Once upon a time, I lived in Los Feliz, the tragically hipster neighborhood of Los Angeles. From Vermont to Normandie and between Griffith Park and Hollywood, Ed and I were the king and queen of anti-hip hipsters. We knew it and we talked about it, or rather we talked about ourselves. I had a fabulous and junky avocado green 1971 VW Karmann Ghia and Ed had a shaved head and goatee with an amazing collection of socks. We were That Couple. It was normal for random people to jump in our conversations to ask where I had my cute pixie haircut done or where Ed purchased his unnecessary glasses.
One evening, when discussing how to the make the perfect Venetian spritz (I had come back from 5 months in Venice where Ed joined me for 3 weeks, spending his time dressed with Maurizio at Florian’s), the couple next to us interrupted and asked if we liked burrata. Even though we risked de-throning, we said we had no clue what they were talking about
“It’s an Italian cheese orgasm. You can get it Cora’s Coffee shop.” The famous surfer cafe on Ocean and PCH? Yeah, that place known for its oatmeal. It had recently been bought by the owner of Capo, the Italian restaurant next door. At night, the waiters would run interference between both places with Capo’s specials at discounted prices. We decided to cross the line, La Brea Boulevard, and go to the West Side. Cash was king and the burratas were creamy. We were in heaven.
A few weeks later and back on the west side at a Volkswagen warehouse, I stumbled into the magazzino of an Italian food importer. I threw out a little Roman, “Ma che stai a fa’ qui?” He was the dealer in all things Italian (meats, cheeses, wines, pasta) to Los Angeles’ top restaurants like Orso, Ago and Capo. In addition, he was the Consulate’s hook up and had two aisles devoted to Yoga juices, chocolates and torrones. I was in a cornucopia of Italian love.
When I asked him if he had any bresaola, he asked for my phone number number. I told him I was only interested in his salami and he told me he’d only call me in the early morning hours. If I didn’t answer, I wouldn’t be on the VIP list for that day’s arrival of bresaola.
He’d call me once every few weeks from a blocked number and give me a time to show up, a dollar amount and told me to ask no questions. I did what he said, leaving work at random hours to sit in traffic for half a pound of cold cuts. I was faithful, I was on time and I was finally given the Call. He had something special, something superfresh that couldn’t wait, he had burrata.
That call, and those following, are responsible for the last 9 months of my relationship with Ed because we should’ve broken up sooner had we not been burrata addicts.