Friday, May 27, 2011

Tidbits from the West Coast

Just a few quick notes on things I've been eating out here lately:

* Yesterday my friends Jim & Gil and I all went to Wabi Sabi of Rancho Cucamonga. They were stunned to know that this place, which has been around for years, is completely new to me. As usual, we over-ordered. A few of things we got: an average but do-able spicy tuna roll, a lovely and hearty spate of veggie and seafood tempura, and - specifically for me - a combo plate of teriyaki salmon (not at all dry like so many I have had) and more veggie and shrimp tempura. The tempura soft shell crabs were also a nice reminder of home, crunchy and tender all at the same time.

* From there we ventured over to Palm Springs. It didn't hit us at the time, but Thursday nights are Village Fest nights in Palm Springs. Many blocks are closed to parking and traffic for a variety of kiosks: from various street performers (most good, though the guy tritely playing "Imagine" on the panpipes made me want to jab my ears with ice picks) to handbags and clothes to the "Ask a Rabbi" booth (I'm not making that up) to lots and lots of food. There was local produce, specifically dates and oranges (this is date and orange country after all), many fruits and vegetables. There were many booths of baked goods, including one where Jim bought a hearty "Crimson" bread filled with cranberries and currants. There was a lot of pre-prepared food, too: gyros and tacos, Mexican and Guatemalan, hot dogs and BBQ. If you ever find yourself in Palm Springs on a Thursday night, you will need to see this.

This topped off a visit to the Palm Springs Art Museum, which is free every Thursday night from 4 to 8, again to coincide with the Village Fest.

* Jim, by the way, has only once been to a Whole Foods, way back in 2002. There are none in the Inland Empire (note to Whole Foods: open a branch in Riverside or Ontario or something. Soon). Gil has just moved to Pasadena, which has two. We won't get to Gil's new pad while I am in town, but Gil promises to drag Jim's ass to Whole Foods in the near future.