It’s been a little over two weeks since I drove close to 3000 miles to make a new life writing for film and television. Since all had for travel was a four-door Saturn, I packed light. I ever left most of my cooking utensils at home except for two knives, a pair of tongs, a knife sharpener and a smoker. Living a somewhat monk-like existence, I’ve mostly cooked one or two-pot items for myself like variations on my breakfast potatoes, pan fried tilapia and kale, turkey sausage and peppers, etc. It wasn’t until last night, when I finally met up with my Facebook friend Tonya in person, that I had a chance to put together a meal for myself and someone else.

The first thing I have to mention about LA is that the produce at the regular supermarkets is superior to even the best Whole Foods has to offer in Manhattan. The colors are bright. The clerks are helpful and though the prices are a little more expensive, food shopping is more of an experience than the roller derby it can often be in Brooklyn. As I’d never cooked for Tonya before, I figured I would try something simple. As I’ve been trying to perfect my champagne cream sauce, I bought some shrimp and penne and did it up real simple. I chopped up some broccoli crowns to saute in olive oil and even made bruschetta for my hungry new friend (who I had to take special care to keep away from a box of White Cheddar Cheez-Its).

As every person’s kitchen is different, the process of cooking for the first time is awkward and clumsy. You don’t know where things are and sometimes the items you need don’t happen to be around. But her spot was well stocked and as I put things to together over the course of a good 45 minutes I could definitely feel the culinary force is full flow. Though I made the same mistake again of seasoning the shrimp with a little too much sea salt when pairing it with a sauce that had both heavy cream and fresh parmesan, I didn’t have too many other complaints. More importantly, my guest didn’t complain at all. And that’s always good 😉

Once I’m settled into a new place I’ll have to throw down something massive for my LA peeps old and new. Maybe gumbo or chilli. Maybe I’ll barbecue (I can do that in March in Cali) or have a fish fry or whatever. But after close a week on the road, traveling through ice and snow and the curve balls that life can throw you, there was nothing better for me than making good food that got good reviews. As an aside, if you’re going to make bruschetta [I’ll post the recipe if you’re interested] be sure to use either french bread or a good Italian loaf. Since it was a Sunday I got stuck with sourdough. It’s not the same. It’s so not the same. Now that I’m fully Left Coast new posts should be back to normal soon. Out.