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

GINGERGRASS

  • August 30, 2013 6:00 am

Bo Sate - Filet Mignon with a spicy peanut sauce wok tossed with Yams and Long Beans

Bo Sate – Filet Mignon with a spicy peanut sauce wok tossed with Yams and Long Beans

I think I came to Gingergrass about 10 years ago (was it even open then??) and recall having an amazing beef in peanut sauce dish that I suddenly needed to shove into my mouth once more.

Tonight, Virgina and I made the trek to Silverlake in rush hour traffic to partake in some healthy Vietnamese action.

I think we finished our meal in under 15 minutes.

Then, I look over to my right and my friend MB is sitting less than three feet away from me.

I snap a picture of him with the hopes of texting it to him but lose my nerve before he finally recognizes me.

My favorite part of Gingergrass is the plethora of peanut sauce. It’s everywhere and I love it. My Filet Mignon with Peanut Sauce and Yams and Long Beans was every bit as good as I remember.

And the cold noodle dish with veggies and pork was refreshing on a muggy summer evening.

2396 Glendale Blvd
Silver Lake, CA 90039
(323) 644-1600
http://www.gingergrass.com/

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Rice crackers with peanut dipping sauce - addicting!

Rice crackers with peanut dipping sauce – addicting!

White Sangria

White Sangria

Bo Bia - Fresh Rice Paper filled with Jicama, Coconut, Egg and Peanuts with Vegetarian dipping sauce

Bo Bia – Fresh Rice Paper filled with Jicama, Coconut, Egg and Peanuts with Vegetarian dipping sauce

Pork Noodle Bowl

Pork Noodle Bowl

CHOCOLATE CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING

  • August 28, 2013 6:22 am
Heart Attack!

Heart Attack!

It wasn’t until I had pulled this monstrocity out of the oven, posted a pic on Facebook and had someone ask me “What’s the recipe??” that I realized that this is a Paula Deen creation.

Oops. Oh well. Say what you will about Paula, she sure knows her way around ‘dem comfort foods.

And, apparently, she was burdened with the unpleasant situation of having too many leftover chocolate croissants lying around. As one does.

INGREDIENTS:

6 chocolate croissants, very coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Put chocolate croissant chunks in an 8-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs. Pour mixture over croissants. Let sit for at least 10 minutes.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Smashed up day-old croissants...time to make them even MORE fattening!

Smashed up day-old croissants…time to make them even MORE fattening!

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VILLA BLANCA

  • August 26, 2013 6:19 am

Garden Vegetable Flatbread Pizza

Garden Vegetable Flatbread Pizza

Villa Blanca opened in 2009, before co-owner Lisa Vanderpump became famous for being one of more sane Real Housewives.

When I originally blogged about this place all those years ago, I called it Miami meets Versailles and the decor has not changed one bit.

It’s exactly the kind of restaurant you would think a real housewife would open.

And as much as I hate to use the F word…it’s kinda fabulous.

Let me update my previous assessment and call the decor Vegas in Heaven.

The interiors are stunning, you can’t take your eyes off them (or the facelifts). Just like her other restaurant, Sur, no expense has been spared.

Today’s lunch group included some of the usual suspects, including a visiting niece from Dubai (whom we wanted to choose a place which would impress) and I did my best not to control each and every thing they ordered.

Bit my tongue so long there were sores on it.

The food still is and always has been tasty and consistent. The usual lunch fare bumped up a notch in true Beverly Hills fashion.

My favorite thing to order are the Flatbread pizzas. They’re enormous and satisfying.

What I was not expecting was the simple but gratuitously gorgeous Villa Blanca Burger! Get that in my mouth now!

I will have to come back to that, pronto. For my post tummy tuck / nose job convalescent meal.

9601 Brighton Way
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 859-7600
http://www.villablancarestaurant.com

The Villa Blanca Burger

The Villa Blanca Burger

Grilled Farmers Market Vegetable Sandwich

Grilled Farmers Market Vegetable Sandwich

Char-Grilled Chicken Salad

Char-Grilled Chicken Salad

Smoked Turkey and Cranberry Flatbread Sandwich

Smoked Turkey and Cranberry Flatbread Sandwich

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Welcome to Beverly Hills! (She's injured her nose)

Welcome to Beverly Hills! (She’s injured her nose)

MEXICALI TACO AND CO.

  • August 23, 2013 6:00 am

Carne Asada Cachetada - Tostada with beef, Mexican cheese and chipotle aioli

Carne Asada Cachetada – Tostada with beef, Mexican cheese and chipotle aioli

TACO WEEK!

Our final stop on our Taco Tour was Mexicali Taco and Co, a former food truck turned brick and mortar in downtown LA.

I ordered the two things that seemed the most unique, the Cachetada (basically a tostada topped with meat cheese and spicy aioli) and the Vampiro (a super tasty quesadilla with a delish garlic sauce).

Both impressed me.

Chesty Morgan ordered the Shrimp Taco but agreed that Guisado’s taco was much better.

This place is inexpensive, super casual and offer a great salsa bar.

Ok folks! Taco week is over. Each place offers something unique and special and I would highly recommend any of them if you’re wallet and your stomach are feeling a bit bare.

702 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-0416
http://mexicalitaco.com

Shrimp Taco

Shrimp Taco

Vampiro - Quesadilla with Al Pastor and Garlic Sauce

Vampiro – Quesadilla with Al Pastor and Garlic Sauce

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RICKY’S FISH TACOS

  • August 21, 2013 6:00 am

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TACO WEEK!

Our next stop on our Taco Tour was Ricky’s, known for having the best fish tacos in LA.

He recently left his previous Los Feliz location and now sets up his operation in a parking lot near Chinatown.

He didn’t seem to appreciate me taking photos, as it appears he might be paranoid he would need to pack up and leave again.

The fish taco was, indeed, the very best I’ve ever had. Much better than Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, it’s rival.

I also really loved the Berry Jamaica drink. Could drink it all day.

But no time for that now! Onto our final taco joint of the day!

1100 N Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 906-7290

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GUISADOS

  • August 19, 2013 6:06 am

6 Taco Sampler

6 Taco Sampler

TACO WEEK!

I’ve decided to dedicate this week to some of LA’s greatest tacos. For no particular reason. Just cuz I felt like going to three taco places.

In one afternoon.

I was hungry.

The first stop on our tour was the super popular Guisados. We decided on the newer location in Echo Park.

I chose the 6 taco sampler, I suggest this for everyone. You get to try more tacos that way. No brainer.

I really appreciated two things about this place (besides the reasonable prices). The tortillas were unique and flavorful. Thick, soft and not easily broken. They’re also pretty filing, FYI.

The meats were all prepared in sauces. No dry meat. All taco meat should be saucy. Like me.

1261 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 250-7600
http://www.guisados.com

Bistek en Salsa Roja

Bistek en Salsa Roja

Camarones (Shrimp) Taco

Camarones (Shrimp) Taco

Chicken Mole Poblano

Chicken Mole Poblano

Steak Picado

Steak Picado

Pollo Tinga - Spicy Chicken

Pollo Tinga – Spicy Chicken

Conchinita de Pibil - Pork

Conchinita de Pibil – Pork

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Guisados has three locations, this is the Echo Park one.

Guisados has three locations, this is the Echo Park one.

CAFE ISTANBUL

  • August 16, 2013 6:00 am

Choban Kavurma - Shepherd style braised chicken or beef. Your choice of meat sauteed with onion, garlic, tomato, bell pepper, herbs and topped with mozzarella cheese served with rice pilaf and pita bread.

Choban Kavurma – Shepherd style braised chicken or beef. Your choice of meat sauteed with onion, garlic, tomato, bell pepper, herbs and topped with mozzarella cheese served with rice pilaf and pita bread.

I had never been to a Turkish restaurant, nor have I ever tried Turkish food before, so I was intrigued when I received an invitation to dine here.

Taking over a previous Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills, Cafe Istanbul has managed to create an authentic and friendly Mediterranean environment.

Much of the menu appeared to be traditional middle eastern/Mediterranean fare. Hummus, baba ganouj, kabobs, ect. There were a few items that seemed to appear more specifically Turkish, so we made sure to order them.

My Choban Kavurma was like a Turkish beef stew. Super tasty, high quality meat stewed with tomatoes and onions, topped with mozzarella. What’s not to love?

I really loved the Tilapia with Tahini, super crazy moist fish (almost melt in your mouth) with a really addictive sauce.

The Chicken Kabob and Adana Beef dishes seemed more in the line of food I’ve had before, but both impressive.

As far as appetizers, everyone loved the Cigar Borek. Phyllo filled with feta, herbs and mozarella, yum!

No one really cared for the grape leaves and I kind of forget what the fried kibbeh tasted like. Perhaps a little bland until you dipped them in the tahini sauce.

The baklava were tasty but not as sweet as I’m used to but what really stood out as being unique were the Kunefe. Kunefe are patties made from bits of fried, sweet phyllo stuffed with a mozzarella like cheese (maybe it WAS mozarella). Kind of tasted like a mix between a hash brown, a pancake and a mozarella stick. Worth trying!

Everyone else in the restaurant seemed like they were Turkish and sang along to the songs the musician played on his guitar. It was a fun atmosphere, like being part of a Turkish wedding reception.

The only part of the evening that bugged us was the 30 minutes or so it took to get and finally pay our bill. I know it’s part of many culture’s tradition for 4 hour meals but I had a car parked in a precarious spot and Bun Boy didn’t want no ticket!

So, come to Cafe Istanbul if you’re in the mood for a long, leisurely and delicious meal and are not in a hurry to go home.

Ever.

It’s two days later and we’re still here, FYI.

326 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 91212
(310) 553-4545
http://www.cafeistanbul90212.com/

Cigar Borek -  Phyllo dough filled with parsley, herbs, feta and mozzarella cheese.

Cigar Borek –
Phyllo dough filled with parsley, herbs, feta and mozzarella cheese.

Fried Kibbeh - Fresh ground beef mixed with cracked wheat, spices, pine nuts and onions, stuffed with ground beef.

Fried Kibbeh – Fresh ground beef mixed with cracked wheat, spices, pine nuts and onions, stuffed with ground beef.

Vegetarian Grape Leaves - A mixture of rice, finely diced tomato, parsley, onion rolled in grape leaves and slowly cooked in extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Vegetarian Grape Leaves – A mixture of rice, finely diced tomato, parsley, onion rolled in grape leaves and slowly cooked in extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Tilapia Fish with Tahini - Spicy or regular. Tilapia filet cooked with tahini sauce, lemon juice and herbs served with pita bread and rice pilaf.

Tilapia Fish with Tahini – Spicy or regular. Tilapia filet cooked with tahini sauce, lemon juice and herbs served with pita bread and rice pilaf.

Chicken Kebab Plate - Skewered cubes of marinated, charbroiled chicken tenders, served with hummus, rice pilaf, garlic sauce, grilled veggies and pita bread.

Chicken Kebab Plate – Skewered cubes of marinated, charbroiled chicken tenders, served with hummus, rice pilaf, garlic sauce, grilled veggies and pita bread.

Adana Kabab Plate - Skewers of extra lean ground beef mixed with parsley, onion, spices, charbroiled and served with hummus, rice pilaf, tahini sauce, grilled veggies and pita bread.

Adana Kabab Plate – Skewers of extra lean ground beef mixed with parsley, onion, spices, charbroiled and served with hummus, rice pilaf, tahini sauce, grilled veggies and pita bread.

Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight

Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight

Baklava

Backlava

Kunefe

Kunefe

The cause of the devastating table fire.

The cause of the devastating table fire.

The remains of the devastating table fire.

The remains of the devastating table fire.

TAR AND ROSES

  • August 14, 2013 6:32 am

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I know I’m visiting Tar and Roses way late in the game. It’s all the way in Santa Monica and a pain to go there for dinner.

But I finally made it work. And it was worth it.

Sorry, it’s early in the morning and I just missed my flight to Seattle and I’m less than enthused.

Grace Slick and I ordered pretty much everything I had my heart set on, all small plates.

Our mutual favorite were the Balsamic Glazed Ribs (served without the bone, super tender yet not fatty/gristly meat) and the Strawberry Ricotto Crostada (baked fresh strawberries atop a layer of ricotta yogurt on a light, sugary tart.

Something else I really enjoyed was the Beef Pho-paccio, sliced medallions of raw beef topped with all the familiar pho-fixins. Really unique and tasty.

602 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 587-0700
http://www.tarandroses.com/

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Balsamic Glazed Ribs / Fried Basil

Balsamic Glazed Ribs / Fried Basil

Wood Roasted Peaches / Speck/Burrata/Arugula/Marcona Almonds

Wood Roasted Peaches / Speck/Burrata/Arugula/Marcona Almonds

Oxtail Dumplings

Oxtail Dumplings

Roasted Beets / Feta/Tarragon/Horseradish

Roasted Beets / Feta/Tarragon/Horseradish

Beef "Pho-Paccio" / Bean shoots/Thai basil/Cilantro/Chili

Beef “Pho-Paccio” / Bean shoots/Thai basil/Cilantro/Chili

Whole Fried Snapper

Whole Fried Snapper

Ricotta Gnocchi / Asparagus/Pea Tendrils/Lemon

Ricotta Gnocchi / Asparagus/Pea Tendrils/Lemon

Chocolate Tar Bar w/ Hazelnut Ice Cream

Chocolate Tar Bar w/ Hazelnut Ice Cream

Strawberry Ricotta Crostada with Honeycomb Ice Cream

Strawberry Ricotta Crostada with Honeycomb Ice Cream

SHAMSHIRI

  • August 12, 2013 6:55 am

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Shamshiri is a Persian restaurant located on Westwood Blvd (obviously) and it sure was hoppin’ for lunch today.

As I entered, I felt really guilty for scanning the joint briefly for the cast of Shahs of Sunset. Sadly, none were to be found. I feel comfortable admitting this because I’ve seen them at several Hollywood after parties.

I’ve eaten Persian food many times before (I’ve even taken a Persian cooking class and also speak a tiny bit of Farsi) so I knew a few menu items I already liked.

Today, I was to be adventurous. Time to order something I couldn’t pronounce.

I asked a Persian co-worker what he recommended and then proceeded to order two of those things.

My beverage of choice today was Doogh, a creamy savory yogurt drink. Very unique. It grew on me (like a fungus), but definitely an acquired taste. It’s often served at Persian grocery stores bottled and carbonated but today I drank the Doogh they made in-house.

To start, my friend and I shared the Tadig, crispy rice topped with the stew of your choice.

I chose Fesenjan (Pomagranate and Walnut) and upon my first bite, I realized the rice was both fairly undercooked yet almost burnt. Quite the feat!

Not the Japanese style crispy rice I was anxiously expecting.

“That’s how we like it” I was later told when I confronted my co-worker about why the rice was so nasty.

I decided to never speak to him again.

I should have gotten the Fesenjan with chicken over the usual soft, pillowy saffron rice and called it a day.

Last for me were the Koobideh Sliders. I expected the Koobideh (Iranian minced kabob meat) to be on little, cute buns. Then I realized that the lavash bread that had been placed in front of me (now completely devoured) at the beginning of the meal were our “buns”.

When you come to a Persian restaurant, you are commonly greeted with Lavash bread and raw onions (sometimes butter, sometimes fresh mint, depends on the restaurant).

Raw onions are a natural antiseptic. FYI.

For both germs and your fellow humans.

The Koobideh was delicious. Moist and perfectly seasoned. Would have liked some kind of sauce (hummus, tahini, yogurt sauce) to go with it, but I’ll survive.

The Bread Guy’s Chicken Shamshiri (a combo of Chicken Barg and Chicken Koobideh) looked very traditional. Two huge skewers of chicken (sticks removed) sitting on a MOUNTAIN of yellow (sometimes saffron, often food coloring) stained rice accompanied by baked tomatoes and onions. We both really loved it.

Come to Shamshiri and explore the delicious and unique stews, high quality meats and large portions.

Then maybe throw up a little when you get home cuz you overdid it. Just a little, mind you.

Man khastam, Å¡ab bexeyr! (I’m tired, good night!)

1712 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 474-1410
http://www.shamshiri.com/

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Doogh (sour yogurt drink)

Doogh (sour yogurt drink)

Raw Onions, Mint and Lavash Bread to snack on before each meal. Do the mint and onion cancel each other out? (they don't, FYI)

Raw Onions, Mint and Lavash Bread to snack on before each meal. Do the mint and onion cancel each other out? (they don’t, FYI)

Tadig - Crispy Rice topped with Fesenjan (pomagranate walnut stew)

Tadig – Crispy Rice topped with Fesenjan (pomagranate walnut stew)

Koobideh Sliders

Koobideh Sliders

Chicken Shamshiri

Chicken Shamshiri

TOP ROUND ROAST BEEF

  • August 9, 2013 6:23 am

Bar-B-Cue

Bar-B-Cue

After pining for hours* over Top Round’s menu, Clyde and I decided on the three most interesting of the upscale Arby-esque roast beef sandwiches to devour like animals.

*minutes

After finishing and enjoying all three, I began to really analyzing what we just ate.

The beef was tender and juicy, the bun was nice and soft. The sauces worked very well.

Why didn’t I love them more?

First of all, I was expecting an au jus to dip them in. I guess they’re pre dipped.

The meat seemed to cool down in minutes. They just didn’t taste as good once cooled down.

I would have preferred the buns to have been toasted, as each bite was kind of a soggy mess without some crisp to counterbalance the super tender beef.

The cheese fries were fine but the fries also cooled down pretty quickly.

We’re in the midst of a heat spell where people are dying and my sandwich can’t keep hot?? Doesn’t add up.

I needed some good news.

Knowing I would probably not be bad, I ordered one of their frozen custard shakes.

Each option appeared more delicious than the next. I decided on the Tin Roof, filled with sundae toppings (cherries/fudge/peanuts/marshmallows) and it was like a Dairy Queen Blizzard!

Two things happened next which baffled and unnerved me.

First, as the guy was spooning in a mound of marshmallows, he used his fingers to scrape off the residuals INTO MY DRINK. Right in front of me!

He also took my sundae to the garbage and proceeded to DUMP A BUNCH OF THE DELICIOUS TOP LAYER INTO THE TRASH so that he could put a to-go lid on it!!!

I didn’t need it to-go that badly, buddy!! Just hand the thing to me and I’ll put my own lid on.

So offensive.

Top Round is fun, casual, retro roast beef fast food, so just keep that in mind the whole time and I think you’ll be much more impressed than we were.

1000 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 549-9445
http://www.eattopround.com

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Cheese Fries

Cheese Fries

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Horse and Hole

Horse and Hole

Ain't much to look at

Ain’t much to look at

Black and Blue

Black and Blue

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Custard Shake - "Tin Roof" - Cherries/Peanuts/Marshmallows/Fudge

Custard Shake – “Tin Roof” – Cherries/Peanuts/Marshmallows/Fudge