Bracket 1: stuff from JGold’s Essential 99.

Son of A Gun.
Seafood Village’s $10 lobster is available during lobster season after 10:30pm. When SoAG makes a lobster roll that’s $10, perhaps I’ll ponder a drive. Otherwise, Chinamen + clever + wok > 2 white dudes fileting fish. Every day, every year, for at least a century now.

Gueleguetza’s Side Restaurant, version X
Nice try/tries. Sometimes, parents know better.

Lukshon/Night Market/Chego/A-Frame
LA has Thai Town, Alhambra/Monterey Park has a huge Indo population, ditto to West Covina. Some people have ice cream makers at home. FWIW, Pailin has nearly every single dish on Night Market’s menu. Granted Andy isn’t “hip”, but uhm, his wife’s born/raised/from outside of Chiang Mai. Eat her sausages (sai ua and sai krok Issan both available, both made in house). It’s worth mentioning they’re BYOB. So you can buy wine at DomaineLA, and knock yourself out with zero corkage. $0. Because you’re not the 1%.

Mexicali Tacos
Having lived 2 blocks away from Chicago’s Maxwell street (and therefore Lencho’s), it seems I’m the only person in LA not getting his dick hard over some carne asada al carbon. May I suggest Olympic Blvd? Caveat: I tried thrice to visit these badass meat hustlers. Once they sold out (apparently the visiter’s fault for wanting street tacos after 9pm?), twice the cool cats were too legit to actually be there. Maybe they were too busy attending weddings, who knows.

Maybe in 2012, when their restaurant actually rises from the ashes, a revisit resulting in food will materialize.

Bracket 2: shit Hollywood loves.

I know it pains @lientigre but.. this is like TGIF’s 2 for $20. You just don’t need to eat it to know. Plus they hate kale and gays. How can anyone hate kale gays?

Bouchon’s fried chicken
WWJD? Jesus Christ eats fried chicken by JC instead.

Pliny the Younger.
Who doesn’t love a good non-Budweiser? Much applause for the young’uns with the fortitude to click repeatedly on a mouse, get their wallet raped, drive 100 miles all over town, just to drink beer. The local crafty joint has the Elder still on tap… I’m sure the younger is hornier, but mostly I’ll just settle for the $3 cidre from the local bodega.

Bracket 3: Spicy stuff

I vowed to not lick another dollop of Sriracha in ’11. I failed. A lousy Filipino backyard party had no hot sauce but Sriracha. There was no way to make lumpia edible otherwise. Once did I drop the New Year resolution, no thanks to shitty Filipino food. Will attempt again in ’12.

Bracket 4: Shit I actually ate, and by definition, doesn’t belong in this post. But they all chafed my nipples like a Dri-Fit shirt during a rainy day jaunt (not that I “jaunt”, ever).

Spice Table — reference Chego/Night Market/Lukshon above. Can I haz my $100 back for the overdone Asian food and the piss poor charcuterie?

Mother Dough — y’all too damn cool for us. Guess what, some infant tore the bejesus out of your platemats. Everyone else just thought about it.

Sotto — Your pies, from your secksy oven, are purrrty (see above). I know I’m not in Italy, so can you please just slice the damned pizza so I don’t butcher it dead again with that shitty cutlery?

Pie HoleYou’re so kind with your $0.25 free whipcream, yet so insidious with those smaller than thou pie tins. But the non-artsy Asians in the Arts district has it figured out: 9″ tin has 100 square inch of more pie-age (yes, “PIE-AGE”) than a 7″ tin. 7″ tin means a 33% smaller slice of pie. Perhaps it’s because the 9″ pie tins are “vintage”, hence the pie slices comes out to be so dinky. Because back in the 60s, Americans didn’t know how to measure? Now that the new tins are Made in China, they’re accurate to 9″. After all, non-artsy Asians can do math, even in China. Conclusion? “Vintage” isn’t always better, just like “house-made” doesn’t mean it’s better made. Also, consider hiring a Japanese consultant to lay down some katakana so there’ll still be pies after 4pm. It’s a pie shop, open until 9pm (? I really don’t know and don’t care to verify at this time); running out of pie in the afternoon is like a Chinese restaurant running out of ri… Wait, a Chinese restaurant would just COOK MORE RICE.

On that note, happy freaking new year, fellow foodiots.

** Of course, if each restaurant’s respective PR firms invited me for free grub, I probably would be eating crow instead of piecing together this lame list.



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  • Damn.  Your footnote stole my joke! 

  • Anonymous

    Them asterisks were just for you, ZB.

  • I have to defend the lobster roll. It’s as much about the toasted bread and melted butter as the sweet lobster. And I can’t see eating Pho without Sirhacha, though it is weird to see something we called rooster sauce and always treated as cheap to be such the rock star of the culinary world. Like next year it’s all about Tapatio. The rest of this stuff, I’m right there with you, man. -Elise

  • I am a month late, but … I die a little bit for this list. Also, craving a chicken biscuit and hip Thai.

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