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!

Been waiting all week to make these roasted leeks from @bonappetitmag, and BOY were they worth it! I'm thoroughly convinced that you can roast pretty much anything and it'll taste good. Slow and low is the way to go!
Prime Pizza is bringing a little slice of Brooklyn to the Fairfax Ave. This here's their white pie with black olive and anchovy tapenade. You can check out shots of their "bonkers" wings and other slices @ LAist.com now.
Getting a little gonzo while eating late #lunchaldesko and writing VO for an upcoming vid @simmerdowntown and I shot in China. #takeabao #bao #baozi #herepiggypiggy #china
Wether it's mushroom foraging in Monterey, truffle hunting in Oregon or skiing in Hokkaido, it's time to start thinking winter #travel! Plz join our Twitter convo @saveurmag at 1 pm PST/4 pm EST, where I'll be sharing my tips alongside some of the top voices in the industry. Chime in by following me @kristasimmons using the hashtag #culinaryescapes. You could win a trip to Puerto Vallarta!!!
Sundays in Ojai are all about long hikes followed by roadside BBQ, and the smell of tri tip and chicken over smokey red oak are the iconic signature scents of the Central Coast. Those Santa Maria rancheros sure knew what was up!
Completely obsessed with this farm/resto combo in Ojai. Super rare that I go the same place twice when traveling, but after dinner I had to come back for brek. Menu is completely veg and I didn't even notice until talking to the chef last night -- so many awesome options with produce from their adjacent farm, plus fresh spelt breads and wood fired pizzas. Def a must if you're in town!
Brown bags in graffiti-lined alleyways, Simmons style. No 40s here, just ballin lox and bagel courtesy of @wexlersdeli and @mkretovics.
Absolutely LOVE roasted grapes this time of year, especially to compliment a thick, juicy steak. Made a massaged kale salad with cranberries, pumpkin seeds and bacon vin on the side. Perfect date night in w/ @mkretovics! #thisisfall #freshfallfare #paleo #roasting #beef #steak #f52grams #feedfeed #foodandwine #instagood #instafood
For brekkie I riffed on one of my faves from @sqirlla and made brown rice topped w lemony sorrel, baby kale, avo and a sunnyside farm egg sprinkled w chèvre and a smattering of spicy mint corriander chutney. Missed the lovely cafe vibes, but it sure beats standing in line!
Snack time! Honeycrisp apples, local clover honey, and luxuriously creamy Saint Agur blue. Thank you @josiahcitrin for introducing me to what's quickly become my favorite double cream blue cheese!
Beyond excited to toast my girl @aartipaartipics, who just released her very first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen With Indian Soul. Not only does it have amazing recipes (camomile cardamom donuts anyone?!?), but she wrote this thing WHILE pregnant with her darling wee one. As my dad would say, "That's one heckuva woman!" #aartipaarti #aartipaarticookbook
Gettin into my roots this afternoon -- raw radishes, beets, and carrots topped with herbed goat cheese, EVOO, beet greens & citrus, finished with @jacobsensaltco. Taste the rainbow.
I ❤️ being on the road, but boy am I happy to be home! (I do miss my glam squad @rachelleblanco and the @kohgendo tho, that's for sure!) #forkandvine
Why folks buy boxed mixes is beyond me...just 6 ingredients and 15 mins of prep for these deliciously simple ooey gooey brownies from @rachaelraymag. Love it!
Last night I made Vietnamese bun with seared bison shoulder. Bison rocks as a protein -- it's leaner than beef and half the price at Whole Foods -- and it was killer on top of this classic cold rice noodle salad with ginger, fish sauce, and lime.
Aaaaand that's a wrap on Brooklyn, folks! Love this crew. #forkandvine
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
Even tho I've never lived here, there's something about seeing this skyline that feels like home.
Oh my, fresh blueberry pie! That's my kinda crafty, @jogryfe. #forkandvine
It may look to pretty to be true, but I assure you, this background is legit. (So is my SE-Asian inspired lobster roll to go with their sauvy b! Can't wait to share the recipe!) #setlife #forkandvine #tastemade

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