Wanderable On The Road with Raump LA

Travel guru, Andrew Tyree, shares his go-to foodie spots with us during our LA Tour.

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Our tour guide, Andrew showing off his passport – stamp tattoo

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Close-up of Andrew’s rad tattoo

Last month, the Wanderable team had the privilege of hanging with Andrew Tyree of Raump//Coast to Costa while in LA for some first-class treatment and a peek into the fabulous experiences that our partner offers. Between a cocktail class at Gracias Madre, pastrami sandwiches at Wexler’s Deli, and a brewery tour at Angel City Brewerywe couldn’t have been happier. This is definitely something you’re going to need to check out for yourselves (just look at that pastrami sandwich…mouth watering right?!). In between stops, we caught up with Andrew to get the inside scoop on where the inspiration for his company came from and why foodie tours are the perfect idea for Date Night.

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Pastrami sandwich at Wexler’s Deli at the Downtown LA Grand Central Market

How did you come up with the idea for Raump LA & Coast to Costa?

I came up with Coast to Costa first because I had lived in Spain for almost 4 years and fell in love with it. Upon arriving back in SF afterwards, I worked in a Spanish restaurant called Contigo in Noe Valley (go there and tell them Andrew Tyree sent you) and developed relationships with many Spanish wine makers and restaurant owners. I had organized group trips back to Spain with friends for various reasons and figured, why not put all of my contacts together and take groups of Americans on food and wine trips to Barcelona…so I did. That was in 2012 and now I do trips to Spain, Mexico and this year Cuba.

Raump was developed because I moved to Los Angeles only to discover that the city that I had left 15 years ago had reformed and changed in a lot of amazing ways. I now want to showcase neighborhoods that were too sketchy to go to when I was young that have now become amazing artistic communities. It’s warm and friendly and has a TON to offer in DTLA and the east side of LA.

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Handmade cocktails at Gracias Madre (shaken, not stirred)

Why LA? Why these places in particular?

LA is where I’m from. When I left, I thought that I would never come back. Since then I have lived all over the world and seen many beautiful places….Los Angeles is my HOME, though. I’m 33. I needed to come home.

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 Avocado toast and an IPA (breakfast of champions)

Why do you think these places are perfect for Date Night?

For Angelinos, the East Side is like this mysterious side of town. People don’t venture out this way as much. What could be better on a date than some unexpected, super rad parts of your own city that you never knew existed? It’s more of a fun, interesting date. Don’t expect candle lit dinner and sharing the same spaghetti noodle!

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Wanderable couple enjoying the Angel City Brewery Tour

What is your favorite restaurant in Los Angeles?

My favorite restaurant in LA is Bestia. The use of old warehouse space. The design. Industrial as it comes. Abandoned buildings turned into culinary cathedrals. Chef Ori is SICK! He and his crew make their own charcuterie. It is head to tail. They balance it out with the lightest, best deserts imaginable!

 In Spain?

In Spain, well, in Barcelona, the Boqueria Merkat because of all locals just hang out.  Also Tapas24 for, duh, tapas, and my friend’s restaurant Momo’s in the Gracia neighborhood. He based the menu off his personal travels all throughout Asia and serves it in small plated, sharable, Spanish style. In Sevilla, Levies! It was my first experience with Spanish cuisine and I crave it weekly to this day.

What is your favorite bar? Why?

My favorite bar in LA is the Gold Room. I met my wife there! Cheap drinks and no frills. Bar 107 for the quirky decor and crazy dance parties. Tony’s is like my Cheer’s, they always know my name and am always glad I came!

Theive’s Tavern in SF is my favorite bar in the world because I met some of my best friends in the entire world there!!

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Sunrise on the I-5 on our way home from LA

What destinations are on your bucket list?

Cuba, Cuba, Cuba. I can’t get it out of my head. Now that we are ALMOST allowed to go, I am becoming obsessed with the idea of going. I met a man on my last Coast to Costa trip to Tulum, Mexico, who is on the board of tourism and am going to arrange a group of about 15 to go down there this year, as soon as everything is all settled. I cannot wait!!

ALSO, Valle de Guadalupe because that’s where my wife and I are heading for our HONEYMOON!!! WOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!

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Valle de Guadalupe

We cannot thank Andrew enough for giving us such an awesome tour of LA. Be sure to check out Raump the next time you’re in LA (HINT: Date Night) and of course Coast to Costa when in Spain. We’ll definitely be back in LA to experience some more Raump fun ASAP (and hopefully Spain as well)!

#WanderOn

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Guest Blogger Spotlight: Food Lover Tour

Wanderable sent Andy Card and his lovely girlfriend, Sachta, on the perfect gastro-experience with Food Lover Tour to experience Tapas, the right way.

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When vacationing in Barcelona, one would be remiss not to experience a tapas tasting in the Catalan capital. Sachta and I only had three days to explore what the city had to offer so it was important that we didn’t waste any of our precious time in the tourist districts eating unauthentic offerings. We decided to try our luck with a tapas tasting tour.

We figured that trusting a local guide and seasoned tapas eater would be our best bet to have a truly authentic tapas experience. We were introduced to a tour guide named Edouard. He has lived in Barcelona for over a decade and leads food tours for a company called Food Lover Tour.  Given that Sachta and I are both in love with food, we were happy to be under the company’s care.

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Among the different tour options, we opted for the Tapas Lovers Tour. Three hours of eating and drinking our way through Barcelona’s famous tapas bars that you’ve never heard of. The anticipation was palpable. We spent most of the day walking around the city and eating light in order to preserve our appetite and to ensure we were at full potential for the evening’s feast.

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The meeting point for the tour was located in front of the historical Casa Milà, a building designed by the renowned architect, Antoni Gaudí – an ideal place for a brief history lesson on Barcelona’s architecture and cuisine. Once the introduction was complete, our group set off for the first tapas bar of the evening.

Most tapas bars in Barcelona are crowded, at least the good ones, with everyone vying for a table or a seat at the bar. One of the many perks of our group tasting was that we had reserved seating. Upon arrival, we were immediately greeted with Vermouth on the rocks.  This particular Vermouth had been brewed locally and tasted unlike any Vermouth I’ve had in the past. I typically would never drink Vermouth alone and was surprised by the smoothness and flavors. It wasn’t long before our first plates arrived.

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This bar offered a series of delicious meats seasoned with paprika and mixed with different sauces. Spanish cheeses and vegetables found their way into the meat-centric tasting. After about 45 minutes of conversing with other fellow foodies and devouring the Spanish meats, we headed off to another tasting where the local specialty is seafood.

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The atmosphere in the second tapas bar differed from the first. While the first place we experienced was bustling with energy and hungry locals, the second restaurant imbued an old-time charm. You could tell that those who worked there had been preparing these meals for decades. Once seated, traditional baked bread covered in fresh tomatoes and bottles of white wine were presented. Soon to arrive were assortments of fresh razor clams, traditional clams, scallops, shrimp, and octopus. I was amazed of how fresh each dish tasted.

After an hour of blissful seafood, it was time migrate to the third and final tapas bar for the evening. Our final destination was more formal and displayed an impressive wine cellar and open kitchen. The program also differed in that we would be served a three-course meal. The first course consisted of heavenly fried calamari, non-fried calamari, famous green chilies, and more wine. We were also given the option of red or white wine. The main course soon arrived in fashion. Raw meat placed on a hot skillet was presented. We could decide how long we wanted our portions to cook, which I thought was a novel feature of the night. Soon after the tantalizing meat was consumed, dessert was offered. At this point I was almost too full to press on, but it was impossible not to resist the rich chocolate cake.

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By now, the Tapas tour was subsiding. Everyone ate and drank passed their comfortable limits, but no sign of remorse emanated from our group. The food was authentic and delicious; our hosts were knowledgeable and entertaining; us foodies engaged quite well with one another. I would definitely recommend the Tapas Lovers tour to anyone interested in a guided tapas tour in Barcelona. I would also encourage you to explore the other tours offered by Food Lover Tour. If they are anything like what we just experienced, then I have no doubt you will fall in love. I have a feeling that Sachta and I will be talking about this experience to our friends for many years. I hope you will, too!

#WanderOn

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