Los Angeles & Orange County

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Benzee
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/23 10:55:19 (permalink)
That was a fantastic and I mean fantastic trip report !!!!!
Excellent photos and descriptions.
Not surprised about the Pinks description .
The due in the cowboy hat is strictly LA baby !!!

Benzee
#61
The Travelin Man
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/23 13:38:11 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by MiamiDon

From what I originally gathered from various posts on and off of Roadfood (and my above-mentioned call to an ex-California friend), it was something similar to New Orleans "BBQ Shrimp". For those not familiar with this, it is a sauteed hot-sauce/butter/garlic/herbs/spices concoction that is not "barbequed". One eats the peel-and-eat shrimp, and the delicious sauce is sopped up with french bread. The New Orleans Creole version is wonderful.


I don't know if you are the type to cook up a good meal, but I gave[url='http://styok.blogspot.com/2006/06/killer-shrimp.html']"Killer Shrimp"[/url] a fair shake a couple of years ago. I think I tinkered a little with a recipe someone posted around here somewhere (Michael Hoffman, maybe?). It was pretty darn close.
#62
mar52
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/23 14:14:21 (permalink)
No way!

That dude in the cowboy hat has to be visiting from elseware. (didn't want to name states and get in trouble)

No doubt he just walked across the street from the train station.
#63
MiamiDon
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/23 14:19:20 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by The Travelin Man



I don't know if you are the type to cook up a good meal, but I gave[url='http://styok.blogspot.com/2006/06/killer-shrimp.html']"Killer Shrimp"[/url] a fair shake a couple of years ago. I think I tinkered a little with a recipe someone posted around here somewhere (Michael Hoffman, maybe?). It was pretty darn close.


Thanks for the recipe link, TTM (I've been reading the FF miles advice, too). Yes, I am the main cook in our house.
#64
CCinNJ
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/23 14:27:02 (permalink)
There are also several Pinkberry locations in NYC.

Very nice report. You wife or family you were visiting must be quite understanding and a very good sports.

All the time and energy you put into your very through and realtime Roadfood reporting.

Many spouses and/or families would have been tapping a foot.

#65
MiamiDon
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/23 15:07:07 (permalink)
I left my wife in Miami.

#66
The Travelin Man
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/23 15:47:31 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by MiamiDon

Thanks for the recipe link, TTM (I've been reading the FF miles advice, too).


Thanks. I should get back to that blog one day, if I ever remember how to write well.

The recipe for Killer Shrimp was easier in practice than it looks on paper.
#67
CCinNJ
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/23 16:28:31 (permalink)
Ok. That explains why your reports were all single person dining experiences.

Speaking of Pinkberry, there has been some controversy/question about if Pinkberry meets the minimum requirement of state guidelines to be called a frozen yogurt product. They also recently settled a lawsuit, about their operational mixing procedures which were being done within their franchise locations, and not in a dairy.

Growing pains come along with notoriety and being on the fast track to becoming the next expolosive national franchise.


#68
Nancypalooza
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/25 13:17:54 (permalink)
Oh Don, sneaking in In-N-Out, a juice joint and bahn mi at the last minute, now you're just showing off. :)
#69
MiamiDon
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/25 13:25:01 (permalink)
#70
Slim Strummer
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/26 11:19:58 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

quote:
Originally posted by Slim Strummer

quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew[
I guess my point is that in my 'humble' opinion a good burger is about the quality of the meat first and foremost. It seems to me a good analogy for LA Burgers would be a Dominos or Pizza Hut Pizza served with Grimaldi's or Pepe's toppings. I guess for some it might work.


I would analogize differently. It could be the same way people think about Cincinnati Chili--it isn't really chili--but it has its own culinary appeal in any event. Or what some say about Chicago dogs--'why put a salad on a hot dog?'. But yeah, I think LA burger culture can be overblown.



I'm not sure I would consider those analogies and heres why, Cincinnati Chili is definetely unique, but despite all the toppings, the chili is still the underlying factor that makes or breaks the dish(sorry about the pun) and same thing with the Chicago Dog- it's a quality hot dog that goes into that bun- if it was a ballpark or oscar meyer frank that's hidden under the cornuccopia of toppings then I would have a beef with those chicago dogs too (I'm just full of puns today- aren't I??!!)


Goods puns, at least.

By the way, MiamiDon, you made me very "place-I-use-to-live-sick" with those shots. Awesome shots, particularly of the Farmer's Market. Just a great trip report.

Anyhow, WJ: We may be in violent agreement. With Cincinnati chili, I am not sure people would simply eat a bowl of it on its own anymore than they'd eat a Tommy's burger without the chili and everything else. The point in Tommy's case (as may be the case with Cincy chili as well), is the "everything else". I am not sure a fantastic quality burger belongs in the Tommy's experience, and the meat is good enough to make it, at least for me, a desirable culinary romp, at least once in a while.

I think I can conclude that many folks hear about the rapturous LA burger culture and then come away a little non-plussed. And I am sympathetic with that (e.g., the wildly overrated Apple Pan burger or In-N-Out (which really should be compared with McDonald's and Wendy's, against which it stacks up rather nicely)). To me the LA burger/dog experience is about lots of chili and other weird stuff on the meat (like Pink's and Oki Dog). It is "off the trail" somewhat for a true burger experience. But I still dig it.
#71
roossy90
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/26 13:12:26 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

Whats with the guy in the cowboy hat, col sanders suit, and weird sunglasses in the Phillipe's pic?

A little late here, but I just saw those same sunglasses in the mall!, Only they also had red, pink, and neon green ones.
I bet that guy has every color to match his outfits.

LA, to me, is like NYC. You see just about anything and anyone.

#72
wanderingjew
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/27 08:50:58 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Slim Strummer
Anyhow, WJ: We may be in violent agreement. With Cincinnati chili, I am not sure people would simply eat a bowl of it on its own anymore than they'd eat a Tommy's burger without the chili and everything else. The point in Tommy's case (as may be the case with Cincy chili as well), is the "everything else". I am not sure a fantastic quality burger belongs in the Tommy's experience, and the meat is good enough to make it, at least for me, a desirable culinary romp, at least once in a while.


Slim,

I agree, I doubt few would eat Cincinnati Chili on its own- but the chili is still "the star attraction" of the dish- this is what distinguishes Camp Washington from Blue Ash or Price Hill from Gold Star-For example, I really enjoyed Blue Ash's Five Way, but wasn't thrilled with Price Hill's- why?- because of the chili

It almost seems like the burger in a "LA Burger" (I wince when I use that term because I still don't think its truly distinguishable from a burger served anywhere else)is just another ingredient that compromises the sandwich. Just like some don't consider Cincinnati Chili to be "chili" I guess that the same argument could me made here-maybe this shouldn't be called a burger at all- Maybe you just coined the correct name for the sandwich- "A Chili and lots of other weird stuff on the meat sandwich"
#73
Slim Strummer
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/28 08:42:43 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by wanderingjew

quote:
Originally posted by Slim Strummer
Anyhow, WJ: We may be in violent agreement. With Cincinnati chili, I am not sure people would simply eat a bowl of it on its own anymore than they'd eat a Tommy's burger without the chili and everything else. The point in Tommy's case (as may be the case with Cincy chili as well), is the "everything else". I am not sure a fantastic quality burger belongs in the Tommy's experience, and the meat is good enough to make it, at least for me, a desirable culinary romp, at least once in a while.


Slim,

I agree, I doubt few would eat Cincinnati Chili on its own- but the chili is still "the star attraction" of the dish- this is what distinguishes Camp Washington from Blue Ash or Price Hill from Gold Star-For example, I really enjoyed Blue Ash's Five Way, but wasn't thrilled with Price Hill's- why?- because of the chili

It almost seems like the burger in a "LA Burger" (I wince when I use that term because I still don't think its truly distinguishable from a burger served anywhere else)is just another ingredient that compromises the sandwich. Just like some don't consider Cincinnati Chili to be "chili" I guess that the same argument could me made here-maybe this shouldn't be called a burger at all- Maybe you just coined the correct name for the sandwich- "A Chili and lots of other weird stuff on the meat sandwich"


As long as it tastes good...
#74
EliseT
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/28 14:34:16 (permalink)
aaaak!!!

You passed up a new Aunt Kizzy's in the old location of Killer Shrimp??? The best smothered pork chops in LA!!!

You guys have got to start emailing me before you come to LA!

Otherwise you hit the majors.
#75
MiamiDon
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/28 16:29:35 (permalink)
Oh no! I even looked in the door.

I wanted to get in touch with you, but my computer didn't like the hotel wi-fi, and I could not send email. Unfortunately, I did not realize until I had returned that I could have used the Roadfood.com message/emailer to get you. Oh well, maybe next time!

Don
#76
EliseT
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/28 18:01:36 (permalink)
Next time email before you leave and I'll give you my cell.

I think we should have a roadfood hotline for "My restaurant is closed! Where else can I go? and it will forward to locals in the area. Maybe we'll have to figure out this twitter thing.

http://twitter.com/

elise

#77
harriet1954
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/08/28 19:50:23 (permalink)
I should be getting ready for bed (I have to get up at 2:15), but I've already looked at this thread twice, and I'm just so in awe of those photos. The lighting is just right, and everything just comes alive. I lived in the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles for three years, and I can truthfully tell you that out of all those places you've mentioned and pictured, I've only been to the Original Pantry. And, I must add that I have saved since then a fantastic retro-looking pamphlet from there that if you're interested, I can scan and send to you. It is mind-blowing, because it lists how much of each type of food (eggs, etc.) they use in a year there...or at least did at the time that was printed up. I might put it on my flickr page anyway to have handy.

We mostly spent our time in the Valley, working, but I do remember going to the Ranch Market and having my first taste of octopus and ginger. I thought it was A-OK, but haven't had it since.

I'm glad to have left L.A. those many years ago, for a few reasons, but your pictures...make me almost wanna go back. My mom's brother has lived out that way since the 50s, and I have many cousins who are very Californian! They didn't know WHAT to make of the East Coast, but that's another story.

Thanks, Don, very cool report. Now I can get some rest!
#78
toro
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/09/06 19:11:44 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by TJ Jackson

Whats with the guy in the cowboy hat, col sanders suit, and weird sunglasses in the Phillipe's pic?


ahh the kanye shades. maddeningly ubiquitous with the fashionably late. sorry can't stand those things.
#79
catherines
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/09/06 20:04:13 (permalink)
MiamiDon

Thanks for the report. Everything looks delightful and delectable.
#80
Angelle
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/09/07 19:18:52 (permalink)
WOW!

What excellent photos of LA and area!

I have been going to the Pantry since I was a little girl as well as Olvera Street, and most of the other places you mentioned.

I live here and your beautiful pictures only reinforced how much I LOVE LA!

Thank you for the lovely experience :)
#81
ann peeples
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/10/24 13:12:58 (permalink)
I dont know how I missed this report at the time-but fantastic!!!
#82
MetroplexJim
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2008/10/25 11:17:51 (permalink)
Thanks for the great report.

On our last trip to SoCal Mrs. Metro and I set out from the Fairmont in Newport Beach Christmas morning in search of breakfast. Travelling north on the PCH two things surprised me: restaurants open = 0; liquor stores open = every single one! We had to travel all the way to Sunset Beach before we found Harbor House Cafe, open 24/7/365: www.harborhousecafe.com (check the menu!). We liked it so much that we returned twice. Next time, just tell them you want your homefries well done! They come in handy for sopping up all that sauce.
#83
Nancypalooza
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2009/03/07 15:30:07 (permalink)
I asked Don for permission for an add-on and he kindly agreed.  I never seem to hit as many places as most of you do and it doesn't seem to warrant a report all on its own, so for ease of people trying to find information, I try to add on.

I have a couple of pictures to add to Don's excellent Original Pantry Cafe coverage on the first page.  First the line as seen from the front door on a Sunday morning about 10:



And I second what he says about the coffee and the orange juice, both excellent.  The thing I wasn't prepared for here is the lightning-fast speed with which you get served.  I went as I typically do for the biscuits and gravy, shown here:



You can't see the pepper in these but there was some there.  This was a good middle B biscuits and gravy, which I wasn't expecting from Granola California.  Nice work, Pantry.  I also got a side of scrambled eggs and the home fried potatoes:



That is a heavy duty serious crust on those potatoes.  They give a nice tunk-tunk-tunk when you tap them with your fork.  Lovely, fluffy eggs.  Keep in mind the biscuits and gravy is something ridiculous (for LA) like $3.95 on the menu.  My mother had two over easy eggs and sausage patties:



which were perfect.  I grabbed a mug to take home with me.  I know wheregreggeats is a fan of John O'Groats and I'll have to try that the next time I go to LA, but between the Pantry and Phillippe's, they have great breakfast joints already.

We actually left breakfast to go to a local outlet of Spudnuts donuts at the behest of a couple of ladies due in that afternoon, which I talk about in this thread: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/CajunKing-Finds-an-OPEN-Spudnut-Donuts-m458827.aspx

The new place I'd like to add to this thread is Auntie Em's, a lovely hippie eatery and bakery located in Eagle Rock.  We went there two days before the Pantry Cafe late morning, so my mother ordered breakfast.  They have a large selection of open-faced breakfast sandwiches.  This one is two eggs over easy, cheese and link sausage on sourdough, accompanied by salsa:



Oh, let me tell you how cute my mother was.  She asked if I didn't want the eggs flipped back over the sandwich so I could show the sausage etc. off for the picture.  What a good RF companion.  I was still pretty confused, stomachwise, over what meal I should be eating so I went with the skirt-steak and caramelized onion salad:



And it was good, but I got the wrong thing; I only finished about a third of it.  And the sweet little guy who waited on us had tried to warn me off of it and I didn't listen to him.  (He was suggesting the Cobb and I would have liked it better.  This is a really wet salad, although delicious with local blue cheese and a house vinaigrette.)  So I told him when it was time to order dessert that I was putting myself in his capable hands.  He did not steer me wrong, to a buttermilk-custard apple pie:



This is such a bright and lovely combination of flavors.  You get a little tang from the custard, not overwhelming, but they've gone to the trouble of using really good fresh apples, Granny Smith or the like, and the apples pop as much as the custard does.  On my list of greatest desserts ever, and it's not even why we came here.  They make their own cupcakes (chocolate, coconut, red velvet and carrot) in two sizes.  My mother calls the little ones 'sugar bullets' which is an apt description.  Here's her choice, coconut and carrot, before and after:





I tried them both and they're excellent.  The coconut cake itself is really subtle, vanillaey and sweet.  I'm turning into a carrot cake fan in my old age and this is a stunning example; both had really good cream cheese frosting.  Here's the sugar bullets and their larger counterparts in their bake case up front:



With a lady who was asking a lot of questions trying to fix what one(s) she wanted but needed to have some lunch first.  As you do.  Another shot of the case next to the cupcake case, where you can see other desserts up top and their very good looking salads inside:



And some of their other dessert choices on a board:



This is Auntie Em's from the street:



You should check 'em out.  

Let's see, other food related issues.  I was my mother's guest at a banquet for work where she was getting a customer service award, and guess what, it was at the Beverly Hills Hotel.  (That doesn't happen where I work.)  I was trying so hard to not be country and take copious amounts of pictures but I snapped one of the table setting before dinner:



There's a glass paperweight in the box, incidentally.  We also got these, which as you can see, didn't make it past the weekend:



I have to say something about the food though.  It was really incredible.  I'm used to all other hotel food, which is just passable and usually insultingly bad for what you paid for it (I just organized a work conference last year and the scars are still fresh).  I have no idea what the city of Beverly Hills paid for these dinners but the menu here included both a small filet mignon with a cabernet sauce and a small piece of Chilean sea bass with a citrus doohickey on it, and I wanted to dive in and lick the plate of both those sauces.  Stunning.  The only thing I didn't finish was the tarragon mashed potatoes, but honestly I was saving room for dessert: alternating seats between a lemon tart and a chocolate creme brulee, both with fresh berries.  And Elise they both had the mystery cups, this time of chocolate, full of sorbet, which was also diveworthy.  Oh I didn't talk about the salad.  A big plate full of leafy greens and frisee with gorgonzola, pecans, and poached pears.   Deeelicious.  And the service and the band, all incredible.  Nice work, fancy bastards!

One other fun thing we did.  I've always wanted to go to Santa Anita and we did it this trip.  We spent Saturday afternoon from about noon to five in the clubhouse, ordering Arnold Palmers, talking about horses' butt musculature, and placing bets.  It was not all that hard to pick up once you laid your hands on the right stuff.  The food however, I'm sad to say, is both just okay and expensive.  Here was lunch:



which was just okay.  Also, really excellent service.  The last race of the day was all California-raised or -owned fillies. I want Davydd to guess on which horse I put my money:



For those of you interested in the races, etc. there are more pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nancypalooza/
#84
mar52
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2009/03/07 15:55:07 (permalink)
You were in LA????   

Well darn!  

I'm really nice.  Really.  I like to eat.  I'm presentable.  Mother's like me.

Next time email me!

At least stop by my shop to say hello.

Unless of course you don't want to.

Very nice report.  I've never heard of Auntie Em's.  Looks like a place that I'd like, but Eagle Rock is out of the way.  
#85
Nancypalooza
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2009/03/07 15:57:09 (permalink)
Actually Marlene I almost did, and next time I'm there with less to do I will be sure to.  I hadn't been out there in almost two years, and I will probably be there about this time next year so I will give you a yell.  I wanted some hot dogs man!

My mother lives in Highland Park so Eagle Rock and South Pass get heavy usage from us.  
#86
mar52
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2009/03/08 01:06:39 (permalink)
Okay, you're forgiven.

Ever go to that market in Highland Park with all the different types of soda?  I don't know why they health department doesn't shut them down.  Neat place if you're looking for a root beer taste comparison.

Anyway... you're on!

My favorite hot dog place is now Fabs.

I'll buy!
#87
Foodbme
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2009/03/08 03:28:39 (permalink)
Slim Strummer

The Original Pantry appears to have moved next door. Riordan's Tavern looks to be in the old Pantry space.

It is a lot cleaner looking than it used to be.


 
My thoughts exactly. My daughter was a student @ USC (University of Spoiled Children) from 1988-92 and they practically lived at The Pantry. There used to be a lot more "Street  People" hanging around there too to get handouts. Since it's now owned by the Ex Mayor of LA, he probably used some of his "Slush Fund" money to clean the building up and has the Cops keeping the homeless at bay! My daughter and her Swim Team buddies would give their "To go" leftover food boxes to the "Street People".


#88
MiamiDon
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2009/03/08 06:46:09 (permalink)
Very nice addition, Nancypalooza.  I saw that line forming at the Original Pantry when I left, but there was no wait when I arrived. 

Auntie Em's looks like a keeper.  The sourdough bread and salsa on the side sure make that open-faced breakfast sandwich "California".  Buttermilk-custard apple pie sounds great!  (Where's Buffetbuster?)
#89
brittneal
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RE: Los Angeles & Orange County 2009/03/08 09:43:49 (permalink)
Don, thats one of the best reads Ive ever seen on the board.  Definitly since the "change".
I cant believe that ham steak you got.  I cant remember ho long its been since ive seen a bone in ham steak for breakfast.
I did notice one thing.  On the hot dog forum there was griping about the cashier that hands your food out not wearing gloves.  I notices the folks in back at In and Out handling the food bare handed.
Again excellent.  Makes me wish I never left Orange count in the 70's
#90
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