Bun Boy Eats LA
BUN BOY EATS LA – Bun Boy Eats LA

RESTAURANT KOMASA

  • October 31, 2014 5:53 am

Ahi and Yellowtail sashimi

Ahi and Yellowtail sashimi

Little Tokyo’s Restaurant Komasa is business in the front but instead of party in the back, there’s just more business back there.

It’s basically sushi and sashimi. No sauces, no rolls (except a few hand rolls and the obligatory spicy tuna roll), nothing wrapped in cucumber, topped with crispy onions and drizzled with eel sauce. Sigh.

I think most of you know my stance on this kind of sushi. I consider it diet food. Come here when you just want to shove raw fish in your mouth and go to bed without any guilt (and with just a twinge of remaining hunger). Not very fun in my opinion but some people swear by it.

The good news is that if you’re going to shove raw fish in your mouth sans any condiment to cover it up, Komasa is the place to do it at. The fish is so fresh, it almost looks like it’s trying to wiggle away from you. Or are those just acid flashbacks?

Either way, for this kind of sushi, Komasa is where to go. Plus, while they are always busy, the lines aren’t as crazy as nearby Sushi Gen. It’s a small joint, and kind of quiet, so don’t go here after a day of drinking. Oops….

351 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 680-1792

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Edamame

Edamame

Chicken Karaage - Fried Chicken

Chicken Karaage – Fried Chicken

Veggie Tempura

Veggie Tempura

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Tuna Hand Rolls

Tuna Hand Rolls

Sushi Combo C

Sushi Combo C

Spider Roll

Spider Roll

Spicy Tuna Roll - Salmon and Halibut Nigiri

Spicy Tuna Roll – Salmon and Halibut Nigiri

A day spent downtown isn't complete until you've grabbed sushi or ramen in Little Tokyo

A day spent downtown isn’t complete until you’ve grabbed sushi or ramen in Little Tokyo

GUELAGUETZA RESTAURANTE

  • October 29, 2014 5:35 am

Mole Roja

Mole Roja

Guelaguetza is definitely one of LA’s finest Mexican restaurants and most certainly MY favorite. It’s just so SO good.

They specialize in two things. Mole and Mezcal. Mole is a decadent sauce made with chilies, nuts and chocolate that goes excellently over chicken. It’s one of my favorite things in life.

Mezcal is an alcoholic beverage made from the maguey plant (similar to Tequila’s agave plant) and it has this crazy smoky flavor that is sort of an acquired taste.

As you are seated, you are presented with a basket of chips, covered in red mole and cojita cheese. Not a bad way to start!

After tasting several of their mezcal margaritas, we ordered the Festival de Moles, a mole sampling platter that is perfect to feed a group of four if you maybe order a few sides.

Their moles are pretty amazing, it’s one of the few places where I prefer the red mole to the black. It’s just liquid perfection.

Drinks are really great too, not so strong that you can’t have two and not feel guilty about drinking on a school night.

One side I do not suggest, is the fried quesadilla. I’ve ordered this on two occasions and both have had me disappointed. The cheese inside is solid, not oozy like it should be. It always comes out like it had been frozen for a year and then deep fried for half the time it should have been. Pretend this item doesn’t even exist so that you don’t sully your opinion of the restaurant.

Guelaguetza is a very large establishment (perfect for large groups) with live music in the evenings. A really fun, friendly place with absolutely incredible food that is a must-visit if you live anywhere within 1000 miles of LA.

3014 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 427-0608
ilovemole.com

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Mezcal Margarita

Mezcal Margarita

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Pasión de Oaxaca -  Aged mezcal, Silver Sauza, passion fruit, grapefruit juice, tajin

Pasión de Oaxaca -
Aged mezcal, Silver Sauza, passion fruit, grapefruit juice, tajin

Garra de Tigre - Reposado mezcal, house syrup, freshly squeezed lime, Oaxacan spicy salt

Garra de Tigre – Reposado mezcal, house syrup, freshly squeezed lime, Oaxacan spicy salt

Flor de Piña -   Aged mezcal, pineapple and coconut juice, honey

Flor de Piña -
Aged mezcal, pineapple and coconut juice, honey

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Tamale - Corn dough stuffed with fresh chiles, onions with chicken

Tamale – Corn dough stuffed with fresh chiles, onions with chicken

Tamales de Dulce - Corn husk-wrapped tamale. Sweetened corn dough with raisins or Corn dough stuffed with fresh chiles, onions with chicken

Tamales de Dulce -
Corn husk-wrapped tamale. Sweetened corn dough with raisins or Corn dough stuffed with fresh chiles, onions with chicken

Quesadillas Fritas - Fried quesadillas

Quesadillas Fritas -
Fried quesadillas

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Someone else's meal.

Someone else’s meal.

Festival de Moles - Mole tasting plate includes black mole, red mole, estofado and coloradito, served with sliced chicken breast, a side of rice and a hand-made tortilla

Festival de Moles -
Mole tasting plate includes black mole, red mole, estofado and coloradito, served with sliced chicken breast, a side of rice and a hand-made tortilla

Mole Negro

Mole Negro

Horchata

Horchata

BIRDS

  • October 27, 2014 5:43 am

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Over 10 years ago, I used to hang out at Birds all the time. Back when I didn’t make very much money and only went out to drink, seldom to eat.

So, instead of chowing down on the famous Rotisserie chicken and tower of onion rings, I was just drinking beers at the bar.

Now, I’m older and the beers have been replaced with the much more sensible chicken.

The chicken itself is a tad dry. But this is remedied by the variety of dipping sauces at your disposal. I liked the chipotle may and the artichoke garlic dip. The chicken skin is delicious and not do be discarded.

The onion rings are a thing of beauty. They’re some of LA’s best. Perhaps even THE Best? Especially when coupled with those aforementioned dipping sauces!

Birds gets packed after a certain hour, but I’ll just leave those times to the younger folks and just eat and run, like we old folks like to do.

5925 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 465-0175
birdshollywood.com

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Chocolate Martini

Chocolate Martini

Tower of Onion Rings

Tower of Onion Rings

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

1/2 Rotisserie Chicken

1/2 Rotisserie Chicken

THE HONOR BAR

  • October 24, 2014 5:37 am

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The Honor Bar it the casual sister to next door’s South Beverly Drive, an upscale and sorta snooty Beverly Hills eatery.

Honor Bar is the younger, cooler brother. While still maintaining a touch of that CAA talent agent elitism.

There is an odd sushi menu, but the two things to narrow in on are the Honor Burger and the Fried Chicken Sandwich. Both feature this really fantastic kale cole slaw (we are in LA, after all) and both are absolutely fantastic. Oops, already used that adjective.

The fries are also a piping hot must order.

There’s isn’t really much else to say about this place, but if you work or live in the area, it’s worth a shot.

Probably not really worth a long commute as the ambiance is more after works drinks with colleagues. And only if your colleagues are in the entertainment industry or finance. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

122 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 550-0292
thehonorbar.com

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Kennebec Fries

Kennebec Fries

Fried Chicken Sandwich with kale cole slaw

Fried Chicken Sandwich with kale cole slaw

Honor Burger

Honor Burger

PHILIPPE’S THE ORIGINAL

  • October 22, 2014 5:24 am

Lamb Dip with Jack Cheese

Lamb Dip with Jack Cheese

iPHONE REVIEW ALERT! (All photos taken with my iPhone 5)

Both Philippe’s and Cole’s restaurants both brag about being the first ones to invent the French Dipped Sandwich.

They both opened up in 1908, over 100 years ago and they still haven’t let the rivalry go.

Philippe’s spacious, order at the counter, find a place to squat is a much more casual setting than Cole’s vintage speakeasy vibe. Dark and sexy. After finishing your sandwich at Cole’s you head into Varnish, the actual original speakeasy and drink yourself silly.

Cole’s is where you’d imagine a soup kitchen once stood. Bring you cash folks, cuz there ain’t no credit cards accepted up in this joint. The prices are pretty reasonable. Drinks and sides (such as the potato salad) are crazy cheap. Sandwiches range from $6-8.50.

We ordered both the Lamb Dip and the Beef Dip and I think we both preferred the beef. The lamb was sliced a bit too thick for my taste but it was still very nice.

What annoys me about Philippe’s is that they pre dip the bread for you. This means two things. They’ll never dip it enough for your liking and your sandwich will cool down very quickly.

You can ask for your sandwich to be “Double Dipped” but either our gal (who was getting on in years) forgot or double dip ain’t enough.

Both the mac and the potato salad are excellent, in fact I’m craving seconds right now! Philippe’s also makes this incredible hot hot mustard. It’s craaaaaazy hot. Be warned.

My vote for best French dip would certainly be Cole’s but I still have a special place in my fat heart for this historic LA landmark.

1001 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 628-3781
philippes.com

outside

inside

Beef Dip and Macaroni Salad

Beef Dip and Macaroni Salad

potato salad

HAVEN GASTROPUB

  • October 20, 2014 5:39 am

Deviled Eggs - smoked serrano powder, house bacon, house pickles, smoked salt

Deviled Eggs -
smoked serrano powder, house bacon, house pickles, smoked salt

THIS LOCATION HAS CLOSED

Haven has the feel of a Gordon Biersch or other upscale chain brewery except with a touch more Pasadena friendliness.

The Lamb Burger is what drew me here (and it was absolutely perfect, I ate every morsel) but I think the Soft Pretzel was the star of the show! (Please note, there was not a show)

It looked gorgeous (some pretzels look grotesque) had some nice crisp on the outside and was warm and soft on the inside. The fontina-bacon cheese sauce was also incredible, ask for an extra side for your piggy self.

The Deviled Eggs were great but I prefer them filled with a bit more goodness.

The Spaghetti Squash seemed like a small portion but it proved to be ample.

The Beet Salad was a bit light on the beets but this fact did not deter M.F. from thoroughly enjoying it.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the Milk and Cookies. The way the cookies were described sounded wonderful but then they were either underwhelming or weird tasting. The milk could have been colder. Not worth the calories.

If you’re in the Pasadena area (at the Norton Simon museum, as in our case), definitely give Haven a try because their burgers and pretzels are truly outstanding.

Just grab dessert at a local frozen yogurt establishment instead.

42 S De Lacey Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 768-9555
havengastropub.com

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Pretzel - sea salt, beer mustard, bacon-fontina cheese sauce

Pretzel -
sea salt, beer mustard,
bacon-fontina cheese sauce

Beet Salad -  roasted and raw beets, burrata, mixed greens, toasted hazelnuts, honey thyme vinagrette

Beet Salad -
roasted and raw beets, burrata, mixed greens, toasted hazelnuts, honey thyme vinagrette

Roasted Spaghetti - spaghetti squash, marinara, cheese

Roasted Spaghetti -
spaghetti squash, marinara, cheese

Lamb Burger - onion jam, tzatziki, onion sprouts, rosemary brioche bun

Lamb Burger -
onion jam, tzatziki, onion sprouts, rosemary brioche bun

Milk and Cookies

Milk and Cookies

WHIZ

  • October 17, 2014 5:39 am

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In my haste, I completely forgot to write this blog post.

Let me sum it up for you:

This place was fine.

I think we may have ordered wrong. Perhaps get the original Cheesesteak. Whiz was certainly no Boo’s. Go to Boo’s if you’re craving east side Philly Cheesesteak action.

3901 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 249-9449
eatwhiz.com

Outdoor seating only

Outdoor seating only

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Buffalo Bleu Chicken Cheesesteak

Buffalo Bleu Chicken Cheesesteak

Cheesesteak Hoagie

Cheesesteak Hoagie

GARDENS OF TAXCO

  • October 15, 2014 5:36 am

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

As I look over my dreadful photos from tonight’s dinner, I’m suddenly struck with the notion that I’m glancing through a 1950′s cookbook. The food looks pale, washed out, pink or greenish and generally unappetizing. THESE PICTURES ARE TRULY AWFUL. This is mostly my fault, I’m not placing blame, mind you (the lighting inside the restaurant is dark and red, so placing a bit of blame there, however). So, these faux-retro images are all I have of one of my favorite kitschy haunts in LA. (try your best to) Enjoy!

Gardens of Taxco (open since 1971) has the appearance and vibe of what LA’s very first Mexican restaurant would look like. Trying really hard to impress the steakhouse fanatics with their red leather booths and manly metallic crests from unknown families placed on all the walls.

There are no menus, instead the waiter will recite the available dishes as if they were fine Latin poetry. Doing his best, exaggerated alveolar trill when he describes the restaurant’s most famous dish “It is like the chicken was Booorrrrrrrrn in the sauce”. Probably his 50th time that night.

They do not have a full liquor license so the alcohol choices are wine or beer based. They pretty much have sangria or a wine margarita. It’s actually tasty, just more like an Orange Julius for adults. Well, young adults.

Also lending an old-fashioned appeal to the experience is the fact that each diner gets served 5 courses. I love this.

You start out with a quarter wedge of quesadilla with a hefty dollop of guacamole. So delicious.

Next course is Albondigas Soup. If you’re a vegetarian, let them know ahead of time so they can bring out the vegetarian soup. Vegetarians didn’t exist in the 50′s.

Next course is either a mini taquito or enchilada. Both are superb.

Let me warn you that this is the point of the meal where you have now eaten enough food. You don’t need anything more. You’re satisfied.

This is also when the main course comes.

When the waiter is serenading the menu to you, you choose your meat and then your sauce. We both chose chicken because we wanted the famous Booooorrrn sauce as well as the creamy cilantro sauce.

As the plates were plopped in front of us, our appetites greatly diminished, we did our best to “dive in” and try a few bites.

The food here is really spectacular. Fantastic, unique and tasty sauces, high quality meats. You don’t need to just come here for the kitsch factor.

And please don’t let my photos deter you.

After ceremoniously removing a bit of chicken gristle, we decided we were finished and took the remains to go.

Then dessert came because, why not eat more?

It’s a little dish of some soupy, custardy pudding thing with bananas hanging out at the bottom. Trying to drown themselves, perhaps? It’s actually not bad but I would have liked ice cream.

Complimentary sherry is also offered at this time. I felt like we were on the Titanic if it has sank closer to Cabo San Lucas.

The cost is $25 a person, including sherry but not including margaritas/sangrias but if you go online and print out a coupon, you can dine for only $14.95 pp if you eat between 4-7 pm.

I really recommend this place for anyone wanting a throwback Mexican dinner with lots of flair and heart and a ton of food to take home with you.

Also a good date spot, since they have roving guitar players ready to make your lover swoon.

1113 N Harper Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 654-1746
thegardensoftaxco.com

Open since 1971, this place has the look and feel of...1951

Open since 1971, this place has the look and feel of…1951

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Wine Margarita

Wine Margarita

Mini Cheese Quesadilla

Mini Cheese Quesadilla

Albondigas Soup

Albondigas Soup

Mini Beef Taquito

Mini Beef Taquito

Chicken Enchilada

Chicken Enchilada

Chicken in a creamy cilantro sauce

Chicken in a creamy cilantro sauce

Chicken "Booooorn in the Sauce"

Chicken “Booooorn in the Sauce”

Banana Pudding and Sherry

Banana Pudding and Sherry

JONES CAFE

  • October 13, 2014 5:10 am

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I almost didn’t publish this post because the pictures below turned out so abysmal.

Jones has two sections to it, the eatery and the bar. The bar is more fun to sit at, with it’s luxurious dark leather booths and sheer lack of any discernible light. Hard to snap a good photo, therefore. I tried using both a flash and au naturel and the results kind of sucked.

Oh well. Jones is an awesome Hollywood hangout that serves as both a fun dive bar to also get a decent Italian meal but also upscale enough to take someone you want to impress. Just use your iPhone to light your way, so you don’t trip on anything.

The pizza and pastas are both great choices. The Ahi salad seemed like there wasn’t much going on, but sometimes that’s what you’re looking for.

They have a large cocktail menu in case you aren’t feeling inspired. This places gets packed most evenings and almost impossible to get into on a weekend as you drift later into the night.

7205 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 850-1726
joneshollywood.com

Calamari

Calamari

Sausage Pizza

Sausage Pizza

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ahi Tuna Salad

Ahi Tuna Salad

FLAVOR OF INDIA

  • October 10, 2014 5:56 am

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Flavor of India is one of LA’s more upscale Indian restaurants that touts itself as Dolly Parton’s favorite.

While the backstory may be as simple as Dolly came in to eat one day and said “Golly, this Tikka Masala is terrific!” and then they snapped a photo with her and made her the official mascot, who can say?

But the food is very good (not no better than any other Indian places I can think of) but what they do excel in is having an excellent lunch buffet. At $10.95, it’s certainly is the best deal to stuff yourself silly, Dolly style.

WWDD?

Some of the fried items suffer a bit by sitting in those warming bins but they’re still tasty. The Chicken Tikka Masala and Fish Vindaloo were both piping hot.

Some folks may shy away from Indian buffets, but they really are a fun and inexpensive way to carb load for the marathon you’re not running. Don’t come if you’re not starving. Unless you’re only running a 5K.

9045 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 274-1715
flavorofindia.com

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Lunch Buffet

Lunch Buffet

Veggie Pakora and Samosa

Veggie Pakora and Samosa

Channa Masala

Channa Masala

Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori Chicken

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Fish Vindaloo

Fish Vindaloo

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding