Take walking, for example. Straight up and down, I'm one of the best to ever do it.
Eating? All day, err day..and night‘«™.and late-night.
So when I heard about Six Taste's Food Tour of Downtown LA, I knew I'd have the chance to showcase my prowess‘«Ű not unlike Tiger Woods receiving word of a new Hooters golf course in his neighborhood.
DTLA is experiencing a major revitalization, with residential lofts, art galleries, skyscrapers and marijuana dispensaries displacing the homeless dotting the district. The increased foot stomach traffic has prompted the emergence of new eateries, from high-end bistros to mom and pop, pop-up spots. Having conducted hundreds of tours in the area, Six Taste has an inside track on what's cooking downtown.
I participated in a public tour and was joined by a group of 12 other hungry pedestrians. One person was from Boston, another from Chicago and still another from Florida. The other half of the crew was from Southern California but it was everyone's first time walking and eating in DTLA. We were excited.
We traipsed through downtown, taking in history (e.g., Which movie used this building as a police precinct?) and mystery (e.g., Why did that hot dog stand smell like weed?). We tasted food at 6 different establishments. I won't mention them all by name here, as they are subject to change and it's fun to be surprised, but I will highlight two treats that remain heavy on my mind.
First, the Early Gray macaroon from Bottega Louie. I don't know who Earl is, nor which shade of gray he reps, but this gold-dusted cookie was all that! My problem was deciding how to dig into it.
Should I open it up, like an oreo, and lick the center‘«™in front of all these strangers?
Nah, that would've been undignified. Licking my fingers after the fact, an examplar of refinement.
During the latter half of our trip, we stopped by at Gelataria Uli and sampled gelato and sorbetto. I decided on the Jamaica and Mint sorbetto and was swept back to my days as a street performer in Mexico City. Uli, the store's namesake, is regularly flipping the script with new flavors. So you have to pop in to see what's popping‘«™and when you do, scoop me up.
This tour gave me a new appreciation for DTLA and I'd wholeheartedly recommend a Six Taste tour, but only under one condition: come hella' hungry.