Growing up in the Detroit area, it was pretty easy to take Greek food for granted. There is literally a Greektown in Detroit and Greek food can be found in every suburb. LA, however, is not so fortunate in this Mediterranean fare. Thus, I was pretty excited when I was invited out to the Good Greek Grill‘s new location in Hollywood for a free sampling of their food.
In my mind, LA is the burger capital of the world, churning out delicious burger after delicious burger. Thus, it is no surprise that Burgerim, a place with its roots in Israel and a global presence decided to have a go at Hollywood. I was fortunate to be invited to its Grand Opening to try out the goods.
I try to stay abreast of all new burger happenings around LA and it’s even better when I have a connection to one of them. This was how I learned about Hollywood Burger, which originated overseas, but finally opened in real Hollywood a couple of months ago. The manager treated me to a free meal, so I was able to pick out a few things to try out to see how Hollywood Burger would fare in a city full of oh so many good burgers.
Bludso’s in Compton is very often hailed as the best BBQ in LA. Yet, for some reason, a number of people find it difficult to make it to that part of town. Thus, Bludso’s spun off into Hollywood with a bar and que concept that creatively includes a bar along with BBQ. In other words, my long-awaited trip to BBQ heaven (and possibly like real heaven) in Compton was put on hold to make the trip to Hollywood.
Few restaurants have been on my to-eat list longer than Jitlada, a Thai spot in the middle of Thai Town (which itself is kind of in the middle of Hollywood). The original plan was just to meet a couple of friends for some authentic eats, but we ended up biting off a lot more than we had planned for. You see, throughout the evening we had sporadic, then more significant conversations with Jazz, the woman (and Iron Chef competitor) behind the whole place.
The 24-hour restaurant is a fascinating creature. Quite often, it’s a place that couldn’t quite exist if it were to function only at normal business hours, instead preying on the tired, the drunk and the early risers. To these people, any food is good food, which is why the food is often subpar. It takes a particularly ballsy restaurant to open itself all day and make an attempt at good, unique food, and that’s where kitchen24 comes in.
Over the weekend, I was invited to the St. Felix in Hollywood for a free Bloody Mary brunch. Ordinarily, I would have dismissed such a notion. After all, Bloody Marys consist of many of the things I hate most in the world in drink form. But something caught my eye and pulled me in: Bacon Vodka. I figured if anything was going to get me to try a veggie-based drink, bacon would be it. Some say it makes everything better, and this would be quite the test.
Smokehouse in Burbank is old school Hollywood. Opened in 1946, it’s the kind of place you could picture Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman or Audrey Hepburn eating a steak. New Hollywood has embraced it as well, and apparently it is a regular stomping ground for George Clooney. I don’t fit into old or new Hollywood, but Smokehouse is a steakhouse and I certainly fit into that crowd.
Deep in the heart of the Hollywood Strip is a burger that rivals Umami Burger. Or so a coworker told me once upon a time. That once upon a time may have been over a year ago, but I never forgot, so when I had the chance to meet some buddies for dinner in Hollywood, Lucky Devils crept into my mind (and it didn’t hurt that it has been sitting on my to-eat list). What we found was a neat space with a great and enthusiastic server who was happy to tell us of their current specials, some awesome beers on tap and help us out with anything on the menu. Even though I had sworn not to drink, his description of their special black IPA on tap almost had my mouth watering enough to break the promise I made to myself.
For a while now, I’ve been hearing about this place in Hollywood called Griddle Cafe. “Go to Griddle,” they say. “You’ll like what you eat there,” they also say. “They make pancakes with anything in them,” they continue, and then I get excited. You see, I like me a pancake, but a regular pancake can only be so good. Usually it tastes the best after a night of binge drinking, and it doesn’t matter if it comes from a box mix or the nicest brunch restaurant in the world. But I got excited about Griddle and finally made it out to Hollywood to see what all the pancake hype was about.