The Unvegan

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Simplethings for a Simple Man

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Not such simple garnishings.

I like to think of myself as a simple man. My needs are simple and if you’ve noticed by my food blogging, I am often happier with a simple, well-executed meal that gourmet nonsense. Because of this, I was intrigued by Simplethings in Mid City despite the fact that they took a seemingly simplistic name and made it into one word. Simplethings bills itself as a sandwich and pie shop (restaurant), which both also seem simple, but not here.

A Grand Grilled Cheese at Grand Lux (CLOSED)

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Mmm, grilled meat sandwich.

EDIT: This Grand Lux is dead, but you can find others in different states serving the same old thang.

Sometimes you are so hungry you’ll eat anywhere. Well not just anywhere, but the place closest to you that seems to have good food. Such was the case when I found myself eating at the Grand Lux Cafe in Beverly Hills. This is not meant to knock the place, but simply to say that this place has never been on my to-eat list and I probably never would have sought it out. To tell you the truth, the name simply sounded like an overpriced fancy restaurant and not what it truly is – a Cheesecake Factory with a different name.

Not Addicted to Chili Addiction

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I’d like some chips with my salt.

My quest for challengers to the Chili John’s and Coney Dog empire of LA chili led me to Chili Addiction in West Hollywood. Their menu of insane chili concoctions really pulled me in the first time I saw their menu online and I really thought I had found myself a contender. I convinced my buddy to give it a try with me, both for company and so we could get multiple things to test out.

Dining in Cooks County (REBRANDED)

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Say cheese!

EDIT: Cooks County is now running around town going by the name of Market Provisions. No idea what that means for the food.

You may think that as a meat blogger I am constantly defining which restaurants my girlfriend and I eat at. Often that is the case, and for no other reason than that people are constantly giving me suggestions, but this weekend we reversed the trend and she took me out to dinner at a place from her own to-eat list. The place was Cooks County in Mid-City and although a quick Google search will reveal no county named Cooks, there is certainly at least one Cook County (in Illinois), which may be some sort of basis for the naming of this restaurant.

In the Woods with Simon LA (CLOSED)

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It’s the truffliest.

To celebrate yet another Dine LA Restaurant Week, we found ourselves at Simon LA in the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills. I’m not usually one for restaurant ambience unless that ambience is dingy and dirty, but I really appreciated the way that Simon LA was decorated. In our little booth, we were seated near the middle of the restaurant, yet felt like we were in our own little world because the booth was half-surrounded by some really cool woodsy decor. Not like backwoodsy, but modern and classy. I looked at both the Dine LA menu and the regular menu, then quickly came to conclusion: Dine LA was dead to me.

Sketching Out at Hollywood Pies (RELOCATED)

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Best storefront ever.

EDIT: I haven’t been back since they moved into a real place, but the experience here was so special I’m not sure it’s worth it.

You make a call and show up in a back alley 45 minutes later. When you arrive, your guy comes out carrying about five pounds worth. You hand him your cash, then take your purchase wherever you want and inhale it. If this sounds like a drug deal to you, get your mind out of the gutter. Unless your drug is pizza, in which case you should head to this back alley in West Hollywood immediately. This is the way it works for Hollywood Pies, the sketchiest pizza place in LA you’ve never been to. You may have eaten their pizza, and you may have even picked up their pizza, but you have never been there because there is no “there.”

The Over-Peppering of The Capital Grille (CLOSED)

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Just look at all that pepper.

EDIT: This location is gone, but you can find the same over-peppered steak at The Capital Grille elsewhere.

Found in or around malls all around the country, The Capital Grille is a reliable, upscale steakhouse and I’ve never met anyone who isn’t a fan. So the combination of the girlfriend’s parents visiting and an awesome coupon led us to grab some dinner at the aforementioned grille. Despite having a reservation, we still ended up waiting a good 15 minutes for our table, then finally took our seats.

More Soup than Dough at Doughboys

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Yes that is a giant bowl of soup.

On a beautiful morning, I got a call from my buddy who wanted to grab some brunch. He suggested Dougboys over in Mid-City. From what I’ve heard of Doughboys, I expected there to be a huge line, so I wasn’t too into the idea, but we still decided check it out with the intention to go somewhere else if the line was long. Fortunately, we found a manageable line and the fact that there were only two of us made the wait just about 5 minutes.

Ignoring Fortune at P.F. Chang’s

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Minus gluten. Plus vegetables.

To many people, P.F. Chang’s is just phony, mainstream, American Chinese food. And for all those things, I agree. But in truth, my last trip to P.F. Chang’s was about ten years ago and since the girlfriend and I were given some lovely little gift cards to the place, it was time to pay the Changster a visit. We walked in on a Friday night and found the place surprisingly empty. I know it’s a recession and all, but I would think that any decent restaurant in Beverly Hills should have a decent number of people on a Friday night. I guess not; we were seated immediately.

Brunching at Burger Kitchen (CLOSED)

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What the hell is on that bun?

Inspired by my own awesome burger list and having passed the new place last week, my girlfriend and I headed to Burger Kitchen on 3rd Street over the weekend. The place just opened two weeks before, so I figured it had worked out enough its kinks and was ready for a good old unvegan review. After looking over the 22 burgers (including one for $50 and another for $65!) for a bit and having a hard time deciding, the girlfriend discovered a great deal, The Champagne Brunch.