Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Urth CAfe


Evidently there are four locations all in LA but this was my first time at any of them. 451 Hewitt Avenue Los Angeles CA just east of Little Tokyo between Alameda and the LA River off of 4th Street. This area has made a 180 degree turn from what it was just a couple of years ago with art galleries, loft spaces and gift shops. Urth Cafe has a wonderful down to "earth" feel and perhaps is a great place for people watching. We only went for a late afternoon tea and cake but they have a full menu and areopen till quitelate. My friend spoke to the owner once and it looks like they are very picky about the ingredients they use. For instance, they travel to coffee growers all over the world just to make sure they're coffee is the best they can get and they also insist on fair market or fair trade. I had a delicious ice tea and shared a triple cheese cake. My friend had a French Press coffee which knocked her socks off. Maybe not quite the under $10 lunch place but seemingly worth it and a great treat during your day in Downtown LA.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Daikokuya



Some say this is the best ramen in LA. Maybe. I rarely go because the line is always too long. Today, Campuzano, artist Clement Hanami and I were in Little Tokyo for lunch and wouldn't you know? No line in front of Daikokuya. How could we pass this up? They are located at 327 East First Street, LA CA 90012, 213-626-1680. Clement and I had the Daikokuya Ramen which is a traditional ramen with piping hot broth, vegetables, a hard boiled egg and delicious sliced pork. I was in heaven or a sauna. Campuzano had the Hiyashi Chuka, a traditional summer version of ramen, cold noodles, thinly cut pork, tamago yaki (sweet egg omelet), vegetables drenched in a light soy-based sauce. I also ordered the green ice tea. Summer is officially here! The images for this entry are courtesy of Campuzano and her iPhone.

Twoheys




Sometimes, my mind wanders and I recall tastes of certain meals from my childhood, when my little brother looked the part and carb intake was not a issue. I guess this is what you call a craving. Twohey's is the place where the craving can be satisfied. Twohey's has been there a really long time. It's located at 1224 North Atlantic Blvd, Alhambra CA 91801, 626-284-7387. It's not uncommon that your server's been working there for several decades and has a smile so honest that you decide the heck with the diet, I'm ordering ice cream. When you first walk in, there's a display of the "soda pop" you can order. The Stewart's Key Lime Soda immediately caught my eye. It was like love at first sight. We were seated near the window. We ordered the garden salad which was huge, the Stinko Burger (lots of onions), onion rings (the kind I used to make for my little brother) and the Royal Banana Split. The banana split had old school ice cream that reminded me of Carnations Ice Cream circa 1976, homemade maraschino cherries, homemade whip cream and crushed fresh roasted almonds. It was amazing, humongous and memorable.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gram's BBQ Palace; entry 350




Gram's BBQ Palace is located in historic Downtown Riverside, 3527 Main Street, Riverside CA 92501, 951-782-8219. What a find. Painter Dana Liston and I went to go check out the Riverside Art Museum. Megan Whitmarsh, one of my favorite artists, had several works in a group show there. She's quite awesome. I was first introduced to her work through her comic zine "Snow Monkeys" but she's really blossomed into whimsical and editorial 2 and 3 dimensional work. Afterwards, Dana and I were hungry. We followed our instincts and found Gram's BBQ Palace. The catfish was excellent. Toasty breaded outside and steamy lush catfish inside. The candied yams were excellent. I was so full, I didn't order the dessert I had eyed when I was placing my order earlier. Dana had the pulled pork sandwich which she loved, couldn't finish, and said was very spicy. The servings here are a little bit more than most. Sharing a dinner and making room for dessert might be a better approach. This is my 350th entry for this blog. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Koshiji



It was a wonderful lunch with artist Jeff Mohr or Jeffe, as we call him. We had eyed this place weeks before and finally made it in together. Koshiji is located at Weller Court in Little Tokyo, 123 S.Onizuka St. #203, LA CA 90012, 213-626-4989 and specializes in yakitori which is a kind of Japanese version of shishkabob. Little bits of meats, vegetables on a skewer and cooked over hot coals or sumi. Some versions have teriyaki like sauces on them and they give you various spices to enhance the tastes. Pictured here are the two lunch specials we ordered. The rice was covered with this semi sweet graze of ground pork that was really amazing. They call this Soboro rice. It's a delicious bento-style course that is well worth the price.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chano's




Potato tacos? I love potato tacos. A bunch of us headed out to Chano's (The Original) at 3309 North Mission Road, LA CA 90031, 323-224-9070. They have a full vegetarian menu for you non-flesh eating folk. The tacos were delicious. It may be a little too greasy for some of you but I really enjoyed it. I also had a taquitto which i wasn't as happy with. The potato taco stole the show. It wasn't over the top, cooked well and chunky!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mini Bites





There's a great trend of mini burgers now days. From Jack-n-the-Box to Burger King to some of the higher end places around town. Unlike these places, Mini Bites solely sells the mini burgers. Located on the corner of Virgil and Santa Monica, they have a variety of flavors. Each order comes with two mini's. I ordered the cheese and bacon and the mushroom. This is the location of the old burger and hot dog stand, Pete's. Remember the Garage? It was across the street. Anyway, I miss Pete's but I wanted to give this place a try. The burger takes a while to cook. In fact, they have signs posted warning that it may take a while to get your meal. Once I did get it, it came in a cool brown board box. Each burger is kinda cute and well presented. The cheeses and bacon where top notch. Unfortunately, the burger itself had that odd texture, like it was frozen and then they cooked it. You now,like rubber? I swear everything else was great. Oh well.