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

EL COYOTE

  • December 30, 2011 11:25 am

Cadillac Margarita with Tres Generaciones. In honor of Kim Koester

If you have to ask why I place the picture of the margarita at the top, disregarding the food picture…well…then you haven’t been to El Coyote.

Voted Best Meal in LA….never.

And it’s been open for 80 years! (not an exaggeration, look it up).

El Coyote is best known for the last meal of Sharon Tate and gang before they were murdered by the Manson Family.

If you visit this place on the anniversary, you’ll see folks morbidly dressed up as the cast of characters from those gruesome series of events.

Almost as gruesome as their food, which often features canned beats and canned green beans! Why??

Even the margs have slipped in superiority, you kind of have to ask politely for them to not show up to your table glowing lime green from the abundance of sour mix.

The green corn tamales are actually really good. The only thing on the menu I ever order (or can stomach, for that matter).

Let’s face it, folks. The food’s sole purpose is to soak up the booze, not an experience in fine Oaxacan fare.

I used to come to this campy dive all the time when I first moved to LA. Half of our Melrose Place-esque apartment building would gather for margs and gag-amole, as our dear friend Kim would call it.

Now, we come here out of nostalgia. My friend, Ms. C put it best:

“My dog and I were on a walk a while back and walked to my agent’s office. The receptionist had a donut which was sitting on a chair and my dog snuck back there and ate it in one bite. Now, every time we walk by the agent’s office, he tries desperately to go back. We keep coming to El Coyote for that one donut.”

7312 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 939-2255
elcoyotecafe.com/about

Green Corn Tamales -SO good.

elcoyoteoutside

MENDOCINO FARMS

  • December 29, 2011 12:24 am

'Modern Diner Meatloaf Cheeseburger Sandwich'

For once, I’m not going to judge a book by it’s meatloafy cover.

While I did not care for this sandwich, I will definitely go back to Mendocino Farms (located in the Weho Target complex) and try something more traditional. I see great potential here.

The main issue with the item above (which I had such high expectations for) was the meatloaf was boldly bland. The flavor comes solely from the special sauce. Thank God for that sauce.

See, I think I make a pretty damn good meatloaf and judge all other meatloaves against it. I pity the fool that goes up against me. 😉

Another critique with most sandwiches is the squishing out of the ingredients with each bite. Minor pet peeve.

I don’t necessarily mind eating my sammies with a fork; just wasn’t in the mood to do that today.

Bah Humbug.

FRUIT CAKE

  • December 27, 2011 8:33 pm

Fruit Cake from my childhood bakery, Sluys. And it cost almost $16 bucks!

Why does everyone hate this stuff?

Sure, you can really only eat one bite.

And this 14 pound monstrocity stuffed to the sugary gills with unnaturally colored, moist fruit chunks of undetermined origin may not be the most appetizing holiday treat around.

And jokes have been made about this poor black sheep of the dessert community for SO long, that even by the time Garfield was using them as doorstops, fruit cake humor had already become old hat.

All that being said, I dig them! And my mom gets me one every Christmas, so it’s tradition.

Do I detect a hint of embalming fluid? Delicious!

IN OTHER NEWS:

If I had to choose my biggest pet peeve, it would have to be dropping things.

It all started 15 years ago with my second job in the mall. I won’t say where I worked, but let’s just say I sold little bits of cheap jewelry to little people.

All these brats did was walk by a rack, run their grimy little hands against these aforementioned items, causing several of them to drop to the floor.

Three guesses if they picked any of them up.

Even an adult would examine an ugly floral scrunchie, drop it on the ground and kick it next to the 4 other scrunchies already lying there.

And the district manager wondered why I ignored protocol, blasting Nirvana on the stereo system and spray painting my hair silver.

I’ll never forget when a mother walked up to the counter and asked me “Is he singing RAPE ME?!?”

Probably the same mother that would deviously transport a regularly priced hemp necklace to the discount bin so I’d be forced to give her the cheaper price.

But not the same lady that was so rude to me I told her to leave and as she angrily departed, I gave her my cheesiest smile, waved and shouted “BYE BYE NOW!”

I spent my days showered in deadly, neon lights, surrounded by far too much pink….picking up after people like a horse wrangler at a parade.

This job made me hate 95% of the human population.

Now, when I take a dirty plate to the kitchen and the used napkin on top floats away to the floor….MY BLOOD BOILS!!

I snatch it up with such spite, you’d of thought I was picking up freshly disemboweled organs.

There are two instances of dropping which assist me in achieving the highest levels of vexation.

One: knocking something over on a counter (or worse, in the shower!) which starts a chain reaction, knocking over half a dozen items in it’s destructive wake.

Two: creating the perfect plate of food. Let’s say a 4 story dream sandwich or an obscene portion of Thanksgiving leftovers….and dropping the entire thing on the floor. And not just any floor. A filthy, dog hair covered carpet where nothing can be salvaged.

FAT SPOON

  • December 26, 2011 8:42 am

Curry Cheese Fries

I often wonder why some restaurants serve anything else when they clearly only have one item on the menu anyone wants.

I mean, I get why McDonald’s has salads. For the mom’s that don’t wish to become 450 pounds from the frequency of which they take their children.

But Pink’s hot dog’s. Are tourists really going to wait an hour in line just to tell their friends at home “Yup, we saw Hollywood boulevard. And then we went to that famous hot dog place. Yeah, I got a burger.”

Most restaurants fail within their first year of business.

If you’re lucky enough to have survived that first year without draining all of your savings or that of your (ex) friends and family, well, you’ve still got another year to go bust.

I don’t know why Fat Spoon (a Japanese curry house in Little Tokyo) bothers having a pasta or salad menu section. If someone wants a good carbonara, they’ll go to an Italian joint.

Now, unless you’re gonna really fusion it up (they’ve done that with one dish, adding salted cod roe and seaweed) what’s the point?

Why not save yourself a lot of money in spoiled food and just serve that one thing that you’re known for!

Think about how much time you’d save as a customer, not having to waste time perusing the menu.

“How’s the curry?”

“Great”

“What else do you recommend?”

“Nothing. Just the curry”

“How’s the Ceasar salad?”

“Please leave, sir”

The curry at Fat Spoon is not spicy in the slightest, it’s a delicious, rich, brown gravy bought to you in a proper gravy boat and you’ll soon find yourself drowning your food in it, befouling everything on your plate (and perhaps anything in close proximity such as tablecloths or small children).

I decided to snap my photo BEFORE doing so, but trust me…

…I finished that boat.

Pork Cutlet Curry

MERRY BUNSMAS! – YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN

  • December 23, 2011 12:29 am

A Very 80's Christmas - Holding my very first camera. Sis too enthralled with her harem of ponies to look up.

I recently caught the last half of a movie I used to love when I was a kid, Three Men and a Baby.

All I could focus on was the big hair, the bad, keyboard heavy soundtrack and the dated jokes that fell flat. And that damn baby cried throughout half the movie.

I saw this movie at the theater THREE TIMES! One of which on sort of a date.

It solidified in me that corny cliche and I realized yet again, that you really can’t go home again.

All the things I loved as a child that I attempt foolishly to relive, end up supremely disappointing me as an adult.

All I can do when I watch a special effects laden film from the 80’s is pick it apart, try to spot the errors or just make fun of the horrific dialogue.

Atreju! - Do not watch this as adults, people. Memories will be tarnished.

When I pop in a CD I may have played a thousand times as a kid, I have to turn the volumn down and roll up my car windows to avoid embarrasment. Funny how the bulk of the 80’s music industry did not appear to appreciate live musicians.

Debbie's entire week's allowance was spent on this album cover. Price for her sexy, revealing blue ensemble, not included. Cover up Debbie, you're a role model!

Growing up, my parents would take me and my sister to a fairy tale themed park in Washington state called Never Never Land.

I loved this place!

We’d stroll through the forest and see little, painted houses filled and surrounded by plastic figures acting out popular fairy tales such as Peter the Pumpkin Eater and Three Little Pigs.

It was like a little ghetto theme park that seemed so cool.

However, when I visited it as an adult, I noticed how, even with all the rotting wood, graffitied enscriptions and decaying plastic pigs (however, most of the characters had been stolen), how unimpressive it all was.

My memories had become muddled, with my childhood and adult experiences of the place.

Dammit!

FYI, the park was completely demolished years ago.

BEFORE:

The Original Entrance

Mary Mary Quite Contrary...I think?

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater and his creepy wife. In a creepy pumpkin. What kind of place was this??

AFTER:

No one must have put Humpty Dumpty back together again...

The cast of characters held captive in a basement.

This may be a situation of the child liking the box more than the toy it came in, but trying to relive the past ended up slightly sullying my perfect little memory.

I wonder what else I did and liked as a kid just really pretty dumb?

One memory I’ve never revisited for this very reason was a Christmas tradition of our family.

In early December, we’d drive to Poulsbo, our local Norwegian village, and watch Santa and a bunch of vikings float up on a viking ship and light the yule log and see the St. Lucia bride wearing her crown of candles.

We’d eat at Henry’s restaurant and I’d spend several minutes examining this enormous quilt on my way to the restroom covered in traditional Norwegian scenes and a few random trolls sewn in the mix.

Henry's Restaurant is gone but this weird quilt was moved to another location

Mom would buy us a big ass chocolate donut at Sluy’s bakery as we’d feast our eyes on the cookies, Norwegian pastries (Rosette’s and Fattigman) and these tasty jalapeno cheese crackers that I’ve never seen anywhere else.

We’d then spend what seemed like hours next door at the magical Sluys Gift Shop perusing the toys, majestic Nutcrackers, elaborately hideous troll figures and listening to the music box play the Nutcracker Suite.

Sluy's Bakery - Uff Dah!

Also called the Viking Donut

Drooling Tourists

As wonderful a memory this is, I’m scared to try to ever do this again.

I already know that both Sluys Gift Shop and Henry’s closed long ago.

The Yule Log was probably tiny; the fire, unimpressive.

I’d probably make fun of the Viking’s cheap costumes or how fat the St. Lucia bride is.

The big ass donut would only be sort of big.

I did eventually find the Music Box Nutcracker Suite CD on eBay.

One not so pleasant memory my Norwegian Christmas tale brings up is how a lady walked by me while I enjoyed my gigantic donut and muttered under her breath “What a pig”.

My mom verbally kicked her ass.

Maybe it was a nice memory after all?

Mother attempting to create new traditions by taking us to Poulsbo for palm readings and aura photographs!

CHICKEN PICCATA – EARLY CHRISTMAS DINNER

  • December 21, 2011 7:52 pm

Chicken Piccata with Thyme Almond Green Beans - All Organic!

My New Years Resolution is to cook things I’ve never made before.

I wanted to get a head start on this by making my first Chicken Piccata.

That’s Christmasy, right?

I think I did it justice.

Until I realized I had some amazing garlic bread hanging out in the oven, burning to a crisp as we leisurely enjoyed our meal.

That poor, innocent thing…screaming in agony while we did nothing. Nothing!

I’m an animal.

While no one was looking, I removed one of the discarded, blackened loaves off the top of the garbage and took a pathetic little bite of a section I THOUGHT was the least…blackened. I now have toxic levels of carcinogens in my system, a burned garlic taste that is still lingering…..Oh, and zero pride.

Chocolate Coconut Almond Cookies

THANKSGIVING – SAN FRANCISCO

  • December 20, 2011 11:24 pm

Posing by a San Francisco landmark or whatever. I should Google it.

What I did (or rather, ate) in San Francisco. A Story in Pictures.

The five of us drove up the coast to spend Thanksgiving at Thelma’s mother’s house in Palo Alto and then spent the two days after that exploring San Francisco with Thelma’s really fun niece.

We packed a lot in but unfortunately, I left my camera in the hotel for two epic meals, so what folllows is a story in pictures of my weekend. I kept the scenery and tourist shots at a minimum. I just stuck to the food.

Bacon Wrapped Dates - Reposado Restaurant in Palo Alto

Who doesn't love corn?

Braised Short Ribs in an Adobe Sauce

A beautiful morning in Palo Alto. Thanks Fran for having us!

The Final Scene in a Turkey Snuff Film.

The Star of the Show. Julie's famous creamy sweet potato bake. Amazing.

The Perfect Plate. 75% Stuffing.

It's a Pie-Fecta!

The famous 'Painted Ladies' (there are about 48,000 Victorian and Edwardian homes built in SF in the 1800's.

Da Bridge.

The Cliffhouse is a historic restaurant, originally built in 1863 as part of an enormous bathhouse, burning down twice. The current building is from 1909. Great place for ocean view cocktails. Boring history lesson? Check!

The oldest Dim Sum restaurant in San Fran. Allegedly.

Chicken Dumplings

Curry Beef Egg Rolls - Sliced with the same gross pair of scissors that has probably opened 1000 packages and sliced a few umblical cords in it's day.

Wonton Soup

Chicken and Shrimp Shu Mai

BBQ Pork Bun, dissected as God intended.

Just to interject here, Ghiradelli Square is a CLUSTERF***!!

Such madness.

All these people waiting upwards of almost an HOUR for a $10 SUNDAE!!

NOT WORTH IT.

And it was I who insisted we all go “We’re not leaving til we hit Girabaldi Square!”

BTW, unless you just landed on this planet, you can find Ghiradelli chocolates in every store in America.

Are these folks huddled together to escape a deadly storm or do these desperados really just want a bloody sundae?

Was this really worth all the anguish accompanying it's acquirement??

TASTY DONUTS

  • December 18, 2011 10:53 pm

B.D.E.

The best donut I’ve EVER had is the one pictured above.

Apple Fritter.

It weighs about 5 pounds.

Every bite is drenched in sugary apple goodness.

And unfinishable on the first try.

It looks more like either a BBQ’d human brain or a creature from Star Trek.

There is no donut like it.

SHORT ORDER

  • December 16, 2011 8:27 am

Nancy's Backyard Burger - Artisan Bacon, Comte (a cheese, apparently) Avocado and Spicy Mayo

Only in LA would a Christmas celebration at a shopping mall include a futuristically clad ice skating fembot performance, also offering free makeovers (SEE BELOW).

Here in LA, we don’t outright tell you you’re ugly. Just subtly convince you.

“Oh, riiiiight…I probably shouldn’t weigh over 100 pounds….”

The Grove, LA’s premiere outdoor shopping experience, is usually a fun assault on the senses.

From the dancing water fountain to the plethora of European languages being spoken to the curbside cocktails for people watching, it’s always good for cheap entertainment.

Until the holiday season, when it’s a test of ones sanity.

A test I’ve often failed.

Christmas tree garland looks too much like sturdy, noose material!

Finding parking in the 8 story lot becomes about as simple as locating a good spot to put your chair down to watch the ball drop in Times Square!

Each level you drive up, you are greeted by a friendly, digital “2” and then “4” and then “1”. These are the number of parking spots remaining on each floor.

Once you’ve chosen the lesser of the evils, you are usually stuck behind several drivers who will inevitably steal the remaining spots.

I miss when bumpers were made of rubber and you could hit other vehicles and incur less damage.

My friend and I wanted to have a few glasses of wine, people watch, do some shopping and then pig out on a burger and fries.

Thankfully, it wasn’t as crowded in the actual mall as it was in the parking structure so we managed to still have a great time.

Where were all the already parked peeps? Had they tossed themselves off the 8th floor in desperation from the post traumatic stress?

Luckily, those who survive are greeted by an expertly decorated holiday extravaganza. Against your will, you are forced into the Christmas spirit, hands tied, mouth gagged.

That’s what makes the Grove so unique at this time of year.

The burgers at Short Order are like every other gourmet burger in LA. Too big, too fancy, too messy but basically ok.

The burger fixings are a bit more upscale than your typical Hollywood joint as the owner, Nancy Silverton, also owns LA’s spot Mozza and co-founded La Brea Bakery!

The fries and cocktail (Yes, they serve booze. Bonus points) were both really special.

The mini hot dog on Pretzel bun….eh….meh….um…whatever.

The Perfect Fries...in 3-D!!

Pretzel Pups - Messy and with too much sauerkraut

Peppercorn Ginger Vodka!

Rare photo of Santa in action, upset at being upstaged by these North Pole Nymphs!

The Essence of Masculinity

Notice the expression on the man in the reflection (bottom, center) saying what we're all thinking: "What the hell??"

Who knew an architecture or design degree was necessary for Gingerbread house making??

Someone considers this holiday activity, fun??

RASCAL

  • December 14, 2011 8:42 am

Pressed PB & J Bite

In elementary school, I developed an intense fascination with the macabre and the supernatural.

I would skip recess and go to the library to read about ghosts.

I was a weird kid.

Who clearly had countless, adoring friends and the highest self esteem.

It was then I met a girl named Jennifer with the same morbid interests and we became a gruesome twosome.

She had written a ghost story if you will, however on the gory side. Filled with lots ‘o murder.

The plot was essentially about murderous specters, aptly penned “Ghosts of Past Time”.

After school, I would walk across town to hang out with her.

Her mother, also my Sunday school teacher, would tell us horrific, scarring stories of demons.

She had once walked into her baby’s room and saw demons standing around the crib!

Jennifer would tell how she was unable to sleep on her stomach as unseen hands would then press her head into the pillow.

Her sister, a delinquent deviant who tortured both of us endlessly, wasn’t able to sleep on her stomach as well – or suffer the same fate.

(Who were these people, the Addams Family??)

When I wanted to freak myself out, I would try to sleep with my face on the pillow. Usually only lasting a minute before I started to break out in sweats, assumed the jacket hanging on the door was a monster and turned on the light in a panic.

Even though I kept trying to poke holes in her stories, Jennifer stuck to her guns.

Funny enough, what I remember most about her was when she yawned, one eye completely closed.

This provided an unending source of amusement for me and I never failed to give her shit about it.

The third grade is when I began writing as well.

Every few months, the two of us would complete another bloody masterpiece, more graphic than the last.

When my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Herrick, found out that horror writing had taken hold of the class (a third person in our grade had completely plagiarized our idea), she decided to make it interesting.

She asked the class to compete with one other in writing the most terrifying horror story.

The winning tale was about roasting a baby’s brain over a fire.

No joke.

She actually congratulated the twisted student (not me) in front of everyone.

Can you imagine this occuring today??

Even back then I was stunned that aged Mrs. Herrick had taken such a liking to our secret counterculture.

She clearly was evil incarnate.

Soon, my interest in the supernatural began to intensify.

My stories, which started at a modest four pages, grew to almost 50 pages.

I would spend the entire weekend in my room writing, not eating and rarely leaving.

My friend and I were constantly congratulated in school for our grammar and vocabulary.

I kept having to look new words up to uniquely describe all the killing that was taking place.

By the time I was 14, I probably read every non-fiction publication on the supernatural in existance.

Then, I began to spend all my time reading sordid books by John Saul (Stephen King was too over the top for me) and avidly collecting horror movies.

I tried to check out “The Satanic Bible” from the library but they only allowed it to be borrowed, so I’d leave my library card with the gal while I snuck off to some empty table in the back and cracked it open with nervous trepadation.

I assumed this was the mother of all scary books.

Then I realized it wasn’t about Satan at all, it detailed a nihilistic, self-serving religion where if someone does good by you, you do good by them. If they do wrong by you, pluck their eye out.

Satanists are athiests, they believe neither in God nor the Devil.

People that actually worship Satan seem to be Christian rejects who pretty much choose to live in the dark side.

They are usually pale, overweight, unattractive, anti social goth wannabes.

“People don’t like me because I’m a Satanist!”, they espouse, taking sips from a goblet purchased at Hot Topic.

Yeahhhhh, THAT’S why they don’t like you….

My mother eventually sat me down and asked if I was a Satanist.

I was shocked at first. I was raised a Christian and I did believe most of what I was taught.

I had already spent the first part of my life embroiled in those beliefs.

Now, I simply wanted to see what the other side was all about.

In my late teens, I met a real life witch at my job at the mall.

She fascinated me.

She brought a parrot to work each day and we played innappropriate music to frighten the store patrons.

She was weirder than me. It was refreshing.

We once went to a cemetary where she performed a spell which would bring the power of the place into us.

I didn’t know what the hell she was doing or saying but it sounded cool.

We also were in my apartment one day and we tried to summon a ghost.

When I asked her what the spirit’s name was, we both anwered simultaneously.

Claire.

It was pretty trippy.

In my early 20’s I made the decision to close the door to the spirit world. Too much had gotten in.

I was ultra depressed all the time, I felt such a sense of oppression.

One night, I was sleeping in the basement of my parent’s house, which had been converted into a large bedroom with it’s own bathroom and entrance.

I looked up and saw an ominous shadow crawling along the ceiling toward me.

I’ve never since been so terrified as I was right then.

I started to pray furiously and eventually it went away.

My mother later told me the basement was the only room she did NOT have blessed by our pastor.

I was done with the ghost stories.

I began to retreat.

However, never fully.

There’s a part of me that’s still so mystified by the unexplained.

It’s so funny when I think back to being a morbid child/teen.

These days, that lifestyle would not fly.

Teachers and parents would assume that any day I’d show up to school with weaponry.

I’d be forced into psychiatric care.

But I had zero violent inclinations.

I had written zero manifestos.

I had owned zero trenchcoats.

I was just a weird little kid who loved the supernatural.

BTW, sorry guys for the diary entries recently. I don’t know what’s come over me this week.

RASCAL:

Rascal is a cute, semi-hip little restaurant on south La Brea with really tasty, fun food. These little bites above and below will delight in burning all skin from the inside of your mouth but before the last taste bud has crisped up and sloughed off your tounge, it will be worth it!

Pressed Grilled Cheese Bite

Tator Tots