Thursday, May 1, 2008

The perfect way to say welcome

Any guesses as to what that might be? Here's a clue...

Yup, you guessed it (or not :P), it's a Doubletree Hotel cookie. The warm, gooey treat they provide when you check into the hotel or ever so politely ask the front desk. It makes the consistent travel and the not-so-nice front desk staff a little more bearable. You try to stay frustrated and thinking about what you are going to write in your letter to the corporate office while they hand you a warm chocolate chip cookie. I forgot I was even mad by the time I made it up to my room because I was too overcome with the giddiness of a five, make that three, year old. And then, I got twice as giddy because I had something happy food related to blog about. (Oh, and there is a recipe online for this cookie that I'll have to try when I'm actually home)

Actually, I've been eating pretty darn well while "traveling" for work. I quote traveling because I reserve the word traveling for personal travel. As in vacation. As in somewhere fun. This is more like "living somewhere else" but having to prepare as if you were traveling. I receive a per diem, but unlike per diem in the past (you get $XX for the day that you can either spend or pocket), we are required to send it receipts and it's use it or lose it. Since arriving in LA this week, I've managed to check off four food establishments that I crave. Oddly enough, it's all Asian food. Yummy things like BCD Tofu House, Red Mango, Din Tai Fung and Phoenix Food Boutique. (I like that they all have pretty decent websites.) Yes, I will drive far for food I crave. These standby restaurants beat the pants off a Doubletree cookie welcome any day.

I noticed something peculiar. I've been compiling a list of restaurants I want to make sure to eat at while here in LA. And in the past, people have come to me for LA restaurant recommendations. With both, I've noticed a lack of "good" restaurants - those restaurants that are probably well known amongst the foodies in the world, that get a good amount of press, and that are NOT cheap Asian food. Why is that? I realized last night it's because during all my time in LA previous to this consulting gig, I was a ramen-eating-free-food-scavenging college student. Sure, I appreciated good food, but I most certainly did not have the any steady income to allow me to dine about town. So now, per diem in hand, I shall conquer the LA food scene - please feel free to send suggestions! And now, the next time someone asks me for LA food recommendations, I'll have plenty!

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