I’m not a fan of birthday parties. Birthday parties thrown for me, that is. I’ll happily show up at your birthday party. I’ll even help PLAN your birthday party. But a birthday party for me? No thanks. Too much attention. Gives me anxiety.
That being said, I’m not one of those people who hates my own birthday. I like it! I don’t mind getting older, and I can eat incredible amounts of wonderful-terrible things all day. Or all week. Or all month. Or…whatever.
Anyway, the point of all this rambling is that for my birthday this year, the Boy and I opted for a food tour of downtown L.A. See aforementioned note about birthday eating.
The food tour was put on by Six Taste Food Tours, who do a fantastic job (we’d been on one before in Little Tokyo). They do a lot of private tours, but this was one of their approximately twice-monthly public ones. Prepare for a barrage of photos of YUM.
We started off at Bottega Louie, where we ogled tremendous numbers of macarons and tasted an Earl Grey one.
They have an excellent pastry shop, and this light, flavorful macaron was no exception. Plus, it’s so pretty!
Afterwards, it was next door to Soi.7 for some Thai. My pictures are a bit of a rambunctious mess, but we had chicken satay, calimari, sticky chicken wings, and pad Thai.
I am not big into chicken wings, but these were seriously delicious. So good.
As we walked from stop to stop, our wonderful guide told us a bit of downtown history and we got to ogle some of the truly gorgeous architecture that is around every corner.
(Sometimes with some unexpected tenants. Tacos, anyone?)
The next stop for eats (number three, for those of you counting) was Gelateria Uli, somewhere the Boy and I have been meaning to try. The lovely Uli herself came out and chatted with us about how she only uses real ingredients and they make everything (for instance, jam for mix-ins) from scratch, and then we tasted far too many gelatos before deciding on our flavors.
The Boy got Sea Salt Caramel, and I got Fig and Yogurt. I think mine was the winner – the Caramel was a little too salty for him. I thought they went well together but yeah, I won. Regardless, the gelatos were all intensely flavored in the best, creamiest way.
Next door to Uli was Guisados, where we were treated to another owner meeting and to a steak picado taco. The idea behind Guisados is to emulate Mexican home cooking, with stew-based dishes, so this “taco” was actually more of a beef stew served on a corn tortilla.
The owner had some cool kicks.
The tacos were savory and soft, but the tortillas might have stolen the show – thick, chewy, and perfect.
On the way to more eating at Grand Central Market, we stopped by the Bradbury Building. I’ve never been inside before, and the details in there are truly impressive. Everyone took too many pictures, and then we moved on…
Our first stop at Grand Central Market, which is now home to a truly amazing and far too tempting array of food and beverage purveyors, was Press Brothers Juicery, where we tried three of their juices and the Boy and I sprung for an extra Kickass Shot – ginger cayenne juice with a lemon chaser.
The juices were good, but the shot kicked their asses (ha ha HA) – spicy and sour and sinus-clearing, yet also somehow really tasty (in my opinion – note that I do love ginger and lemon).
Onward, we hit up Sarita’s Pupuseria (also in the market) for a classic bean and cheese pupusa.
The crispy, cheesy pupusa was paired with a delightfully vinegar-y slaw. Both the Boy and I thought that we’d been there before, but this was better than we remembered. Go Sarita!
Finally, to Horse Thief BBQ, which is located just outside Grand Central Market (sort of part of it, sort of not…anyway, it has a nice patio). We were slowing now after all the food, but I still plowed through my brisket, cornbread, and sweet potato casserole.
The brisket, even sauceless, was tender and full of flavor, and both the cornbread (god, I love cornbread) and sweet potatoes were classically delicious.
We all leaned back, and I debated unbuttoning my pants when – could it be – our guide announced there was one more treat in store. He’d picked up “ding-dongs” from downtown pop-up bakery Semi Sweet. What could we do? We’d come so far. We had to finish the job.
The “ding-dongs” consisted of red velvet cake, layered with chocolate crunchy candies and cream and coated in chocolate. I wish it had been a little moister, but the crunchies were a very nice touch. Not our most interesting bite, but a sweet way to finish the tour.
To sum up, Six Taste is an excellent activity for out-of-towners or girls-having-birthdays. Or just for people who love food and a bit of an adventure. Everything I just talked about except the ginger shot was included in our ticket price ($65 per person), and we were FULL. The whole tour takes about 3-4 hours, and we legit went to places that were “on our list.” A lovely way to enjoy L.A. – and let’s be honest, enjoy FOOD – for an afternoon.
If you want to check it out, here’s their website.
I was not compensated for this post. All the opinions are my own.