When it comes to grilling (as opposed to generating energy), charcoal is king. Somewhere along the way, someone realized that this would translate into a great restaurant concept. Thus, the world was given Charcoal in Venice. Charcoal, like most BBQs, is pretty meat-centric and great for unvegans. Nonetheless, there were definitely veggie options for those who prefer not to enjoy life as much.
Brio may be a chain, but it’s the kind of chain I can get behind. After all, steaks are a central component of the menu at the place. Of course, with an Tuscan theme it’s possible to get some light pasta or something else crazy, but I am a man who doesn’t generally turn down the opportunity for a steak.
Thanksgiving is nigh, and I have a lot to be thankful for this year. You see, one of the perks of being a meat blogger is getting free meats! This year I have been graced with free meats from a number of sources, and there is no better time than now to go through them all and point out a few great meals I’ve put together with them. Plus, if you’re looking for a gift for the meat lover in your life look no further! I swear I don’t get any kickbacks.
Once upon a time, I brought you Belcampo’s burger from the Grand Central Market in Downtown LA. It was a solid burger and one that I would absolutely eat again. Yet, when I found myself armed with a gift card sent to me by the good folks at Belcampo themselves*, I just had to make my way to the Santa Monica location for a full-on DineLA Restaurant Week experience.
All you can eat Korean BBQ is one of the greatest things (not just food things) ever created. It’s meaty, it’s flamey and it is interactive-y. Yet, not all KBBQ spots are created equally, with some charging a bit more than others. Oo Kook in Koreatown is one of those places that goes beyond the $20 mark, but I was hoping it would be worth it.
In many ways, Pasadena is like a suburb to Los Angeles, but that didn’t stop Urban Plates from opening up just a couple weeks ago, perhaps hoping to reacquaint the people of Pasadena with urban life. Of course, there turned out to be nothing urban about the place, which was more like a mix of Lemonade and Tender Greens than anything else, both of which have outposts a short walk from Urban Plates.
I had little idea of what I was getting into when I agreed to grab dinner at Raffi’s Place in Glendale. Glendale hosts, of course, the biggest population of Armenians outside of the Middle East, but I was meeting my Persian friends and knew that Raffi’s had to have at least some Persian touches. This turned out to be true, as Raffi’s Place served up Armenian food with a Persian twist because a bunch of ethnic Armenians come from the land formerly known as Persia. But enough about ethnicities and whatnot, let’s get on with the food.
A few years ago I paid a visit to Duluth Grill in Duluth, Minnesota. I am a man who loves dining in the Northwoods and so when Duluth Grill reached out to me and offered me a free copy of The Duluth Grill Cook Book II I could hardly contain my excitement. Sure, I had no idea that there was a first cookbook, but I was eager to try this one out.
In a strange little strip of shops in Pasadena, there is a space that seems to have no name. Call this what you want in terms of this being pretentious, but it goes by the name Altaeats, which somehow seems to make the lack of signage acceptable. In any case, Altaeats is a nice upscale place with modern American dishes that change seasonally. And don’t worry, I didn’t eat that salad, but I loved the idea that a deconstructed salad could have allowed me to devour that bird without any veggies.
Houston’s is a restaurant that has been on my radar for a while. It had always looked like some generic and boring American restaurant until a buddy of mine told me it had one of the best burgers he had ever eaten. Nonetheless, it took receiving a gift card to the place to finally get me out to the Houston’s in Pasadena.