Eating Off the Beaten Track
In and Around Los Angeles
by Jeff Fried
After a two-year hiatus, Native Philadelphian
and current Floridian resident, Jeff Fried returns to some of
favorite off-the-beaten-track culinary haunts in the City of Angels.
Angeles is not a city short on great food; reputation and
internet research can surely lead you the way. But if you
want to experience something different . . .
Talk to Jeff@TravelingBoy.com
Otto's love for music!
Otto's - Import Store & Deli
2320 West Clark Ave.
Burbank, CA 91506
I asked Otto to hold the pickles but
when I got my sandwich, guess what was on it? Pickles. Guess
what immediately came off the sandwich? Pickles. Fortunately,
he held off the mayonnaise. Even in California, it is unacceptable
for an East Coaster to eat a hoagie with mayo and pickles.
Otto's European and Hungarian Import Store and Deli
is an unassuming neighborhood grocery store that makes one
of the best Hoagie's in Los Angeles. Each order usually comes
with a mini comedy act by Otto himself. If time permits, Otto
might even break out his accordion. http://members.aol.com/HungImprts/Welcome.htm
9128 West Pico Blvd.
LA, CA 90035
Hills Adjacent: That's what realtors
call the area between Pico and Olympic and Robertson and La
Cienega. If you're thinking of moving there, you should know
that your city address will be Los Angeles. You might get
Beverly in your address if you live on Beverly Drive, but
really the only good thing about that is your proximity to
the Beverlywood Bakery. This classic Jewish bakery
on Pico makes the best rugalach in the United States. I've
had rugalach from Miami to Philadelphia to New York and nothing
comes close. The only drawback is they seal their pastry boxes
really good, so if you think you might want to sneak a few
in the car before arriving at your destination, then just
have them keep a few out. http://www.beverlywoodbakery.com
3456 S. Glenmark Dr. Hacienda Heights,
Heights: About thirty minutes
east of downtown is the Hsi Lai Temple, one of the
largest Buddhist temples in the Western Hemisphere. Seven
days per week they serve an all you can eat vegetarian lunch
for just five dollars. Don't let that price fool you, there
is a salad and fruit bar, at least five different dishes,
soup and hot tea. The main dishes vary regularly and can include
vegetables, noodles, tofu, seitan and veggie ham. The temple
grounds are beautiful and include the Hall with Ten Thousand
Buddha's, a garden with the Eighteen Arhats, a museum and
767 Deep Valley Drive,
Rolling Hills Estates,
Verdes Peninsula: Hip and upscale,
yet cozy with very friendly service and fantastic food sums
up what I found at Bistro 767. Even though I was spending
the night in the area, it would have definitely been worth
the twenty mile drive from West Los Angeles. The bistro salad
with sherry vinaigrette was fantastic and the filet mignon
was cooked to perfection. They have a great martini and wine
selection. The desserts were out of this world.
3125 Los Feliz Blvd.
On Los Feliz Boulevard is India Sweets
and Spices. A great vegetarian Indian food restaurant and
market. There are no servers that come to your table. Just
go up to the counter and tell the servers what you want and
what size. Their pakoras, chan masala and saag were top notch.
They have a large variety of dishes to choose from and the
staff is very friendly and helpful. They have seven other
locations throughout Los Angeles. http://www.indiasweetsandspices.org/index.htm
Hilarious piece on your trip to Otto's Hungarian
Deli. I thought I was the only non-Hungarian In Southern California
who knew the joint, tucked into some little non-descript neighborhood
in Burbank. Very true, he makes the best sandwiches is the world,
but it is essential to be in there in person - as opposed to ordering
over the phone - so that you can ride herd on him with your instructions
for the condiments. He is known to get caught up in some obscure
conversation about Hungary and completely forget. The best way
to enjoy his sandwich is to talk him into playing is accordion
while you wolf one down. Let's face it; nothing goes better for
lunch than an Otto's Hungarian sandwich with an accordion accompaniment.
As Jay Leno would say: 'Only in Burbank."
Sherman Oaks, CA
Lake Geneva/ Matterhorn Region and Switzerland Tourism
recently blew into Los Angeles with the most esteemed guest, Eugene Chaplin.
A man of remarkable lineage, he is the fifth child of Oona O'Neill and Sir
Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, the grandson of playwright
Eugene O'Neill, the brother of Geraldine Chaplin and father of actress/model
Eugene Chaplin Introduces Chaplin's World Museum
in Vevey, Switzerland
Treasures of Ireland: Piped Inside Ashford Castle
The Palladian Traveler enters into a world of regal
elegance wrapped in Irish charm as he files his latest dispatch from inside
one of the Emerald Isle's most storied fortresses.
As we dropped down to 25,000 feet I saw one of the
most extraordinary panoramas I'd ever been lucky enough to witness. The
majesty of it all and the stunning vistas that lay below and before me were
spectacular. It was as beautiful as spring's first rose, and it made me
understand why so many pilots on commercial jetliners love their job; they
get to see so many awe-inspiring sights from the cockpit. My view was that
of a vast vista of the Pacific.
Chuuk + Wrecks = Scuba Divers' Paradise
In the 1840s, the population of California was only
14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived
from all over the world and they came for one reason: gold. James
Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutters Mill in El
Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles,
the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their
childrens eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very
much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from
last years Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little
ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already
fed and are rubbing their stomachs.
Lake Charles Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from
the president during Black History Month Frederick Douglass has done
an amazing job... it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon's
legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC
surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself
would be a good place to start.
Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass' Home is as Imposing
as the Man who Lived There
Discovering Art, Culture and Cuisine in Lancaster
Lancaster has always been one of those cities that I pass
through on the way to some other destination. But last week was different.
I finally took the time to explore the place and wow, was I surprised!
I discovered a downtown full of charm, culture, cuisine and community
spirit. My recent getaway began when a friend and I drove about 60 miles
north of Los Angeles toward the Mojave Desert and checked into the Towneplace
Film Review: "My Hero Brother" A Tribute
to the Human Spirit
I just spent five days attending the Santa Barbara Film
Festival and for the most part, the features, animated shorts, and documentaries
were quite professional and compelling. That said, "My Hero Brother,"
a documentary that was particularly outstanding, told the remarkable and
inspiring story about a group of Down syndrome young men and women who
go on a two-week trek through the Himalayas with their non-Down syndrome
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