Archive 8 February 2014
Daily LA diary 19: American food and LA observations

People often give America a bad rep for not having deep rooted culinary traditions. Although I agree that most US inventions aren’t the most refined, I think the States have produced some of the most delicious creative creative dishes. Quite a few classic American dishes that come to mind and that are finger-licking good would be the cheeseburger, carrot cake, crab cakes, pulled pork sandwiches, spare ribs, mac-n-cheese, chocolate chip cookies and fried chicken. Comfort food & carbs galore!

What I’ve noticed about American food – keeping LA in mind specifically:
1. Many places cater to a specific niche. Think: slow-pressed juices, a grilled cheese shop, fish tacos only, a bratwurst restaurant.

2. The service, wherever you eat, is GREAT. Customers come first in America, and many people in the service industry partly live on tips. If, in Amsterdam, you dare ask for anything slightly different than what’s on the menu (say a certain dish but without the olives), you’ll get a death stare. On menus in LA, you can pick add ons, side dishes (for brunch those are things like avocado on the side, truffle fries, artichokes, a fruit plate), leave things out. Whatever you want: you get…

3. …although, I’ve been paying attention and spotting a trend. It’s now a hip(star) thing to have a very limited menu with for example only four kinds of high quality coffee. That’s it, and only the fine

4. Many people are incredibly educated. In any sandwich shop, they’ll know about gluten, wholewheat, sodium and what not.

5. Sweets play a big part in the food culture, and are tied to certain events. Wherever you go for lunch, there will be red velvet cake, carrot cake, cheese cake, cookies, brownies, blondies, almond rolls, and coffee buns (by now you get the picture right?) displayed. And don’t even get me started on the isles of chocolate bars at any supermarket.

6. Flavors are stronger. Everything is salter or sweeter than I’m used to.

7. I was in the dark about the existence of these typical American foods: tater tots (I was in the dark about their existence!), cheddar cheese popcorn (gross), red velvet pancakes (delicioso), Reese’s pieces (mweh, they’re allright).

8. They make marriages of two good things, and then ruin them. (Kind of the same divorce rate as in regular marriages). Think of hamburger soup – who DOES that – corn dogs, cornets.

9. It’s normal to ‘bag’ dishes you didn’t finish. Asking for a doggy bag in Amsterdam would be totally frowned upon, and I think most places wouldn’t even give you a doggy bag. I’ve done it here once, and let me tell you: pancakes do taste incredibly good as breakfast the next day, with a side dish of Modern Family episodes.

10. Brunch is the favorite time of day for many people. It’s often a moment celebrated with friends, by going out to favorite or brand new restaurants. Dishes are often shared, which I love, and people splurge with deserts. Some even opt for a boozy brunch. And when I say some, I obviously mean myself, at around 1 in the afternoon today.

Let's talk


    LA sounds like a magical place for a food-lover. I would love to visit it one day. Especially the “hip(star) restaurants, food trucks and the 626.. doh I’m Asian :p

    Yara, this is amazing. I lived in LA for 3 months a few years ago(before blogging-ahem) and it was amazing. I was an intern for a feature film and hung out mainly in Silverlake, Santa monica, and Venice beach, all these wonderful memories came flooding back as I read all your diaries. I am loving all of it. Thank you so much for sharing, it means a lot , especially those of us residing in Europe who were lucky enough to spend time there. All the best!

    mmm looks good

    Lots of love,



    Haha ik hou van je artikelen vanuit L.A.!

    The service in US restaurants definetely IS incredible. Ever since I lived there, I’m having the hardest time enjoying european restaurant.
    France seems to work the same was as the Netherlands: they make you feel like YOU are the one who should be thankful that they let you spend your money eating their food, which is a complete nonsense.
    Maybe it would be the same way in the US if the waiters didn’t make a living off tips, but frankly, all I care for is the result.

    classic american food…lovely:P, mouth watering:)


    I always ask a doggy bag in A’dam! You should try it, they’ve never told me no ;)

    Sounds good!

    My Fantabulous World

    Food looks delish! x

    Love this post, I miss LA so bad :(

    | |

    I love American food!


    looks delicious!


    Looks yummy!
    Loved to read this.

    xo’ M

    Getverderrie Hamburger Soup en chedaar cheese popcorn. Dat klinkt echt misselijkmakend, haha! Voor de rest vind ik het wel heel goed dat de service er zo goed is en dat het personeel zo goed is opgeleid! Oh en ode aan de doggy bags! <3



    Personal Style Blog http://WWW.REDREIDINGHOOD.COM

    Raar eigenlijk dat het voor ons in Nederland, terwijl we nog zo’n zuinig volk zijn, niet normaal is om een doggy bag te vragen..



    Personal Style Blog http://WWW.REDREIDINGHOOD.COM

    this is why i want to go to america someday: burger…

    Looks delicious! Nice post! I’m following you x

    well well your posts are much MUCH better than any travel guides :)

    It’s so interesting hearing your observations! I live in Canada, so we have these same things you are finding popular in the States. Things that seem so normal to me (like changing your order or asking for a doggy bag) are things that I would think are pretty standard. Apparently not! And it’s so true about tips. People live off of them! You’ll find that in the States that a waitresses actually wage is probably about $2 and then they depend on their tips to make up the difference. I don’t agree with it. People should get a fair wage always. The service industry is a hard one to work in, they deserve every bit of those tips ON TOP of normal wage!

    I would love to see more of these posts when you’re in LA ;)

    xx -b.

    Love this post. Your writing style is great & always inspirational.

    Leuk artikel, heel interessant om te lezen! Ik heb nu wel enorme trek in Amerikaans eten gekregen, haha.

    So good! X

    Hamburger soep? Wie bedenkt er nu zo iets, haha. Al vind ik de brunch cultuur van de Amerikanen wel weer heel leuk, hou ik zelf ook erg van.


    I love your observations! These are things I take a normal occurrences and I don’t even think about them. It’s fun to read about them from an outsiders point of view! Is that burger from Umami?

    xo Jennifer

    It most surely is! Great hamburger eye ;)

    Ik hou echt van het idee van een doggy bag. Het gaat zoveel verspilling tegen. Zouden ze toch ook eens moeten gaan doen in Nederland. Erg leuk en leerzame post dit xx

    ohhh ziet er heerlijk uit!!

    Thanks for the informative post! Whenever I visit a country, food is an important part of the travel itinerary. x

    Looks good!

    Thanks for sharing! Really informative!


    looks so yummy!

    xoxo from rome

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