The Unvegan

Featured Posts

Bacon Double Cheeseburger: Unvegan Hero
Straight Outta Compton at Bludso’s
Pasadena Poutine at Spudds
Duluth Grill’s Rolled Flank Steak

Feeling Like a Fat Choy

All the toppings!
All the toppings!

Las Vegas (and particularly The Strip) is a place of excess, and sometimes this only translates to excessive prices for subpar food. Yet, if you know where to look, you can find hidden gems much more common than winners in Black Jack. Fat Choy is one of these, located in the classic Eureka Casino, which seems to be a place made only for locals.

Leaning Towards Chicken at Hollywood Burger

All the feels.
All the feels.

I try to stay abreast of all new burger happenings around LA and it’s even better when I have a connection to one of them. This was how I learned about Hollywood Burger, which originated overseas, but finally opened in real Hollywood a couple of months ago. The manager treated me to a free meal, so I was able to pick out a few things to try out to see how Hollywood Burger would fare in a city full of oh so many good burgers.

A Step Up at Oo Kook

A fair welcome.
A fair welcome.

All you can eat Korean BBQ is one of the greatest things (not just food things) ever created. It’s meaty, it’s flamey and it is interactive-y. Yet, not all KBBQ spots are created equally, with some charging a bit more than others. Oo Kook in Koreatown is one of those places that goes beyond the $20 mark, but I was hoping it would be worth it.

Urban Plates in the Suburbs

Not a sandwich.
Not a sandwich.

In many ways, Pasadena is like a suburb to Los Angeles, but that didn’t stop Urban Plates from opening up just a couple weeks ago, perhaps hoping to reacquaint the people of Pasadena with urban life. Of course, there turned out to be nothing urban about the place, which was more like a mix of Lemonade and Tender Greens than anything else, both of which have outposts a short walk from Urban Plates.

Sunset Steak at Coral Gables

Yes, a bonus ribeye sounds great.
Yes, a bonus ribeye sounds great.

After attempting to grab dinner at the most popular spot in Saugatuck, Phil’s, we realized we couldn’t wait for a table and made our way to Coral Gables instead. The place was nearly empty, which we took as a bad sign for the food, however, it had a beautiful view of the Kalamazoo River so we knew it couldn’t be all bad.

A Greek-American Lunch at Tom’s

Like having a coney in Pasadena?
Like having a coney in Pasadena?

Throughout the LA area are places called Tom’s, Tommy’s and any other variety of that name. They all specialize in chili-covered food and while Tommy’s is supposedly the original, Tom’s has done pretty well for itself. Tom’s just opened up a Pasadena outpost that is pretty much a diner, but also claims to have Greek roots. Thus, I was hoping this could be like the Coney Islands of Detroit in my youth.

Middle Eastern Food Courting at Massis

That's so food court.
That’s so food court.

Food court food isn’t typically known to be great, but then food court food isn’t generally Middle Eastern. Massis has kind of built a food court empire around LA, dishing out mostly Middle Eastern food with a sprinkling of random things like Argentinean Skirt Steak and Idaho Trout. I found myself at the Santa Anita mall and went looking for kabobs.

Fried and Pulled at Braise and Crumble

So hip.
So hip.

Somehow it took me nearly a year of working in Pasadena to discover Braise and Crumble just down the street from my office. It’s truly shocking because after discovering the place one day, I was back just a couple days later to get in on it again. Because of that, you actually get to see how two meals unfolded at this place.

A Waffle Sandwich at Bruxie

Yes, that is a sandwich.
Yes, that is a sandwich.

While chicken and waffles are just about the most confusingly delicious combination of food. But there hasn’t been a lot of innovation in that dish for very long. Well, at least not until Bruxie came along, offering waffles as sandwiches. There are a number of options within the chicken category and plenty outside of it as well. I opted for what seemed to be their newest creation: Nashville Hot Chicken.