L.A. Super-Deluxe Wrap-up!
Posted by Tampa Bay Food Monster on January 15, 2011
and you thought i was done with the LA posts, didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU??! i’m sorry baby, i didn’t mean to scare you. you know i’d never hurt you. come here. come sit in my lap. there we go. now let’s take a look at a whole bunch of places i went to in LA, but didn’t deem “good enough” to write about at length. or properly document with photographs.
…this will be a valuable entry.
okay, so a quick overview. LA is filled with sights both wondrous and horrendous, and runs the gamut from lavish richness to shit town. i mostly stuck to “shit town”, as that is more my style, but there is something for everyone in LA. especially if your something is a.) DONUTS b.) frozen yogurt c.) boba! d.) mexican-style street foodstuffs. they also have other things, but i didn’t notice any of them. or maybe i did? i can’t remember, the whole time i was in such a MEDICINAL MARIJUANA HAZE that i may as well not have gone at all. but my glaucoma’s doing great!
i stayed near the infamous venice beach, upon which countless vendors (and alleged body builders) practice their craft, and sell their wares. and the whole place reeked of delicious legal pot. it was a unique experience. i avoided eating along the boardwalk, although did end up grabbing a slice of pizza in desperation at one point. it was regrettable.
over the course of my visit, i tried to hit up as many memorable or interesting places as i could, and though i already documented what i consider the best, there are a lot of other notables. unfortunately, i did not take pictures very often as my visit to the area was in order to catch up with an old friend, and i preferred spending my time talking rather than taking pictures. just try to imagine what i ate! or if you’d like, contact me, and i can send you a personalized photo of what the stuff i ate looked like post-digestion. i aim to please!
okay so this is one you may have heard of. or not! it’s a simple concept: fried chicken + waffles. that’s… that’s about all there is to it. no tricks. just throwing together two seemingly unrelated food items on one plate. and it couldn’t have made me happier. this place kicked so much ass. it was not a fancy place at all, but the staff was courteous, and the food was awesome. the chicken was perfect, home style fried chicken, hot and crispy. the waffles were pretty much just waffles, drenched in syrup. but it’s a comforting combination, and after the meal your left comfortable and sedate. just lovely.
this is a “healthy” dining type place, with salads and hot plates featuring tender cuts of steak, seasoned chicken, or fish, and other such dishes. the place is “good for you”. they use all locally grown produce, which is nice. you stand in line to order, going down the counter like you would at a moe’s. the food was quite good, even for someone who is not so health-conscious. it’s one of my friend’s favorite places.
del taco is a fast food chain, similar to taco bell. similar, but different. it’s like a bizarro world taco bell. apparently they’ve been around for a while, and began expanding out towards the east, but then the expansion dropped off, and they lost some restaurants, and now they’re very limited to the west. which is sad, too because i actually really enjoyed del taco.
i got three different kinds of tacos there: a macho taco (their main taco), a big fat taco (really called that, basically a taco in pita bread like a gordita at taco bell), and one of their tacos del carbón (a more traditional type of taco). they were all quite good, as i recall, even the taco del carbón, which i was leery of after eating taco bell’s abominable cantina tacos. ugh. but yes, i was very satisfied with del taco, and meant to return before i left. alas, i did not have the time.
okay, so whoever came up with this place is either a genius or an idiot. i’m going to go with genius. because why not! the idea is simple: macaroni and cheese. that’s it! you have four size options, you choose your noodle (either regular or gluten free rice), your base sauce (cheese or a soy cheese-type sauce), choose however man vegetables or meats you want, and a topper (a cheese blend or spicy toasted walnuts), and then they throw it in an oven and it comes out ready to eat. it’s so simple, and you can get a good variety going on with all their different toppings. they also sell grossly overpriced candy and sodas in glass bottles (a nice touch (the bottles, not the price)).
i recall being surprised at how much i enjoyed it. i’m not a big mac and cheese guy (unless there’s chili involved), but the toppings really made it worth buying. and they had some hot sauces available to use, including sriracha sauce, which was awesome. my only complaint is that they should have had waaaay more variety in the types of noodles (come on guys, it’s fucking pasta) and in the bases (different types of cheese base would be nice). and chili would definitely be a good addition. but the toppings were good, and i would go back. if i were in LA.
coogie’s beach cafe is where i met up with another friend, and afforded me the opportunity to drive out to malibu. i didn’t think much about it until i got on the pacific coastal highway, and i found myself in awe of the beauty of the coast.
it was a breathtaking sight, one that this picture does not do justice. sorry about that. eventually i got to the cafe, and unfortunately i have little to say about it. it was a nice place, definitely. kinda classy. i remember thinking all the people around us were uptight snobs, but i rarely don’t have that feeling. i got some sort of wrap, which i believe was good, but i was too engaged in conversation to really remember it well. the staff was nice enough to leave us alone for the duration of our stay (like four hours or something hilarious), though i do recall not getting enough to drink. i’ll give them a B, for beffort.
we wanted to try some hardcore taco truck tacos while i was there, because these things are everywhere. after doing a little online research, we decided to hit up el pique taco truck. and it was the right choice. we got steak and pork tacos, which were both good, but the steak taco was perfect. the steak was perfectly seasoned, perfectly salty, perfectly juicy, perfectly cooked. tender. incredible. best taco i’ve ever had. there was another taco truck on the same street, a few paces away, which we tried. it was alright. we then went back to el pique, and picked up some more steak tacos to go. god help me, it was the best.
i spent a lot of time wandering around little tokyo in downtown los angeles while i was there, which was really fun. it was an anime nerd’s wet dream. i spent my time browsing through all the shops, looking at all the different items for sale. i lost track of time, though, and i was unable to sit down at one of their restaurants and eat (i very much wanted to eat at one of their ramen noodle houses). not wanting to entirely miss out on the experience, i grabbed a thing of curry to go at curry house to go. the food was pretty good (i ate it all, and quickly), and it was decently spicy, but it had a very production line feel to it. it was not unique, and seemed to lack the love that i was hoping for. wouldn’t go back.
i also had to hit up one of the many popular yogurt places while i was there. we went to yogurtland, which featured about a million different flavors of yogurt, and a trillion different toppings. then they charged you based on weight, because it’s all self serve. i got a standard tart yogurt flavor and decked it out with all the toppings i could, completely losing the taste of the yogurt. it was awesome. (but nothing special.)
and of course, one of the donut places. californians apparently love donuts, because there was a donuttery on practically every street corner. it was crazy. i went late night after seeing weezer play at the universal gibson amphitheater, not yet ready to sleep. i found this place with their lights on, stopped by, and stepped in. i was greeted by an elderly fellow, asked for one of whatever their most popular item was, and got this:
it’s clearly not a traditional donut, as there is no hole. whatever it was, though, it was godly. it was still warm, the glaze was still wet, and it was possibly the sweetest thing i ever put in my mouth (…). oh god… it was buttery and basically melted in my mouth. after i finished it, i went into epileptic shock and passed out in my car. i was greeted by the morning sun, and the elderly gentleman from the shop telling me i had to leave. totally worth it.
i also went to a lot of boba places while i was there. they have a shit ton of them, and my friend and i love boba.
boba… in my sub shop? it’s more likely than you think. this is my friend’s go-to boba place, minutes away from his apartment, and serving up gigantic mugs of milk tea and boba for the same price you would pay for a regular boba tea anywhere else. the quality of their boba is high, and the tea was very good too. did not eat any food there.
we ended up having boba here after running out of time trying to find ten ren tea in chinatown. apparently ten ren is very high quality, but they close early (and we went there the next day before they closed to find them having entirely run out of boba… jerks). so we settled for this place. it was… disappointing. the boba was not a great consistency, and the tea was a bit powdery, as though it hadn’t been blended properly. we also got fried taro balls while we were there, some of which still had frozen centers, and none of which tasted that great (they would have benefited from a nice spicy dipping sauce). do not recommend.
this place was alright, found in koreatown. it was like a little hut (somewhat similar to got tea? in design), which was kind of neat. they only served two or three pre-brewed flavors of tea, unlike most boba places, which disappointed me. i always like to get taro milk tea, and that was not an option here. i settled for the classic milk tea, which was pretty good. the tea was very well blended, and their bobas were a different texture than i’m used to… a little chewier, and seeming a bit smaller than normal. not my favorite, but would be nice every now and then.
and here is the best boba i had in LA, possibly the best i’ve ever had. it was a cute little shop, with bold colors and comfortable seating. they had a full menu of different types of drinks, deviating slightly from a standard menu, but still including all the classics. their taro milk tea was perfect, thick and rich, and their boba was just how i like it: lightly sweetened, but solid. chewy. soft. little balls of joy. it was great. if i’m ever in the area again, i will return to this place.
and that’s it! i will never update about los angeles again! yaaaaay! but obviously i had a good time there, great visit and great food. maybe someday someone will read this entire review, and find at least one thing on here worth checking out. if not, fuck you! i didn’t ask you to come here! go away! leave me alone!!!
…no i’m sorry. i just get so excited sometimes. come here. let’s snuggle.
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