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I'm Leaving L.A. For a Few Months
And here's what that means for our marriage.
I started this Substack a while ago and then stopped for reasons I can’t quite explain.
I got depressed there for a little while, that’s for sure. Got busy with paid writing gigs. Got the itch to make pasta again. Tears of The Kingdom came out. Dated somebody who vaped constantly. Got lost at the Ross Dress for Less on Western and Hollywood (it’s a lot easier than you think). Truthfully, though, the main reason I stopped is that I ate a real big sandwich back in March and simply haven’t recovered.
Then, just this morning I woke up and said to myself, “Danny, you dummy, the reason you feel like shit is because you aren’t doing the things you should be doing.” Although I write every single day, overall my discipline has been doo-doo. This is an attempt to fix that.
Being full-time freelance can be maddening. Money comes in from a lot of different directions, and a lot of the stuff I don’t even really want to be writing in the first place (this wasn’t one of them). Still, I’m growing sick of digital media. It’s why I left Sporked—if I wrote one more useless list about the best whatever-the-fuck I was sure I was going to eat Kettle chips until the slow cooked shards of slivered potatoes gave me internal bleeding. A happy death!
Quite often I can’t sell an idea to somebody at The Times, or The Takeout, or Bon App, so I end up just sitting here with a thing that I really want to write and nowhere for it go. That’s done. Those will go here.
So, we’re back, and I think I’ll be writing a lot of different content. This will still be The Move, so there will be tons of food recommendations, but I plan on expanding these moves to all areas of dining. What does that mean? Keep reading every week to find out.
This week, though, I just want to highlight some thoughts over the last few months. I’m leaving L.A. to see family, and as I reminisce over this year to date, these are the lasting Los Angeles food memories that spring to mind.
Hollywood Shawarma is a Treasure
Man, Bill Addison was right (of course). The shawarma at Hollywood Shawarma is marriage material. Side note: You know my favorite move in L.A.? Just parking in a red zone real quick. Especially on Hollywood. I really don’t think anybody actually cares so long as you have eyes on your car. I have never had trouble parking to get shawarma and I credit my ability to illegally park without disturbance.
Somebody recently jumped in my DMs to tell me they liked the old Hollywood Shawarma better and I actually can’t fathom how that’s an opinion. The beef and lamb is just incredibly juicy now, perfectly seasoned (it’s subtle but you can taste the spice blend), and the tahini coating delivers some extra richness, too. I like the chicken shawarma, also (their toum rocks), but the chicken just isn’t nearly as tender and juicy as the beef and lamb. That they use a grill weight to flatten the wraps and develop crispiness is a revelation. Top tier shawarma.
The fries are an abomination, dear God, but that’s an easy one to skip. Just get the wraps and skip the combination platters.
Rad Na Silom Continues To Be A Go-To
There is just never a time that Rad Na Silom doesn’t hit. I went recently with my good pal and rad culinary professional Laura Hoang who asked me to bring a metal spoon from my apartment (more on that later). What I’ll never forget about Rad Na as long as I live is the kid jotting down my order, who said, “Can you handle spicy?” To which I replied, “Yes.” Then he said, “Yeah, you look like you’ve been to Thailand before.”
I sat with that for a bit, then told Laura about it. To which she replied, “Oh yeah, you look like a white chef who goes to another country to steal recipes.” God damn, man. I mean, God damn!
Oh, and bring a metal spoon if you want to scrape out the sides of coconut drink to extract all the milky little slivers of coco-meat. Everything at Rad Na is great, and they’re really thriving right now. So many different things to order, though I’m partial to the rad na with crispy noodles and the pad Thai with crispy shrimp.
And if you happen to be a curious little monkey, get the moo yong sando.
Baserriko Peppers Has Crazy Good Deals on Sandwiches
Are you following Baserriko Peppers? You should be. It’s Basque + Portuguese food and it’s delicious, filling, and the cheap. They usually pop up at breweries around L.A. like Smog City and Benny Boy (which has dope cider). At Basseriko, expect a lot of sticky, filling paella. Pinxtos (small, deliciously curated snacks like tapas), and awesome sandwiches. The paella mixta contains chorizo, mussels, scallops, a big ass chicken thigh, and shrimp. Love a good paella that feels glued together with flavor.
Also, one can’t understate the value of cheap sandwiches. I know that’s important to you, especially with sandwich prices going sky high. Baserriko does a delicious chistorra with homemade Portuguese sausage, romesco, and piquillo peppers. Quite strangely, he puts the sausage on the bread raw, then smooshes it on a sandwich press. As the sausage cooks, the fat seeps down into the bread which is wild.
Oh, and a delicious bifana sandwich made with pork loin, a sweet, sour, and aromatic piri-piri sauce, plus olives and pickles. The bifana was 9 dollars. Go find Baserriko and thank me later.
The Fries at Fosters Freeze are Good?
I don’t know why, but they are. A few weeks back I got a Butterfinger Twister and a medium crinkle cut fries. That Twister is incredible, and the fries were perfectly salted, golden, and crispy. Simple things, my friends. It’s my favorite French fry/frozen dessert combo yet. A Wendy’s Frosty and fries simply could never.
Angel’s Tijuana Tacos For Life
Doesn’t matter what location you go to, but I’m partial to the one near Dodger Stadium. Yes, the al pastor is amazing (and five bucks for two tacos), but a loaded baked potato with meat, cheese, onion, cilantro, and salsa is incredible. It’s kind of the perfect way to eat tacos. You get a little scoop of creamy baked potato, some al pastor or carne asada meat, cheese, salsa, and then load up your own corn tortillas. It’s the ideal meal to share between two people.
Angel’s served as the inspiration for an essay I wrote recently for the LA Times. If you go to the location at Eagle Rock, you’re bound to see families and friends eating in their trucks. It’s really beautiful to me. One of the things I was first struck by here in L.A.
This is a gorgeous city and I’ve got the best friends in the world. I’ll miss it, but I’ll be back.
Thanks, friends. Share if you can. See ya next week.
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