10.12.2008

Better Than The Best of L.A. Weekly


LA Weekly's "Best of" issue was unleashed last weekend - an event I look forward to every year. I devour page after page with a hot cup of coffee and a pair of scissors. When I first moved here from the East Coast, I clung to the "Best of" issue to try and pick up the vibe of Los Angeles. The following two years I studied each entry and wrote down addresses, determined to make myself like this place. These days, I use it to explore and uncover. And now that I know this town, I can see where the entries are lacking.

For instance, the "Best View from Money" piece urges people to see the Los Angeles skyline from a spot in the swanky hills of La Canada. But the price of gas combined with an addiction to T.V. can hardly pull people off the couch these days. Make it worth the trip and stop at DISH on Foothill Boulevard in La Canada. Inside there are roaring fireplaces, hardwood floors and gorgeous vintage woodwork. When you settle into the dining room, look up at the old bones, painted white and looking like a Hamptons throwback. And the food - oh, the food. The juicy hangar steaks, crisp salads topped with goat cheese and fresh sliced fruit, the tangy apple chutney on sizzling pork chops and the warm chocolate bread pudding a la mode are to die for.
Everything is painstakingly homemade and the warmth exuding from the place stays with you as you drive downhill, back to the smoggy, congested flatlands.

Some Angelenos may fear dining more than six miles off the Sunset strip, as it may disrupt their carefully-crafted idea of cool. Allow me to draw some comparisons. On the strip, girls who have come to the sad realization that they'll never be smart enough to be rich on their own, (or not smart enough to realize they can), squeeze their wares into shiny tube tops and haunt the bars looking for people with money. For those who have seen the rolling green estates of La Canada, you would know that the place is moneyed, and not peppered with UCLA frat boys. The men at DISH go for Hefewiesen, not Heineken, and nobody would ever yell the formidable, "Whooh!"

On Sunset, people gain a slight sense of achievement looking down at the glittering lights of Los Angeles from the heights of the strip. Especially when gripping an overpriced cocktail after standing in line for an hour to get in. The view from La Canada? Higher. We're talking a few exits away from the Mt. Wilson Observatory, which makes Griffith Park look like a high school planetarium. Here's their link: http://www.dishbreakfastlunchanddinner.com/

I'm inspired now, and feel morally obligated to do my own "Best of" blogs when the event arises. In the meantime, put down the remote, get in your car and start exploring. Here's LA Weekly's link: http://www.laweekly.com/bestOf

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