The West Coast Round Up

Mary Ann Fitzmorris November 19, 2019 06:43 Dining Diary

Even though the purpose of last week’s trip to Los Angeles was family, this is the Fitzmorris family, so that meant some eating out was required. 

The first meal we had in LA occurred on Thursday, and it was not worth including in this account, except that it is delicious every time. A dump of a place on Ventura in Studio City, I just never miss it. Spitz is the brainchild of three Jewish kids from USC who came together to celebrate the food of the region of their heritage. When last I checked, it had three locations. Now they are in Minneapolis, Portland, and Utah. I want one in New Orleans. Mediterranean Street Food is how it is billed, and that couldn’t be more accurate. Meats are cooked on a spit and sliced donar style. If there is a more primitive and delicious way of roasting meat, I can't think of it. But then these guys dress their donar sandwiches and salads with the most eclectic combinations of sauces that the flavors explode in your mouth. The contrasts of creamy yogurts and hummus and the crunch of vegetables is the perfect combination of flavors and textures.

We went to Royce Steakhouse for dinner that evening. Royce is in the Langham Hotel, which is a worldwide fave of mine. This hotel is home to me, (but so much nicer) The Royce is a very good restaurant by any standard, but it is a glamorous steakhouse that doesn’t look masculine.

The service is excellent and maybe a little pretentious, and the food is good but not mind-blowing. But it is still quite nice as a place to have dinner. I got an excellent cavatappi macaroni and cheese for an appetizer. We also got truffle fries and creamed spinach with a steak for Tom that he thought should come with sizzling butter. They never understood this, and Tom never used it. First, it came as softened butter, then as clarified butter, until I reminded Tom of his own advice - “eat it where it lives.” No one else does sizzling butter, The steak was cooked exactly as he asked, and was fork-tender, and too rare for me to even try it. The creamed spinach was entirely underwhelming, as were the truffle fries, though they were obviously fresh-cut.

The next day was a catered birthday party with a spectacular cake provided by ML. This was the most eclectic group of people. One kid’s dad is a professional skateboarder, one a children’s book illustrator whose handmade card is a work of art. Various people in the “business” including ones you would know. In short, a lot of interesting conversations.

On Sunday we went to the farmer’s market, which seemed to blow Tom’s mind. I love them too, they are quite unlike any others. This is the flora capital of America, and there are endless choices of fabulous produce. Before this commenced, we stopped in at Joan’s on Third for breakfast. We love this place. Celeb watchers should skip the Starline open-roof bus tours and hang here. Watch Isla Fisher cutting her kid’s pancakes, and other such events too numerous to mention. Great design, Delicious food, sleepy celebs without make-up looking like real people all in one place.

We had lunch at Eataly. Another favorite. This time we sat outside on the wraparound patio four flights over Santa Monica Blvd. Tom had a very four cheesy pizza, I had an inauthentic cacio e pepe, and there was a really great but kind of dry lasagna, a sweet butternut squash ravioli, and some terrific meatballs. A good but boring Margherita pizza came along with some buttered noodles, making the standard Fitzmorris dining situation: too much food.

We left there for the airport, and a return to “normal” life.