With 2 (or 3, but hey, who’s counting) concurrent restaurant related blogs, it’s getting hard to push out the latest and greatest. Shufeng Garden opened on October 1st, and yet there is still no media coverage even though it might be the best Szechuan restaurant. While proper write-ups of good food might be getting scarce, a quick rip into one of the worst ’09 meals demands instant front page space.


Oinkster, a Filipino chefed restaurant priding itself on “Slow Fast Food”, produced an burger unfit for pigs the other night. The visit wasn’t on grand opening day, it wasn’t a short staffed day, etc. This was just crap of the sloppiest scale. While the restaurant has received plenty of kudos from the Filipino blogging community, see Burnt Lumpia’s review, and Inuyaki’s review, the pastrami, barely moist, supposedly marinaded for two weeks, was meek, with some hints of spices, no salt, no fat, no flavor. It didn’t matter in which form the pastrami was served; reuben, straight, or Oinkified (which, by the way, is a clear rip off of Langer’s #19), the brined beef might have been soaked in soapy tub water for all we know. The burger patty arrived cooked medium with no char, no flavor, no juice, served with iceberg lettuce (a personal hatred), in between a plain bun. Delivered to a stranded Tom Hanks, it would been gagged up and picked off by the crows.

Oinkster PastramiOinkster burger

NELA still remains a pathetic post-nuclear apocalypsed wasteland of bad food, regardless of native son’s pride of their neighborhood’s presence in Mr. Gold’s Essential 99 circa 2009. Witness Casa Bianca, one of the worst pies ever known to man. There’s Good Girl Dinette, a sorry pitiful excuse of a Vietnamese restaurant frequented by hipsters on bicycles, serving pho cooked by nary a Vietnamese chef. And then there’s this Oinkster thing. The edict for Colorado Blvd’s food scene seems this: a non-White person opens a fusiony joint and the skinny girls on fixies will come, while the ethnic folks will be proud of the break out.

Oinkster Chili Cheese FriesOinkster Ube Shake

Yes, the ube shake is pretty decent, but it’s made with Fosselman’s ube ice cream. That leaves nothing of Oinkster’s actual own doing, save for the cupcakes (and ketchup). If a restaurant wants to be judged by its cupcakes, it should just change the business category to simply “bakery”. You know what would’ve been better with that craptastic burger? My own oatmeal stout beer shake. Recipe to come soon, promise.

Chowpatty deemed Oinkster’s a great place to take non-adventurous kids. I, for one, wouldn’t dare subject any more friends to such atrocity.

Oinkster on Urbanspoon
culinary wasteland of Eagle Rock, CA

Nota Bene: I look forward to comments and/or from Oinkster staff. I’m sure y’all lovely, I’m sure y’all making beaucoup dollars from the Eagle Rock 90041 crew. It ain’t personal, I just hate the food, so no need to give me gift certs, or invite me back for a tasting, ever.



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  • http://www.thewanderkind.com Nancy

    Dude, that’s my nabe you’re bashing! Don’t dismiss Eagle Rock on the basis of The Oinkster (meh) and Casa Bianca (not the best pie ever, but far from the “worst known to man”). I’ll give you Good Girl Dinette. Blech.

    So as for what’s good in Eagle Rock, my new favorite up(per)scale Mexican place just opened up on Colorado — Cacao Mexicatessan. The sopes are omg good. Senor Fish has great fish tacos. Spitz makes a damn good doner lavash wrap and sweet potato fry. Auntie Em’s is solidly packed on weekends. Fatty’s has got some creative vegetarian dishes I like made with — surprise! — veggies and not fake meat. Dave’s Chillin and Grillin offers killer meatball subs and the Chiller, a magical effervescent sherbet smoothie.

    Next time you’re in the hood, hit me up next time. Life’s too short for bad food.
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..Daniel and the Art of Fine Dining =-.

  • http://www.inuyaki.com arnold | inuyaki

    I always appreciate your brutal honesty, even if I don’t necessarily agree. A couple Halloweens ago, I had the pastrami-topped Royale burger and its excess nearly destroyed me. I’ll even concede that the pulled pork, while tasty, has texture issues because they use loin instead of shoulder. I tend to go back for the pastrami, shakes and desserts. I should probably go back and see how things are these days.

    Also, Chef Guerrero learned how to make pastrami under Langer, so if anything, that sandwich is an homage and not a rip off.

  • TonyC

    I’m sowiee Nancy… Indeed have heard great things about Cacao, and yes, there’s Cafe Beaujelais, but Spitz, same as DTLA, is a bit of a joke: serving schwarma on foccacia, and pita chips with hummus? It was no better (and twice as expensive) than the Kronos-based gyros pressed and mfg’d in Chicago. Did I mention Larkin’s closed all this week? With no sign up front? Even tho their BlackboardEats coupon ends Saturday?

  • http://dianatakesabite.blogspot.com Diana

    My friends found a hair in their fries when they went to Oinkster. Clearly, they were not so impressed.

  • guest

    Just because something has the same ingredients as another restaurant does not make it a clear rip off of a dish served at another restaurant. Also, Good Girl Dinette does not call itself Vietnamese, and they do not claim to be a Vietnamese restaurant.

  • http://www.weezermonkey.com/ weezermonkey

    Ouch. I’ve been wanting to try this place. Now it’s further back in the queue. But…then again, I liked Umami Burger when you didn’t. Hmm.
    .-= weezermonkey´s last blog ..Ladies Who Lunch =-.

  • TonyC

    Di, we also found a hair in the mush (fried onto a “Belgian Fry) they call chili cheese fries. Not that this bothers me… It’s deep fried hair. I would’ve eaten it.

  • http://www.thewanderkind.com Nancy

    That’s pretty jive about Larkin’s. You’re not missing out on too much… I didn’t think their fried chicken was $15 good back when I went. But that was a few years ago, so maybe it’s changed.
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..Daniel and the Art of Fine Dining =-.

  • http://www.bananawonder.blogspot.com Anna A

    I am the friend of Diana who found a hair in my fries. Gag! I got the veggie burger since I was lenting, and the shake and pb & J cupcakes and really nothing was impressive. The next day I had a fast food hangover. Haven’t been back since the hair incident. It was a thick hair with bulbous root. Nuff said.

  • http://www.foodshethought.blogspot.com Liz

    Have been considering hitting this recently, it being so close to my hood and all. Have now reconsidered. Although I did love my Umami burger.
    .-= Liz´s last blog ..An Evening with Alan Wong =-.

  • Doug Burger

    Tony C is a shill and a shitty writer.

  • http://gastronomnom.wordpress.com Gastronomnom

    Ouch! Never been tempted to go, except maybe by the name. Still, I’m willing to cut Eagle Rock some slack, if only because I need to explore beyond Los Feliz/Silverlake/Atwater. But I’m not traveling for a crappy burger.
    .-= Gastronomnom´s last blog ..Fleur de Lys. A Chef’s tasting. =-.

  • Air

    Doug, I couldn’t agree more. Tony is the worst of the worst food bloggers and makes us all look bad. I believe his written rants are merely a sign of insecurity and perhaps a small penis. Do you really think Oinkster is trying to rip off Langers? So I suppose every deli on the planet is trying to do that as well? You’re a cheap-ass, sorry excuse for a person and you are much disliked, even hated, by many. Me, I just feel sorry for you and your little band of little-read bloggers who think they’ll get something out of knowing you. Yeah, maybe herpes of the mouth and a kick on the ass out the door from every restaurant owner in town. Douche.

  • TonyC

    guest – Good Girl Dinette’s self-prescribed deck, found plainly on their website: “american diner meets vietnamese comfort food”. Quit playing with semantics. That screams “Vietnamese diner located in America” to me. To you, uhhhhh.. apparently pho isn’t Vietnamese food, neither are banh mi’s. The better argument against Eagle Rock being a grubbin’ wasteland would be: “dumbass, Good Girl Dinette is in Highland Park, not Eagle Rock”. To which I’d reply: hey, no problem, let’s instead talk about Penang serving pho, sushi AND Thai food. Yowza?

  • http://blog.thethirstypig.com The Thirsty Pig

    So. . . guess you’re not going back to the place. I’ve been wanting to try this place for awhile. I’m sorry you didn’t like it.
    .-= The Thirsty Pig´s last blog ..Dutch Crunch, Why don’t we have that in LA . . . Ike’s Place =-.

  • http://infinitefress.blogspot.com/ Steve

    T.C. – Why are “Air” and “Doug Burger” afraid to identify themselves, yet happy to engage in ad hominem attacks? The piece was hilarious. They can suck it. For what it’s worth, El Atacor on N. Fig is also horrible.
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..Braving the Bazaar =-.

  • http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com Wandering Chopsticks

    I wouldn’t say it was my worst meal. I’ve had far worse. But there was little reason for me to go back after this meal.

    The pastrami was bland and dry. Reuben was saved by the sauerkraut. Burger looked dry and bland. I wasn’t even tempted to take a bite. Chili cheese fries were topped by bean chili, so it was like dry refried beans on top of fries. The hair was fried into my French fry.

    The best thing of the evening was the ube shake, and Oinkster even says they use Fosselman’s ice cream on their menu. Sooo, umm, I’ll just stick to Fosselman’s since that was the only good thing. And the fact that the chef learned from Langers, yet the end result was so far from it, makes me even sadder.
    .-= Wandering Chopsticks´s last blog ..Apple Juice and Red Wine Turkey Brine =-.

  • http://ladyducayne.com Lady Ducayne

    The first time I went to the Oinkster I loved it. LOVED. Then the second time? WTF. And the third? Never again. I’m over it. I’m glad I’m not alone in feeling this way.

    As for Cacao? I went on the grand opening day and had a decent cheese plate. Not much else was good. I went back last week and its obvious the place no longer caters to my demographic and has resorted to having menu items like mole fries and topping stuff with yellow cheese. So much for authentic Mexican deli. Failtastic.

  • http://www.thewanderkind.com Nancy

    Lady Ducayne, just out of curiosity, what is “your demographic”? I only ask because according to the bio on your blog, I appear to be in the same demographic as you and I think Cacao caters to my demographic perfectly. And did you not like the mole fries, or are you just disappointed that they are on the menu? Authentic or not, they are damn tasty. I think you’re going to have explain “failtastic” a little more than just demographics and authenticity. How about the food and service?
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..Digesting New York – Thanksgiving Edition =-.

  • http://www.sinosoul.com TonyC

    Whoah ladies, ease up. I THINK Lady Ducayne meant “Mexican” as demographics which would mean, no, Miss Nancy is not in the same demo. Just a guess.
    .-= TonyC´s last blog ..Oinkster, Unfit for A Sow =-.

  • http://smokeydoke-dogeatcat.blogspot.com/ Kathy

    Where did my comment go? Are you screening comments?
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Easy Peasy Delicious Hot Wings =-.

  • http://smokeydoke-dogeatcat.blogspot.com/ Kathy

    Aw crap, my last comment didn’t go through.

    Anyways, I agree about Oinkster. Too lazy to rewrite my diatribe.

    Excellent post as always!
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Easy Peasy Delicious Hot Wings =-.

  • TonyC

    Hi Kathy, no, I don’t delete comments unless it’s spam.

  • Sunny Tuchanka

    Everything he wrote about this place is right. The food is bland. Don’t go here expecting a great burger or a the best pastrami sandwich! Go here expecting a cheap homemade burger (with little flavor) and a mediocre pastrami sandwich. ALSO, THE WHOLE MENU IS OVER PRICED.

  • Downtownest

    Totally agree – tho not as harshly. The comment on the ‘belgian frys’ stuck out more than anything – what a bunch of mushy hype. gross

  • Ben McCormick

    If this post made just a little more sense, I’d have a resolute comment to make. However, it doesn’t, so I’ll just defend what I think is good food. Casa Bianca makes a delicious pie, as evidenced by the throngs waiting to get in and/or take some home. And Oinkster’s fries are perfect. Their condiments are spot on, the pastrami is perfectly acceptable, and the burger really isn’t bad. It’s not the best joint all around, but I still find it pretty delicious. By no means the worst food in the area. And how exactly is Eagle Rock “a pathetic post-nuclear apocalypsed wasteland of bad food”? What the fuck does that mean? It’s not accurate from a critical standpoint, and that metaphor is absurd. You ate there. It exists.

  • Monique Cantu

    Well put Ben!! Wow, everyone is a food critic these days. And taste buds are just like opinions Everyone has one. It seems some may need to take a swish to the palette and gently clean their dirty mouths. SWISH, SWISH! I tried Oinkster for the first time tonight, and It is not at all an apocalypsed wasteland! The mouth from which that statement was concieved is the wasteland. The way they bashed this place like it was horrid and tasteless! Absurd, rubish Totally untrue. I really enjoyed the pastrami it had a good balance of flavors and it was not all fatty. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house so obviously someones enjoying it. This is not a 5 star restaurant nothing fancy just down home food. Is that not the reason you go to a fastfood joint? Buy a bedazzler.It makes thinks sparkle it seems like you are more Obbsessed with fake things that shine instead of real things with substance, taste and Pure yumminess. OINK OINK!

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  • edythe

    Dvd Player And Recorder, yes, absolutely.

    I’m okay with Oinkster. When I can handle that much fatty food in one sitting, I’ve enjoyed the pastrami sandwiches.

    You’re kind of right with the food wasteland nomer for Eagle Rock. After all, The Bucket has been around for how long? And seems to have now expanded? And almost everything on the menu is absolutely soused with *garlic salt*! Garlic salt! I hadn’t thought about garlic salt since the late seventies until I went to The Bucket.

    But I do think there’s enough decent around ER that it’s not as horrible as living in, oh, say, the Kendall region of Miami, FL.

    ok, but about Spitz: a lot of places have sweet potato fries and sp fries are yummy. But Spitz now has a “street-style” version of their fries. When you get this and ask for sp fries instead of reg fries, you have a really, really excellent sweet and salty and spicy and creamy and crunchy indulgence. :)

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