Bun Boy Eats LA
BUN BOY EATS LA – Bun Boy Eats LA

THE DRESDEN

  • September 19, 2014 5:32 am

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu

The Dresden has been around since 1954 and, yes, it’s the restaurant featured in the movie “Swingers”.

Marty and Elayne, the famous lounge act who have been crooning, scatting and tickling the Casio ivories since 1982, are what keep people coming back to this infamous Los Feliz hotspot.

They are the dictionary definition of kitsch. I’m not entirely sure how old they are but judging by Marty’s dead cat hairpiece, they’re clearly not from this generation.

To be honest, I’ve only had drinks in the lounge section. I had no idea an actual restaurant existed on the other side. One that seems not to have changed since the place opened. I’m sure this was quite the swanky eatery back in it’s day.

If the white leather booths and bold red walls can attest to.

Many of the booths located down the center of the joint are encompassed with these odd wooden beams, like being in a psychedelic cage. It’s like the 70′s threw up all over the 50′s and no one bothered cleaning up the mess.

All this is part of the Dresden’s charm. I was truly enchanted. A word indicative of the era.

The food is the kind of thing your grandparents would have eaten for their 1st anniversary dinner. Definitely a time warp of Veal Parmesan and Shrimp Scampi. It’s hard to say the word “Scampi” and not think its the name of some cartoon Disney animal.

Everything comes with a side of noodles and the basket of sub-par garlic bread, which is not really worth the carbs, but you’re hungry and the food isn’t going to come out very fast.

The servers are mostly older gentlemen and when they serve you that Vodka Collins, you’ll think you’ve been transported straight to a scene from the Shining. This restaurant could have definitely been located in the Outlook Hotel.

I loved the fact that there was Chicken Cordon Bleu on the menu so I had to order it. I had no clue this dish existed outside of the frozen foods aisle. BTW, this is a great dish to order, it’s mighty tasty.

The prime rib was very thick and seemingly very tasty. I didn’t have any but my friend finished most of his gargantuan portion, so I’m assuming it wasn’t too revolting.

In conclusion, the food here is fine, a few dishes even good. But come here for kitsch first and kitchen second and you’ll be in good shape.

1760 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-4294
thedresden.com

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This is where Marty and Elayne perform. It also looks like a restaurant that has been closed for 30 years.

This is where Marty and Elayne perform. It also looks like a restaurant that has been closed for 30 years.

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Blue Cheese dressing with a side of salad.

Blue Cheese dressing with a side of salad.

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi

Veal Piccata

Veal Piccata

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Chicken Cordon Bleu with linguine

Chicken Cordon Bleu with linguine

MARIO’S PERUVIAN & SEAFOOD

  • September 17, 2014 5:18 am

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When you think of Peruvian food you usually think of ceviche or Lomo Saltado. Or maybe you never think of Peruvian food, in which case you, sir, are a racist.

Well, ceviche and Lomo Saltado are exactly what we ordered tonight (because we’re not racists).

We chose the fish ceviche since I can’t consume shellfish and it was really tasty. The sauce was nice and tart and the bits of celery and red onion nicely complimented the ample portion of very fresh white fish.

Lomo Saltado is steak stir fried with onions, tomatoes and French fries. With a side of rice. Peruvians love their carbs. (Oops, was that racist?)

Sometimes the dish is done poorly and the steak is tough and the fries are soggy. Not at Mario’s.

Steak was tender and juicy and the fries were perfectly soaked in the beefy flavor while still maintaining their shape. The fries are never going to be fully crispy, that’s just not how it’s done.

In fact, at Mario’s, this dish is 85% French fries and I thoroughly approve of that ratio.

Portions at the super casual Mario’s (located in Hancock Park-ish) are ginormous, so just plan on finishing half and taking the rest home. But be prepared for the disappointed looks from your waitress.

“You’re done??” she asked in disbelief. I felt awful so threw out some “had a big lunch” lie and went on my way. Head hung in shame.

But at least I’m not a racist.

5786 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 466-4181

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Ceviche de Pescado

Ceviche de Pescado

Lomo Saltado -

Lomo Saltado –

This Lomo Saltado is 75% French fries and that's a good thing.

This Lomo Saltado is 75% French fries and that’s a good thing.

Spicy Aji sauce - good for pouring over...everything.

Spicy Aji sauce – good for pouring over…everything.

FEAST FROM THE EAST

  • September 15, 2014 5:41 am

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Feast from the East has been around since 1981 and that outdated Chinese Chicken Salad that everyone raves about is pretty damn tired.

It’s just barely shredded romaine lettuce, wontons and shredded dry ass chicken. Oh, and a tiny portion cup filled with not enough salad dressing. It needs cabbage. It needs mandarins. It needs some other veggies.

It needs to just go away.

The sesame chicken wings tasted good but they had clearly been sitting in the warming bin for an hour or so and were luke warm at best.

The meatballs were fine but had a rubbery consistency and freezer burned flavor and the teriyaki sauce was pretty pedestrian.

The BBQ Pork Bao was ok, but not nearly enough bbq pork for my liking.

Wow, did I like anything here??

Chesty didn’t hate the salad, which is why this place gets 2 Buns but I’m honestly surprised that a place with such average pseudo-Asian cuisine has lasted so long.

I guess even bad faux Chinese is still good faux Chinese.

1949 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 475-0400
ffte.com

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Teriyaki Meatballs

Teriyaki Meatballs

Sesame Chicken Wings

Sesame Chicken Wings

BBQ Pork Bao

BBQ Pork Bao

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

1949 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 475-0400
ffte.com

TOAST BAKERY CAFE

  • September 12, 2014 5:49 am

Stuffed French Toast - Caramelized Bananas, walnuts and banana pudding

Stuffed French Toast – Caramelized Bananas, walnuts and banana pudding

Toast is a popular breakfast spot on 3rd Street near the Beverly Center that becomes nightmarishly busy if you show up too late.

Thankfully, we showed up at 8 a.m. and not a creature was stirring, not even a cockroach.

There are two dishes here that I absolutely love that are also pretty unique to Toast.

If you’re feeling like setting off a sugar bomb in your gut, order the super delicious Stuffed French Toast.

What, you ask, is it stuffed with?

Well, not really anything. But it’s topped with caramelized bananas, walnuts and a ton of banana pudding. What?? Yes, banana pudding, suckas!

The lady sitting next to us was reading from the menu when she got to my stuffed French toast. “Well, that sounds disgusting!” she whisper-screamed.

She looked over at that moment, seeing me shove this “disgusting” meal into my face hole and I felt compelled to explain myself.

“I know I’m in store for a major sugar crash but I’m not going to eat the whole thing!” I insisted.

Later on when I was halfway finished, she looked over and taunted “You’re going to eat the whole thing, I just know it!”

The other tasty dish is the Penne Mattina. It’s essentially breakfast pasta. Penne with scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, feta, pesto and sundried tomatoes. It’s awesome.

I’ve only had breakfast at Toast so I can’t say what their other meals are like. And they don’t serve alcohol, so avoid this place if you’re in the mood for a boozy brunch.

Come here early to eat in peace without being shamed for your gratuitous order.

8221 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-5018
toastbakerycafe.net

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Penne Mattina - Penne with scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, sundried tomatoes and pesto.

Penne Mattina – Penne with scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, sundried tomatoes and pesto.

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Stuffed French Toast - Caramelized Bananas, walnuts and banana pudding

Stuffed French Toast – Caramelized Bananas, walnuts and banana pudding

THE TASTING KITCHEN

  • September 10, 2014 5:00 am

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Besides Gjelina, Tasting Kitchen is probably the most popular restaurant on Venice’s Abbot Kinney blvd.

Don’t even think about just walking in. FYI, you don’t own the place.

Tasting Kitchen serves seasonal, inventive and vaguely described dishes in an upscale setting with an outdoor feel to it.

Tasting Kitchen also has better taste in music than you do.

While munching on one of the 6-7 pasta options, getting your face and hands covered in sticky flax seeds from the very tasty chicken wings, or sipping a creative yet familiar cocktail, you’ll also rock out to the almost too loud current or retro hit flowing from the speakers.

Personally, I think this place works better for small plates and cocktails. I wasn’t blown away by the Halibut or the sausage pasta (which was a very large portion, btw).

1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 392-6644
thetastingkitchen.com

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English Garden - Gin, lime, fennel, cucumber

English Garden – Gin, lime, fennel, cucumber

Table Bread

Table Bread

Chicken Wings, apple cider, flax seeds

Chicken Wings, apple cider, flax seeds

Beats, currants, pistachios

Beats, currants, pistachios

And then day turns to night...

And then day turns to night…

British Tea Cocktail - Gin, pimms, lemon, egg whites

British Tea Cocktail – Gin, pimms, lemon, egg whites

Creste di Gallo, Calabrian sausage, breadcrumbs

Creste di Gallo, Calabrian sausage, breadcrumbs

Halibut, vermouth butter, caviar, English peas

Halibut, vermouth butter, caviar, English peas

THE HUDSON

  • September 8, 2014 5:38 am

Short Rib Tacos

Short Rib Tacos

The Hudson first came to town and took over a great spot that had housed a series of unfortunate establishments. Not until the Hudson did the place finally come into it’s own.

The Hudson has one of the best Happy Hour’s in town. The Mac and cheese, Short Rib Tacos and Albacore Crudo are your best bets (each only $7) and only $4 for draft Stella or well cocktails.

The interior looks like the inside of an antique ship and a seat by one of the tiny windows is the only place you’ll want to be. Just go somewhere else if those seats are all taken.

During the day, the place is calm and the crowd is mixed. On a weekend night, it becomes a bit of a douchebag haven and a serious pickup joint.

I love that Spellcheck didn’t correct “douchebag.”

The Hudson is in my neighborhood, the food is tasty and I appreciate that I can walk there.

The servers have a little bit of an attitude and it’s kind of like being served by a cranky model. They look good but getting them to smile is tougher than a Buckingham palace guard.

If you live in West Hollywood, definitely check this place out but I don’t consider it road-trip-worthy.

I’m sure you have your own Hudson in whatever neighborhood you live in. I dare you to try to tickle the servers and see if they crack a smile. Chances are, they won’t.

1114 N Crescent Heights Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 654-6686
thehudsonla.com

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Albacore Crudo

Albacore Crudo

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

TACOS ARIZAS

  • September 6, 2014 5:54 am

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I’m gonna be honest about something up front with Echo Park’s Tacos Arizas. They have a “C” health rating.

And it’s proudly displayed next to their menu, not hidden in a dark corner splattered with old salsa drippings.

And you know what? Who cares!

The taco truck next to a Walgreen’s parking lot is so popular and the tacos are so good that it’s not like any of the meats are sitting out for too long before they’re shoved lovingly into a tiny little tortilla so you can cram them into that thing you call a mouth.

Coming to a taco truck at night when you’re completely sober is an interesting experience. You’ll likely be one of the very few sober people there. Just get your tacos quickly and run before the hipsters behind you talk about how much they love Tom Waite but give really stupid reasons (this actually happened).

While I think Taco Zone has slightly better meats and better salsa/topping selection, these were still quite awesome and cheap and I ate every bite before I headed out before I made a snarky comment to an innocent, drunk bystander.

Walgreens Parking Lot
Corner of Sunset and Logan (Echo Park)
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 555-1212

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Taco trucks are either where folks get their dinner or where drunk people chow down before they attempt to drive home after the bars.

Taco trucks are either where folks get their dinner or where drunk people chow down before they attempt to drive home after the bars.

HAE JANG CHON

  • September 5, 2014 5:19 am

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After visiting the best Korean BBQ places LA has to offer and then trying an AYCE (All you can eat) again, I’ve realized that you can’t go back.

The meat is just tastier when you’re paying more money for it.

Hae Jang Chon is a crazy popular AYCE spot (about $20 per person) so it’s not awful. I just found the meat to be tougher and less flavorful.

To be fair, we probably burned the crap out of the pork belly. It was my first time cooking it, and I’m sure we ruined it.

I really loved the BBQ Beef however, it had a ton of flavor, was super tender and juicy and ended the meal on a positive note.

They also make you a kimchee fried rice at the end on your grill using the beef scrapings which was pretty tasty too. And fun to watch get made.

I would recommend this place if you’re into the most meat for your dollar bills, but just come with lowered expectations and you’ll be fine.

Or just drink a bunch and you won’t care.

3821 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 389-8777
haejangchon.com

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Banchan

Banchan

Beef Dipping Sauces

Beef Dipping Sauces

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Black Raspberry "Wine"

Black Raspberry “Wine”

Beef Short ribs and Beef Brisket

Beef Short ribs and Beef Brisket

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Pork Belly

Pork Belly

Pork Belly...slightly burned

Pork Belly…slightly burned

BBQ Beef - Bulgogi

BBQ Beef – Bulgogi

Making our kimchee fried rice from our bbq scrapings

Making our kimchee fried rice from our bbq scrapings

Kimchee Fried Rice

Kimchee Fried Rice

KATSU-YA STUDIO CITY

  • September 3, 2014 5:37 am

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Like many of LA’s great sushi joints, Katsu-ya Studio City is located in a strip mall.

This original Valley location opened up in 1999, so they’ve clearly done a thing or two right.

We ordered many of the dishes they’re famous for (clearly marked on the menu as “Our most popular dishes”) so we fell right into their trap. Katsu-ya is very popular and for good reason. They made sushi yummy for people that don’t like sushi.

Scared of raw albacore? Dump some eel sauce all over and top it with crispy fried onions!

Raw tuna give you the heebies? Mix it with a bunch of mayo and top it with an jalapeno!

It’s the new tuna salad sandwich, except on crispy rice.

And it’s all delicious. Sneaky bastards.

While I’ve always professed I’m no sushi purist, I actually enjoyed their Nigiri sushi the most. The fish quality is fantastic, and sometimes a good hunk of fish over rice with a little soy, ginger and wasabi is all you need in life.

Unless you live in the middle of the country, then Sushi isn’t really a part of your world. Or, at least, it shouldn’t be.

11680 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 985-6976

http://www.katsu-yagroup.com/katsuya_studio_city.html

There is zero parking in the neighborhood, so just fork over the $3.50 and valet, ya cheapskate!

There is zero parking in the neighborhood, so just fork over the $3.50 and valet, ya cheapskate!

Rusty the dog owns this strip mall and will probably insist you pet him. Do not resist.

Rusty the dog owns this strip mall and will probably insist you pet him. Do not resist.

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The place is small so be prepared to wait if you don't have a ressie.

The place is small so be prepared to wait if you don’t have a ressie.

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Red Snapper Sushi

Red Snapper Sushi

Albacore Sushi

Albacore Sushi

Spanish Mackeral

Spanish Mackeral

Eel Sushi

Eel Sushi

Blue Crab Roll

Blue Crab Roll

Baked Green Mussels

Baked Green Mussels

Albacore Sashimi with Jalapeno

Albacore Sashimi with Jalapeno

Cajun Salmon Roll

Cajun Salmon Roll

Popcorn Shrimp Tempura on Spicy Tuna Roll

Popcorn Shrimp Tempura on Spicy Tuna Roll

Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna

Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna

Miso Marinated Black Cod

Miso Marinated Black Cod

SAPP COFFEE SHOP

  • September 1, 2014 5:00 am

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I have avoided Sapp Coffee Shop for years because I was frightened of Boat Noodles.

This benign sounding dish is made with pig’s blood and I just wasn’t having it. I had had a similar Filipino soup called Dinuguan and did not like it one bit.

I had accidentally ordered boat noodles a few years back and enjoyed it…until I found out what they were.

I don’t consider myself an adventurous eater. I like creative uses of food (for example, stuffing Mac and Cheese inside absolutely anything is fine with me) and I like interesting combinations (I’ve had wood flavored ice cream and enjoyed it) but I don’t eat entrails. Sorry, I’m boring.

But when Sonigram came to town, I knew he’d go with me and that I would trick him into ordering it. “It’s the most popular dish here, you’ll love it!” I pleaded.

I think I held out 2 minutes in the car ride over there before I spilled the truth. Thankfully, he was still game. For the gamey soup.

Well, I served myself a small portion and found myself loving it more with each bite. Wow, it didn’t taste like cutting my lip at all! It tasted like a super rich beef broth.

It was actually really tasty!

Now, I’ve read that some places serve a sub par Boat Noodles and you can taste the metallic, sour (read: blood) residue a bit too much. Oy.

I actually found myself enjoying the Jade Noodles even more! Those fun, green colored noodles topped with bbq pork, crab and duck are super tasty. You can get them dry or in soup form.

The Thai Iced Teas were probably the best I’ve ever had. They were more like Thai Slushies. Anything that keeps my body temperature down is much appreciated.

Like many places in Thai Town, it’s small, unassuming, very crowded and cash only, so come prepared. And then overcome any of your blood fears and order those Boat Noodles, for God’s sake!

5183 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-1035
sapp.menutoeat.com

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Thai Iced Teas

Thai Iced Teas

Papaya Salad

Papaya Salad

Jade Noodles with BBQ Pork, Duck and Crab

Jade Noodles with BBQ Pork, Duck and Crab

Boat Noodles with Beef, Tripe, Liver and Meatballs

Boat Noodles with Beef, Tripe, Liver and Meatballs