Chris O's Profile

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What's the big deal with the KOGI TRUCK? Long lines, but is it worth it?

I happened upon it on Friday night, way out in Altadena. The food is really good, I want to be clear about that. The sliders were especially delicious. But the wait was 90 minutes, and...I mean, Space Mountain ain't worth 90 minutes. A 30 minute wait is reasonable, but standing in line for 90 minutes is just insane. Not the fault of the Kogi establishment, mind you, but it's pretty gruelling. Then again, the food probably tastes a lot better after you've gone through that kind of ordeal.

Aug 17, 2009
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

New Pizza Joint in Eagle Rock

Had lunch here today. Not bad, but nothing great. I agree that it's not hot enough. Next time I'll probably ask them to leave it in the oven a bit longer. I got one sausage and one pepperoni/mushroom, and the mushrooms came out still pretty cold. I honestly think Pizza Boy in Glendale is much better pizza (although I don't think there's anywhere to sit there).

Nov 16, 2007
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

New Pizza Joint in Eagle Rock

Very good delivery from Pizza Boy #1 in Glendale. Ludicrously cheap, good, chewy crust, not too much sauce, and they deliver to at least Eagle Rock.

Nov 13, 2007
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Creating an LA Sticky -- Your feedback

If we could have a sticky telling people that you can't get "Real New York (or Chicago) Pizza" in L.A., it would save a lot of time.

Nov 09, 2007
Chris O in Site Talk

New Eagle Rock Lemongrass

It's around 6 or 7 bucks for a sandwich. Everything seems to be in the six-to-eight dollar range. It's on Colarado next to the Coffee Table (across from Oinkster).

Those sandwiches are really good. Pho looked good, too. This is a really nice addition to the neighborhood.

May 18, 2007
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Delivery in Eagle Rock?

ABC Chinese in Glendale (formerly Good Fortune) delivers, as does China Inn. I think the food is a little better at ABC (neither is exactly world class).

I've always had Pizza Boy #1 in Glendale deliver pizza and subs, but last week I called them and the guy told me they don't deliver anymore! I've been meaning to call back and check. I suspect maybe the manager was out that day, and the employee just didn't feel like delivering. I mean, how can a pizza place stay in business without delivering? Anyway, so now I get Two Guys delivery, which is a bit more expensive, but very good food.

Mar 20, 2007
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

El Torito or Acapulco for "Americanized" Mexican Food

If it's between those two places, I say go with Acapulco. They usually have some crazy special item on their menu like Buffalo Barbecue Chcken Fajitas. If you're going for the un-authentic, you might as well go all in.

Mar 16, 2007
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Bobs Big Boy

Are you sure? According to their website, it's Saturday and Sunday.

Mar 07, 2007
Chris O in Chains

Looking for Good pizza in Eagle Rock

Not sure exactly what you're looking for--everybody has a different idea of what "classic" pizza is (and mine lines up pretty well with Casa Bianca)--but I think Pizza Boy #1 in Glendale is pretty great. The crust (not thick or thin) is chewy, they don't put too much sauce on it (my kids hate it for this reason), and it's dirt cheap t'boot. They deliver to Eagle Rock.

Feb 02, 2007
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Informal poll: Best Mexican in the LA area

I really believe 5 Puntos is the best Mexican food in the city, if you're not taking into account convenience or any other factor beyond the food. Other than that, I really like La Parilla for huge plates of grilled meats, El Sazon Oaxaca (or something like that) for chicken in robust red mole, El Indio Bonita for warm, comfy food (pozole and barabcoa--I've never even had a chance to try their legendary albondigas), and La Cabanita for just a nice, clean sit-down meal with margaritas and good flavor.

Seriously, there's so much out there that picking the "Best Mexican Food in L.A." is like picking the best square inch of Salma Hayek. The essential L.A. Mexican food experience is pulling up to a random taco truck on a hunch and finding the best al pastor you've ever tasted.

Jan 19, 2007
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Best Banana Cream Pie in LA??

Another interesting variation is the banana-coconut pie at Classic Thai in Eagle Rock. It's basically like a banana cream pie with crust made of toasted coconut.

Jan 17, 2007
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

New Years Day Soulfood (Eagle Rockish)

I just realized that New Years Day is upon us, and M&M's soul food is no longer their. Where's a good place in North East L.A.-Pasadena-Glendale for soul food. Must have black eyed peas and greens. I was thinking Roscoe's, but open to suggestions. Somewhere less crowded would be nice.

Dec 24, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Oinkster has Pumpkin Pie milkshakes!

I have little enthusiasm for this place, but I will say this: I got a chocolate malt from Oinkster last week, and if nothing else, they do serve serious shakes.

Nov 17, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Kung Pao

Fu Shing in Pasadena makes the best version I've ever tasted. It's got a deep, smoky taste, not sweet.

Oct 30, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Highland Park - Mexican

Much more crowded and noisy, service much less friendly. Looks better, food about the same. It's more of a sports bar atmosphere now than a family restaurant.

Oct 20, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Give Oinkster Another Try!

Tried it this weekend. The burger w/Gruyere was pretty good. On the one hand, you have to ask why you're paying $6 for a burger, when you can get the same burger for $1.50 or something two blocks down the street at Pete's, but it is a good burger. Then again, the burger across the street at the Coffee Table might be better.

My wife got the pulled pork sandwich, and was horrified to find that it had mayonaise on it! They lose some points for that one, but I thought it tasted pretty good.

The Belgian fries were excellent when they arrived. 10 minutes later, they were rubbery and gross. I guess that's just the nature of the beast. I liked the garlic dipping sauce, was on the fence about the homemade ketchup (nice bit of spice to it, but seemed a little salty?).

Shakes were unavailable, which was sad because that's actually what I was most looking forward to.

No real complaints about the decor--it's supposed to look like an old burger joint, and it does.

In short, a nice addition to the neighborhood, but not a place I'm likely to become a regular at.

Oct 16, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

What's Best At Porto's?

What is best at Porto's? To see your enemies driven before you! To hear the lamentations of their women!

Oh yeah, and those guava/cream cheese pastries. And I like the potato balls and ham croquets. The cuban sandwich is pretty good, but not as good as the one at La Conchinita.

Oct 05, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Taco Spot in Eagle Rock Now Open

Had lunch there. Better than I expected (but my expectations were pretty low). Tacos are big, meat is juicy and moderately flavorful. I had the taco plate: 3 tacos, black beans and rice. Tacos come topped with onion and cilantro, guacamole and a tiny bit of jack cheese. Carnitas is tasty and moist, no crunch to it. Machaca is very juicy, decent flavor. Asada has a good meat taste, but lacks that bit of "char" from the grill. And there's a few chips as a garnish.

Prices aren't outrageous, but for a taco stand they seem too high. Taco plate was something like $6, chips and salsa was, I think, $3.

There's a nice salsa bar, with avacado sauce and several varieties of salsa. The salsa roja has the word HOT in big letters on the sign, which it was NOT. The dark salsa had a good taste, but that place over by the Super A on Eagle Rock x Yosemite, Jerry's Grill or something, has much, much better salsa.

And if you're interested, Oinkster was definitely not open for lunch.

Sep 29, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

any good tacos in glendale?

If you're looking for a sitdown place, La Cabanita is excellent (if you consider LaCanada/Flintridge or Montrose or wherever that is to be close enough).

Sep 20, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Tiki Bar Recommendations in LA/OC?

How long ago was that? They've changed hands a few times in recent years. I had a pretty good mai tai when I was there.

Sep 20, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Tiki Bar Recommendations in LA/OC?

I think the Royal Hawaiian closed about the same time as Sam's Seafood.

If you want drinks AND food, Bahooka is probably the best bet. I don't find it depressing at all--the dark, cozy atmosphere is properly transporting, and the crab puffs are perfect drinking food. As an added bonus, they actually make very good homemade vegatable soup.

The Tiki Ti is great, but so crowded and small. If such a place makes you claustrophobic, The Tonga Hut in NoHo is a nice substitute. There's also The Lucky Tiki in Mission Hills, but I haven't tried that one yet. And there's a new place in WeHo called The Voodoo Room.

As for Damon's, that's gotta be the cheapest steak dinner in town, right?

Sep 18, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Introducing the bacon, egg, and cheese

Well, you'd need a good biscuit first. That seems to be a regional thing like the New York or Chicago pizzas you just can't get out here. Pat and Lorraine's in Eagle Rock has big biscuits that you could probably put eggs and bacon on, though.

Sep 07, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Introducing the bacon, egg, and cheese

Having lived in the south, I can tell you that New York gets these just as wrong as L.A. Kaiser bun? These should obviously be served on a biscuit!

Sep 06, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Jaunita's in Eagle Rock

Really good tortas. Asada or carnitas or millanesa or whatever you get on good, crusty bread with a whole avacado slice, sauce, and...I think they put beans on it, too, but I can't quite remember. It's a sloppy sandwich to eat, but it's very tasty.

Aug 14, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Is Auntie Em's and Spitz in eagle rock walking distance of each other?

I would estimate that you're talking about 2 miles. But if you start at Spitz, it is downhill. Take the backroad (Ellenwood) at least part of the way.

Aug 08, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area

Los 5 Puntas: L.A.'s Greatest Taco?

So I found myself in East L.A. last week, and of course I took that as an excuse to eat. Flipping through my notes, I decided Gallo's Grill would be a good place to try, but when I arrived at 4533 E Cesar Chavez, I found a boarded-up building. Apparantly, they have moved since I wrote that down. So I looked to see what else was on that street. "Los Cinco Puntas? My Spanish is a little rusty, but doesn't that mean..."

Actually, it means the five points, as I figured out when I saw the corner the place is located on (Cesar Chavez and Lorena). It's a little neighborhood carniceria. People were standing in line in front of butcher cases full of various meats, and I could see tortillas being made on a griddle behind them. My note, probably from a Chowhound posting, said "deli type place-get carnitas and tortillas." So I ordered two carnitas tacos with everything. I agreed to quacamole, but demured when offered some kind of pickled chile strips, and got a coke in the bottle out of the cooler.

No place to eat it there, so I went out to my car. And man, was this a taco! Big, two or three times the size of a taco truck taco, probably bigger than the Taco Bell variety. The tortilla was a thick gordita type, warm and bubbly. The salsa was hot, but didn't overpower the meat. The pork was incredibly flavorful, and the guacamole smoothed out the greasy, salty pork taste nicely. The taste lingered in my mouth throughout the 3-hour seminar I was attending, and I kept sniffing my greasy fingers. I really believe this is the best taco I've had in Los Angeles (which is another way of saying the best taco I've had in my life).

Jul 10, 2006
Chris O in Los Angeles Area