Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Umami Burger

Raw ground beef. You have to be ready for that, open to that and have a strong stomach. Like a beef tataki, the hamburger in my Umami Burger was cooked on the thin outside but raw as in crumbly raw in the inside. It was a course in semi turbulent waters but in the end it was good. The burger comes with a delicious glazed egg bun, thin fried cheese patty, shitaki mushroom and grilled onion mixture. I also ordered a side of Malt Liquor Tempura Onion Rings which were delicate, a little greasy and tender. I think the ketchup was homemade. I also ordered a delicious root beer pop from Louisiana called "Abita". It was a swell brew. This hamburger is unusual and for the open minded. It's a must if you pride yourself as a burger adventurer, otherwise, beware of those turbulent waters.

Friday, March 20, 2009

KCs Crepes Cafe

Wednesday evening, Kio, Peter and I had sometime to kill before our interview on KXLU, so we decided to get drinks and crepes. The Crepes at KC's Crepes Cafe, 8320 Lincoln Blvd, LA CA 310-348-9687 reminded me of that crepe turck like ice cream truck in Harajuku, Tokyo. It's so different than the crepes in Santa Monica and the one on Sawtelle. I can't really describe why but I think it has to do with how many eggs they use. I ordered the spinach/mushroom which was absolutely delicious. I also ordered the banana blueberry which was filled with homemade whip cream. My goodness, what a buzz and what a treat!

Mugs Up

Today was lunch time with artist Jeffrey James Mohr or Jeffe. We couldn't think of a place to eat so i suggested the diner in back of the old Treehouse studios, where he used to live and curate shows. Mugs Up, 2232 Enterprise St. LA CA 90021, 213-683-1510, has been there for 31 years. The Chinese couple that runs it are very sweet and friendly. Among the framed images in the place include a portrait of George W and Laura Bush, Hillary and Bill Clinton, and Sylvester Stallone. There are great drawings they've receive from customers throughout the years of the cafe both interiors and exteriors. Jeffe ordered the chicken fried steak and I the meatloaf dinner. The mix of canned sweet corn, can gravy, box mash potato and butt-thick meatloaf was endearing and fun but we paid for it later. It's a good thing we got back safely. Driving was really murky and questionable after this high-fat meal but it was good. It afforded me fond memories of TV dinners with my little brother after school.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bossa Nova

After 11:00 PM on a Saturday, it was challenging to find a place to eat but Kio and Midori recommended Bossa Nova, 10982 West Pico Blvd. W LA CA 90064, 310-481-9802. Off we drove, in three separate cars (I hate that) and found ourselves in a cozy vinyl comforted tent with our own outdoor heater. Why was it so chilly Saturday evening? We just watched a bunch of Japanese short films and animations at Royal Tea for the Japan Film Festival. Bossa Nova, in this tent, was perfect; somewhat quite and secluded. We ordered a ton of delicious plates including the skirt steak so rich and tender, a garlic shrimp plate, a yummy smoked ham with olives pizza, and for dessert, a spectacular caramelized banana and creme in these Benet type fried pockets with vanilla ice cream.


Artist Megan DeArmond highly recommended the burger at Surfas, 3975 Landmark Street Culver City CA 90232, 310-559-4770. In fact, she said it was the best burger in LA. Wow! The best? Hmmm. So I went there once. It's part of a bigger store of amazing cooking tools and high end ingredients. It's a fantastic store and sells those delicous ginger chews with peanutbutter. They're from Azusa. I went shopping first and by the time I finished shopping, around 3:30 PM, the kitchen was closed. They only serve desserts and drinks after 3PM. The second time I went, again, it was closed. So this Saturday, I made sure I got there before they closed and ordered the Kobe Burger. It's a $16.00 burger. It comes with a delicious mixed green salad and a fork that looks like silverware but it's coated plastic. The burger is thick and is served on a cibata. I ordered mines with bleu cheese. It was certainly delicous but the best? I think that's were DeArmond and I would differ but I can certainly understand why she would say that.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Rivas, 312 wilshire blvd., santa monica ca 90401, 310-451-riva, has magical pizza. Chef Miles has custom designed deep and soulful take offs of your favorites. Today, we only had one, the meatball pizza. The stone oven cooked crust was crunchy, soft inside and thin. The tomato sauce was deep and earthy and the taste of the wood fire takes you to another place. I am most def going back until I've had everything on that pizza menu. What a wonderful jewel. I sat at the counter. I really think that's essential. I only had my phone today so I promise I'll add good pizza images. For now, here's the stone oven, Chef Miles and the blood orange salad I ate with my pizza today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

LA Vegan

LA Vegan, 4507 South Centinela Avenue LA CA 90066, 310-574-9888 between Washington and Culver Blvd, has caught my eye recently. It's such a small place. In fact, when I brought up to some locals, they had no idea it was there. I finally went last night. Their menu seconds as a door knob flier. The interior is like a budget Pinkberry. I had no idea what to order because the menu's all over the place; veggie meat dinners, burgers, pancakes, wraps, salads, curries, thai dishes, etc. I ordered the Pepper Steak Dinner. What it lacked in sophistication it overcame in abundance. Heafty servings of soy-based sliced steak, fried potatoes (your choice of this or brown rice), steamed veggies and shredded cabbage. I also ordered the cranberry Kombucha. That drink always gives me a buzz. I'm going back and ordering the curry. I bet that's the stuff. I should have asked what their most popular dish is. I was the only one in the place but they continually had people coming to pick up their take out orders.


Otomisan, Japanese Restaurant, 323-526-1150, 2506 East 1st Street, LA CA has been in East LA a very very very long time. Today, I had the tempura udon. The flavor is old school Japan. It had the Tokyo heavy soup taste, piping hot, lots of tempura's shrimp and vegetables, just a bowl of heaven, especially for a drizzly day like today was. The customers there today were elderly Japanese woman and senior Latinos. The TV seemed to be the only thing from this century. It felt like home.