“Tell me when you guys go somewhere closer.”
“Aren’t any of Jonathan Gold’s picks in the valley?”
Frequent questions from fellow valley suburbanites who hear about what we’re doing, and then say,
“that’s awesome” then “I wanna come!”
“Cool” we say, “Next ones in Korea Town.”
“You’re crazy” is the common response.
Well, here we were. JG was keeping us in the “valley.” Studio City to be exact. So even though a good 35 minute drive (if no traffic), not having to veer off the 101 was a joy ride comparatively.
Told a couple of people, our sister included, that we were heading to Bellwether. “Oh, I’ve been there. It’s alright.” Alright? Why was JG recommending just “alright?” It often feels as if JG was a great diplomat, ensuring all areas of greater LA were included in his list, wether or not said area contained any killer eats.
I picked up momma, had Esme in the car and headed out to meet Zaya, Maria and their kiddos. It was an overcast Saturday and we flew down the 101 and landed at Bellwether around 1:00pm…it was Saturday so still brunch in our mind.
Bellwether is a Diner re-do. Decor is beefed up bistro, bar seating included, and grumpy servers that treat guests as if they were coming in after closing. In reality we had an hour and a half until the end of the lunch shift so we settled into our table that was long enough to accommodate the eight of us, four kids and four so called adults.
Our server was some put off, sad dude. Nondescript looks, permanent turned down mouth, young with the worst signs of aging. He stood there, shoulders sagging, as if Studio City was where his dreams lay down to die. “Ready to order?” he asked without eye contact.
Mid day mimosas (fuck it), Cheeseburger x 2, fries also x 2, egg sand-which smothered in cholula (Mia, my niece, is my kinda girl), the ever present Cali born Avocado toast, smoked salmon toast, dutch baby…baby, FULL english breakfast, two orders of the brioche french toast. This one was so excellent, we ordered it again. I can still taste it. Cooked to mom’s favorite texture, pudding. Side of bacon, another mimosa, you know…brunch!
We thought it was good. The stars were the toasts. Blown away? No. Anxious and hungry for valley residents to rise up and demand more from their food, petition for better restaurants? Yes. But we have a long way to go on our list and a lot of the city (including the valley) left to discover.