At first glance, Lucifer’s Pizza seems like a sort of one-trick pony. Their schtick is having multiple heat levels for their sauces, hence the name. They don’t wood-fire their pizza and like most local pizza places claim to have fresh ingredients. Yet, upon visiting Lucifer’s on Melrose for the first time, I found they were more than just a pizza place with spicy sauce.
For a while now, I’ve been hearing about this place in Hollywood called Griddle Cafe. “Go to Griddle,” they say. “You’ll like what you eat there,” they also say. “They make pancakes with anything in them,” they continue, and then I get excited. You see, I like me a pancake, but a regular pancake can only be so good. Usually it tastes the best after a night of binge drinking, and it doesn’t matter if it comes from a box mix or the nicest brunch restaurant in the world. But I got excited about Griddle and finally made it out to Hollywood to see what all the pancake hype was about.
After a long day of repenting and fasting, I needed a good Jewish meal to remind my body and mind what eating felt like. Since we were attending a comedy show later that night at The Laugh Factory, we decided to go to an ancient little deli next door called Greenblatt’s. And when I say ancient, I meant it’s been there since 1926. That means when my grandma was living in LA in the late ’40s, it was already old and she remembers its existence. To survive for 85 years anywhere, let a lone a big city where change is the only contant is quite impressive. I was eager to find out what kept Greenblatt’s ticking and to satiate my fully empty stomach.
As a Michigan football fan, it is often difficult to pull myself out of bed and get to a bar for those awesome 9 am games (12 pm for those in Eastern Time). Thus, if I am going to a bar and not watching the game in the comfort of my abode, food is key. Now, I am a big fan of bar food, but it is the rare bar that has delicious breakfast. This week, the bar of choice was The Parlor on Melrose and my number one hope was that Michigan would destroy San Diego State and my number two hope was for some delicious breakfast. I can tell you now that I got at least one of those (spoiler alert: Michigan was a victor).
Rick Bayless is apparently a pretty big deal, and not just because he got his PhD at the University of Michigan. No, he is actually a famous chef who specializes in Mexican food. Now, when I headed off to dinner at Red O, I was entirely unaware of both the existence of man named Rick Bayless and the fact
the Red O’s kitchen was run by him that he was Red O’s consulting chef. Clearly this was not going to be an everyday ordinary Mexican meal. The exterior had a design reminiscent of the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. The interior wasn’t too shabby either, but this style came at a price. One of our party was sporting khaki shorts and was nearly denied entry, despite everyone else in the restaurant wearing shorts. This almost knocked the place down a notch to me, but I was willing to forgive if they could deliver some amazing food.
EDIT: Irv’s has relocated, so the address here has as well. Hopefully not too much has changed.
Legend tells of a burger shack in West Hollywood. This legend says that this burger place has been around since 1950, but retains everything that made it great in that bygone era, with at least one great enhancement. This place is Irv’s Burgers and the enhancement is a little something special for every customer. This something special is that rather than giving you a number, the people behind Irv’s draw a little picture of you on your plate so they know who to bring each burger out to. This makes Irv’s a refreshing gem in the middle of the fast-paced cafes and generic boutiques of West Hollywood.
Countless times I have driven through West Hollywood and passed Astro Burger. In just about all of these situations, I have muttered to myself or to anyone in my car that I just need to try that place. Finally, after one of my rare drinking nights in West Hollywood, I had a golden opportunity to see what was inside Astro Burger.
About a year ago, a coworker of mine walked up to my desk, slapped a golden matchbook on it and told me I had to go to this restaurant. The restaurant he spoke of was called Gardens of Taxco in West Hollywood and despite the strange-sounding name, he told me it was amazing. One year later he is no longer a coworker of mine, but a Living Social deal popped up for the place and I took it as a sign from the tax gods that it was time for me to pay the Gardens a visit.
I’ve been meaning to head to The Foundry on Melrose for a while. Not only have I heard good things about the food in general, but I also heard that once upon a time The Foundry challenged Father’s Office to a burger taste test. I’m not sure who ended up winning that particular taste test, but I was happy to know that someone had the balls to challenge the pretentious Father’s Office. Finally, a 30% coupon from Blackboard Eats pushed me over the edge to finally visit The Foundry.
For her birthday, my roommate decided she wanted to turn one year older in a big, gay fashion. And what gayer place to go than to Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood? Unfortunately her day of birth didn’t fall on a Wednesday night for Drag Queen Bingo, so instead we settled for their Tuesday night all-you-can-eat Latino heat tacos. The prospect of unlimited tacos for eight bucks sounded great to me, but the place was called Hamburger Mary’s and I felt as though I needed some sort of burger.