Fudgy Brownies Make My Day
[Some dummy forgot to take pictures. So, these are from Yelp.]
I cried during X-men: Apocalypse. So, let’s start there, shall we? After venturing to The Grove for my fairly consistent weekend movie-going experience, I settled into my seat just as the film was about to begin. Fast-forward two hours and I was forcibly prying my eyes open, because the wave of tears cascading across the lips of my eyelids was nearly unbearable. What else could I do? I certainly couldn’t wipe them away. No… then people would judge me. And as I’m sure we’re all well aware, complete strangers in dark theaters are the most judgmental of all. Thankfully, before too long the credits began to roll and I had the perfect opportunity to dry my eyes as the masses shuffled their way back into the lobby from whence they came.
I’m not sure what weird childhood connection my brain made to make me react as such, but I’m sure it had something to do with memories of the 90s X-men cartoon and perhaps a repressed memory or two. Regardless of the circumstances, it admittedly left me feeling a little hungry for some more nostalgia in my life—which, of course, means sugar. However, being the adult that I am, I decided to preface it with something a little better for me. You have to balance these things out after all.
I made my way west and headed to Lemonade LA. Having never been to one of their locations before, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I’d always heard good things about it though, which ultimately prompted this visit. The Beverly branch turned out to be a charming little restaurant that more closely resembles a patio than it does an eatery. What I didn’t know is that they do service cafeteria style—a perfect fit for riding my wave of nostalgia. So, I nonchalantly walked up to the counter and was greeted with a warm smile from behind the line. I then proceeded to order a rather diverse and delicious meal.
Roasted Cauliflower with Golden Raisins, Almonds and Curry Vinaigrette. Watermelon Radish and Seared Ahi Tuna with Snap Peas, Ginger and Sesame Vinaigrette. Pineapple Chicken with Green Beans, Toasted Coconut, Jalapenos and Jerk Dressing. How incredible do those selections sound? And that was only half my plate! After all, 6 portions are only $12.50. I mean, how on earth could I pass up such a deal; especially with that many mouth-watering choices sitting just out of arm’s reach?
After taking a seat in their large outdoor dining room, I was followed shortly by a group of local firefighters, who had dropped in for a quick bite. I listened in for a bit, while they each described their week at the station. But, unfortunately, I never got to hear the conclusion to a single tale, as duty soon called them away once more. That’s when I threw on my headphones and finished my meal, while taking in the sunshine that had eluded the LA area for the past few days. When my plate was finally empty, I considered popping back in for a helping of the Roasted Brussels Sprouts I spied earlier, but my stomach knew better. Besides, there was far food more to come.
With an already satisfying day under my belt (aside from the unexpected tears), I gleefully backtracked my way down Beverly, until I hit a familiar site that I’d passed many times before, but never took the time to visit. Milk Bakery. Once I stepped inside, I was awash in the decadent aromas of baked goods and that slightly sweet chill you feel in your nose upon entering an ice cream shop. After pausing a moment to take it all in, I headed for the counter and began to wonder how I could ever possibly choose from such a heavenly assortment of goods. The best I could do was narrow it down to 3 items. A gooey chocolate chunk cookie; a peanut butter brownie; and a cookies and cream ice cream sandwich with chocolate chip cookies. It’s a pretty good selection, if I do say so myself.
Service was swift and before too long I was out the door and on my way. I must’ve looked like a complete dope walking down the street, grinning ear to ear and once again indulging in a little piece of childhood bliss. Literally, everything I ate on that stroll was breathtakingly delicious. The cookies had nice crisp edges and soft, chewy centers—also known as the perfect ratio. The ice cream was smooth, rich and full of flavor. The brownie was so fudgy and delicious that after one bite, my brain immediately turned off any sense of how many calories I was consuming in that moment. Savoring every crumb I could see, I finished my treats just as I was rounding the corner to my apartment.
For a moment, it almost felt as if I were going to cry again and then I realize it was just sheer, unadulterated joy from experiencing the best of adulthood and childhood—all in one day and all in the form of delicious, delicious food.