I hate the word "foodie," and no, hate is not too strong of a term. When people refer to me as a foodie or say, “Sarah, you’re such a foodie,” I bristle and momentarily take a teeny bit of offense to it. It’s somewhat of a negative term that I’ve always associated with self-appointed “foodies” who are really just food snobs. They think they know about food because they dine at *ritzy glitzy* of-the-moment here and theres, drop names of famous food world so-and-so's whom they say know, but only from reading their name on the bottom of the menu, and they say they crave sushi and caviar and fois gras, not because they really do, but because saying it makes them...a foodie. Ugh. *shudder*
Foodie snobs are different from food nerds, whom I love and admire. They are the ones who *ritzy glitzy* max through the next three billing cycles of their Visa because they love the way Ludo lifts liver to new levels, but damn if that nameless Indian hole-in-the-ghetto-wall makes a curry that sends them into orbit, too. And yes, they do know the face behind the fire because at the end of their meal, they just had to shake the hand of the wizard who cooked everything to perfection. And no, they aren’t afraid to say “no” to caviar even if it means a *gasp-you-redneck!* from others, and in fact, they do love fois gras, because it really and truly tastes good to them - not to me, but that’s okay. *breathe* So did you want to know how I feel about “foodies?” ;)
So imagine how I felt about a restaurant named Foodies. What a horrible name. It makes it sound high-end hoity-toity fancy-schmancy, that is so snobnoxious that it calls itself a foodie right in your face. *bristle* The funny thing is, Foodies is absolutely the opposite of what I ever imagined, and the restaurant matches less the word “foodie” and more the feel of the sign out front that’s bright blue and canary yellow, in a typeface that looks like the title for a Sunday comic strip.
Foodies is located, very un-foodie-like, on the second floor of my favorite mini-mall at the corner of Barrington and Wilshire. Yup, the mall that says “Massages for $39.” Inside, it’s a bright, clean, casual atmosphere, without overdoing any sort of themed ambience. Three of us walked in a few minutes late, and as we sat down with the rest of us, we all began to *whisper giggle whiser* about the two very hot (according to them, not me) early-30s button downs, who must have walked over to Foodies for a bite before returning to their Wilshire offices for another late night of legal-financial-realestate-accounting stuff. Other diners are older, younger, plainer, prettier...it’s a mixed clientele from the surrounding neighborhood.
Foodies has wine and several beers on tap, but with a corkage fee at only $6, we brought in a merlot *chuckle* that we picked up from the liquor store across the street. The menu offers good, solid all-American fare, like sandwiches, salads, burgers, simple pastas, and even a kids' menu that has pb&j. Every meal at Foodies starts with big soft pretzels instead of bread on the table. I restrain myself, otherwise I’ll start crazy-dipping in one of the many different mustards and get too full before the actual meal. *eh* Too late, and I just can’t order anything except the fire-roasted tortilla soup and salad. Not too bad, though the soup was a little unnaturally red. Not like tomato red, not even cherry red. It was really really really weirdly red, but I ate all of it, especially since, duh, there was guacamole on it!
Everything we ordered was good. Nothing was outstanding, but that’s to be expected for simple, unfussy things like a southwest chicken sandwich, a roast turkey sandwich with mozzarella and pesto, and a chicken quesadilla. They all came with fries, which are air-baked, so we didn't feel too guilty about finishing every last one. The macadamia nut encrusted salmon was about as exotic as it gets on the Foodies’ menu, and it, too, was good. We didn't have room for dessert, but they've got basics like apple pie, chocolate cake, and ice cream.
I think their name hurts Foodies' business – it might almost repel people, like it did me at first. But once I went there and tried the food, I realized what a nice restaurant, what friendly people, what good food, Foodies is. Defin
itely not for food snobs, maybe not even for a food nerd, but definitely for someone who's in the mood for good simple food.
11701 Wilshire Blvd (@Barrington)
Los Angeles, CA 90025