The Unvegan

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Old Meets New at Kingo Bowl
It’s a Pita Jungle Out There
Eating Like a Sconnie at Culver’s
Doing the Impossible at The Counter?

‘Mexican’

Panic at Pannikin

Commence panicking.
Commence panicking.

Coffee shops aren’t generally known for their food, but Pannikin in Encinitas isn’t your typical coffee shop. The place has a full-on menu and nearly every type of coffee or tea that exists in the world. But a look at the menu revealed very little in terms of meat – some turkey and some ham. Fortunately, there was something on the menu that drew me in.

Birria at Burritos La Palma

Platillo!
Platillo!

A lot of the time, a burrito is just a burrito. Fillings vary in quality and variety, but they are generally the same basic thing. Not so much at Burritos La Palma in El Monte. These burritos came straight from Jerez, Mexico and if you didn’t know any better you might think of them as enchiladas. Burritos La Palma specializes in birria and so that’s what I got.

A Torta at Tortugas

That's some cheese porn.
That’s some cheese porn.

Torta is Mexican for sandwich and there is a sweet semi-new spot in Pasadena that deals pretty much exclusively in that hand food from south of the border. It’s called Tortugas, and is either a reference to turtles, an island in Haiti or a national park (the dry one). Regardless, the place has a great variety of Mexican sandwiches and one in particular screamed out to my unvegan belly.

Brewing Some Pork Belly at Helio Basin

Taco belly!
Taco belly!

Breweries are the best, right? And they typically have awesome food. That’s why I was pretty excited to find out Phoenix was getting a new brewery called Helio Basin and tried to make my way there at the first opportunity. Plus, it didn’t hurt that I had a connection at the place and wanted to show some support.

American Indian at California Chutney

Wait, that's like a salsa bar.
Wait, that’s like a salsa bar.

There’s something about fusion done well that really gets me excited. Throw some Korean BBQ into tacos and I’m sold. Try to make Mexican food Kosher, not so much (don’t underestimate the need for cheese!). But I had never thought of Indian food as something to fuse until I found California Chutney in Old Town Pasadena. This place is all about fusing Indian food with American (and by American I also mean Mexican because, hey, North America).

Foodshop Pops Up Tropically

Beats, not beets.
Beats, not beets.

I’ve always been a little wary of meals in which you cannot choose your food. This is, of course, the case with pop up restaurants. Yet, when I saw Foodshop‘s latest menu, filled with the flavors of the Caribbean, I was convinced to give it a shot. Thus, we took the long drive to Venice to grab some food at an undisclosed location.

Mexican for Yo Mama at Tacos tu Madre

One big burrito.
One big burrito.

Tacos tu Madre was blowing up all over the social media a few months ago with amazing-looking burritos that seemed to represent a new level of delicious fusion. Thus, I had to give the place a try and had my best opportunity when out in West LA. They were out of a couple things, but this didn’t impact what I had in mind. There are a number of options and they are all available as a burrito, a taco or a bowl.

A Belated Breakfast at Baja Mar

Mmm breakfast nachos.
Mmm breakfast nachos.

Sometimes you go to a Mexican seafood spot to get seafood. And sometimes, despite it being the middle of the afternoon, you go for breakfast. It wasn’t exactly the plan, but when I entered Baja Mar in Monrovia, I just couldn’t get my eyes off of the chilaquiles. Thus, I forewent shrimp and fish tacos for those delicious breakfast nachos.

One Huge Burrito at Lucky Boy

Almost the length of my arm, and thicker.
Almost the length of my arm, and thicker.

In Los Angeles, there are supposedly really only two breakfast burritos. One is at the Corner Cottage in Burbank and the other is at either of the two Lucky Boy locations in Pasadena. I visited the newer location on Walnut Street and vowed to take down the “Famous” burrito (it’s literally the name of the burrito).