June 03, 2004

a bit of Britain

Los Angeles is like New York City in that itís got the largest Korean population outside of Seoul, the largest Jamaican population outside of Kingston and so on. (I made those up, by the way, so donít fact-check me, okay?) It doesnít surprise me to come across ethnic enclaves all over this smoggy sprawl of a metropolis, anything from Ethiopian to Cambodian, but one enclave still does surprise me. The Brits love Santa Monica. I donít know why, exactly. Maybe the slight fog in the morning reminds them of home. Maybe they just like it. Maybe they came over early enough to afford the now-astronomical housing. But theyíre there. And so are the pubs and tea shoppes and ah yes, Ye Olde Kingís Head restaurant. The finest fish and chips in the city, maybe the country. Equal to some of the best I tasted when I was in England. Light, flaky crust, nicely cooked fish. Dense, meaty fries with a nice crisp to the edges. And the shepherdís pie is fluffy and yummy and the bangers and mash, well, I havenít had that, but I just love the way it sounds. And the desserts are all drenched with Birdís Custard and have names like sherry trifle and sticky toffee pudding (dark and caramelly and delicious). And the waitresses accents are so strong you might think theyíre making it up only theyíre not and the people in the booth next to yours have lighter but equally authentic accents and the dark wood all around you with antlers on the wall and ads for Guinness and Black and Tan and so many photos of celebrities hanging out in the restaurant looking drunk and shooting darts at the bar, it all feels so transporting you canít believe it when you walk outside and smell the salt air and feel the last late evening kiss of California sun on your cheeks and look up to the clear cloudless sky and see palm trees dancing in the wind. Palm trees and Cornish pasties. Why not?

Posted by Tamar at June 3, 2004 10:50 PM

oooh! What a delicious entry! And what I wouldn't give for a pastie right about now! Not to be bossy, but do try the bangers and mash sometime, with a pint of bitter. Can't be beat on a cold lazy Saturday. My cousin likes to say that the English national vegetable is the pea. ( She's in Nottingham...) Have they offered mushy peas with vinegar? Pure nectar! Lucky you to have such nice tearooms nearby! We have to cross the state practially to get chips or meat pies, or deep-fried haggis. Oh, all right and its a tiny state. I've luckily learnt how to make a lot of good british food so I don't get to missing it too much. Have you ever had a full Irish breakfast? (I have a black pudding in my freezer for emergency breakfast cravings!) My brother-in-law says that the food is great, but don't ask too many questions about it! /Bee

Posted by: Bee at June 4, 2004 05:02 PM