Before departing the land of Los Angeles, I had a couple of restaurants to knock off of my to-eat list mixed in with the number of restaurants I had to eat because I knew I would miss them. One from the former category was Night + Market, a Thai restaurant that wasn’t just your ordinary Thai restaurant. With an air of authenticity, I heard Night + Market boasts some spicy food, and while that wouldn’t be in the cards due to some mild white people I was with, I was still eager to see the flavors they had to offer.
Back in January, some family friends were in town and encountered a burger truck called Rounds Burgers. To say they wouldn’t shut up about it would be an understatement, as when I saw them again in June those burgers were still the only thing they wanted to talk about. So, being the good unvegan burger connoisseur I am, I knew I had to check out Rounds before writing up my (almost) definitive list of LA’s top burgers.
Inside the box car of a train that looks more out of place in West Hollywood than a snowball in hell is Carney’s. While not as old as Pink’s, Carney’s has been around for a while and is unquestionably one of the city’s biggest hot dog landmarks, especially when it comes to chili dogs.
Typically, the biggest crowd forms after the bars let out of the Sunset Strip, but I was looking to check Carney’s off my list before leaving LA and willing to get there even during regular feeding hours. I opted for a big basket of chili cheese fries and a chili cheese dog to go with it.
I’m always up for interesting food combinations. Usually this means mixing meats into wonderful protein concoction, but at Mercato di Vetro in West Hollywood, I was introduced to an especially unique mix of foods. But before I settled on my meal, I got myself a nice look at the entire menu. Menu items were purported to be “small plates,” but carried price tags that said otherwise. Even though I wasn’t paying, I shifted my eyes to food that I could expect to actually fill my stomach with.
Well, it’s that wonderful time of the year again – dineLA’s Restaurant Week. Yes, it’s the time of the year where I spend too much, eat too much, and still feel happy about it. Unless, of course, I’m eating at Katana. This time around, we went with a couple friends to Palihouse in West Hollywood. I’d been to Palihouse once before, late at night when it was trying to be a bar/club. It’s also a hotel. But on this night, it was simply a restaurant to us.
Ever since I conceived of the notion of a to-eat list, Comme Ça (pronounced comb-eh sah) has resided on that list. The reason is because once upon a time, Jane Sigal of the New York Times called The Comme Ça Burger “perfect.” That is no small claim and no small publication. But how would it fare against my unvegan palette? Would it crumble to the ground and beg for mercy like the Father’s Office Burger or would it leaving me begging for more like Umami Burger? I hoped it would be the latter.
We Detroiters (or metro-Detroiters in my case) are adamantly defensive and passionate about our Detroit roots. Ask one of the thousands of Detroit expats what they miss most about their homeland and they will give you answers ranging from the lakes to the sports to awesome summers. But there is one thing just about all of us can agree upon: we miss coney. In LA, we are about as far from Detroit as possible in the lower 48 and absence truly makes the heart grow fonder. Just about every conversation I’ve had with a former Detroiter in the 3-plus years I’ve lived in LA has led to a “wouldn’t it be awesome if we opened a coney restaurant out here?” moment. Yet, while all these conversations were taking place, a few people were making it happen.
Katana (warning: turn down your speakers because their retarded site automatically plays loud bass) in West Hollywood is about as trendy as you can get for Japanese food. Yet, to my surprise, when I was sent their DineLA Restaurant Week menu for a possible dinner, I saw only one sushi option. With this in mind, I thought that perhaps the $34 fixed price would actually be worth it, so off we went to Katana. Showing up last, I was greeted with a rousing “irasshai” (although I was a bit disappointed they didn’t go for the more formal “irasshaimase”) and found that some chicken gyoza (potstickers) had already been ordered. This struck me as strange since we were about to order a fixed price meal, but I decided to roll with it.
Ordinarily, I am pretty bothered when a place takes a word as simple as “basics” and turns it into “basix.” This kind of goes against being called “basic” because it has overcomplicated a basic word. So, with these overcomplicated thoughts in my mind, I headed into Basix Cafe in West Hollywood, not knowing if should expect something basic or otherwise. What I found was a nice mid-sized cafe with a nice variety of menu items ranging from pizza and pasta to fried chicken and sandwiches. They also had unvegan unfriendly salads and other such dishes, but there were certainly enough vegetable-free dishes to make me like the menu.
Ever since I learned of the existence of the Juicy Lucy, my life goal has been to chomp down on one myself. Just to tear it open with my teeth until the insides flowed out was something I thought would give me great pleasure. You see, a Juicy Lucy is something special and not-surprisingly comes from the Midwest. Minnesota to be exact. Rather than being content with the old ways of the cheeseburger, the innovative Minnesoootans decided to stuff their burgers with cheese, giving the burger a molten core of cheese just waiting to be unleashed. That is the essence of the Juicy Lucy and although I assumed I would have to make one on my own because I live far from Minnesota, I managed to find it on the menu at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood.