At the Table with Val Zavala

KCET's Val ZavalaWhere's the beef? Nowhere near Val. At least that's the impression I got when SoCal Connected anchor Val Zavala stopped to tell me about her favorite foods, desserts and Los Angeles restaurants.

Here's the interview:

To start off, what is your favorite food?

Val: Fresh salsa. Give me a piece of cardboard with salsa on it and I'll love it.

What would be your favorite ethnic or cultural food and why?

Val: Indian food! There is nothing like fresh naan, the scent of curry, the artwork and sensuality of the culture that is delicious.

What role does food have in your life socially, culturally or otherwise? What roles would you say that it has in greater society?

Val: Just try going on a diet. Suddenly your social life sinks to almost nothing. Food equals friends, which equals food, which equals friends... yadda yadda yadda. As for society -- I think a lot of wars could be avoided with a good pot luck.

If something bad happens or you have a rough day at the office, what is your comfort food and why?

Val: Chocolate .. even on a good day.

In your opinion, what is the best restaurant in Los Angeles or Southern California? What dish do you normally order?

Val: Fatty's in Eagle Rock. A wonderful, light-filled neighborhood cafe with great vegetarian food and wine at a nice little price. Tomato garlic salad to die for.

If you had to describe yourself as an eater, what type would you be? Picky, fast food junkie, health food nut or otherwise?

Val: I'm a nibbler throughout the day with a penchant for vegetarian dips like hummus, cilantro pesto or mint yoghurt dip. What?! Out of chips?! Call 911.

Do you have a guilty pleasure food?

Val: French fries. I eat other people's fries. "You gonna eat all those?"

What food item do you like least? Have you always hated it or did you develop a distaste for it over time?

Val: Meat. Over the past year I've seen Food Inc, and King Corn. Yikes! Put them in your Netflix queue. You'll swear off meat too.

Let's end with dessert: if I offered you an all-expenses-paid dessert, what would you order?

Val: I would be torn between cheese cake or coffee ice cream. I guess I'll just have to both.


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