Foraging in Los Angeles

As a first-time visitor, I was pleasantly surprised about the hills, the fruit hanging everywhere you look, the fact that everything here isn’t just smoggy highways and traffic. I think L.A. gets a bad rap (based on my 7 days’ worth of experience here). I was lucky to have thoughtful hosts with eyes also focused on the things I most enjoy, flowers, fruit, leaves and trees.

Emily took me on a morning foraging walk in her neighborhood over the weekend. Here lies our loot (above): [From left, clockwise] Pink peppercorns, a monstrous fig I knocked off a tree with a bamboo stick, prickly pears that were soon gutted to make an infused vinegar, elderflowers that were dropped in booze, and green walnuts we’re chopping in half to make David Lebovitz’s nocino recipe.

Here’s my L.A., enjoy!

Bougainvillea bursting over a fence on one of many of the hillside steps

Meyer lemon blooms on Emily’s stoop

Naranja agria/bitter orange, tree full of fruit hanging over Emily’s garage

Avocados in someone’s front yard

Cactus flowers, nasturtiums in the background



A couple different red mystery flowers (know what they are?)

Lemons, just hangin’ around

A Peruvian variety of peppercorns that grow all over the place on trees here

Black walnuts, before they’re black, aka green walnuts

The mighty hibiscus