Now that all that "Auld Lang Syne" nonsense is over and done with, I'm cueing up the Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had a Million Dollars" for the imaginary soundtrack to my first post of 2009. Mostly because in order to complete all my 2009 food resolutions, my bank account needs to expand exponentially, but also because I plan to reevaluate my life in the coming year and a good way to start is to ask myself the question, what would I do if I had a million dollars?
It's not an easy question to answer, but I at least know what and where I would eat if I had a million dollars. Here's a taste...
1. Comme Ca - I want it all - the brioche French toast on the brunch menu, the roasted beet salad, the salade frisee aux lardons, the roasted pork chop, the coq au vin, the braised lamb shank, the red wine braised paleron of beef, the bread pudding with ice cream, and earplugs to drown out the rumored unbearable noise in the restaurant.
2. Riva - After my wonderful dining experiences at Fraiche, Jason Travi's Culver City restaurant, I am dying to get a taste of his new Santa Monica restaurant that specializes in wood-burning pizzas. Right now I am lusting over the Patate Semplice with potato, rosemary, fontina, and sea salt, but I wouldn't kick any of his other offerings out of bed. (Aside from the Nizza with black olive, anchovy, sweet onion, thyme, and capers for obvious reasons.)
3. Father's Office - While I wouldn't describe myself as a "burger and fries kind of girl," I have a burning curiosity to try Chef Sang Yang's "Office Burger" that many Los Angelos claim is the best in the city. Topped with carmelized onions, applewood bacon compote, Gruyere and Maytag blue cheeses, and arugula, the burger definitely doesn't work with my current intentions to undo some of the damage from all my holiday indulgences, but I'm willing to make an exception for greatness on a French roll. Especially if I can order some sweet potato fries to come alongside said greatness...
4. 8 Oz. - Again, not a burger and fries girl, but Govind Armstrong's new gourmet burger bar/restaurant is within walking distance of my apartment and in Los Angeles, that means something.
5. The Foundry - I've been there once before, but this time I'm going straight for the gold -- ie. the lounge menu's short rib grilled cheese that won the 2008 Grilled Cheese Invitational.
6. Angelini Osteria - I almost made it to the highly-acclaimed Italian trattoria this past December, but decided buying presents for my family was more important than gorging on Pumpkin Tortelli or Lasagna Verde with Beef and Veal Ragu. I hope my brother is happy with his immersion blender.
7. Palate Food + Wine - Because everybody's doing it and loving it.
8. Animal - Four words: Bacon chocolate crunch bar.
9. Anisette - While it irks me to no end that they still don't post their menu on their website, I like cute French bistros, and am going to take a wild stab in the dark (with a steak knife...) and say that this one knows how to grill up a mean (and probably not so lean) Steak frites.
10. Nook Bistro - So I can finally order something other than the gosh darn pork chop! (ie. the shrimp and grits)
There are others I'd love to try (or sample again) like Valentino, Vincenti, Hatfield's (once is not enough), Jar, Providence, Drago Centro, but until my bank account comes in contact with that million dollars, I'm sticking to the above ten.
And soup. Lots and lots of cheap homemade soup.