Mark your calendars, walkers, runners, bikers and proud Angelenos. You won’t want to miss the Great LA Walk this Saturday. It’s a 17-mile walk from Downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean. It’s a way to say, “People DO walk in LA.” It’s a day-long appreciation of this city, whether you’re stopping for lunch, walking through one of countless urban enclaves, learning little-known facts about a historical landmark or stopping in to see a shop you’ve never even heard of before. Let’s be honest: It’s also bragging rights.
And this year, it’s a way to really get to know Melrose Avenue.
On Sunday, I joined Josh Lurie of Food GPS and a good showing of food bloggers, writers and fans for a Beverly Blvd walking tour. It was really nice to get a flagship bite from each of four stops as well as glean some history from a couple landmarks on the way, such as CBS Studios and Pan Pacific Park.
We started off at Eva where Mark Gold was reminiscent of his posh tenure with Patina and his subsequent move to his own venture, occupying the old Hatfield’s space. Left to his own devices, he is free to thrive, free to fail – but free, nonetheless – and it certainly looks like it’s the former case for him a mere 10 months later.
Tuesday night is a popular night at Eva, when guests can enjoy his famous buttermilk, duck fatÂ and tabasco battered fried chicken and beer to their heart’s content for just $25. The restaurant as a whole – for lunch or dinner – is a place you can rely on for good bang for the buck, as there are consistently solid dishesÂ that emerge from Gold’s kitchen at reasonable prices. I could eat Eva’s creamed corn – infused with bay leaf and bechamel – and fried chicken for days.
Afterwards, we walked two doors down to BLD, which is owned by Neal Fraser (Grace). Chef Diana Stavaridis runs the kitchen, which prepared steamed, tomato and white wine mussels for the tour group. They were delicious with a surprisingly deepÂ flavor to the lightÂ broth.
On our way to MILK, we passed the formerÂ location of Grace, whichÂ Josh divulged was relocating to the Vibiana Cathedral in Downtown Los Angeles. A location reversal of sorts will occur, asÂ Chef John Sedlar of Rivera in downtown will be expanding and serving up more casual eats under the name R26 in Grace’s former space. It’s slated for fall of this year.
At MILK, we enjoyed an array of ice cream served different waysÂ and inÂ a largeÂ variety of flavors. I was luckyÂ to be first in line (or shall we say, prompt?) and secured a cookie sandwich with oversized, flat green macarons encasing watermelon sorbet with chocolate chipsÂ mixed in, which somewhat resembled watermelon seeds for that delicious and cute factor.
As far as Los Angeles neighborhoods in which there’s a high concentration of great places to eat, Beverly Boulevard and its vicinity has to be one of the top destinations. Fortunately, Joshua Lurie a.k.a. Food GPS has set up an eating tour that will take his guests to four such closely-located eateries. You’ll get to visit and sample a creation from each chef at Eva, BLD, Golden State Cafe and Milk all in one afternoon for a low cost of $45, including tax and tip. Meet other food-lovers and learn a little bit about the neighborhood. Sounds like a win-win way to spend an otherwise-lazy Sunday.
Have questions? Look none further than sending an email to joshua [at] foodgps.com
So buy your ticket. I wouldn’t sit on this one. Josh’s eating tours (see: Santa Monica and Downtown L.A.) have historically sold out!