Monday, March 31, 2008

Palms

(I think this is the 200th entry for this blog?) Palms is located at 5900 Hollywood Blvd, #B, LA CA 90028, 323-462-5073. This is the west tail-end of Thai Town on Hollywood Blvd. Palms moved here a while ago from their location near Normandie was it? Palms is the place where the "Thai Elvis" performs. I've had the pleasure of watching his performance. He's actually pretty good. I don't know much about how that all started but he's definitely part of the LA Scene now and a must for anyone who enjoys a local treasure. Oh yes, the food, it's good. I really enjoyed the won-ton soup. Hmmm, isn't that Chinese? I have had the Lemongrass soup before. That's very excellent. The Patay was delicious. I love that salad. Anything with peanuts is cool with me. The Satay, not so great but they have so many other things on the menu that it's worth a trip back to try new things. That evening, I lost my camera. No pix now. I have to buy a new camera. I'm going to wait for my Bush-rebate.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Loose Leaf





Our crew at Metro loves to eat out especially if one of us finds a new place to check out. Jeffe said a new salad place opened near the 7th/Metro station so off we went. Loose Leaf, 6th & Hope in Downtown LA, 213-622-1616 was small and clean. You pick what's in your salad. For instance, I picked: Romaine, steak, broccili, smoked bacon, crushed peanuts and skinny Caesar Vinaigrette. There was a lot of steak in my salad. It was pretty good. It was about $8. I was so full when I left that place.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Staples Center




I'm not a football fan. I watch it once in a while on TV but I have yet to go to an actual NFL game. I would like to but....LA DOESN'T HAVE A TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!

Why is that? I guess the answer is complicated because every explanation I've heard or read is confusing, convoluted and always end up sounding like some exercise to hide the truth.

When I was growing up in LA, we had the Rams. I remember Roman Gabriel and watching the highlights on TV. he was awesome. Then they left for St. Louis. Later, we had the Raiders. I never really got into the Raiders but then they left for the Bay Area.

So, last night, I went to Staple Center to see the LA Avengers with Steve Irvin. Neither of us had ever seen arena football.

The atmosphere is circus-like; colorful, loud and active. Is it entertaining? You know for me, everything but the touchdowns were interesting. What's up with that? The Avengers played the Philadelphia Soul which is owned by Jon Bon Jovi. Oddly, he wasn't there but Richie Sanbora was there. There was something very odd and funny about that to me. I guess because he's someone who's often in the limelight as the second-guy. Second to Bon Jovi, second to Heather Locklear, and much like arena football is second to NFL, Sanbora was second to Bon Jovi again when he was pointed out by the stadium announcer.

OK, that's enough about that. Steve, who came back from a trip to Kenya with an upset stomach didn't want to eat too much. So we both had a vege sandwich with chips and a bottle water. You know what, it wasn't bad. Stadium food is often pretty bad. Exceptions would be the Philly cheese steak I had at a Mets game, the Chicago dog I had at Wrigley Stadium and the King taco I had once at Dodger Stadium. Last night, the vege sandwich at Staple was pretty good.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

La Mascota





I think La Mascota is a place in Mexico. I'm not certain. La Mascota in Boyle Heights, however,is a local hot spot for tamale and baked goods. It's located at 2715Whittier Blvd, LA CA 90023, 323-263-5513. For a couple of years now, lighting designer Jose Lopez has been touting it as the best tamale in LA. So finally, I went today to go check that out. Well, well, well. That is SOME tamale! The inner part is really delicious. I had a cheese and chili tamale. The cheese was melty and the roasted jalapeno was awesome. I also had a pork tamale. The red sauce was incredible, so deep is the red that it reminded me of images of Mars. The red sauce was also hot, like Korean Soon Tofu. The baked goods were average, although aesthetically playful and worthy of purchase.

RoRo's Lebenese Cuisine




Kio, Jeffe, Peter, Suji and I went to go see Carl Stone perform at Amoeba records last night. It was great to hear his new laptop based compositions. The King of Sampling was truly at work. Afterwards, we all decided to go to get dinner and Suji suggested Lebanese food. We walked over to RoRo's 323) 461-9999, 6660 W Sunset Blvd, #C,Los Angeles, CA. The food was really delicious! They also had some of the best french fries I have aver had. They were very homemade. I had dinner already so I ended up ordering a plate of Buffalo Wings, which I also thought was funny to find them on the menu at a Lebanese place. Well, these turned out to be some of the best I have ever had and Kio agreed.

Waba Grill



Waba was in a mini mall in Boyle Heights. it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. There are two, one in North Commerce and the one I went to in B Heights at 2324 Whittier Blvd, 323-262-5862. Jose Lopez and I had never been there so it was an adventure. I think sometimes, you roll the dice and you reap the benefits. Not so much this time. I don't think Jose and I will be back. it wasn't that it was bad it just wasn't great. In Boyle Heights, there are so many delicious places to eat, it's rough to have a mediocre culinary experience.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beat Poet Tour








This past Saturday, the Museum of Neon Art held a fundraiser in the form of a tour of neon and poetry. Headed by LA-native treasurer and poet, Mike "The Poet" Sonksen, we toured around Downtown LA, Chinatown, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Hollywood, and Korea town in a very luxurious bus. We stopped by three bars; The Broadway Bar on Broadway between 8th and 9th in Downtown LA, The Frolic Room on Hollywood Blvd. off of Vine (next door to the Pantages Theater), and Frank and Hank on Western south of Beverly Blvd. In between stops, Mike educated us with LA history and the poets/artists who are rooted here. He also recited his poetry in fine fashion. His works were about LA gems including Wilshire Blvd. and Korea town. We had a great time. What a great way to see the City and Mike in action! Meg and I shared a Stella at Broadway Bar, a Bay Breeze at the Frolic Room and I drank a Guinness at Frank and Hank (because Monday was to be St. Patty's Day and I bought Mike one because his Birthday is on St. Patty's, HAPPY B-DAY MIKE!)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rae's




A staple of Santa Monica for decades and decades, Rae's @ 2901 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica CA 90405, 310-828-7937, serves old school breakfast off the grill. With most breakfast plates, you get a choice of toast or biscuits. Wow, is that a choice? Biscuits every time! Gravy for an extra 60 cents? Why wouldn't you order the gravy? What can you buy these days for 60 cents? Not much.

The interior is very cool, the people are "swell", and the food is fresh and filling. If you finish your breakfast and are still there around 11 AM, please walk about a block east to McCabes guitar shop and browse a piece of music history.

One of my shinning moments at Rae's, in the mid 90's, I finished a huge breakfast and ordered the banana split and finished that. The waitress was really happy about that. There's nothing like making your server happy. She said not many people order the banana split for breakfast.

Monday, March 10, 2008

AKI



AKI restaurant 11513 Santa Monica Blvd., LA CA 310-479-8406, is a family owned Japaneses food restaurant. It's been around for decades and is a staple for many LA folk especially in the west side. It has a special place in my family because the two sons have been coaching my sons basketball team for ten years.

The Japanese food here is good and old school. In the pre-sushi craze, many local places served a a large variety of items; in addition to sushi, sukiyaki, tempura's, donburi's, teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, udon, and sashimi. A lot of newer places have menu's that are neo-Japanese cuisine or French-fusion influenced which I also love but AKi is more like comfort food for me. These are the recipes I grew up with and they are delicious as they are filling. The proof is in the pudding. AKI has been around a long time and continues to draw crowds of hungry food-enthusiasts.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Metro Maintenance BBQ





One of the benefits of loving food is once in while, you get invited to a meal that is truly a members only type of event. Perhaps it's a tease to put this on my blog but I only hope that it inspires all of us to invent such feasts for our friends, family and co-workers. Case in point, there's a magical land in the City of Vernon where the maintenance geniuses for Metro hold their office. Their workshop is a phenomenal facility where any hardware store enthusiast would reach nirvana. It so happens that the crew that works the morning/day/evening shifts are food enthusiasts. These are the folks who help us install everything in our system like artwork, benches, map cases, etc. I have worked with them for over a decade and many of them have told me of their mega BBQ's. Well, I finally got invited to one and it was like walking into a dream-state for me. The celebration was due to the fact that they received a system-wide award for safety. BBQ ribs, Korean BBQ, some the most delicious sausages I have ever had, fried ribs (yes, that's right!), homemade BBQ beans, mash potatoes, salads and my friend Bernard's infamous Banana Split Cake. These folks are the coolest and funniest guys to hang out with. They are constantly ribbing each other (ha, ha, ha). They have always been great to work with in the field, whether it's an installation of artwork at a station at 1:00 AM or cleaning a sculpture from it's decay of "urban patina". I have always appreciated their temperament and heartfulness. After having lunch with them today, that appreciation has taken a quantum leap.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Tangy Thai2



This weekend, Meg and I did her laundry in Hollywood. I guess her landlord is taking his time to fix the washing machine and meg couldn't take the mound that grew after a week and a half. We went to this coin laundry on Hollywood Blvd. I actually enjoy coin laundries. They have such a great culture to them. The one near my house is pretty cool too. I once went to one in Seattle that also had a cafe and live bands playing. The one off of Hollywood Blvd is in a strip mall with several places to eat. We went to Tangy Thai2, 7363 West Sunset Blvd, Hollywood CA 90046, for a quick dinner in between washing and drying. Hey, not bad! it was a pleasant surprise and the only one in the strip mall with an A rating. We had the curry and shrimp dumplings with a side of chicken satay. I am looking forward to another trip with Meg. There's something romantic about doing the laundry together. It's so "domestic". I was also wondering if any famous stars did their laundry there before they became famous.

Las Glorias




I was on my way to Pasadena via getting through Silver lake onto the 5. I had little time but was so hungry. That's when I pulled over and went to las Glorias, (213) 484-9090, 620 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. It's a great hole in the wall that is strategically between the Hollywood Freeway and the main Silver Lake hot spot. I ordered a Burrito Al Pastor. It was really delicious. I was going to say glorious but that would be to lame.