Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Doomie's-- NOW CLOSED

As of February, 09, Doomies is no longer open at this location. They may open up somewhere else; we certainly hope so!

686 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Not exactly local, but it's yummy and mostly vegan. Doomie's is serving up veg "comfort" food. Went to visit the other day for lunch and their fryer was broken, which is a total tragedy. Still, they heroically figured out how to fry up some fake chicken for us. Served with mashed potatoes (my friend remarked that they could have used a bit more "whipping") and cole slaw, the fake chicken was devilishly close to how I recall the "real thing" tasting. Which is both unsettling and delicious!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Earlez Grille: Dogs, Burgers, Sandwiches & Veggie

3630 Crenshaw Blvd. 90016, 323 299 BUNS
Well known for a number of delicacies including The Spicy Beef Hot Link (which I had) and the Veggie Chili Vegan Cheese Fries (enjoyed by LAA). Wow. The fixin's on the Link were perfect. The real surpise for meat eaters was the amazing Veggie Chili; it didn't have to be loaded on Fries with Cheese, but boy that was a "meat" eater's delight. We were there on a Tuesday, which meant we hit it on Skinny Fries day. If this were a contest, I'd say "Best in Show."
ps. No beef burgers, which is ok, and no pork products, which is also ok. They have a variety of dogs and links, veggie burgers, salmon burger, and all kinds of cake including Vegan Cake.

Monday, September 29, 2008

El Colmao

Considered by some the most authentic Cuban food in Los Angeles, El Colmao soldiers along, housed for nearly 40 years in an anonymous strip mall in the Byzantine Latino Quarter, far from the foodie frontera. El Colmao covers most of the Cuban basics, Bistek Empanizado, Picadillo, Pollo Ajo, and sides: fried plantains, mariquitas, garlic yucca, etc. In short, whatever your menu favorite at Lala's or the Versailles chain, you'll find it at El Colmao, likely for around 10 bucks.

As established in the Chipotle post, I'm a shredded beef guy, a machaca minion, so naturally my preferred order includes the Ropa Vieja, served in the traditional tomato based sauce with rice and black beans (or moros y christianos).

El Colmao sports an extensive beverage list, including things alcoholic and batidos. The flan was mediocre. The service at times...Cuban. The decor pleasantly outdated and clean.

El Colmao
2328 W. Pico Boulevard (near Magnolia)
Open 7 days a week

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chipotle (Part 2)

On the carnivore side of the aisle, Chipotle features a terrific barbacoa beef burrito. Barbacoa (from whence we get the word "barbeque") was introduced to Southwestern cuisine via Mexican settlers in Texas. Typically barbacoa is not marinated, rather sauces are added after cooking (similar to fajitas). Chipotle describes their barbacoa thusly: spicy, shredded beef, braised with our own chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano. Braising involves first searing the meat at high temperatures and then simmering, in a covered pan with sauce. Adobo means seasonings.

Chipotle offers barbacoa in the conventional burrito form (with beans), in a fajita burrito (with sauteed peppers and onions instead of beans), or in a bowl (sin tortilla). The cost of the burrito is reasonable ($5.95), but they extract a king's ransom for chips & guacamole ($2.40). The Figueroa location, as Lisa noted, is bustling, a lunch staple for students, Expo Park personnel, and cops. Sidewalk seating is available as is validated parking.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Manas Indian Restaurant

2823 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90007

When this place first opened, it was ALL VEGETARIAN. Although I'm still holding out for the LA City Council to expand their ban on fast food into a ban on meat, it hasn't happened yet and judging from the menu at Manas, there would probably be a riot. It wasn't too long after opening that Manas realized they couldn't survive in the carnivorous USC neighborhood without serving flesh, so they changed their menu to please the market.
Yes, it pissed me off, but I still go to Manas. The food is good, though not as good as it used to be, and there are a number of vegan choices. Last time I was there, I had the lunch special, some lentils, some other vegetable curry thing, rice and a salad. Very delicious.
Next door is an Indian market where you can buy vacuum packed Indian food, great for your earthquake kit or last minute meals.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Home Depot hot dog cart

Home Depot hot dog cart
1830 W Slauson Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90047

Sure, sometimes on a Saturday morning I go to the Santa Monica Promenade and get a latte and watch the people on their shopping trips with their fresh farmer's market produce. But other times, I would rather get some cheetos and a diet coke from the hot dog cart at the Home Depot and watch the people with their weekend project purchases.

The hot dogs are pretty good and they also have tacos and tortas.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crenshaw Fish Market

Crenshaw Fish Market
3407 Crenshaw (Crenshaw/Jefferson)
btwn the burger place and cell phone place
takeout only

The fish looks pretty good - and I am very alert to any suggestion of degradation or disease - 10 or 12 different species of fish and lots of it - so they must have a good turnover.

I got the $7.99 oyster dinner- fried oysters (coleslaw and macn'cheese with slices of bread). So many very rich oysters with a nice tartar sauce - couldn't eat them all.

Someone who eats fish should give them a try, cause it mostly fried fish (though also shrimp and oyster and wings). No vegan options.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Chipotle - USC
3748 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007

First of all, if you're going to eat here, order ahead online. You can create an account and create your burrito fantasy and then go pick it up without standing in the line from hell. Secondly, if you do order online, check your burrito before you come home. Last time I went there I got all the way home to find that my veggie burrito was a meat burrito. Disgusting. I was so pissed I can't even tell you.
Thirdly, this place uses naturally raised meat (whatever that means) and tries to be responsible with their food sourcing, so that's cool I guess.
Also, they sponsor a Tour de France team and we like that.
The veggie burrito is a bit bland, but if you heap up at least three kinds of salsa on it then it tastes OK.

La Taquiza

3026 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90007-3711
Phone: (213) 747-4849

It's right near USC, so I go sometimes when I'm at school. The only thing I've ever eaten from La Taquiza is the veggie burrito hold-the-cheese-and-no-sour-cream-please. It's pretty delicious and with the red salsa and some of those marinated carrots and a few radishes, it's even better. The only weird thing is that sometimes there is a chunk of meat hidden in the veggie burrito so if you are a super-uptight veg, maybe it's not the place for you. Usually they're careful, but it has happened to me on more than one occasion and it's pretty gross. Still, I keep coming back, so this must say something about the food.
I've watched other people eat meat here. They say it's yummy. Also, the chili relleno looks pretty good, and the specialty is mulitas, which is something I've never eaten.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Eastside Market

The Eastside Market Italian deli was established in 1974, and does a lunch only business. The menu is delightfully simple: four kinds of salad, a soup of the day, a fruit bowl, a lasagna or pasta (on Tuesday or Thursdays only), and 22 sandwich choices (8 hot, 13 cold). I forever alternate between hot sandwich choices #1 and #2: Italian sausage with cooked peppers and cheese (smothered in a thick tomato sauce), or Italian meatball (with same), served on Italian rolls.

There's plenty of seating, filled with downtown suits, police, firefighters, and delivery personnel. The atmosphere is collegial, with many watching ESPN telecasts, or day baseball. The sandwiches are "dos manos" in size, most costing $6.70. (Credit cards are accepted.)

East Side Market
Italian Deli
1013 Alpine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tim's Kitchen: Return to the 1970s for good food---at a good value

Tim’s Kitchen
Chinese & Cantonese Food
3125 W. Jefferson Blvd.
11:30 A.M.-8:30 P.M.

Before the food, the d├ęcor must be mentioned. After all, it’s the first “taste” of Tim’s you’ll take.
Circa 1970s spheres suspended from the ceiling will light your way through the culinary adventure…err… time warp. Especially since the place wasn’t crowded save for a couple filled booths, a waitperson and it was eerily quiet…I couldn’t help but wonder, have they been “expecting” me? (Or was it just that I arrived within an hour of closing time?!)

…crispy plastic booths promise a sturdy seat, little potted plants and Asian art dot the room.

And now for the food:

Black Pepper Chicken – love this; good quality meat and very black-peppery if you’re in the mood

Vegetable Chop Suey- nice mild taste; not too saucy or soupy (perfect complement to the above)

Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice- two great tastes that taste great together

AND, the place is complete with tofu. That said, there aren’t a lot of tofu dishes to choose from. Tim’s chef kindly made us a specialty-dish of tofu and broccoli. If you ask, I think he might do it again.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chef Marilyns Soul Food Express

You've driven by - on Crenshaw between Jefferson and Adams - and you've seen the line snaking out of this joint. You've said to yourself "Someday I'm gonna pull over and just get in that line and see what's at the end of it"
Marilyns Soul Food Express. 2638 Crenshaw Blvd. Very small space (no room for more than a couple of customers at a time inside). Take-out only. Straight-up soul food, smothered pork chops, fried chicken, roast chicken, meatloaf, catfish, macaroni and cheese, greens, red beans and rice, short ribs, CORNBREAD, etc, etc.
When you get inside, you can look at the chalkboard menu or at the pans of food behind the glass. When you are ready, a nice young woman with a clipboard will take your order. By the time you pay, your order is packed up for you. I had an order of roast chicken, red beans and rice and, of course, corn bread, which was enough food for two meals.
Also, they have that 7-up cake and lemon cake that you find at so many local restaurants (I'm a fan of the lemon cake - so sweet and so tangy!)
Fast, fine soul food.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vegan Village Internet Cafe

The Vegan Village Internet Cafe, billed as Soul/Mex vegetarian cuisine at its finest, occupies a titanic corner space, which doubles as a nightclub, at Pico and Norton. The menu includes soups, salads, wraps, smoothies, and tofu-based items. Beer and wine is served as well. I consumed a daily special, an extravagant, onion and bell pepper heavy stir fry over brown short grain rice. The portion was nicely large, the food satisfyingly prepared. The price, perhaps a bit steep at $15; still, the setting, with streamline moderne bar and churrigueresque detail, is arguably one of a kind.

Vegan Village Internet Cafe
4061 West Pico Blvd.
Open daily 11 am - 9 pm

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Eating at Home

Sometimes we can't figure out where to go to eat, and we end up eating at home. Then we say, "We're so glad we ate at home; it's so much better than any restaurant."
Last night we ate tomato salad from the garden, and kale and potatoes, sliced cucumbers, and a salad from the Hollywood Farmer's Market. Everything drenched in olive oil and salt. The tomato salad and kale also had garlic from the market and jalapeno peppers from 2 Star Bakery on Jefferson. Yum.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Superior Market

Corner of Hoover and Jefferson
University Village
(across from USC)

Supercheap produce. Always crowded so the turnover's good and it's always fresh. Not organic or anything like that. Good place to buy potatoes and maybe a few avocados and bananas. Last time I was there I got warm tortillas, too.

Addendum: Louis thinks that the produce here is bad. I maintain that potatoes and avocados are fine, but he bought some bad lettuce and thought the fruit didn't look so hot.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sabor A Mexico

2622 West Jefferson Blvd 90018
323 733 3083

Mexico City style.
Yummy deep fried quesadilla with flowers.
Veg tacos with zucchini and corn.
Huaraches are something you can't get everywhere and they're pretty good. They have a cactus sauce that's super and you can get them with or without meat.
Salsa is ridiculously yummy.
Sit on the sidewalk or call your order in.

Indulge Cafe


NW corner of Redondo and Pico
5101 West Pico
323 935-4333
Open for lunch and dinner, but they close at 7pm.

Former owner of Mo Meaty Meat Burgers.
Real meat burgers made with excellent burger craft. Yummy.
Veg burger pre-made patty but good fixins and fries totally delicious.
Everyone very nice.

Thai Food Express

1406 West 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213 483-6557
Closed Tuesday
(AKA 6th and Valencia)

We were downtown, but near home and hungry.
Inside scoop: the food is clean.
Outside scoop: the place is a bit worn.
Food: Excellent green curry with mock chicken. Very yummy pad kee mao. Can get food spiced from 1 to 6, 6 being spiciest. Curry had a bite at #2. Noodles incredible and very spicy at #4.