The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Burgers and Dumplings at Village Tavern
Scottsdale Culinary Fest 2018
Breakfast in a Brew Box
Finz to the Left, Finz to the Right


Getting Trendy at 189 Public House

Big balls.
Big balls.

From the people that brought you Bar Bill in East Aurora, comes 189 Public House literally right next door (with the address of 189 Main Street). This Southern-influenced jazzy gastropub is a far cry from its neighbor, which might be ill-advised considering the perpetually long lines for tables at Bar Bill. On the other hand, it’s perfectly positioned to pick off those who don’t want to wait so long and want something a little bit different.

High End Eats at North End Caffe

A little gorgy here.
A little gorgy here.

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives can be a fun show to watch because all of the food on it looks, well, amazing. Yet, in my experience not all the food on it is as amazing as it looks. Plus, watching it requires watching Guy Fieri balance his sunglasses on the back of his head. Recently, I found myself at North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach, completely unrelated to DDD, only to find out the restaurant had been on the show.

Normal Hours at Kitchen24

Small balls.

The 24-hour restaurant is a fascinating creature. Quite often, it’s a place that couldn’t quite exist if it were to function only at normal business hours, instead preying on the tired, the drunk and the early risers. To these people, any food is good food, which is why the food is often subpar. It takes a particularly ballsy restaurant to open itself all day and make an attempt at good, unique food, and that’s where kitchen24 comes in.

Supreme Sandwiches at Mendocino Farms

So special.

There’s nothing worse than walking into a sandwich shop and discovering recycled ideas and sandwiches less inspiring than the local Subway. Okay, that might not be the worst thing, but it’s moderately terrible. Walking into Mendocino Farms, however, is an altogether different experience. Rather than featuring droll, overused sandwiches the amount of delicious-looking sandwiches is almost overwhelming. And I mean that in the best way.

Sausage-Free at Tony’s Deli

And here, Tony makes a sandwich.

Out in the strange region of the Valley known as Toluca Lake is a decent selection of restaurants for working-class folk like myself. Filling the role of Italian Deli is a place called Tony’s, which is a tiny little sandwich shop that also happens to offer a couple easy-to-serve-at-sandwich-shops-but-not-actual-sandwich items like lasagna. Most of their sandwiches come with an array of unvegan horrors like lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions, but one did not. This was the way of the unvegan.

Sketching Out at Hollywood Pies (RELOCATED)

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.”

Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls on Tires (CLOSED)

One if by sea, two if by truck.

When Great Balls on Tires first debuted last year, I was concerned that such a name for a meatball truck was a bit of a gimmick. Yet, now that GBOT has lasted through the middle of this year, I felt it was time I tried them out. When I walked up to the truck to see what they had to offer, I found there were only a few sets of balls to choose from. Yet, more than one of these balls looked attractive to me. Unfortunately, all balls came in sets of two, so I had to limit myself to only one ball type.

When in Bella Roma…

Look how thick that cheese is.

About a five minute walk from the apartment of my special lady friend at Pico-Robertson is a restaurant called Cafe Bella Roma. In the five years that she has lived there, she has never set foot in said restaurant, and since she is leaving the location next month, I was able to convince her to check it out. So if it sucked she could be like, “Good thing I’m getting out of here,” but if it was awesome she could be like, “That’s worth returning to my old stomping grounds for.” Which one would it be?

A Street Full of Meat (CLOSED)

Takin’ it to the Street.

After holding off on visiting Susan Feniger’s Street, Blackboard Eats finally presented me with the perfect opportunity to visit, a 30% off coupon. I had heard some mixed reviews of the place, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Having a reservation, we were seated immediately and were immediately presented with some sort of grainy yellowish dish. It ended up tasting kind of like a rice krispy treat, but more savory, and with something that tasted almost like dried currant mixed in, except that it wasn’t tart like a currant. Whatever it was, we certainly enjoyed it as we browsed the menu.