Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hallenbeck's General Store and Cafe in NoHo

I was working on a project in NoHo this week and past by the location where the old Iliad Bookshop used to be on Lankershim. There used to be a punk presents there back in the 80's. I think they even had music performances and poetry readings there. NoHo has really stepped it up. There's been a lot of building in that area. Well, someone I was working with told me that the Iliad was still around and moved over to Cahuenga. After our meeting, I drove over and there it was, The Iliad bookstore. It was awesome! I bought four art books for under $50. If you like books and LA history, you have to know about this place. Well, a half a block north of the Iliad, is a really unique cafe. The Hallenbeck's General Store and Cafe is located at 5510 Caheunga Blvd, North Hollywood CA 91601. it's a relatively new place but it's designed to look like a general store from the 30's or 40's. I ordered a sandwhich called the San Francisco which came in a delicious pressed roll with peaches, ham, melted cheeses, onions, lettuce and some spicy mustard. They have B Splits but I just couldn't do it so I ordered their popular peach pie. Next door is an acting school, so perdiodically you have all these great looking men and women reading scripts or coming in between classes. I guess that's very Hollywood, or North Hollywood. On a side note, the sink fixtures are super cool looking. Kinda Deco-like. They even have a stage and feature live music during the week.

Teres Mexican Grill in Hollywood

I was working with artist Megan DeArmond in Hollywood last week and lunch time came upon us! She asked if I like guacamole. YES! She recommended Teres Mexican Grill at 5870 West Melrose Avenue LA CA 90802. The tacos are average but the guacamole was awesome. I could have just ordered the guac and been happy. This place is in a mini-mall. They have an indoor and outdoor table seating section. That afternoon, they were pouring new asphalt into the parking lot. Luckily we were in doors but you could still slightly smell it. Having said that, everyone in the place watched the hypnotic pouring of the asphalt. I even took a video.

Long Beach Cafe

A group of us are quasi-training for the Bicycle Coalitions LBC ride in two weeks. We hooked up at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo and rode down to the LBC. About two hours later we made it! We were so hungry and dead tired we could have eaten anywhere but artist Clement Hanami was adamant that we go to the Long Beach Cafe. Not exactly sure where it was, we began to doubt him when ten minutes into circling around the East Village, he started to ask random people for directions. None of them seemed to know what he was talking about. As we circled around to busier streets, we found it! Long Beach Cafe is located at 615 East Ocean Blvd. LB CA 90802. The exterior is not very inciting but it does have an old school vibe. We locked up our bikes and walked in. It was packed; popular place. They had salmon omelets, waffles, burgers, salads, BLT's, etc. In the center of the multi-pages menu is a Greek section. Greek? It turns out that the owner is Greek. I ordered a Greek combo plate that was good and healthy. We were so tired but having a good time until my banana split arrived. This is the biggest b-split we ever saw. I asked that they bring everyone at the table a spoon. It was perfect for all of us to share. That was a lot of fun.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Phillipes in Downtown LA

I was watching one of my favorite TV shows last week, Man VS Food and Adam went to Phillipes. It inspired my visit today for lunch.
Phillipes, 1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA, (213) 628-3781, is allegedly the birth place of the French Dip. (Cole's said they were but in a Downtown News report several years ago, they did their research and claimed Phillipes was it). You can get beef, pork, turkey or lamb French Dip. I usually order turkey, double dipped with bleu cheese but Adam said the beef was the best so I thought I'd give it another try. (I'd been ordering my usual turkey combo for about ten years now). The beef was succulent and tender. The roll is fresh with that crispy outside. I'm also a fan of the beef stew, chili, rice pudding and macaroni salad. In the back, is a train museum filled with memorabilia of LA's train history. There's also a very cool candy counter with treats from the present, past and way past. My favorite Phillipes item is their mustard. It taste like it has horseradish but apparently it doesn't. it's just hot, like wasabi hot.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

QUEEE or Marco y Paolo Sushi Station in Chinatown

So artist Jeffrey James Mohr and I discovered a sushi place that took the place of Asian Noodles in Chinatown. QUEEE is located at 643 North Spring Street LA CA 90012, 213-221-7870. It's just four months old but what a find! Paolo is from Portugal and has worked at some of the top sushi restaurants around town. He found himself with a new opportunity and teamed with Marco who owns a seafood market just down the block. See? Isn't this already interesting sounding?. A sushi chef from Portugal who opens a sushi place with a seafood market owner. Why hasn't this happened before? It's totally logical. I'm not going to write about the food. Here's lot's of pictures for you to enjoy but you really need to go. There might be a seafood not on the menu and only served that day so go and keep a hungry and open mind. They are only open for lunch right now. Dinners are for parties only but you know, if you're nice and interested, who knows? They make their own mochi-ice cream. The coffee was really excellent. I've been back once already and plan to go again tomorrow. OK, that's enough, go, GO!!!!

The Fix in Silver Lake

Attention to detail? That's important, even though I am not a detail type of person. My boss could confirm that. But I believe that's what I liked most about this place. The Fix is located at 2520 Hyperion Avenue Silver Lake CA 90027, 323-661-8494. I ordered the Ono Burger. This is a burger place. Not only do they serve beef but also buffalo and ostrich. The Ono Burger has some teriyaki in it and was good. it had that lean beef which is not my favorite. I like the less-healthy 50-50 with just enough grease that spills and fat-per-bite experience. Here's the detail. The garlic fries kicked my butt. The garlic to potato ratio must be 2:3. Big chunky grilled garlic cloves. Bite after bite while watching ESPN on the big screen, I was really having a great time for my lunch time away from work. They had a great selection of sodas too. I ordered a ginger beer from Australia that was so rich with ginger it almost stung. I also ordered a peanut butter shake that was quite awesome and hit the spot. I'm told the night crowd is very happening here. My lunch time was peaceful and subdued. BTW, if you have time, check out the hardware store across the street. It's fantastic, OG and you're bound to find something you need.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Soul Food Kitchen in Inglewood

Sometimes, food can save your heart. I was at my sons high school volleyball game a couple of weeks ago. His school went to play against Inglewood High. That's the school Paul Pierce went to BTW. The game was in the late afternoon but I left work early because I realized that that game and the next were the final games of my son's school sports career. It was the end of the road of what is twelve years of driving him all over Southern California for one game or another, basketball league games, volleyball and basketball school games, I sure went to a lot of them. The game was fun to watch. He played well. They beat Inglewood but I didn't have to hurry back to the school to pick him up off the school bus with the rest of the team, you see, he started to drive months ago. So there I was. The end of his game in Inglewood. I miss driving him to games and cheering him on. Sort of sad and nostalgic, I stumbled across "SOUL FOOD" in big letters. YES! This will cheer me up. The line was made up of regulars and folks from the neighborhood. Yes, I was the only non-African American in the place but the moment folks realized I was serious about my food, they welcomed me in like an old friend. I even got a sample of the peach cobbler, which I have to tell you was the best I have ever had. The lady who was next to me in line said the pork chops were excellent but I saw ox tail on the menu and that's my weakness. The oxtail, in a brown sauce were so tender, the meat just melted in my mouth. The mac and cheese and greens were excellent. Tender and buttery greens and cheesy-to-the-max mac and cheese. The candied yams were magical, just sweet enough and stove hot. Just writing this down is making me hungry. How lucky we are to have such a place awesome as Soul Food Kitchen. By the end of the meal (brought home leftovers and relived it at home), I was giddy and practically floating in happiness.