January 21, 2010
The wind is rattling the palm trees outside my window, and I'm wondering if I'm going to make it out of town before the next storm hits this battered city. LA in the rain is more likable, somehow, less like Paradise, just another grubby American town. Yesterday, with the rain turning every street into a river we all became comrades.
There have been so many wonderful moments in these past few days. The high point was Zocolo's celebration of Gourmet (http://tinyurl.com/yd922cn), which felt like both a wake and a love-in. For me the finest moment was when Laurie said that what distinguished the magazine – in all of its incarnations – was that it never talked down to its readers. It was something I'd forgotten, but she was absolutely right. In almost 70 years, Gourmet was a magazine that trusted its readers. Rare.
Afterward a whole group of us went to Jitlada, and that was another major moment. It was late, and the restaurant was about to close, but Jazz stayed open to feed us dish after wonderful dish with such extraordinary generosity that I was overwhelmed. It was all flavorful and spicy – little bundles of tea leaves filled with chiles and coconut, a salad of fried morning glory with shrimp and – best of all, enormous crabs in a peppery sauce that had me sucking the shells and licking my fingers. There was one moment when I looked across the table and consciously thought – I am very happy."
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