Miami Could Use a Little L.A.: Vegan Ethiopian, Weed Soda, and Poke Stands
Chicago is to New York what Miami is to...
Photo by Neil Vazquez
This standard SAT analogy might baffle your brain if you haven't made the requisite pilgrimage to the West Coast. But if you're a Southern California expat in this humid swamp-paradise we call a city, you'll know the correct answer is Los Angeles.
The suburban metropolis that is L.A. bears a striking resemblance to the sprawling neighborhoods and gated communities of South Florida, what with the palm trees, highways, and waterside living. Also like Miami, L.A.'s rich ethnic patchwork makes for some of the most interesting eats in America. From Korean barbecue and home-cooked Persian delights to poke and Mexican fruit stands, L.A. has a lot to offer the gluttonous travelers among us.
If you're planning a visit, or are dying to, here's an (In-N-Out-free) culinary pastiche of my recent jaunt to the smog-filled desert oasis of Los Angeles.
L.A. has a bustling Persian community scattered along the west side. Though many debate the best locale to sample their aromatic cuisine, the best Persian meals are always home-cooked. Friday night I made my way to a good friend's house for a traditional Persian Shabbat dinner.
Photo by Neil Vazquez Dessert Spread
Every meal starts with a sample of lavash, a standard flatbread served with beans, cucumbers, and a smattering of herbs. Persian newbies, note that all meals are heavy on the herbs (basil, mint, fenugreek, parsley, tarragon, etc.), so get excited for some digestive wellness.
For dessert, families usually sit in the living room, where a veritable smorgasbord of fruits (jícama, blueberries, watermelon, etc.), nuts, sweets, and black tea are served.