Bun Boy Eats LA
BUN BOY EATS LA - Archives for 2014 January

GRACIAS MADRE

  • January 31, 2014 5:16 am

Purista Margarita / La Conquistadora

Purista Margarita / La Conquistadora

Ok, this place has only been open a week so I’m going to reserve harsh judgment for now. Here are just some thoughts, spewed at out random.

At 6 p.m. on a Sunday night, this place was packed!

Be careful what you order. Dishes seem to be hit or miss here. I did my Yelp research so everything I ordered was delicious. So there.

The Chilaquiles were flavorful, spicy and a huge portion for a decent price. I could only finish half! And I’m a certified pig. Also on the plate were a side of finely pureed refried black beans. LOVED These.

We did start with two appetizers, both hefty portions. The Brussels Sprouts were baked in a tasty cashew cheese sauce, topped with bread crumbs.

The Gorditas looked more like pupusas but were delicious as well, definitely recomended.

The Enchiladas Con Mole seemed to be missing any actual contents. They were simply rolled up tortillas covered in sauce. They came with a side of the refried black beans and steamed greens. Don’t bother with this dish.

The cocktails were solid, if not on the pricey side ($14 each, which is fast becoming standard). The Purista Margarita was the better of the three we tried.

For dessert, we tried both the Flan (it had a peanut butter flavor to it) and the AMAZING Mocha Cheesecake.

Similar to a dessert I had at their sister restaurant, Cafe Gratitude, this is the smoothest, creamiest dessert you will ever have. It’s just freaking delicious. And large. You still may not want to share.

Gracias Madre is a swanky and quite expansive, featuring a substantial and peaceful courtyard.

Overall, I would say a good place for a drink or two and a few carefully chosen plates. Maybe in a few months, I would say come here to pig out on a full on dinner. But we’re not there just yet.

8905 Melrose Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 978-2170
graciasmadreweho.com

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PURISTA Tequila reposado, agave, lime, orange bitters, sweet orange salt rim

PURISTA
Tequila reposado, agave, lime, orange bitters, sweet orange salt rim

FLOR DE JAMAICA Tequila blanco, agave, lime, french dry curaçao, flor de sol, homemade hibiscus float

FLOR DE JAMAICA
Tequila blanco, agave, lime, french dry curaçao, flor de sol, homemade hibiscus float

GORDITAS Potato-masa cakes topped with warm salsa verde, avocado, and cashew crema

GORDITAS
Potato-masa cakes topped with warm salsa verde, avocado, and cashew crema

REPOLLITOS CON QUESA FONDIDO Brussels sprouts and caramelized onions baked in cashew cheese and topped with garlic breadcrumbs

REPOLLITOS CON QUESA FONDIDO
Brussels sprouts and caramelized onions baked in cashew cheese and topped with garlic breadcrumbs

ENCHILADAS CON MOLE Spicy mole enchiladas topped with mushrooms and cashew cheese, served with sautéed greens and beans

ENCHILADAS CON MOLE
Spicy mole enchiladas topped with mushrooms and cashew cheese, served with sautéed greens and beans

Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

FLAN Homemade flan with burnt sugar caramel

FLAN
Homemade flan with burnt sugar caramel

Mocha Cheesecake

Mocha Cheesecake

FREDDY SMALL’S BAR AND KITCHEN

  • January 29, 2014 5:24 am

Buffalo Deviled Eggs

Buffalo Deviled Eggs

Here’s what I would suggest when it comes to Freddy Smalls.

Only come here for happy hour. That’s your best bet. All the stuff we wanted ended up being on the HH menu and the regular entrees didn’t seem that enticing.

Happy Hour ends at 7 pm, so you can’t have one of those jobs that, like, takes up your whole day. So, if you work in the “industry”, just forgot about poor Freddy altogether.

The best thing we had were those roasted Brussels Sprouts with goat cheese. Yum!

The Buffalo Deviled Eggs were also great but could have been more…buffaloey.

The Chicken Liver on Toast was nice but could have stood a bit more seasoning (would have liked a more typical onion taste) and neither of us really enjoyed the smokey flavor of the Fingerling Potatoes.

We also tried the seasonal Squash Soup with Duck Confit but found the duck to overpower the delicate, creamy squash. Damn you, Howard (the duck)!

In conclusion, come here for drinks and brussels and keep your expectations low. Right, Howard?

11520 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 479-3000
freddysmalls.com

Squash Duck Confit Soup

Squash Duck Confit Soup

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese

Fried Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese

Chicken Liver Mouse on Toast

Chicken Liver Mouse on Toast

Smoked Fingerling Potatoes and Dip

Smoked Fingerling Potatoes and Dip

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We obviously came here during Halloween…

SUSHI TIME

  • January 27, 2014 5:57 am

Red Snapper Sushi

Red Snapper Sushi

Sushi Time is a local’s joint on Beverly and Crescent Heights that I really enjoyed.

I know that doesn’t sound like a rave review, but I have to be really careful with reviewing sushi places. I tend to lean towards fun, creative rolls which are not authentic, so my criticisms should be judged accordingly.

I really enjoyed the Spicy Tuna on crispy rice and the Crunch Salmon Asparagus Roll.

The Sesame Fried Chicken was good but not amazing, not sure I’d recommend it.

The Yellowtail and Red Snapper sushi was really clean and fresh tasting.

Overall, no complaints.

They don’t have rock and roll or dancing on the tables or rolls with 100 ingredients either, if that’s your thing.

8103 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 658-6700

Sesame Chicken

Sesame Chicken

Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice

Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice

Blue Crab Roll

Blue Crab Roll

Yellowtail Sushi

Yellowtail Sushi

Crunchy Salmon Asparagus Roll

Crunchy Salmon Asparagus Roll

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CASA LA GOLONDRINA

  • January 24, 2014 5:29 am

Conchinita Pibil in Banana leaves

Conchinita Pibil in Banana leaves

La Golondrina is a really cute, really old, really great Mexican restaurant on the really quaint Olvera Street downtown LA.

If you haven’t been to Olvera street, be sure to take your family when they visit you. It’s the perfect “let’s show mom what I want her to think LA is really like” place. Lots of kitchy shopping, plenty of places to stuff your face and often some traditional Mexican dancing or singing happening somewhere.

Olvera street has a few nicer sit down places sandwiched between all the casual taco places and I think Golondrina is the best.

Mole is fantastic, Conchinita Pibil (spicy marinated pork) is AMAZING and I really appreciated the high quality, non-gristly meats.

The margaritas are NOT made with a disgusting, neon green mix and are pretty potent. Two will get you nicely buzzed.

17 Olvera St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 628-4349

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Avila Adobe, built in 1818,is the oldest existing house in LA and is located on this street.

Avila Adobe, built in 1818,is the oldest existing house in LA and is located on this street.

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Shopping aplenty on Olvera Street

Shopping aplenty on Olvera Street

One of my favorite shops on Olvera Street

One of my favorite shops on Olvera Street

Musicians performing in front of La Golondrina

Musicians performing in front of La Golondrina

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La Golondrina is housed inside LA's oldest brick building.

La Golondrina is housed inside LA’s oldest brick building.

The margaritas are really great. Especially if you have more than one.

The margaritas are really great. Especially if you have more than one.

Guacamole

Guacamole

Enchiladas Mole

Enchiladas Mole

Spanish Rice and Beans

Spanish Rice and Beans

Conchinita Pibil in Banana Leaves

Conchinita Pibil in Banana Leaves

FOOD + LAB

  • January 22, 2014 5:22 am

GORGONZOLA DOLCE WITH FIG COMPOTE, PEAR & HONEY ON RAISIN WALNUT

GORGONZOLA DOLCE WITH FIG COMPOTE, PEAR & HONEY ON RAISIN WALNUT

Well, Mr. Food Lab (I’m assuming you’re a guy) I have been dreaming of your Chicken Wienerschnitzel Sandwich for years and today, I finally made the dream a reality.

Not my most interesting dream, I have to admit.

In fact, it turned out to be one of those dreams that you forget as soon as you wake up.

What really drew me to this sammy was the lingonberry chutney….well my sandwich didn’t have any. Bastards! Would have loved a nice slathering of those tart berries to offset the salty, crunchy and kind of dry patty.

The Austrian Meatloaf sandwich was also just meh. I guess they burn their meat to a crisp in Austria?

I did really love the “secret sauce” on the meatloaf and the ciabatta bread on both sandwiches was VERY tasty.

My friends’s Gorgonzola Dolce, with it’s large chunks of blue cheese, fig compote, pear and honey was decadent and sumptuous. A bit too desserty to be a main meal, but great to share with a few friends after ordering something.

Anything else but the two sandwiches I ordered.

I’ve heard their salads are amazing, so if I’m ever inclined to return, I’ll have to go that route.

Hopefully that dream will be more memorable, I’d better be flying or robbing a bank or something.

7253 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 851-7120
foodlab-la.com

AUSTRIAN MEATLOAF: ALL BEEF W. SECRET SAUCE, FRIED ONIONS & DIJON ON CIABATTA

AUSTRIAN MEATLOAF: ALL BEEF W. SECRET SAUCE, FRIED ONIONS & DIJON ON CIABATTA

ORGANIC CHICKEN WIENERSCHNITZEL W. LINGONBERRY CHUTNEY & AIOLI ON CIABATTA

ORGANIC CHICKEN WIENERSCHNITZEL W. LINGONBERRY CHUTNEY & AIOLI ON CIABATTA

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THE LOCAL PEASANT

  • January 20, 2014 5:12 am

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The Local Peasant is just like the dozen other gastropubs in LA (except this one is in Sherman Oaks) that serves these three essential items:

Deviled Eggs
Meatballs
Pork Belly

These three foodstuffs (and anything with Kale) are staples on many LA menus, but they exist on ALL gastropub menus, for sure. Fer sure, dude. We are in the Valley, after all.

The good news: those three things are delicious. They’ve firmly replaced soup, salad and breadsticks as appetizers.

So, points away for originality but points added because The Local Peasant does a good job with all three.

Here’s where I’m taking away some more points.

The Fish and Chips was the worst experience I’ve had with the genre…ever. They were just gross. The batter was thick and soggy and pancakey (in a bad way). So wrong. I had to pick out my fish from the batter-field (get it?) and it was like I was playing the game “Operation”.

The Deep Fried Blue Cheese Olives are a must-order. Points!

I’m also taking a few points away for having a bald ass pretzel. Pretzels are ONLY yummy when they have salt on them. If you disagree, exit out of this page. We’re not longer friends or whatever you call this weird relationship we have.

I really enjoyed my simple Apricocious cocktails so add some points for that.

I loved the wide open space (add a few more points).

But subtract a few points because it’s the only place of it’s kind nearby and can get really crowded.

Add a few more points (Ok, this is getting old, I know) because the servers were really friendly.

Once we tally up all the points, we have 37. Which is decent. OH! Add a few more for the great burger.

OK, even I’M annoyed with myself. Sorry.

14058 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 501-0234
thelocalpeasant.com

Apricocious

Apricocious

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Deep Fried Blue Cheese Olives

Deep Fried Blue Cheese Olives

Truffle Bacon Mac and Cheese

Truffle Bacon Mac and Cheese

Bacon and Eggs

Bacon and Eggs

Mama's Meatballs

Mama’s Meatballs

The Classic Burger

The Classic Burger

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Soft Pretzel

Soft Pretzel

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

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GENWA

  • January 17, 2014 5:20 am

Prime Galbi

Prime Galbi

Genwa is probably the most popular and well reviewed Korean BBQ place according to Yelp.

It’s more on the upscale side, it’s not All You Can Eat, and you get a ton of banchan (side dishes).

People say that the AYCE places tend to have lesser quality meats and I never thought that was true until I started going to several of the nicer places, it’s really true.

Genwa, Soowon, Park’s BBQ all have quality meat that really stands out. I can’t even remember most of the AYCE’s meat selection.

That being said, the more Korean BBQ joints I visit, the more they kind of all taste the same (I’m not being racist) so it becomes increasingly difficult to write a detailed review.

We were given plates of raw beef. We cooked the raw beef. Yum.

What is my favorite BBQ place so far, you ask? Park’s BBQ for sure. The meat, the sides, the jalapenos….heaven.

Genwa, while not heaven, is a very lovely purgatory, however. I’ve been here three times, so it’s definitely not hell.

This was a dumb review and my photos sucked, I’m just the worst. Thank God I don’t do this for a living.

5115 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 549-0760
genwakoreanbbq.com

Banchan (Korean sides)

Banchan (Korean sides)

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Vegetables

Prime Galbi (short ribs)

Prime Galbi (short ribs)

HAKATA RAMEN SHINSENGUMI

  • January 15, 2014 5:55 am

Hakata Ramen - 1/2 Order

Hakata Ramen – 1/2 Order

Shinsengumi is new to Sawtelle street (Ramen Blvd) but hardly new to the ramen scene. They have 3 locations in Tokyo and 6 in Gardena but the one I was always trying to get to was downtown’s Little Tokyo location.

Lucky for me they just opened up one in Little Osaka (near my work) and saved me a trip!

There’s really only ramen to choose from (Tonkotsu, which is that thick, milky pork broth) but you can customize it pretty much any way.

They provide you little papers to choose your type of noodle, how rich you want the broth and which of the dozen or so additions (like savory egg or crispy onions) you want to add to it.

They also have 6 types of fried chicken appetizers (karaage) to choose from. We chose the Curry and Yuzu Pepper and while both were tasty, I found that the curry packed more of a flavor punch since there weren’t any dipping sauces. These are dark meat, in case anyone was wondering.

The ramen was really tasty and I love that they have the 1/2 order option, since trying to finish the typical big ass bowl can be a bit punishing (especially if you also want to pig out on some fried chicken).

It wasn’t the best I’ve had (that still goes to Daikokuya’s heavenly ramen nectar) but it’s still very tasty and worth checking out.

Plus, it’s in a less congested part of Sawtelle in case you don’t want to stress over where to park and wait 45 minutes just for lunch.

1601 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
shinsengumiusa.com

So many deep fried choices!

So many deep fried choices!

Yuzu Pepper Fried Chicken

Yuzu Pepper Fried Chicken

Curry Fried Chicken

Curry Fried Chicken

Probably the only ramen place on Sawtelle that isn't packed.

Probably the only ramen place on Sawtelle that isn’t packed.

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VIA ALLORO

  • January 13, 2014 5:02 am

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It seems that Beverly Hills has an extremely high concentration of semi-snooty Italian joints and Via Alloro is one of them.

While you’re going to spend more here for lunch than you probably wanted to, the prices at dinner are reasonable and you’ll get a enormous selection of tasty pastas (they have 17) to choose from and the portions are quite sizeable.

They offer traditional Italian fare (pizza’s, salads, fish and meat) but I would suggest to just stick with the pasta.

I had the Cacio e Pepe (pasta with romano and black pepper) which I’ve always wanted to try. It has a flavor similar to Carbonara but no bacon or egg and was delicious and filling.

The sweet corn ravioli with truffle fondue and the rigatoni with turkey sausage, peas and pink sauce was also raved about.

There isn’t really much else to say. I came here because it’s close to work. If you don’t work or live in Beverly Hills, don’t bother. It’s fine but why spend money on “fine” if you don’t have to.

301 N Canon Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 275-2900
viaalloro.com

TAGLIATELLE C ON FUNGHI PORCINI

TAGLIATELLE C ON
FUNGHI PORCINI

INSALATA DEL SALUMIERE

INSALATA DEL
SALUMIERE

RAVIOLI DI MAIS

RAVIOLI DI MAIS

RIGATONI CON SALSIC CIE DI TACCHINO

RIGATONI CON SALSIC CIE
DI TACCHINO

SPAGHETTI CACIO E PEPE CON LE FAVE

SPAGHETTI CACIO E PEPE CON
LE FAVE

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EATALY – NYC

  • January 10, 2014 5:14 am

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What is Eataly? It’s an Italian Costco. But classier.

Other ways it compares to Costco? It’s a cluster-eff. The design is kind of all over the place. It can be chaotically fun if you’re in the mood for it.

One way it differs? No free samples.

Eataly consists of 7 sit down restaurants situated next to the market area that provides its fresh ingredients.

Each market section is designed to dazzle the senses. The fresh bread looks like the best bread you’ll ever eat. Any kind of fresh pasta you could think of. You want an obscure cured meat or imported sauce. They’ve got it.

It’s also crazy touristy but still a lot of fun. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the mood for Costco sans the free samples.

200 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010
(646) 398-5100
eataly.com

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AGNOLOTTI del Plin con Sugo d’ Arrosto $19 Housemade meat filled pasta served with a veal reduction

AGNOLOTTI del Plin con Sugo d’ Arrosto $19 Housemade meat filled pasta served with a veal reduction

SALSICCIOTTA -  TOMATO SAUCE, MOZZARELLA, EATALY HOUSEMADE SWEET ITALIAN SAUSAGE, MUSHROOMS AND BASIL

SALSICCIOTTA –
TOMATO SAUCE, MOZZARELLA, EATALY HOUSEMADE
SWEET ITALIAN SAUSAGE, MUSHROOMS AND BASIL

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Pasta as far as the eye can see....

Pasta as far as the eye can see….

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Salted Caramel Gelato

Salted Caramel Gelato