Bun Boy Eats LA
BUN BOY EATS LA - Archives for 2011 August

RAMENYA

  • August 31, 2011 10:53 pm

Tan Tan Men Ramen...that's the name of the dish?

Picture it, Dorothy. Sicily. 1942….

I’m not sure what made me think of the Golden Girls but I would imagine the temperature inside of Ramenya would be about quadruple that of whatever sweltering Italian cafe Sophia Petrillo first met her husband at.

The owners of Ramenya, who clearly have fled Japan to escape criminal charges for boiling their customers to death, have two fans in their restaurant.

And they’re both pointed directly at the staff.

On one of the hottest days of the year, in one of the hottest restaurants on earth, I decide to sit above a nice, steaming bowl of soup. Smart, Bun Boy.

As I begin to stockpile napkins by the truckload and sweat grotesquely through my shirt, I still must admit how delicious my ramen was!

Picture it. Spicy egg drop soup. Add ground pork. Add noodles.

Sophia after one minute inside of Ramenya

Incredible.

Three children enter the restaurant and sit down at a table next us.

Their mother joins them minutes later.

She sits down.

Then, immediately stands up.

“Are you kidding me??!” she snaps. “Let’s go to Asahi Ramen instead”

I envy the cool breezes they will soon experience.

As I look below at my never ending meal, I have to wonder if perhaps I’m refilling the bowl with my own sweat.

I can just picture the zingers Dorothy and Sophia would come up with when they saw this on their table:

Chili Oil Enema?

LudoBites 007

  • August 30, 2011 8:23 am

LudoBites 007, a culinary adventure!

Pictured below, the brave explorers on this gastronomic journey.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre (from his very own Sundance Channel show), our zany tour guide.

Let me preface this post with a few fun facts.

One, this was one of the most fun meals I’ve ever eaten out.

Two, I do NOT like shellfish (or other creatures from the deep that don’t come in filet form) or odd meats.

Pretty pathetic for a food blogger, eh? (Enough, Siegfried)

The Ludo Crew!

This being said, I knew it was high time I dove in and toss a few foodstuffs down the ‘ole gullet that don’t normally make it passed my computer screen.

LudoBites is a pop up restaurant (in it’s 7th incarnation) that, for a month or two, take over spaces that don’t normally offer a dinner service.

This means a few things.

First, the reservations for the entire 6 week stint sold out in under a minute!!

We had dueling ressie handlers whose sole task was to get us a reservation.

Only one of them came out victorious.

Second, in this case, no liquor license. Which meant our wine had to be absconded in sneaky sandwich bags, where even an FBI agent working the last case of his career before retirement (and just wanted that last big ‘win’) would be utterly stumped at the prohibition reenactment on display tonight.

No Liquor License - AKA, The wine must be expertly conceiled.

A few firsts happened tonight.

First, we ordered everything on the menu! Two of everything, to be precise. I’ve never done that before and was quite excited.

Second, I took a bite of EVERYTHING. Yes, Bun Boy ate shellfish and weird meats!!

Third, and please skip this section if you are squeamish, but I threw up in my mouth TWICE. After the seafood milkshake and the compressed pigs head. I just couldn’t get passed what they were, it was not due to how they tasted.

Trouble is, I had to swallow my regurgitations in order to save face.

Oy.

Bun Boy was on a food trek and he was not about to fall off track.

The following is photographic evidence of our adventure, in order of consumption, descriptions exactly as they appeared on our menus.

I will be letting the pictures tell the story as I have zero qualifications to be discussing the merits of these creations.

Please enjoy and do not attempt any of these dishes at home without a lovably psychotic chef’s supervision.

Chicken Wing Condoms!

Onion Tart, Bottarga (fish roe)

Jamaican Fried Chicken

Bouillabaise Milkshake (Seafood Surprise!)

Prawn & Scallop Ceviche, Aji Amarillo, Red Berries

Squid, Ash, Chorizo

Raw Beef, Rainbow Carrots, Shallots, Red Wine Mayo

Salt Cod Panna Cotta, Whipped Fingerling Potato, Smoked Tapioca

Compressed Pig's Head and Cheddar, Barbeque Gelee

Plancha Tandoori Octopus, Yogurt, Cauliflower, Grapefruit

Foie Gras "French Dim Sum", Crispy Kimchi, Black Truffle Cream

Duck, Cherry, Spicy Saucisse, Beets, Radish

Epoisse Cheese Risotto, Hazelnut, Egg Yolk, Herb Salad

Lavender Tropezienne Tart, Aloe Vera, Strawberry

Chocolate Cake, Chipotle, Orange

BROOKLYN WATER BAGEL COMPANY

  • August 29, 2011 7:58 am

Jelly Donut Muffin

Happy Monday folks!

Last Friday, in order to beat the immense heat, I visited Larry King’s newish bagel chain with my friend Clyde, the self-proclaimed Pizza Bagel (half Italian, half Jewish).

We were trying to decide where to go, when we realized it was 134 degrees out (he was in a suit) and we’d just better find the nearest place with decent air conditioning and a crumb filled table to sit at.

Mission accomplished!

Luckily, I was able to procure a napkin to bus my own table (I noticed the table was promptly wiped clean AFTER we left. What did I do to piss Larry King off??)

In addition to the amazing Jelly Donut Muffin pictured above, I actually ordered their “Bagoli”, the baked asiago cheese bagel sandwich stuffed with pepperoni, sausage, marinara and mozzarella.

In honor of my friend’s Jewish Italian status.

The perfect meal to consume minutes after winning a weight loss competition.

Wowness.

WESTSIDE TAVERN

  • August 25, 2011 8:49 pm

Not Fried...No Cheese...No Sauce...An $8 dollar price tag...What am I doing??

Now, I’m not scared of veggies. I love them, actually.

Today, however, all I had for lunch were veggies.

These bland green giants (with an unfulfilled menu promise of lemon) and the salad below were a tough call to make.

I wanted the flatbread pizza. I wanted the chicken bacon club.

But I’m part of a weight loss contest at work (tomorrow’s the final weigh in) and I’m currently in the lead. I couldn’t screw that up. People are depending on me.

Depending on me to take their money via the $200 prize.

After quitting my job, purchasing a modest home on both coasts and then setting up the niece and nephew with a hearty college fund, I vow to wisely invest the other half of my winnings.

To show you how much I’m dedicated to this challenge, I just said “NO” to a HUGE container of chicken, egg rolls and mac and cheese my neighbor just brought me from Whole Foods.

“Dude, I totally forgot I’m going to sushi tonight, eat this before it goes bad.”

I Just Said No!

(I kept it in the fridge for my ‘minutes after I weigh-in’ meal)

In other news, I just got back from hiking Runyon Canyon and walked by Kathy Griffin twice!

Just as I was about to feel guilty watching her do the hike twice, I remembered tomorrow’s potential cash windfall and amused myself with the thought that by eating greens, I could come into some major green.

Then I ignored the impulse to delete that last comment.

UPDATE:
I won the competition! Fame and riches are mine!

www.westsidetavernla.com

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad

JEFF’S GOURMET SAUSAGE FACTORY

  • August 24, 2011 9:28 pm

There's sausage in there somewhere...

Do you ever bite into something so good, you don’t even bother to spit out that little chunk of wrapper that you’re currently chewing??

Well, calm down. This wasn’t that good.

I was just starving and knew that as long as the bite didn’t contain aluminum, I could avoid any future degenerative illnesses.

Jeff’s Sausage Factory is kosher all the way. No dairy in the joint. No one NOT wearing a yarmulke.

Except me.

The “Cajun” chicken sausage above was tasty (all their sausages are made fresh in the back). Albeit, about as Cajun as Bubba Gump Shrimp!

Would I recommend this to friends and colleagues?

Sure.

If your car breaks down directly in front or the line at Pink’s is too long.

RANDOM THOUGHT:

I was sitting at a busy intersection when I noticed a big ass beetle hovering about an inch from the ground in the very center.

Quite ballsy, this beetle.

He eventually found a resting place, smack in the middle of harm’s way. It was more like harm’s boulevard!

Yet, the cars never touched him. He remained unscathed.

Free to live another day. To go back to the dung heap he came from, spreading Beetle Flu and H1N1 along the way.

I realized that the beetle was just like me!

The reason is two-fold (three, if you count the disease spreading):

First, I thrive on chaos. I am not happy unless there is strife to overcome. Unless I have a laundry list of activities on the docket. Unless cars are trying to run me over.

There is no such thing as my dance card NOT being full.

Second, my mother believes I have a guardian angel protecting me. Actually, I have a gaggle of angels, all taking shifts (Don’t fret, they’re paid quite well and have a healthy benefits package).

I’ve experienced so many near misses and almost disasters, I can’t see any other explanation for my continued existence on this planet.

My presence is still requested.

To enjoy all that life has to offer…and to eat myself silly and take photographic (emphasis on GRAPHIC) evidence.

WATERLOO AND CITY

  • August 19, 2011 8:06 am

Organic Lamb Shepherd's Pie

I’ve been kind of obsessed with Waterloo and City, lately. If I didn’t go soon, I was going to burst.

And not with fruit flavors.

After picking up my travel companions (Bun Boy’s Taxi Service is thriving, thank you) we realized that the supposed location of Culver City seemed more like we were about to drive straight into the ocean’s welcoming water’s first!

After our harrowing trek of nearly 25 minutes (what are we, animals??) we were seated, enjoying a Basil Razzle Dazzle or whatever the hell this DELICIOUS basil/gin/creme de cassis drink was and feasting on a buffet of formed, pressed meats.

Smoked Salmon Terrine

As a foodie, I realize it’s utterly ridonkulous that I avoid all shellfish and don’t prefer to experiment with my meats.

I really only eat the parts of meat one would admire on a Playboy centerfold! (Breast, thigh, leg, intellect)

That being said, I tried each and every pate, fois gras and terrine of indiscernible chunks and they were all fantastic! The smoked salmon above stood out for sure.

Pork Chop / Pork Belly Combo

The pork chop / belly was fantastic and perfectly seasoned and moist (however, it appears someone dumped coffee grounds over it, in a demonstration I can only assume mirrors the Boston Tea Party), and the Lamb Shepherd’s Pie (pictured at the top) was a real decadent flavor explosion, so gorgeously presented!

Indian Butter Chicken Pizza

The Indian butter chicken pizza was a fun take and had some kick, which I wasn’t expecting.

The dish below looked great, but lacked some flavor when a sausage chunk didn’t accompany your bite.

Hmm, it appears I’ve accidentally given a grown-up restaurant review and now I’m ashamed at myself for going so long without any semblence of humor.

I think the nicer the restaurant, the more I’m inclined to sit up straight and fly right, and not embarrass myself too much.

I can save that for the next dump I visit that gives me diarrhea.

Hand Torn Basil Pasta with Artichokes and Italian Sausage

ASIAN RISOTTO

  • August 18, 2011 8:31 am

Yes please.

Since Thelma and Louise had paid for a fancy pants dinner for their birthday, I found it only fitting I cook them one of my specialties. I mean, who buys everyone dinner on their birthday?? Such saints, those two.

I haven’t made this dish I CREATED (yes, I am TOTALLY owning this recipe) in TEN YEARS.

(Sorry for all the yelling)

I was a bit trepidatious about how it was going to turn out. So, I spent about an hour online researching the perfect risotto.

Risotto is an arduous undertaking. Often times, best to just let a restaurant make it.

I soon realized I had to disregared most of my Risotto for Dummies training because I wasn’t going to be adding several key Italian ingredients.

I threw caution (and scallions) to the wind and dove in feet first.

And you know what, it turned out pretty damn good!

That degree I just received from the University of Pheonix in Asian Italian Fusion Cookery may have just been worth it!

Gonna miss my fellow alumni, can’t wait for our ten year reunion!

Guinea Pigs

GOOD – BREW AT THE LA ZOO

  • August 17, 2011 7:50 am

Chicken and Waffles...at least I think there was some chicken buried in all that breading...

I heard about a really cool event a few weeks back that I couldn’t pass up.

A beer tasting at the LA Zoo! Who could pass that up??

About a dozen or so California breweries had set up booths in various enclaves inside the zoo, so people could, in theory, embibe while trying not to get electrocuted trying to jump the fence to pet Ellie the Elephant.

In theory…

The issue was, like with many unique LA events, no one expects as many people to show up and the lines end up being so long, it kind of spoils the fun you’re having.

It was still a lot of fun hanging with friends, listening to the band play one song and seeing about 4 animals. It just didn’t last as long as we had hoped.

As my friend Tenille put it, “It was the most fun I’ve had drinking 3/4’s of a beer!”

After realizing the lines were now too long to stay any longer, we headed to the Good Microbrew to keep the fun going.

Unfortunately, my chicken was somewhat dreadful.

Now, I love me some fried chicken skin.

But when I tore open each fried carcass piece, I was at a loss to find much actual chicken…just more chicken skin.

It was either they had bred their poultry this way on purpose….or I was eating Grandma Chicken, who apparently died of old age.

She will always be remembered as a fiesty gal with a heart of gold but who would give you a stern talking to if you needed it.

I’ll never forget her clucking around the hen house, pushing around grain with her worn down beak, “I’ll tell you how it is, not how it should be. I’ll give you want you need, not what you want.”

If only we all could be as wise as Grandma Chicken.

P.S. What the HELL am I talking about???

All those smiling faces happy to wait in line.

Desperately searching for spilled beer.

$40 for 1.25 beers....worth it!!

FISH CURRY NIGHT!

  • August 15, 2011 7:48 am

A Map of the World via Indian Spices

When I was in India, our tour guide Sameer gave us a cooking demonstration while we were on safari NOT seeing tigers.

On our last day, I bought all the spices necessary to recreate his dish at home.

6 months later, I felt it might be time to finally make this damn meal!

Something died here...it was chicken, silly!

The problem was, I forgot the quantities needed, so I just dumped a heaping tablespoon of each one on a plate so it would look perty for a picture.

Then I just held my breath and dumped them all in the pot of hot oil.

And prayed to Shiva.

Whadya know, it turned out great!!

I mean, it was spicy as hell but the flavors were incredible.

Albeit, nothing like the dish Sameer made us…

So last night, Sonigram wanted to recreate his mothers’ fish curry.

Now, fish curry had always been the last on my list to try. It just sounded…well, gross.

But I was willing to open my mind to seafood in stew form…

He spent about a week’s wages on fresh Halibut from Whole Foods and upon returning from the store I was given the sole task of chopping the onions. It was a important duty and I was not about to fail!

Pushing my phobia of swallowing a fish bone aside, I dove in and it was delicious!

I am no longer frightened of fish curry! Fish curry is the new black!

CHABUYA TOKYO NOODLE BAR

  • August 12, 2011 3:50 pm

Kara Kara Pork Ramen

Today, we received a humorous email from our Human Resources lady:

“Please don’t eat your co-worker’s food/leftovers/condiments. I am dismayed that I continue to get random complaints about food gone missing from the refrigerators here. STOP IT!”

Emails like that just tickle me pink.

Especially that last part. “STOP IT!” Like a spanking on the tushy for throwing our binky on the floor.

To picture those poor starving souls sneaking into the kitchen for a mid afternoon snack, unaware of the two cameras (no joke) watching them take my rancid leftovers (that had sat too long in my hot car before I was like “Oh, shit!” and ran back to the garage to retrieve them), makes me smile.

I wasn’t even going to eat them (just waiting for them to grow old enough to toss) and now this thieving individual will be bound to the restroom for the good part of the afternoon, because he dared snatch my petrie dish!

The shocking fact is that these warnings from our HR rep come out all too often. Mustard jars ravaged, milk supplies dwindling, yogurts kidnapped.

That ancient, frosty burrito finally seized from it’s arctic bed, inciting yet another Amber Alert from HR.

It’s an epidemic of boundaries being crossed. What’s yours is mine.

Someone thinks the refrigerator contains community foodstuffs.

Yes, that withered Caesar salad and expired vegan cheese was purchased by the company for your enjoyment.

I once experimented and made an Italian sausage and peanut sauce dish for lunch, which turned out HORRIFICALLY.

By 11 a.m. that morning, I had discovered it and the glass pyrex dish which lovingly contained this culinary abomination, had vanished.

I just wanted to see if any of my friends would be dumb enough to taste it.

Apparently, someone was.

CHABUYA:

Really delicious soup, supposed to be a bit spicy. Wasn’t remotely. But tasty nonetheless! Upscale setting, friendly staff, no complaints!

Pork Gyoza, I wanna get to know ya