Brody’s Big Adventure

My pal, Richard Brody, picked me up on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Bentley Avenue at 11:07 a.m. on a Monday morning. We were going shopping.

Brody and his ramen

Brody and his ramen

What I was doing on that particular corner without a car is a whole other story of broken struts, the Culver City green line and a client of my other, more lucrative life. But it is what Brody and I were doing that is of interest for this blog, as it has everything to do with food. More

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Kingdom of Salsa

I think I’ve got salsa running through my veins. My two oldest brothers — twins, twenty years my elders — both married Mexican women. At my childhood home, our brick worker — Cisco — was practically a part of the family. I have formative memories of large, festive gatherings with mariachi and piñatas, huge bowls of crispy tortilla chips and dishes of smoky, addictive and dangerously hot salsa.

(l to r) Chipotle caramelized onion salsa, tomatillo arbol salsa, pan-roasted tomato garlic salsa

I would bravely dip a chip into the salsa — just a corner at first. Then half the chip, and eventually I would actually scoop. I would thrill at both the uncomfortable blazing tingle in my mouth, and at my increasing ability to handle it. And the abuelas would marvel at the Scoville heat tolerance of the little gringo. More

Indian Candy

Most things I can figure out very quickly. But some I labor over futilely, never quite mastering them. It’s like that with my favorite salsa from the Sanchez Carniceria in Culver City. For months I tried to reproduce it in order to save myself:  a) the $3.99 for a small container, and  b)  the trip to Culver City. Finally I waved the white flag, content to either purchase it or enjoy my own reasonably good salsa. The Sanchezes are doing some sort of alchemy down there. More

To Market, To Market…

I do a lot of driving around going to markets.

One of the greatest things about living in (near) Los Angeles is the number of great markets we have. (Do YOU have an Indonesian market near you!?) I once told a non-food-obsessed friend about all the markets I go to. He said, “You have a problem.” My biggest problem is that they’re not all lined up next to one another in a strip mall. So like I said, I drive.

I have been accused of being bourgeoise for my relentless proselytizing about eating fresh and shopping often. And I do realize that I am fortunate to work for myself and actually have the time to drive around to markets. More