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.
Many months ago, someone was telling me about a delicious pizza chain from the Midwest called Godfather’s. Being from the Midwest, I was a bit surprised until he told me it was from that other Midwest. You know, like Kansas and stuff. Then Godfather’s started getting a lot more attention because of some dude named Herman Cain that wants to be President. So when I ordered some pizza delivery from a place called Godfather’s that recently appeared in Palms, I was thinking this was one and the same as the fabled Godfather’s I had heard so much about. I was wrong, for the first time.
On a quest for Indian food, we found ourselves staring at a vegetarian restaurant on Venice that shall remain nameless. Realizing we had made a huge mistake, we went to the next-closest Indian place, just down the street, but for some reason it was closed on a Tuesday night at 7:30. Poor business tactics, but it would prove to be a blessing in disguise. For although the Indian place was closed, we realized we were standing in a strange little corner strip mall in Culver City with restaurants serving Japanese, Mexican, Italian and Thai food, in addition to Indian. Presented with such choices, we opted to check out the Italian place, called Giovanni’s Trattoria and crossed our fingers in the hopes that it would be any good.
Perhaps one of the most uniquely puzzling marketing campaigns of the last year has been that of Domino’s Pizza. In extolling the virtues of their “new recipe” pizza and remarking on how much it has improved, Domino’s is tacitly admitting that their old pizza was not, for lack of better words, particularly good. Given that we were marketed to relentlessly by Domino’s back when their pizza was “not particularly good,” why should we give our valuable pizza dollars to them now? Even with their new recipe, Domino’s is only marginally better than upper tier oven pizzas. The answer, though, lies in their prices. Their special of three medium pizzas for $5.99 each is unmatched, right? Not so fast.
Working late one night, I decided I needed some pizza to keep me going. Fortunately, there is plenty of pizza to be found around my office in North Hollywood. One place, called Pizza Man (sadly not a superhero who fights off villains with pepperoni and tomato paste), always has a sign to advertise their $5 large pizza, so I looked them up and gave them a call. A man with an indistinguishable, but quite pleasant European accent answered the phone. It turned out that the special was only for plain cheese, but they had a two-topping carry out special for $6.99. This price was comparable to Papa John’s and other fast food pizzas, so I felt good about the price.
In an attempt to try out some new pizza while at the girlfriend’s place, we looked into a little place in West LA called Brooklyn Pizza. Knowing that we were not actually in Brooklyn, I thought this might have been some sort of a misnomer. But misnomer it was not. Instead, it seemed as though they were trying to create the sort of pizza that you could get in Brooklyn and seemed very excited to tell us over the phone that their tomatoes and cheese came from New York. This seemed nice, but are the cheese and tomatoes really the things people love about New York pizza? I thought it was the dough, but perhaps I am wrong. Nonetheless, I checked out the menu and found their Double Pepperoni looked appealing.
I’ve passed by Mulberry Street Pizzeria in Beverly Hills a few times and been curious about what sort of pizza may lay within. Finally, I got down the courage to ask my girlfriend, a seasoned veteran of the LA food scene, if it was a pizza worth getting. She assured me it was and within a few days she had ordered some Mulberry Street pizza for us to partake in.
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.
It was a night for delivery and looking through LAbite, we found a good-looking Mediterranean place to order from it was called Best of Mediterranean (BOM), which is quite a boast to be put in a name, even for a place in West Hollywood. Obviously a place by that name had to be checked out. I was too hungry for a schwarma sandwich, so I ordered the chicken schwarma dinner plate. This came with hummos, tabouli, rice and garlic sauce. Knowing that tabouli is some strange mix of greens, I tried to order without it, but the website wouldn’t allow me. This was a big fail on the part of both LAbite and BOM, because many other restaurants allow you to customize dishes. Unfortunately, I knew that vegetables would be dying for my sake that night and wouldn’t even have the pleasure of being digested.
For lunch one day, I ordered from a little Asian place called Asia House. They claim to be “Fusion Thai Cuisine,” which in my mind means they are mostly Thai, but threw in some other assorted Asian dishes to please people afraid of food named Pad Kra Pao and Kang Mus Mun. On this day, I chose to be one of those people and ordered the Orange Chicken even though it is by no means an actual Thai dish.
They have a lunch special, which comes with soup, a fried wonton and steamed rice, so I made sure to take advantage of that. The delivery came pretty quickly and also brought some surprises. As a thank you for being awesome, Asia House also brought me some egg rolls and a Thai iced tea. These were great additions to the already cheap lunch I had.