Truth be told, I don’t love Los Angeles. Although I’m often traveling to the west coast for business, after a few days I find myself clock-watching, eager to fly back to the convenience and frenzy of New York, my home. I envy people who have the ability to uproot their life and live in an unknown city, because the thought of living somewhere, other than New York, even for a stretch of time, is inconceivable. But I do love to travel, especially on days when the temperatures soar above ninety in New York and I’m dining al fresco in Los Angeles, in desperate need of a sweater.
Such was this week when I spent a total of twenty-four hours on the left coast, the majority of time spent in a car or in meetings. After a long day of presentations and discussing technology with CMOs, my boss treated the team to a well-deserved late dinner. Convenience was indeed a factor as we were all pooped, so a work colleague suggested Loteria Grill, a delicious Mexican eatery in Hollywood.
With high, billowing ceilings and an expansive outdoor space, the restaurant was a welcome respite from cars and conference rooms. We managed to secure a patio table and immediately ordered the chips + guacamole, along with a hearty dish of spicy, oozing queso fundido. Can I just say — cheese never tasted this good. I kept it safe and ordered the beef tacos, and was delighted to find that they were extraordinarily full on flavor and presented simply. The problem I often have with Mexican food is volume — the sheer amount of food dished on your plate is sometimes frightening, however, the portions at Loteria Grill were reasonable and wholly satisfying. The guac was fresh and cilantro-infused while the queso deserved a serenade of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares to You.”
My teammates equally devoured their burritos, chicken salads and taquitos, and we left full but not stuffed and completely relaxed.
Although I don’t adore Los Angeles, I certainly love the Mexican fare and only wish I could smuggle it back to my Brooklyn abode.