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

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

MOFONGO’S

  • October 8, 2014 5:01 am

Mofongo de Camarones -   Mofongo stuffed with 6 jumbo shrimp and a mild red butter lemon sauce

Mofongo de Camarones -
Mofongo stuffed with 6 jumbo shrimp and a mild red butter lemon sauce

Mofongo is a Puerto Rican dish consisting of a circular formed ring of pureed yucca root filled with stew.

It’s also the name of a North Hollywood restaurant serving that very same delicacy.

If I could describe the food, it would be a mix between Cuban and Mexican and it’s very tasty. We especially loved the fried potato balls stuffed with seasoned ground beef and the chicken empanadas. Both are super good.

We tried three different stews, the chicken, beef and shrimp. The beef and shrimp came out as winners, the chicken one was just all right.

The ring of pureed yucca was very tasty but very dense, don’t feel bad if you don’t finish it.

We didn’t love the Tres Leches cake but we needed something sweet at the end and we still managed to finish every bite.

5757 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 754-1051
http://www.mofongosrestaurant.com/

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Pastelillo -   empanadas either beef, chicken, cheese, or guava     Relleno de Papa -   Potato ball filled with beef

Pastelillo -
empanadas either beef, chicken, cheese, or guava
Relleno de Papa -
Potato ball filled with beef

Relleno de Papa -   Potato ball filled with beef

Relleno de Papa -
Potato ball filled with beef

Mofongo de Pollo Empanizado -   Mofongo stuffed with chicken strips

Mofongo de Pollo Empanizado -
Mofongo stuffed with chicken strips

Mofongo de Camarones -  Mofongo stuffed with 6 jumbo shrimp and a mild red butter lemon sauce

Mofongo de Camarones -
Mofongo stuffed with 6 jumbo shrimp and a mild red butter lemon sauce

Mofongo de Carne Guisada -   Mofongo stuffed with beef stew with bell peppers

Mofongo de Carne Guisada -
Mofongo stuffed with beef stew with bell peppers

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake

NIGHT + MARKET

  • October 3, 2014 5:41 am

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What I love most about Night + Market’s approach is the fact that they’re shoving large chunks of Thai chilies and raw ginger down your throat and you’re loving every spicy, tear-inducing moment.

The food is really REALLY SPICY, be warned. However, it’s the reason to go so if you don’t like spicy, just don’t come here. In fact, click away from this page!

Night + Market is the cooler, younger brother of the old school Talesai Thai restaurant that’s been sitting on Sunset Blvd for ages. You enter Talesai, the folks there get excited and then you tell them you’re headed to the better version, thanks anyway.

The prices are reasonable, the portions are smaller but still ample and the flavors will kick your a**.

Two of our favorite dishes were featured on the specials menu, you must order them. No arguments. The Party Wings are some of the best chicken wings I’ve ever had. Spicy and sweet, covered in your typical Thai chili dipping sauce, these tasty delights will coat your fingers and warm your heart.

The Nam Kao Tod is a crispy rice salad with spicy sour pork, Thai chilies, fresh ginger and peanuts. It’s AWESOME! And will make you cry. The waitress will come by and ask you if everything’s all right. (This happened).

The Drunken Noodles with short ribs were solid but definitely not the best I’ve had and the Ice Cream sandwich is a MUST ORDER for dessert. Only $4.50, you’re going to want one for each person. Trust me on this, it’s tiny and delicious.

9041 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 275-9724
nightmarketla.com

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Party Wings

Party Wings

Nam Kao Tod - Crispy Rice salad with spicy sour pork, Thai chilies, fresh ginger, onions, peanuts

Nam Kao Tod – Crispy Rice salad with spicy sour pork, Thai chilies, fresh ginger, onions, peanuts

Moo Sadoong "Startled Pig" - Grilled pork, basil, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime, bird eye chile

Moo Sadoong “Startled Pig” – Grilled pork, basil, lemongrass, fish sauce, lime, bird eye chile

Drunken Noodles with short ribs

Drunken Noodles with short ribs

Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich

TACO ZONE

  • October 1, 2014 5:44 am

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I think Taco Zone is my favorite of all the taco truck’s I’ve tried. Which, I must admit, is not nearly enough for my liking.

I often find many taco meats to be super dry from sitting around, but the pastor and asada chunks were nice and tender, sitting in their own delicious juices and there are a ton of salsas and toppings to make each taco your own.

They’re only $1.25 each, so get a few, or perhaps order an off the menu Mulita (my latest obsession) which is a small quesadilla using corn tortillas instead of flour.

The truck is parked next to the Vons parking lot on Alvarado in Echo Park and it appears the section of the parking lot closest to the truck is ok to park while you grab your tacos. I noticed a Vons employee walk by and not bat an eye so there is obviously a “free tacos for Vons employees” rule in force.

Vons Parking Lot
Alvarado & Montana (Echo Park)
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(818) 763-4085

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Amazing salsa bar

Amazing salsa bar

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GRUB

  • September 29, 2014 5:14 am

Complimentary Froot Loops and Cocoa Puffs

Complimentary Froot Loops and Cocoa Puffs

Grub is probably LA’s most popular brunch spot, if the crowds are any indication.

This cute old house turned restaurant packs them in, stuffing folks to the gills with their famous croissant French toast and over the top omelettes.

If you are a hungry person who cannot wait for the normal brunch hour, the crowds are quite minimal at opening time (9 a.m.) and the absolutely wonderful food is a much better reward than a worm for the early bird.

They serve one of the best breakfast burritos I’ve had, stuffing it to the gills with eggs, cheese and potatoes (not too many) with just the right amount of spicy chorizo.

The Friggin’ Amazing French Toast is the obvious choice if you’re in a sweeter mood, but also good for sharing with a few people and also ordering something else if you don’t want to put yourself into a coma.

If you want a happy medium between sugar and savory, the Ooh La La! Breakfast sandwich is the way to go. It’s an egg and crack bacon sandwich but with croissant French toast instead of bread. You don’t have to add any syrup if you want, but just a little bit does make turn this dish into a tasty masterpiece.

The creative selection of mimosas are fun and very delicious, we highly enjoyed both the Raspberry Jalapeno and the Lemon Basil options.

This place has really earned it’s spot as LA’s top brunch and I’m happy to grub out at Grub anytime I wake up early enough to avoid too much human interaction.

911 Seward St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 461-3663
grub-la.com

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1/2 Carafe Raspberry Jalapeno Champagne Cocktail

1/2 Carafe Raspberry Jalapeno Champagne Cocktail

Mamacita’s Breakfast Burrito 9.75 Delicate Scrambled Eggs with Chorizo, melted Cheddar, Garlic & Herb roasted New Potatoes Topped with Salsa and Sour Cream in a Grande Flour Tortilla

Mamacita’s Breakfast Burrito 9.75
Delicate Scrambled Eggs with Chorizo, melted Cheddar, Garlic & Herb roasted New Potatoes Topped with Salsa and Sour Cream in a Grande Flour Tortilla

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OOH LA LA! Egg Sandwich 13.99 Fluffy scrambled Eggs, gooey Cheddar Cheese, two slices of our Sweet & Sassy Bacon sandwiched between two slices of our Croissant French Toast, served with a side of Maple Syrup.

OOH LA LA! Egg Sandwich 13.99
Fluffy scrambled Eggs, gooey Cheddar Cheese, two slices of our Sweet & Sassy Bacon sandwiched between two slices of our Croissant French Toast, served with a side of Maple Syrup.