Bun Boy Eats LA
BUN BOY EATS LA - Archives for 2013 January


  • January 30, 2013 6:17 am

Pasta Carbonara - Spaghetti with pancetta, reggiano, egg yolk and parsley

I firmly believe that, with a few exceptions, all Italian restaurants are the same.

Which is why we love them.

It’s nice to know that when we have a craving for pasta or pizza, we’re gonna get what we expect.

We don’t need the Italian wheel reinvented.

The problem lies with us bloggers. What the hell can we say about these places? There’s just nothing to write about. Unless the place is dreadful. Usually it’s not.

I blogged about Della Terra two years ago. I’ve noticed I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

Repeating restaurants.

That’s how I know I’ve lived in LA too long. Maybe it’s time to move on to bigger and better cities jam packed with new foodie treasures to explore.


Always get a pizza and the pasta servings are very generous!

The salmon was a bit fishy, I wouldn’t order again.

Lamb chops were excellent, recomended for a meat course.

Service is friendly and the place never seems to be too crowded.

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

Fresca Pizza - Margherita pizza prepared bruschetta style, burrata cheese and lightly drizzled pesto

Brevi Costole - Linguine with braised short ribs

Grilled Salmon with celery root puree, roasted baby vegetables and mushroom nage

Grilled Vegetable Salad with Burrata

Ravioli Tartufi - Porcini Mushrooms with black truffle and reggiano butter sauce

Lamb Chops



  • January 28, 2013 6:30 am

Just a plain, ordinary Cheeseburger

Cheeseburger Week….Sounds like a blast, right? A hoot? Or maybe a word that’s still actually being used today. Like nifty.

Pasadena Cheeseburger Week on the other hand…oh god, do we have to??

Driving to Pasadena from Hollywood on a skewl night in rush hour traffic is not exactly an enticing road trip.

Is our precious time really worth a few lousy cheeseburgers?

Thankfully, it was.

Some history for ya: the cheeseburger was invented in Pasadena in 1926. Just Google it or click the link below if you don’t believe me.

Not sure why no one thought to plop a slice of cheese on a burger before that, but Pasadena has proudly claimed this daring feat.


Chesty Morgan and I wanted to try two of the best rated old timey burger joints still in business so we chose Pie N Burger and The Original “Tops”.

Pie N Burger, opened in 1963, has been on Top Ten Burgers in American lists for ages!

I get some of the appeal. That crusty old diner hasn’t been remodeled since Nixon was President. The waitresses are a bit slow but nice enough. If you enjoy being hushed when you interrupt their sentence.

Wait, maybe I don’t get the appeal.

The burger is really old school too. Just burger, cheese, bun, lettuce and a crapload of thousand island. Don’t get me wrong, It was good. But not amazing. In and Out has that formula down. And Pie n Burger doesn’t have “Animal Style” capabilities.

Fatal flaw.

This was made up for with an incredible Boysenberry pie. Perfect, flakey crust. Filing wasn’t too sickly sweet.

Boysenberries are an elusive fruit. Harvested only three weeks out of the year, they’re pretty much impossible to find.

So, when you see them in pie form, do not hesitate!

Tops opened in 1952 and is clearly the winner. It’s got a more fast food feel than PnB. It’s very clean, fast service and features an amazing Pastrami burger.

Seeming like an odd combination, pastrami and burger go so well together!

Kind of like high cholesterol and diabetes.

Share it with a friend to avoid any guilt. Then order a side of zuchini fries because you’re a masochist.

Boysenberry Pie (THE BEST!)

Strawberry Cake

"Bright and Cheerful!" says the NY Times.

The Original Tops - Tops Special (with Pastrami)


  • January 25, 2013 6:55 am

heirloom pumpkin, Sichuan pepper crust, pomegranate, brown butter, ricotta salata, crispy shallot.

Oh Superba….how you teased me for so long…

All the accolades and top restaurant lists.

As I don’t live anywhere near Venice, I had to pick an opportune time to sneak away for an extended lunch.

Road Trip!

Everything sounded so good….everything looked so good….

But in all honesty, it just didn’t do anything for me.


The few bites of heirloom pumpkin (above) were tasty and perfectly cooked but not really worth $13.

The chicken sandwich was fine but the chicken didn’t really have much of the “fried” elements I was hoping for. I could see the breading but could not taste it, nor was there any crunch. The slaw and bread were a nice accompaniment, however.

And I’m sorry to say but the mohawk macaroni was just weird tasting and I’m not sure exactly why. I loved all the ingredients! Something about it was just off…a little sour. Maybe too much blue cheese? Is there such a thing??

The outdoor seating was crazy uncomfortable, too. Papa’s got a bad back, son!

Super friendly service, though! Our waiter was awesome!

Also, loved the useage of fried herbs!

I suggest coming here for after work drinks and snacks and you’ll be all right.

Bun Boy has spoken….and no one cares.

533 Rose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90291
(310) 399-6400

mohawk macaroni, chicken sausage, butternut squash & bleu cheese

Superba fried chicken, zucchini/cabbage slaw & kimchi ketchup


  • January 23, 2013 6:52 am

Spicy Salmon Tempura Roll

According to word of hungry mouth, Crazy Fish is pretty hoppin’ during peak hours.

Luckily, we arrived before all that. Around 12 noon, it was quiet and peaceful.

My friend, Clyde, says this is one of his favorite sushi places.

While everything we ordered was tasty, the best part was the big box of pickled ginger they leave at your table if you request it.

I’m not sure if ginger was something introduced to us Westerners to help us choke down the idea of raw fish back in the early 80’s but I don’t mind one bit!

The best item ordered was the Kinta roll. The spicy raw tuna combined with the tempura seaweed and eel sauce was delectable.

The cajun yellowtail sashimi was unique and flavorful but you didn’t get much fish for the cost.

To make up for this, bring a ziplock bag and steal a bunch of that pickled ginger!

9105 W Olympic Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 550-8547

Kinta Roll

Cajun Yellowtail Sashimi


  • January 21, 2013 6:55 am

Angus Beef Okonomiyaki

I ended up coming to Gottsui when I was scared off by the line coming out of the ramen place down the block.

Gottsui specializes in Okonomiyaki.

Japanese savory pancakes topped with stuff.

A lot of stuff.

While the menu only listed three ingredients, it was also covered in dried Bonito shavings.

Sounded innocuous to me, I had totally forgotten what “Bonito” even was.

When the sizzling, round platter was placed in front of me, these shavings began to writhe eerily. Like possessed skin flakes!

It was a little off-putting. They literally never stopped.

Then I suddenly realized that “Bonito” was fish.

I’m not really into mixing seafood and beef flavors to be honest. Plus, the skin flakes were creeping me out.

As much as I adore every Asian cuisine, I realize fully that I have not been exposed to a multitude of popular dishes. Especially ones featuring shellfish, which I cannot eat.

I started to dig right into the molten madness with my chopsticks (much to my burning tongue’s protests) when the waiter showed me the mini shovels which you take portions of food from the hot plate to another, colder plate.

Like a civilized human being.

Now to contradict myself after all that:

This was delicious!! So unique and so flavorful!

I ate every drop. And begrudingly learned something in the process.

2119 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 478-0521

Eventually I was informed this "shovel" was to be utilized.

Cucumber Ponzu


  • January 18, 2013 6:29 am

MESS BURGER slow onions, Vermont cheddar, b&b pickles, smokey sauce, brioche, fries

Not every restaurant is supposed to be amazing. Some are just good and since when did “good” become a four letter word?

I think the LA restaurant scene has become spoiled and inundated. Places are opening up daily, popping up like delicious STD’s. Except more expensive to treat.

We want our minds blown with each bite.

We want to consume undiscovered sea life and rare, poisonous greens and parts of animals one was not meant to eat.

We want trends.

We wanted pork belly and quinoa and kale. We got it.

Remember when we wanted foam? We got it.

And it was gross.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with good food and a good time.

That’s exactly what Mess Hall was for me. Everything was good. No mouthgasms. No “this is the best thing I’ve ever had”.

Just solid, tasty meals.

But that’s boring, right?


Mess Hall is a very popular joint right now, plan your visit accordingly.

The corn fritters were awesome but the two salads we ordered were a bit boring.

All of the entrees were quite tasty, no bad apples in the bunch.

Cocktails were really great, remember to order a few!

Service is attentive, you will not be ignored.

4500 Los Feliz Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 660-6377


Rye Fizz

Oysters on the half shell

KALE CAESAR avocado, goat gouda, croutons

ROASTED BABY BEETS tiny lettuce, winter citrus, pistachios, pomegranate vinaigrette

SMOKED CORN FRITTERS poblano & pumpkin romesco

BRAISED SHORT RIB celery root mashed, brussels sprouts, horseradish creme friache

HOG CHOP center cut pork chop, white cheddar grits, mustard greens, tabasco butter

The Steak special of the day

SOME MORE chocolate cake bread pudding, marshmallow ice cream & graham tuile

BANANA CREAM JAR PIE vanilla wafer, whipped cream, toasted almond & banana brûlée


  • January 16, 2013 6:21 am

Pastitsio - Greek Lasagna

I have no clue why but I wanted to celebrate the end of 2012 with a big fat Greek feast. Maybe I wasn’t stressed out enough?

Each dish appeared to be and resulted in a BIG challenge for me but just like the ancient Greeks, I was determined to suceed! They succeeded at stuff, right?

Greek food is a PAIN IN THE ASS to make, nothing is simple. Most of it takes practice. Baklava requires patience (many, many layers of phyllo dough to brush with butter). Pastitsio demands bravery (sprinkling cinnamon onto meat seems wrong and then topping it with a hot yogurt sauce??). Dolmades requires a last minute trip to the middle eastern grocery store on New Year’s Eve cuz you’re a procrastinating dumbass!

But since this stuff is all so delicious, it’s worth trying once.


I think after this, I’ll stick to the occasional homemade Greek salad and everything else consumed at my local Taverna. All of it goes best with headache-inducing Greek wine anyways, which is best found at restaurants when you can pay 4 times the price.

Opa or whatever!

BAKLAVA (Alton Brown):


For the filling:
1 (5-inch piece) cinnamon stick, broken into 2 to 3 pieces or 2 teaspoons ground
15 to 20 whole allspice berries
6 ounces blanched almonds
6 ounces raw or roasted walnuts
6 ounces raw or roasted pistachio
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon rose water
1 pound phyllo dough, thawed
8 ounces clarified unsalted butter, melted

For the syrup:
1 1/4 cups honey
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 (2-inch) piece fresh orange peel


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the cinnamon stick and whole allspice into a spice grinder and grind.

Place the almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sugar and freshly ground spices into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, but not pasty or powdery, approximately 15 quick pulses. Set aside.

Combine the water and rose water in a small spritz bottle and set aside.

Trim the sheets of phyllo to fit the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch metal pan. Brush the bottom and sides of the pan with butter; lay down a sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Repeat this step 9 more times for a total of 10 sheets of phyllo. Top with 1/3 of the nut mixture and spread thinly. Spritz thoroughly with the rose water. Layer 6 more sheets of phyllo with butter in between each of them, followed by another third of the nuts and spritz with rose water. Repeat with another 6 sheets of phyllo, butter, remaining nuts, and rose water. Top with 8 sheets of phyllo brushing with butter in between each sheet. Brush the top generously with butter. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and cut into 28 squares. Return pan to the oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and cool for 2 hours before adding the syrup.

Make the syrup during the last 30 minutes of cooling. Combine the honey, water, sugar, cinnamon stick and orange peel in a 4-quart saucepan and set over high heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Once boiling, boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and discard the orange peel and cinnamon stick.

After the baklava has cooled for 2 hours, re-cut the entire pan following the same lines as before. Pour the hot syrup evenly over the top of the baklava, allowing it to run into the cuts and around the edges of the pan. Allow the pan to sit, uncovered until completely cool. Cover and store at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to overnight before serving. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Link to Original Recipe

I used a combo of Pistachios, Walnuts and Almonds

Try not to leave any large nut pieces so your friends don't chip their teeth!

You have to repeat this step a LOT of times...

Greek Salad

DOLMADES: (Tyler Florence):


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored and diced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup long-grain rice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) jar grape leaves, rinsed and drained
2 lemons, juiced


To make the filling, coat a large saute pan with 1/4 cup of the oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion, fennel and lemon zest and stir until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the pine nuts and rice, saute for 2 minutes, stirring to coat. Pour in just 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and lower the heat. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 10 minutes. Scrape the parboiled rice mixture into a bowl and add the dill and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool. Now on to the grape leaves.

Bring a big pot of water to a simmer. Blanch the grape leaves in the hot water for 5 minutes until pliable. Drain then trim the stems and any hard veins from the leaves. Pat dry with paper towels.

To assemble the dolmades, lay a grape leaf on a work surface, shiny-side down. Put 2 tablespoons of the rice filling near the stem end of the leaf. Fold the stem end over the filling, then fold both sides toward the middle, and roll up into a cigar – it should be snug but not overly tight because the rice will swell once it is fully cooked. Squeeze lightly in the palm of your hand to secure the roll. Repeat with remaining grape leaves and filling.

Place the dolmades in a large Dutch oven or wide deep skillet, seam-side down in a single layer. Pour the remaining cup of broth, remaining olive oil, and the lemon juice over the dolmades, the liquid should reach halfway up the rolls, add some water if necessary. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the dolmades are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm, at room temperature or cool.

Link to Original Recipe

Remember to cut out that annoying stem

PASTITSIO (Ina Garten):


For the Tomato Meat Sauce:
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound lean ground lamb
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 large cloves)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Bechamel:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan or Kasseri cheese
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup Greek-style yogurt, such as Fage Total
3/4 pound small shells


For the sauce, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the beef and lamb, and saute over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until it’s no longer pink, crumbling it with the back of wooden spoon. Drain off any excess liquid, add the wine, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, and cayenne, and continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the bechamel, heat the milk and cream together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until simmering. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Pour the warm milk and cream mixture into the butter and flour mixture, whisking constantly. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until smooth and thick. Add the nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of the tomato and meat sauce, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the eggs and yogurt and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Don’t over-cook because the pasta will later be baked. Drain and set aside.

Add the pasta to the meat and tomato sauce, and pour the mixture into a baking dish. Spread the bechamel evenly to cover the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly. Set aside for 10 minutes and serve hot.

Link to Original Recipe

My Pastitsio collapsed on my plate, waiting to be devoured.


  • January 14, 2013 6:12 am

Over the past four years I’ve blogged about pretty much every meaningful experience in my past (that’s fit for sharing) but I’ve never blogged about my years (yes, plural) at Pretzel Time.

Perhaps, that’s cuz I plan on turning it into a movie one day!

Pretzel Time was my very first job.

I was 18 years old, having lived a simple enough life where $10 a week allowance still amply funded my persuits.

I had just recently acquired a used Toyota and the driver’s license to go with it (yes, I was a late blooming motorist).

Bun Boy needed to rake in some dough.

So, I went and applied for (and failed) my first interview at the ole PT. Maybe I was too nervous to wow them with my sparkling split personality?

Either way, a few months later I tried again and was in! What was this, Harvard??

The woman who hired me had a witchy face and a methy body but was kind and funny. The one memory of her that stands out was her rolling out pretzels with dried, cracked hands and blood would often drip on the counter.

I spent the next three years at this job.

But how do I explain it properly? It wasn’t just a job, it was my entire life. Many of us were there constantly. If we weren’t working, we’d come and hang out during our friend’s shift.

We were the dictionary definition of Mall Rats.

I even got an apartment within walking distance of the mall. (Ha, like I would ever walk!)

I felt like we were all family. Even if we weren’t friends (but most of us were) we still felt connected to each other in this odd yet compelling way.

At least, that’s how I felt.

One gal recently said “You guys are the ones I’d ask to help bury the bodies”.

And she’s totally right.

I don’t know if I actually loved my job at the time, I probably hated it and couldn’t wait to do something else.

I hated being drenched in butter all day. I hated breaking out in the subsequent pimples and being 40 pounds overweight and being forced to eat pretzels every single day of my life.

Yet, we never grew tired of them. Each day was different depending on the toppings we chose.

I hated cleaning the grease trap. I don’t know how to describe this disgusting box filled with Satan’s diarrhea that sat under the sink, but it collected “grease” and cleaning it was a Fear Factor feat!

I hated the rude customers who’d request a “fresh” pretzel or a special order of some sort.

“They’re all fresh, b*tch!” we’d think. They often weren’t. They often had sat in the bin since we opened. There wasn’t a lot of week day traffic at our mall.

I hated the snobby/ stinky fragrance counter ladies from the Bon Marche who only ordered Diet Cokes and dressed in white lab coats like they, themselves, were mixing up the “White Diamonds” recipe in the back. Get over yourselves, Fembots!

I hated the guy who would hand us his money and then take it away and then repeat with his creepy pedofile grin. Pretending to find his antics amusing took great efforts.

But I loved all the people I worked with, even if they were weird or mean or told us constantly “if we had time to lean, we had time to clean.”

I loved trading the leftover pretzels at the end of the night with Sbarros and McDonalds. Yay, free really old cheeseburgers that have sat at danger zone temperatures for the past two hours! Mr. Toilet, here I come!

I loved our ice cube fights and the fun customers and how when we’d drop pretzels, perhaps on rare occasions, we’d maybe just dust them off. Not me. Others.

I love how when little gnats flew into the pretzel dough, we’d try our hardest to get most of them out.

I love how most of us washed our hands (Jason).

I love how eventually I became the manager and got to boss all my friends around except nobody listened to me.

Especially when they took $20 from the register to buy a pizza or had sex in the backroom.

While the details are fuzzy, a large cash deposit went missing on the night I was working.

Everyone made jokes that I took it to fund my trip to Iceland that very same month.

Let me state here and now, that it was not me.

One day, I recall seeing an amateur movie contest ad in the papers so I borrowed my friend’s camcorder and shot about 15 hours of footage.

I later read the fine print to find out the movie had to be under 10 minutes.


It’s not like I had any real editing equipment. I had two VCR’s that I hooked up together and was able to sorta “edit” that way.

I gave up on the contest but kept filming. I have countless hours of priceless memories that are still sitting next to my bed. “I promise guys, I’ll transfer those on DVD and make a greatest hits CD for everyone” I say at every reunion.

No one believes me anymore.

In retrospect, I think my years at Pretzel Time were some of my very favorite.

Look at it this way. I’ve had only ONE high school reunion since I graduated 18 years ago. But we have Pretzel Time reunions EVERY year. That’s saying something.

Not sure what it’s saying, but it’s something.

BTW, It took over ten years before I could eat a soft pretzel again. I still have never purchased one, only had bites of others. After consuming over 1000 free pretzels over 3 years, there’s no way I’m paying for one!

Yes, we're standing in front of the old Pretzel Time (now called Pretzel Maker). And those two gals are holding their old name tags.


  • January 9, 2013 5:35 pm

Since most of humanity cares deeply about what Bun Boy thinks, I thought it wise to bequeath my favorite dishes of 2012 to you all. Keep in mind, my tastes veer more towards safe comfort food rather than adventurous forays into the worlds of shellfish and entrails. Boring, I know.

In no particular order…













HONORABLE MENTIONS (Yes, including TWO Croque Madames!):






  • January 9, 2013 6:22 am

My food memories of grandma involve pot roast, peas and Yorkshire pudding….and that’s about it.

My grandfather was the cook in the family, so she just stuck to the British stuff she knew best.

I remember her often burning the Yorkshire pudding (which I kind of still enjoyed, covered in enough gravy) and I fared no better with my first attempt at them.

Yorkshire pudding are biscuits made crispy by pot roast drippings in the bottm of the pan.

They’re delicious and they remind me of grandma so I knew I had to finally try to make them.

I won’t bother listing any recipes cuz I’m lazy and I don’t feel like it!

Sorry for the tantrum, folks. I’m better than that.

You can't mess up meat in a crock pot. Well, unless you hate super tender foods.

Fallen Yorkshire Pudding

Mashed Potatoes garnished with random sage

(Sorta) Mushy Peas

I never said I was a food stylist, people. I need some gravy dripping classes.