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

AJISAI

  • February 28, 2014 5:09 am

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Ajisai is a quaint, semi-upscale, very casual little sushi bar in the heart of West Hollywood right off of Santa Monica Blvd and if you know what was good for you, you’d go there right now.

We went on a Monday night, so I can’t attest to how busy it gets on a weekend, but there were just enough patrons to drown out the sounds of our chatter but not so few to make it seem like we had rented out the entire restaurant.

The fish is ultra fresh, there wasn’t a single item that tasted “fishy”. That almost never happens. Wherever you go, inevitably you’re going to pop something in your mouth that seems like it’s been dead a while. Not fun.

Or maybe I’m just going to disgusting places? Are you telling me I shouldn’t expect much more than a stomach ache from $2.99 sushi??

One standout was the famous Ajisai Roll (salmon, crab and avocado wrapped in cucumber) perfect for you low carb lovers. Also loved the #809 Crunch Roll, which was a tempura spicy tuna roll covered in julienned veggies and a light ginger sauce. Yum!

The Biscotti (Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice) is also a must order, but when isn’t it??

The prices may be a few extra bucks then the whole in the wall sushi joint wherever you live but here you’re paying for the prime location, super duper friendly service and absolutely perfect fishyless fish.

Or just keep going to the discount sushi joints and wonder why you’re spending the rest of the night (and early morning) regretting it.

809 Palm Ave
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 652-7014
ajisaisushibar.com

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SUNOMONO (CUCMBER SALAD) – 3.75

SUNOMONO (CUCMBER SALAD) – 3.75

BISCOTTI – 10 Spicy tuna on crispy fried rice cakes

BISCOTTI – 10
Spicy tuna on crispy fried rice cakes

Halibut Sushi

Halibut Sushi

Garlic Albacore Sashimi with Crispy Onions

Garlic Albacore Sashimi with Crispy Onions

#809 CRUNCHY ROLL – 15.50 Spicy albacore tempura roll with julienne vegetables & ginger dressing on top

#809 CRUNCHY ROLL – 15.50
Spicy albacore tempura roll with julienne
vegetables & ginger dressing on top

AJISAI ROLL – 15.50 Salmon, crab & avocado wrapped in cucumber

AJISAI ROLL – 15.50
Salmon, crab & avocado wrapped in cucumber

FARMSHOP

  • February 26, 2014 5:22 am

Pastrami and Eggs

Pastrami and Eggs

I’m on the fence about Farmshop…not sure I’m a fan.

First of all, it’s greatly overpriced. Like eating in a hotel restaurant.

You’re paying for its Brentwood Country Mart location and for the priviledge of sitting next to Steven Spielberg (that was kind of cool).

But the brunch menu choices seemed downright boring! The only option that seemed at all unique was the Pastrami and Eggs.

While this dish was tasty, it wasn’t worth the cost or the drive.

I just glanced at the dinner menu online and it seems much better. So, this could be all my fault.

Let’s see if I make it back in time for this blog entry to post and see if I change my opinion.

As it stands now, Bun Boy is not impressed.

225 26th St
Santa Monica, CA 90402
(310) 566-2400
farmshopla.com

Smoked Salmon and Eggs

Smoked Salmon and Eggs

Farmshop features a gourmet deli chock full of marked up delights.

Farmshop features a gourmet deli chock full of marked up delights.

Shaherzad

  • February 24, 2014 5:02 am

Fesenjan - Sauteed Ground Walnuts in Pomegranate Sauce with Chicken and Rice

Fesenjan – Sauteed Ground Walnuts in Pomegranate Sauce with Chicken and Rice

Shaherzad is one of the many Persian restaurants on Westwood boulevard and like the others I’ve been to, it’s great for a tasty, quick and filling lunch or a nice leisurely dinner.

But I don’t live near Westwood, so screw dinner. Let’s talk lunch!

Whether you order a Kabob, a Koobideh or a Stew, you’ll be guaranteed a plate of rice that could feed an army of Kardashians. No one will leave hungry. Not even Khloe.

During the day, you can order half size orders (which are plenty for 4 peeps to share) of Hummus and the super tasty Shirazi salad to accompany the incredible flatbread you are given to nosh on.

The Fesenjan stew (walnuts and pomegranates) was both rich and tart, a nice accompaniment to the chicken and rice. It’s one of my favorite dishes of all time and Shaherzad does it proud.

The Chicken Koobideh was very solid, no complaints. I think I might prefer Beef Koobideh, however. Make a note of that, if you’re keeping track of my likes and dislikes for any reason.

Stalker.

I really loved the Shirin Polo, which is a big pile of that super long grain rice tossed with orange peel, pistachios, almonds, rosewater and saffron. Unique and festive. Just a touch on the sweet side, really goes well with any meat.

Shaherzad is larger and has a more casual decor than the other gals on Westwood, which probably makes it a more ideal lunch spot rather than dinner.

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Shirazi Salad - Cucumbers, Tomatoes. Cilantro with Lime and Olive Oil

Shirazi Salad – Cucumbers, Tomatoes. Cilantro with Lime and Olive Oil

Hummus

Hummus

Barley Soup

Barley Soup

Fesenjan - Sauteed Ground Walnuts in Pomegranate Sauce with Chicken

Fesenjan – Sauteed Ground Walnuts in Pomegranate Sauce with Chicken

Shirin Polo - Orange peels, pistachios, almonds, saffron and rosewater mixed with rice.

Shirin Polo – Orange peels, pistachios, almonds, saffron and rosewater mixed with rice.

Chicken Koobideh - Seasoned ground chicken rolled around skewers

Chicken Koobideh – Seasoned ground chicken rolled around skewers

DESANO PIZZA & BAKERY

  • February 21, 2014 4:53 am

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DeSano Pizza is a Nashville import specializing in Neapolitan style pies, authentic right down to the San Marzano tomatoes and pizza ovens using volcanic rock from Mt. Vesuvius.

This place is legit.

And has an amazing parking situation. Meaning, they actually have it. The free parking lot space is almost as big as the enormous, warehouse-sized restaurant! It’s a beautiful thing.

The vibe here is super casual. Order up front and move to the next room and find an gigantic communal table to sit at while they bring out your perfectly cooked pizza on a big cookie sheet.

This cookie sheet is your plate and the roll of paper towels provided is your napkin. Awesome.

I guess Pizza is the new BBQ. Which I have zero problems with.

Pizzas here are lightly sauced but there’s a condiment bar with minced garlic in olive oil, which I happily dipped my pizza bones in. In addition to the usual suspects (parmesan, pepper flakes) they also offer free peppadew peppers which are, forgive me for saying, super cute.

DeSano’s is on a blank stretch of Santa Monica Blvd, about as East Hollywood as you can get. Right across the street from a church.

I won’t make a church of pizza jokes, mainly because I can’t think of any.

4959 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 913-7000
desanopizza.it

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Notice how I accidentally caught Shia LaBeouf’s skywriting prowess above the restaurant.

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Pizza condiment station

Pizza condiment station

Toppings include diced garlic in olive oil and spicy peppers

Toppings include diced garlic in olive oil and spicy peppers

DESANO - Sausage, pepperoni, garlic, buffalo mozzarella

DESANO –
Sausage, pepperoni, garlic, buffalo mozzarella

DIAVOLA - Spicy salame, pepperoni, calabrian peppers, buffalo mozzarella

DIAVOLA –
Spicy salame, pepperoni, calabrian peppers, buffalo mozzarella

Close up of the Diavola pizza

Close up of the Diavola pizza

CAPRICCIOSA - Mushroom, artichoke, prosciutto, garlic, buffalo mozzarella

CAPRICCIOSA –
Mushroom, artichoke, prosciutto, garlic, buffalo mozzarella

MARGHERITA D.O.P.  -San Marzano tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil, garlic

MARGHERITA D.O.P. -San Marzano tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil, garlic

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BIANCA - Mozzarella, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, garlic, pecorino romano

BIANCA –
Mozzarella, ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, garlic, pecorino romano

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BONEYARD BISTRO

  • February 19, 2014 5:59 am

Chili Cheese Donuts

Chili Cheese Donuts

Some may consider upscale BBQ a travesty but I think it’s a trend that LA could use some more of.

This Sherman Oaks mainstay has it all. Traditional BBQ (ribs, brisket, pulled pork, all the sides) quirky appetizers (chili cheese donuts and pulled pork dumplings) and creative burgers (they have a spicy “Burn In Hell” that comes with a “no refunds” warning) and BBQ-esque entrees (Jerked Mahi Mahi Tacos and Blackened Catfish).

Even full salads in case you’re with a dame on a diet.

I can’t think of a single dish we didn’t enjoy.

I know reviews are mixed on the Chili Cheese donuts, but they really worked. They’re not sweet but what’s not to love about chili crammed into a cream puff (without the cream) and topped with cheese?

The deep fried mac and cheese are a MUST order.

The Pulled Pork Dumplings were nice and smokey – a good sized appetizer for sharing. Comes with a nice side of cole slaw.

The Spicy Ahi Tuna Tacos weren’t very spicy and could use a bit more ahi, but they were still tasty. I wouldn’t choose them over anything else, however.

The St. Louis Ribs were tender and not too fatty and the Tri Tip was served thinly sliced, which my veneers appreciated. All the meats had a nice smoke to them and the portions were ample.

Like almost everywhere in the Valley, parking was easy, the restaurant was spacious and the service was friendly.

I would definitely come back and try one of the other 75 menu items I was drooling over.

13539 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 906-7427
boneyardbistro.com

Bread and Cornbread

Bread and Cornbread

2 Way Combo

2 Way Combo

Cross section of the fried mac and cheese

Cross section of the fried mac and cheese

Chili Cheese Donuts

Chili Cheese Donuts

Ahi Tacos

Ahi Tacos

Pulled Pork Dumplings with cole slaw

Pulled Pork Dumplings with cole slaw

Fried Mac and Cheese

Fried Mac and Cheese

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LALA’S

  • February 17, 2014 5:57 am

Milanesa Napolitana -   thinly cut steak, breaded & lightly fried, topped with basil tomato sauce & melted cheese, served with mashed potatoes

Milanesa Napolitana –
thinly cut steak, breaded & lightly fried, topped with basil tomato sauce & melted cheese, served with mashed potatoes

Lala’s opened up 17 years ago and has been packed full ever since.

Seriously, the place is never empty.

It’s Argentinian, which means meat and potatoes. Simple enough to keep butts in the seats, I guess.

Now, I haven’t been here in about ten years. I think I liked it back then, but is it still good?

Well….the mashed potatoes are!

And the free bread with chimichurri sauce is always a treat.

The meat in both dishes was nicely seasoned but a bit tough. Tough meat is a pet peeve of mine, so I think I need to bump this place down to 2 buns.

Sorry Lala’s, but I just don’t get why you’re still around, I’m hoping that tonight’s chef was in the bathroom with the runs, while the steaks were on the grill.

Hope your stomach is feeling better, sir/madam!

7229 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 934-6838
http://www.lalasgrill.com/

It is never not packed at Lala's

It is never not packed at Lala’s

Baguette with Chimichurri sauce

Baguette with Chimichurri sauce

Entraña al Ajo - Steak with Garlic and Parsley and Mashed Potatoes (their signature dish)

Entra̱a al Ajo РSteak with Garlic and Parsley and Mashed Potatoes (their signature dish)

REPUBLIC OF PIE

  • February 13, 2014 6:40 am

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Pie.

I’ve only met one person who doesn’t like pie.

And the reason that person doesn’t like it, is the reason most people DO like it.

The crust.

This person is insane and I know she reads my blog and I’m fine with the consequences of my words.

Sorry Nancy, you know you’re a minority. 🙂

Ok, so Republic of Pie kind of reminds me of what would happen if you relocated the Central Perk coffee shop from “Friends” to Portland but then made all the dowdily dressed Portlanders leave.

Yes, we realize Portland is the best city ever, but you’re still not welcomed here.

You’ll go to the counter, order your trendy Stumptown coffee (the reason for my Portland reference) and the obligatory piece of whatever sweet pie strikes your fancy (and one of their savory pot pies, if you’re feeling piggy) and then find a random couch or sturdy wooden chair to plop your butt into.

The pot pies are tasty but kind of a copout. I prefer traditional pie crust and these are basically a coffee mug filled with tasty filling and topped with a puff pastry disk.

I mean, I’ll eat it and enjoy it. But maybe call it something else. Mug Puff Pie or something. Be creative.

Both the sweet pies we tried were absolutely delicious and a good sized portion, too. Since I’m a piggy and that’s important to me.

I also enjoyed the fruit and herb infused waters to choose from. Cuz I’m a health nut.

This place is definitely worth the trip to the Valley, if you are not my super weird friend who doesn’t like pies and will probably be leaving me a nasty comment below.

11118 Magnolia Blvd
San Fernando Valley, CA 91601
(818) 308-7990
republicofpie.com

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Delicious!

Delicious!

There are a variety of fruit/herb infused waters to choose from. These containers are popular now and teach lessons in patience since the water drips out at a snail's pace.

There are a variety of fruit/herb infused waters to choose from. These containers are popular now and teach lessons in patience since the water drips out at a snail’s pace.

This place has a casual, coffee shop vibe. Love the couches.

This place has a casual, coffee shop vibe. Love the couches.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Thanksgiving Pot Pie - Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving Pot Pie – Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce

Marionberry Pie

Marionberry Pie

Banana Chocolate Cream Pie

Banana Chocolate Cream Pie

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CASA VEGA

  • February 12, 2014 5:01 am

Burrito Empanada with Carnitas (LOOKS LIKE VOMIT)

Burrito Empanada with Carnitas (LOOKS LIKE VOMIT)

Casa Vega is like the El Coyote of the Valley. Except with much better margaritas.

Opened in 1956 by Rafael Vega (after the success of his parents Olvera Street restaurant opened over 20 years prior) with his daughter Christy now running the show, Casa Vega is a dimly lit yet festive way to gorge on Mexican comfort food and better than you’d expect margaritas.

Of course, we only tried the fruity ones, assuming the regular ones would suck. Those might suck, but the girly ones do not.

We went on a Wednesday evening, fairly early. This place was packed shortly after. This place is always packed apparently.

And a big Kardashian hangout. Be forewarned.

We were pleasantly surprised by how good the food was. Then again, we both ordered Chihuahua-sized burritos slathered in melted cheese alongside a healthy dollop of sour cream and guacamole.

Is it “authentic”? What does that really mean? Do I only enjoy ethnic cuisine that is authentic?

Hell no!

Sometimes I’m just not feeling entrails.

It’s authentic Americanized Mexican food! Which, by the way, has a very warm place in my overweight heart.

A flying saucer-sized, too-hot-to-touch plate, piled high with enchilada/taco/burrito/taquito and the obligatory rice and beans. What’s not to like??

Is this what people in Mexico eat? Who cares, as long as it’s tasty.

FYI, Burritos ARE the traditional food of Cuidad Juarez, Mexico.

Juarez burritos are just one or two ingredients, whereas the burrito most popular today (Mission Burrito) contain a crapload of stuff.

Burritos are one of the most popular dishes in American for a reason. They’re damn good.

Do I want to eat that kind of food on a regular basis? My doctor would strongly advise against it.

But the service at Casa Vega is very friendly (albeit a little on the slow side), the girly margs are tasty and the food is tasty and decadent.

Here’s to another 50 years of fattening up the Valley. Authentically.

13301 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 788-4868
casavega.com

Frozen Raspberry Margarita

Frozen Raspberry Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

Burrito Ranchero

Burrito Ranchero

Fried Ice Cream

Fried Ice Cream

The rare moment when a table was empty.

The rare moment when a table was empty.

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TRATTORIA NEOPOLIS

  • February 10, 2014 5:37 am

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A few months ago two of my favorite people gave birth to an amazing baby. And just so you know, this baby is probably better than yours.

Right before the Captain gave birth (and I’m talking a week before), I was fortunate enough to have been asked to take some pregnancy photos of them at Huntington Gardens.

Just as we finished paying admission and were about to set foot into the gardens, security stopped us.

“Well, when I see a grown man carrying a dress, I assume it’s for a photo shoot” he told us.

Captain grew quite upset, naturally. We all thought the no photoshoots rule was pretty ridiculous.

After seeing how disappointed we all were, the guard acquiesced and told us to keep it on the downlow and not flash the camera around.

This was often difficult as our actions began to draw some attention and it’s not like we are a quiet bunch.

I assumed a physical altercation and an arrest were imminent. And I’m talking about the mother-to-be.

In the end, everything worked out and mama got some food in her belly.

As thanks, they took me out a lovely dinner in Pasadena at the Trattoria Neopolis.

Only one problem. I forgot to write this post after the meal so I’ve completely forgotten my food notes.

This may sound like a bad sign, but I remember the pizza being really good, which is why I gave it prime placement at the top.

I do remember we enjoyed everything, I don’t recall any specific stinker in the bunch.

I’m the worst food blogger ever.

To make up for it, I included several of the photos from the Huntington shoot so you can witness how happy these two people are to be bringing a new life into this world.

I was very happy that I would soon be eating pizza.

336 S Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 792-3000
trattorianeapolis.com

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Fococcia Table Bread

Fococcia Table Bread

Steamed Mussels – Garlic, Calabrian Chili, Torn Mint, Butter, Lemon Zest

Steamed Mussels – Garlic, Calabrian Chili, Torn Mint, Butter,
Lemon Zest

House Made Lamb Sausage - Fresh Mozzarella, Preserved Lemons, Calabrian Chili, Fresh Mint

House Made Lamb Sausage – Fresh Mozzarella, Preserved Lemons,
Calabrian Chili, Fresh Mint

Agnolotti - Butternut Squash & Ricotta Filled Agnolotti, Spice Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage, Amaretti Cookie

Agnolotti – Butternut Squash & Ricotta Filled Agnolotti, Spice
Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage, Amaretti Cookie

Pomodoro - Spaghettini, San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Grana Padano Cheese, Fresh Basil

Pomodoro – Spaghettini, San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Grana Padano
Cheese, Fresh Basil

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Whole Grilled Branzino – Charred Lemon, Salsa Salmoriglio, Sea Salt

Whole Grilled Branzino – Charred Lemon, Salsa Salmoriglio,
Sea Salt

Branzino - Tableside filet action

Branzino – Tableside filet action

Marion and August Kammer

Marion and August Kammer

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flower

laughing

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MR. BAGUETTE

  • February 7, 2014 5:17 am

#1 Special - Ham, Garlic Sausage, Pork Meatloaf, Head Cheese and Pate

#1 Special – Ham, Garlic Sausage, Pork Meatloaf, Head Cheese and Pate

After hitting two Pho spots, we finished our Vietnamese day in El Monte with a Banh Mi, Vietnamese sandwiches.

If you’ve never had one, you’re missing out and if you have, you should probably have another one very soon. Maybe get one for lunch today. Consider that more a demand than a request.

Mr. Baguette is one of the more higher end Banh Mi spots, so prices were about a $1 or 2 higher than a place like Baguette City. Oh well, it’s certainly cheaper and better tasting than any sh*tty sandwich from Subway.

All the of Banh Mis we tried today were tasty but I most enjoyed Tenille’s chicken. Highly recommended. Unless the thought of chicken repulses you, and in that case, you can just go to hell.

Remember, you’re getting this for lunch today, so hurry up and then tell me all about it. I’ll wait.

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Mr. Baguette is one of the more expensive Banh Mi joints, but it's still crazy cheap for a sandwich.

Mr. Baguette is one of the more expensive Banh Mi joints, but it’s still crazy cheap for a sandwich.

8 Inch Pork Meatloaf and Egg with Pate

8 Inch Pork Meatloaf and Egg with Pate

8 Inch Chicken

8 Inch Chicken

Grilled Pork

Grilled Pork

Banh Mis are meant to be enjoyed with friends.

Banh Mis are meant to be enjoyed with friends.

Freshly baked french baguettes

Freshly baked french baguettes