Once upon a time, I brought you Belcampo’s burger from the Grand Central Market in Downtown LA. It was a solid burger and one that I would absolutely eat again. Yet, when I found myself armed with a gift card sent to me by the good folks at Belcampo themselves*, I just had to make my way to the Santa Monica location for a full-on DineLA Restaurant Week experience.
People in Southern California if not obsessed with In-N-Out Burger, a pretty great fast food burger spot that can now be found throughout the American Southwest. Having lived here for many years, I can understand to a certain extent, but the utter rejection of objectively superior burgers will always boggle my mind. It is that world in which CaliBurger has decided to enter and it’s probably important to take note of CaliBurger’s history.
In my mind, LA is the burger capital of the world, churning out delicious burger after delicious burger. Thus, it is no surprise that Burgerim, a place with its roots in Israel and a global presence decided to have a go at Hollywood. I was fortunate to be invited to its Grand Opening to try out the goods.
Sierra Madre might be one of LA’s best-kept secrets. Tucked away just east of Pasadena, the town features an old school Main Street reminiscent of the supposed good old days. And just like many little towns of its type, there isn’t a whole lot to. Yet, there are at least a couple of restaurants and bars and we decided to try out Corfu, a Middle Eastern spot.
It seems like every day brings the world a new food festival. Some may say there are too many, but I say that is crazy talk and then go on my way to eating at another. The LA Food Fest is one of the biggies and took place this past weekend in Exposition Park – right next to USC making it easy for Metro-goers. As media I got in an hour early and took the time to figure out what looked good, with the help of my trusty assistant.
I will be the first to admit that I had a West Side bias when I made the move to Pasadena. I figured I would spend a whole lot of time on that side of town for meals out, but over and over again Pasadena has impressed me. Perhaps most impressive of all is the pizza scene, with The Luggage Room and Pizza of Venice already tackled by yours truly, I finally set my sights on Pie Life Pizza.
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.
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.
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.
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.