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

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Gumbo Spot

Gumbo: a delicious mixture of spice and in my case seafood. I went to The Gumbo Pot in the farmers market and tried and I quote, "Best Gumbo In Town". The gumbo was served with corn bread and some interesting spicy potato salad. The sad part though was that I found it underwhelming. When I ordered the southern staple I was expecting this amazing mixture of crab and shrimp that would leave me in tears from the amazingness of it all. But that failed to happen.

The corn bread was dry and the best part of the whole meal was the potato salad. The worse part of the whole experience was that I found a hair in my gumbo. You may say "hey are you sure it was not your own hair?" Which I reply, yes I know mine is falling out, but the hair in question was long and curly so that rules out my half PI locks. 

Final Bite: Best Gumbo In Town? Hardly, keep in mind that I have not eaten any other gumbo in this town, but it's fair to say that there are probably better gumbos.

The Gumbo Spot
The Farmers Market
6333 W 3rd St # 312
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Bay Cities - The Godmother

Just like my food idol Joey Tribbiani my favorite food is also sandwiches. The Earl of Sandwich really had a great idea here and I am so happy that he was a degenerate gambler and refused to leave his hand at the poker table. If it weren't for this visionary we might not have this delicious treat, actually we probably would eventually, seriously how hard would it have been to invent the sandwich anyway?

In Santa Monica exists a great pseudo restaurant known as Bay Cities Deli that I am sure if Joey was a real person or the Earl came back to life as a zombie would definitely be a stop on their lists. I have been to this fine establishment a few times but I finally was able to show enough self control and take a picture of my food before I started eating (my new rule for this blog is that the food I blog about must be ordered by me or a majority of it must be consumed by myself AND I must have a picture, because seriously we all know too many words are boring).

I first heard about this place in an interview with Keanu Reeves in Details magazine, and I knew from the description that it would be right up my alley. Your best bet is to A: not go on Monday's because they are closed and 2: place your order online and then pick it up. The place is a mess of people. You will be there forever and you will hate yourself, that is until you eat the sandwich then it's all worth it, but you'll be bitching every second until that first bite. 

I ordered per usual the Godmother with the works and hot peppers. The Godmother is pretty much a classic Italian Hoagie, yes Hoagie get it right people, with Genoa Salami, Mortadella Coppacola, Ham, Prosciutto and Provolone cheese. The "Works" condiments on this amazingness come as follows, Mayo, Mustard (Yellow, Honey or Dijon), Onions, Pickles, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Italian Dressing and Mild or Hot Pepper Salad. One of the best parts and also faults in my opinion of this monster is the bread. The bread is soft and moist on the inside crispy on the out BUT it is almost too hard on the outside. If I was in an old folks home I would probably have to blend this thing to eat it. The trick that I found that works for me is you just let the sandwich sit. It will be really, really hard once you've experienced this bad boy but trust me if you let it sit for 15-30 minutes after you order it the juices soak in and you will be very happy.

Final Bite: Bay Cities Godmother is one of the best Hoagies I've had not only in LA but ever. Yes that's a statement as bold as their hot peppers. Do yourself a favor if you live far from Santa Monica, order online and show up late to pick up your sandwich.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery 
1517 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-8279

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

First Annual Foodapalooza Official Recap

Well it is officially over. I have officially been able to move without wanting to die from fullness for a good few days. Let me tell you something about eating at 10 places over a 7 hour period, it's a lot harder than it sounds. There is no rhyme or reason why we thought we could do it and have it be a piece of cake, pun intended, but we did. We were so cocky that we even ordered our own slices of pizza instead of splitting one early on in the trip. If it wasn't for a snag at The Belmont and a long ass commute between our places in the valley I am not sure we would have finished. 

So let's get started, keep in mind that we chose all of these places because either I or Dana loved them. Assume that they are all amazing and that you should eat there. 

Bloom Cafe was our first stop and one of the only place open early enough to make this whole day plausible. 
We ordered the Salmon Tartine, it's pretty much like eating lox on a bagel but it was on a piece of wheat toast. The Salmon was delicious and the whole meal was a great light start to the day. For the money you get a great amount of fish and also they have cucumber water there. I never had cucumber water but it's pretty freaking refreshing. 

Second stop was the ever famous Village Pizzeria on Larchmont. If you don't know about it, then I guess it's not that famous but it should be.

We had to get a Garlic Knot. Why? Because it was a garlic knot that uses real garlic. What more do you want? You want more? Move to Little Italy. Other than the fact that ours was cold in the middle the thing was great. Perfect mix of real garlic and deliciousness. I also enjoyed the sidecar of marinara. I believe it is different than that sauce on the pizza but it was tasty.

Possibly the highlight of my day. I finally found an amazing, east coast esc, heart cloggin and terrific slice of pizza. I was talking to Dana about how I loved back at the Hofbrau how the pepperonis would curl up and create little cups of heart clogging heaven. I kept yapping on about it and Dana stayed completely quiet. I waited on my well done piece of pizza; always remember to get the thin crust slices cooked well done, I literally almost started crying when the slice arrived with pepperonis curled up like saucers.  And after I took my first bite it was not a dream. Pretty much the slice was perfect, and I mean that in all aspects of that word from price to execution. Thank you LA! Finally!
Off to Cobra's and Matadors following my high of finally getting a good slice in LA. Dana decided to scare me with Tapas. 

Now don't get me wrong I LOVE tapas. But we were at Cob & Mat for one thing and one thing only. Bacon Wrapped Dates. Yes you can gasp if you want, I did. The name alone has amazingness and scariness all in one. Yes I was scared. But it turned out pretty good. Really rich actually. I felt like I needed a glass of milk afterwards, but that might have just been weird.

Time for a little Mexican flavor! Los Tacos in WeHo was next and one of my favorite local spots in LA. I literally went to Los Tacos every Sunday for the first 2 years that I lived in CA. They are open really really late so I definitely recommend trying it when you can.
We got 2 different tacos here. The first was a chicken soft taco. I really feel that it is a great execution on the simple taco. The shredded chicken and mix of lettuce, tomatoes and melted cheese are so good. My favorite thing is the hot sauce next to the register. I soak my tacos in the stuff. It is definitely not for the faint of heart but even the tiniest bit will amp up the tacos flavor. 
Here's where a lot of you may be shocked. Los Tacos uses tortillas to make their hard shell tacos. They take it and do something awesome to it and bam; you have a hard shell taco. Perfectly crispy not like the ones you get at other Taco joints that completely break when you take a bite. Shits good son, real good.
One of my old favorite cheap sushi spots was next on the menu. Omi Sushi has gone through its fair share of new owners but the menu has always been consistent along with the choice and quality which is pretty good as well.
My friend April and I used to always get a baked lobster roll and it was one of our favorites. I was hoping that it would still be good since I have not been to Omi in forever. I was pleased to find out that other than adding a few new ingredients the California Roll topped with Langoustine and special sauce was still pretty delightful. It is a rich roll and has a slight sweet taste to it. Take a little bath in soy and wasabi and you are set to go.
The Belmont you crazy no sense making establishment. This is where we hit a snag. Being the organizer of this event I checked everything for ALMOST every place, from hours of operation, cost, dress code, need for reservations etc. But I failed in one aspect. Finding out if the Belmont sold Mac & Cheese at lunch time. Well they don't. Who would have thought right? Seriously the Belmont and McDonalds need to take cues from Jack in the Box and sell all their food at all hours of the day. This was the whole reason this day was conceived. To remedy this we had to go back later, but I will talk about it now.
Mac & Cheese, something about it just makes you feel safe. No matter what kind you get, be it shells and cheese from Ralph's or gourmet from a restaurant I always get a slight tingle. In my opinion The Belmont has one of the best M & C's I have ever had. I have heard people say no and give me places that are better but they never offer why they do not like it. This is why it's amazing, it has bacon in it, bacon, I mean seriously did you just not read about me eating a date wrapped in bacon? Also there is crab in it. Fucking crab I mean that alone should get the snobby people involved. The top is also crispy and delicious. It's pretty damn near perfect. Only thing that makes it even better you may ask? Salt. Yes salt. Dana can confirm that the M & C is not only good when plain, it is damn near fantastically amazing once you add some salt. It is almost like a different dish was placed in front of you. 
Time to get back to my (pseudo) roots. In West Philadelphia born and raised...

Cheese Steaks. Another item that has been elusive. Yes I have eaten here before and it was even the reason I started this blog. Yes I just admitted this is a blog, man I hate blogs. This cheese steak is still one of the best I have had in LA. This time around we got American with or wit for those of you in the know. Our cashier was not in the know. SO American with onions please. God how fake Philly can you be? Make sure when you go no matter what cheese you get (I still recommend wiz) you have them mix it into the meat. All in all it was good, washed down with a birch beer and we were set to head further into the valley. Yes we were in the valley, god its hot there.
Now it's time for my favorite place EVER. The only reason I currently drive into the valley with out hesitation. Ladies and Gentleman I introduce you to... the Pita Kitchen!!! I LOVE THE PITA KITCHEN! It's saved and speed dialed in my mobile device. God I love it so.
For sharing purposes we got the Lamb Shawarma Pita. You can also get it as a wrap or a plate. I really love ordering plates, but you then have to make it yourself. All I can say is that I love the Pita Kitchen, other than being cash only (they remedied this by getting an ATM) I have nothing to say negative or even positive because my love is so intense I can't think of words to express myself. Lamb Shawarma, Lamb Kabobs, Chicken Schnitzel, hummus, Greek salad and rice. My saliva glands are going crazy right now. MMMM. I've never had their fries though, maybe they suck, BUT I DOUBT IT!
Now we journey back again to my early years in LA. Drunken nights stumbling into La Cabana. The good old days when Tall, me and OM would leave the bars in SM or wherever, and eat before walking the 3 or so blocks back to OM's place to snuggle up with Dixie. La Cabana is open until 3am which is pretty great to find in a sit down restaurant that is not iHop or some other sort of diner. 
Empanadas.  I love empanadas. These little deep friend envelopes of chicken and awesomeness are seriously one of the best things you can ever have the pleasure of eating. Great when you are drunk, hung-over, or sober. Perfect blend of ingredients and it also comes with a cup of what I think is a spicy cheese type sauce. Throw some salsa on it from the chips that they give you and man you are set. Such a great little treat.
The last bite of our day of gluttony was a local favorite (local in the sense that my office is down the street). You cannot have a day of eating without ending on a dessert. Did we do Sprinkles? No, fuck sprinkles and their stupid line and $33 a dozen. Vanilla bakery was where we went. 
I am not sure how much Vanilla Bakery charges for a dozen cupcakes and I could care less. They offer one thing that other dessert places do not. Mini Cupcakes. I am not the hugest fan of dessert items, I like them but I do not love them by any means. Hell, I could even do without them, but in a small dose like these little bastards and you have a great little topper to your day, meal or occasion. I am a huge fan of their mini chocolate cupcakes topped with a raspberry, unfortunately they did not have it on this day of gluttony, but the others were fantastic also.
Final Bite: Foodapalooza was a ridiculous idea and no one should ever attempt do recreate these events in 7 hours. Keep in mind Dana and I are trained professionals. Please try these places and let us know if you feel the same.

The next Foodapalooza has been discussed during the last Foodapalooza. We are thinking at least biannually possibly, more if it comes together quickly. Anyone who is interested please join us for "The Foodapalooza Meal". The event will consist of a 6 course meal starting with an appetizer and ending on a dessert. Each course will be at a different restaurant. Stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Crazy Rockin' Sushi

There has been a request to refrain from using corny questions as post titles. I am going to try it, yes it is less fun but sometimes I just don't feel clever and the titles keep me from posting fast enough.

Anyway Crazy Rockin' Sushi is possibly the craziest sushi place I have ever been. There are fire jugglers and geisha girls ready to help you with anything you need. Ok that was a lie. They are crazy because of what they charge for sushi. They have this crazy happy hour that lasts pretty much all day. Everything is half off and with the amount of sushi I can put down this is a blessing. Or is it a curse... I guess it depends on how you look at it. 

I ordered 5 items; salmon sushi, albacore sushi, yellowtail sushi, spicy salmon roll, and a spicy scallop roll. Was it amazing? Not in the slightest. It was all well and good but you will have had better sushi in your life. But I did spend $20 on 5 orders of sushi. That my friend is pretty awesome, and I would like to see you do that and be satiated at NoBu or Katsuya.

Final Bite: Crazy Rockin' Sushi is not the greatest sushi in Los Angeles BUT for what you pay for it, it is definitely worth eating. Not a place you would go for a celebration of good fortune, but more of a place to grub out when you don't want to spend a fortune.

Crazy Rockin' Sushi
7100 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 882-8247

Saturday, April 18, 2009

7 Hours Later...

Dana Smith and I just finished our marathon of eating. Foodapalooza went off with only one hitch, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The Belmont, god love them, does not offer Mac and Cheese until 4pm. Apparently it's like trying to order a Big Mac at McDonalds before 11:30am. So when we rolled in there today at 1pm we were turned away. The whole reason we got on this eating kick was when I was shocked that Dana never had the Belmont Mac and Cheese. We moved it to the end and it was all good, served as a nice little bookend to the whole ordeal. 

We traveled nearly 45 miles over 7 hours and ate an amazing amount of food. I can barely move. But I just wanted to thank Dana for co-founding and coming with me on this event. It will possibly be a reoccurring thing we do throughout the year, no more than 4 times. We will definitely do fewer places. I cannot move, but its amazing.

I will post my review after I have had time to digest the food and the awesomeness that was the first annual Foodapalooza 08 (09).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Don't Vampires Hate Crying Tiger Stakes?

Yes I am asian-ish and yes I love a good Thai food joint so all bias aside I truly do enjoy Pink Pepper. From what I recall they do have a 'B' rating in the window. Yes this is not good and would turn many people away from any establishment. But hell how often do you even remember the rating of a place you went to anyway. Do you know how easy it is to slip up and get a B? No? Neither do I, but I'm sure it's not that big of a deal. A 'C' on the other hand, that place better have the best thing I've ever eaten for me to even considering walking in let alone consuming. 

So Thai soup, specifically Tom Yum is my favorite. And to get even more specific Tom Yum Koong with Shrimp is the bee's knees. I love the stuff. The almost sour broth and the veggies mixed with some delicious shrimp is just perfect in my eyes. They also have just chicken or just veggies if you'd rather. The Tom Yum has a light tasting dish that really warms you up and can be filling once you eat everything in the pot. I always get the huge fire bowl thing you see below. Yes it is a lot of soup, great for sharing, but seriously isn't soup good for you or something? Something about the common cold and whatnot. I'm not a doctor I just play one on the weekends, so don't take my word for it. 
Now the Crying Tiger Stake. Yes Stake. Read the menu and you will laugh just as hard as I did. The Crying Tiger Steak is great. It is on the pricey side but I truly did not mind footing it once I had my first bite. Ordered medium rare and eaten with veggies and rice was the perfect combination. The spicy crushed tomato sauce on the side is amazing on the steak and anything else you dip into it. My mouth literally just started watering again thinking about it. 

Final Bite: Can they spell? No. Do they have good food? Yes, and the combination of all of it together, in my eyes is boarding on a perfect execution. But what do I know, I'm just Dr. Justin. 

Pink Pepper
1638 N La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 461-2462

Well You're Just a Stone's Throw Away, Aren't Ya?

MMMM pizza. Wait strike that because this is bordering on misrepresentation. MMMM pizza margarita. That's better. I am a huge fan of pizza margarita's or margarita pizza's. Which ever gets you to where you need to be I guess. And apparently that is the only pizza that LA can do correctly. Not exactly sure why but for some reason as long as the crust is paper thin and they can put weird CA fancy things on it they knock it out of the park. Strange.

The pepperoni is great, crust is super thin and breaks when you fold it. The other toppings also live up to their crispy crust counter part. 
Now here is something that you won't usually find me saying. I like the following pizza. I am not often a huge fan of the fancy things California does to its food. Example: putting strawberries and feta cheese in a salad. Even though I do enjoy it, the concept still weirds me out, must be an East coast thing. But for some reason the No Name pizza is freaking awesome. The mixture of the ingredients together placed on top of the paper thin crust works perfectly. And I hate sausage. My only problem is that the pizza is super rich. It's like eating a triple chocolate cookie and having no milk to wash it down. Other than that, nice job Stone fire. Hell you didn't even do anything wrong I'm just ridiculous. 

Final Bite: Stone Fire Pizza has a great happy hour special and is great if you want a pizza margarita. If you do not like margarita pizzas why the hell are you at Stone Fire then? Go across the street to Vito's and get a slice there, jeez. 

Stone Fire Pizza
829 N La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 659-8848

What's Jack Know That Jill Doesn't?

Jack and Jill went up a hill and disappointment is what begot them. I have officially decided to stop listening to people after they suggest a place. Mind you by listen to them I mean eaves drop while they discuss an eatery. As I look back at my experience at Jack N' Jill I remember at the time liking it, but it has been a few days and now I am completely underwhelmed and my food that I ordered was not memorable in the slightest since I am struggling to find great things about it. 

I ordered the Chili because hell a good chili is something that can warm the souls of the undead. The chili was thicker and better than the chili I had at Blue Plate but still it was more of a thin stew than a chili. I was looking for punch and heartiness. But I did get cheese, onions and sour cream on the side unlike at Blue Plate. I did not really understand the sour cream but once I put it in the chili I was pleasantly surprised. The chili on its own left me wanting, but adding some pepper, and the other accessories made it pop to a level of actual enjoyment. 

BBQ Chicken salad. Usually a safe bet and often times very enjoyable. I've overheard many people talk about how Jack N' Jill's has amazing salads. It was a great assortment of delicious veggies etc., but amazing it was not. It was a good salad by all means. It felt safe and generic though. It had what you wanted and in the amounts that you expected, but for the price of everything and the build up that I came in with, Jack N' Jill's  just did not live up to it. Final Bite: My hunt for amazing chili continues. Salad was good but I ruined the experience by listening to people hype it up. Will I go back? Most-likely but I will be getting a different salad. Suggestions are welcomed but don't say it's amazing.

Jack N' Jill
510 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 656-1501

Hugo 2 Brunch Wit?

Hugo's is a little place down the street that seems to be too fancy for its own good. The script on the name, the glass door, the rude hostesses, they all scream pretension. Screaming at you while you stand there on an early Saturday, half out of it and most likely still intoxicated. Oh brunch the things we endure. You evil temptress. 

Don't get me wrong it's a nice place and all. Definitely not one of my favorites i.e.: the menu contains something on it that I MUST eat and incessantly tell people about even though they could give two shits. But it is still a nice eatery. 

Today on the plate are two dishes, one un-expectant and executed perfectly, and the First off the pumpkin pancakes are amazing. I have never had a pumpkin pancake in the past and I had no real desire to try the pumpkin pancake, but let me tell you something about the pumpkin pancake. It's amazing. It is hard to describe it correctly without making it sound like a pumpkin pie mistake that turned into some sort of amazing breakfast treat. All I can say is that it is done well, and if you like pancakes you will be pleasantly surprised. 

Now the Cuban sandwich. I had such high hopes for it. I was just whelmed at best. There were these cardboard like chips on the thing, I think they were sundried tomatoes, but it's been a minute since I actually ate this meal (last weekend) and I even if I just ate it I would forget about it the second I left. Sorry. The only good part about the sandwich was the blend of goat cheese and chicken in each bite. If and only if you did not get a cardboard chip. Not the hugest fan of constancy changes. I of course put Tabasco sauce on each bite, A: because I like Tabasco on everything 2: Figured it would deaden my taste buds when I was attached by cardboard. It did look great though.

Final Bite: Pass on the Cuban, ponder perhaps partaking in the perfectly prepared pumpkin pancake. I like alliteration .

8401 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(323) 654-3993

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Would You Like Your Fingers Tender, Or Your Nacho's Irish?

Barney's again? Yes I went there again. Did I get the same items? No I am not completely devoid of common sense. Only partially. I figured I'd expand my palate and be worldly, chicken fingers and Irish Nachos should do it.

Let me tell you something about the chicken fingers, well they are pretty perfect. I am not going to lie to you, pretty damn perfect. Cooked and breaded perfectly and I really enjoy Barney's BBQ sauce. The sauce is tangy and a bit sweet but not too much, a great complement to the tender chicken. Also the honey mustard is tasty too, if you are into that kind of fancy shit.

My only gripe is that you do not get that many chicken tenders. Yes they are pretty decent size but 3, seriously? I mean at least 4, come on Barney's you charge $14 for a pitcher of beer. Crazy.

Irish Nachos, what the hell is an Irish Nacho you ask. Well it's like home fries but not crispy with a ton of cheese on it and chili and guac on the side. That's really it. It really couldn't be seen as a nacho. Its like homefries and cheese. Which would probably be better because I like my home fries thin and crispy. If it was more nacho like, I feel it might be better. Throw all the ingredients together like if it had tortilla chips on a plate and see what happens, maybe some black olives, possibly some jalapenos? Have the potatoes crispy also, then my friend you might have a tasty treat. But hell what do I know?

Final Bite: Chicken Tenders are tender and delicious, Irish Nachos can stay in Ireland or Mexico or wherever will have them.

Barney's Beanery
8447 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Miso Hungry, What About You?

Sushi is one of my favorite things in the world. I could probably eat it everyday if I could afford it, but in LA who can really afford to do anything everyday? The really good places give you too little and charge you too much and the cheap places quality is not that great. So finding a happy medium is hard. Especially when you have the ability to eat the equivalent of 18 hand cut rolls if you do not restrain yourself. 

A restaurant I really enjoy is in Santa Monica called, Sushi Mon, well it used to be called Sushi Mon. Like most sushi places it changes hands more than dollar bills at a strip club, or street corners, whatever you are into I guess. But the menu has stayed the same and they still have a good lunch special.

I am a huge fan of free and when its delicious also, that makes me smile extra big. At Sushi Mon you get a free bowl of Miso soup. It is mostly just broth but it is still really tasty and warms you up. And apparently per Dani a good bowl of Miso is the foundation for a good sushi spot.

Now on to the lunch special. You get 5 pieces of fresh delicious sushi and your choice of one other item off a huge selection. I usually get the sashimi salad. Now here's the rub. The old owners gave you a huge bowl with a huge amount of veggies and an even huger amount of fish. Possibly why they are no longer the owners. That's a lot of food to be giving away at a really low price. So the new bowl is as it appears below. Mind you it is not small by any means, but when you are used to almost not being able to finish to being only just satisfied its slightly upsetting. 

Final Bite: Sushi Mon or whatever it is called now is a great lunch place if you want sushi. Yes their portion size has fallen since they have changed hands, but it is still a very good value and the quality is top notch. And you wouldn't know that the sizes changed unless I told you if you've never been. I am sure you will be fine.

Sushi Mon
401 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 576-7011‎