Arriving in Los Angeles…first thing is first: I MUST get my kabob-fix. And not any kind of regular kabob but only the best kind- the ‘Persian’ kind. Where can you get Persian kabob’s in LA you ask? Well look no further than the unofficial ‘Iran-Village’ better known as Westwood. Westwood blvd is filled with Persian restaurants, book shops, grocery stores, art shops and last but definitely not less important on the Persian menu: waxing and threading shops. My personal favorite is Shahrzad. The ambiance is casual, the food is delicious and the price is not over the roof. PLUS they have their own ‘tanoor’ which is a brick oven where they make their own bread which goes really well with the long list of dips: my personal favorites: kashkeh badenjoon (eggplant dip with a Persian wonder known as kashk– In modern Iran, kashk is a thick whitish liquid similar to whey (a dairy product) similar to sour cream, used in traditional Persian/Iranian cooking) and another eggplant dip called Mirza Ghasemi (eggplants, tomatoes and lots of garlic). This is to be followed by the main course: a large plate of basmati rice topped with safron soaked rice and long skewer of any type of kabob you can wish for. The food was so delicious I managed to go back twice in a matter of three days. That’s some serious commitment to Kabobs.
I was so pleasantly surprised to have literally stumbled into my favorite organic pastry/ brunch spot all the way here in Los Angeles. Turns out Pain Quotidien has locations all over the States and the world. Therefore- there goes my assumptions that Pain Quotidien was exclusively a European luxury. This was my weekly hangout in Paris and Geneva and well nothing could make me happier to learn that I don’t have to travel to Europe to enjoy some of PQ’s yummy delights. Beautiful and impeccably arranged pastries, breads and tarts wait behind glass cases, and it takes a considerable amount of self control not to order one of each.
This communal table, according to the restaurant’s website, has been a consistent and important feature of all Le Pain Quotidien sites since the first store opened in Brussels in 1990. Since then, it has “encouraged sharing of time and space” and has helped bring people together over food. An excuse to be brought together over food. I’m okay with that!!!
PQ- to me means one thing: delicious organic breads and a wide selection of spreads. Of course they offer so much more than that including wonderful tartines, salads, soups, etc. My personal favorite on a lazy Sunday morning is the basket of bread (including the croissant) and their to-die-for Belgian Praline spread. I wish I could put in words the amazingness of this praline spread but I don’t know how to describe it. I guess it can be compared to Nutella- except better. I know , I know, you’re thinking what can be better than Nutella? Well- come try this spread for yourself. In fact I am on my way to buy some to take home with me.
8607 Melrose Avenue, Melrose, West Hollywood/1st St and Beverly Blvd, 113 North Larchmont Boulevard/320 South Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles