The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Burger and a Brew at Four Peaks
A Kick in the Gyro at Saba’s Mediterranean Kitchen
I Spy Thai Spices
Super Bowling at B2 Burgers and Brews

‘Cheese’

Japan Meets Italy at Ramen Yamadaya

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My, what yellow ramen you have.

Not too long ago (at least it feels that way), a new ramen place popped up in Culver City calling itself Ramen Yamadaya. It was around this time that I had been totally spoiled by the ramen of Tsujita, and while Yamadaya looked good, I wasn’t exactly in a rush to get there. This was a mistake, though, because when I finally got there, I had a feeling that this was going to be my go-to ramen joint.

Neal Barnard: Unvegan Villain

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This truck begs to differ.

Some people just can’t be satisfied until they have made everyone else unhappy. Neal Barnard is one of these people. Not only is he an advocate of the vegan (malnourishment) diet, he has now taken his attack upon humanity to the billboards.

In an all out attack on cheese, Barnard and his Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have unleashed a couple of billboards purporting to show the “negative” affects of cheese.

The Monte Cristo of Cafe Orleans

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These fries are frites.

On another fantastic trip to Disneyland, this one filled with wheelchairs and electric scooters rather than roller coasters, we ended up at Cafe Orleans for lunch. More upscale than your average Disneyland restaurant, Cafe Orleans is located in the heart of New Orleans Square, not far from Pirates of the Caribbean. Serving up French-influenced food, they had a good-looking menu with a couple unvegan options.

Getting Cheesed at Cobras & Matadors (CLOSED)

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Burrata cha-cha-cha.

Taking advantage of a special from Living Social, the girlfriend and I headed to Cobras & Matadors in Mid-City for a bit of a date night. The place specializes in tapas and is BYO with a slight corkage fee. We forgot the booze, so had to make up for it in food instead. The deal was for 70 bucks worth, so that meant we had a lot of tapas to eat. As usual, I eyed cheeses and meats, and was happy to be eating small plates because so much looked good.

Not My Kind of Gogi at Lee’s Philly (CLOSED)

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Fuse me!

Where the mac and cheese balls from World Fare were my appetizer at the Silver Lake Jubilee, I still needed to find myself a main course. After a long stroll around the trucks, I found myself at a truck that I had never seen before, called Lee’s Philly. Lee’s Philly is born of the same vein as many of the Kogi-style food trucks. Their specialty is gogi beef, but while they have fused it with tacos and burritos, they have also created a Philly cheese steak out of the stuff. Wording on their truck claims that they have “LA’s Best Gogi,” but I took it upon myself to be the true judge of that.

Haute Food at AOC

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Say cheese!

For the birthday of a special someone in my life, we headed to little French restaurant called AOC. You may be wondering what AOC stands for, and so did we. Apparently it is not some made-up acronym, but actually is the French version of the FDA, which makes it far more pretentious and Frenchier. We had a reservation and were seated immediately, as I would expect from the French. Our waitress, who had an indistinguishable accent that most certainly was not French, brought us our menus so we could figure out some foodstuffs.

Eating the Desert at Nick’s Coffee Shop

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Hmm what’s the ruling on cactus?

For a nice little Sunday brunch, the girlfriend and I headed over to Nick’s Coffee Shop at Pico-Robertson. Coffee shop is kind of a misnomer for this place, since it’s really more of a diner in the S & W vein. The place is pretty small, so there was a bit of a wait, which wasn’t a big deal on the sunny morning. By the time we took our seats, I was hankering for some food. I perused the extensive menu and found an omelet that looked pretty good to me. It was called the Cactus Omelet and the menu described it as being packed with nutrients. This was confusing, but then I saw that the ingredients included Hebrew National Salami and Jack Cheese. It came with a side, so I got myself some grits.

The First Melt at the Grilled Cheese Truck

So shiny and like-new
So shiny and like-new

The highly anticipated Grilled Cheese Truck finally rolled into town tonight and due to my frightening obsession with cheese, I made sure to greet the truck. In the tradition of other great ks before it, the unveiling took place at The Brig on Abbot Kinney. I arrived 15 minutes before the scheduled 8:00 start time and was shocked to find the parking lot at The Brig empty except for the shiny orange truck. Apparently, I was to be the first in line!

Doing the Arizona Restaurant Week at Bloom (CLOSED)

Oh cheesy joy.
Oh cheesy joy.

LA isn’t the only place in the world to offer a restaurant week. Arizona also flexed their restaurant week muscles last month. At $29 for a three-course meal for every restaurant listed (as opposed to LA, which has three different price levels), it’s important to pick the right place. They also note that the price is $58 per couple. Thank you, but I can do math. I know that 29 x 2 = 58, so if you’re not going to offer me some sort of couples discount, I really don’t see the point of showing me this. Mathematical anger aside, we decided to head to Bloom, a fancy American restaurant.

Umami Burger is All Grown Up

Like blood, but better.

The newest edition of Umami Burger opened up a couple weeks ago in Los Feliz and I got there as soon as I could to see if they could continue producing those same amazing burgers. The last time I went to Umami on La Brea, it was still BYOB and had yet to develop a burger built for unvegans. Even the so-called “Manly Burger” had onions, but they were still nice enough to make burgers for my unvegan specifications. Umami Ni, as I like to call the new Umami Burger (ni meaning two in Japanese), was a grown up version of the original.

Not only does Umami Ni serve beer and wine, they even have a bar called Salaryman (another Japanese homage) where they serve Asian beers for comfortable prices. Arriving at 9:00, I expected to be seated quickly, but the place still had a waiting time, so I headed over to experience Salaryman.