Surfers. Hollywood. Fakes.
On my recent travels through the southwest, curiosity got the better of me and L.A. was tacked onto the itinerary. My lovely tour guide (and lifestyle blogger extraordinaire) Anne Sage introduced me to the wonders of Proof Bakery, The Pie Hole, Intelligentsia and Shortcake LA.
No phone call to change the reservation; no heads up to the people they were meeting. They didn’t so much as bat an eyelash, welcoming us if we no longer had a choice in the matter.
Spontaneity struck and we were whisked off to Bestia - recommended to me originally by Jessica from Sqirl - to join Matt Poley and Tara Maxey of HeirloomLA, and for the first time in recent memory, my phone remained in my pocket. I let the conversation flow as smoothly as the inventive and delicious drinks went down (though for your photo fix, check out Bonnie’s shots of some pizza, cocktails, desserts and scenery). I learned of Matt’s tremendous work ethic and dedication, commuting from Arizona to California three times a week just to learn from a chef he respected and admired. I heard Bonnie’s transformation from wedding to food photography and had the pleasure of dining with her smart, adorable daughter Miss Venise.
I learned that someone in the group once got drunk off of an overripe mango.
As family-style passed plates whizzed passed holding some of the most delectable cured meats, pastas, pizzas, and salads, I could not help but be caught up in the moment - enthralled by stories of passion, adventure and life and overwhelmed by a sense of community. It was only until much later that evening, after the food began to settle along with my thoughts, that I was able to fully appreciate what that meal meant to me. These wonderful people had taken a complete stranger into their world for a single, unselfish night and reminded me of the true power that sharing a meal possesses.
Definitively, I stand corrected in my previous misconceptions about some of the truly remarkable people in Los Angeles. I was greeted with firm handshakes and bid farewell with firmer hugs. Food-wise, if Ori and the Bestia team are any indication of the culinary scene happening down south, there is nothing remotely fake about it.