Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Favorite Salad

Just have to make a quick and fast recommendation for one of my favorite salads. Actually it's one of my favorite lunch spots.
On Sunset, just a couple of blocks east of Silverlake Boulevard, sandwiched between Sumi's and Hemingway & Pickett, is Food + Lab. Now there's another Food + Lab in West Hollywood, and that one is fine, but this is the one I love and I can't for the life of me say there's any real major difference aside from the fact that...

...it's in Silverlake.

Food + Lab is simple. Good food. Fresh food. Well prepared. But also the entire place is clean and mellow. New York tiled, metal but comf chairs and and I'm a big fan of the mirror and the artwork and hanging-low light fixtures:

There aren't that many restaurants where I feel I can really think. I can be alone and it's okay. This though is one of them. And though it has delicious sammys...
Grilled Cheese with Kale Salad at Food + Lab
...tons of sides like kale salad and white bean salad, and Deluscious Cookies (which are at the counter and just trust me you should get one, they are fabulous) the reason I go is for one reason and one reason alone.

The Cobb Salad at Food + Lab
This is my favorite salad: The Chicken Cobb. Grilled chicken, yummy little tomatoes, spring lettuce, gorgonzola. It comes with 1 dressing but I ask for two and mix them because they're both AMAZING. They're not fattening, they whip the dressing so they taste rich and have a silky texure and it's a salad and who cares? One is the House Vinaigrette, the other, Lemon. The salad comes with bacon and egg but I don't get either. I feel indulgent with the bacon and I dislike cooked egg. So for me they usually just throw in some more of something like the cheese or the avocado or the tomato. Doesn't matter to me which component is added because they're all so good and the chicken, seriously, is grilled to perfection, charred - a hint of salt. So tasty Tom Colicchio (and it's his voice I hear in my head when I bite into it) would say, "The chicken is cooked perfectly."
Grilled Veggie Salad. Which is good too. But it isn't the Cobb.
They have other salads too, obviously. They can't just serve one. Like they have the extremely popular grilled veggie with goat cheese but I likes what I likes and you'll rarely see me diverge from my original setting.

While you're on the block, it's worth going to the places that align Food + Lab. They're both good little stores -- though one is about to move. Sumi's is going to Vermont which is a shame but they're there for now and the handmade jewelry is really lovely.


Sumi sells both some of her own designs, some of local designers. Very tasteful stuff and a close friend actually got her wedding ring here. 
Wrapped Necklace at Sumi $143
Classy and simple Rose Gold Earrings, designed by Sumi $46
There are also these very cute handmade Carita Viola bags from Finland, tons of artwork and pretty little knick knacks. 

Gorgeous scarf at Sumi $22
On the other side of Food + Lab is Hemingway & Pickett. Also a totally charming and unique store.

$12 for the pair of Territorial Beer Holders
Awesome retro clocks by Bruno. $55.
Terra Nova Natur Oil, 10 bucks.
Original cards.
They're great places. Probably worth the trip alone. But for me, it's very clear why I'm coming to this stretch of land...
Food + Lab is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and caters. Hours are 10 to 9 on weekdays, 9 to 9 on weekends. It's located at 3206 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles 90026. Metered parking is available on Sunset, free side street parking is also worth the hunt but as always, check the signs. 323.661.2666. Their other location is 7253 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood 90046. Hours are 8-8 daily. There's metered parking on Santa Monica and free parking available in the back. 323.851.7120.

Sumi's is at 3204 Sunset. 1812 North Vermont, LA, CA 90027. Monday thru Saturday 10-8. Sundays 11-6. 323.660.0869.

Hemingway & Pickett is at 3208 Sunset. Tuesday thru Saturday, 11-7. Sunday and Monday, 11-5. 323.660.4200.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dumb Starbucks

People don't really know what to make of it or if it's legal. But in Los Feliz, right on Hillhurst, a place that looks exactly like Starbucks but with the word "DUMB" in front of the name, has popped up.

Dumb Starbucks... the fact that someone did this makes me VERY happy.
Just south of Franklin on the corner of Melbourne in the same outdoor mini-mall as Tubtim (ever been there? I didn't think so) you'll find a really Dumb Starbucks.
 I think in all my time of living in LA I've never even noticed this outdoor mini-mall. Getting lots of attention now...
There were hipsters lined up around the block to get what I hear is pretty crappy coffee but the point wasn't the coffee. It was to be a part of a parody art movement.

I appreciate this little touch on the inside:
Apparently they were out of Dumb Norah Jones.

Dumb Starbucks might be, as @YayLAMag says, a "one note joke" but that is a joke I didn't think of and I really respect. Case in point:
Their legal justification for being able to do this Banksy Style Business Art which reeks of Copyright Infringement or some Legal Throat Clearing Mumbo Jumbo Lawsuit-Waiting-To-Happen is detailed in a letter they have posted at the cash register:
I hope no one sues them or makes them take it down. Because I like it. I hope some day there's a Dumb Target and a Dumb Vons and a Dumb Pinkberry.

I didn't wait in line because I hate lines and I had already heard the coffee was bad and really, it wasn't the point. The point was that they - whoever they may be - did it.

And whoever "they" are, if "they" are reading this, Dumb Starbucks is Stupid Fresh.

My hat is off to you.

Thank you and do this EVERYWHERE.

Dumb Starbucks is located at 1802 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Feliz, CA 90027. Find them on Twitter @dumbstarbucks.

Dumb Iced Tea