Bun Boy Eats LA
BUN BOY EATS LA - Archives for 2010 March

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE EASTER

  • March 29, 2010 12:31 am

potatoes au gratin

This past weekend, I flew up to Seattle to see the family and celebrate an early Easter. I’m not sure why I didn’t just wait a week and go during the actual holiday. Just trying to be difficult, I guess.

I purchased the most sad excuse for a meatloaf sandwich at the airport (the most blindingly white bread you ever did see and the thinest sliver of loaf, I was basically eating a mayonnaise sammie)

I had two duties this weekend: Make the scalloped potatoes and dessert and dress up as the Easter Bunny for my niece.

ava

The scalloped pots turned out heavenly, I chopped up 1001 jalapenos and threw in some bacon for lean protein. They became a new family tradition.

We rented the costume from the most casually dressed cashier. The term “rolled out of bed” might be too dressy, I was startled when two birds darted out of the girl’s nest of hair and I think her feet had melded into her ancient flip flops.

When my sis, bro-in-law and niece and nephew arrived at my parents house, I flew up the stairs to throw on the styfling, skanky costume!

I knew I was contracting a fatal skin disease from the never-cleaned bunny mask as I raced down the stairs (avoiding piles of fresh cat vomit) to sneak out the back door.

We wanted my niece to see the Easter bunny hiding the eggs, so I was doing just that. As she and my mother picked flowers from the garden, I kept hoping around the corner and then back again.

“Don’t be scared bunny, you can come out” she pleaded.

Eventually, I made my grand entrance, posed for the obligatory blackmail shots and hopped away. (Well, I didn’t really hop, just ran like a crazy person)

easter ava and bunny

Bunny Snaps Child in Two!

Bunny Snaps Child in Two!

Sorry, I was just distracted by the raucous musical stylings of the Muzak version of Dionne Warwick on the digital music station on TV. Yes, for those of you who found Dionne’s music too noisy, too edgy; finally a station that can be safely played in a cemetery without disturbing its residents.

My dad LOVES this station!!

My grandparents were humorous as usual. My British grandmother and Southern Grandfather:

“The things we got talking to us, nowadays” – GRANDPA, staring at a children’s TV show.

We look up to see a beige, pathetic, turd-like lump speaking to an overly excited human.

***

My grandmother, a stickler for manners:

“Don’t worry, I only saw part of it, not all of it” – GRANDMA

“What?” – BUN BOY

“The food in your mouth!” – GRANDMA

***

easter grandma w bunny

Grandma always like to turn up the dramatics.

“Ooh, I like your watch!” – MOM

“Oh yes, well it will be yours soon” – GRANDMA

***

“I always speak out against injustice, always. Of course, nowdays, I’d just get me head blown off!” – GRANDMA

“And they’ve got higher caliber weapons, dear” – GRANDPA

***
(Overhead from the kitchen)

“Is that all we’re eating, Bob?” – GRANDMA

“There’s salad in the freezer” – GRANDPA

“Well, if the salad’s in the freezer, then we’re not eating it” – GRANDMA

After the incredible dinner (thanks for the incredible ham, Mom!) we spent the rest of the evening playing with the kids. I kept giving my 1 y/o nephew drinks of sparkling water, and after each sip, his face would contort as if I had just fed him hydrochloric acid!

easter liam reacts

easter liam screams

Yet, he kept begging for more acid!

easter liam

THE SMOKIN’ JOINT

  • March 24, 2010 7:52 pm

The Smokin' Joint - AMAZING LA RACE 011ribs

The morning before I chowed down at the Smokin’ Joint, I participated in the Amazing LA Race.

I had anticipated a fiesty crowd of thousands, all pushing their way past each other towards the finish line, the severed heads of their competitors clutched firmly in their hands.

It ended up being about 39 bored kids.

Feeling like the well-meaning, active-for-their-age grandparents, we stood there while the salt and peppered, 2 steps away from gay Event Organizer gave us our esoteric instructions.

We were to scour the Hollywood Bowl for a packet with our team name on it, which would give us a clue to solve, leading us to the next LA landmark.

Easy enough.

After every other team had found their packet, we finally discovered ours (looking like it had been tossed around by a few eager rhinos) and headed to our next location.

The Smokin' Joint - AMAZING LA RACE 001theater

We spent a very fun afternoon, neck and neck with two groups of smart (Asian) kids, roaming downtown LA.

After we finally finished (and I was pushed back by a cop because there was some anti-war demonstration on Hollywood BLVD) we had a few beers and some macaroni and cheese bites at the trendy bowling alley, Lucky Strike.

The Smokin' Joint - AMAZING LA RACE 007lucky strike

We were celebrating our third place medals! (We joked that the only reason we came in third, was because we had one Asian person on our team!)

The Smokin' Joint - AMAZING LA RACE 009medal

Still hungry after our appetizer and buzzin’ from the beers, we headed to The Smokin’ Joint.

A tiny red flag raised when we arrived at an empty restaurant.

Thankfully, our fears were put to rest when we enjoyed some incredible baby back ribs (“Seared mammal flesh!” – Coneheads).

The Smokin’ Joint looks like an upscale gothic biker restaurant, if that makes any sense.

Very MTV’s Headbangers Ball! KISS music videos were playing on the flatscreen televisions surrounded by fancy picture frames, very cool.

The waitress was wearing daisy dukes and was super friendly*

*slutty

There was a lot going on with the beans, but they were still tasty.

The Smokin' Joint - AMAZING LA RACE 014chili

These little cornbread nodules were also fantastic, accompanied by homemade honey butter.

The Smokin' Joint - AMAZING LA RACE 010cornbread

The ribs. Hmm. How can I describe them and not put you to sleep? They were Effing perfect!!!

I’m pretty grossed out by fat. And I stripped each bone clean, like an animal. Yes, I was a cannibal and beaming with pride, face covered in bbq gore.

I always prefer to end my blogs on a humorous note. So here’s a joke you won’t soon forget:

Two peanuts walk into a rowdy bar….One was a salted…. (assaulted)

8486 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-7427
www.thesmokinjointbbq.com

SOFI’S

  • March 22, 2010 10:38 pm

Sofi's 002

Friday nights are the best part of the entire week.

You have the entire weekend ahead of you as reward for the battles fought during the hellish work week, still fresh in your mind.

Saturday is nice, but you know you only have one more day left, and we all can agree that Sunday sucks as you are consumed with constant Monday thoughts.

So, when the glass of Greek wine came my way, I gladly accepted. Like an elixir to soothe my wounds.

Except that Greek wine sucks.

The glass of straight up vinegar was hard to get down (I managed).

I kept thinking that this surely was the product of Lucille’s Ball famous grape smashing scene, both in age and in it’s recent proximity to feet.

Sofi’s is mostly an outdoor courtyard, which was quite pleasant. We had to wait about an hour (equals three glasses of vinegar/wine) for our food. We listened to the Greek musician play in the meantime.

The waiter insisted we were ordering all the wrong things.

But as he chose our dreadful wine, we were careful to choose the exact opposite when he recomended our dessert.

“I wouldn’t get that, the custard is so much better!” (I’m sure he slipped in an ‘Opa!’ as well)

I ordered the Pastitsio, which is supposed to be like a Greek lasagne, but it’s more like Hamburger Helper.

But in a really good way.

I didn’t touch the boring rice and the green beans were soggy central.

The spanakopita was excellent (the spinach did NOT taste like blood).

Sofi's 001

We were there about three hours and it was a very nice evening. As usual, we were the loudest bunch there.

However, a quiet Greek restaurant is about as common as a Burger King commercial NOT involved in racial profiling.

8030 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 651-0346
www.sofisrestaurant.com

SPARK WOODFIRE GRILL

  • March 20, 2010 8:33 pm

Spark Woodfire Grill 003pizza

This week has been kind of dull. Nothing to make fun of. Just a lot of hiking and TV watching.

“Peter thinks he’s dull” – Jan Brady

On one of my hikes up Runyon Canyon, I came across a situation that happens to us all.

Walking the same pace as someone else.

The trouble is, they think you’re stalking them. And you think that they think you’re stalking them.

A decision must be made.

One of you must speed up or slow down.

When neither party chooses this course of action, the result can be very painful.

You now have a new, unexpected walking buddy.

When that person looks to their side, pretending to admire a tree or a puppy (they’re really trying to get a look at the person that’s about to murder them) you have to make a conscious effort to look at the ground or at the very same tree or puppy!

It’s exhausting!

Eventually, one of you must dart down a street you had no intentions of going down just to ditch the whole annoying process.

Or you could suddenly start jogging OR take out your keys and pretend to get your car (choose the car wisely).

The Asparagus Goat Cheese pizza at Spark’s was tasty and very thin. So thin, that I would liken it to the thickness of three good sized layers of human skin.

The corn chowder was ok. Kind of sweet.

The Caesar salad was bland but the cornmeal croutons were tasty.

Spark Woodfire Grill 002salad

The servers were super friendly, the prices were reasonable, blah blah FREAKING BLAH!

9575 W Pico BLVD
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 277-0133
Sparkwoodfiregrill.com

MY CRY FOR HELP

  • March 18, 2010 10:50 am

hot sauce

Every once in a while you must step back and examine your life.

Find out what’s not working or what’s going wrong and fix it.

I recently realized I have an addiction.

A nasty one, one that won’t loosen its deadly grip on my esophagus.

I’m addicted to hot sauce and all things spicy.

It probably all started as a child, when my mother would dice up jalapenos in my morning eggs.

It soon became commonplace to see Jalapeno’s in everything (they definitely found the time to dance around in my dreams, those devilish green sprites!)

I’m surprised I didn’t keep secret jars of them under my bed; like contraband, like Playboy.

Just this morning, while actually putting more hot sauce on my breakfast burrito then ketchup, I stopped.

I have been putting Vietnamese or Mexican hot sauce on EVERY SINGLE MEAL I’ve been eating for months now!

I can’t even touch soup without creating a hazy, blood-red hot sauce cloud swirling around like a recent shark attack.

Pizza means nothing to me without slashing the side of a Tapatio bottle and watching the carnage ooze out onto the crust.

I’m sure I will eventually pay the price. My taste buds are already shot. My stomach lining is most certainly next.

BEN’S DELI

  • March 16, 2010 7:44 pm

Ben's Deli 002

Last night I went to a fun cocktail party.

Nibbles were promised, but instead a 35 course meal lay out for us.

I decided to not take any pictures of the delicious food and instead just snap a shot of the champagne and strawberries since we had just eaten at Della Terra and needed some booze to soak up all that food.

Della Terra 005

The following morning, I met my friend for a pretty challenging hike in Burbank. He’s running the LA marathon next weekend and needed to get some cross training in.

And it wouldn’t kill him to loose a few* pounds.

After the hike we were famished. We picked Ben’s because it was close and it looked like the perfect place to eat in our sweaty condition: GHETTO

Ben’s reminds me of a converted garage that someone crammed a few skanky booths in and asked all their female bowling buddies to help out waitressing.

There was a sign** boasting of the world’s best corned beef. Or was it just Burbank’s best?

Regardless, it WAS the best I’ve ever had. So tender. However, I think I’ve only had about 4 of them.

We also ordered the brisket, cheese and green chili sammie, which was pretty good***.

Ben's Deli 003

*50

**Hand written on the window

***Don’t bother, just get the corned beef

271 E Orange Grove Ave
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 846-6227

DELLA TERRA

  • March 15, 2010 9:24 am

Della Terra 001

Today, I overheard the most painful elevator conversation that has ever taken place.

Picture it. Sicily. 1942 :

“Oh boy, I need some coffee” – Man

“I already had coffee. I’m moving on to tea” – Woman

HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!

The laughter over that banal comment was insane! I looked over to see if perhaps someone dropped something or passed gas.

“They need to invent a coffee IV” – Woman

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The entire elevator erupted in laughter.

Obviously Soupy Sales (or perhaps not a deceased comedian) suddenly entered, slipping on a banana peel!

I literally turned my head to the corner of the elevator, so the other passengers wouldn’t see my hatred of them.

“Would someone please tell me it’s Friday!” – Woman

“Yes, don’t worry. I can assure you it’s Friday” – Older Woman

I mean, just mention the weather and you’ve got the trifecta of the WSTE.

Worst Small Talk Ever.

I gunned them all down with my eyes as they exited the lift.

SO, we had a casual dinner tonight at Della Terra. A large, blandly upscale neighborhood spot which LA is famous for (exposed brick, votive candles, no personality), I don’t really have a bad thing to say about this place.

But that’s boring.

So I’ll make something up.

After we finished our prosciutto and burrata pizza and I dove into my very moist chicken and roasted veggies, terrorists burst in and took us all hostage!

Guns in our faces, we were forced to finish our meal, deal with the extremely friendly waitstaff and overall, have a very nice time.

It was horrific, please don’t make me relive it.

Della Terra 002

7675 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-7675
dellaterrarestaurant.com

HUSTON’S TEXAS PIT BBQ

  • March 12, 2010 9:30 am

Huston's Texas Pit BBQ 001

I’m being punished.

I’m being punished with this horrific online traffic school I’ve been forced to take.

And I was punished last night with the WORST BBQ I’VE EVER HAD.

This Hollywood hole in the wall has been here since 1944.

God only knows why.

I think we were the only non-indigents dining in this dingy dump (other, more graphic ‘D’ words come to mind)

We ordered a rack of the pork ribs, potato salad, baked beans, fries and cornbread.

Let me break it down for you:

RIBS: Fatty, very tough and DROWNING in sauce. The sauce should be baked on. These ribs were swimming in a bbq soup.

POTATO SALAD: Eh….

Huston's Texas Pit BBQ 002

BAKED BEANS: Quite good, a little sweet. Possibly from a can.

FRIES: Orida, straight from the freezer. But hot! (My friend requested “hot” several times. I was almost certain we would be getting fries coated in a special glaze after so much pestering)

Huston's Texas Pit BBQ 004

CORNBREAD: THE WORST EVER!!!!!!!! I don’t know why I continued taking bites out of this lukewarm couch stuffing!!

The two of us looked like crazy people, our faces and fingers drenched in the bbq, like cannibals partaking in a massacre.

Searching for a reason to like this place. And, unfortunately, never satisfying that hunger…

1620 N Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 464-3972

CAFE STELLA

  • March 10, 2010 11:57 pm

Cafe Stella 001

It was a dark and rainy night.

Bun Boy, our hero, anticipated a fun evening that did not include operating a vehicle.

Take a taxi? Naw, too easy.

He decided to bus it.

Aw, the adventures one can discover using public transportation in Los Angeles.

It’s better than theater, it’s like performance art!

Bun entered the bus, his fare clutched tight in his sweaty palm. He noticed the person in front of him only had half the fare, muttered “Sorry dude” and took a seat.

There was an elderly man sitting in the middle of three empty seats.

I sat next to him and he did not budge, he continued to stare off in the distance, mumbling to himself.

I blatantly stared at his knee to send a message to move the hell over. Message…not received.

The hippy girl in front of me (I’m assuming that, to her, bathing was a novelty that had worn off) was beebopping to eardrum-busting tunes from a cassette player. She randomly drew pentagrams on the condensation that accumulated on the window.

I pondered the bacteria that now wreck havoc on her fingertip and shuddered.

When the bus stopped, a group of non-english speaking people gathered to exit at the front, a few remain in the back.

“EXIT AT THE FRONT ONLY PEOPLE”

Half the group, like lemmings, slid to the REAR entrance.

“EXIT AT THE FRONT ONLY!”

The remainder of the group slide to the REAR.

I laughed and then pointed up front and everyone followed my finger, like magic.

We finally arrived at Café Stella, a cute, upscale French bistro in Silverlake.

While I waited for my friend, I sipped wine, listened to the rain and eavesdropped on extremely dull conversations.

It was quite the pleasantly Parisian experience.

My short ribs were fat central. Albeit, delicious.

Cafe Stella 002

The Buratta Heirloom Tomato salad was the best thing on the menu, amazing combo of flavors.

My night ended in saying “Screw you!” to the bus system and took a taxi home that cost as much as a tank of gas.

I had to pee so bad, I made the taxi stop at the parking lot of a Kmart where I proceeded to pee directly on the taxi’s tires.

I had debated whether or not to just go in my pants and roll down the windows to disguise the smell.

Neither decision I would have been proud of.

3932 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 666-0265
www.cafestella.com

COUPA CAFE

  • March 9, 2010 7:50 pm

Coupa Cafe 002panini

THE FOLLOWING IS NOT FUNNY, SKIP TO THE MIDDLE TO AVOID THE MELANCHOLY:

I decided long ago (never to walk in anyone’s shadow) that I knew what the meaning of life was.

Well, not so much meaning, but the purpose of life.

Our purpose is to pursue happiness while ensuring the happiness of others. Maintain that balance and you’re set. That’s all you can do. Pressure’s off.

However, exactly how often are we actually happy? Maybe 10% of each day?

The rest of the time, we’re just muddling through. Wandering like zombies, drowning in coffee, paperwork, meaningless chatter and booze. In that order.

I believe we’re under the impression that the security of a routine (a steady job, a place to hang our hat, people to pass the time with) is the most one can hope for and a decent substitute for real happiness.

I guess my point is that many of us fall into the trap of being so lazy that we wait around, grazing like sheep, for the few times in life that happiness comes our way. Instead of actually pursuing it.

START READING HERE:

Coupa Café, an Venezuelan joint where everyone seemed to know everyone, had an amazing looking menu but with AVERAGE food.

We ordered the appetizer combo platter and split a Panini.

The only thing that was worth mentioning was the chicken empanada, so flavorful! Everything else can be chalked up to different versions of fried, flavorless cheese.

Coupa Cafe 001apps

After biting into the Petrified Panini, I watched as half of the roof of my mouth scraped off with the first bite.

The sundried tomatoes were like mummified worms.

Our waiter was wearing some knitted afghan sweater that he must have snatched from a dumpster outside an old folks’ home.

In summary, run, don’t walk…directly into oncoming traffic rather than come here.

419 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 385-0420
www.coupacafe.com