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

‘Downtown LA’

Chowing on Some Ugly Drum Pastrami

Slicing up.
Slicing up.

In a city filled with all kinds of fun events, one event (aside from a plethora of farmer’s markets) can be counted on every week. It’s Smorgasburg, which originally started over in Brooklyn, and it’s kind of like a miniaturized, hipster version of 626 Night Market. On my first venture, I made my way to Ugly Drum Pastrami.

LA Mag’s Best New Restaurants 2017

Burnin' for you!
Burnin’ for you!

The latest issue of Los Angeles Magazine boasts an impressive list of the 10 Best New Restaurants in LA. But the magazine went one step further and set up a celebration at the Architecture and Design Museum downtown to feature a number of them, as well as a few other restaurants. Thus, I made my way there to see what passes for “best” and “new” these days. Here are the highlights:

The Bestia of What’s Around

Burrato and then some.
Burrato and then some.

LA isn’t an easy place to have sustained success. And I’m not just talking about the entertainment industry, I’m talking about food. You see, one day you can’t get a reservation at a place and the next it’s being replaced by a hot new thing. Yet, there are exceptions, like In-n-Out. But also Bestia, an Italian spot downtown that still requires reservations months out.

Putting on the Fritzi

Fritzing chicken.
Fritzing chicken.

A lot changed in Downtown LA while I was gone for two years. The Arts District, which is adjacent to Little Tokyo, had already had a bit of a resurgence that has kinda blown up. On top of that, Chef Neal Fraser, who is behind BLD, has popped out a couple new spots. When you combine these, you get Fritzi, which is like an affordably upscale fast-casual concept (yeah, I said it).

A Butcher Burger at Belcampo

Basic. Bitch.
Basic. Bitch.

It’s amazing that the sight of a new burger still excites me. It’s even more exciting when you consider that I had eaten burgers for my two prior meals before setting my sights on Belcampo at the Grand Central Market. Yet, the Belcampo Burger drew me in and the inevitability of another burger meal became apparent.

Beers and a Burger at Yard House

Not a beer.
Not a beer.

Yard House is one of those places that, before entering, you can’t decide if you want to love or hate. On one hand, it has one of the biggest beer selections a bar can possibly have and bar food to go with it. On the other hand, it’s more than a little bro-ish. Yet, the first hand was the dominant hand and I entered the LA Live location hoping for the best.

A Juicy Breakfast at Eggslut

Slutty diners.
Slutty diners.

I have always been a fan of downtown LA’s Grand Central Market. And while the place is flush with old school spots that I have reviewed in the past, there are now new school spots intermingling with the old in perfect harmony. One of these goes by the name of Eggslut. How it got this name may forever be a mystery (well, at least the “slut” part), but it is undoubtedly a hit that draws crazy lines on the weekends at prime brunch hours.

Eating CreativEats

From a truck!
From a truck!

It has been an admittedly long time since I have eaten from a food truck, let alone one in LA. Yet, while the fad has ended, there are still plenty of food trucks to chow down with as the truck still offers a low-cost entry into food-slinging. One such truck goes by the name of CreativEats and breaks essentially all (two)┬árules I thought necessary for a food truck’s survival.

A Mexi-Sandwich at Torta Company

Oh that's how you say sandwich in Mexican.
Oh that’s how you say sandwich in Mexican.

Sandwiches are not all created equal. Sometimes they aren’t even called sandwiches. Take the torta, for instance, which is Mexican for sandwich and is different from your normal sandwich because of the flatbread they use. At the Fig at 7th shopping center in Downtown LA the whole food court has been revamped in the past couple years and one of the new places is the Torta Company, from the makers of Loteria Grill.

A Solid Bowl at Orochon Ramen

View from the top.
View from the top.

It’s pretty well-known that Little Tokyo is now home to some of the best restaurants in LA. One of these is better-known for their spicy ramen challenge perhaps moreso than how good their ramen actually is. This place is Orochon Ramen, which can be found in one of Little Tokyo’s mini malls and I set out to try their non-crazy-spicy ramen to see how it held up.