When I think of Serbia, things like Darko Milicic and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It’s just about never that the mention of Serbia gives me thoughts of food, but a little place called Metro Diner (or Cafe) in Culver City might just change that for me. Metro Diner is situated at the bottom of a Travelodge, and judging it by its cover, it would appear to be a dilapidated old diner. But while the majority of the menu items are reminiscent of a diner, it has a touch of Serbian.
It’s not too often that food court food gains critical acclaim. Yet, in the case of 101 Noodle Express (my favorite college course), the only reason I went was by recommendation from Jonathan Gold. Like KyoChon, 101 Noodle Express can be found at the Fox Hills Mall, but also in other places where you would expect it more – like the San Gabriel Valley. Almost as surprising as finding such a place in a food court is the fact that Gold doesn’t even recommend the noodles.
EDIT: This spot is gone, but that amazing fried chicken can be found in one of KyoChon’s other locations.
While fried chicken is often considered the domain of Southern cooking and Buffalo wings, it is certainly not exclusive to those cuisines. In fact, some of the best fried chicken I’ve had can be found Asian dishes like the Japanese chicken karaage. But Japan is not alone in this, as a Korean place called KyoChon just may have created the best chicken wings ever. Did I overstate that? I don’t think so.
I have a confession and this may come as a surprise to all of you: I love Brazilian BBQ. Yes, I know it’s shocking that a menagerie of meat such as Brazilian BBQ could be one of my loves, but it’s true. Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy love. Firstly, it ain’t cheap like Korean BBQ, which is equally meaty. Secondly, I can’t go without eating an insane amount of food. Sorry, it’s just how I work at such things, which means my body usually needs a fair amount of recovery time before going back. But, when I saw a sweet Travelzoo deal for Libra in Culver City, at least my first problem with Brazilian BBQ was taken care of.
Not too long ago (at least it feels that way), a new ramen place popped up in Culver City calling itself Ramen Yamadaya. It was around this time that I had been totally spoiled by the ramen of Tsujita, and while Yamadaya looked good, I wasn’t exactly in a rush to get there. This was a mistake, though, because when I finally got there, I had a feeling that this was going to be my go-to ramen joint.
The Eagles once wrote “If you call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye,” so it is with great trepidation that I roll out my review here. The meaning I have always taken from that line is that if you tell people about a great place, that place will cease to be great because more people will go there and ruin the experience. On the other hand, I feel the need to tell the world about J “N” J Burger and Bar-B-Q and hope that this review will not kill paradise, but simply give it more customers.
You can’t throw a stone* in LA without hitting a Mexican place that someone happens to call their favorite. It could be a shack, a hole in the wall or even an old-fashioned sit down restaurant. The variety seems only limited by the amount of physical space in LA and those damn zoning laws. As I’ve eaten my way through the city, I’ve creativity galore and more Mexican foods than I knew existed growing up on Taco Bell in Michigan. Some have been delicious, while others have failed me. On my latest foray into someone’s favorite Mexican place, I ended up at El Abajeno in Culver City.
A while back, Sang Yoon opened up a place called Lukshon in Culver City. For some, this was a time to rejoice, as this was the man behind the Father’s Office burger. But for me, it was a time to…well…consider trying out Lukshon. You see, if you know me, you know my disdain for the Father’s Office burger. So it took until dineLA’s Restaurant Week to get me out to Lukshon. I went with a sizable crowd, collectively known as the Suppah Club, and we had ourselves a seat at a massive table on Lukshon’s patio in Culver City.
When Jonathan Gold’s latest rendition of the 99 best restaurants in LA came out, I was amazed to find an Indian place basically in my backyard. No, I don’t have an actual backyard because I live in LA, but you get my drift. Fortunately, my body had been craving Indian and I easily convinced my girlfriend that we had to order some carryout from there. While the menu appeared to have typical Indian fare, Mayura actually specialized in South Indian food. With that in mind, I was excited to get down with something new.
Right around when I first moved to LA, essentially broke, I made a trip to Bottle Rock. Having little to no disposable income, I wrote the place off as overpriced and didn’t return until this past weekend. What I found was a restaurant and wine bar that was not only well-priced, but also delicious. Was I wrong the first time I went? Have I become jaded by the prices of LA? Did Bottle Rock simply change things up? These answers may never be known, but what is known is my experience there. Let’s start from the beginning.