The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Fueling Up at Tom’s Thumb BBQ
Trent Williams: Unvegan Hero
Worth the Trip to Worth Takeaway
Pie-ing Hard at Rock Springs Cafe

‘West LA’

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.

Breaking the Chain at Buffalo’s Cafe

A beautiful relationship?
A beautiful relationship?

Down in the South, there’s a bit of a buffalo wing chain creatively named Buffalo’s Cafe. Due to their popularity and desire to spread their figurative wings, they partnered up with a Fatburger in West LA to create a little something called Buffalo’s Cafe Express. The place is still completely Fatburger, with the addition of a bunch of wings options and total lack of ability to combine the two as a wing/burger combo. That bummer aside, I figured the South would know a thing or two about wings and eagerly ordered a set of ten.

Searching for Seoul Sausage

Sausage with a soul.
Sausage with a soul.

A with most entertainment, things are not always as they appear. Reality TV isn’t always reality, “based on a true story” is typically nothing like the truth and Guy Fieri doesn’t actually drive that red convertible to every diner, drive-in and dive. Likewise, food almost always looks better in ads and on TV than in real life. Nonetheless, after watching Seoul Sausage on the last season of The Great Food Truck Race and subsequently learning that the winning crew had put up a bick-and-mortar shop, I knew I had to get some of their sausages in my mouth.

Heating Up at Curry House

Wait, Japanese make curry too?
Wait, Japanese make curry too?

Japanese curry and I go way back. From the start, it has been a loving relationship, but I must admit I have a couple of places I like to get it from and don’t often get outside of that box. Curry House is not one of these places, and although it resides across the street from Hurry Curry of Tokyo, my go-to Japanese curry place, I never felt the need for Curry House. Yet, with a big group one night, Curry House was kind of our only option and we took it.

Excess in Balance at Plan Check

Mmm crispies.
Mmm crispies.

As you may recall, once upon a time I paid a visit to Plan Check for a Stussy event. Despite being limited to a strict menu, I left the place wanting more. Finally, with a long bike ride, that moment came and I seized it. Plan Check, by the way, was started by former Umami Burger chef Ernesto Uchimura. As Umami Burger still resonates within my tastebuds as one of my favorite burgers, it is clear that Plan Check has good pedigree.

The Okonomiyaki of Gottsui

Oh my nomiyaki.
Oh my nomiyaki.

It’s not every day you get an opportunity to chow down on some okonomiyaki. Of course, it’s not every or even every millennium that you even hear the word okonomiyaki. While not nearly as famous as just about any other Japanese food, okonomiyaki is equally, if not more awesome. My first taste of okonomiyaki goes back to my days of studying abroad in Japan. It was described to me as “Japanese Pizza,” which it is, as long as your only requirements for pizza are for it to be edible, flat and have toppings with no regard for the ingredients.

Boo-yah at Tofu Ya

No tofu here.
No tofu here.

In one of my favorite parts of town, Little Little Tokyo (or Little Osaka if you swing that way), there is a Korean restaurant called Tofu Ya. Certainly, the existence of the word “tofu” within a restaurant’s name is a red flag for an unvegan, but while perusing the area one day, I found myself inside checking out the menu. It turned out that it wasn’t simply a vegetarian place and it smelled damn good, so we gave it a spin.

A Little Freddy Smalls

These devils don't look like Obama.
These devils don’t look like Obama.

We all like The Counter, that quintessential custom burger place that has spread its beefy goodness around the nation. And although it isn’t the most inspired of places, it gets things done. Well, the guy who started the place decided it was time for some more inspirational food and cooked up a gastropub-esque (no burgers!) place called Freddy Smalls in West LA.

Like a ROC Kitchen

Dumplings from heaven.
Dumplings from heaven.

Guys, I’ll admit it. I’m a Chinese food snob. But I like to think you would be if you once lived there too. For that reason I’m glad I live in LA, but sad that I live on the west side, about half a light-year from the real Chinese food in San Gabriel. That all changed, however, when ROC Kitchen opened up in the area I like to call Little Little Tokyo, but is fast becoming Little Asia with an influx of other Asian food like ROC Kitchen.

Couponing to Campagnola Trattoria (CLOSED)

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The four food groups.

Sometimes it’s hard to decide where to eat. Sure, I have a list of places, but they aren’t always in convenient locations. That’s when I turn to things like Groupon, because if I’m going out to eat somewhere I’m unfamiliar with, I’ll be damned if I pay full price. On this particular eve, I found a discount for an Italian place in West LA called Campagnola Trattoria.