SNACK TREK: A Stress-Free LA Sunday in Hollywood/Los Feliz

Bounty of the Hollywood Farmers' Market.
Bounty of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market.

People who know me, know that I function at a high-ish level of stress and worrying. It’s mostly a function of being me, and partly a function of having a job where I’m always on call and have to be really detail-oriented.

For me, the weekends are not always a time to kick back, even when work doesn’t beckon. As an aspiring TV writer, it’s really important that I work on my own material on the side. Therefore, I have an (amazing) writing group, and in order to finish my material/read theirs, I usually wake up at 6 or 7am on both Saturday and Sunday, and work or go to group until the early afternoon.

And if I’m NOT doing that for some reason — maybe a weekend off — I’m just generally stressing that I didn’t write enough, all the time.

This time of year is what I call “fellowship season” — when several studios allow aspiring TV writers to submit their materials and personal essays, hoping that we’ll manage to secure the equivalent of a golden ticket: a spot in one of their workshops/fellowships, which could very well lead to being staffed on a TV show. The dream.

AKA it’s kind of a stressful time, and then around Labor Day it’s stressful again because it’s the “am I going to hear back?!” time.

ANYWAY — that’s all to say that this weekend the first big deadline passed, and my material was in (another deadline’s coming in a few weeks, but the heavy lifting is over). Thanks to the deadline, writing group didn’t meet. Saturday I ended up having to work, but Sunday the day was wide open, and I felt like I could just do whatever, guilt-free.

So obviously I wanted to eat and drink. I called my sister in for hangout reinforcements.

First stop was the Hollywood Farmers Market, which I don’t often make it out to, these days. Usually I’m kind of conservative in my purchases, but yesterday I splurged on the famous Harry’s Berries (okay, like $6, but whatever). The seascape berries are what all strawberries should taste like — that bright, sweet flavor.

I also splurged on Forbidden Fruit Orchards blueberries, which are really firm and sweet and tart. So many grocery store blueberries turn out to be a disappointment, or full of squishy ones. Forbidden Fruit Orchards doesn’t play you like that.

Really, it’s important that you go sample fruit at the farmers market from time to time, to remember what fruit is supposed to taste like.

The picture above also features boysenberries, which I’m not sure I’d ever officially tried before — they’re the sweeter version of blackberries, almost like candy-sweet, definitely like jam-sweet. It’s like scooping jam into your mouth, without the scary process of canning.

And of course I got Ranier cherries, which I discovered last year can often be more delicious than regular red cherries. (Sadly, I didn’t not catch the names of the orchards for the boysenberries/cherries.)

We also sampled amazing vegan mole and other delights from Bloom Foods, but I regrettably didn’t purchase anything.

Then we went back to Los Feliz, where we wandered around while we waited for a table at Little Dom’s. I got the eggs bruschetta with egg whites, a breakfast I often dream about.

Leaning tower of egg whites.
Leaning tower of egg whites.

It’s grilled bread, pesto (possible dairy cheat?), roasted tomatoes, and eggs, with some sort of delightful basil oil, I think. Maybe it’s just pesto run-off.

I joked to Dana that we’d gotten like 20 egg whites each. An egg white doesn’t make very much, and it seemed like SO MUCH EGGS.

Along with that, Dana got a fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice. (They have such good fresh-squeezed juice that it doesn’t feel like completely insanity that it’s $5.)

I got a grapefruit shandy (40% beer, 60% fruit soda), which is really hot right now in Los Feliz. It makes me happy because I first discovered shandy when I was 18, at the Stiegl beer tour in their factory in Salzburg, Austria (Brauwelt aka Beer World, which amuses me to no end, for some reason — oh, German) — and this shandy is FROM THERE!

Dana added her grapefruit lip gloss for... scale?
Dana added her grapefruit lip gloss for… scale?

Life, right?

(I really need to go back to Brauwelt, because I think I’d appreciate the whole experience a lot more now that I have more of a palette for beer. Also — two free beers and a pretzel! At the time, at least.)

One of the best things about being vegan is that I can still drink (in moderation… anything more is not heart friendly).

Then we went home and watched “So You Think You Can Dance” and  “I Wanna Marry Harry,” which turned out to be hilarious. Some of the girls are real firecrackers, and others are just crazy. I always prefer a show with a twist or some silliness to the earnest weirdness of straightforward dating shows.

And we snacked on fruit, obviously.

Later, for dinner, Sam joined us and we went to Messhall… which is like a block from Little Dom’s. Small radius of eating. Dana and I ordered the two vegan dishes on the menu (the chili and the curry) and split them… and both were good, I’m happy to report. (Dana is about to be my neighbor, part of the reason why I’m intro’ing her to all the trendy restaurants of LF.)

Dana and Sam also had oysters, which sadly are verboten for me — shellfish is a cholesterol pitfall. But honestly, as good as oysters can be, they are also the consistency of snot, if you got a lot of snot together. So I’ll probably live without eating them.

And I got a Riesling. I don’t even really care about the brand of Riesling. Have Riesling, good to go. (And good to later have a headache… whoops.)

I took no pictures at Messhall. Sorry not sorry.

Instead I’ll show you a picture of my new go-to meal, “broasted” veggies. (Roasted Brussels sprouts and various potatoes.)

This is how I felt yesterday, as told in veggies.
This is how I felt yesterday, as told in veggies.

And then Sam and I came home and watched Game of Thrones and the Silicon Valley. I actually don’t technically watch most of Game of Thrones… I look away and Sam tells me when the bloody stuff is over. But I accidentally caught a glimpse of an axe to the head early in the episode, which brought to mind how much just READING about that in “Crime and Punishment” in high school traumatized me.

Luckily Silicon Valley cut through the trauma, a real palette cleanser. Comedy — it makes everything better! (This year there is so much good comedy out there — Louie, Kroll Show, Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, Key & Peele, Bob’s Burgers… go check them all out.) (Yes, although I stress about writing a lot, I also spend a lot of time watching TV… RESEARCH.) (This would be a much better excuse if I wrote comedy.)

And that was basically as good as it gets, when I have a day off to just kick around in my neighborhood.

Happy June!

One thought on “SNACK TREK: A Stress-Free LA Sunday in Hollywood/Los Feliz

  1. Cute Brussels sprouts man. I remember running all over the place trying to find those Gelson’s trivets. That’s before you knew your way around LA as well, and before reliable GPS. Glad you had a fun relaxing and fruity/foodie day.

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