One of his first memories is bringing goldfish crackers to Julia Child in his family's living room. It's simple to see how Hadley Tomicki was born to live the fooding life. Luckily for him, he has worked his way to a post as the Los Angeles Editor of UrbanDaddy + founder of LATaco.
We are honored to welcome Hadley as our latest Guest Editor and to discuss his Culinary Adventures across Los Angeles, and beyond.
What’s the best thing about heading UrbanDaddy in Los Angeles?
More than anything, it’s meeting smart, talented, and truly kind personalities behind the restaurants, bars, and shops we cover. People like Rob Serritella from Holy Cow BBQ and MessHall. Hotelier Jeff Klein of Sunset Tower. Bobby Green, who runs some of LA’s very best bars. Jeff Weinstein of Cadet and Freddy Smalls. Mary Thompson at Saint Martha. Chefs like Neal Fraser, Niki Nakayama, and Roy Choi. These are just a few warm, humble talents that come to mind that put their passion and kindness before their egos.
You also run the site, LATaco.com and coordinate Taco Madness Festival. Why the obsession? What’s your favorite classic and also obscure place for a great taco in LA?
Tacos are more American than apple pie, especially for Southwesteners. My favorite classic taco is probably the taco de papa at El Atacor in Cypress Park or the taco dorado de camaron at Mariscos Jalisco. For a more obscure taco, it’d have to be one of the underground barbacoa specialists who set up shop in their backyard on weekends.
It’s March! What are some of your favorite seasonal ingredients and preparations?
Butternut squash soup or butternut squash sprinkled with cinnamon. Asparagus drizzled with sesame oil or sunflower oil and sprinkled with salt. That’s my jam. Also, when it gets cold outside, we like making a big, comforting pot of beef borscht in our house.
What’s the most important thing to throw a perfect dinner party?
Solid cocktails to break the ice. I like to bottle negronis in a barrel-aging kit so they’re ready to pour and everyone’s drinking the same thing while loosening up.
Writing for UrbanDaddy you get to eat at most of the city’s exciting new openings. What’s the one that surprised you most last year?
I’m inspired by all the wood-fueled, live fire I see around town. Odys & Penelope and Terrine are fantastic. Aestus is truly a gem. Alex Ageneau is really pushing himself. The plates are beautiful, the sommelier is incredible, and the results are extremely rewarding.
(If it has to be an opening from last year) Bowery Bungalow in Silver Lake. It’s a very smart blending of Middle Eastern history, flavors and ingredients that’s giving LA something it doesn’t have enough of. An intelligent and fantastic contemporary Middle Eastern dining experience.
It’s Happy Hour. What’s your drink of choice?
I like Old Fashioneds, tart cocktails with smoky, leathery mezcal, IPAs, stouts, and Fortaleza reposado to sip. Not all at the same time.
Do you have a favorite local artisanal treat?
Früute makes incredible cookies and tarts, including a bacon-blackpepper rocher that is mind-blowing. Hubby Bars. Choctal single-origin ice cream is also incredible.
Midnight snack of choice?
Goldfish. Triscuits with chipotle Bitchin’ Sauce. Or some day-old pho from the fridge.
Your father is also a food editor. Do you think your interest for the culinary world stems from watching that growing up? Do you two agree on what restaurants are excelling or have different opinions on dining?
We love eating together, but come from very different experiences. My dad has been publishing Entrée Travel Newsletter for over 30 years with a focus on luxury travel and dining. He comes from the age when haute cuisine, Le Grenouille, and Lespinasse were the benchmarks of eating out and the customer was always right. These days, restaurants act like they’re Pink Floyd and you’re lucky to be in attendance. So I tend to be much more of an apologist for bad service. But we fundamentally agree when an experience is excellent, which could be anything from having a #19 at Langer’s or croquetas at Jaleo.
What’s up next for you? Any exciting culinary travels or ventures to share?
I will be getting married soon!
Follow Hadley's Fooding Adventures: