Bun Boy has been obsessed with the LA restaurant scene since he moved here 12 years ago. He visits about 4 restaurants a week, mostly never repeating any. Even in these wavering economic times, he absolutely refuses to give up one of his favorite pastimes.
It took me 14 years of living in Los Angeles before I finally caught taco fever. What took me so long? Perhaps it was all too easy. Too accessible. Tacos on every corner, like living close to the beach but never going.
Where was the thrill of the hunt? Instead of stopping at my local taco truck, I would drive right by to some obscure part of town for kosher Korean schwarma wrapped in a ramen pita served by the hottest chef for a one-night, by-invitation-only event. (more…)
In the wee morning hours, Los Angeles offers many ways to gorge oneself: You can roll out of bed and stumble to your local nondescript corner restaurant for something involving eggs (Kings Road Cafe comes to mind), you can drive to an LA institution for a specific craving (such as 101 Coffee Shop or Swingers), or you can booze it up with full-on brunch. What I’m going to be talking about today is breakfast, straight up. Forget leisurely sipping Bloody Marys or mimosas and laughing about last night’s debauchery. You just want to get in and pig out before you pass out from severe hunger. “You forgot Hugo’s, I love that place!” you scold as you scroll through my selections. I agree, it’s tasty, but I’m not doing a Top 11 Breakfasts, am I? These are what I believe to be LA’s most exciting breakfast options, because, as much as we should all be eating kale scrambles every morning, that doesn’t mean I find it very fun to pay someone to make them for me. (more…)
The idea of writing an article on LA’s best pizza absolutely terrifies me.
Wars have been started over less intense debates! Who am I to tell anyone that their favorite thin crust is not as good as this other guys’ beloved deep dish? One man’s Pizzeria Mozza is another man’s Pizza Hut (and vice versa).
I knew I had to do some in-depth research before I started putting fingers to the keyboard. No pizza left uneaten. No pizza stone left unturned. I had to consume them all before I could legitimately give any sort of educated opinion. This, of course, put an immense amount of pressure on me, and I began scouring the web to make sure I had been to or would soon visit every single well-reviewed pizza place in Los Angeles. My stomach and cholesterol were going to take a beating. (more…)
If you’re like me, you’ve noticed deviled eggs on every LA restaurant menu. But, if you’re like me, you’ve also ordered them every single time.
It’s okay. Don’t feel guilty ordering them. Deviled eggs have such a consistent, all-American appeal and a truly retro nature. This is what bored ’50s housewives would snack on to soak up their two-martini lunches. Years later, we still can’t get enough of these vintage delights. (more…)
While in New York City last week, I debated whether waiting in a two-hour line at Dominique Ansel’s Bakery for those infuriating Cronuts was worth my time. I ultimately decided it wasn’t.
Here’s why: last Saturday, I had already sampled six of LA’s best, buttery, gut-bomb knock-offs and quite literally, had my fill. Yes, I sampled them all in one day. Yes, by myself. (more…)
One of my very first experiences with fried chicken was when my father took us to KFC. After placing his order, he asked for a Coca-Cola. After being told there was only Pepsi, my father snarled “Pepsi sucks!” and he made us leave immediately — our hot, crispy fried chicken still sitting on the counter.
While this experience may have traumatized me, it did not quell my love of fried fowl. Growing up in Washington state, I had few opportunities to enjoy decent examples of this ubiquitous American dish beyond KFC and Hungry Man dinners, so now I immensely enjoy living in a city that is rife with chicken choices. (more…)
I’m not gonna lie, when I walked into Stella Barra on a Friday night, I assumed it would be a ghost town.
Not anything against the restaurant… just the location. It’s kind of cursed. I’ve been to some of the prior attempts (the ghosts of restaurants past), and they didn’t exactly stick. I’m surprised by this, since it’s a prime location: right next to the Arclight Theater on Sunset Blvd. Apparently, moviegoers will pay $15 for a tub of popcorn but are more discerning when it comes to pre-movie eats. (more…)
When I first moved to LA, my only background in ramen was of the Cup O’Noodles variety. Then I began to get Japanese ramen at my local haunt, Atch Kotch, but this was before tonkotsu ramen began to hit it big here, and it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.
I had a lot of trepidation before writing this article. Not being of Asian descent, I questioned whether I had the background to be any kind of authority on ramen. After diving in deep, I realized I had a LOT to learn and a lot more ramen joints to try out! Of course, I was happy to remedy this.
There are four main types of ramen broth: shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), miso (soybean paste), and tonkotsu (pork bone).
My experiences with the often simple (read, bland) shio and shoyu broths were very “meh.” That wouldn’t stop me from slurping them down in seconds, however. Especially once spicy components were added. And then tonkotsu took over. (more…)
Having owned a failed sub shop in Santa Monica, I would say I know my way around a good sandwich. The most important thing I’ve learned about the art of shoving protein between two slices of carbohydrates is that less is more. You don’t need reductions, foams, endangered lettuce varietals or trendy entrails to make the perfect sandwich, and I’m always elated when I don’t have to do an online search to find out what an ingredient on a menu is.
After 12 years of enthusiastic exploration, here are my 10 favorite sandwiches (not in any particular order):
Bay Cities Italian Deli – Godmother
Probably the most popular sandwich in all of LA, and yet this is the last place I ever have a desire to visit. Waiting an hour in a super crowded hotbox to pick up lunch can (almost) kill an appetite, but luckily the gratuitous Italian sub with your choice of hot or sweet peppers on homemade bread makes it all worth it. Best to call in your order ahead of time and don’t let your sammie sit too long. The Italian dressing has a tendency to turn this into a knife-and-fork meal. (more…)
With a few exceptions, I’ve been to every major burger establishment in the LA area, whether it’s made some kind of Top Burgers list or someone has just run up to me shouting “You’ve got to try this burger, idiot!”
I have purposely not included Pie ‘n Burger and Apple Pan because I feel they are they are a bit overhyped and not necessarily deserving. I know I may be in the minority here, and I’m willing to accept the consequences.
So, without further ado, my top 5 burgers in LA: (more…)