The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Semi-South at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
Wrapped in Delicious at The El Felix
The $25 Burger at The Spotted Pig
Eating Jongro BBQ in a Compact K-Town

‘Curry’

Showy Katsu at Humble Potato

Sweetness.
Sweetness.

Part of me feels like the whole fusion fad is behind us, but that just means that when a new fusion spot appears on the scene and gets good reviews it’s probably worth going to. Thus, the world has Humble Potato in Westchester (and Culver City), which merges Japanese and American food. Fortunately, they offer a whole lot more than potatoes.

Egotistical.
Egotistical.

Nonetheless, we ordered some regular fries and sweet potato fries just to see how humble they would be. Turned out they were pretty humble. Seriously, there was nothing extravagant about either potato as they both put up some solid flavor without trying to do too much.

As for my meal, though, I ordered the Katsu Sando, which is Japanese for chicken cutlet sandwich. It’s typically topped with HP and tonkatsu sauce, as well as some slaw, but I got the slaw on the side for the ladies at dinner with me. I also ordered a fried egg on the top along with some curry on the side for good measure.

Potato-free.
Potato-free.

The sandwich was more than just humble, which is good because it was not a potato. The cutlet was perfectly fried, there was just enough sauce on top and the egg was nice and runny. The curry was even pretty good, but not anything special, plus it was packed with veggies for no good reason. Nonetheless, I had never thought to eat chicken katsu as a sandwich and now I can’t comprehend not having that as an option. In that sense, Humble Potato did me good and I would love to get back and take down one of their Hambagas.

Pretty Panang at Chao Doi

The elusive orange curry.
The elusive orange curry.

It’s always important to have a solid Thai place nearby for when a) you want something delivered that is lighter than pizza, b) you have friends with dietary restrictions and c) you need some flavor in your life. Fortunately, I have Chao Doi nearby in Pasadena, which, after eating in the delivery style a number of times, I finally decided to dine in.

Jazzed Up at Jitlada

A Thai burger.
A Thai burger.

Few restaurants have been on my to-eat list longer than Jitlada, a Thai spot in the middle of Thai Town (which itself is kind of in the middle of Hollywood). The original plan was just to meet a couple of friends for some authentic eats, but we ended up biting off a lot more than we had planned for. You see, throughout the evening we had sporadic, then more significant conversations with Jazz, the woman (and Iron Chef competitor) behind the whole place.

Curry and Curry at Nine and Nine

A special lunch.
A special lunch.

Just off the main drag of South Lake in Pasadena is a little Thai spot that goes by the name Nine and Nine. What the name means is lost to me, but what wasn’t lost to me was their lunch specials for $7.50, which captivated me as I browsed the menu. Like most Thai places, the lunch specials menu was a small fraction of the whole, but it had curry and that’s all a guy like me could ask for.

A Green Meal at Verde Mesa

More like white table.
More like white table.

The name Verde Mesa is a little bit frightening for a restaurant. For one, it doesn’t really follow the rules of Spanish, weirdly translating into “table green.” The other reason it’s frightening is because of that whole “green” thing. It’s definitely a vegetarian-friendly spot, but it came with really high recommendations and the restaurant we really wanted was full.

Noodle Power at Smiling Banana Leaf

Just what I needed.
Just what I needed.

Pittsburgh isn’t exactly known for having a wide breadth of ethnic food. Nonetheless, the place continues to surprise in terms of variety. Take, for example, the Smiling Banana Leaf in Highland Park. In case you couldn’t tell by the name, the place is Thai and has a surprisingly interesting menu. I say surprising because while it’s relatively sizable like many Thai spots, some things I had never seen before.

Upping the Scale at Nicky’s Thai Kitchen

Winged out.
Winged out.

After many days abroad, one might think I wouldn’t jump right into another ethnic meal after returning to the USA. Well, you’re right, because my first stop was Taco Bell, but after that set my stomach straight it was time for a meal at Nicky’s Thai Kitchen in Downtown Pittsburgh. Nicky’s sits on the fancy end of the Thai spectrum, which is usually something I try to avoid because cheap Thai is awesome, yet I was willing to give Nicky’s a try.

A Mistake of a Zip

Mistakes were made.
Mistakes were made.

One thing I miss greatly about life in LA is the great Chicken Katsu Curry. So when a friend suggested we meet in Little Tokyo for lunch, I was excited by the prospect of getting some of that which I love. She suggested Zip Sushi and Izakaya and while I usually hate the prospect of sushi, the izakaya part intrigued me. Plus the izakaya part included Chicken Katsu Curry.