If you saw a pizza place on a corner in LA called The Coop, would you think it was pronounced like scoop without the s or more like co-op? I’m leaning towards co-op, and it probably has something to do with the medical marijuana dispensary, Kind for Cures (KFC), across the street. Besides, what is a coop anyway? Pronunciations aside, I knew The Coop had pizza, and supposedly it was pretty good, so while my buddy and I’s ladies were eating something vegetable-like, we ordered some Coop.
In my experience, most taco trucks aren’t worth blogging about. It’s not that I feel like I am too good for them or that they aren’t interesting, but in most cases I have found that they all taste pretty much the same. This is not true of Tacos El Gallito. I stopped by here one night with no plans to blog, but just hoping to get a decent taco. Instead, I had one of my most legendary LA nights and wound up befriending a couple of their Mexican patrons named Toast and Reuben. I also fell in love with the truck and vowed to return to give them a proper unvegan review.
EDIT: Chego has relocated to Chinatown. Perhaps someday it will get a review of its own.
With the resounding success of the Kogi BBQ trucks and the Kogi location at the Alibi Room, the people behind Kogi are looking to revolutionize the foodscape of LA once again, with rice. Well, not just with any rice, but with fanciful rice bowls from a real location in Palms called Chego! Their website describes their food as “Chillax peasant food from the soul” and while the word “chillax” sends shivers of discomfort down my spine, I had to see if Chego! carried on the Kogi magic.
On a cold, wet afternoon, I was hankering for some lunch when I saw a beacon of hope in Culver City. No, not just any beacon, but a restaurant that was actually called Beacon. This name was just so similar to bacon that I had to try it out. Well, also I had heard some pretty good things about the place. The lunchtime crowd was pretty big, but my girlfriend and I still found a table pretty easily. Beacon was an interesting blend of Asian and American fusion, featuring dishes like “black” edamame (which sounds like an even scarier version than regular edamame) and Miso Braised Short Ribs. By far the most confusing part of the menu was figuring out which dishes were salads and which were sandwiches, since they both fell under the header of “Salads and Sandwiches.”
EDIT: Overland Cafe has become The Overland, which is basically the same, but somehow cooler.
Often packed and with a line out the door, Overland Cafe sits in the Palms neighborhood just down the street from me. One of their biggest draws, in my mind, is their champagne brunch, featuring all-you-can-drink champagne for 5 bucks until 2:00 pm on weekends. This price doesn’t include the orange juice required to make mimosas, but is still a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, that is just about the only thing that is a good deal there.
Recently a little pho place opened down the street from me and called itself Super Pho & Teriyaki. Anything that starts with super must be pretty cool, so I took a stroll down the road with my friend so we could get ourselves a taste. The place is pretty tiny and nondescript, but had enough tables open for us. We ordered at the counter and I decided to get their House Pho. This included meat balls, brisket, tendon and tripe. A few more organs and I would have had enough to build a whole cow from scratch in my stomach.
Ever since graduating from college, it hasn’t been easy find great deals on pizza. Not so long ago, I was in the habit of ordering two large one-topping pizzas for the amazing price of ten bucks, including delivery! While days like that will likely never be seen again by this hungry unvegan, there are still some decently cheap pizza places out there. Lenzini’s 241 Pizza (get it? two for one?) in Plams is one of these places. All the pizzas on their menu come with a second pizza of equal or lesser value. The prices are slightly inflated, but it was definitely worth a try the last time my girlfriend and I had to order a bunch of pizzas.
One day I received a random Twitter follow from @derbsgourmet. It piqued my interest so, I decided to follow them and found out that they were a new food truck called Derb’s Gourmet and set to launch in a couple days. Not only that, but they were launching at a bar right down the street from me, Bigfoot West. The sheer convenience was a sign that I had to try them out.
I arrived at 10:00, since that was supposed to be their launch time and saw that this was no normal food truck.
About a year ago, a new Turkish restaurant opened down the street from me in Palms. I was overjoyed at this and especially happy when I saw that they were open late on weekends. Unfortunately, I went pretty soon after they opened and was kind of disappointed with the results. Lucky for them, this was before I started a meat blog, so when I finally got around to paying them another visit recently, it was my first chance to give them an unvegan review. The restaurant is called Sofra Kabab Express and although “express” is typically applied to fast food restaurants in airports, this is nothing like one of those, even encouraging people to hang around and smoke hookah (nargile in Turkish).
Hidden behind faux bamboo stalks that protect the restaurant from the noise pollution of Venice, you would expect Bamboo to be a sort of Asian-inspired restaurant. Going in with these expectations, you’d be surprised to find that Bamboo is a Caribbean and Latino inspired restaurant, but you definitely won’t be disappointed by the food. Bamboo’s outdoor seating area has a nice and comfortable ambiance that would make it a great date spot.
The menu is a nice range of options, from pizza to seafood. I found my own personal niche in the steak section and chose the Milanesa a La Bamboo Breaded steak. This was topped with mozzarella, sauteed tomato, garlic and spices. I asked the waiter if I could get mine without the tomato and he seemed very surprised at the prospect. He then explained that this wasn’t just going to be some pile of tomatoes on the plate, but actually a tomato sauce. I rescinded my request and awaited my meal.