LA Foodshop: Strangers are nice

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Eating a gourmet farm-fresh dinner in a metal worker’s studio warehouse at a communal table filled with strangers...sound like an ideal night? It was. LA Foodshop is the definition of “cool”. It doesn’t have to try to be cool it just is…just think Jessa when she was cool on the first season of GIRLS. She, however, hasn’t been so cool in the two most recent seasons. More Shosh time.

Speaking of GIRLS, the warehouse where dinner is served is sorta similar to the one in Bushwick where the crackcident takes place. But obvi more sanitary and all that jazz.

The warehouse where LA Foodshop takes place

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So LA Foodshop is held on different weekends throughout the year and it is by invitation only. Also, every weekend has a different food theme. And if you RSVP and are a no-show then you are banished to Askaban…not really but you are blacklisted from LA Foodshop.

Our group of diners at LA Foodshop on a beautiful March 9th in Venice Beach

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All of the plates and dishware and glasses etc. are mismatched and this just adds to the environment.You really feel like you are having an industrial picnic made up of a fresh homecooked meal surrounded by fun people enjoying life. Oh ya and wine ūüôā

Back to the food – everything was super fresh and served appropriately and timely. At LA Foodshop everyone sits at the long communal table in the middle of the metal workshop, and everyone is split into dining groups with the people sitting in their part of the table. So if you’re awkward or don’t like meeting new people and eating good food,well, you’re probably terrible, but also…LA Foodshop would not be fun for you.

OK, REALLY – back to the food…it was so good! I will go into detail more about the experience below, but here is the menu from the night I went to LA Foodshop.

                         The Menu (Suggested Donation $70)

  • Apritif whiskey, sweet vermouth, blood orange, cherry, bitters
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  • Bread & Butter warm bread & freshly churned butter, crisped Nagoya kale
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  • Spinach Salad Bloomsdale spinach, blood orange, almonds, fennel top, agave vinaigrette
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  • Baked Potato local farmer potatoes, shopmade creme fraiche, chives
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  • Dry Aged Steak* 30 day dry-aged rib eye, garlic, thyme, blooming Cipollini
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  • Chocolate dark chocolate molten cake, port, blood orange
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  • DRINKS Please bring beverages of your choice (deep red & smooth scotch is recommended)
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  • *Seared scallop substitution available by prior request only.

Each weekend that LA Foodshop is held, there is a different food theme. The weekend that I went was steak dinner weekend. #carnivoresforthewin 

The Steak

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Even though my friend and I are true carnivores, we pre-ordered one of the scallops since we wanted to try bit of everything. They were equally as good as the steak, and that is saying something.

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Each course was served to each dining group in a timely manner and we were all able to meet each by passing around the communal dishes and serving each other. Honestly everyone was so interesting…but really all of the people were actually interesting! Who knew it could be fun talking to strangers? I mean everyone loves their friends and all but it is pretty refreshing to meet random people that are nice and cool and can carry on an intelligent conversation…yay civilization!

Here are pics of the rest of the amazing courses at LA Foodshop…yes dessert included. Chocolate molten cake anyone?

                           Chocolate molten cake

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Blooming Cipollini Onion #amaze

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Beverly Hills (Cheese Store)…That’s where I want to be!

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The beautiful setting for my March 7th jaunt to Beverly Hills: ImageBeverly Gardens Park

The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills is a must see spot for anyone visiting LA or any local LA folk who enjoy a good wedge (or entire block) of fine cheese. Even if you dislike everything else about Beverly Hills or have any bad perceptions of it, toss aside those negative thoughts about the land of Donna Martin and the Real Housewives Рthe cheese store is here for you!

So Рthis place rocks. It makes the cheese counter at Whole Foods look like a meager selection. 

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I mean this place has it’s own Wikipedia.

But really. Eat your heart out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cheese_Store_of_Beverly_Hills

The owner and cheese expert himself, Norbert, helped me find the right cheese and wine to bring to my friend who was hosting me in Venice Beach. Norbert led me to some sinfully good Ribera del Duero wine and some Manchego cheese. I am partial to all things spanish anyways.¬†Javier Bardem anyone? Jamon Serrano? Shakira’s baby daddy? If you haven’t seen him – you should google image away.¬†Even if you aren’t obsessed with all things spanish, this manchego cheese and Ribera del Duero red combo was divine.¬†

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I order all you cheese lovers and wine-o’s around the country to go to LA and run to The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. You will not be disappointed.¬†Plus for an added bonus you might run into Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne shopping for cheese ūüôā¬†

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Transported to Italy…deep in the heart of Texas

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ImageZio Cecio

So you know how Texas is known for Mexican food (aka TexMex)? Well I’m here to tell you that they do Italian food pretty darn well y’all.¬†Can someone feed Texas-native Matthew McConaughey some of this delicious Italian food stat? Because he is still looking scary skinny. I just want to see him looking like he does in those shirtless photos from his Failure to Launch days ASAP.¬†

So ZIO CECIO¬†is a local neighborhood spot in Dallas. It is located in the Briarwood neighborhood, surrounded by small local businesses and family homes. This understated little taverna packs a punch! Everything was fresh and authentic and incredibly tasty. I have been to Italy numerous times and have eaten quite a bit of Italian food around the country. This place is special. I love that the menu items are named in Italian and nothing on the menu is “americanized italian”. To start, the octopus was out of this world – and it was in a red sauce – which I normally don’t eat with octopus. It was so fresh I think it came from 20,00 leagues under the sea.Image

POLPO ALLE SPEZIE AL CARBONE Рaka Tenderized octopus grilled with spicy tomato sauce

My dining companions and I shared multiple items – in honor of the Italian way of life – sharing and eating a lot of different dishes.¬†Won’t complain about that.¬†See below all of the fresh dishes – from the chicken to the mussels to the pasta to the pizza – to see just how this restaurant combats the fast-food-nation reputation of the great state of Texas.¬†ImagePETTO DI GALLO AI FUNGHI – aka Chicken with wild mushrooms

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COZZE AGLI AGRUMI E VINELLO Рaka Mussels in citrus and white wine

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MEZZELUNA ALLA FONDUTA DI PISTACCHIO Рaka Ravioli filled with seafood and Ricotta in a pistachio cream sauce

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Margherita Рaka Tomato, mozzarella and basil pizza

I am reliving the food coma I was given by this meal but I would do it over again tomorrow.