Bun Boy Eats LA
BUN BOY EATS LA - Archives for 2012 September

CITY SIP

  • September 30, 2012 3:41 pm

City Sip is an uber cute little wine bar in Echo Park which has just undergone a remodel and a change in mission statement.

If you go to their website and view their intro video, you will clearly see this is now a no-bullshit wine bar.

No fear of snobby wine experts judging you ever so subtly with each .0001 ounce pour of some blah blah varietal from some blah blah region.

You’re not really listening anyways.

You’re either checking him/her out (if they’re cute) or internally rolling your eyes and reminding yourself to not gulp down the taste in 2 seconds.

Even if you’re a burgeoning sommelier yourself, do not fear you’ll be kindly asked to go to the hell. The staff knows and shares just enough info about the wines without shoving that knowledge down your throat.

The three wines I tried were really fantastic, I didn’t have a single complaint. I also don’t remember what a single one of them were.

Tempernillo…Armadillo…or whatever..

The snacks that stood out were the banh mi lettuce cups and the juicy and flavorful sausage rolls.

The pretzel was awesome but I longed for some gooey cheesy cheese sauce to dip it in. But don’t mind me, I’m a pig.

I am City Sip’s desired customer. Pour some good wine down my gullet and please don’t bore me with the details.

2150 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 483-9463
http://citysipla.com

Wine for the people!

Banh Mi Lettuce Wrap

Jicama Pork Tacos

Soft pretzel with honey mustard and spicy ketchup

BLTA - Sushi roll style bacon lettuce tomato and avocado sandwich

Spicy Sausage Roll

Peanut Butter Brownie

BALI HAI – SAN DIEGO

  • September 27, 2012 10:37 am

Built in 1954, some things have clearly not changed since

I will admit here and now that I’m a Tiki fanatic. Not even sure if Tiki should be capitalized, but by golly I’m doin’ it!

This place is the original gangstah, it’s been around since 1954. It’s been hip and not hip so many times, I’m really shocked the decor appears to have pretty much stayed the same.

The cuisine is Hawaiian and is mostly pretty excellent. My Ono fish was a bit overcooked but our Sea Bass was perfection. And ginormous, like it just came out of a radioactive lake!

Does radiation even make things bigger? I’m a master of incorrect analogies. Deal with it, people.

Our waitress was really friendly, thanks so much whatever your name was!!

The drinks were great so make sure you don’t take any sober people here.

A word of warning, only order a Mai Tai if your esophagus requires unclogging. Or have issues with your stomach lining and…well…want to keep it intact.

2230 Shelter Island Dr
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 222-1181
http://www.balihairestaurant.com

Original Mai Tai (100% alcohol, no juice)

Mussels

Crispy Spring Rolls

Asian Creamed Corn

14 oz Sea Bass

Fresh Catch of the Day - Ono

LABEL’S TABLE

  • September 25, 2012 10:15 am

Pastrami on Rye with Mustard - Perfection

I’m not Jewish but, for some reason, I feel compelled to visit every Kosher dining establishment on Pico Boulevard.

I think I might be an honorary Jew? I’m sure someone’s made me one, at some point. I HAVE been to Israel. Doesn’t that automatically make me 10% Jewish?

Either way, Label’s Table is not your typical Kosher deli. It kind of reminds me of an old folk’s home cafeteria. In the 1960’s. After it had fallen on hard times.

The people at the counter speak slow and deliberate as if they’re used to speaking into hearing aid emblazoned ears.

I swear, every other table was filled with 70+ year old folks accompanied by their nurse.

In fact, I asked the nurse at the table next to us if I could take a picture of the 17 food dishes that lay in front of him.

He asked the older lady’s permission and she misunderstood. She removed her glasses and posed for a picture.

“Oh, you want your picture taken too?” I smiled and quickly snapped a bad photo of their food.

“Of course I want a picture, go ahead!” She commanded.

That was the one that turned out, of course. The idea of taking a picture of one’s food must have seemed as foreign as putting a slice of American cheese on her corned beef sandwich.

Oh shoot! I think I totally forgot to leave a tip. I’m a bastard.

9226 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 276-0388
http://labelstabledeli.com/

Matzo Ball Soup - Served in their finest styrofoam

NAPA VALLEY GRILLE

  • September 23, 2012 8:26 am

Burrata, Black Fig and Prosciutto

Richest meal on record? Pretty damn close.

I met Chesty Morgan for a casual, Monday night supper near UCLA.

The perfect place for parents to take their broke college kids for a nice meal.

When they’re not all high on speed, that is. Damn college kids. All on speed. Every last one of ’em. Youth is wasted on the young, I always say.

Where was I?

Oh! The car alarm that wouldn’t stop going off right near our table. That was super fun.

No Bun Boy, the food!

To sum it up in just one word? Super rich but delicious cuisine. Say it fast and it will sound like one word.

We had a Blackboard Eats special, so we only had a few items to choose from for our three course menu.

So, we chose the most decadent items.

While burrata salads make me yawn, I still usually order them. I mean, it’s pre-digested mozzarella! Why chew when you can have Alicia Silverstone munch it up for ya!

The Sweet Corn Agnolotti was pure heart attack, sitting innocently on a plate.

SO GOOD! I mean. Worth every artery you will clog by consuming it. And you’ll clog at least 5. Is that a lot? I’m not a doctor, people.

I would suggest splitting the Butterscotch Bread Pudding.

We were little piggies and each wanted our own. But our mouths were bigger than our fat ass bellies and we soon began heaving enormous sighs so to relieve the pressure off our expanding waistlines.

All orders come with complimentary insulin shots, for your convenience.

Never has a near death dining experience been SO worth it!

1100 Glendon Ave
Ste 100
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 824-3322
http://www.napavalleygrille.com

Seared Tuna Sashimi

Sweet Corn Agnolotti Sweet Corn Agnolotti - house made pasta, black summer truffle buerre fondue, parmesan

Butterscotch Bread Pudding with house made marshmellow

PAPA CRISTO’S – THURSDAY’S BIG FAT GREEK FAMILY DINNER

  • September 20, 2012 7:12 am

What a fun night of food, dance and sweating profusely at the table!!

Seriously, Thursday nights at Papa Cristo’s are a can’t miss situation. Bring a group. Make it happen. The food is awesome. Just come early, they close at 8 p.m.!

Lemme break it down for you.

Get over your shyness at the door (take a shot of ouzo or something) cuz you’ll be sitting with a dozen friends you haven’t met yet.

As I glanced around the stifling hot room, I realized every other table was a dead zone of folks too shy or elderly to speak unless it was important.

Thankfully our table was a riot and Chesty Morgan, Sonigram and I were seated with a group of fun folks, one of whom owns the food truck, Rosa’s Bella Cucina.

Rosa, you crazy!

The environment is super casual (plastic table cloths like on grandma’s couch and disposable plates, ect) and the food is served family style.

Hopefully the folks to your right don’t show up (like in our case), slightly decreasing the room’s body heat and providing ample space for empty plates.

The food could easily have been crap and I wouldn’t have cared. I just would have drank more!

But it was all so tasty! Like a church potluck where everyone brought a dish from home.

Actually, until the sultry belly dancer came out (much to everyone’s pervy delight) the whole experience was like eating with a big family.

Except with less fighting and food poisoning.

2771 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 737-2970
http://www.papacristos.com

Everyone sits together like a big fat Greek family. Look how excited everyone looks! The woman and man to her left look like they're ready to spit out their Greek wine!

Take your medicine! - Judging by the enormity of this serving size, I feared I would pass out dead drunk by the time the wine tasting was over.

Greek Red Wine. This means something significant which I've since forgotten. What am I saying? I forgot it the second I learned it.

Dolmades, Feta and Olives (oh my)

Spanakopita. The messiest ethnic appetizer currently available.

Greek Salad Alert!

Lemon Oregeno Chicken (YUM!)

Marinated Lamb Loin

And Belly Dancing for dessert! Sonigram went up there and showed her a few tricks!

All the Greek wares you can handle! Papa Cristo (to the right of the photo, standing proudly at 4 feet something) will give you a deal. And then the deal he tells the cashier to give you gets mistranslated and you get an even better deal accidentally! Happy to take your drachma, fellas!

IRV’S BURGERS

  • September 18, 2012 7:37 am

Double Cheeseburger. Simple. Elegant. Sexy, even.

Ok, let me channel a 13 year old girl for a moment “OMG, how cute is this place??”

(Well, I didn’t include pics so you’ll have to see for yourself)

Ok, fine, I just stole one for ya!

Stolen Picture Alert! Thanks Joan S. from Yelp, whoever you are!

Ok, so maybe it’s not that cute.

Now, everyone has a different definition of cute. Some may call Irv’s a dump.

You’d all be right. It’s a cute dump with an amazing burger.

So much better than most out there. But this little burger stand has been around for over 60 years, so they’ve got a cute, dumpy leg up on everyone else.

What sets this place apart besides the thick (but not too thick) and juicy (ok, greasy) patty and no fuss toppings is these people are CRAZY FRIENDLY.

Like, almost to the point of it being a joke. The owners are an adorable, older Asian brother/sister duo and they just kill ya with kindness and leave you with some childlike bag art.

Hang it on your fridge after you’re done scarfing down your burger!

My point is: You go once and you’re hooked.

You’ll be channelling a 13 year old girl, telling everyone how cute this little dumpy burger stand is.

8289 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 650-2456

How cute are the little pictures they draw on your bag to distinguish you from the other customers? These were the shirts we were wearing!

CLUSI BATUSI

  • September 16, 2012 11:30 pm

Contadino - Basil pesto, grilled chicken, grilled asparagus, oven roasted tomatoes & mozzarella

Often times, the best meals are the simplest ones.

As much fun as it is to go eat a triple-decker, double-fried, hundred-ingredient county fair concoction, it’s usually a disappointing mess which leaves one sitting on the toilet for the remainder of the evening.

But a few precious moments spent with a light and uncomplicated pizza leaves you begging for more. Like a good TV show that gets cancelled before you get sick of it.

There are three genres of LA food that will never go away (nor, should they ever): Burgers, Frozen Yogurt and Pizza.

We will never tire of them and we will always be ready for a new outing in one of those arenas.

Gourmet, personal sized pizzas have taken over LA like a delicious plague. Like a cheesy, crusty contagion that I can’t wait to contract.

This new pizza outfit on Sawtelle (with the awesome name) is a welcomed respite from the hoards of ramen spots encompassing it.

We’ve all been strangled by those salty noodles long enough. If you live or work near Little Osaka, you will gladly patronize this charming, family owned joint on a weekly basis.

Even if you just wanted sushi but the line was too long.

HERE’S THE FACTS:

Pizza is Italian style. Thin crust, light toppings, very light cheese.

Dough is low gluten, so it’s extra light. Won’t feel like a bowling ball in your stomach afterwards.

Ovens are 1200 degrees and pizzas cook for one minute.

Nothing is over $10 bucks.

Perfectly crisp, tiny burnt flecks, no soggy middle.

2047 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 477-7707
http://www.clusibatusi.com/

Clusi gives all the other pizza joints OVEN ENVY with their 1200 degree madness. Take note Westwood's 800 Degrees, you've been trumped.

Cotto & Funghi - Tomato sauce, mozzarella, Italian ham and balsamic mushrooms

Special Pizza of the Day - Guanciale, confit potatoes, rosemary and black pepper

It's a 1200 degree pizza conveyor belt!

Clusi's Favorite - D.O.P. Pecorino Toscano sauce with balsamic mushrooms, mozzarella and fresh wild baby arugula

Spicy Meatball - Housemade meatballs, pickled peperoncini, tomato sauce and mozzarella (topped with the spicy and delish chili oil)

"Shred!! Shred!!" I shouted angrily to the chef, knowing it would make a great action shot

San Gennaro - Italian sausage, peperonata, oregano, tomato sauce and mozzarella

LA FRIED CHICKEN FEST

  • September 13, 2012 8:33 am

If I was ever to organize a fried chicken festival, the following would be my criteria:

* Invite too many people.

* Make sure it’s on a hot day, in a small restaurant with the a/c turned off.

* Make sure there is nowhere to sit.

* Have a signature cocktail that’s revolting.

* Invite every obnoxious food blogger in town (including myself)

Everywhere our group tried to stand to eat, we were in somebody’s way.

Every time I grabbed my food, I forgot to get a napkin and that sh*t was messy.

Ricardo Zarate - Picca / Mo-Chica

David LeFevre - MB Post

MB Post (2nd Best Chicken of the day!)

Mary Sue Milliken - Border Grill

Border Grill

I also realized how annoying people like me must be. Why is everyone a food blogger now? I guess cuz everyone eats food and almost everyone owns a camera. Not a lot skill required.

While the LA Fried Chicken Fest was the dictionary definition of a clusterf*ck, they are DAMN LUCKY the chicken was actually amazing.

The premise was 8 rock star chef’s from LA’s top restaurants come and make their version of fried chicken.

Half of the chefs prepared a creative version of fried chicken and the other half did classic fried. The latter seemed to have more success, with the exception of Ricardo’s quinoa fried chicken, which was quite excellent!

You walk up to the booth, they mark on your card (only one serving per person) and then you go with your plate ‘o poultry.

In theory.

"Another picture?? Seriously??"

Jazz Singsanong - Jitlada

Bryant Ng - The Spice Table

The average joe does that… the food blogger chats up the chef and takes a million pictures.

It made me want to get outta this business.

Being a small koi in a large koi pond made me feel kinda dumb.

There’s a reason our kind gets made fun of online so much.

http://picsofaznstakingpicsoffood.tumblr.com/

Josef Centeno - Baco Mercat (Best Chicken of the Night!)

Mott Molina - Mozza

THE SIX

  • September 11, 2012 8:23 am

Taco Trio / chipotle braised chicken / pickled onion / cotija cheese / cilantro

FOOD: Good

SERVICE: Great

DECOR: Small, dark, classy

PRICE: $15-20 for lunch $25-30 for dinner

IN OTHER NEWS:

The Great Hampton Fire:

I was in the middle of preparing ham and cheese filled pretzel bites. I had just sprinkled the cheddar and ham into the dough and rolled them up when an explosion occurred outside my window and the a/c unit stopped working.

I assumed it had burned out from all the power useage but then there were several more loud explosions. I realized a transformer outside was emitting sparks and then I saw a little flame appear on the trees that separate our two buildings.

I knew this was not going to be good. People were accumulating outside my door with raised voices. “What’s going on?? Is that tree on fire??”

A few more explosions and all the lights went out, including the street lights. Then everyone panicked. “Everyone, we gotta get out of the building” someone said.

My heart began to race!

I ran in and fumbled around in the pitch dark (in my messy ass room) and eventually grabbed my camera, laptop, wallet, keys and glasses and cell phone. I’ve been through a traumatizing fire before and I know the drill. Everyone kept stopping to look at the huge flames that looked like they were enveloping the entire side of our building.

Soon, the biggest concern was getting all the pets out. Someone was yelling “I can’t find the other cat!” and there was a barking dog locked inside a dark apartment.

Someone in our building ran down to the parking garage and sprayed everything down with water from a nearby hose to prevent it from spreading. Thank god he did, those trees do touch our building and the fire could have easily spread.

The thing that kept putting everyone on edge was the transformer kept exploding and spewing sparks and it felt like the fire trucks took forever. We all were waiting anxiously outside saying “Where are they, where are they??”

Our building is fine, no damage but our garage is filled with burned tree bits and firefighter foam. The smell is awful and our power was just turned on this morning.

What’s ironic about this whole situation is that I haven’t tried to make pretzels in 15 years, since I worked at Pretzel Time as a teenager. When I was involved in another big apartment fire.

I know what you’re thinking, but neither fire was my fault, I swear!!

10668 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 837-6662
http://thesixrestaurant.com

Sweet Potato Fries

Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad / arugula / cherry tomato / cucumber / pine nut / feta / lemon vinaigrette

Vanilla Roasted Beets / watercress / burrata / hazelnuts

A fire at our humble abode!

WOOD SPOON

  • September 9, 2012 10:35 pm

Every year, three of my friends throw a big joint birthday bash downtown, which usually starts off with a smaller pre-party dinner somewhere.

Somewhere we usually can never return to again.

We often apologize to the waiter in advance. “FYI, it’s gonna get ugly in here.”

We are not exactly the quietest bunch…

Wood Spoon is a cute little Brazilian spot a few blocks from the Hotel Figueroa, where the party was to be held.

Everyone’s favorite TV chef with the extra set of teeth, Giada De Laurentiis says it’s her favorite pot pie ever.

Except she manages to say it in an Italian accent.

So, most of us ordered it cuz when that big head speaks, we listen.

It’s a petite pie with a flakey crust and very creamy innards.

Now, I know there’s chicken and hearts of palm in there (as the menu states) but lord knows you couldn’t tell with that thick sauce enveloping everything in its delicious wake.

If you come here, you’ve gotta order the Mix Appetizer plate cuz they’re all deep fried winners.

The sangria is fun and tasty but as sangrias go, you need 18 to feel the buzz.

107 W 9th St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 629-1765
http://www.woodspoonla.com

Brazilian Pot Pie - – hearts of palm, olives & roasted corn

Mix Plate - Coxinha, Potato Croquette, Portuguese Croquette, Pastel Portuguese & Kibe

Calabreza Salad – hearts of palm, black olives, hard boiled egg & Calbreza sausage

Pork Burger – roasted cabbage, onions on toasted potato bread

Costelinha corn Canjiquinha – Pork short ribs with corn grits

White Sangria with Thyme