The Unvegan

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Living in a House of Wings
Burger Time at B.S. Taqueria
Home-Style Hot Pot at Lu Gi (CLOSED)
Element-al Hot Pot

‘Meatballs’

Masters of Taste 2017

Slightly different angle than the one I had for the 2004 Rose Bowl Game…

Ah, the fabled Rose Bowl. Host of UCLA football games, THE Rose Bowl, a monthly flea market and now the annual Masters of Taste. As a blogger extraordinaire, I was invited to cover the event, which took place on May 7th and I found it a much easier way to set foot on the Rose Bowl field than winning the Big Ten Championship (and some might say it was much harder than winning the Pac-12 Championship, huzzah!). Food and drink vendors appeared from all over LA to help bring in money for Union Station Homeless Services. It’s a good cause, and surely the now two-year old event is doing a much better job of drawing in money than the annual gala did before it. But enough, let’s talk food.

Semi-South at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern

Oh so shiny.

A short time ago, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern opened up a location in Santa Monica. On it’s own, this can be seen as a good thing, but an even better thing is that I was invited out to check the place out and give it a review. I happily accepted and set off for the place where the land meets the sea (well almost, Jimmy’s is a few blocks inland).

Tender is the Night at Via Veneto

Succulent balls of meat.
Succulent balls of meat.

It’s not often that a fancy restaurant like Via Veneto invites you to check them out as a blogger. But alas, I found myself a few tables away from Zach Galifianakis ready to take down some of the fanciest Italian food in Santa Monica. It began with a couple of glasses of champagne and then we moved on to the real deal.

Back in the Pie Life Again

The name says it all...
The name says it all…

I will be the first to admit that I had a West Side bias when I made the move to Pasadena. I figured I would spend a whole lot of time on that side of town for meals out, but over and over again Pasadena has impressed me. Perhaps most impressive of all is the pizza scene, with The Luggage Room and Pizza of Venice already tackled by yours truly, I finally set my sights on Pie Life Pizza.

A Late Slice at Baker’s Pizza

Great late-night choices.
Great late-night choices.

After a long evening of drinking in New York City, the only reasonable thing to do is grab at least one slice of pizza. Such is what I did in the East Village when I essentially stumbled into Baker’s Pizza. As fate would have it, I ran into my drunk friend on his way out (he had left the bar five minutes before), which convinced me that I was in the right place. Just like all pizza by the slice places in New York, there was a display case showcasing the available pies and my eyes wandered to the one topped with meatballs and ricotta.

Palestinian Eats at Conflict Kitchen (REBRANDED)

Such conflict.
Such conflict.

EDIT: As Conflict Kitchen is always changing, it is no longer Palestinian, but it may be again some day.

Conflict Kitchen in Oakland has a pretty cool concept: shine some light on countries the US has conflict with by dishing out food from that country. The menu changes here and there and in the past has featured the likes of Venezuela and North Korea, but the current version has caused more controversy than any previous iterations. Of course, this might have been expected when you start serving Palestinian food.

Balls of Glory at Sienna Mercato’s Emporio

Sometimes you just need some balls.
Sometimes you just need some balls.

Over in Downtown Pittsburgh is a pretty cool spot called Sienna Mercato. Instead of relegating itself to being just one restaurant, it’s instead divided into 3 floors, with the bottom one called Emporio and dedicated to the art of meatballs. As a lover of meat, this clearly sounded great to me so we paid a visit to the bottom floor.

Pizza Time at Cafe Restaurant Dades Services

It's okay because of the kefta.
It’s okay because of the kefta.

On the way to the Dades Gorge, we stopped at a place called Cafe Restaurant Dades Services in Kalaat M’Gouna. Or at least that was the name of the sign that hung over the place next to the gas station where we ate. Most likely it was just a list of all the things the place offered, but it at least served as a name for me.

Rocking the Kasbah at Restaurant L’Oasis D’Or

The shareef don't like it.
The shareef don’t like it.

For any fans of The Clash that have wondered what a casbah (or kasbah on Morocco) is, the answer can be found at Ait Ben Haddou, the biggest kasbah in all of Morocco. And after we rocked it we were in need of some food and found ourselves at Restaurant L’Oasis D’Or. The menu had items I had already tried out and one that had yet eluded me.