As promised, Nic (of The Baking Sheet) and I met up at Newsroom Cafe on Dec. 30 in Los Angeles. Via the power of the Internet, we ‘ve exchanged e-mails, sent each other dessert over the mail and now, finally met in person. Suprisingly, our lunch wasn’t awkward: we chatted for a couple hours about local bakeries, famous chefs and cooking gear. I must say that Nic is one of the nicest people I have ever met.
Newsroom is Californian cuisine at its best: health-conscious fare with lots of fresh veggies and a Mexican influence. They also serve breakfast all day. That’s my kind of restaurant. Their extensive menu satisfies every palate, from meatlover to vegan and ethnic to American. Well, everyone except Nic and I, who had a hard time narrowing down our choices.
I settled on a grilled artichoke with tofunaise. The only vegan dips I’ve tried (at Blockhead’s and Better Burger in New York) were watery, grainy or curdled. They were acceptable for a tofu-lover like me but not appetizing. Newsroom’s dip was wonderously creamy. It tasted just like a mixture between sour cream and mayonaise. The artichoke was nicely browned yet tender. It was liberally oiled, but good nonetheless.
I also sampled my mom’s cast iron skillet blue cornbread. It was moist and tender with fresh corn and tomatoes on top. It also came with dual-layer salsa (spicy on top, mild on the bottom) so you could control the heat. I fall l in the middle of the cornbread camp: traditional Southern cornbread is made with 100% cornmeal and dries out quickly, while Yankee-style cornbread resembles a sweet muffin. I think cornbread should be hearty and moist, so I wish Newsroom’s cornbread was coarser. Their cornbread was cake-like. It was so cakey, in fact, that there wasn’t the thick crust I expected from a blackened skillet.
Nic had the blue corn blueberry muffin and daily soup. I didn’t try any, but they looked delicious!
Newsroom is not worth fighting L.A. traffic, getting lost and finding parking. Actually, it’s worth flying across the country for. I mean, I still have to try their Oaxacan tamales, blue corn waffle with chile honey, tandoori chicken sandwich, smoothies and dessert. I wish they had a cookbook, because I want to know how to make everything in their restaurant.
After the delicious meal, Nic and I headed to Al Gelato, but they were closed for the winter vacation. So we just snapped a picture in front of the place.
All was not lost though: for sweets, Nic made me chocolate mint and vanilla marshmallows. They were dangerously fun to eat. Squish them between your fingers, let them bounce around in your mouth, cover them with chocolate, or dunk them in hot cocoa. You could also make kabobs by toasting marshmallows and bananas over an open flame. Then spread peanut butter all around. It would be heaven on a stick.
These marshmallows were better than the ones that Nic mailed me earlier. She’s been improving her technique. They weren’t too sweet, so they were suited for snacking. I may never buy supermarket marshmallows again.
120 N Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048-3115