Dear Mr. Gold:
Lately, a friend and I have been hankering for some grits with imagination. Thus far our search has been lackadaisical; less a search than a leisurely treasure hunt that took us to Brite Spot in Echo Park and Roscoe’s on Pico. Can you suggest other places where we may find our Southern grits, as well as some creative offshoots?
—Dani, Santa Monica
The best plate of grits I’ve had in a restaurant lately was at Holly Hill in Midway, Kentucky, which does not help you a whit. (They use the excellent water-milled Weisenberger grits, which you can order from www.weisenberger.com — my freezer is full of Weisenberger yellow grits.) Restaurant grits in California are sorry affairs — I tend to make my own when the hunger comes up, as it tends to on Saturday mornings. Grits, biscuits, country ham and sausage gravy. That’s the ticket.
Pann’s, the coffee shop on La Tijera, is renowned for its grits, but I’m afraid you won’t find them much to write home about. Wilshire, the farmer-minded restaurant in Santa Monica, has organic, stone-ground Anson Mills grits from North Carolina among their side dishes — not bad. (You can also find the Anson Mills grits, beloved of the food staff of The New York Times, in the freezer case at Surfas in Culver City.) And Square One, a breakfast-oriented café across from the Scientology building in east Hollywood, not only serves Anson Mills grits but will top them with Quebec cheddar and Nueske’s bacon for an extra 75 cents — money, in my estimation, well spent. 4854 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 661-1109.