A few days ago as I reviewed my calendar, and my waistline, it seemed to be that lately I've been trying new tastes at new-to-me restaurants. Ok so yes Zankou has been visited many times; otherwise, here is the list of places, mostly in order of appearance and each with a link to more information, including what I devoured in the last 10 days that was so darn good:
Barn Burner in Pasadena - A big ole Texas-themed BBQ place that's a real hoot... and it's in a barn! Great big menu, like Texas itself, with lots of smoked meats to try, tempting sides and a pretty unique microbrew selection. Neil ordered the KT Rancher and I had the Stubby Clarksdale. No I don't remember exactly what those entailed -- see the link to view the exact components -- though I do remember the tri-tip and corn bread were quite tasty. Oh and see that photo below, this is probably the only BBQ joint around with a real grill stepping in for a sink in the men's bathroom! Crazy Texans.
BJ's Brewery in Burbank - The Pizookie, their warm chocolate chip cookie in a skillet with vanilla ice cream pretty much rocked my world. The buffalo wings weren't so fantastic, but now that I know how to order them at this establishment (well done and tossed) I will venture to try them again.
Hot Wings on Melrose - However, I can't imagine any wings would be as good as the ones found at Hot Wings. Thanks Tim for the tip and for bringing an LA place that serves east-coast-worthy wings to my attention. They rock! (I ordered them "hot".) BTW they serve Philly cheesesteaks too, and don't listen to the bad review from 7/11 at the Citysearch link, I completely disagree. This place is a definite keeper.
Albano's Brooklyn Pizzeria on Melrose - We ordered the pepperoni which was great but it's actually their "lasagna" pizza that was so original and so good! Basically it's a regular slice of pizza with both a tomato and ricotta base (so a red and white pizza all in one) topped with crumbled meatballs and basil. How good is their pizza? Why I believe it made Neil's top 10, so it's probably worth the $2.75 per slice price.
Zankou Chicken in Burbank - Mark, Lily and I each ordered the 1/4 chicken white, which comes with a succulent roast chicken quarter, hummus, garlic dip, 2 warm pitas and a salad of tomatoes and pickled beets. For $6.95 it really doesn't get better than that. Though try to stick to the Burbank location, it's way cleaner and friendlier than the one on Sunset.
Village Idiot on Melrose - Not the low-down Irish pub one would think, this is more of a gastro-pub right by Albano's and Hot Wings (I see a food crawl in my future). Erin and I ordered the catfish with a side of Brussels sprouts with bacon. The sprouts were halved and roasted, which is the best way. Will go back to try their grilled chicken with warm bread salad and peach shortcake for dessert. A great beer selection too, with my hefeweizen microbrew actually smelling and tasting of bananas. This spot feels cool and New Yorky, and is a winner even if the pints seem a little too small.
Milk on Beverly Blvd. - This place at the corner of Beverly and Poinsettia was recently written up in Gourmet magazine and the photo of the Milkie Way Malt got me revved. This particular shake is made with the shop's homemade vanilla ice cream, malted milk, chocolate chips and a caramel-chocolate swirl. Yum. Yes I said yum. Oh and with tax this baby cost $5.95, meaning it's a once-in-a-blue-moon sort of indulgence in a world where you can get a great shake at fast food places for less.
Food is great, isn't it?
Until we eat again,