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Monday, July 8, 2019

Qdoba

Qdoba
1430 Mountain Ave, Ste 101
Duarte, CA 91010
626-305-0812

Qdoba Mexican Grill is a chain that started in San Diego.  There are only five locations in the LA area, and two are on college campuses!!  They are a competitor to Chipotle, and I think they are better!

Located in a strip mall with a huge electronics store and a bunch of car dealerships across the street, Qdoba is set up like all fast casual restaurants! You order at the counter and then find a seat in the large dining area.


Taco salad, $7.70- romaine lettuce, black beans, corn salsa, mango salsa, guacamole-which is free, and sour cream.  They make everything fresh and in house-well at least the salsa, meats, and beans.  I'm sure the taco shell bowl was made elsewhere.  But, overall a very good item.  Everything was fresh and well seasoned.  They actually drain the black beans, so they don't soak through the shell. 

Service is good.

I would go back to Qdoba, if I was in the area.  They should open more locations in the LA area.  Their food is better than Chipotle, by a mile!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Eat Love


Eat Love

Eat Love was at the Long Beach Vegan District at The Pike when I tried them.  But, I've also seen them at the North Hollywood Vegan Fest- where Lettuce Feast and Veggietize Me both set up!  I've been meaning to try their fried chicken and finally had a chance in Long Beach.

Self Love Bucket, $16- three pieces of chicken and fries, with one sauce- I picked honey mustard.  The chicken is house made with a wheat product.  You get three good sized pieces!  I bet the three pieces were close to 12 oz or more!  The outside is a nice crunchy flavorful batter.  If you used their batter with regular fried chicken, everybody would like it.  Now, inside, texture wise it's very much like chicken.  But, taste wise a bit too salty, and that's the chicken part, not the batter.  It resembles the taste of chicken but, you know it isn't real chicken.  The fries are nothing more than frozen fries from a bag.  While the honey mustard sauce was pretty good, it was only half filled.  They charge $1 for two sauces.

Service.  While friendly, way too slow.  People were waiting 20-30 minutes for their orders! 

I wouldn't go back to Eat Love. 

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Broad Street Oyster Co


Broad Street Oyster Co sets up a Smorgasburg, which is near the Arts District.  Smorgasburg is a huge food court area, set into what used to be the produce warehouse.  They are open every Sunday from 10-4pm.  It can get very crowded!

Two places that had lobster rolls are now closed- Lobsta Shack and Knuckle & Claw.


Their lobster roll is very popular.  $20 served hot with melted butter, or served cold with mayo.  This was an outstanding lobster roll.  Tons of lobster meat, claw meat.  The roll was light and soft, but held up well to everything loaded onto the roll.  Maybe one of the best lobster rolls I've had!

Service is good.  The lady who took my order was nice.  One small thing, after I ordered, I was waiting for her to say the total, but she never did.  I had a $20 bill in one hand and my other hand had my wallet.  I was figuring there is tax.  I told her I thought there was tax.  This is my first time there.  Most people would figure there is tax added.  She shouldn't assume everybody knows the $20 menu price is what you pay, especially since the menu doesn't say tax included.  It's not that big of a deal, but they should just say that will be $20.

I would go back to Broad Street Oyster Co.!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Elios Wood Fire Pizza



Elios Wood Fire Pizza
Sunset Blvd between Coronado and Benton Way
Silver Lake
Find them on Instagram- @elios.wood.fire.pizza

I found out about Elios Wood Fire Pizza, after watch a You Tube video about them!  Elios sets up everyday, in Silver Lake, on Sunset Blvd. between Coronado and Benton Way.  They are in the parking lot of a liquor store- ideal to get something to drink while waiting for pizza.  While the parking lot, in general, is huge; Elios only gets to the far half.  There is meter parking on Sunset.  They usually set up at 6pm until the dough runs out or 10pm, whichever comes first.

They are a wood fire pizza, with their wood fire pizza over sitting on the back of a pickup truck. It's Neapolitan style pizza.

All pizzas start at $10 for cheese, then $1 for each topping.  I just got a cheese pizza.  It's a personal size, about what you get at Pizza Rev, Pieology, Project Pie, and Blaze.

The crust was great; good flavor, good texture with a nice char, and chewy soft texture.  They put a ton of cheese on the pizza.  The sauce was mild, not too tangy or sweet.  One thing I noticed, some pizza were burnt or charred too much.  That's because they only had one person working the pizza oven and the prep area.   So he may have been busy and didn't check the pizzas in the oven.  While I was eating, another person came and helped prep the pizza, so the pizza were more consistent.

Service is good.  They are nice, hard work, and the girl who took orders, let everybody know the pizza would take 15-20 minutes to be ready.

I would go back to Elios Wood Fire Pizza anytime.  This is great pizza!


Friday, June 14, 2019

Fat Burrito

Fat Burrito
9608 Baseline Rd
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
909-527-3588

Just when I thought the only places in the Los Angeles area for a puffy taco was at Arturo's Puffy Tacos and BAR Ama- which is a terrible, overpriced version of a puffy taco, David Allen wrote about Fat Burrito in Rancho Cucamonga.

So, I head out to Fat Burrito for lunch.  It's a small restaurant, on the corner of a strip mall.  You walk right into the counter where you order.  There are tables to the right of the counter.  It's a nice cozy atmosphere.

$3.55- Vegetarian puffy taco- Beans, rice, guacamole, lettuce, onions, cilantro, cotija cheese and sour cream.  The puffy tacos are fried to order.  My tortilla came out hot and flavorful.  The beans and rice were cooked well and seasoned perfectly.  All the other toppings were fresh!  A great example of a puffy taco.

Service was good.

If I had to choice between Arturo's and Fat Burrito, I think Arturo's is slightly better, but both are great choices for a puffy taco!



Thursday, May 30, 2019

Seasons Cafe


Seasons Cafe
23415 Golden Springs Dr
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
909-860-8646

Seasons Cafe opened up where Thai Diamond Bar BQ used to be.   I believe at least two other restaurants opened in this space before Seasons Cafe came in.

It's a small restaurant with booths on the left side and tables seating on the right.  They also serve sushi, which is half priced and if you bought two, you got one free!

It wasn't that crowded when I got there around 1pm.  Maybe I missed the lunch rush?


Shrimp chow mein- $7.35.  Maybe six pieces of shrimp throughout this dish.  Good flavor, the noodles were cooked perfectly. 


Shrimp fried rice- $6.99.  Made with shrimp, carrots, and peas this was good, if a bit under seasoned dish.  Just a touch more salt would have been perfect.  Again a small number of shrimp, only 6, but everything was well cooked.

Service is good.

Seasons Cafe is pretty good.  I may try their sushi, but with all the specials, I have a feeling the sushi isn't selling well.  But, the Chinese food is good!

Pizza Buona

Pizza Buona
922 N Alvarado St Ste C
Los Angeles, CA 90026
213-413-0800

Pizza Buona had been on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Alvarado since 1959.   But, in 2016 they moved further south on Alvarado since Echo Park has undergone gentrification, many old time stores and restaurants were hit with huge rent increases.  Currently, another Italian restaurant, which includes the name Buona, is at the former location of Pizza Buona.

Large mushroom pizza-$15 plus $2.50 per topping.  While they pile on the cheese and there was a good amount of mushrooms, the crust just ruined it.  The crust was soggy, tough, and very chewy.  I don't know what happen since the time I went there in 2009.  But, the pizza isn't good anymore.

Service was ok.  The lady, who I believe is the owner, isn't the most friendliest, and it took forever, close to 30 minutes for my pizza to be done. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Beleaf Burgers


Beleaf Burgers
4024 Grand Ave
Chino, CA 91710
909-517-3907

Beleaf Burgers is in the Cravings building, that used to be a Food 4 Less.  They maybe the first vegan burger restaurant in Chino.  They use the Impossible burger.

Cravings is owned by 99 Ranch Market.  This building is split into two- a shopping area and a food court.  There are about 15 or so food stands.  But, everytime I've been there, it's not crowded at all.



Bedder Burger Classic Double-$12.75. Two impossible patties, lettuce, diced onions, pickles, carmelized onions, tomatoes, American cheese, on a toasted bun.

This was pretty good.  The burger was very hot, with the cheese nicely melted.  It was fine, but it really tasted like something anybody could make at home.  There was nothing

Service is good.  But, I called to ask where they are located, I didn't know they were inside Cravings, and they told me they were closer to a chain restaurant in the shopping center.  I tried looking around there, but couldn't find it.  So, I called again, and they finally told me it was inside Cravings.  They should have told me it was inside Cravings in the first place!

Anyways, there are better vegan burgers, including the chain, Fat Burger, so I won't be back to Beleaf! 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Legends Classic Diner

Legends Classic Diner
1155 E Rt 66
Glendora, CA 91740
626-852-2700

I've passed by Legends Classic Diner many times, on the way to Donut Man, but I never stopped in.  When a buddy said we should to to Legends, I took him up on the offer.  This is a huge space, with the counter directly in front of you, as you walk in.  To the left is a huge dining room decorated with 50's themed items.  Think Elvis, I Love Lucy, etc.  To the right is even more dining space.



Tuna melt- $8.05.  This was a very good example of a tuna melt.  The tuna was fresh, not drown in mayo, well seasoned and the slices of American cheese were melted perfectly.  The bread was nicely toasted, maybe a bit too much butter, but otherwise held up to the tuna very well!

Small fries- $3.05.  I could have gotten a combo with the tuna melt, but I don't drink much soda, so I figured I would just order a small fries.  These fries were huge!  A good value for the price. They are frozen fries, but crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Service is good.  One thing, you can leave your trays and baskets on the table.  There are no trash cans for people to bus their own tables.

I was impressed with Legends. 



Thursday, May 23, 2019

Honeybee Burger

Honeybee Burger
1820 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
323-452-6500

I have reviewed many restaurants in Los Feliz including Rocco's Italian Market and Deli, House of Pies Restaurant & Bakery Palermo Ristorante Italiano , the now closed Tangier Korean BBQ of Tokyo, Little Dom's, Best Fish Taco in Ensenada, Ye Rustic Inn, Lucifers Pizza, 1739 Public House, the now closed Mexico City, Spitz, Cruzer Pizza, Anarbagh, and Fred's 62.

Honeybee opened about three weeks ago, it's right next door to the movie theater and a couple doors down from Fred's 62.  It's a small, brightly lit space with a counter space on the right and tables on the left hand side.


Queen Bee, $12.95- double pattie with both the Beyond and Impossible patties, with house sauce, house made onion jam, lettuce, tomato, a thin ribbon of onion, and Chef Jo’s house made pickles.

This was outstanding!!  Maybe the combination of the Beyond and Impossible burgers, made it the best vegan burger I've had!!  Good flavor and textures, fresh toppings.  A huge portion too.  Well worth the price.

Service is good.

I would go back to Honeybee anytime!  What a great vegan burger!

Monday, May 20, 2019

FryMadness

FryMadness
555 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
213-797-2847




Jerk Spiced Shrimp/ Mango Pico/ House Made Caribbean Nectar- $14.  The fries are made from fresh  potatoes, but they aren't cooked to order.  They are cooked and sitting under heat lamps.  The fries would have been good, if they were hot and right out of the fryer.

The two medium sized shrimp in the picture were the biggest pieces in this dish.  There were smaller bay shrimp throughout the dish.  They shrimp had the Caribbean nectar-which was basically a sweet bar-b-que sauce.  The mango pico would have been good, if the mangoes were ripe, but they were bitter because they weren't ripe.  The jack cheese was fine. Overall, it was ok.  Not worth the $14 price tag.

Service was pretty good, after a bad first impression.  I walked in.  The lady told me to pick a table.  I then asked if they had a restroom, so I can wash my hands.  She said restrooms are for customers only.  I then told her, I am going to eat here.  I just want to wash my hands.  She gave me the key to the restrooms.  She was nice and helpful while I ordered and ate.

I wouldn't go back to FryMadness.  The fries are mediocre and it's overpriced!


Taco Adobe

Taco Adobe
121 N Lemon St
Orange, CA 92866
714-628-0633

Located just west of the Orange Circle is Taco Adobe.  It's a small space with table spread all over inside and tables outside.  I've review a few restaurants in/near the Orange Circle- Burger Parlor, Byblos Cafe, Watson Drug and Soda Fountain- which was renovated and has new owners since I reviewed it, Felix Cafe, and the now closed Beach Pit BBQ.



Blacken calamari taco- $3.75 and blacken shrimp taco- $4.50.  All tacos come with chipotle, blend of cheese, citrus cabbage, fresh cotija cheese, and special sauce.

I have never seen calamari in a taco, and I was excited to try it. The calamari was chewy and tough.  The toppings really do overwhelm the calamari.

The blacken shrimp was better, but again the toppings overwhelmed the shrimp.

Service is OK.

I won't go back to Taco Adobe.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Taco King

Taco King
600 E Foothill Blvd
Azusa, CA 91702
626-334-1312

I've driven by Taco King so many times, but never stopped in.  Located a few blocks east of Taco Tapatio, Taco King has another location just a few miles south of here, on Azusa Ave., just north of the 210 freeway.  Taco King is playing off the name of the very popular King Taco in East LA and the King Taco in Pasadena

I don't believe King Taco serves fish tacos or any seafood items, including shrimp and fish tacos and burritos.  Taco King has a good selection of seafood items.  On Tuesday, they have $1 fish tacos, which are normally $1.99.  On Wednesday, they have $1 tacos with any meats. 


The fish is basa, and it's deep fried.  Then topped with cabbage, crema, tomatoes, and cilantro.  This was ok.  The fish isn't fried to order, since I got my order in a couple minutes.  The other ingredients were fine.  But, nothing outstanding.

Service is ok.

I wouldn't go back to Taco King for the fish tacos.  But, they serve corn, and I may go back and try the corn!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Kickin’ Crab

The Kickin’ Crab
13925 City Center Dr
Ste 2005
Chino Hills, CA 91709
909-627-8188

In the same shopping center as Hotties Nashville Hot Chicken, Bruxie and Pacific Fish Grill, is The Kickin Crab.  Yes, a copy of the Boiling Crab!

It's a small restaurant with tables and booths spread throughout.  It's the same setp as Boiling Crab; butcher block paper as table cloths, plastic and paper cups, and paper plates. 

Fried shrimp and sweet potato fries-$11.49 plus $1 upcharge for sweet potato fries.  This was very good!  The batter was a bit thick, but very crunchy and well seasoned.  The shrimp were large, flavorful and cooked well.  It maybe from a frozen, but this was good.

Service is ok.  There were only two servers working the entire place for lunch.  They forgot a few things, didn't come around to refill drinks, but they were working.  One even took a break, and there was only one server for about 8-10 tables!!

I didn't try the seafood in a bag, but as far as the fried items, Kickin Crab ranks right up there with Boiling Crab!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Lettuce Feast


Lettuce Feast

When I went to the North Hollywood Vegan Fair to try Veggietize Me, I saw Lettuce Feast.  Everybody talked about their great Nashville fried chicken.   I was too full from the V-Mac from Veggietize Me, I told myself I'll come back another time.

On May 4, 2019 they were celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Union Station.  They had about eight food trucks, and Lettuce Feast was one of them!!  So, I went by to give them a try!

Lettuce Feast got a new truck, so there wasn't any signage on the truck.  The lady who worked the 80th Anniversary event told me that Veggie Feast was the truck with no signage. 


Nashville Hot Chik'n Sammy Combo with regular fries, $16,-vegan fried chick'n with apple slaw on a brioche bun.  This was very good.  Maybe not as great as the hype, but a damn good sandwich.  The texture on the chicken pattie was spot on.  It was just like biting into a real chicken pattie.  Good flavor.  But, they could put more sauce, I got the mild, but there wasn't any heat, like none.  I expect mild to have some heat.  The slaw was a bit dry, but good and fresh.  I liked the sandwich, didn't love the sandwich so much that I would rush back.  The fries with sea salt and rosemary were good, but could have been more crisp.

Service is good.

While Lettuce Feast is good.  For me, it just didn't live up to all their hype!  I would go back, it's a ton of a food for a good price.  I just wouldn't rush back!

Update July 7, 2019


I went back to Lettuce Feast, this time at the Sunday Vegan Street Fair in North Hollywood.  I also included a picture of their truck with all the details.  It's one of the most popular food trucks, with line stretching down the sidewalk.  I waited one hour in line to order.

I wanted to try their chicken tenders and got four pieces, $14, with hot and hot honey as the two flavors, and regular fries.  The tenders have a hard crunchy outside, but inside it's mostly a small piece of veggie chicken.  There isn't much flavor with the veggie chicken, but the outside was very flavorful!  The hot was pretty mild, but the hot honey was very spicy!

Service is ok.  Like I said before, I waited an hour in line.  Part of it was there are tons of people in line.  The other part is the cashier is doing many things.  One thing she did was take a dish to one of the vendors next door!  I saw that while I was waiting in line.  When I got up the window to order, she just disappeared, nowhere to be found.  I think she was helping inside the truck.  I couldn't see inside.  But, at the very least she could tell me, I will be back.  They really need to get their act together and hire more people inside the truck and have only the cashier take orders.

Lettuce Feast is popular, but I don't see the appeal.  Their chicken tenders are below average, and while their sandwich is good, it's not the best in the thing I've ever ate.


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

BRB

BRB
1381 S Diamond Bar Blvd
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
909-396-9968

BRB is a Korean restaurant that has sushi and bento boxes on their menu!  I'm not big on Korean tofu, but I decided to try their sushi.  They had a good selection of rolls, and nigri sushi, all at an good, inexpensive price.

There are tables spread throughout the restaurant with a sushi bar/counter on the right hand side of the restaurant.  It was fairly busy for a Monday at 2:30pm.

Spicy tuna roll $5.95 and shrimp tempura roll $6.95.

The spicy tuna roll was fine.  Pretty fresh, a good value, much better than the super market sushi. 

The shrimp tempura roll could have been good, if they didn't put a ton of sauce all over it! 


Sun Oh Roll- $9.95.  Tuna outside, and crabmeat and avocado inside.  This had a bit too much sauce, it wasn't soaked with sauce like the shrimp tempura roll. Good fresh tuna, avocado, and crabmeat.

Service is good.

If you want inexpensive sushi, BRB, fits the bit.  They are a Korean restaurant with Korean dishes on the menu.  But, they do a good job with their sushi!




Monday, April 29, 2019

Veggietize Me

Veggietize Me
North Hollywood Vegan Street Fair

Veggietize Me is a vegan food truck that is always at the North Hollywood Vegan Street Fair.  The faire is located just west of the Chandler and  Lankershim.  There are about 30 food trucks at the faire.

V-Mac $14.95- two impossible burgers, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, tomato, on a sesame seed bun.

I've had three vegan Big Macs- Doomies, Plant Power, and Organix.  This is moved right to the top of the list of best vegan burgers I've had.  This was outstanding.  I liked the added touch of a fresh tomato.  Everything tasted just like you were eating at the restaurant started by Dick and Mac McDonald, then stolen by Ray Krap, I mean Kroc of Shit!

Service is good.  Veggietize Me runs promotions on their instagram account.  So, give them a follow.

I would go back to Veggietize Me anytime!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

RiceBox


RiceBox
541 S Spring St Ste 131
Los Angeles, CA 90013
213-988-7395

RiceBox came to my attention while I was walking around while waiting for a friend at Bar Ama.  Then I read this LA Eater story about restaurants using the Impossible Burger meat in other ways.  RiceBox uses the impossible burger as a filling for their dumplings.  It's not on their menu, but you can order it.  $8.50 for six dumplings.

RiceBox is located in an old theater and you can go from Broadway to Spring St, by walking through this food court-like space.  There are tons of other restaurants, including a gelato place that LA Magazine ranks as the best in LA.

RiceBox is a small restaurant with some counter seating along the window and the left side of the restaurant.  Most of the space is the kitchen and the cashier.  There are some tables outside. 





The dumplings are pan fried, with glass noodles, mushrooms, and the impossible burger meat.  It's good, but not outstanding.  There isn't that much impossible meat, and the dough is a bit tough.

Service is good.

I wouldn't go back to RiceBox for the impossible meat dumplings. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

BAR Ama

BAR Ama
118 W 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
213-687-8002

Bar Ama came onto my radar after reading LA Eater's 38 Essential Tacos in Los Angeles! I had puffy tacos at Arturo's Puffy Tacos, and when I heard that Bar Ama serves them, I made a trip to downtown LA.  I'm glad I did, because right behind Bar Ama, is a location of Vito's Pizza- a damn good pizza place!

Located just down around the corner from Orleans & York,  Bar Ama is one of the many bars that have opened up in downtown LA. As you walk into you're basically in the bar area.  To the left is their fairly big dining area.

The puffy tacos are on their secret menu.  You have to ask about them.  The puffy tacos are $7.  But, $4 at the bar on Sunday nights.  There are six different fillings the day I went; ground beef, pulled pork, shrimp, potato, and two others I forget.  I got the shrimp and potato.

Shrimp puffy taco-  The puffy taco was so oily.  The shrimp, cabbage, and crema were fine, but it was too heavy because of the oil.  The tacos were warm, so I'm guessing they were fried before and all the oil just soaked in. 
Potato- same oily puffy taco.  A very small amount of potato, no real flavor.

Service was good.

The lists LA Eater comes up with do contain some good restaurants.  But, they also contain some bad restaurants.  Bar Ama, at least for the puffy tacos, falls into the second category!  Not going back.
If you want puffy tacos, just go to Arturo's Puffy Tacos.