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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Umami Burger - Anaheim

Umami Burger
338 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805

I recently found out about the Impossible Burger, a 100% plant based burger that is suppose to taste just like beef, and it bleeds too!  I guess after a ton of research and money spent to finding a plant based burger that tastes like meat, the Impossible people found that heme is the key ingredient for the burger.  In the back of my mind, I'm thinking this is engineered food, you know the GMO's that has every company putting Non GMO on their labels.  Something that came out of a science lab! 

Now, I'm not a fan of fake meats!  I'll try it but if I wanted to eat meat I would eat meat.  I understand some restaurants are trying to attract people who maybe trying to eat healthy or if they are a vegetarian restaurant they will want to offer something to the meat eater in the group. 

I've tried the veggie burger at the Umami in Costa Mesa and it was terrible. Umami burgers are not  vegetarian or vegan.  They use a fish sauce in all their burgers, thus making it pescatarian.  The bun contains eggs, which would prevent vegans from eating.  They do not have diary-free cheese. 

Impossible burger $16, two Impossible Burger patties, caramelized onions, American cheese, miso-mustard, house spread, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato.  The patties did taste a lot like beef, but there was a weird texture to the patty.  A bit chewy and even if I didn't know this was a plant-based burger before, the first bite would have told me it wasn't a meat burger.  It's ok, nothing great and I certainly don't think it's worth the price.

Service is ok.The hostess was nice, but when I walked in there were plenty of tables open but she went off to set up table and didn't come back for a few minutes.  Then a guy, who turned out to be my server, asked how many, and I was seated right away.  WTF was that hostess doing??  The server was nice, friendly, knowledgeable about the mean, and really helpful.  When I ordered the Impossible Burger, he told me it is not vegetarian or vegan.  Since, I'm pescatarian, I was fine with that.  But, many servers have no idea about the menu.  That's very poor training on the part of the management!  Have the chefs tell the servers what is in the dishes!  I don't care if the servers don't remember all the ingredients, and they need a "cheat sheet," just give me the damn correct information.

I only went to Umami to try the Impossible Burger.  I won't return to either Umami or give the Impossible Burger another try.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Park

The Park
1400 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

I found a listing of the best veggie burgers in LA by Discover LA, and noticed that The Park was listed.  Hole in the Wall Burger, that I reviewed their beef burgers was also on the list.  Since I've passed by The Park many times, I decided to give them a try!  I was lucky to go on a Wednesday when it's Burger Night, when all burgers are half priced.

The Park is a small restaurant with some seating outside.  I like sitting outside but since the restaurant is right on Sunset Blvd, it can be very busy!

Home-made veggie burger, regular price $11.  Wednesday Burger night, $5.  with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and pickle with fries.  WOW, what a great veggie burger!  The patty is made with lentils, sweet potato, bulgur, mushrooms, and breadcrumbs; and is just great.  Nice texture, full of flavor.  I did add some mustard and ketchup!  I could tell this was really home made and not some store bought process crap.  The patty held together pretty well,  but you could see it almost break apart.  I think that's a good sign because processed patties are held together by all sorts of crap.  While a homemade burger has very few ingredients!

Service was friendly but a bit slow.  I realize the sorry LA dodgers were playing that night, and many fans dropped in before the game.  But, it took awhile for them to come and take my order, to bring the check, and to get change.

One thing though, the my total came to $5.45.  I paid cash, a $20 bill, and got no coins as change.   So I left $1 as a tip when added to the 55 cents, that's more than fair.  But, when I counted my change later that night, I found that received $15 in change.  I feel bad and the next time I go to The Park, I will make up for leaving a bad tip.

I would go back to The Park for their veggie burger anytime!  It's a steal at $5 and a great burger at the $11 regular menu price.

Monday, August 14, 2017

De Soto Pharmacy

De Soto Pharmacy
20914 Roscoe Boulevard
Canoga Park, CA 91304

After having terrible pizza at Barone’s The Pizzeria Express, I went to DeSoto Pharmacy/Jerry's Soda Shop for some ice cream!  As the name suggests, this is a pharmacy with a soda shop.

The soda shop is has a small counter with about ten stools and a couple tables. 

Two scoop strawberry sundae, with cherry vanilla and toasted almond, $8.20 with tax.  They use Fosselman's Ice Cream which is great stuff.  The ice cream was great and the toppings were good.

Service was good.

If I lived in the Valley, I would go to De Soto Pharmacy.  But, since they use Fosselman's Ice Cream, there is no need to drive all the way out to the Valley.  I  can just go to Alhambra and get the samething!

Barone’s The Pizzeria Express

Barone’s The Pizzeria Express
22435 Ventura Blvd Ste D
Woodland Hills, CA 91364

I am working my way through the 17 best places to get a slice pizza according to Eater.   Which actually started as 16 and they added one more.  While I order a whole freshly baked pie, it should be good, right? I haven't been to six places from that list before, so I went and loved all of them;  Pie Life Pizza in Pasadena, Pizzanista, Pellicola-which is now closed, Joe's Pizza, The Coop, and Prime Pizza. The other places on the list I've been to before I saw the list are; Abbott's Pizza Company, Lamonica's New York Pizza, D'Amore's Pizza, Vito's, Village Pizzeria, Town Pizza, Tomato Pie, and Mulberry Street Pizza.

I reviewed Barone's Famous Italian Restaurant back in 2011 and thought it was the same.  But apparently that Barone's is the original and eventually they owners split up and opened Barone’s The Pizzeria Express, which also delivers.

Located on Ventura Blvd. Barone’s The Pizzeria Express is a small restaurant with a few tables inside and a nice covered, if dirty patio.  The seats and tables had leaves from the covering.  They need to do a better job of keeping the patio area clean.

Medium mushrooms and jalapenos, $18.56 with tax.  This pizza was flat out terrible!  What a waste of money!  The crust was cracker thin and bad.  The pizza was a bit too well done.  The sauce was just bland.  The toppings weren't that plenitful, not many mushrooms on there.

Service was good.

I would never go back to Barone’s The Pizzeria Express, the pizza is terrible and not even worth the price!!  This is the first place on the list by Eater that I feel should not be on the list!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Brew & Meatball Co

The Brew & Meatball Co
325 N Citrus Ave
Covina, CA 91723

The Brew & Meatball Co. is a fairly new gastropub in Covina.  Everything I read they offer some very good food, some that you wouldn't expect from a bar.  They are known for their meatballs.  You choose what kind of meatballs you want-beef, pork, beef and pork, veggie, or turkey.  Then you choose what kind of "bed' spaghetti, veggies, mashed potatoes, and then the kind of sauce you want.

It's a good sized bar with plenty of seating inside and a nice shaded seating outside.  It wasn't that busy for lunch when we went.  But, there was a steady flow of people, including my take out orders.

Tater tots, $5.95.  I almost always order tater tots if I see them on the menu.  Today was no exception.  They were great because they just came out of the fryer!  They weren't greasy at all, well seasoned.  Of course they are frozen, premade tater tots, but they were great!

Veggie meatballs, on steamed veggies, and marinara sauce, $8.95, lunch price price.  Regular price is $10.59.

The marinara sauce was very good.  Rich, hearty, full of flavor.  The veggies included broccoli and carrots, which I ate.  They also included zucchini and squash, which I hate and never eat!

Now the veggie meatball.  Another veggie I hate is beets!!  I just hate them.  But once I cut into the veggie meatball it was clear this was made with beets.  They were ok, but since I hate beets, it isn't my favorite.  I wouldn't order this again.  My friend had the beef meatballs and he really liked them.

Service was very good.

If you like beets, you'll love the veggie meatballs.  If you eat meat, you'll love the meatballs. I just don't happen to like beets and I don't eat meat, so their veggie meatballs weren't my cup of tea.  But, I think The Brew & Meatball Co. do a very good job and I would go back just for the tater tots!!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

California Donuts

California Donuts
3540 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

I knew about the fresh strawberry and peach donuts from Donut Man in Glendora.  But, until recently I never knew about the snickers donut at California Donut!!  So, I made a trip down to Koreatown and see what this snickers donut was all about.

California Donuts is open 24 hours and located in a very busy strip mall.  Parking is terrible here.  There is usually a line but the line moves quickly!

Bear claw- $1.95.  This was ok.  They had the apple and raisins inside.  Nothing special and I wouldn't order this again.

Snickers donut, $3. I thought the snickers donut was just a donut with peanuts, carmel, and chocolate with the donut replacing the nougat!  But, instead there is an entire snickers bar inside the donut!!  I'll repeat that, there is an entire snickers bar inside the donut!  This is an awesome donut.  Not as sweet as you might expect.  But, just wonderful!!

Service is good.  Nice people and the line moves quickly!

I would go back to California just for the snickers donut.  But, they have other donuts like the fruity peebles, thin mints, samoa, and a panda donut made with Oreo cookies!! I'll be back soon!!


17490 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

After Pieology, I forgot about Pizza Rev, another contender that are striving to be the "Subway" of pizza along with Project Pie, and Blaze.  Located in a very busy strip mall, that has a sandwich shop, a seafood grill, and a burger restaurant, Pizza Rev is a medium sized restaurant.  You enter the line and tell what kind of dough and then toppings you want.  You then go pay.  The pizza takes about five minutes to bake.

Tuesday special, $6.53. Regular price $8.45.  I got spinach, jalapeno, mushrooms, and red onions.  The crust was too thin for my tastes.  It wasn't crispy, just sorta there. They had some kind of cornmeal on the outer edges that was weird.  The toppings were all fresh, but they slice the spinach into small strips.  The person who added my toppings could have added more toppings, but there weren't that many jalapenos, and could have spread them out better!

Service was good.

Ok, so what is my favorite?  I'll stick with Pieology. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Pieology Pizzeria

Pieology Pizzeria
505 N Grand Ave
Walnut, CA 91789

If this Pieology location looks familiar it should, this used to be Bella Napoli Trattoria & Pizza and has been open for about four years. After going to Project Pie, I noticed I have never reviewed Pieology, so I corrected that! Pieology and Blaze, are chains that are striving to be the "Subway" of pizza.

This is a busy shopping center with a Starbucks and about 4-6 other chain restaurants.  So parking can be tough to find during lunch and dinner time.  The restaurant itself is about medium sized but there is plenty of seating outside.

Whole wheat crust with mushrooms, jalapenos, and spinach, $9.23.  I love the crust and the option of having whole wheat!  The crust was firm but not cracker like,  yet chewy and good flavor.  The toppings were fresh and the sauce was good.

Service is good.

How would I rank the three contenders?  Pieology is clearly the best.  Project Pie would be second.  I really liked Blaze when I tried it, and would be a close second.  But when I found out that LaFRAUD James is a huge investor in Blaze, it quickly made it my third favorite, and I vow never to go to Blaze again.   

Kwon’s Restaurant

Kwon’s Restaurant
1625 W Holt Ave
Pomona, CA 91768

I was driving on Holt Ave when I finally noticed the Kwon's Restaurant sign that is so infamous.  David Allen reviewed Kwon's back in 2009.  I decided to give them a try.

Located in a shopping center that is in great need of a facelift, Kwon's sign says it was established in 1983.  The people working the register are Latino, whether they are the owners or not, I'm not 100% sure.

There are about ten tables and booths in the small restaurant.  Many people came in to pick up their orders. 
 Shrimp chow mein, $8.25. Shrimp, broccoli, baby corn, carrots.  The first thing you'll notice is the massive amount of food!!  The amount of food is well worth the price.  As for quality, it's lacking!  While the noodles and veggies (which were cut into huge pieces) were well cooked, and there were about a dozen well cooked small sized shrimp.  This had to be one of the blandest dishes I've ever had!  Now Kwon's fans will say you got to put the hot sauce on the dish.  No, they have to season the damn dish so it will taste good without the hot sauce. 

Vegetable fried rice, $7.30 green onions, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, bean sprouts, and baby corn.  This was terrible.  Hard overcooked rice, way too much green onions, I took out about 70% of the green onions you see in that picture.  And the most bland Chinese food you'll ever have!

Service was good.  They are nice friendly people.

I will not go back to Kwon's.  The food is just not good!