Jumbo pancakes, DIY s’mores & the sweetest upscale ice-cream…this is dessert, LA style.

If you’re going to have breakfast at an LA spot renowned for eye-watering and gut-busting portions, you gotta earn it. That’s what I told myself as I climbed, walked & panted up Runyon Canyon one early Sunday morning.

‘My reward is pancakes…my reward is pancakes…my reward is pancakes.’ This was the mantra I muttered to myself as I clambered over rocks, lunged up steps and tried to avoid any one of a dozen dogs putting me to shame as they bounded gazelle like past me. The only gazelle I resembled at this point was one who could officially be labelled as roadkill. Ironically, if I’d normally put myself through a good, steep hike then all I would want to eat afterwards would be something healthy enough to keep the fitness momentum going, however here, knowing where we headed after, the purpose of this trek, alongside seeing stunning views of the city below, was to burn the calories that would soon be served up to me on a platter dusted with icing sugar…

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Macrobiotic salads & avocado smoothies to sell your clean-living soul for…

WARNING…this article contains nothing fried or frosted.

If the last post’s content of so-deliciously-messy-I-must-gobble-them-immediately-in-a-most-unladylike-fashion tacos, milkshakes so molten-candy thick you can feel them filling your veins with sweetness, and crisply dunkable sweet potato fries has left you craving something fresher and greener, relax. Take a deep yogic style breath, salute the sun and give thanks for the literary menu here today which responds only to words like ‘clean’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ and which will leave you feeling brighter-eyed, rosier cheeked & bushier tailed than the love child of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jillian Michaels.

Welcome to the very LA side of the LA dining scene…

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Chains, independents & trucks; where the LA food scene is really headed…

680’000…2/3…67%…$500k…3 million.

Nope. Not the numbers of food items I’ve consumed, dreamed of, thought about, Pinned, Instagrammed or Tweeted this year.

In October 2013, there were nearly 680k restaurants operating in the US*. Interestingly, the majority (2/3) of those were independent – that is, not part of a national group – yet when compared to their culinary brothers-in-arms, the chains, they brought in far less revenue with 67% making below $500k a year; less than 25% of chains fell into that category.

Here’s another interesting fact – in 2012, there were an estimate 3 million food trucks in the US**.

Yep. I’m just gonna let you take a moment to absorb that. Three million. That’s a lot of wheely delicious food on the move…sorry, sorry, that’s the last time I spring a joke on you worthy of a place only in a Woolies 6 pack of crackers.

What’s my point here? Why am I raining numbers down on you in a style reminiscent of Grab-a-Grand from that staple of Saturday night TV, Noel’s House Party? Because having eaten recently in all 3 venues, it got me thinking about the sort of food America is known for and wondering if that’s changing as quickly as the rest of the global culinary landscape.

There are more independent restaurants than chains…there are a considerable amount of people each year starting up something new & different?

Chains generally make more money…over 1200 of them gross upwards of $5m annually suggesting that what people actually want is what they’ve always had?

More food trucks are popping up each year than it’s possible to keep track of…people want mouth-watering food minus the eye-watering pricetag?

In a country with 318m+ people, it’s not really surprising that they all want something different but perhaps this indicates a step towards a brave new world of food; although chains will never go out of business, sprouting up next to them now & seemingly refusing to go away are places that either inspire you to try something different, freeing your tastebuds from the same food you’ve had forever or reinvent it, leaving you thinking about what you ate long after your carton/box/paper plate is recycled. Read More