1. re: PeterCC

          if you're willing to spend a few minutes to look and walk a little, you should be able to score street parking within 3-4 residential blocks of all three locations. As with any LA locale, pay close attention to restricted parking signs, esp for the first 2 stops. East of Highland near Hatfields, I don't think there's much residential zone parking restrictions. Not sure about the west side. Just try not to venture too far east on Melrose because Sat is movie night at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, an extremely popular event.

          1. re: PeterCC

            As sonia said, parking shouldn't be too hard. I'm in the Animal/Hatfields area a lot, and I notoriously avoid paying for parking, but the good thing is, there are a lot of easy places to find parking.
            - Animal, go a block east or west of Fairfax, and there should be street parking without restrictions, especially since you're not planning to stay too long.
            - Hatfields, should be open meters on Melrose by then, and they're free after 8pm. If not, Highland north of Melrose or Melrose east of Highland are both pretty reliable for finding spots.
            - Red Medicine, should be parking either on Wilshire or San Vicente.

            I'm excited for you, what an awesome plan (for both days). Who knows, I may even see you at one of your Sunday stops in the SGV! Anyhow, I know you've already got everything set, but if you can squeeze in one more taco, you could consider El Chato on La Brea/Olympic (in an auto body shop parking lot). You'll already be driving down La Brea, and it's on the way to Leo on La Brea/Venice. It's a messier, tastes better because it's late at night kind of taco, love it.

          2. Do you have a reservation at Animal too? They are crazy right now, I tried calling every day for the past two weeks to get a res before the Foie ban. They didn't return messages and didn't answer their phone the first 50 times I called. I finally got a res on a Sunday night. :)

            Parking is like the lottery- sometimes theres a spot right there, sometimes it takes forever to find one if you don't want to valet. What I would do is give yourself ten minutes to look for free/metered parking, and then give up and valet if you don't. Most places valet is ten or less but then you have to tip too. I just hate paying to park!

            2 Replies
            1. re: sarahbeths

              I get the feeling Peter plans to eat at the bar (which should be no problem since he will be there right when they open).

              1. re: sarahbeths

                No, since they don't do Open Table, and I wasn't able to get through either, I'm taking a risk. I figure as a solo diner, arriving before they open, worst-case scenario I'll sit at the bar (which I know is tiny). If I don't get seated quickly, I may cut the pig tails and just have the foie, since it won't be there in a few weeks, to keep myself on schedule.

                I hate paying to park too, and especially tipping after paid valet! But I don't want to stiff the attendants, they're not the ones getting the $7 or $10 valet fee (not directly, at least). I guess we'll see what my luck is both in getting into Animal and in finding parking for it. I'll probably hit the area around 5:30 PM, so I should have plenty of time.

              2. Tip for the start of your journey: get to Animal earlier than 6 if you want to ensure a bar seat. I got to the door right on the hour last Sun and just missed the last bar seats. Ended up waiting 1.5hr to try the foie gras biscuit (like you for the 1st time). Unimpressed by the food after all the hype, but that's another thread...

                1 Reply
                1. re: zack

                  Thanks Zack, I plan on arriving by 5:30 PM.