Saturday, January 9, 2010

Umami Burger 2.0 - Leg of Lamb Burger

I was surrounded by skinny jeans and straight billed hats. It was scary and I didn't know what to do. I was in Silverlake, hipsters all around me, but I had to try Umami burger. I've heard tales of this place, how amazing it is, but how great can a burger really be? It can be amazing!

After braving the sharks clad in their florescent sunglasses and multicolored leggings, I walked into a very familiar venue. Apparently the Cobra and Matadors has since shut down and been replaced with Umami Burger 2.0.

First we had the Market salad. A light and refreshing mixed green salad that at first looks boring but has a nice clean finish. And yes those are sunflower seeds, couldn't tell exactly what was in the vinaigrette but it was citrusy yet sweet.

Sweet potato fries. Something that I often do not understand. But occasionally enjoy, tonight I enjoyed these, but did not love them. I have never been a huge fan of sweet meets savory and can usually handle the slight sweetness of the tuber, but there is either brown sugar or some other crystal of sweetness incarnation sprinkled on these fried sticks. They were perfectly cooked though which I always have a problem with when getting french fries. Also apparently you only get one ketchup, yes it seem homemade or custom, but seriously only one?

Now the pièce de résistance the leg of lamb burger. Usually when trying a new place I go with a staple that is there, something that the waitstaff or the world knows and loves. So I was going to go with the regular Umami burger, but after hearing 3 people that same night say "have you tried the lamb burger at Umami? Ahhh it's AMAZING!" You just have to pull the trigger. Was I disappointed? Well let me tell you...IT WAS AMAZING!

Perfect blend of deliciousness, there was a minty yet spicy flavor and it was a smooth delicious bite every time. I am not a huge lamb fan but I do like it occasionally, and all the reasons you hate eating lamb were not present as I enjoyed my burger.

Final bite: Umami burger is crazy good. They have a great selection of burgers, and you cannot go wrong with any choices. The atmosphere is nice and the prices aren't anything you haven't seen before and won't be mad about after. Do yourself a favor and brave the hipsters for this delicious treat.

Umami Burger 2.0
4655 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Feliz, CA 90027

Thursday, October 1, 2009

American w/o - South Philly Experience Taco Truck

Well I finally did it! I just ate the best example of a philly cheese steak in four years of living in Los Angeles. Today during my lunch break I went on the hunt and tracked down the new South Philly Experience Taco Truck. I pulled up behind it on Olympic and Butler to the aroma of grilling meat and Amoroso rolls.

I ordered an american without, for those that are unaware that is a cheese steak with american cheese and thats it. The flavors melted together and were cooked perfectly. You can get provolone or cheese wiz (my other favorite) if you do not want american, and another thing they also had the hot peppers that I love!

The only disappointing thing that Phillys Best in Burbank has over this truck is that the truck did not have birch beer and all the tasty kakes were sold out. Apparently people buy them in bulk and they sell out with in minutes. The strange thing is that Phillys Best and the SPE truck use the same ingredients, but I guess something can really be said for someone making a philly cheese steak that is from the area, you just do it better!

Final bite: The SPE Truck is amazing and if you like Philly Cheese Steaks you need to track this puppy down. Hands down the best I have had in LA. Good job guys, now get me some Birch Beer and a Yuengling!

South Philly Experience
Location TBD

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cafe Etc. Chicken Panini

Tried Cafe Etc. today on Selma just south of Hollywood Blvd. The cafe is a nice little place that has good coffee drinks and a gang of magazines apparently you can read while you sip on caffeine. But I wasn't there for drinks I was there for food and that food happened to be a Chicken Panini.

The Chicken Panini was on sour dough and came with a side salad which felt like an after thought. It was a simple green salad with a balsamic vinaigrette but added nothing spectacular to the meal. I could have done with out it, maybe sub in a pickle or even a small bag of kettle chips would have added more to my Panini.

The Chicken Panini was toasted perfectly but the flavors did not pop. When you would get the perfect bite of chicken, tomato, swiss and other ingredients it was very good. The chicken though cooked perfectly was not very flavorful if you ate a bite that had more chicken than other ingredients. 

Final bite: Cafe Etc. has some really great coffee and I am sure their other food offerings are very tasty. Ask for a reference on what they feel is amazing to eat, if they say Chicken Panini get something else. 

Cafe Ect.
6371 Selma Ave
Hollywood CA

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Basix Cafe Huevos Rancheros

So I've been to Basix Cafe many times but usually for dinner (They have a great skirt steak fyi). Today we decided to try it for brunch, A: to be different and 2: they have a nice little outdoor seating area where you can sit and enjoy your food. 

I do not often get breakfast when I go to brunch because I am not a HUGE breakfast fan but seriously Huevos Rancheros isn't really that breakfasty of a breakfast food. It's more like a open faced taco with an egg on top of it. The flavors were strong but it could have used a bit more kick. I like to add a little Tabasco to each bite to add a touch of a kick. 

I also got a side of italian sausage despite not being a huge sausage fan. The sausage was very tasty. The thinner pieces were actually my favorite part because I like when sausage is crispy. 

The best part about my brunch was the Arnold Palmer. Basix makes one of the best Arnold Palmers in the city and definitely something you should try if you go there. 

Final bite: Basix is a great little brunch spot but an even better for a cheap dinner or lunch. The prices are fair and the food is very good. Try the skirt steak and the plantains.

Basix Cafe
8333 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Friday, June 19, 2009

Calbi Korean BBQ Taco Truck

There is a new thing in LA, Korean BBQ on Taco Trucks. There is the Kogi Truck and the Calbi Truck. When I heard about these white whales I knew I had to find them, and finally I have found my Moby Dick. Just call me Ahab

If you are unaware the Calbi and Kogi Taco Trucks are mobile restaurants, infusing Korean BBQ and Mexican touches in the ease of a Taco Truck. From what I understood previously you could only find the trucks by either stumbling upon one like I did today, or by following them on Twitter. But lets face it folks I wasn't about to join Twitter for anything, not even food, and that says a lot. I have only been able to find the Calbi Truck and this is my story

Calbi prices are very reasonable so I ordered three different items and the total was under $10. First was a Chicken and a Pork soft taco. The flavors were innately Korean but in the portability of a soft shell taco. It was a delicious morsel and only $2 per taco. Which is actually cheaper per taco than my favorite taco place, Los Tacos. They were both full of flavor and I found it quite intriguing how they mixed the two different cuisines. 

Next was the Korean BBQ steak burrito. Now like most Korean BBQ that I have had, this was cold. Not ice cold but more like room temperature. Also it was a bit soggy but that is my fault. I refused to sit and eat in the street and took all of my food back to the office. You should not follow suit. Eat it all right then and there, forget what people might say if they see you sitting on the sidewalk eating Taco Truck fair. The 4 blocks that I had to walk made my food experience fall from what would have been a high 9 to a mid 8. Other than being cold it was amazing. It had scrabled eggs in it for some reason, I'm guessing thats a Korean thing, and tons of flavor. 

Next on my list is you Kogi, you sneaky Truck, I will get you!

Final Bite: Once you get over the fact that you are eating food off of a refurbished Taco Truck you will be pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't recommend joining Twitter just to follow this Deliciousness on wheels but if you are already a member or have a friend who is, then have them add it. 

Calbi Korean BBQ Taco Truck
Location TBD

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Swingers Turkey Burger and Mash

So I do what I usually do when I try a new place, that is if I am not already going there for a purpose. I ask the waitstaff what they thinks is AWESOME. From my experience they get to eat for free or cheap and pretty much know what's good on the menu. WELL, I have finally been proven wrong. The waitress through an accent pointed me in the direction of the rosemary turkey burger, I of course chose my own side (they didn't have cocktail sauce, so no french fries) and I went with the mashed potatoes.

I will talk about the potatoes first. Other than not being in the shape of a volcano, in my opinion the only way to have them, they were pretty tasty. The mash had chucks of potato in it and the gravy was pretty delicious. Add a little black pepper and you are golden.

Now on to the rosemary turkey burger. Bland. That's all I have to say.

Final Bite: Don't listen to the waitstaff if they suggest this bite of blandness. Pick something you think will be awesome and go with that. Sometimes the hot foreign girl that is taking your order doesn't have the slightest idea what she is talking about.

8020 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Philippe the Original

I have visited a Los Angeles landmark. A place that has been around for over 100 years. Philippe the Original. The atmosphere is fun and the sawdust on the floor makes you feel like you are back in 1908.

You can get ham or turkey or beef or lamb or pork. Out of those beef and lamb are the best that I have had. Pork is on my list next but definitely skip the turkey and ham.

On this occasion I had beef with swiss double dipped. That is when they dip the bread once in jus then make the sandwich and dip it again. Apparently you can get it wet but I didn't know that until started writing this post. There is an inappropriate comment here but it's probably not a good idea on a food blog.

What makes this sandwich really great is when you put condiments on it. Of course try it the way it comes first so you know your bases but adding the Philippe's hot mustard on it makes the sandwich sing.

Final bite: Juicy and delicious if you do it properly. Might not be worth a special trip (down town is far), but definitely worth trying if you are in the area.

Philippe the Original
1001 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012