I've read about Blossom, the Vietnamese restaurant in the Historic Core, but it's still a little shocking to find a place like this while walking from City Hall to 6th Street along Main on a weekday. I love the barely-there celadon green colored walls and thick wood tables, and the menu appeals.
Though tempted by the packed with goodies crepes, I try the bun with cia gio and steak ($5.75) since that's a good litmus test. (Today is too hot for pho.) The bun is OK, nothing to write home about. The bowl contains firm noodles, freshly shredded lettuce, tender steak slices, and underwhelming cha gio and sauce on the side. The skin of the egg rolls doesn't have the satisfying heft and crackling exterior I crave. I know the sauce isn't supposed to have too strong of a flavor, but this seems quite weak and I need to add in a lot of the bright red hot sauce to compensate. Of all things, the ginger lemonade packs a serious punch. Yet I can't say I don't enjoy lunch. All in all, I can read my magazine in well-lit, stylish peace in a location that would be considered highly unlikely just a few years ago.
For more flava I stop at Pazzo Gelato on my way back to the office. It's toasty outside, I'm six months pregnant, so what's wrong with a mid-week daytime ice cream break? I easily thrill to the fact that the gelato cycle is finally coming back, unseen since the 80s quickly witnessed a similar trend (anyone remember Gelato per Tutti on Melrose?). It makes such perfect sense; there's no reason we should go without quality freshly made ice creams, diet trends be damned.
A couple weeks ago five adults and one baby occupied a table here for a couple hours while we took turns going back to the counter for more scoops. So I'm obviously already a fan of this place. Today the fig balsamic and pistachio I order make for an odd combo at first. It's unclear where the balsamic comes into the fig gelato equation; the most discernable taste is that of the earthy, perfumed fruit. With the other flavor, I first sense the typical sweetness of pistachio, and then the rich nuttiness kicks in. These actually two wind up being very complimentary. Other flavors I can endorse are strawberry/banana, espresso, chocolate malt, and Madagascar vanilla. It's no San Crispino or Giolitti in Rome, but these gelati strike a balance between traditional and inventive, and are among the best we'll see in the area � until June starts serving their versions.
426 South Main Street (at Winston)
Los Angeles 90013
3827 W. Sunset Blvd. (at Hyperion)
Los Angeles 90026