Hit Eataly this morning at 8:45 a.m. before work.
First stop was CAFFÈ LAVAZZA on the first floor. Already a line, but not long. It was actually nice to see people out and about at that early hour. The counterperson was Italian and the couple in front of me were ordering in Italian, so I felt I was somewhere exotic rather than in the middle of Century City.
Got a cornetto to go, which I just polished off as a mid-morning snack. Not a fan. First, the cornetto did not hold up well for the three hours that it took me to eat it – it was soggy and deflated by the time I bit into it. Second, it had way, way too much sugar. However, I just read an article that explains that a cornetto is not a croissant and “is just a lot sweeter than a proper French croissant”, is not flaky like a croissant and is more cake-like. https://breadcakesandale.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/italian-breakfast-and-why-a-cornetto-isnt-a-croissant/ Okay, I’m not a cornetto fan. YMMV.
On to the second floor. OMG, this is a game changer for a L.A. foodie. I cannot believe that we now have such a place, and right in my own neighborhood. The only way to describe the grocery section is that it is a cornucopia of good food. We are no longer relegated to Gelson’s or Whole Foods where you will find just a handful of high-quality olive oils. We no longer have to trek to The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills to get decent cheese. And the fish – I wanted to swoon at the fishmonger – I can’t tell you how fresh those whole fish looked. And the produce and eggs and yogurt and milk – you can do all your shopping at Eataly and avoid the supermarket altogether! They even had Thai chilies in the produce section – something that absolutely drives me crazy that Gelson’s and Whole Foods and most other Westside supermarkets don’t carry. I shouldn’t have to trek to Thai town for Thai chilies.
I bought a $16 (!) bottle of Sweet Laurel vanilla extract. Not from Italy, but right here from Marina del Rey. I have no idea if it is any good, but I have been on a hunt for the world’s best vanilla extract, so I thought I would give it a try.
Lately, I seem to have developed a honey problem – as in eating too much of the stuff right out of the jar – so I skipped the honey. But if I wanted some, the choices just went on and on, one looking more delicious than the next.
Not a candy eater, but I have never seen more candy in my life, outside of a See’s store.
Alas, with all that cornucopia, they did not have my preferred brand of olive oil – Olio Verde. However, the very enthusiastic Eataly person in the olive oil department quickly looked up on his phone that Olio Verde was from Sicily and suggested a few other Sicilian olive oils for me and described their characteristics. I didn’t buy one, but I appreciated his enthusiasm. And I do remember that the “house” olive oil that I had at the pasta restaurant at Eataly in downtown NYC was wonderful, so perhaps one day I will try something other than my beloved Olio Verde.
The wine department. I don’t even know where to start. A true game changer for anyone into Italian wine, or wine in general. Another cornucopia of riches. I no longer have to trek to K&L in Hollywood or to John & Pete’s in West Hollywood to pick up a decent bottle of wine. (And don’t get me started at the awful, mediocre wine selection at Gelson’s). Have I died and gone to heaven?
I found my way to the chicken station and saw the chickens roasting. I wanted to pick up one to take back to my office for lunch (as in, “wow, I don’t have to get the crappy roast chicken at Trimania” for lunch), but alas the chicken station doesn’t open until 11:00 a.m.
On my way out, I picked up a “La Padellina di Eataly” pan – I have no idea what it is for, but it was so darn cute.
Will try to head back later for a late lunch at the fish restaurant.
I still can’t believe, cornetto aside, that I blinked and then opened my eyes and all this wonderfulness came to L.A.