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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Plan Check Kitchen & Bar

Plan Check Kitchen & Bar
1111 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90017

So Discover LA listed 5 great veggie burgers in LA in 2017.  I tried two of them on the list-The Park and Burger Lords.  But, I've was really looking for to going to Plan Check and try their Double Up Veggie Burger, which seems to have jumped from a frequent blackboard special, to being on the regular menu.

Plan Check is located just west of the 110 freeway on Wilshire.  I figured parking would be bad, so I took the train and walked from 7th and Metro station to Plan Check.  It's a dark gloomy restaurant at night.  Very dim lights in the bar and seating areas.

Double Up Veggie Burger, $14. Veggie patties with portobello mushrooms, watercress, kale, garlic, cashews, yucca root, and breadcrumbs. Americanized dashi and Swiss cheeses, Crunchy battered onion strings, butter lettuce, and tomato mayo.  The patties were a disappointment.  I thought they would be nice and big from the picture from Discover LA.  But, they are small and the burger is small.  Decent flavor to the patties, but this was a pretty dry burger.  They need to add more tomato mayo.  The onion strings added nothing but bad flavor to this burger. This is not a vegan burger with the cheese and bread.  This was an overpriced, underwhelming burger!

Service from the bartender was good.  He was nice and friendly.  But, the general attitude of the other servers and hosts were snotty, pretentious, douchebags! 

If you like gastropubs with pretentious douchebags, Plan Check is perfect for you.  I have no desire to return.

Eagle Rock Italian Bakery & Deli

Eagle Rock Italian Bakery & Deli
1726 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041

After going to Eagle Rock Green Dragon I noticed Eagle Rock Italian Bakery & Deli was across Colorado.  Since I've been to so many restaurants on Colorado-; Cindy's, Eagle Rock Public House, CaCao Mexicatessen, Meea's, Larkin's, Brownstone Pizza, both of them are now closed, Oinkster, Colombo's, Casa Bianca, Blue Hen- which recently closed- I figured why not add another one!! So, I decided to give them at try!

Eagle Rock Italian Bakery & Deli is really an Italian market that has a bakery and deli section.  There are no tables to sit at and eat your sandwich.  You could go across the street and eat at Tommy's.  Or do what I did- eat at the tables at Meea's!  

Large cheese sandwich-$6.75 with cheddar and pepper jack cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato.

This could have been a very good sandwich.  It was about maybe 8 inches long.  The cheeses were good quality cheese.  The veggies were fresh.  But, what I didn't like about this sandwich was the bread.  An Italian roll that had a very hard crust.  The inside was soft and had good texture, but the hard outside just turned my off on this sandwich.

Service was friendly, but slow.  There were three people working behind the counter.  While one lady ordered a ton of stuff, the other two maybe had a handful of items.  But the workers were going in slow motion!  I mean 5 minutes to slice a pound of salami?  The girl who helped me made my sandwich pretty quickly, but they just took forever to help the people in front of me.

While the bakery part of Eagle Rock Italian Bakery & Deli looks very good, I wasn't too impressed with the deli part.  They need to improve the bread on their sandwiches.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Innovation Brew Works

Innovation Brew Works
3650 W Temple Ave
Pomona, CA 91768

Innovation Brew Works is located on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona.  But, unlike the other two times I went to eat at Cal Poly Pomona, Los Olivos Dining Commons and Cafe Vista, which is now closed; this is advertised to the public. The other two are opened to the public, but not really advertised to the public.

It's really a brewery with some salads, sandwiches, and pizza.  The pizza is much like Pizza Rev, Pieology, or Blaze,you can put as many toppings as you want. So, on National Pizza Day I stop in at Innovation Brew Works!  Innovation Brew Works shares the parking lot with Cal Poly Pomona's Extension classes and some other university related offices.  There is a parking lot right out front, but there are different signs for sections of spaces.  One section is from Innovation Works.  Others are for employees of the school.  The section for Innovation Work maybe 6 spaces and you have to have a parking pass from Innovation Works.  The front 3-5 spaces have a one hour time limit.  They really should make parking for Innovation Works bigger.  Nothing worse than getting a parking ticket while eating. 

All pizzas are $8.75.  I got the vegetarian-spinach, mushrooms, red onions, and tomatoes.  It comes with zucchini and artichoke hearts, but I don't touch those two vegetables.  I should have put jalapenos on the pizza, since it would be the same price. Anyways, the pizza was very good!  Better than the other three national chains!  The sauce was great!  Not overpowering, but well seasoned and plenty of flavor.  The veggies were all fresh.  The crust was perfect!  Thin crust, a very good texture, not too crispy or burnt.

Service is good.  The people are friendly and the guy, gave me a parking pass for free and I didn't see anybody checking for parking in the 45 minutes that I was there! 

I would go back to Innovation Brew Works again, EXCEPT for the parking situation!  On weekends I would have no problems going.  But during the week I would have second thoughts!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Baja California Fish Tacos-Fullerton

Baja California Fish Tacos
2931 Nutwood Ave
Fullerton, CA 92831

When I went to the Baja California Fish Tacos location in Lawndale, I noticed they had a location in Fullerton!  So, I went to the Fullerton location to try their grill shrimp taco. 

Baja California Fish Tacos is located in what used to be a Maru Sushi.  They opened in late 2016.  The building seems to be shaped like the original Pizza Hut restaurants.  The walls are painted in bright colors, blues, orange, and green.  There is a counter and tables on your left.  It's a big airy place, much bigger than their Lawndale location.

Grilled Shrimp Taco-$2.99

I really liked the grilled shrimp tacos!  Plump, well cooked and seasoned shrimp with cabbage, red onions, and tomatoes.  The tortilla is the same as Lawndale.  I love the freshness of this taco.  Well worth the price.

Service was good.  The young lady who helped me was nice and friendly.  As with Lawndale, you're greeted as you walk up.

I would go back to Baja California Fish Tacos! 

Baja California Fish Tacos-Lawndale

Baja California Fish Tacos
4749 Artesia Blvd
Lawndale, CA 90260

I found out about Baja California Fish Tacos from this LA Eater wrote a story about the 25 Essential South Bay Restaurants to try.  I love fish and shrimp tacos and wanted to give them a try!  So, I head out there and parking is terrible.  Their small lot was filled, and the place was packed!  Were people coming here to eat before going to their Super Bowl parties?  After ordering I found out I wasted a trip to Lawndale.When I picked up a take out menu, I noticed they had a location in Fullerton, which is much closer to me.  But, I decided to go there to try the grilled shimp tacos.

My standard for fish tacos is Tacos Baja, who now has two locations in Whittier, within two miles of each other on Whittier Blvd!

Fried Baja Taco-$3.99- fried fish, which is swai, and fried shrimp combined!  This was very good! A large piece of swai that was fried perfectly. The shrimp was plump and I believe there were 3 or 4 pieces.   Fresh cabbage, red onions, and tomatoes.

Fried Shrimp Taco-$2.75-  (on the left) The shrimp were fried perfectly and as with the other tacos, the veggies were fresh.  A very good dish!

Fried Fish Taco-$2.35- (on the right) The piece of swai, was a bit soggy.  Otherwise, it was good. But, not great.  Certainly not worth the long drive.  Good thing the Baja and shrimp tacos were good.

Service was good.  The young lady cashier greeted everybody as they walked up to the register.  While it was crowded, the line moved quickly and I got my food quickly.

I can forgive one bad fish taco.  But, good thing I tried the fish and Baja tacos.  If I'm in the area I would go back to Baja California Fish Tacos.  But, I can just go to their Fullerton location when the craving for fish tacos hits me!

Sunday, January 28, 2018


100 Japanese Village Plz
Los Angeles, CA 90012

I have been two sushi restaurant in Little Tokyo; Sushi Gen and Sushi Go 55.  So, while paying tribute to Ellison Onizuka and the rest of the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger; Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis, Judith Resnik, Mike Smith, Dick Scobee, and Ron McNair, I walked around and found Oomasa.  Well, my first choice was the revolving sushi restaurant that is also located in the Japanese Village Plaza, but a 2.5 hour wait, wasn't my idea of fun.

Oomasa is good sized restaurant with a huge U-shaped sushi bar to the left and some tables as you walk in.  It's a brightly lit restaurant.

Shrimp and halibut nigri sushi-both $3 each. 

The most interesting that about Oomasa is that their nigri sushi is one piece!! Most sushi restaurants you get two pieces of sushi.  Both of these were good and fresh, but both are heavy with wasabi!  Since you only find out about the wasabi after you've dipped the sushi into a wasabi and soy sauce mixture, it was quite a fireball in my mouth. 

Crab sushi-$4.  Again heavy on the wasabi, but fresh and tasty.

Tuna hand roll, $6.  Good sized hand roll with a lot of tuna.  Also with a lot of wasabi, but I liked this.

Tempura roll-$6-shrimp tempura, avocado, and asparagus.  Small compared to other shrimp tempura rolls I've had.  I'm not used to asparagus in shrimp tempura rolls.  But, good flavor and textures.

Veggie roll- $6-Avocado, asparagus, and some radish.  A good, fresh roll.

Service was good.

Oomasa is fine, but nothing outstanding.  I would much rather try other sushi restaurants in the area, than go back to Oomasa.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Cassell’s Hamburgers

Cassell’s Hamburgers
3600 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

Cassell’s Hamburgers originally opened in 1948.  The original owners sold to restaurant to a Korean family that ran the restaurant like he did.  I went to the Cassell’s Hamburgers back in 2010.  That location closed in 2012.  The talk when it closed was that the owner of the Hotel Normandie was going to purchase the name and recipes, and reopen Cassell’s Hamburgers at the newly renovated Hotel Normandie within eight months of the old place closing.  Well, Cassell’s Hamburgers finally reopened at the Hotel Normandie in late 2014!  There are now plans to open a Cassell's in downtown LA.  The new Cassell's is located about a block from the terrible Pot Pizza Joint, which is another restaurant located in a hotel.

This is a huge corner unit location.  There is long counter/bar in the center and along one of the windows, and tables all over.  Tastefully decorated, it's much nicer than the old Cassell's.

Vegan burger, $10.99, house made farro, mushroom, zucchini, red onion, miso, and flax, with lettuce, red onions, tomatoes, and pickles.  Served with a choice of sauce-thousand island, blue cheese, mustardy mayo, ranch, house mayo, spicy mayo, BBQ sauce, or ketchup.

The vegan patty was so favorful, and tasty!  While I did put the house mayo, you really didn't need the mayo, it was moist and just full of flavor.  The bun and veggies were fresh.  A very good vegan/veggie burger.  I don't know if the bun is vegan. 

Service- Some good, some terrible.

Except for one thing, the guy who helped me was good.  He refilled drinks, and I was acknowledged and helped quickly.  I did not like the misinformation, or flat out lie, that the house mayo was vegan.  The menu says all the house sauces are made with organic eggs.  I'm not vegan, but there are some vegans, that would be very offended by the misinformation or flat out lie.

The girl, who maybe the hostess/server was terrible.  I walked up to her and asked, if I could sit at the counter.  She was so rude to provide an answer.

The way it's set up, first timers don't know whether to seat yourself or wait for a hostess.  I wasn't going to wait forever and nobody was near the front door.  That's why I went up to that girl.

I really liked the vegan burger and really want to go back for another burger.  But, the rudeness of the hostess/server and the wrong information or flat out lie about the mayo being vegan, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.