Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cravings on Pico

It's wonderful to have neighborhood places within walking distance that serve what you crave. I live in a great neighborhood for all kinds of food cravings.

My friend Pel drives down from the San Fernando Valley when she craves Japanese food to eat at Yabu. Yabu is a Japanese restaurant that has a bit of everything Japanese, from buckwheat soba and udon noodle soups, to broiled yellow tail collar. They even have a limited sushi menu. It's a small place, so be prepared to wait unless you go right when they open or close. They make the best asparagus I've ever eaten. Even though they were nice enough to tell me how they made it, I have not been able to duplicate it at home (I suspect that they purposely omitted something from the recipe). Oh well, it gives me a good excuse to go out to eat at Yabu when I crave asparagus and broiled mackerel.

When I crave Thai food, my choice is Chan Dara, a restaurant just a block away from Yabu which has a reputation for beautiful servers and authentic Thai food. My friends who have lived in Thailand say that this is the place to go for the true flavors of Thailand. They have a happy hour with specially priced appetizers, and drinks with cute names like the Silk Panties martini, so you can try them out after work one day and stay on for dinner. If you like truly delicious grilled sea bass with coconut rice, or a seafood pad thai with king crab meat, this is the place.

When I crave ribs, it is Mr. Cecil's BBQ that gets my business. Started by a guy who used to BBQ at home until his backyard could not handle the demand, this place has the falling off the bone smoky ribs that every Southerner loves. They have sauces on the table, but the ribs really don't need anything other than napkins. I prefer the beef ribs, but those who love baby backs will love them here. They even have free-range BBQ chicken and catfish for those who want something a little lighter with their hush puppies, coleslaw, and grilled corn on the cob. They only have one bottle of wine on the menu, and it goes for about $500, but who drinks wine with BBQ? This really is a soft drink and beer kinda place. Bring your appetite and use your fingers.

You may always get what you need, but it is a true pleasure to get what you crave on Pico.

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