Contrary to Cher’s dad’s assertion in Clueless, I’m pretty sure nothing in LA takes twenty minutes to get to, but then again that movie came out over 25 years ago so things can totally change (and an oblivious, wealthy person can still get anywhere they need to go in 20 minutes regardless of the actual conditions, presumably). It took us nearly an hour to get from Long Beach to downtown LA, although that was during Monday afternoon rush hour.
We had reservations at 6:30 at Perch, and in an effort to ease Michael’s anxiety about getting there in a timely fashion, I looked for something we could check out ahead of time and found that the Grand Central Market was literally a few blocks from the Pershing Square building where Perch is, and I’ve always been curious to check it out for myself. I knew we wouldn’t have much time to do more than to get a drink, but it would be neat to check out all of that neon at the very least.
If we hadn’t had such a great meal at Perch, I would have had serious food FOMO from walking around and wanting to try out so many stalls, including the famed strawberry glazed doughnut from The Donut Man as featured on a season nine episode of Food Network Star. We ended up going to Golden Road Brewery’s stall, and my IPA was bitter and delicious–a perfect aperitivo. While we were enjoying our drinks, I looked out and saw that the Angels Flight funicular was right there so I bolted to get some photos and videos of it. As a fan of funiculars in general, I had only heard about this one from its inclusion in the decor for the ill-fated Superstar Limo ride at California Adventure via Defunctland, and I was really excited to see the real thing in person. While it’s clearly for tourists, it was a charming sight to behold.
As for dinner itself? Well, Perch definitely was worth the trip into Los Angeles. Located on the fourteenth and fifteenth floors of the aforementioned Pershing Square building, the main dining area affords a lovely view, especially at that golden hour, and the rooftop bar gives you a completely unobstructed vista. At several times during the meal we would take turns running up the stairs to take some shots, and at one point I was all by my lonesome at the table.
Perch’s cuisine is decidedly French/French-inspired, and we tore into the menu and ordered all kinds of good things, from the tuna tartare to the octopus to the pork belly during the appetizers. I split a little gem lettuce salad with Michael which was just what I wanted, and then dove into my second plate of steak frites for the second time during the trip. (I don’t feel bad in saying that these were my favorite, because the same person picked both restaurants.) We all were feeling the desserts, and the gelato/sorbet was just what I wanted: something a little sweet that wasn’t too much.
The cocktails were truly inspired, and I’ll be recreating one in this space soon. If the Last Train to Priorat was my first sign to get myself a bottle of Luxardo maraschino liqueur, then this sealed the deal because I wanted to make Hemingway on the Beach so much.
By the time we were done with dinner it was late and we needed to get back to Long Beach, and the drive home was faster…but still not twenty minutes.
I do hope to make it back to Los Angeles again, because I really need to go back to both the Grand Central Market and, frankly, back to Perch.