Hummingbird Beats: Kat Odell

A Hummingbird tastes the sweetest nectar.  So, too, does my eating buddy, Kat Odell. She’s the editor for Eater LA and can be found dining in restaurants the day they take down the Tyvek, flocking to top Food and Wine Festivals and scouting little known hole-in-the-walls. Though picky, she’ll try anything once and that’s led to meals that range from dives to all weekend benders with renowned chefs in Vegas.  Take it away, Kat.

What’s in your bag? When you pack for a trip, in your handbag, in the pockets of your jeans…?

Pant pockets, nada. In my day-to-day bag: a wireless hotspot, lip gloss, gum, business cards, wallet, keys, hands-free cell phone thing, probably 10 business cards I’ve acquired and not filed away yet, Tide pen, Advil, hand cream, Clean Well hand sani.

You have 5 minutes to pack up – for a trip for which the duration you’re not sure. What do you take?

Sunglasses, laptop, agenda, camera, mix of warm and cold clothes, Converse, passport.

What is your most essential article of clothing?

Lately, I am kind of obsessing over this vintage belt I stole from my mom. It’s etched brown leather with a super colorful hand-stitched Native American pattern on it.

What are the top 5 songs you need to have access to hearing at all times?

Right now: Anything Postal Service, Aloe Blacc – ‘I Need A Dollar’, Feist – ‘My Moon, My Man’ (Grizzly Bear Remix), Band of Horses – ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’, Wax Tailor – ‘Que Sera’. Can I add one more? Passion Pit- ‘Tonight Tonight’.

What is your preferred hummingbird beat/cities you like to frequent?  

I bounce between LA and NY relatively frequently.

What’s something crazy that you did to follow your passion? (Like, did you live out of your car for a month? Drive 10 hours to pick up a certain, weird material you needed?)

Two years ago, I traveled to Italy and drove three hours from the Amalfi Coast to a TINY town called Bagnoli Irpeno in Avellino (which is in the Italian countryside) on the hunt for black truffles, porcini and chestnuts. Per my guidebook, Bagnoli Irpeno is a famous black truffle town and I sort of blindly drove there, not really sure what I would find. I ended up meeting the founder of Lenzi Truffles and he sent me to a bed and breakfast called Nonna Pena and there I had one of the best meals of my life. Every single edible I ingested, from the bread to the wine to the cheese to the black truffles… everything in all seven courses was made-in house or gown on site. Price tag: 25 Euros.

What is one tip you have for traveling – a beauty tip, a survival tip, a culinary tip… ?

Always bring earphones, snacks and some type of laptop/iPad situation. I always travel with a wireless hotspot so I can jump online if need be (also, so I can work from anywhere).  I also am incredibly difficult with food and, generally speaking, airport fare is rather inedible. So, I bring my own. I like to hit Whole Foods the day before to scoop travel snacks. Or, if I have time the day of, I snag a sandwich from Bay Cities which is two blocks from where I live in Santa Monica.

What’s a recent or favorite meal you had while bouncing around the globe?

I had some of the most incredible white pineapple recently in Hawaii. That, plus great poke-poke and ramen. Over the summer I tried marin (looks like a black lobster) in Western Australia, which was pretty delicious.

Where have you had your best night’s sleep?

At home.

Who would you like to travel with – three people (you guys can caravan together or on separate trips)?

One of my best girlfriends, Michael Cera, Craig Claiborne.

(Photo: Elizabeth Daniels)