Picnics are SexyPart of: Food , Guest Bloggers
[Rachael's Breakfast: Loads of blueberries and figs and peach slices and the most sinful, luscious strawberries I have ever tasted. Sigh. Now, on to the blog..]
Have I mentioned how sensational Miss Tiffany is? Seriously, the woman is a four alarm fire burning out of control. Hot, hot, HEAT, baby! Needless to say, I worship and adore her on many, many levels, and you should too, dammit. (Oh wait, you're here reading, so I guess you already do! Good job!) Of course it all burns that much brighter since she asked me to guest blog again...a thrill to be sure.
Now, picture it if you will, I was in Louis Vuitton the other day checking out a sexy, flouncy skirt, when the sales woman says to me, "Thats the skirt Oprah was wearing when she interviewed Tom Cruise." Oh, well, in that case, wrap it up! As a matter of fact, I'll take two! Nothing turns me on more than wearing something everyone on the planet has seen on someone with a completely different body type than me! Hey, while you're at it, can you find me that plunging green Versace JoLo wore to the Oscars? Thanks. Sigh. (Note to sales people: If I'm contemplating spending $500 on an item of clothing, I do NOT want to hear about other people who have worn it, and been photographed in it ad naseum. What kind of girl do you think I AM?)
Wait a minute, wait a minute. Tiffany didn't ask me to write about my shopping woes (nope, she didn't) she asked me to write about picnic baskets! A much less controversial topic, I'm sure...I guess I just had to get to vent for a minute. (You saw the interview though, right? It IS a cute skirt. Damn her. I really wanted it!)
So moving right along. Do picnics rock or what? Whether you are off to the Hollywood Bowl, the park, the beach or just some secret spot, al fresco dining is the best. Simply the best. And for the best, you really do need something a little more swank and fab than those tragic old deli sandwiches from Ralphs. Don't you? Of course! And lucky you, there are a plethora of choices right outside your door waiting to be discovered. (That is, if you live on the West or East side of LA. If you live in the Valley or some other place, well, you're on your own.) Me, I'm over Whole Foods (at least for picnics) so that's not included...
Being a chef and whatall, I tend to make my own little baskets of wonderment, but even I have had the impromptu situation where grabbing something pre-made is the way to go. So here, now, for your reference and pleasure is a list of the top spots for picnic mania.
Just keep in mind (and I mean this with the utmost sincerity) these basic, logical things before you head out. Don't bring anything that spoils easily, is crazy messy or can't be eaten without special utensils or additional preparation (that is for the advanced user only). And remember, this is not a random excuse to overindulge (except on the booze. feel free to do that as long as you aren't the driver. May I recommend the Sophia Mini Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine. (Perfect for any outdoor meal). You don't need a thousand choices, just a nice well rounded meal. No go forth and go crazy. To get you started here are 12 places I like to pop in to on my way out-of-doors.
(I am leaving out my own company, Fresh Approach, only because I don't want to seem too self serving and Im out of town a lot this summer...come fall though, check us out.)
Nicole's Gourmet (921 Meridian Ave Ste B,) in South Pasadena is a tricky place to find, but has an awesome selection of foods. They also make baskets and are sweet as pie.
Cheese Store of Silverlake, (3926 Sunset Blvd.) is one of my favorite places on earth. Picnics or otherwise. Everyone there is a fount of knowledge and happy to help you pull together some delicious choices (leaning towards, um, cheese) Stroh's (1239 Abbot Kinney Blvd) in Venice is the BEST. Have you been there? Why not? Go. Now. Yum. Its a mecca. A paradise. A purveyor of tastiness.
Greenblatts (on Sunset at Fairfax) is a bit more traditional, making your classic deli style sandwiches. The main perk is that you can buy outstanding wine there too. Chilled or not. Just don't forget your wine opener!
The La Brea Bakery (624 So. La Brea Ave.) has some sensational choices. Interesting international cheeses and lots of great sandwich fillings and fun sides. Of course, the bread is good too (wink)
If you are in Santa Monica, stop by the Co-Op (1524 Broadway) and support the good guys! They have everything.
I also like Erewhon (7660 Beverly Blvd.) for pre-made organic and veggie choices. Great food bar too. Its hard not to go overboard here, but try to restrain yourself.
Ooh! Ooh! If you are willing to drive to Harbor City, (I know. Where?) La Espanola (25020 Doble Avenue) is amazing. Spanish treats galore.
While we are talking about Latin cuisine, Posh on Pico has some insanely good Cuban take out.
I would be woefully shortchanging you if I Ieft out Bay Cities Italian Deli (1517 Lincoln Blvd) A true force to be reckoned with in the world of delis. They just plain have everything you could want under one roof.
And let's not forget, Joan's On 3rd. A sophisticated choice with delicious food.
Last but not least, there is Clementine (1751 Ensley Ave) near Century City. That joint is positively brimming with goodies to make your mouth water.
OK campers, I know there are a million more choices, but that will have to do for now. Now get out there and enjoy the day!