Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Adventure Wednesday... get your Jackfruit Carnitas before it's too late!

I procrastinate.  It's not a favorite habit of mine, and I do a fair amount of anti-procrastination work in order to combat it (like making lists and doing morning journaling so that I keep my goals and to-dos fresh in my mind.) But nonetheless, I procrastinate.  But nothing lights a fire under my ass like a good deadline.

So when Tom read about the upcoming shuttering of a restaurant that we've meant to go to for several years, we pretty much went straight there.  Hello, Adventure Wednesday.

Pure Luck is a restaurant that specializes in an unusual vegetable: the jackfruit.  What the jack-sh*t is jackfruit?  We didn't know, either.  All we knew was that review after review after review of their jackfruit dishes proclaimed it to be heaven in a bun (or on a tortilla, or in a bowl, or...)

Pretty unassuming for the place that serves what appears to be ambrosia.
(The food of the gods, not the fluffy marshmallow salad.)

It turns out that jackfruit is a southern Asian fruit, which, when picked and cooked before it fully ripens, can make an amazing meaty-textured curry dish.  The brilliant people at Pure Luck take a long, lunging step away from curry with their jackfruit "carnitas" and "pulled pork."  We ordered one of each dish, to share.

Here's the jackfruit carnitas burrito, with "Cesar" nut salad, vegan "crema" and salsa verde.

Cross-sectional view of the burrito.

Pulled-pork style barbecue jackfruit, with a bowl of mushroom-potato-coconut soup.

Oh, they look good, but they taste even better.  Tom, who has never eaten meat in his life, had his first taste of barbecue sandwich, and promptly asked if we could come back every day until they closed.

All in all, here's one of those "healthy" meals at a "healthy" restaurant, which is far more food/calories than we needed for lunch.  (I estimated my intake at around 800, which, balanced with light but filling breakfast and dinner, brought me to 1500 for the day.)  We were hungry and excited to try the dishes, but afterward we agreed that when we return, we'll be sharing one sandwich (the pulled pork, because it was crazy-good) and each ordering a side salad and soup.

I highly recommend that if you live in or near LA, you head over to Pure Luck before it's gone for good.  I can't believe it's closing and we waited this long to try it.    Even if you are not a fan of vegetarian food, this is not like any vegetarian food you've ever eaten.  And let us know if you're going. We want to go back.

Pure Luck
707 N Heliotrope Dr
Los Angeles, California 90029

While you're in the neighborhood, there are a few other spots to explore.  One is Orange 20 Bikes, a bicycle shop which I'll discuss in more detail tomorrow.  Another is Cateye Vintage Spectacles.

Hello, nurse!

I'm a big fan of the retro aesthetic, and Cateye had an array of mint-condition vintage glasses that were absolutely drool-worthy.  Someday, I will own some honest-to-goodness cateye specs.

Available at Cateye Vintage Spectacles

But don't buy them before I get to them.  It'll be awhile.

Another excellent hot tip for the neighborhood is Scoops Ice Cream.

We may have been here many times before, but thanks to the unusual flavors of handmade gelato, vegan ice cream and sorbet on the menu - which changes every day based on the proprieter's creative whims - it's always a tasting adventure.  I'm not kidding - in the past, we've seen them offer flavors like roasted corn, wasabi, or oyster.  Yes, oyster.  And I'm a brave little toaster... I've tried them all. (I don't recommend the oyster.)  But they also have unique but less-weird flavors like balsamic strawberry, goat cheese/lavender, orange tang, banana oreo, and peanut butter/egg nog (a combination I wouldn't have expected to be so tasty.)  A trip to Scoops is always delicious and surprising.

And I'm excited to say that I have the perfect healthy moderation food tip for ice cream fans!  Scoops offers a "tasting" option - $1 for just a taste of up to four different flavors.  We were comfortably full from lunch but couldn't miss the opportunity to sample their wares.

My samples.

Tom's samples.

The neat thing about this is that you get to treat your palate with unusual flavors, and I find that varying flavors is key to not getting bored with healthy eating.  I felt just as happy with this variety of tastes as I have with a scoop of one flavor in the past.  And I probably only got about a tablespoon and a half of dessert, total.  At that rate, if you're curious you could try 8.  What's another $1 and 1.5 TB?

How do you vary your flavors and keep yourself interested?  And what adventure did you find this week?  And how are you taking care of you?


  1. I remember my delicious black rice and toasted sesame ice cream. NOM!

    I love your flavor choices, Tom and Heidi!! I can't want to visit again!

  2. Do you happen to know when it's closing? We'd love to go, but it'll be 1.5 weeks until we can go.

  3. Leanne, we asked the staff and they said "possibly as soon as 45 days from now." I'm hoping it's not earlier, because I'd definitely like to go at least once more before they close.

  4. It looks so delicious! I am trying to discover more places like that around here, but it's not quite the same. The ice cream tastes look SO good!