Los Angeles lifestyle blogs – and you can bet your ass I read all of them – present a positively warped vision of consumer life in this second-largest American city. If the Instagrammed object worlds of the Angelino taste-making elite are to be believed, life in these fair hills is entirely composed sun-drenched patios decked out in Heath pottery, succulents, and macramé wall hangings. Daily hikes in Runyon Canyon are de rigueur, as are evenings at the Hollywood Bowl. Everybody always seems to be slurping up a pizza at Mozza, a butterscotch budino at Gjelina, or a round of oysters at Hungry Cat. Or maybe they are snapping a quick shot of the tsukemen ramen at that place that everybody can’t stop talking about. There is a veritable catalogue of Angelino lifestyle blog clichés, and I can’t seem to get enough of them. One that has reached near-icon status is this guy:
Ah, Sqirl’s Kokuho rose brown rice bowl. Mysteriously tender brown rice doused in sorrel pesto and punctuated with preserved Meyer lemons, “lacto fermented” hot sauce, watermelon radishes, feta cheese, and a poached egg. With the addition of a house sausage patty, natch. I’ve seen so many photos of this bad boy that it’s positively egregious to add my own shot to the archive. And a filtered shot from my own Instagram, no less? The shame. The Nouveau parti anticapitaliste will never have me back.
But is it tasty? Yes, totally. My girl K, who is definitely in the know about all the best things in the city, took me to Sqirl when I requested a lady brunch at a place that would make my husband squirm. And oh man, would he have squirmed. A throng of calculatedly casual Angelinos in Priuses and handmade shoes? Check. Quince and rosemary jam? Check. Burnt toast for seven bucks? Check. I joke about the last one – the “burnt brioche toast” is quite deliberate and really delicious, smeared with fresh ricotta and apple butter. The whole place is a scene, but a good one, and that rice bowl is really worth a fuss. It’s such an unexpected breakfast combination, one that probably could be replicated to some degree in your own home. As B would grumble, come springtime sorrel grows in ditches all over the Midwest. Better snatch it up before the in-crowd catches wind.