The Unvegan

Recent Posts

10 Years of Unvegan
A Quick Bite at Burrito Express
Serendipity at Northern Waters Smokehaus
Twerks and Burritos at Casa Amigos

‘Mid City’

Master Al Pastor at Leo’s Taco Truck

Love them spools of meat.
Love them spools of meat.

If you could have one final meal in LA that truly represents the city, what would you choose? Umami Burger? Korean BBQ? Some sort of Asian fusion? Anything with avocado in it? Seeing as I had eaten Umami the night before, for me it was a taco truck. You see, taco trucks just might represent LA better than any other food purveyor. Their mobility is all-important in a city that relies so much on cars. Their Mexican dishes feel perfectly at home in a place that was once Mexico and is chock-full of Mexican heritage. And their relatively low barrier to entry provides a great opportunity in a city that brings new opportunists in every day. For my last meal in LA, I chose Leo’s Taco Truck.

Entering the Wings World

Them’s some high claims.

Just about every restaurant claims to be the best at something, but they typically have to have a track record before making such claims. That’s why I was pretty surprised when I drove by Venice and saw a brand new sign claiming the “Best Wings in Town” and an equally new, but slightly smaller sign that said Wings World. I decided the place was worth a try, if only laugh at the outrageous claims of a new restaurant.

Simplethings for a Simple Man

Not such simple garnishings.

I like to think of myself as a simple man. My needs are simple and if you’ve noticed by my food blogging, I am often happier with a simple, well-executed meal that gourmet nonsense. Because of this, I was intrigued by Simplethings in Mid City despite the fact that they took a seemingly simplistic name and made it into one word. Simplethings bills itself as a sandwich and pie shop (restaurant), which both also seem simple, but not here.

A House of Schnitzel at Wirtshaus

Crack a lack

Sausages are all the rage these days, and why shouldn’t they be? Who can turn down a good old fashioned tube and a nice brewski? For once, I could. You see, while I headed to Wirtshaus in Mid-City fully intending to tackle some sort of “wurst,” I surprised myself by going in a different direction. This direction was that of pretzel and schnitzel (and never fear, for I made sure to take down a brewski as well).

Dining in Cooks County (REBRANDED)

Say cheese!

EDIT: Cooks County is now running around town going by the name of Market Provisions. No idea what that means for the food.

You may think that as a meat blogger I am constantly defining which restaurants my girlfriend and I eat at. Often that is the case, and for no other reason than that people are constantly giving me suggestions, but this weekend we reversed the trend and she took me out to dinner at a place from her own to-eat list. The place was Cooks County in Mid-City and although a quick Google search will reveal no county named Cooks, there is certainly at least one Cook County (in Illinois), which may be some sort of basis for the naming of this restaurant.

Classing it Up at The Tar Pit (CLOSED)

What resides within my gnocchi?

Once upon a time, I read an interesting review of The Tar Pit on LAist. It wasn’t exactly positive, but it only covered their happy hour and seemed to be more concerned with Chef Mark Peel’s children running around than with the food itself. Most disheartening, though, was Peel’s comments to the review. Needless to say, such a big time chef should not have been so concerned about one bad review and his concern made me less likely to go than the review itself. Yet, to The Tar Pit I went, and I was glad for it.

Down in Mexico With Red O

Wait, is this China?

Rick Bayless is apparently a pretty big deal, and not just because he got his PhD at the University of Michigan. No, he is actually a famous chef who specializes in Mexican food. Now, when I headed off to dinner at Red O, I was entirely unaware of both the existence of man named Rick Bayless and the fact the Red O’s kitchen was run by him that he was Red O’s consulting chef. Clearly this was not going to be an everyday ordinary Mexican meal. The exterior had a design reminiscent of the Bird’s Nest in Beijing. The interior wasn’t too shabby either, but this style came at a price. One of our party was sporting khaki shorts and was nearly denied entry, despite everyone else in the restaurant wearing shorts. This almost knocked the place down a notch to me, but I was willing to forgive if they could deliver some amazing food.

Getting Cheesed at Cobras & Matadors (CLOSED)

Burrata cha-cha-cha.

Taking advantage of a special from Living Social, the girlfriend and I headed to Cobras & Matadors in Mid-City for a bit of a date night. The place specializes in tapas and is BYO with a slight corkage fee. We forgot the booze, so had to make up for it in food instead. The deal was for 70 bucks worth, so that meant we had a lot of tapas to eat. As usual, I eyed cheeses and meats, and was happy to be eating small plates because so much looked good.

More Soup than Dough at Doughboys

Yes that is a giant bowl of soup.

On a beautiful morning, I got a call from my buddy who wanted to grab some brunch. He suggested Dougboys over in Mid-City. From what I’ve heard of Doughboys, I expected there to be a huge line, so I wasn’t too into the idea, but we still decided check it out with the intention to go somewhere else if the line was long. Fortunately, we found a manageable line and the fact that there were only two of us made the wait just about 5 minutes.

Tasty Tacos at Tinga

A still life of Tinga.

On a Saturday night the girlfriend and I were sitting around feeling lazy. Neither of us had eaten dinner, and we weren’t terribly hungry, but we knew that we needed some sort of food in our systems. It had to be light, and as I looked over my list of restaurants I wanted to try, only one seemed to tickle our fancies. This was a remotely new (8 months or so) restaurant called Tinga, in Mid-City.

The interior of Tinga has a nice wooden atmosphere that is almost like a bar except that it is BYO. In the middle of the small seating area is a long communal table and the walls are lined with stools. The ordering takes place at the counter and although the full menu is on the side wall, they also have paper menus for those who don’t want to stare awkwardly over the shoulders of fellow patrons.