It’s 5 o’clock, and you’re leaving the office in search of some post-work libations and snacks before dinner. You could go the traditional happy hour route — where you’re limited to a few drinks and small bites within a short window of time — or you could up the ante and visit a Japanese izakaya.
Valencia is a humming thoroughfare teeming with restaurants, bars, vintage stores, galleries, furniture vendors, shops hawking expensive curiosities, construction projects, pigeons, and one small, loud street performer with a bright blue guitar. I don’t know what the street was like in the 90s, but it’s changed remarkably since I arrived just seven years ago. The blocks have built up, becoming denser. Spaces have changed hands, but fewer proprietors without public relations teams still hold court over the bike lanes, shimmering cars, and busy pedestrian paths. Notably, many restaurants have closed, and many new ones have taken their place. The climate brims with potential, yet it’s simultaneously harsh: with so many eating options tangling in such close proximity, survivors must stake out unique corners of the market — or place a premium on a convenience they provide.
But what were these fuzzy oval things in a basket above the baby artichokes? They looked like green almonds (but too skinny) or mutant edamame (only too chubby). Green garbanzos, the sign read, $6/lb, and it struck me that never before had I seen garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas) in their fresh, unprocessed state, before they’d been rattled into cans or dried to wrinkled golden bullets.
Although restaurants that offer well-prepared dishes from organic and/or local ingredients can be difficult to find once you leave your home turf, there are a few wonderful online sites that will do some of the groundwork for you. I spent some time on both TripAdvisor and Chowhound before we left town, and it paid off. The reviews on TripAdvisor led me to some great country inns with fantastic food, and Chowhound helped me find a restaurant or two in Edinburgh that we really loved. We also had the benefit of getting some sound advice from friends in the know — which is always the best option if you have it.
The restaurant list for the 7th Annual Dine About Town has been announced. Dine About Town (DAT) was designed seven years ago to allow customers to try out new restaurants around the city at a reasonable deal. Modeled after restaurant weeks in cities such as New York, DAT features a fixed price lunch and dinner […]
Before I was a food blogger, I was a Chowhound. This occurred out of necessity when I first moved to the Bay Area over seven years ago. I had come from Southern California — a place where I had lived my whole life and where I knew numerous hole-in-the-wall, amazing restaurants. Once I got here, […]