Category Archives: LA Eats

In-N-Out’s best “Secret Menu” item ever


Robby and I found ourselves at In-N-Out over the holidays, ready to gorge on a meal of Double-Doubles, shakes and fries. I dove into that cheeseburger with full force, devouring half of it within a matter of seconds. Across the table, Robby was savoring his own burger, delicately pulling out strings of onion as he bit into his.

A Fine Dining Farewell: Saam at the Bazaar

When I first arrived here in 2002, a fresh-faced college student full of awe at the vastness of Los Angeles, food was the last thing on my mind. Up to that point, the fanciest meal that I had ever had was at a local steakhouse in South Bend, Indiana. It was a great steak in my 18-year-old opinion, cooked to a perfect well done and doused in plenty of A1 sauce.

Seafood Explosion: San Pedro Fish Market

If first impressions are everything, then San Pedro Fish Market may not have lasted more than the 50 years it has been in business. There’s a lot to be turned off by at first glance: the overwhelming crowds, long lines, a pervasive smell of raw fish, high prices, and pigeons and seagulls stalking your every move, waiting to pickpocket your shrimp at an unsuspecting moment. But, oh the food!

Restaurants I won’t find in NYC: La Casita Mexicana

I can’t blame New Yorkers for being a big fail on authenticity, but the thought of shredded beef tacos on flour tortillas has only served to increase my appreciation for great Mexican food. As part of my 20 Things to Do, I resolved to eat the O.G. Mexican before I left, and that meant a trip to La Casita Mexicana.

Polka Polish: Falling in love with white people food

My hometown of South Bend, Indiana had a strong Polish community and heritage, though as a precocious Asian American in a mostly white town, I was completely oblivious to this fact. (What can I say, all you white people look alike.) The extent of my Polish cultural knowledge was that 1) there was something called Dyngus Day where a lot of white people ate sausage, and 2) Polish food royally sucked, based on a wedding reception I attended many years ago.

Why I love Scoops… and not just for ice cream

Los Angeles, particularly the Eastside, has its fair share of outstanding ice cream shops. I’d never turn down anything with a Fosselman’s label on it, and I can easily be convinced to trek to Altadena (!) for some spoon-licking-good Bulgarini Gelato. But Scoops takes the win for my personal favorite shop, and is another thing that had to make the list of 20 Things to Do Before Leaving LA. So why Scoops?

Ricky’s Fish Tacos: What took me so long?

There’s not much I really need to say that the blogosphere hasn’t already said twice over, but I’ll basically break it down for those who aren’t familiar. Tender, flaky white fish. Light crispy batter. Fresh crunchy cabbage and pico de gallo. Spicy flavorful salsas to add some heat. A homemade crema made from mayo and milk to cool it all down.

Taron Bakery: The Best 90 Cents You Can Spend in LA

In my humble corner of the L.A. universe, where Eagle Rock meets Glassell Park meets Glendale, I’ve developed a solid rotation of cheap eats that I frequent, from Cacao Mexicatessen and Tacos Azteca to Spitz and Zankou and everything in between. But when it comes to true cheap eats, I’ve got a special place in my heart for Taron Bakery, a little Armenian spot on Glendale Boulevard.

Masters of Masa: CaCao Mexicatessen’s killer tortillas

At first glance, CaCao Mexicatessen, Eagle Rock’s Mexican deli and restaurant, looks like your typical mid-range Mexican restaurant, but it serves up some of the best and freshest handmade tortillas and sopes in town. The difference is in the freshly ground masa, the dough used to make tortillas.

Mo’ Mo-Chica: Update

I hinted that there would be more to this Mo-Chica feast than just my bragging about it, and here it is: a full review of fabulous six-course meal on Caroline on Crack. Thanks again to Chef/Owner Ricardo Zarate for putting it together just for our group.

Mo’ Mo-Chica

When I first wrote about Mo-Chica, my intention was to avoid writing a restaurant review. What could I say that hasn’t been said? Bolstered by glowing praise from heavyweights such as Jonathan Gold at the LA Weekly and now Patric Kuh of Los Angeles Magazine (get the November issue for the full review), Mo-Chica hardly needed two more shiny copper pennies.

Playing Hard to Get: Baracoa’s Arroz con Pollo

There’s a certain poetry to being a one-trick pony, so long as that one trick is flawless. You don’t go to Daikokuya Ramen for the sushi. You don’t go to Two Boots Pizzaria for the calzones. And likewise, you don’t go to Baracoa for any other reason than to devour arroz con pollo.

Squirmy and Squeamish: Raw Octopus & Monkfish Stew at Masan

I had been holding my breath in anticipation of this infamous dish, and with a quick whoooooosh of the lungs, a rush of “s” words started racing through my head. Squirmy. Squeamish. Squiggly. Squishy. Sticky. Slippery. Slimy. Sucky.

Shitty. I have to EAT this?

Gimme Mo-Chica: Discovering Peruvian cuisine

What’s in a nom? Why, it’s the contemporary Peruvian cuisine of Mo-Chica, a newish restaurant located in the Mercado la Paloma near USC. There’s usually a reluctance on my part to rush to any place swirling in the latest maelstrom of media attention — my first Kogi taco truck experience was two weeks ag0 — but how can you argue with the “Best Peruvian Ceviche” in LA, as deemed by the JGoldster?