Out in the strange region of the Valley known as Toluca Lake is a decent selection of restaurants for working-class folk like myself. Filling the role of Italian Deli is a place called Tony’s, which is a tiny little sandwich shop that also happens to offer a couple easy-to-serve-at-sandwich-shops-but-not-actual-sandwich items like lasagna. Most of their sandwiches come with an array of unvegan horrors like lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions, but one did not. This was the way of the unvegan.
In secret corners of Los Angeles, there are places that just scream, “Old Hollywood.” You know, the Hollywood before organic Whole Foods soy milk took over, when hot dogs were chock-full of nitrates and the only conceivable burger was of the “ham” variety. Vestiges of this near-forgotten time still exist, as proven by Irv’s Burgers, which I visited a few months ago. But Irv’s is not alone, as I recently discovered a similarly classic-looking place called Papoo’s Hot Dog Show in Toluca Lake.
In the continuing story of trying to find new and interesting food in the Valley, a coworker suggested trying out a place called Summer Canteen. Not knowing what sort of food a place named Summer Canteen would have, I opened up the menu online to find that it served none other than Thai. Wait, Thai? Really? I thought the rule of Thai restaurant naming was that it had to have “Thai” in its name (Thai Boom, Thai Smile, Natalee Thai, etc.) or use words from the Thai language (Jitlada). Summer Canteen broke these two rules, and would go on to break one more.