Mr Taster's Profile

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FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

I visited the grungy old Cole's just once before they closed for renovation. It was a grim place-- shady characters hunched over the bar, dark corners with cobwebs, and a totally unremarkable beef dip. It was kind of fascinating in a haunted history way. I wandered into the area (which is now closed off) to the right of the bar, and there was a large, empty room with chairs stacked up. Quiet as a library, which none of the bustling vibe that is now has (or, likely, had in the heyday of the red car). In any case, whether Cole's survives for another 100+ years is really a matter of what people choose to buy. Free market capitalism in action-- I'm fine with that.

I feel much more comfortable applying the "free market" argument to a restaurant than I do to something like the red cars, which should have been owned and operated by the government. When the red cars stopped being profitable, private industry dumped it (as they should have). That's exactly the time government should have stepped in to save it, to operate it at a loss using tax dollars, until people came to their senses and realized a combination of rail, bus and personal autos was the solution everyone needs. But we were short sighted, and we let it go. Crushing commuter traffic on the 101/405/5/110 is the modern day result.

And consider the free market impact on the loss of a public transport artery. Brand Blvd in Glendale was once a thriving business district during the heyday of the red car. When the red cars left, business went away, and Brand Blvd rents plummeted. If people can't easily and quickly get to Brand Blvd, how are they supposed to support local businesses there? Subsidized public transit empowers the free market system.

That's an important role of government-- to help people move around easily (using tax dollars) so that citizens can spend money to support local business, restaurants, theaters.

And consider Watts and Compton residents who, without the red car, could no longer practically commute to downtown (commutes on buses were 3-4 times longer than the red car) leading to job loss and economic downtown on a huge scale, the effects of which we've never fully recovered from.

It's a fascinating cautionary tale, and very interesting that Cole's has witnessed it all, throughout its many iterations.

Mr Taster

about 22 hours ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

Just saw a documentary on the old Pacific Electric red car.

Keeping it chowish, there used to be a restaurant in the PE building at 6th and Main, to which "Harry Cole's" was the much less formal alternative. In those days, restaurants were upscale affairs, and the less expensive places were the cafeterias like Clifton's (and Cole's- remember the PE Buffet portion of the name?)

Anyway, it turns out that Chinatown and Roger Rabbit were wrong. The red cars died for several reasons. But the greatest failure was that they were always privately held. The free market chose cars over rail, and the red cars stopped being profitable.

Essentially, everyone exerted individual freedom of choice. Everyone stood up in the movie theater at the same time.

Now look at what we're left with-- the worst traffic jams in the country, and a bill of billions of dollars to try and rebuild a FRACTION of the rail that we never should have gotten rid of to begin with.

Individual choice (the automobile) over "socialism" (the red cars). Who wins here, exactly?

http://www.pacificelectric.org/wp-con...

At least the free market has kept Cole's alive and kicking.

Mr Taster

1 day ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

>> hiking the taxes on cigarettes

On the surface it may appear to be, but cigarettes are an addictive product that affects human behavior in a way that really isn't comparable to changing one's shopping bag habit.

Mr Taster

2 days ago
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

>> we've managed not to descend into anarchy yet.

We're making a damned good effort at it, though!

Mr Taster

Jul 29, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

What's best for the individual is not necessarily best for the group.

e.g. one person stands in a movie theater, and he can see over everyone's heads. Great for him! But, the person him behind cannot see, so she stands. Eventually everyone stands, and everyone's uncomfortably watching the movie standing up instead of seated comfortably. Everyone loses.

My point is, you kind of have to set rules for everyone to follow. It's not a nanny state-- it's how a civilized society has to work, or else everyone ends up standing.

Mr Taster

Jul 29, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Bludso's For White People™- first visit.

OUR car is parked in Oregon! :)

Mr Taster

Jul 29, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Bludso's For White People™- first visit.

My Lovely Tasting Assistant™ has our car at her residency in Portland, so I MTA, Uber and Zipcar my way around town. And when it comes to those lunchtime Langer's and Bludso's runs, my boss has no problem loaning out her Chowmobile (and very often picks up the tab).

Mr Uber Taster.

Jul 29, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

>> Transitioning to reusable bags is a habit that takes time.

It is. I still sometimes forget to bring my bags, and I have every good intention of doing so.

Mr Taster

Jul 29, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Bludso's For White People™- first visit.

Thanks for the reminder.

Mr Taster

Jul 29, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Bludso's For White People™- first visit.

Glad you enjoy reading my posts. BBQ stirs the passions, doesn't it?

By the way, there's no yelling coming from my corner of the internet. However, there is a lot of passion, and a particular way of looking at our culinary and social landscape (because the two really can't be separated).

My preference is to dine on the best possible food maximally unencumbered by "cooler-than-thou", and I am certainly vocal on Chowhound (and in real life) about that preference.

It doesn't mean I won't occasionally succumb to the allure of a really good TrendyBurger™, for example, but I don't take pride in that decision, either.

I really am much more inclined to drive to Compton for my BBQ, even though I live and work minutes from BFWP™. And did I mention that I don't have a car?

Mr Taster

Jul 29, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Bludso's For White People™- first visit.

On rereading my initial post, I see that I also was served great chicken. I had forgotten about that.

Very interesting how, even in the purported "bad old days" (assuming BFWP™ has righted the ship, as others have attested), this has been the one item that comes out consistently well. Generally the only way I am served juicy white meat chicken is when I make it myself.

Mr Taster

Jul 29, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Bludso's For White People™- first visit.

Definitely, absolutely, without-a-doubt go to Bludso's Compton. Wienermobile's description is spot on, and for a first timer the Texas sampler is the way to go. Grab some friends and bring it to the Kenneth Hahn park for a pretty damned magnificent picnic.

Mr Taster

Jul 28, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Taylor's Steak House

Had a pungent Bloody Mary at HMS Bounty last night. $4.75, I think.

Mr Taster

Jul 28, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

Bludso's For White People™- first visit.

Thanks very much for providing this comparative analysis.

Consistency is a problem that plagues most BBQ joints. It's one of the reasons why the real Bludso's is such a treasure. BBQ is such a fickle art... I think its safe to say that all pitmasters operate within a range of results. But I've found Bludso's "range" is awfully damned narrow, particularly for the brisket. I'm not saying there isn't any variability (I've had a dry rib or two in my day), but what I am saying is that I've never, ever had dry brisket there (which is why the grey planks I got at BFWP™ were so utterly, crushingly disappointing.)

In any case, I'm glad to have these tips from someone who has gone consistently. I'll need to give it another shot and will report back if I do.

Mr Taster

Jul 28, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

Bludso's For White People™- first visit.

Thanks for taking a chance on BFWP™. I'm glad it paid off for you.

Mr Taster

Jul 28, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

I get your point completely. I just disagree entirely.

If you're familiar with my many Chowhound musings you know that I can be very sensitive to price gouging (see my many Chowhound rants on hipster economics skewing and outsizing prices for everyone). I do not see this as price gouging at all (though I do have a problem with the disingenuous "high quality bag" argument.) Hell, let 'em charge $5.00 a bag if they want. I don't care one whit, as long as it helps to retrain the populace to do the right thing, then it has served its purpose.

I think it's relevant to note that Whole Foods has been giving 10 cent per bag refunds for years now, yet it seems that people haven't really made an effort to change their habits en masse until an actual penalty was put in place across the board. It goes to show you the power of the economic disincentive.

Mr Taster

Jul 28, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

To paraphrase Apu from the Simpsons, on why he loves America so much:

"I have the freedom to say, think and charge whatever I want."

For what it's worth, I don't have a problem with the $0.30 charge. Since we should all be bringing our own bags anyway, I'm all for anything that discourages the practice.

Mr Taster

Jul 28, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
2

Obama at Canter's

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politic...

1. He should have gone to Langer's.
2. Where the hell did his motorcade park?

Mr Taster

Jul 28, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

WHO HAS THE BEST PIZZA IN L.A. AND WHY?

I'm no fan of Five Guys, and I love In-N-Out burgers for what they are- a fine fast food burger and a great value. However, I can't pretend not to see the 800 lb. gorilla that is In-N-Out's fries. (I think this is why I shouldn't be a parent-- if I had a dumb and/or ugly kid, I just don't think I'd be able to pretend they were brilliant and beautiful.)

There's some major "emperor's new clothes" syndrome going on with those fries. "Well done" makes them less terrible, but it doesn't make them good.

There, I said it. I will still love In-N-Out Burger forever, just like I would love my ugly and/or dumb kid. But since it's my choice, I just prefer not to order the fries (and/or have a kid).

Mr Taster

Jul 26, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
2

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

The reason I ask, by the way, is because Eater doesn't seem to have a problem pimping shitty pastrami (e.g. Johnny's) when it appears in venues where the customer base is noticeably dissimilar from Factors'.

Mr Taster

Jul 25, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

>> it doesn't fall within Eater's scope, obvs.

What is Eater's scope, exactly?

Mr Taster

Jul 25, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

Well, they're certainly entitled to their opinion.

In any case, it's encouraging to see them making a sincere effort.

Mr Taster

Jul 25, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

And apparently, it just started happening:

http://factorsdeli.com/whats-new-hand...

Mr Taster

Jul 25, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

Thanks!

Mr Taster

Jul 25, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

The rye was OK. It didn't have the nice brittle crust like Langer's, but as I said earlier they did steam toast it so it had similar qualities of the crispy edge and tender interior. There were far more caraway seeds in this bread than in Langers' version.

Mr Taster

Jul 25, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

After 18 years in this city I've somehow never made it to Label's Table, and for no good reason. So yeah, I'd love to have an excuse to go. Email me offline and we can discuss a sandwich swap. (I didn't find the groupon you're referring to)

Mr Taster

Jul 25, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

I've been for the fish.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/978413

Mr Taster

Jul 24, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

I haven't tried Wexler's pastrami yet. However, my understanding is that they do. I'm sure someone will correct me (gently) if I'm wrong :)

Mr Taster

Jul 24, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

No, I picked this sandwich because a work colleague enjoys this place, and it was his turn to pick the restaurant. I was totally surprised to find that they've begun Langer's-izing their pastrami sandwiches. I had no prior knowledge that this was happening.

Plus, Factor's is so far off the FUB™-media radar (Eater LA, etc.), I figured it could be years before anyone under 60 reports on this place :)

Mr Taster

Jul 24, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area
1

It's time to play MR TASTER'S **NAME THAT PASTRAMI SUPERCHALLENGE™**!

Sorry! Thanks for playing :)

Mr Taster

Jul 24, 2014
Mr Taster in Los Angeles Area