Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Fundamental LA

Last weekend, I took a whirlwind trip to my old home city of Los Angeles, and it was absolutely glorious! Jeff left five days earlier than me, and by the time I got off the plane at LAX, I was almost ready to cry out of the overwhelming happiness of 1) being reunited with my husband and 2) setting foot in California for the first time in eleven months.
retrolicious ticket dress
In LA, I wear flip-flops.
In New York, it's flats and a Daisy Jean hair flower I borrowed from my mother.
Accidental RBF in a lipstick test-run selfie.

My jaunt to LA was a supremely quick trip: I arrived on Thursday night and we flew back to Chicago on Sunday morning. Despite this, we packed a ton into the two days we had together! One of the highlights for me was going to my old favorite lunch spot in Westwood: Fundamental LA. Fundamental was one of the first seasonal-rotating-menu/farm-to-table/unrelated-adjective-as-restaurant-name places I went to, and it's still my favorite. The fact that it was literally a block and a half from my old apartment was just the icing on the cake: their lunch menu, in particular, can't be beat.

Since I still think about their take on the BLT (tomato jam, thick-cut bacon, a fried egg, and delicious bread) in my idle moments reflecting on the genius that is fried eggs on sandwiches, I had to order it. Verdict: it's still basically perfect, though I remember it coming with a bit more bacon.

fundamental la lunch
Would it surprise you to learn that I have (at last count) fifteen closeups-of-BLTs saved on my phone?

Fundamental offers a lunch special: a sandwich, side, and the Best Cookie That Ever Was, all for $13. In west LA, this is a fabulous deal. I almost always used to get the tom yum-glazed brussels sprouts, but this time, I opted for the quinoa salad with gorgonzola, haricot vert, and cranberries. This was an extremely difficult personal-growth sort of moment for a person who loves routines, but the quinoa salad was basically perfect, so I have no regrets.

Jeff got the smashed potatoes (another old favorite of mine), and they're still exactly as good as I remember them, so I was definitely happy to steal a few!

Then there are the cookies. I have a serious weakness for chocolate-chip cookies, particularly those of the chewy/gooey variety. These are actually the best I have ever had, including the ones I bake myself. I used to treat these cookies as an incentive to finish something dissertation-related, because I have no shame about going into a restaurant, ordering two cookies (and nothing else!) to go, and eating them on the walk home. These cookies are worth braving LA traffic for!

In related gilding-the-lily news, we stopped for boba on our way up to walk around our alma mater, which made my lunch on the Westside the best hour and a half of eating I've had since our BBQ bacchanaliacannot wait for my my next trip to LA!

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  1. FOOD IS SO IMPORTANT! Haha - can you tell what my priorities are when I travel? But seriously, food is a big deal for me when I travel. This lunch sounds spectacular and who doesn't love a cookie at the end? I am a sucker for cookies as well!

    1. I have a feeling we'd get along just swimmingly IRL -- food is always the top of my traveling priorities! Jeff and I always spend a long time thinking about where and what we'll eat while on vacation.

  2. That quinoa salad looks amazing! Though I don't own this dress (love it! Maybe one day...) that first photo is basically my summer uniform: a Retrolicious/Folter dress with flip flops haha! Looking great ;) XO

    1. The quinoa was so delicious! Everything I've ever eaten at Fundamental has been epically delicious and super creative.

      Your summer uniform sounds like the perfect plan to survive the heat and look super cute! I hardly ever wear flip-flops anymore, but figured that since I was back in LA, I should revert to an old standby!

  3. Let me know the next time you are in LA - I will meet you there :)