My parents grew up in the Fairfax district, graduated from Fairfax High School, and aptly represented the Jewish immigrant community that inhabited the neighborhood in the 60’s. Years earlier, my grandparents moved west from New York and Cincinnati to Boyle Heights before ultimately settling on Ogden and Poinsettia respectively.
I remember eating blueberry danishes with my grandfather on Fairfax as a kid. Today shoe-shopping skaters in overpriced streetwear flank senior citizens shuffling to shul or to buy gefilte fish and rugelach.
We chose Canter’s as the staple old school Fairfax restaurant and Animal and Golden State to represent the new school. Starting at Canter’s we noticed how crowded it was at night- proving its ability to cater to the entire range of Fairfax foot traffic.
We started with pickles and I had my mom’s favorite egg cream.
The famed corned beef and waffles followed. I’d forgotten how good their corned beef is- much better than Greenblats.
We were underwhelmed by the fruit cup, which we’d heard stories about. Turns out the story concerned the attention the owner paid to keeping them from sitting in the fridge too long- not the flavor or quality of the fruit itself.
Next we walked a few doors north to Animal. Stealing the title of “most New York-ish restaurant in LA” from Mozza, Animal has quickly become the hottest restaurant in town. We were only gonna try dessert so we saddled up at the bar.
The insanely decadent doughnuts and the bacon chocolate bar epitomize Animal’s m.o.- rich, well-executed flavors, bold ingredients and fantastic results.
To finish the marathon we crossed the street to Golden State where I had a scoop of Scoops gelato. I envy the proprietors Jim and Jason, for the risked a lot to follow their passion and dream.
A simple scoop of lime cheesecake would suffice after a late night eating binge.
Tannaz and I actually have a lot of friends in common inside and outside the food world. More importantly she (along with Jason from Golden State) is part of the crew that runs the most badass food marathon in LA- the 11 in 11 (that’s an 11 restaurant marathon). Check out 11 in 11: China here.
We also discussed my meal mashup idea which I will post about soon…