“I said to myself, ‘This is really ugly. Somebody ought to build a garden here.’ So I said, ‘I’ll do it’ …and I did.” – Amir Dialameh
Amir Dialameh was hiking the trails in Griffith Park in 1971 after a major brush fire ravaged the area when he decided to start a garden.
He obtained permission and then spent years working alone, clearing approximately 200 carbonized tree stumps with a pick and shovel carried from home.
He could be found working in the garden nearly every day for up to eight hours at a time terracing the slopes, building stairs and adding benches.
Amir had challenges along the way. People stole plants, demolished saplings, he was once beaten and robbed, and two major brush fires damaged the garden. But those incidents didn’t keep him away and he patiently restored the losses.
Volunteers began helping maintain Amir’s Garden in the late 70s and continue to do so after Amir’s unexpected death in 2003. Amir once said, “There are so many problems, so many pressures. All people do is complain. They need to get away from that.” Amir’s Garden is just the place people could do that; under his care, it became a five-acre oasis in the city.
I love eating in Los Angeles because there are so many vegetarian options. Here are some of the highlights from our visit.
One of our favorite stops was Mohawk Bend in Echo Park. Retrofitted into a 100-year old Vaudeville theater, they use Californian ingredients to create food for all types of appetites. They have 72 taps of craft beer, 6 stainless steel wine taps, and artisanal spirits.
Shojin Ramen: Seitan Chashu, fried tofu, kale, shiitake mushrooms, nori and green onion.
The Ramen Revolution: Kale, onions, avocado, sprouts, crispy tofu and garlic in a spicy miso broth.
If you need the comforts of home, stop at Home in Silverlake. I loved my Huevos Rancheros.
My HOME Huevos Rancheros: A crispy corn tortilla topped with HOMEmade black beans, two fresh eggs over medium, fire roasted tomato and pepper ranchero sauce and melted jack and cheddar cheese. Served with fruit and guacamole on the side. (vegetarian)
The Husband’s pork sandwich and waffle fries
We had breakfast in Santa Monica at Jinky’s. The food at the table next to us looked so good, we ordered the same thing!
The Husband’s A.M. BREAKFAST SANDWICH: Two fried eggs, bacon, tomato and melted cheddar cheese on grilled sourdough – served with Jinky potatoes.
My mixed fruit, low fat granola and low fat yogurt.
Our last meal was the best sushi The Husband could find. It was at Sugar Fish, he had the “Trust Me” selection featuring Tuna Sashimi, Albacore Sushi, Salmon Sushi, Yellowtail Sushi, Halibut Sushi, Toro Hand Roll and Crab Roll. Sugar Fish restaurants serve only traditional sushi of the highest quality based on Chef Nozawa’s style of sushi.
Toro Hand Roll
Halibut and Yellowtail
From left to right: Snapper, Salmon and Albacore Tuna
And I had the cucumber rolls, they were the best I’ve ever had: