As my friends and I discussed ideas for spring break, we knew we wanted to avoid the traditional route of a sloppy trip to Mexico. Instead, we opted for a serious food vacation. We determined the best way to travel somewhere interesting and still soak up the rays. We decided to stay with one of our friends at her house in Manhattan Beach, LA.
Being the food-obsessed Princeton students that we are, the seven of us spent the week eating our hearts out. And reveling in our freedom from the dining hall continuum.
We hopped off the plane at LAX and immediately grabbed delicious lemonades. Then, we walked around the beautiful downtown area for some much-needed respite from New Jersey March weather. The food vacation was off to a good start.
On our first full day of the trip, we rented bikes and made the 18-mile trek to Venice Beach. This neighborhood is prime for eating and shopping along Abbot Kinney, a major destination for foodies.
After trying, and failing, to get into hot-spot Gjelina’s, we happened upon a hole-in-the wall pizza joint called Abbot’s Pizza Company. We purchased these insane salad pizzas for just $5.
And of course we had to follow up with some insane scoops from Salt and Straw. We sampled flavors like Honey Lavender and Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache.
In order to accommodate student budgets on this food vacation, we chose to cook at home too. Being a mostly-vegetarian group, we consulted the incredible veggie cookbook, The Forest Feast, for dinner at home the next evening.
At lunch the following day of course we fueled up for an afternoon of shopping by indulging in fish tacos in typical SoCal fashion in downtown Manhattan Beach.
A few years ago I read about the restaurant Sqirl, an inconspicuous but extremely inventive cafe located in LA’s Silver Lake Neighborhood. The brioche toast with homemade jam is not to be missed.
To keep our creative gastronomic juices flowing, we headed to Surfas. This is a culinary supply store, to take a private cooking class.
The perfect way to end a perfect week? Sitting together around a bonfire on Dockwiler’s Beach with homemade pressed panini sandwiches, watermelon-rosemary lemonade and s’mores. We’re already booking our plane tickets back for another visit.