My Best Bites of 2013

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bajancutters

The flying fish cutters from Cuz’s fish shack in Barbados were one of my favorite bites of the year, bar none. Especially with that bangin’ Bajan hot sauce. Can’t wait for more travels in 2014!

For us crazies in editorial-land, the end of the year only means one thing. No, it’s not holidays or parties or even mistletoe (dang it!), though those are fun too. It’s time for LISTS! Lot and lots of lists. Honestly creating these can get exhausting, but as evidenced by good ol’ Google analytics, people love ‘em. They’re serviceable for readers, and quite frankly, useful for me as a writer. Especially one like this, which serves as a sort of diary of all the awesome things I’ve seen and eaten this year. More importantly, it reminds me of all the inspiring people who created these awesome bites that stand out so strongly in my mind.

Because I’m the Food Editor at LAist, My Best Bites of 2013 piece is based here in L.A., however I  was able to sneak in a few honorable mentions from around the globe at the end there.

Posting this here is also the start of more frequent posting of my work here on my personal site. You’ll be seeing a lot more of me in the new year. But for now, enjoy your holidays. I’ll see you in 2014!

Raise a glass to the end of summer with this lovely rhubarb, fennel, and blood orange cocktail. It's the best way to beat the heat, and can be prebatched for your Labor Day shenanigans. Recipe on my blog, link in my profile!
I grew some tomatoes and basil and put burrata on them. It's been one of my best life decisions thus far.
Sunday 'que with my favorite Texans, @bludsosbar and @mkretovics.
Daydreaming of the colorful and delightfully creamy carrot butter risotto @fundamentalLA. Their tasting menu is a steal at 3 courses + dessert for $39!
The smell of @cofaxcoffee's breakfast burrito being made is enough to drive you wild: smoked home fries, sizzling ancho chile-laden chorizo, fresh fried tortilla chips, and fluffy scrambled eggs all cradled in a warm flour tortilla. Add some slices of creamy California avocado, and it's pure burrito bliss. (@thestaceysun @letmeeatcake @ohjoy & @mkretovics me do it!)
If this knucklehead can grow veggies on a cement strip between two apartment buildings using old shopping carts as containers, so can you!
All the #LAFoodFriends were after a shot of my gorgeous bowl of homemade coconut granola and market berries, but can you blame em? Sometimes the simplest things are the best! Thx for the wonderful morning @whatsgabycookin and @aidamollenkamp!
Take a peek at Commissary, @ridingshotgunla's b-side to POT that's really a hit on it's own. This gorgeous greenhouse restaurant in #KTown does veggies justice! Link is in my profile.
Sunset over the Pacific with a glass of @SilverOak cab @TerraneaResort. Doesn't get more California than that, folks.
Drinks in delis, immaculate veggies, and a rainbow of blow your mind sauces. @ridingshotgunla crushing it per uje at the brand new rooftop Commissary at The Line.
Perfect summer picnic fare here at Paninoteca. Loving the chicken parm sandwich with smoked tomatoes and fresh blood orange thyme juice. Those marinated mushrooms with ricotta salata tho...I said goddamn @cheffv!!!
Deliberating on @knifefightesq is much less difficult when there's IPA involved. Seriously y'all, these guys can cook! Tune in for epic back-to-back battle on tonight's season premiere with @ilanhall and @krismorningstar.
My #CurrentObsession: @BlueBottle's New Orleans iced coffee, up on LAist.com now.
Hungry for a culinary journey? Watch me eat scorpions, #streetfood, and a dizzying array of dumplings in my video on The Best Eats in Beijing, up now on www.kristasimmons.com/blog.
We have arrived. Time to eat...FINALLY! Ceviche, Negro Modelos, and fish tacos to kick off #RinsWedding weekend with @mkretovics @simmerdowntown @felicianicetomeetcha.
#TBT to frolicking in the flower fields @Anantara_Hotels in Ermei, China, enjoying some much-needed solitude. (Photo by @simmerdowntown)
My Current Obsession: churros con leche ice cream from @mcconnellsicecreams! Post up on LAist.com/food.
Raspados (mango, chile & tamarind shave ice) and freshly fried churros while cruising Mercado Olympic with my Oaxacan guru, @bricialopez. Great way to spend a Sunday!
Dat freelance life. Working poolside at The Avalon with $5 happy hour wine. "Winning."
Because it's far too hot to turn on a stove.

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