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Very Good BBQ Brisket at Maple Block

Interested to try it.

At the moment, it's lunch only (I'm at work during the day and not in the neighborhood).

But I'd like to go by when they open for dinner.

This is the old Villa Italian location I think.

Aug 24, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, September 2015 -- Nominations

Since football season is coming up ... and EPL has started ... and the World Series is coming ... and soon the NBA is underway ...

I nominate

SPORTS BAR FOOD

Aug 23, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, August 2015 -- HOT DOGS/SAUSAGES

There is an alley that runs the length of the block -- either enter by going behind the gas station or you can access from the east -- I think it's Patricia Ave but I'm not sure -- whatever the street is to the east.

The lot is small, but I find a space there once in a while. I've also seen people block in another car and then just move it when that person wants to leave, but I've never done that myself. You can sort of park way back from another car (the lot is deep, if you know what I mean) and the car you are blocking would have enough room to get out. Again, I have never actually blocked in another car, but I see people do it. There are also a couple of meters on Prosser.

Aug 22, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, August 2015 -- HOT DOGS/SAUSAGES

They have a parking lot in back that I try to park in.

There is also metered parking on Pico. The trick is to park across the street from Marty's on the north side of the street then cross over at Prosser. The meters on the Marty's side seem to fill up, but yesterday there were five open meters on the opposite side.

So, I look on the opposite side firs and if no luck, the lot.

You are right, it's sometimes tough, but I always find something eventually.

Aug 22, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Is Holy Cow BBQ in CC expensive?

Fair enough ... I was talking about CC.

Santa Monica has become Manhattan Beach.

Aug 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

L.A. Dish of the Month, August 2015 -- HOT DOGS/SAUSAGES

sorry -- redacted -- double post -- stupid beta site

L.A. Dish of the Month, August 2015 -- HOT DOGS/SAUSAGES

I have a few spots where I enjoy the hot dogs.

One spot is Humble Potato, where they do all sorts of interesting dogs, like a Japanese curry dog.

But I'm more of a purist and one of my favorite purist dogs is found at Marty's on Pico in West L.A.

Today I had one chili dog with mustard and one sauerkraut dog with mustard. I also had an iced tea and the total came to 10.50. (Each dog was 4.50). Marty's also has burgers and sandwiches and fries and turkey burgers and all sorts of stuff.

They use Vienna beef hot dogs and cook them on a flat grill next to the burgers. The dogs get a nice char because they put something on them to hold them down. They also grill the buns on the same grill and they get a proper (read: not burnt) char as well. Very satisfying and they quench the craving really well.

Also: super nice people working there, it's always service with a smile.

(note on the photo: my first food photo. I remembered to take the pic after I took one bite of the sauerkraut dog.)

Is Holy Cow BBQ in CC expensive?

I live around the corner, less than a mile away.

It's a decidedly middle class neighborhood. It's hardly Malibu, Brentwood or Manhattan Beach.

I get what you're saying -- but I still think that the prices are expensive for what you get, even if you don't compare to Bludso's.

Aug 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Is Holy Cow BBQ in CC expensive?

I haven't tried Holy Cow BBQ in Culver City yet. As far as I can tell, it's pretty new (I drive by that shopping center all the time and only recently noticed it). I guess there is one in Santa Monica, too.

I like BBQ and was looking forward to trying it. But I looked at the menu and it seems awfully expensive.

For example, a hot link is eight dollars. Eight dollars for one link? That seems like a lot to me. Then there is there "Pony" dinner. It's one pound of meat, two sides, "real mccoy salad" and toast for 42 dollars. It claims to feed two to four, but this would not feed my family of four (me, wife, two grown sons).

I decided to check the prices compared to Bludso's, which for me is the standard bearer for L.A. BBQ, though I know others like other places as well.

Bludso's has a "small party tray" for 67 dollars. You get 1 slab of ribs, 1/2 pound of tips, 1/2 chicken, 1/2 pound brisket, 1/2 pound hot links, a quart of beans, a quart of potato salad and a loaf of bread.

At Holy Cow, 65 dollars gets you BBQ chicken, plus a choice of tri-tip, baby back ribs or pulled pork, Texas Toast and two sides. It doesn't say exactly how much chicken or pork your getting, but I'm presuming that the Bludso's deal is much better bang for the buck based on all that you get.

I won't take this post through all the prices, but just for fun check out the price differences on the sandwiches.

I dunno, maybe I'm imagining things but I couldn't figure out how to put together a reasonably priced dinner for four at Holy Cow. (I also know that "expensive" is relative. For some, a few bucks more for a pound of BBQ is no big deal. For me, it's no big deal one time just to try a place but over time it does matter).

All that aside: Any opinions of the 'q at Holy Cow? I admit I haven't taken the time to search for other threads. I was just taken aback by the prices.

(Truth told: I have a buddy from Georgia who is really into barbecue. He actually built his own smoker out of scratch, including doing the welding and wiring the thermometer. I told him about Holy Cow without knowing much about it and it was he who immediately noticed how high the prices seem.)

Holy Cow:

http://static1.squarespace.com/static...

Bludso's:

http://bludsosbbq.com/menu/index.html

Aug 21, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area
1

Attention Mr. Taster -- This article is for you ...

Mr. Taster ... This is Paul from the L.A. board ...

I recall that you are always on the hunt for great egg rolls. I thought you would enjoy this article. Didn't know how else to reach you -- I hope you see it here on the Portland board (don't know if you still read the L.A. board where we first crossed paths.)

http://luckypeach.com/the-transitive-...

Aug 20, 2015
PaulF in Metro Portland

Culver City Happy Hour?

Thanks for the report.

Aug 11, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Little Jewel

Yeah ... I was just curious.

Mexican food -- to me -- is not something you really need to travel a long way for in Los Angeles. Most (not all, but most) neighborhoods have some pretty good spots to choose from.

If you're looking for "the best of the best" or something "fancy" I guess you might drive some distance, but if solid, home-cooked, tasty Mexican fare is what you're looking for, you can usually find it near where you live.

If I'm at Union Station or downtown, I'd rather look for something I can't get at home, like Little Jewel. The only sort of New Orleans-ish spot near my house is Uncle Darrows. It's okay, I sort of forget to go there, but it's not awesome. It's pretty good. (My real problem with going there is that it takes FOREVER to get your food. I get that they cook to order (I would hope so) but it seems like getting some food there is a long wait.

Aug 05, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Culver City Happy Hour?

I like a spot called The Detour. They have a full bar and a happy hour menu. (The website is for some reason down today -- but they do have a website.)

It's on Washington, next to The Corner Door and Chocovivo. One reason I dig it is because it has these great open windows that let in the nice weather.

It's not a gastropub per se -- no burger on the menu.

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

I dunno. Everyone likes it but us.

Maybe we should give the sushi one last try. We've tended to order non-sushi dishes and -- as noted -- weren't impressed.

I do get that we're outliers on this.

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Bagels at Wexlers

Given the special needs of making bagels: vats to boil the dough and ovens to bake the bagels -- I'm wondering how one does a bagel pop-up?

I'm guessing I don't understand what a pop-up is.

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

What are some over-rated L.A. restaurants to you? Why, specifically? Only one each!

I don't get the crowds at a little Japanese place on Centinela called Sakura.

We aren't all that picky about our Japanese food. We do eat it a lot, though. My wife is Japanese American and she sometimes craves it. We go to J-Town more often than not, but not even the best reviewed places. LIke I said, we aren't that picky. We even like Mitsuwa food court. (We don't go to Sawtelle that much becaus of the crowds -- probably should go more via Uber.)

We can walk to Sakura -- it's less than a mile from our house. We pass it all the time. We don't understand the crowds. Every couple of years we give it a shot and we (wife, two grown sons) just don't like the food. Yet, it's always busy and friends of ours who like to eat good food like to go there. We think it's a Culver City thing -- people who grew up on it, like it.

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Little Jewel

Yikes.

Getting to the Rose Bowl is tough. The only way to really do it is go early enough to avoid traffic, park and tailgate. The tailgating is pretty nice because you can tailgate on grass right next to your car -- you aren't on a parking lot and you don't have to carry your stuff then carry it back.

The only way to take public transit is to ride whatever line goes to Pasadena, then take the Parsons shuttle to the stadium. Pack mule would be faster.

The only way to make a UCLA game chow-worthy is to bring great food to your tailgate. Not too many restaurants nearby (though some Bruins pick up breakfast burritos at some place I can't remember that's in Pasadena. Lucky's? Lucky Boy's? I can't remember).

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Little Jewel

Uber and the EXPO line are game changers.

You get downtown by train and you can Uber all over the area if it gets late and you don't feel like walking. You could even Uber all the way home if you're DT late and don't feel like waiting for a train.

PGC -- the other thing you'll like about the EXPO once it's done is that it takes you straight to Staples Center and LA Live. Neither are all that great food-wise, but there are a lot of interesting spots to eat right around that area, which is a couple of miles south of Union Station. If you are going to an event at Staples or LA Live, there is zero reason to drive if you can take EXPO ... the station is across the street.

(You can also go to USC football games on the EXPO -- but you couldn't pay me enough ... LOL ... Go Bruins!)

Little Jewel

Carnitas and handmade tortillas are a good thing to love.

I'll have to give 'em a try next time I ride the rails.

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Benny's Tacos and Chicken Rotisserie in Westchester

"Hmmm.... Wondering if there was something off about the sauce that day at Benny's."

You sound almost ... paranoid about the garlic sauce.

(LOL)

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area
2

Question about Post & Beam ...

I was watching a sitcom the other night and they did an exterior of a restaurant called Post & Beam. (I'm 99% sure the actual scene was done somewhere else, but P&B was the exterior.)

I got curious, read the menu and then saw some old threads. The menu sounds better than the threads -- but the threads are sort of older.

Any current thoughts on Post & Beam? As noted, the menu reads appealing and it's close enough to my neighborhood to make me curious.

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Little Jewel

It will be great for eating.

Chinatown, Little Tokyo and DTLA places like the GCM will all be easily accessible without having to park a car or fight traffic.

I'm in CC and take the EXPO line to the end of the line and walk all over DT. I could also change trains and go all the way to Union Station -- but I don't mind walking around.

I never go to Olvera Street -- and that's even closer to Union Station than Chinatown.

Is there anything to eat worthwhile on Olvera Street? It looks sort of ordinary and touristy.

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Little Jewel

It's a ten minute walk. I did it in the rain last time and barely got wet. I think it's about a quarter mile ... give or take.

The funny thing is, I had planned to get Phillippe's for the train. But the lines were so long I walked out and went to LJ and was in and out in no time.

Aug 04, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Little Jewel

Little Jewel tip:

LJ is walking distance from Union Station. The last couple of times I rode the train I picked up sandwiches to go from LJ. Once I took the food on to the train to eat and once I ate at the bar (Traxx) in the station.

Boars Head Hot Dogs

+ 1 on Sprouts.

Sprouts actually has several tasty brands of hot dogs -- oddly they are kept in two different shelves in the store -- the deli and the meat departments. At least that's how it is in the Culver City Sprouts.

Jul 29, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Benny's Tacos and Chicken Rotisserie in Westchester

Thanks Jase.

I forgot about the guac -- it's pretty good.

Jul 29, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Benny's Tacos and Chicken Rotisserie in Westchester

I don't know what they are known for, not really.

Jase told me about it, he likes the chicken. I tried it, liked it and my dad liked it, too. So, I thought I'd fill people in.

But, just to be clear, I wouldn't drive 30 miles to eat the chicken. It's in my neighborhood and price-wise it's really reasonable. So, nothing to lose.

But in terms of their "reputation" -- I truly don't think they have one. Just some pretty good chicken that's even more worth it because of the price and the nice service.

Jul 28, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

New to Pacific Plaza Food Court in RH: O'Heavy Noodles, May 35 Food

I think it's Rowland Heights ... but it would be nice if the OP confirmed.

Jul 27, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Benny's Tacos and Chicken Rotisserie in Westchester

Thanks for the response.

I haven't been rushing to try the Mexican fare only because I have plenty of choices for mom 'n' pop Mexican near my house. I really don't have to drive to Benny's for the combo plate -- which is why I never tried the one on Lincoln.

But the chicken -- thanks to Jase for that. I would never have tried it if he hadn't mentioned it and I'm glad he did.

I'm glad you mentioned that there is an actual Benny. I randomly met him on my first visit - he just happened to be running the register.

Jul 27, 2015
PaulF in Los Angeles Area

Benny's Tacos and Chicken Rotisserie in Westchester

http://bennystacos.com/

First, I must give credit to frequent-contributor Jase for telling me about Benny's Tacos and Chicken Rotisserie in Westchester.

The address is 7101 Manchester Boulevard, it's just east of Lincoln. (BTW -- as an aside -- has anyone ever noticed how many places near this intersection sell pizza? Off the top of my head there is Tower Pizza, Vinny's Pizza, Alejo's, Blaze Pizza and Italy's Little Kitchen. That's at least five different places that at least have pizza on the menu ... and there might be more, I just can't remember them all. Anyway, back to Benny's ...

)

I'll start with the atmosphere: There is a parking lot in the back and a clean, shady patio, too. Inside there are maybe 8 tables for two/four. You place your order at a counter then wait for your food. There is an above average salsa bar -- the red has some very noticeable heat/spice.

Prices are super reasonable. For lunch the other day I treated my family plus my parents. I ordered a whole chicken plus two sides and a half chicken plus two sides. We had rice, beans, salad and grilled veggies. Note: The two sides that came with the whole chicken were a bit bigger than the two sides that came with the half chicken. It was as if it was assumed the whole chicken would be shared (the chicken came in one box, the sides in pint containers), while the half chicken with two sides was served all in one box as if it was assumed they were a single lunch/dinner for one person. A healthy serving of chips was included.

The price for all that food was 30 dollars (including an iced tea I needed while I was waiting for the food to be prepared).

In addition to the salsas (which you serve yourself) the chicken comes with some tasty garlic sauce -- similar to what you would get at Zankou. One great plus is that both the corn and flour tortillas are homemade. I really like tortillas that are fresh. The sides are good, as good as you get at other similar places.

The real reason we keep going back is the chicken. It's really tasty and juicy with nice texture to the skin. My dad is a picky eater (and very honest when he doesn't like something) and he loved it. He's also a person who likes his food "temperature" hot and even though I brought the food from Westchester all the way to Granada Hills and wasn't super hot anymore, it passed the dad-test.

The menu is full of Mexican items as well, but I haven't tried them yet. My wife and son went for breakfast one morning (there are a bunch of specials) and gave a good report, but I wasn't there. At some point, I'll try some of the Mexican dishes and the breakfast.

One last thing: The service is excellent. The people are really friendly and not in a we-have-to-be-nice-to-you, fast food sort of way. They're just nice and attentive. And even though it gets pretty busy, it never gets chaotic, they are really organized. Service speed depends a bit on how crowded it gets, but it's never that long.

Again, thanks to Jase -- who did mention Benny's in the Food of the Month/Skewers thread.