Literati Cafe, Brentwood – The Delicious Dictionary

literati cafe, brentwood, ca - quesadilla with guac

The New Delicious Dictionary is at the end of this post. Click through or scroll down, and if you have a great new word, please add it in the comments.

There isn’t much to say about Literati Café other than that the few times I have gone there to “meet” people for a cup of coffee or something quick and light to eat, I have liked it.

Don’t get excited. I wasn’t meeting people. I was meeting with people.

literati cafe brentwood, ca - sign
easy to find, central to everyone!
literati cafe, brentwood, ca - coffee
it’s not a meeting without coffee

Because I work about half my time remotely (that’s Geek for “from home,”) Literati serves as an offsite conference room for those rare occasions that I have to meet with people. I’m always open to exploring an opportunity, but I’m too lazy to go chasing them all over this gorgeous though God-awful sprawl. Literati Café is mutually convenient because it’s located not too far from the 405 freeway and has valet parking. Besides, the Westside is central to everything!

However, I never go to Literati Café by myself, on my own because it’s more of a neighborhood place, and though it is located less than a mile from my house, i.e. technically it is in my nabe, it’s still further away than a very similarly vibed place, Coral Tree Café. Literati, from its yellow-based color palette down to its black and white number cards on stands, is like Coral Tree, but with a higher IQ. That wasn’t meant to be a dig at Coral Tree, just a fact. I just don’t use Coral Tree Café as my conference room because it’s a little bit more of a hair-do for people coming from elsewhere – it requires effort to navigate the non-perpendicular layout of San Vicente and Wilshire, and the place itself is a bustling Bugaboo Derby.

literati cafe, brenwtood, ca - bread
for the carbo-tarian
literati cafe, brentwood, ca - chicken salad
quite the flavorscape

The food is not particularly outstanding. Rather, the reason that one would choose to go to Literati over a comparable establishment is for the atmosphere. They have the standard cafe ordering process in which customers line up alongside a glass case filled with pastries and desserts meant to tempt your attention away from the more virtuous options hand-written on chalkboards above the counter. Mornings are not limited to “hand” foods – there are waffles, pancakes, omelets, and other things that require plates. I’ve tried an omelet before and wasn’t disappointed. It’s no better than one I can make at home, but that’s not the point of my going to Literati.

The point of Literati is that it is all about literacy and literature and reading and writing and books and basically being a grade A, four-point-oh nerd. Literati are like the Glitterati, except that they can read. Without their sunglasses on indoors. It makes me feel intelligent to say, “Let’s meet at Literati,” and since I don’t have too much more to say about Literati Cafe, I’m letting its name inspire my brain to do brainy things like write a dictionary.

Because I’m tired of people describing food as “yum-o.” Because I’m a fucking Balderdash champion. Because I’m in marketing and marketers make up new words and phrases like “supersize” and “fourth meal” and “podcast” to sell you things. Because I’m a blogger and if “blog” isn’t the most ridiculous made up word, I don’t know what is.

I’m not saying I made up all these words and phrases. Some of the words are already floating out there in the ether. Some of them I made up and use myself. This is just the beginning of what I am sure will become a silent obsession for me. If you have one, add it in the comments.

literati cafe, brentwood, ca - quesadilla

Delicious Dictionary

air sandwich – noun. No food.
ex. “What are you eating for lunch?” “Air sandwich. I don’t have time for lunch today.”

ADD - noun. TLA for “Attention Deficit Dining,” a disorder in which a person takes 45 minutes to decide where to eat, then changes her mind at least 4 times before ending up at the original choice. Going to a mall food court or a buffet is often a good way to deal with someone who suffers from ADD.
ex. Don’t ask her where she wants to eat; we should just pick and tell her. She has ADD.

ATF - adj. Stands for “all-time favorite.” Has to be used because people have forgotten the meaning of “favorite” and will say they have four favorite cuisines. This is stupid. A favorite is one thing. But I digress.
ex. I love Caesar, Nicoise, and Chopped salads, but the Wedge is my ATF.

baby bear – noun. Inspired the fairy tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, someone who eats anything and finds it “just right.” You should not eat with this person because clearly he has no taste.
ex.  It doesn’t matter where we eat. He’s a baby bear.

bestest – adj. Better than the best. You can use this word, but be careful. You might sound illegitimate.
ex. i Cugini makes the bestest Caesar Salad.

carb coma – noun. The feeling of sleepiness after overdosing on carbohydrates. I hate the use of “food coma.”
ex. I ate so much bread and pasta at Delfini, I’m slipping into a carb coma.

carbotarian – noun. A person who eats only carbs, like a vegetarian only eats vegetables. This can be a temporary condition for many women, once a month.
ex. Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse might not be such a good idea. She’s a carbotarian.

deluscious – adj. So delicious it arouses physical or sexual desire.
ex. The sushi at Kiriko is deluscious

dining al desko – noun. Based on the phrase “dining al fresco,” eating at your desk because either 1) your boss handed you an assignment at 11:45 with a 1:00 deadline or 2) you’re a loser or 3) your Fantasy Football draft starts at noon (see #2).
ex. “Want to go get crepes for lunch?” “Nah, I’ll be dining al desko with trashy Chinese today.”

dine and dish – noun. 1. Eating and then talking about it, usually ad nauseum (often results in a person’s starting a food blog). 2. A food blog meme that was started with optimism, but fizzled out after about seven editions because the founder got lazy. And she got a job.
ex. I don’t want to hang out with her afterwards. All she does is dine and dish.

dining disorder – n. A general term for any of several mental conditions including ADD (see above), OCD, chronic brunchitis, red bullimia, semi-homemade cooking, among others.
ex. She has several dining disorders.

dinner badge – noun. Food stains on the front of one’s shirt as a result of gluttonous eating.
ex. Nice dinner badge. You had Indian food for dinner?

firrhea – noun. GI syndrome that results in a burning release from the bottom that is often as explosive as a volcano. Most likely the result of eating too-spicy foods.
ex. I knew I was going to have firrhea after that bowl of yoo-gae-jahng.

flavorgasm – noun. (verb form “flavorgasmic”) Feeling similar to that reached during sexual climax as the result of some food, often accompanied by moaning and Hello Kitty-pitched squeals. The female judges on the original Iron Chef are willing to experience this on camera all the time. If you are a jaded food blogger, you don’t experience this much anymore. If you experience this a lot, it’s time for you to get a boyfriend.
ex. The braised shortribs at Violet gave her a flavorgasm. Or maybe it was the hot chef.

flavorscape – n. Better word for the phrase “flavor profile,” which a lot of food writers use because they’re paid by the word, but it’s annoying.
ex. The lamb frankie had a distinctively spicy flavorscape.

flog – noun. 1. Concatenization of “food” and “blog.” 2. A failed blog. 3. To whip oneself, usually as a form of punishment. 4. To aggressively sell or promote. 5. Oftentimes, all four previous definitions combined.
ex. Reading certain flogs that flagrantly flog themselves makes me want to flog myself.

flotisservescent – adj. Quality of being light, airy, and fizzy, or causing the same condition in your head after eating it.
ex. Cantaloop is flotisservescent.

foody call – noun. 1. Late night summons to an all-night restaurant to arrange for delivery of food out of stressperation or hangover pre-helper. There is usually melty cheese involved. Not to be confused with a “foodie call,” which is a telephone conversation between two food snobs. 2. A call, txt msg, or IM to a “friend” as a disguise for another type of call that rhymes with “foody.” Melty cheese optional.
Ex. I’m starved. Who can make good on a foody call at 3 am?

fourth meal – noun. Taco Bell’s marketing ploy to get you to eat a Mexican Pizza at midnight. This is stupid. By midnight, I am on 6th meal. And Mexican Pizzas are disgusting.
ex. I eat Benito’s Nachos for my fourth meal.

Goldilocks – noun. 1. Derived in the same way as “baby bear” (see above), one who is never happy with what she is eating, i.e. everything is “too hot” or “too cold,” never “just right.” Often leads to ADD and other disordered dining behaviors. 2. (verb) to try out or taste multiple options or variations, often without paying for them before finding the one that’s “just right”
ex. She Goldilocksed her way around the salad bar with her fingers before making her salad.

gushious – adj. Quality of exploding liquid once it is bitten into (don’t be perverted).
ex. Bite into spanakopita straight from the oven very carefully. It’s pretty gushious.

hot cock – n. Sriracha sauce, so named for the picture of the rooster on the front of the bottle. Can be spelled as “Haute Cock” when using on faaaancy foods.
ex. I’ll only eat pho if I drown the whole thing in Hot Cock.

mealstoned – noun. New, better, way to label “food coma.” State shortly following an enormous meal in which senses are dulled, speech is slow and slurred, and reflexes reduced to almost nothing.
ex. I’m always mealstoned after Mexican food.

melty – adj. 1. Taco Bell-coined marketing term for a food filled with melted cheese. 2. Japanglish translation of “melted.”
ex. Literati’s quesadilla wasn’t very melty.

me-niverse – n. State of thinking one is the center of the universe. This has nothing to do with food, but often times, I wonder if food bloggers live in their own meniverses, as if other people actually care about every fucking thing they cook and eat.
ex. Self-centered little bitch lives in her own meniverse.

mental bakedown – n. Handling a mental breakdown, extreme stress, or a mid-life crisis by withdrawing into the kitchen and making ridiculous amounts of fattening baked goods (usually followed by eating at least half of it)
ex. I had a mental bakedown this weekend, and baked four dozen brownies and two dozen cupcakes. Oh yeah, and a red velvet cake. I ate half of it.

pantry raid – n. Making a meal out of pantry items only because you’re too lazy to go to the market. This often results in Spaghetti with Spamballs or Steamed Rice with canned beans that expired in 1987.
ex. I was too tired to run to the market before dinner last night so I made pasta from a pantry raid.

therapy – n. Blogging about food and dining as a disguise for writing about oneself and one’s problems that almost never have anything to do with food.
ex. The Delicious Life

wasaby – adj. Tastes like wasabi.
ex. That piece of saba was too wasaby.

I’ll probably need to go back to Literati to add more to the Delicious Dictionary. I only wish they had actual books there. If they had a shelf of boardgames, I might actually make Literati my naeighborhood spot.

Literati Cafe
12081 Wilshire Blvd.
Brentwood, CA 90025
310.231.7484

www.literaticafe.com

** a year ago today, my personal ad would never say “loves thai food, travel, and long walks on the beach.” okay, unless it’s a road trip and tong dang thai, but i still hate the beach. **
** two years ago today, i had that, you know, glow **

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  • bri

    Hi Sarah,
    As you describe where you are, it brings back many memories for me, since, you are in my old stomping grounds. Moved away about three years ago. Good food in that area. So, my contribution to your dictionary is:
    asparagoosed: verb Meaning when you eat asparagus earlier in the day, and are shocked at the foul smell when you pee.
    ex. I got asparagoosed again. You’d think I would remember this happens every time.

  • RT

    Like usual, I have to agree with you. The food isn’t anything special; I always go with the veggie quesadilla or the chicken pesto sandwich, and their coffee is hit or miss. The place isn’t exactly inexpensive, either. Nonetheless, I really enjoy going there. The people are pleasant, the valets don’t charge if you’re getting something to go, and the atmosphere is great. And just like every where else in Brentwood, there’s always some good eye candy. Brentwood never fails me in that regard. The biggest problem is that the place can get a bit too busy in the evenings with writers working on their novels/screenplays or Bruins working on their term papers. Consequently, they have a time limit on how long you can camp out at a table when it’s busy, which can be kind of annoying.

    Even though I would say Literati Cafe’s food is solid but nothing special, the food at Literati II, the upscale sibling restaurant next door, is one of my favorite spots. I’ve always left happy.

  • RT

    Like usual, I have to agree with you. The food isn’t anything special; I always go with the veggie quesadilla or the chicken pesto sandwich, and their coffee is hit or miss. The place isn’t exactly inexpensive, either. Nonetheless, I really enjoy going there. The people are pleasant, the valets don’t charge if you’re getting something to go, and the atmosphere is great. And just like every where else in Brentwood, there’s always some good eye candy. Brentwood never fails me in that regard. The biggest problem is that the place can get a bit too busy in the evenings with writers working on their novels/screenplays or Bruins working on their term papers. Consequently, they have a time limit on how long you can camp out at a table when it’s busy, which can be kind of annoying.

    Even though I would say Literati Cafe’s food is solid but nothing special, the food at Literati II, the upscale sibling restaurant next door, is one of my favorite spots. I’ve always left happy.

  • RT

    And yes, I realize that my use of ‘favorite’ may offend Ms. Delicious. Sorry, but I can’t narrow down my list of ‘favorite’ restaurants to just one.

  • RT

    And yes, I realize that my use of ‘favorite’ may offend Ms. Delicious. Sorry, but I can’t narrow down my list of ‘favorite’ restaurants to just one.

  • justJENN

    Excellent dictionary!

  • justJENN

    Excellent dictionary!

  • Anonymous

    Dine & Dish…I miss those. You should resuscitate that, Sarah!

  • Anonymous

    Dine & Dish…I miss those. You should resuscitate that, Sarah!

  • berlita

    Hot Cock for Sriracha? Fabulous! We call it the Kickin’ Chicken, but might have to borrow your term.

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