I had an epic and amazing 4 course meal (thank goodness for elastic waistbands) with the food savvy and super friendly Avital of Avital Tours. Avital is a San Francisco native, who really knows food! She made sure we were well taken care of every step of the way and gave us such interesting anecdotes and a great history of Venice cuisine and culture spanning the past 50 years and beyond from waves of counter culture to modern day dining.
Our first stop was Venice Ale House for some beer. I haven’t had beer since college, so I waited patiently for the wine at the next stops. I wasn’t disappointed. Our next stop was The Dudley Market for Gnoccho Fritto and scallops paired with German Gilbert wine and it was great. Loved the puff pastry crust.
After that we headed to Plant Food and Wine to check out their great herb garden and for the best carrot ginger soup I ever had. No joke. Some of the ingredients were French curry (who knew the French make curry?), paprika oil and almonds. It was hearty for a cold, rainy day.
Next stop was the Cook’s Garden, where myself and the other media on the tour got to try the herbs used by local restaurants such as The Black Market, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Studio City. And I loved seeing the noisy hens bickering in the hen coop!
After that, it was off to one of my favorite restaurants, Gjelina, for some of the best pizza ever. While I like my slices from holes in the wall (usually), I make an exception for the gourmet amazingness that is the pizza at Gjelina’s. The veggie pizza was amazing, but I loved their lamb pizza even more (and no lamb-y aftertaste).
After that, I took my belly over to Blue Star donuts for the champagne mimosa vegan (only in LA) donut, which was divine! We enjoyed our donuts while checking out the tunes a few doors down at VNYL. To quote U2, it was even better than the real thing.
More info at http://avitaltours.com/los-angeles/