Bun Boy Eats LA
BUN BOY EATS LA - Archives for 2009 August

KRUA THAI

  • August 31, 2009 2:10 pm

Aw, wildfires make such great sunsets, don’t they? It’s ironic (as even Alanis Morrisette would attest to) that LA has the best sunsets due to excess smog and raging wildfires. A redish, pinkish silver lining, if you will.

It’s hot as blazes today, as I was driving down Laurel Canyon to the Valley, I watch as the temperature increases steadily…100…101…103…and finally reaching 105 as soon as I reach the Studio City. The air is thick with ash.

We nix the idea of going to Pitfire pizza. It’s too damn hot for pizza. When I arrive at Sid and Nancy’s house, I see that Nancy has already picked out an alternate place for us to dine. Plus, she is lactose intolerant and can’t enjoy pizza the way others do.

The newest LA Weekly lists the 99 Essential LA Restaurants and we see that the only Thai place mentioned is Kura Thai in NoHo. How crazy is that? Is Thai over? Is it so 2000 and late?

So, after Sid and Nancy down their glasses of mysterious pink liquid, we drive a few miles to a stretch of Sherman Way that is quite Asian restaurant heavy. A good sign.

Like the website www.stuffwhitepeoplelike.com says, White people love to go to ethnic restaurants that are mostly infused with peoples of the same ethnicity. If you go to an Indian restaurant and all you see are businessmen in suits, fanning themselves as they choke down Tikka Masala, you might not be in store for an authentic experience.

Since this place is known for it’s noodles, we order the obligatory Pad Thai

and the Pad Kee Mao (Spicy Mint Noodles) Both are excellent. The Pad Kee Mao has ground instead of sliced beef and this is a welcome change (pictured at the top, served on Krua Thai’s very own 80’s Saved By The Bell style plates)

The egg rolls were just ok, but the Boneless Angel Wings (ground up meat, veggies, breaded and fried) were quite excellent. I don’t know if these little devils actually exist in Thailand, but I don’t give a shit. Yum City.

All in all, a great place, but no better than the next. Well, that Pad Kee Mao was pretty excellent, maybe you should consider visiting the Valley for it.

After dinner, we head to the jumping Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. On a disgustingly sticky, muggy, smokey night, the place is a perfect respite.

I tried to take a picture, but my camera melted before I had the chance.

As I drive away from the Valley at 8:30, I notice the temperature is still 101 degrees. Wow. Get me outta here!

13130 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91605
818-759-7998

COMING SOON….

  • August 28, 2009 2:14 pm

I went to a Sparks basketball game at the Staples Center last night. Yes, I’m admitting that. It was actually fun! I was lucky and avoided the fossilized “soft” pretzels and the hollowed out pizza, so there is nothing to blog about today. A day off! Phew!

However, now that I’m back from Hawaii and quite rested, I’m ready to see what new spots have popped up around LA in my absence. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

Here’s where I’m going to in the next coming weeks:

Wilson Food and Wine
Kitchen 24
Pitfire Pizza
Zinc (Laguna Beach)
Lemonade
Cecconi’s
LA Food Show

Actually, I could end up going to all these places within the next week. Look for the next blog, bright and early Monday morning!

UNTIL WE EAT AGAIN…

JERSEY MIKE’S

  • August 27, 2009 1:52 pm

Today supremely sucked. I needed a supremely good sandwich.

I met The Bread Guy at Jersey Mike’s in Beverly Hills for lunch and ordered the roast beef.

Excellent meat, mediocre bread. The bread guy thought Quizno’s was better.

When I looked around at the clientele, I thought to myself “I don’t think I like any of you.” They all looked like a bunch of jerks. I’m sure it wasn’t the foul mood I was in. 🙂

I would give Jersey’s another try, however. Perhaps trying one of their hot sandwiches. If I don’t love it, I won’t be back. Life’s too short to eat average sandwiches.

279 South Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 288-0288
www.jerseymikes.com

KAY ‘N’ DAVE’S

  • August 26, 2009 5:00 am

Tenille was mentioning at our lunch today that the waiters at Kay ‘n’ Dave’s must just ADORE $1 Taco Tuesdays!

We actually left almost a $10 tip on an $8 bill! Percentage wise, he scored. But I can see many patrons not being so kind; snickering to themselves about the fact they just stuffed their gullets with a multitude of delicious tacos for $4 bucks!

I’ve never been to Kay ‘n’ Dave’s when it WASN’T Taco Tuesday. I’m not made of money for Pete’s sake!

(Who is Pete, by the way?)

Kay ‘n Dave’s is an upscale Mexican restaurant on a bland, strip-mall enriched section of Pico BLVD. It’s beautiful inside, the waiters are always friendly, and the salsa is incredible. They even give you those spicy pickled carrots, which I love!

I ordered the fish taco, the black bean taco and the carnitas taco (not pictured) They were all good, but the black bean taco stood out the most. The hidden guacamole made me feel all warm inside.

I met Tenille so she could give me some VIP Sparks basketball tickets (please contain your jealousy), which I ended up leaving on my table accidentally. To steal yet another joke from Tenille, I’m sure before I ran back to retrieve the golden tickets, a riot must have erupted amongst the customers for possession of them. I’m sure that was bloodshed, NOT salsa on the floor as a result.

By the way, a client ripped me a new one when I returned to work. I have NEVER been spoken to that way. It was pure insanity how angry he was over something so tiny. I hung up on him. I received a fun, profanity-laced voicemail from him afterwards, which I play over and over when I need some cheering up.

10543 Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 446-8808
www.kayndaves.com

JAN’S RESTAURANT

  • August 25, 2009 3:51 am

I don’t know who Jan is. “But she old”

And so is the clientele of Jan’s Restaurant, located near the Beverly Center. I saw many a Blublocker sunglass-wearing patron looking ready to weld their patrami sandwich. Trying their darndest to digest it and wishing they had ordered the soup.

Jan’s is a diner with a hint, a twinge of Jewish Deli to it. Except the waitresses are nice. I was expecting to be scolded when I wasn’t ready to order like I always am at Factor’s Deli. The woman actually smiled, saying “No probrem”. Yes, “no probrem.”

I ordered the hot meatloaf sandwich and ghostly white mashed potatoes.

Don’t fear. I know it looks like a typical old folk’s home meal. Pureed, containing no offending primary colors.

And it was. But it was a meal any 92 year old would be proud to gum. I’m assuming the loaf came from the exotic region of Salisbury.

I don’t normally eat white bread. But only a fool would think that choosing wheat bread would have suddenly made this a nutritious meal. Like, poof! It’s as healthy as a salad now! Maybe a cheese, bacon and ranch salad. One of those infamous 1000 calorie salad’s from TGI Friday’s.

8424 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048-3402
(323) 651-2866
www.jansrestaurant.com

JOE’S ON THE GREEN / JJ’S BROILER – KAUAI, FINAL DAY

  • August 24, 2009 1:47 pm

On our final afternoon in Kauai, after successfully eating everything in the fridge before leaving our condo for good, we decided we should go out for at least one Hawaiian breakfast.

We drove to the Sheraton, but they were closed. Bastards!

So, we drove to Joe’s at the golf course. On the Green, if you wanna get fancy.

I’ve been to a few cafe’s at golf courses and they are basically a bowling alley dive, just relocated. Same trashy, hoarse-voiced, 80’s throwback waitress, same menu, lotsa old people. However, in a beautiful setting.

I really wanted to get something healthy. I had good intentions. But the ole “I’m on vacation!” crept in, so I ditched the egg whites and cottage cheese, and ordered the Kalua Pork and Eggs!

The pork was dry and fatty. But with a whole lotta flavor. I would probably never order this again, regardless. I felt a bit off, afterwards.

Our waitress was talking about how she had moved to Kauai many eons ago (she ended up being the owner, I think) She had just decided she wanted to go, having never been here and moved! How gutsy! Or ballsy, in her case. Her voice was pretty deep.

For an early dinner, before dropping off our banged up car to the rental place and facing their wrath, we headed to Lihue to JJ’s Broiler, a sports bar. It was right next to Duke’s. Maybe we should have gone to Duke’s.

I was told I had to get the fish tacos there. So I got the fish tacos there.

They were actually fish burritos. Fried to death, in flour tortillas, a lot of thousand island like sauce. Delicious.

It was grey, rainy and windy at that point. The roosters that own the island began to infest the restaurant. Our time in Kauai was over. No more reggae radio stations, no more Hawaiian ice, no more Kalua pork, no more being chauffeured past where they filmed Jurrasic Park on a daily basis with my foot out the window and the wind blowing on my new shaven head to get to a new beach.

We really had the best time. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect, relaxing vacation with better folks!

CJ’S / THE BEACH HOUSE – KAUAI

  • August 21, 2009 5:09 pm

Let’s face it. People talking about their vacations is boring. Especially if it’s a case of “Well, we packed up the kids and headed to Disneyland. Now, let me tell you, those lines were outta control…”

BORING. I understand. Unless someone is going somewhere interesting. So, I apologize. Hawaii is not interesting. It’s beautiful. Just not unusual in the slightest. Everyone has either been here or wants to come here. It’s like Disneyland for adults. A tropical island theme park where everyone chats about which beaches are best for snorkling and which restaurant has the best Mai Tai’s.

Now that my rant is over, here’s what I did today. Cuz you care. Deeply.

We picked up a hilarious old college roommate of Thelma’s at her hotel and headed to Tunnels Beach for some snorkling (where a woman got her arm ripped off by a shark a while back).

We stopped for lunch at CJ’s in Princeville. I had a Beefeater sandwich (pictured above). Very good, I was only able to finish half. The other half, I kept in a container, grossing out my friends as I popped it open at random times while we were laying on the beach.

CJ’s is like many restaurants here, super casual, good food, $9-$13 range for entrees. Nothing special to mention. Just decent food and incredible french fries.

One of us ordered the Ono fish, and you can just guess the “hilarity” that ensued as the constant puns kept coming out like chocolates on a conveyor belt! (a la “I Love Lucy”).

On our way to the beach, we encountered an infamous “Makau” shower which quickly dissipated. “You guys, we’ve really been blessed with the weather so far” Louise would utter repeatedly. We chided her for jinxing our perfect weather up until now.

While snorkling, we encountered a sea turtle, which we swam with a bit. Until it began luring us out into shark territory. Positive it was a trap, we turned around, saving our very lives. 🙂

After our beach day, we were in desperate need for coconut water. Desperate, I tell you. Everywhere seemed closed due to the rain that had just started again.

Suddenly we see a Coconut sign! Score! We stopped in front of somebody’s house where the owners were basically plucking what produce grew in their yards and selling it to unsuspecting tourists for escalated prices.

We sucked back our coconut water like it was mother’s milk. We had the old man chop it up afterwards so we could eat the semi-flavorless flesh. While his possibly deceased mother retrieved a bag for us to put the shavings in. Her walk to the bag 5 feet away, seemed like watching a time lapse video of food rotting.

For dinner, we had made reservations at The Beach House. The nicest restaurant on the island, and renowned for having the best view of the sunset. We had a drink in the bar (my final Mai Tai) while we talked with the folks we had met for drinks a few nights back.

One of them had a cast on, she had broken her wrist. When we asked how, she sheepishly explained that she was posing for a picture by a sign, slipped into a small hole and fell into the bushes!! When I enquired if the sign said anything worthy of injury, she shouted “It was just the sign for the hotel we’re staying at!”

At dinner, we ordered a few apps. The Watermelon Salad and the Thai Beef Bundles.

The wasabi crusted Opa fish in a Lilikoi sauce was almost the best fish I’ve ever had. And since my memory is shot, let’s just say it WAS the best. Opa is just a basic, light Hawaiian white fish. And that slightly hot wasabi breading was incredible. And it was almost too much fish to finish. But my lard ass managed.

Then we ordered a few deserts, including the Hawaiian Carrot Cake with macadamia nuts! Looked great, tasted just ok.

After our meal, which everyone just raved about, we sat outside on the restaurant’s front lawn, watched shooting stars and the crashing surf and thoroughly enjoyed our last night in Kauai.

Asleep yet?

www.the-beach-house.com

KAUAI – TUBING – KAUAI BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURES

  • August 20, 2009 4:46 am

Today, Thelma’s son, Tall Boy and I did a inner tubing tour through the canals and tunnels of an old sugar plantation. So cool. Although, these people are making a killing to charge people $100 bucks to float down something that was already there on indestructable tubes. I’m in the wrong business.


(Stolen picture #1)

The tour guides are a bunch of young Hawaiian guys, “local boys”, who are mostly joking with each other and doing stunts on their tubes. As they drive us up to the spot where we begin tubing, they give us a brief history.

A few facts that weren’t boring:

The Ukulele is NOT a Hawaiian instrument. It’s Portuguese.

There were once 96 sugar cane plantations in Hawaii, now there are only 2.

Sugar cane is NOT native to Hawaii.

Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, now owns the 17,000+ sugar plantation we were tubing through, which opened 150 years ago and closed in 2000.

OK, now I’M bored. Let’s move on. So, the tunnels we floated through were built by hand by Chinese workers. The tour guide introduction painted a picture of very UNsafe, dark and rocky tunnels we were to float through. We had to wear head lamps to see, as some of the tunnels were very dark. I hit my head once. They made us turn off our lamps for the final tunnel, which was actually pretty fun.


(Stolen picture #2)

All in all, this was a very relaxing, sometimes fun float. Afterwards, they provided lunch for us. Sandwich, maui onion chips, cookie. Dull, but got the job done. Then they drove us back to their headquarters.

http://www.kauaibackcountry.com/tubing.html

On our way out of the parking lot, Thelma drove our Expedition RIGHT OVER A BOULDER (while Tall Boy kept warning “Stop! Stop!”), crushing the…uh…what’s it called…the thing you step on before you get inside the vehicle. Whatever that is, is now lying half in pieces in the Kauai Adventure Tours parking lot.

Hmm…I hope Thelma said “Yes” to the insurance.

We then headed to Tall Boy’s relatives house (Magenta and Robert – real names) who live in the hills of Wailua, a cute section of town where we did a little hike through the woods (seems funny to call it that, but “jungle” seems too extreme for what this was) to a little scenic outlook.

On our way back we ate some tiny strawberry guavas.

Their house is a typical Hawaiian house, at least in my mind. Airy, bamboo, wicker, slotted windows everywhere and all the typical fruit trees in their yard. Papayas, Bananas, Mangos. They even had a vegetable garden, where we actually picked the lettuce and cucumbers for our salad. Let me tell you, those were the best lettuce and cucumbers I’ve ever had.

Magenta, a “domestic goddess” is a wedding seamstress (she’s also licensed to marry ya, if you come to the island) She regailed us with the time “Bob Redford” drove to her house cuz he needed his Hawaiian shirt altered and when Annie Liebowitz taxied her to an Ellen Degeneres photo shoot, where Magenta recalls her hand being needed to grasp her boob for some important reason.

Robert, her boyfriend I guess, told us a few interesting Woodstock stories. They’re both the nicest folks you’ll ever meet. Even if you look for some on Craigslist, you won’t find better.

Robert grilled us some fantastic chicken while mosquitos dined on our flesh.

Magenta also made this incredible purple potato salad. I’m making this as SOON as I get home.

For desert, Magenta served us homemade mango puree with coconut sorbet and chocolate ginger biscotti. Wow, this chick can cook!

We played with her parrot for a bit, she played the ukulele, we sipped local Kauai beers and mango lemonade and then bid them farewell.

LINK TO KAUAI BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURES

JOJO’S – KAUAI

  • August 20, 2009 4:46 am

Now, we’ve had a few Hawaiian Ice’s on our trip, and when we heard this place supposedly had the best, we had to check it out.

It was HOT in that little building to say the least. And the guy that made our Ice looked like he had been eating quite a few with a Liquid Meth flavor.

I ordered a half Lychee and half Lilikoi (still don’t know what the hell that fruit is, but since it’s local, I always want to order it. It’s orange, is all I know.

Oh, the sign for Waimea High School across the street was hilarious. Folks, if you’re any kind of decent parent, you will find a way to get your kids in this school!

CASA DE LOUISE – KAUAI

  • August 19, 2009 4:53 pm

Today, we visited Waimea Canyon. The Grand Canyon of Hawaii. The view of the canyon itself, as impressive it was, kept disappointing me, as I’ve seen the Grand Canyon before and that is beyond compare. Here it is, regardless. Still, very beautiful.

Sorry, I have to pee. Give me a second.

OK, I’m back.

We drove up further to another lookout on the opposite side. This time showing the ocean. Now, THIS was incredible. But like most landscape shots, are very difficult to translate onto a picture.

After our viewing and deciding we were too LAZY to do a hike after our tramatizing Na Pali coast experience, we had a snack of salami and provolone and crackers and pickles (and a few sneaky beers) in this very large grassy area with Pine trees. It felt like we were in Anytown, USA.

Until the Roosters attacked!

I don’t know what it is with Kauai and the Roosters! How are they reproducing?? I never see any chickens. I think we have a not-so-secret gay Rooster colony here, folks.

After the gay Rooster assault, we headed to Salt Ponds beach. Is that really called that? Doubt it. But that’s where they make Hawaiian salt. And there’s a beach there. Mostly locals. We saw lots of open bed trucks with impromptu picnics and bottles of Jack Daniels sitting out openly.

We swam a little, I mostly read my Anthony Bourdain book, “Kitchen Confidential” while watching the red mud shores turn the water into the aftermath of a brutal shark attack. It was quite unnerving to be swimming in red water. We briefly spoke to some guy who was looking for live crabs and putting them in his pocket.

We left and headed back home to shower and change and met Thelma’s friends at the Beach House for a drink to finally watch the sunset. I ordered a Li Hing Mui Margarita.

Li Hing Mui is a dried salty plum. You may have seen these unnappetizing, withered dog testicles in a Chinatown near you. They’re everywhere here for sale. And they always look smashed up and moist. As if the have been sitting in the stores for so long waiting for some sucker to purchase them, that the dried fruit has just given up it’s act and reconstituted itself.

The marg was tasty but we needed to request another shot of Tequila be added. The sunset was lovely, however. We couldn’t wait to come back here for dinner in a few days.

We jetted back to the condo to make another amazing Ahi tuna meal with wasabi mashed potatoes and salad. The fish was, again, perfection (we are too nervous to buy any foreign Hawaiian fishies to eat – we’re such wimps) and the wasabi mashed potatoes were so damn good that…that…I think I’m going to eat the rest of our leftovers right now. I hope no one else wanted any. Like I care.