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Pork Belly's Sandwich Shop

First visit on July 22, where I only had the Belly Up. Excellent sandwich, with some smoky edges to the pork belly, appropriate BBQ sauce, and just a perfect combination with the amount of tang in the coleslaw. Very satisfying, and I kept thinking about getting back there every day, but couldn't. They did not have the late hours on Friday (or Saturday, I forget), and I hit a locked door at 9pm.

Ah well, back again this week, and a total turnaround from near their opening. A disorganized shop, with 1 good employee (in dreads) working his tail off, while getting no help or support from the others there. If they don't fix that, I think they'll close soon. Looks like there's some confusion with the internet orders coming in to be worked on, while also dealing with the walk-in traffic. In any case, it shouldn't be on the one good man to have to cover nearly every step of the operation. The others could certainly prep some bread, wrap and bag to move everyone's orders through.

Perhaps because of this, I did not have a good food experience either. My Belly Up was a bit dry, without the good crunchy bits, and probably not enough flavor to the sauce tonight. Basically mediocre BBQ, and I'd rather have just picked up some ribs at one of my favorite spots for a more reliable pork fix. This was obviously very disappointing to go from the original food high to this unsettling new reality.

I thought I might also enjoy a PBLT, but found the pork belly in this instance to be very dry and bland, much like an overcooked pork chop. Not a lot of tomato to cover the big slices of sourdough. I see no reason to repeat that menu item.

Jul 31, 2013
locanda in Los Angeles Area

Top Round Roast Beef

I tried a Black & Blue, probably not my best option. The beef is attractive and tender, no gristle, easy chewing, but extremely bland, so IMHO your choice of sauce is all that's going to make it appetizing. The blue cheese was creamy, but not with any bite that I'm accustomed to. I was surprised how little flavor there was to the carmelized onions. Plain curly fries were soggy and not interesting, nor worth finishing. The custard is good.

Jul 31, 2013
locanda in Los Angeles Area

Pork Belly's Sandwich Shop

The website address linked above ( isn't active for me yet. This one is:

Jul 19, 2013
locanda in Los Angeles Area

Chili with Beans?

Strangely enough, Bristol Farms Markets has some decent chili's of various types, either hot at the soup bar, or in the refrigerated section for varieties that aren't currently out at the soup bar.

Mar 03, 2013
locanda in Los Angeles Area

Smash Burger Culver City

I've now been to the Culver City location twice. 1st time, had one of the double burgers, veg frites, and a strawberry malt. The 2 patties was not particularly a big hamburger, and was somewhat dry & overcooked. Good flavor to the meat, much like cooking ground beef at home in a skillet with butter. Overall, though, a bland tasting burger. Veg, supposedly "flash fried" was extremely oily, but the vegetables were crisp, colorful and otherwise tasty. Malt was well-blended, but the malt was way off-balance - far too sweet and with a chemical aftertaste. Expensive malt at $4.49 to be so unsatisfying.

Tonight (Saturday), I used a coupon and sampled 2 of the SmashChicken sandwiches, the Avocado Club and the Fresh Mex. Long wait just to order, with 1 person on the register, and the inside of the restaurant was quite full. The chicken was fine, the sandwiches attractive. Again, not much to the overall taste - things just seem to blend together with little distinct flavor. I did not appreciate that the avocado was hard, under-ripe and tasteless. It should have been obvious to anyone cutting those and they should not have found there way into a meal. Most fast food restaurants I've gone to have no problem supplying a ripe avocado.

I don't intend to go back.

Jan 27, 2013
locanda in Chains