Welcome to L.A. Week 2016. To celebrate the rich culinary life of Los Angeles, we’ll be running special features all week to explore the city’s ever-evolving food scene—from its classic tacos, to its offbeat icons. Follow along on Twitter @firstwefeast.
L.A. is the land of
milk and honey weed and munchies, and the sunny-yet-hard-hitting music of Best Coast is the type of blissed out soundtrack Angelenos rally behind. For that, we can partially thank Bethany Cosentino, who has shredded her way to rock stardom since the band’s 2010 debut, Crazy For You.
Cosentino’s ability to tap into dreamy, surf-rock vibes can be traced back to her upbringing (her dad was a session drummer). And as a Los Angeles native, she’s long had a predliection for good bud—you might call her a a stoner’s stoner, preferring to smoke when she’s not taking meetings or making music, prizing her couch and TV over anything else. When it comes to rewarding herself with munchies, the unhealthier the treat, the better. “If I’m high, I try to eat the shittiest thing I can find,” she says.
Cosentino’s relationship with snacking started early, when she was a child actor in food commercials. “My mom appeared in commercials when I was a kid, and I just told her I wanted to do them too,” she says. “The first national commercial I booked was with Little Caesars. There was a huge poodle in the commercial too, and he would stand on his hind legs when his owner blew one of those crazy dog whistles.”
Luckily, Los Angeles is a playground for all sorts of stoner-approved snacks and munchies, from sit-down staples chicken and waffles, to on-the-go treats like Lucas Candies. In honor of L.A. Week, we asked Cosentino about some of the city’s food staples, and whether or not they’re just as good high as they are sober. As always, we’ll break it down into categories that even a pothead can understand—cop or nah?
In-N-Out French Fries
Bethany says: “I like In-N-Out Burger, but I don’t necessarily like their fries—even though I get them almost every time. I feel like they’re healthy since they’re cooked in peanut oil. When I want fast-food fries, I don’t think In-N-Out fries fulfill that craving. If you do get them, I suggest ordering them Animal-style; they’re much better.” (Photo: Carla Choy)
Verdict: Nah, unless they’re Animal-style
Bethany says: “I used to eat those a lot in high school. They’re a very specific L.A. or Southern Californian candy. I remember getting them from the ice-cream man. He would be outside my high school and we would pick up different flavors. They were vegan and they were always something I would eat because I was vegan at the time. And they’re cheap. They’re always on the counter at most liquor stores. If you’re there paying, you might as well pay 75 cents and test them out.” (Photo: mymexicancandy.com)
101 Coffee Shop
Bethany says: “It’s pretty overrated. I take a lot of business meetings there because it’s on the edge of Hollywood. The food is whatever.” (Photo: Yelp/Nikki I.)
Bethany says: “Milk Duds are like the one thing I can only eat two of because they hurt my teeth. The caramel is super intense. I use to get them at the movie theater a lot. But here’s the thing: They get stuck in my teeth and cause me to have a bad toothache. They are delicious though. We’ll put it this way—you have to have the right kind of teeth.“ (Photo: applecandyco.com)
Verdict: Cop, but be warned—they could fuck up your teeth
Bethany says: “It’s a really good stoner snack. They’re easy to make. You always have to get grilled cheese with tomatoes and make it with shitty white bread. That to me makes a grilled cheese.” (Photo by Liz Barclay)
Bethany says: “I’m not a huge dumpling person to be honest. Maybe it’s because I’ve never really had dumplings that changed my opinion. I know there are people who are super into them, and I like anything starchy and carb-y. But I’m just not a fan. It’s also probably because I didn’t eat meat for a long time and I feel like dumplings usually include pork or beef. In any case, yeah, pass.” (Photo by Liz Barclay)
Bethany says: “They’re good if you’re going on a hike or something. But if you’re super-stoned watching a movie, I don’t think you’re going to eat salted cashews.” (Photo: ohnuts.com)
Bethany says: “I love Roscoe’s. They have one of the greatest mac and cheeses I’ve ever eaten. It’s the creamiest. It’s the shittiest way you can eat it, but also the most perfect. Their recipe’s incredible. And when it’s combined together with the waffles and chicken, you can’t beat it.” (Photo: Yelp/Candy R.)
Bethany says: “Their matzo-ball soup is honestly one of the best things ever. It’s perfect. And the broth is so good with some bagel chips. They also have a really, really good tuna melt. I was just there recently and ended up ordering way more to go than I needed. Even though I live on the other side of town, if I ever end up near Canter’s, it’s the obvious choice.” (Photo: Yelp/Sergio Z.)