The Unvegan

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Digging a Toad Hole at Artisan House

Fire in the hole(s)!

It’s not easy to go across town for breakfast or brunch. Especially if you’re like me and consider noon to be the beginning of the day on a weekend. But, I managed to pull myself out of bed for brunch downtown at a place called Artisan House.┬áSurprisingly, it didn’t just have the kind of upscale brunch items I have grown used to, but a couple items I hadn’t seen before.

Burger Time at B.S. Taqueria

Nothing like a burger at a taqueria.

A lot of good things are happening in Downtown LA these days. One of these things is B.S. Taqueria, which is kind of like a spin-off from Broken Spanish, a restaurant that I have never been to and probably never will. Not surprisingly, it specializes in tacos. After a bit of a wait, we made our way to the back section that felt like eating outdoors at a taqueria in the tropics.

Burgerless at Umamicatessen (REBRANDED)

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Where the burgers at?

EDIT: Umamicatessen has become Umami Broadway and is more or less now just a glorified Umami Burger from what I hear.

The word “Umamicatessen” is quite a mouthful. And I’m pretty sure that’s what the people behind Umami Burger were thinking when they put together a deli in downtown LA. They were thinking, “We want to fill mouths with delicious deli food, while preserving the Umami name.” To me, that’s quite the name to maintain, because Umami is still my favorite burger in LA. Plus, while LA doesn’t have the big name delis of New York, there is still some stiff competition from the likes of Langer’s.

Alpaca in Style at Mo-Chica (CLOSED)

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Mo egg.

Originally situated near USC, Mo-Chica was a place I’d been wanting to get to for a while. The only trouble was that…well…why would I ever hang out around USC? Fortunately, earlier this year they moved to central Downtown LA to bring their Peruvian delights to a more cultured audience. I found my way to Mo-Chica for lunch and quickly found out they had themselves an interesting lunch special. And by interesting I mean that you couldn’t order any entrees without getting the lunch special. The lunch special included two sides and a dessert, which were different every day. In truth, they could have said all entrees come with two side items and a dessert, but for some reason the wording made me feel like I was somehow being cheated.

Parking at Garage Pizza

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Where happy hour becomes meaty hour.

What’s the first thing you think about when someone tells you you’re going to a place called Garage Pizza? Flying unicorns with laser beam eyes? Doing the backstroke through a sea of sour patch gummy worms? No, you think of pizza found down a shady back alley with a haggard old man selling you a grimy looking slice of pizza out of a homemade oven built from used industrial parts. Thankfully none of those are true (despite the fact that flying unicorns with laser beam eyes are pretty sweet and totally real) and I can happily say that Garage Pizza is a legitimate, mostly haggard-free, pizza establishment.

Cole’s

A menagerie of French dips.
A menagerie of French dips.

A friend told me that a restaurant called Cole’s was having a Grand Re-Opening in downtown LA. The restaurant has been around for 100 years, so to celebrate, they were offering 100 cent ($1) sandwiches, pecan pies and beers.

There was a line outside and red, white and blue balloons along the banister outside to greet friendly real Americans (meat-eaters). Signs outside Cole’s claimed that it was the “Originator of the French Dip.” Are we sure that France wasn’t the originator of the French dip? It stands to reason that it should be. It made me wonder if anything “French” was actually French. French fries certainly aren’t, neither is French’s mustard. Also, what does it mean to be the “originator“? Is that the same as the inventor or creator? Is it possible that Cole’s is the originator of the French dip, but someone else might be the inventor? It was a curious claim, and one that I almost forgot about when I finally made it through the line and entered the restaurant.