Food in LA

Henry, Helen, and I took a trip out to LA to see family and I took pictures of most of the delicious things I ate.  Since I enjoy looking at pictures of food, I thought I’d post them here, in case you do too!  So, snapshots from LA!

The obligatory Salt Lick chopped beef sandwich at the Austin airport.

A really, really nice friend.

A sweet potato/avocado/pretzel bread sandwich and mini pies (salted caramel and missouri (yes, missouri) mud) from simplethings sandwich and pie shop.

Japanese pub food, aka izakaya, from FuRaiBo.  Grilled chicken skin (!), shishito peppers, miso eggplant (our favorite!), unbelievable chicken wings, lotus root chips, and grilled collarbone (?) of yellowtail.  Really fun.

Roasted chicken club with sweet potato fries from Rush Street, in Culver City.

Potted meats (pork and chicken liver pudding) and amazing charcuterie (head cheese with pickled mustard seed, pork shoulder, and homemade prosciutto) from the lovely Salt’s Cure.

Fun with family! What a cute granny.

We also had wonderful Ethiopian food on our last night and we sat right next to Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak from the Office! Super fun.  The food was great, but too dark for photos! Meals by Genet in Little Ethiopia.

That’s all! Yay food!

Casa Alde

Whatever “foodie” cred I may have had is going to be completely obliterated by the following story.  Growing up, especially when left to my own devices, I was a disgusting eater.  To wit: every day in high school, my sister and I would each get three crisp dollar bills for lunch.  Mine were usually spent in one of the following ways: 
  1. On a ‘Little Charlies’ pizza, which I would flip over and then proceed to eat only the crusty bottom, leaving a sheet of congealed cheese and “pepperoni” bits on the greasy paper on which it was served. 
  2. On a deep-fried burrito (Yay Texas! This was a cafeteria staple).  Much like the pizza, I would eat only the deep-fried tortilla casing, and leave behind a mound of greasy beef filling. 
  3. On one large buttery roll and a big chocolate chip cookie from the snack bar.

When option three was selected, it meant that I had $2.25 cents left over from my three dollar lunch allotment, which would be pocketed and earmarked for a couple breakfast tacos from Casa Alde.  This, dear reader, is one of the very few gastronomic rituals from my youth that I can be proud of.  These are damn fine tacos. We’ve eaten dozens of breakfast tacos from places all around Austin, and the tacos at Casa Alde are so far undefeated for sheer deliciousness.  Here are some highlights:

This is my favorite: potato, sauasage, and cheese.  The potatoes are perfectly cooked, the sausage is finely textured, and the cheese is straight-up shredded cheddar.  The tortilla is really what makes these sing- they’re handmade every morning by Grandma Helen, and they are pitch perfect.  Slightly thick and chewy, with the lightest dusting of flour still clinging to the freshly griddled tortilla.

  
The “fattie” is one of the classic tacos at Casa Alde- it’s got potato, bacon, egg, sausage and cheese, and is shown here with avocado too, natch. Tell me what’s not to like about that! It’s all your favorite breakfast foods in one taco!
This is Andy’s partially-eaten barbacoa taco.  They make the best barbacoa around, for reals. The meat is intensely flavorful, and the taco leaks clear grease with every bite.  That might not sound super-delicious, but it shows how juicy the meat is. Yarm.
Last but not least, the Migas taco.  This is hands down the best migas you’ll find anywhere.  Tons of freshly fried corn tortilla squares, cooked quickly with scrambled eggs, and topped with queso(!).  It’s sheer brilliance.  Other taco purveyors take note- if you’re not topping your migas with queso, you absolutely should be- it’s the bee’s knees.

They don’t have a website, but all the info you need can be found on their facebook page. Check it out when you’ve got a hankering for a delicious breakfast taco! Austinites: it takes me 15 minutes to get from my house in South Austin to Casa Alde, in Buda, so don’t let the address get you down!

Takoba

Hey kids! This is a view of the patio at Takoba, a new interior Mexican restaurant in East Austin.  We ate here last weekend and it was delicious and pretty and fun! I had originally planned on going here for dinner, because they have sopes on their dinner menu, and I could eat those for every meal, but instead we went for Saturday brunch!

Haha! This is the sister-of-my-life doing her best crazy stalker impression as she stares adoringly at her strawberry-lemon agua fresca.  It was good and pretty!

Chips and salsa! Good and happily salty.

Guacamole- a simple one.  Avocado, lime juice, cilantro, and onion. (Ahh! You clever reader, you! You’re right. There were tomatoes too.)  It was nicely lime-y.  I put my whole mouth in the bowl.

A shot of the innards of Molly’s taco: flour tortilla, egg, potato, and sausage.  Yeeessss.

Helen’s Huevos Rancheros: tostada topped with refried beans, two fried eggs, salsa roja and queso fresco, served with breakfast potatoes and tortillas. This was also great! Fun fact about Helen: the chick’s allergic to eggs, but she hearts them so much she orders them just for the thrill of savoring one or two delicious mouthfuls, and then pushes them aside.  It’s weird.

My Chilaquiles! Eggs scrambled with pan fried corn tortilla strips, onions and red chile sauce, topped with queso fresco.  This, to me, was the perfect version of chilaquiles.  What I imagine when I think of the dish when I’m laying down to go to sleep.  Not too eggy, not too spicy, coated in a rich chile sauce, and topped with a lightly salty cheese.  You know you want it.