My Best Bites of 2013

Posted on December 21, 2013 by & filed under food.

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 Β 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!

It's Friday, and that means my favorite food group -- aka BRUNCH! -- is on the horizon. If you adore smoked fish and bagels like I do, try the incredible white fish salad @fredsatbarneys. Also, hello! There's a killer rooftop patio with an LA view that just begs for a mimosa-fueled gossip sesh. Plus the best window shopping around is downstairs. Get it girls! β˜€οΈπŸŽ£πŸΉ
#TBT to the time I ate the most incredible tea-smoked duck from a street stall in Emei market. Sorry Peking/Bejing, but when it comes to water fowl, the Sichuan Province has got it on lock! This woman would make a killing slanging this stuff in LA.
This morning I made savory farro breakfast bowls inspired by the amazing brunch dish I had at Outpost @thegoodlandsb. I soaked @bobsredmill grains overnight, then cooked them in homemade bone broth and topped it with Parmesan, sautéed spinach, fresh mint, and a sunny side up egg. The bourbon smoked pepper from @thefaretrade didn't hurt either. πŸ˜‰πŸ™Œ
Happy #NationalPuppyDay to my favorite little friend Bento, aka the Fantastic Mr Fox, aka the best road trip buddy a gal could ask for. Here he is posing at the Presidio in Santa Barbara, squinting in the SoCal sun. Seriously this guy is the best Shiba in all the land. I don't know what I'd do without this little creature. He has gotten me through the toughest times, makes me smile when I'm sad, laugh when I'm lonely, and even lets me cuddle him regardless of his standoffish Shiba ways. I love you @foodcriticbento! 🐺😘
If you're like me, you're the kind of eater who wants to get REALLY hands on with your food. I've found some of the coolest hunting and fishing programs around the globe -- from wild boar hunting in Tuscany to fly fishing in Big Sky Country -- for @departuresmag, and you can read about them at the link in my profile. (That's me catching -- and releasing -- a super rare bull trout in Montana, a fish that most fly fisherman seek their entire lives! Can't wait for my next time out on the river... πŸŽ£πŸ‘)
Feelin my haul from Mercado Olympic: braided Oaxaca cheese, fresh churros, mangos w/chile and lime, and of course a fresh young coconut opened by yours truly. Wanna learn how to open one up? Check out my @TodayShow segment at the link in my profile. πŸ”ͺπŸ‘#TTSDevour
Toasting the arrival of #spring (and FRIDAY!) with this lovely French-inspired cocktail I made with Lillet -- a highly underrated, wonderfully aromatic aperitif from 1872 that's made by blending Bordeaux grapes with Spanish and Moroccan citrus. πŸ·πŸŠπŸ’ I'll be posting the recipe on my site soon, but this shot was just too springy not to share today! (In case you're curious, those flowers are cobalt delphiniums from @clementinefloralworks and @mkretovics, aka z best boyfriend ever.) Bon weekend, friends! πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ’‹ #bringonspring
If you love abundant salad spreads like Korean banchan or Israeli salatim, then you'll ADORE Indian thali -- a meal made up of oodles of small bowls of filled with pickles, chutney, dal, veggies, riata, puris, chapatis and curries -- served vegetarian, like this one, or with meat. You get all. the. things. on one tray! Think of it as the ultimate TV dinner πŸ˜‰ Rajdhaani in Artesia (L.A.'s little India) makes a great one: $13.99 for all you can eat, including a sweet treat to finish. πŸ™ˆπŸ™‰πŸ™Š
Listen up people! You are majorly missing out if you're not following the badass food photog @meatballssmama right now. Her shots are moody, beautifully styled, and did I mention she also loves @nongsKhaomangai?!? Get over there, give her some love, and prepare to get hungry. πŸ“·πŸ±πŸ‘Œ
#TBT to my trip backpacking thru @amazingthailand in 2008, where I first ran into the illusive durian. Love it or hate it, that stinky spiny fruit was everywhere! What are some of your favorite exotic fruits and produce you've experienced in your travels?🍍🍠🍌🍈
I've got Matcha On My Mind ever since booking my first trip to Japan, so instead of sipping Guinness, I whipped up this Japanese Green Tea Cocktail to get that colorful kick for St. Paddy's. Personally I'm more of a fan of sushi than corned beef, but my matcha cocktail could work with either one. πŸ’šπŸ΅πŸ£ Recipe link’s in my profile. Cheers!
I had a straight up incredible meal @unionpasadena last week, where I ordered every. single. veggie. on the menu and no one so much as batted an eye. Now I know why! From the most simply perfect arugula with Parm and lemon to @chefbkalman's raw cauliflower salad w/ fava leaves, pickled raisins and pecorino, it was all flawless. I made my own rendition inspired by the latter, and am obsessed. Quick pickling dried fruit (I used Craisins) is pretty freaking genius! I used the warm pickling brine as the acid for my dressing too, and it helps soften the veggies. #wastenotwantnot
My fellow wanderluster @lesleyannemurphy has me blue green with travel envy with her visit to the @fourseasons Maldives! The islands are definitely tip top of my Bucket List, as are plenty of the other fab destinations she mentioned in her story. Link's in my profile. πŸŒ΄βœˆοΈπŸ‘Œ
Since it's flipping sweltering up on the rooftop, @mkretovics and I opted for an indoor Sunday picnic spread, complete w pickles, baguettes and dips by @GjustaBakery, some salads by me, and AC courtesy of GE. πŸ˜‰ I❀️the weekend! #cozyscenario #thatsdarling
Happy national #piday! This classic American dessert has always been my favorite sweet, so much so that my first ever job was @mariecallendersrestaurants! My pursuit for the perfect crust continues to this day, and this lovely lattice top apple @CassellsHamburgers @NormandieLA is sating my craving. πŸ‘
If ya'll are headed out to #SXSW (or are are just after awesome Austin eats in general), check out my Top 10 Places To Eat, Drink, And Caffeinate in #Austin, TX for @DeparturesMag. From finger lickin 'que to Japanese farmhouse fare, it's all there. Link's in my profile.
This knock-out Thai Boxing Chicken -- a juicy, turmeric marinated bird served with sticky rice and spicy papaya salad -- is just one of the many "jaan duan" (fast plates) that bring back fond memories of SE Asia @ntmrkt Song. The dish is a riff on a popular street food sold outside the main Muay Thai stadium in Bangkok. I def rec getting your own order of their on-point coconut sticky rice, too, so as to avoid punches being thrown at the table. πŸ‘ŠπŸ†(Sorry I didn't share, @britt___ 😁)
The only thing more stunning than this scallop and uni ceviche by @cevicheproject is the radiant mommy-to-be, @bricialopez. So thrilled to shower baby Eduardo with new friends and old on this gorgeous spring day in LA. Cc @theglutster @paolapvr #TTSdevour
Popped @mkretovics' @eatchego cherry today, complete with a serendipitous run-in with @ridingshotgunla, fresh off his trip to South Africa. Despite the jet lag, Roy always runs it like a boss; the Sour Cream Hen House (rice bowl w/ marinated chicken, fried egg, Chinese broccoli, sour cream sambal, Thai basil, toasted sesame and red chillies) is still firing on all cylinders. Welcome to the obsession, Michael. And welcome home, Roy!
And the award for The Most Beautiful Chirashi Bowl goes to...

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