Local Color: Wilshire/Montana

Last Friday we explored a new, close-by bit of LA.  I think it’s called Wilshire/Montana.  It’s the bit north of West LA and west of Brentwood. Either way, it’s lovely, and I can’t wait to explore more.  Let me show you around.

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Seriously, how gorgeous are these trees?  We parked across the street from them and I wanted them for my own.

We had planned to grab dinner/drinks at R&D Kitchen, but when we got there, it was PACKED with people, it was going to be 45 mins for a table for two, and they didn’t have a happy hour.  Plus it was an older (but still REALLY loud) crowd.  No thank you.

We walked around and explored some.  It’s a cute little street, less pretentious than Brentwood; an older crowd, it seemed, but still kind of the glamour-y yoga set.  Still kind of hip though, but you had to dig for it.

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I’m a sucker for flowers, and how pretty are these?

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Dahlia obsessed.

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And how cute is this library?  Stone, typeface, palm trees, and all!

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And the quintessential artsy theatre.

We finally decided on BricoLA for dinner, as it looked good on yelp (I yelp restaurants constantly for recommendations) and the average diner was younger than 75.

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The owner was adorable and super friendly and Italian and shouted our orders to the kitchen staff in Italian, which was pretty awesome.  The walls were painted with chalkboard paint and covered in drawings and messages about food and Italy and life.

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They had pretty pizzas for sale by the slice, but we opted for some penne carbonara (Ryan’s pick):

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and a pizza diavola (my pick).  We were total fatties.

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The pasta was delicious and cooked perfectly, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t really like carbonara.  The pizza was delicious and spicy and salami-y and coated in red onions.  I think pizza is best when coated in onions.

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The aftermath.  Everything was really good and rich and we clearly needed more of a walk.  Also, I totally approve of pizza being served with paper plates, forks, and tongs.

ImageI can’t remember what this place was called, but they had the most stunning tree stump table tops.  They were almost too pretty to be functional.ImageImage

There was also this ridiculous balloon shop.  I don’t know who uses these kinds of things, but there was a defeated-looking man at the back of the shop blowing up each balloon for a project he was working on.

Then, did we need dessert?  No.  Were we still hungry?  Not really.  Did we end up at Sweet Lady Jane Bakery for dessert anyway?  We did.

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I mean, look at these gorgeous desserts!  Choosing what to split was nearly impossible.

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Each was exceptionally beautiful.

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And that beautiful coconut cake totally reminded me of the ones my mom’s mom makes.

But then Ryan discovered they had cheesecake.  So clearly, there was no contest.

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That, ladies and gentlemen, was a slice of chocolate swirl cheesecake.  I’m not sure what was swirly about it, but that is a huge chunk of ganache on top.

Also, that slice cost $8.  Eight.  Dollars.  Which is crazy, even for LA.

And then we took a bite.  And jesus christ, that just may have been an $8 piece of cheesecake.  It was so good I can’t even describe it.  You could just sliver a bit at a time and it was still the most delicious thing.  Except that Ryan eats really big bites and really fast, so if you’re sharing food with him, you have to eat faster than you otherwise would or it disappears.  This is compounded, as I’m the world’s slowest eater.  Anyway.  That cheesecake!  It was stupid good, and so so rich, and hard for the two of us to finish.  But we did.  Mostly.  And you know what?  It’s a good thing bakeries exist, where you can just buy a slice and not the entire cake, because an entire cheesecake like that would be the most dangerous thing.  The most dangerous, delicious, diabetes-inducing, magnificent thing.

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