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BrookeN's Profile

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Car Hop Drive-ins in SoCal?

Frisco's has outside car hop service? Their web site seems to only be selling their "Hooters"-like appeal. But I suppose to fullfill the all important quest for real car hop service, the drive from downtown to Downey is a necessary sacrifice.

Aug 02, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

Car Hop Drive-ins in SoCal?

Anyone remember Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake or over on Colorado Blvd in Glendale, Tiny Naylor's at Sunset & La Brea, Dolores on Wilshire (and also way out west in West LA) and so forth. I grew up in Vancouver (eh?) where The White Spot at Park Royal was "it" for drive-ins. I can still remember sloppy Triple O Cheeseburgers at the White Spot in the 60's, so moving to Los Angeles in 1970 was coming to the Mecca for drive ins.

So where are they now? Other than Bob's in Toluca Lake (car hop service weekends only) and the prospect of the southern chain Sonic opening a gazillion branches in SoCal (they seem to be in every little hamlet in the South), do Chowhounds know of any remaining car hop service drive ins in Southern California?

Aug 02, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

Best Burgers in Los Angeles

A burger and a malt says "California" to me... A few of my 'fast food' favorites all vary (in no particular order):

+ The Bucket, Eagle Rock Blvd (fries are good and seriously greasy! Rumor is they use mink oil - just kidding)
+ Pie N Burger, Pasadena (one has to have a malt or be drummed out of Burgerdom)
+ Apple Pan, Westside (one has to have pie a la mode or be committed to Atascadero)
+ Petes, Downtown (fries come in a metal cup)
+ In N Out, Everywhere (try em animal style - protein style is pour moi)
+ BBQ King, Fig and Sunset downtown (mmmm, greasy and smoke all over your clothes)
+ Cassels, 6th St! (with apologies to Randy Newmann) mid Wilshire
+ The Boat (is temporarily gone due to construction of a Kohls - Huntington and Rosemead) The burgers are just okay but the place is a trip - take a kid with you
+ The White Spot (oops that's in Vancouver - try a triple O cheeseburger, eh? - Still a actual car hop drive in)
+ The Pantry Annex (hickory burger's okay but one comes here for the coleslaw, period)
+ Bob's Big Boy, Toluca Lake, on the weekends when they have car hop service - burgers are not that special but it's car hop service, man.
+ Wolf Burger - Colorado + Lake, Pasadena - good in a pinch

To the fellow from Chicago somewhere on this page who said food sucks in L.A., huh? Sure, there are lots of sucky fast food and crappy places, as there are all over "Anywhere USA". I think the rest of the country is becoming Van Nuy Blvd. I have been finding that in smaller cities it is hard to find places that are not chain restaurants. But in this city (meaning not just L.A. but So Cal) has lots of unique, locally run and owned "one-off" restaurants - all over -- in my area - Hollywood/We Ho/Bev Hills, in the "new" Chinatown (Valley Blvd in the SG Valley) - I could go on and on!

Ciao, hounds!

Brooke

Jun 27, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

BEST milkshakes ever?

ipse dixit is brilliant (Will Owens, too)! I, too, love double chocolate malts from Fosselmans on Main St in Alhambra. They are best made by the younger counter help than the apparently older permanent workers because they don't over mix them (resulting in lovely, thick shakes). There's one fellow who always seems to work the counter at night who multitasks a little too much and will leave a shake or malt on the mixer endlessly. We call him Soup Boy, and try to avoid him. Otherwise Fosselmans is supreme, for ice cream and fountain, especially the aforesaid described chocolate malts. Mmmmmm. Open til 10!

Soda Jerks and Pie N Burger in Pasadena, and Fair Oaks Pharmacy deserve a yummy malt mention.

Anyone remember the piled-high soft ice cream shakes at Bob's Big Boy? Not in the pure soda fountain class of the above establishments, but very unique, right out of a soft serve machine. Fond mempories remain of the malts at White Spot in Vancouver (and Triple O Cheesburgers, eh?) or the Hudsons Bay department store malts also in Vancouver (Canada). Their malts came ready to drink out of a modified soft ice cream machine but more 'liquidy' than Bob's.

Jan 13, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

pizza dough from CLARO's italian market

They have pizza dough in their large freezer case in the back but never bought it.

Jan 04, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

pizza dough from CLARO's italian market

GH, I understood you. The only thing Claros is missing is the hot bread that Bay Cities Market on Lincoln in SaMo seems to always have. For some reason that bread never fully makes it home with me. Ciao!

Jan 04, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

pizza dough from CLARO's italian market

No question, socal boy, Claros is better for pizza dough. GH, for some reason I have avoided the puffed up bags at Claros -- I'll try one next time. TJ's does have their good points - I love their cheese selection, for example.

Anyone ever try those thin powdered sugar coated "cookies" that come in a clear plastic box at Claros? They're sort of like fried wonton strips but pastry dough and covered with powdered sugar. I can't remember the name but in Italy they seem to only be available around Christmas. At Claros year round. Mmmmmmm. Dangerous.

Jan 01, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

GALLO'S GRILL???

Scurvy, the first thing I noticed when I first visited Gallo years ago was it reminded me of an upscale place on San Vicente Blvd - bright, airy, modern, clean - unusual if you've visited many East LA places looking for an authentic local Mexican restaurant. It had an A. My first reaction was maybe this is a chain? But obviously it was not -- and fantastic as others have noted. I hope it comes back. The best taco place I've known, the 5 Points (Puntas) to the west on CC/Brooklyn is pretty darn scruffy. The wonderful El Tepayac in Boyle Hts is kitchen tables/abandoned diner mileau. That's what I expected.

Jan 01, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

pizza dough from CLARO's italian market

The pizza dough from Claro's Market (Valley Blvd in San Gabriel) is equal to or better than TJ's, probably fresher and a better economic deal. It is put up in random sizes in plastic bags, the smallest always seems to be twice as large as TJ's uniform one pizza per bag portions. The last I bought made three large pizzas and cost 99 cents. If you only want one pizza, you can use the remainder to make a simple loaf of bread the next morning or crustini, etc.

Jan 01, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

Nick's Cafe in Downtown Los Angeles

Nick's Cafe (once a railroad cafe) is definitely still going strong for breakfast and lunch. They open early (I think 5:30) and close early, perhaps 2 PM, so that's why folks often think it's closed and gone. Due to the rampant graffiti from the nearby Dog Town housing project, when they close each afternoon they board up the windows with old plywood.

Food is still dependable, homemade quality diner food. They make their own great ham (rivals, no bests Phillipes), and have lunch specials (BBQ for one) several times during the week. They'll even sell you a ham bone for your dog!

Weekdays the patrons are "real" Los Angeles folk, downtown "hardhat" workers, lots of city vehicles, high wheel trucks (railroads) and unmarked cop cars in evidence. Saturdays you may come across yuppies slumming on the wrong side of the 101 with baby seats, Blackberries and the New York Times, but nothing's perfect!

Jan 01, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

Canele

Neighborhood Osteria Nonni's congenial, elderly owner (who's name I don't know) but who for seventeen years could always be found at the far end of the open kitchen, apparently has retired and sold his friendly and familiar restaurant.

According to the Times, Corina Weibel and (cute as a bug) Jane Choit have reopened the restaurant, as Canele. They have remodelled delightfully, but only slightly --- you'll still recognize the place. It's no longer Italian, but a sort of quirky California French. The clientelle has changed, younger and hipper. If you're middle aged, you'll love people watching for the girls in mix and match Barbi Doll modern (lots of torn jeans, leggings and cheap jewelry) and guys in plaid PJ bottoms and hospital greens are a hoot.

Nonni's sublime male waiter (I'm blanking on his name right now) is still at work, so regulars will feel right at home and well-treated. The tables in the back, always less inviting at Nonni, now seem more comfortable, with a previous covered brick wall now exposed to add some warmth. The ubiquitous hot Italian bread that Nonni served every table is gone (you'll have to travel to the supreme Angeli on Melrose for that) but the brief menu is great! The herb-roasted chicken is great as are the tapenade potatoes that accompany it. While I shouldn't eat it, their cheese cake is a "ten". I recommend pretty much everything on the carefully planned menu. I think they violated a state law that requires all resturants to have a Caesar Salad, but Go Girls! Relatively inexpensive and a warm, inviting place with loads of street parking.

My only mild criticism is the four tables right in the front window (always the best place to sit at Nonni) have sadly been replaced by one immense, communal table, shades of your high school cafeteria.

Nevertheless, a great revitalized destination in Atwater, on the edge of Glendale and Silverlake. I'll see you there!

Jan 01, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

Osteria Nonni

Neighborhood Osteria Nonni's congenial, elderly owner (who's name I don't know) but who for seventeen years could always be found at the far end of the open kitchen, apparently has retired and sold his friendly and familiar restaurant.

According to the Times, Corina Weibel and (cute as a bug) Jane Choit have reopened the restaurant, as Canele. They have remodelled delightfully, but only slightly --- you'll still recognize the place. It's no longer Italian, but a sort of quirky California French. The clientelle has changed, younger and hipper. If you're middle aged, you'll love people watching for the girls in mix and match Barbi Doll modern (lots of torn jeans, leggings and cheap jewelry) and guys in plaid PJ bottoms and hospital greens are a hoot.

Nonni's sublime male waiter (I'm blanking on his name right now) is still at work, so regulars will feel right at home and well-treated. The tables in the back, always less inviting at Nonni, now seem more comfortable, with a previous covered brick wall now exposed to add some warmth. The ubiquitous hot Italian bread that Nonni served every table is gone (you'll have to travel to the supreme Angeli on Melrose for that) but the brief menu is great! The herb-roasted chicken is great as are the tapenade potatoes that accompany it. While I shouldn't eat it, their cheese cake is a "ten". I recommend pretty much everything on the carefully planned menu. I think they violated a state law that requires all resturants to have a Caesar Salad, but Go Girls! Relatively inexpensive and a warm, inviting place with loads of street parking.

My only criticism is the four tables right in the front window (always the best place to sit at Nonni) have sadly been replaced by one immense, communal table, shades of your high school cafeteria.

Nevertheless, a great revitalized destination in Atwater, on the edge of Glendale and Silverlake. I'll see you there!

Jan 01, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

Mike's Hockey Burger

Mike's Hockey Burger is a family run, warm place. The signature "Hockey Burger", described correctly by 'Nosh' on this page, is admittedly slightly dopey. Hockey Burger history is explained on the walls along with Kings memorabilia. But Mike's Special, a generous mound of well-done, hot, thinly sliced beef on thin Armenian bread, is the only roast beef sandwich I've found east of the 5, and keeps Mike's Hockey Burger well out of the penalty box. He shoots... he scores!

Jan 01, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

Cassells burgers???

Right on, Sku! Cassels makes GREAT burgers. Not quite the experience and taste of The Bucket in Eagle Rock, but worth the drive. It is not In-And-Out (probably the best fast food burger and non-frozen fries). Cassels is in a non-descript store front on 6th Street, a block and a half west of Vermont. There's only street parking, but that's usually not difficult. You communicate your burger preferences directly to the cook, watch the grilling process and then add condiments yourself from the well-stocked supply. Even at lunch there's no waiting. Ambience is the real deal: gritty L.A. You will find a panorama of Angelenos chowing down, from truck drivers to Suits. Cassels is not open late (closes at 4 PM Mon to Sat) and closed on Sundays.

3266 West Sixth

Jan 01, 2007
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

Burger in Eagle Rock?

Mostly I'm replying to the poster seeking turkey burgers... you definitely don't want to go to The Bucket... wrong place for you. All of the faults detailed on this website are probably true and then some. It's slow, small, they can only cook about four burgers at once, ambience is Nouveau Construction Site, it looks a lot like a recycled building supplies store, and you'll have to turn down the boombox yourself (in the patio), but the help is not insolent as one poster suggested, just tuned-in to their non-judgmental clientelle. But, get this: The Bucket probably has the BEST BURGER in L.A. Better than the Apple Pan (which is great), better than Cassels (also great). Better than the Pantry Annex. The Bucket Burger is huge. The Mild Cardiac Burger (double) is immense. I've never seen the Cardiac Burger but I can imagine. No frozen patties at The Bucket. The fries (normal or scalloped slices) are not Mickey D's crisp, they are loaded with grease, which makes them taste fantastic! Just don't eat them too often. That's about the extent of the menu (plus beer and sodas by the can). They'll serve you a patty without bun, and with a little lettuce on the side and guacomole, that's as close to turkey burger correct as they could come.

All-round GREAT L.A. burger (not many of those left!) and authentic L.A. mileau experience, not a clone of anything (maybe a biker hangout on a remote California highway somewhere) or (gasp!) a milquetoast chain. You'd expect to find a young Dennis Hopper inside (but of course you won't), but Steppenwolf could be on the playlist.

And thank God, the TV doesn't work and you probably won't find Blackberries inside!

Dec 31, 2006
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area

GALLO'S GRILL???

Gallos Grill was closed by a fire in early 2006. I stopped by a related establishment, just to the east of their parking lot in October '06 and learned they were rebuilding and intended to reopen in "early 2007". So let's keep our finger's crossed. Gallo Grill was fantastic, Westside-quality restaurant setting but with quality Mexican food. Food was cooked on an open grill accompanied by hand made tortillas and a cornucopia of salsas on each table.

Dec 31, 2006
BrookeN in Los Angeles Area