Part 4 – Sixty or More Los Angeles Restaurants for Your Consideration

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Cheese Shop – Montmartre, Paris

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.


shiver shack

Shiver Shack – Saugatuck, Michigan


Somer’s Diner – Cleveland, Ohio

There is a heat wave in Los Angeles this week & cooking is just oppressive. So – I am taking the opportunity to present 60+ restaurants I have visited in the last two years. This is not a complete list & some places here reflect images from multiple visits. I am not going to get into reviewing them but I will post a link if I have blogged about specific places here in the past – and that link will likely have lots of info & more pictures (except for my earliest posts which were pretty simple). They will be listed pretty much in alphabetical order & if there is a website for the place – I will try to supply it by making the name of the place a link to their site.

HERE is the link to Part 1.

HERE is the link to Part 2.

HERE is the link to Part 3.

I am also taking this opportunity to post a few of my favorite images that I have taken of restaurants not in Los Angeles-  above.  Enjoy!



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LUCKY’S TAVERN – Hollywood, CA

Note the badass Miles Miller’s favorite part of this particular lunch spot – the weed candy truck outside selling marijuana candies out in front of God & everyone.

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My blog about Mission Cantina is HERE.

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MO’S – Burbank, CA

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My blog about Pizzeria Mozza is HERE.

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NARIYA THAI – Hollywood, CA

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NICK’S CAFE – Downtown Los Angeles, CA

My blog about Nick’s Cafe is HERE.

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THE OINKSTER – Eagle Rock & Hollywood, CA

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And there you have it!  Ten spots you can investigate yourself.  ENJOY!!!!

And don’t forget about my book!  The REVIEWS ON AMAZON are awesome!


The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.


vromans back


Vegan Buffalo Mac & Pepper Jack Cheese Cupcakes


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.


I woke up dizzy & light-headed & (oddly) filled with a dozen ideas for soul food or otherwise southern menu options.  I had all kinds of aspirations involving chicken-frying something & biscuits & gravy & mashed potatoes and mac & cheese.  I am really excited about the chicken-fried recipe but I only got as far as this mac & cheese idea.  I have enough of just these things to survive here for a week.  And I really shouldn’t eat mac & cheese cupcakes every meal for a week or I might develop type-2 Diabetes.

You can opt to make the cupcakes out of this recipe or just stop at the mac & cheese level.  It is a no-bake mac & cheese but I am certain 20 minutes at 375 wouldn’t hurt it.  Here it is right outta the pan – no baking at all.  If you are not baking it or making cupcakes – this mac & cheese comes together in just a little more time than it takes to boil the pasta.


That is a little smoked paprika on there.  Pretty, no?

I used this wacky, large shell pasta for my recipe.  Regular macaroni or other small, shaped pasta would work, too.




Vegan Buffalo Mac & Pepper Jack Cheese Cupcakes


1 lb dry pasta – cooked

4 TBS flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp ground pepper

1 pinch cayenne pepper

4 TBS vegan butter

2 celery stalks – diced (plus more for garnish)

3 scallions – diced (plus more for garnish)

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced

3 cups non-dairy milk

1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

4 cups vegan pepper jack cheese (grated)

Crumbled vegan blue cheese as garnish (optional)

Wonton skins (2 per cupcake)

Paprika (as garnish)

Breadcrumbs and/or extra grated cheese to top the cupcakes (optional)


Cook the pasta according to directions.

Heat the oven to 375.

In a bowl – whisk the dry ingredients together: flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper & cayenne.  Set aside.

In a large stock pot, melt the butter & saute the celery, jalapeno & scallions for about 2 minutes.  Add the flour mix & saute over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.  Add the milk – 1/2 cup at a time – and stir it in until it thickens.  Then add the rest of the milk in the same fashion & in 1/2 cup increments.


Stir in the hot sauce & the pepper jack & heat until melted & combined.


Stir in the cooked pasta.  You can serve it at this point with blue cheese crumbles, celery & scallions as garnish – and maybe a drizzle of more Frank’s sauce – or a brightly colored paprika!



OR –


Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.  Place two wonton skins in each cup.  Fill them with your mac & cheese.


You might want to add more grated cheese or breadcrumbs here – or not.  I only added breadcrumbs to half to see how they came out.  No big difference.  Bake at 375 for about 12-15 minutes or until bubbly & browning.


Let them rest for about a minute & then serve garnished with blue cheese crumbles, scallions and/or celery.  Maybe sprinkle some paprika on them or drizzle more Frank’s sauce.  Then get a shoe horn & force feed yourself these things like they do a pate goose.


Avocado Caesar Salad Dressing with Jalapeno & Cilantro


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

This week my pal Frank Dana turned 86.   The fixed income gang from my early morning donut shop throw a group party for all the Sagittarians among them this time every year at Birds.  The party was yesterday.  Here I am sharing a glass of wine with Frank.  Frank is every bit the PLAYAH he looks to be here.  He is 5’2″ – probably 75 pounds & he is a firecracker!


This crew is a flamboyant & hilarious bunch & Frank is famous for sharing stories about sleeping with hookers while on shore leave during WWII.  Frank was impressed last night when he discovered I had landed a 35-year-old boyfriend.  “No shit?” Frank replied in his heavy New York accent & nodded his approval.  I love Frank.  “You drinking wine normally now?” Frank asked.   I asked what he meant.  “You know.  You aren’t still drinking a bottle a day – are you?”  “Yes, Frank.  Yes I am.  A bottle a day is normal for me.”   Frank laughed & took a ginger sip of his cabernet.  Frank is limited (by his doctor) to two glasses of wine a day.  Frank informed me that he prefers it served as one large glass.

“See that guy over there?”  he asked and pointed out one of the party attendees.  He told me the man’s name was Mike.  “Mike’s a wine guy.  You wanna buy a case of wine for $2 a bottle – he can hook you up,”  Frank said in a distinctly conspiratorial tone.  Indeed?  “Yeah – he sells wine from the trunk of his car.  $2 a bottle.   You can’t go wrong.”  This sounded very shady but I was intrigued.  Black market wine and a dealer circulating amongst my Social Security set.  But Frank knew him & I know Frank is protective of me so – I thought this wine hustler had to be harmless.  Pretty soon I found myself sitting next to Mike the Wine Guy.  “So, Mike.  I hear you are the guy to go to for wine.”  He confirmed that.  “So – how does it work?”

“Come on out to my van.  I can set you right up.”

The van?

“Your van?”

“Yeah – I bought the stock out of a bankrupt liquor store.  I can sell you bottles, cases, bubbly – whatever.  Right outta my van.”

So – I followed him to the van and, sure enough, it was filled with several dozen cases of wine.

“I can sell you this case for $2 a bottle and this over here – these are $3 a bottle.”

Sensing I might be onto something special here I asked, “What do you have on the high end?”

Ah.  He had a live one.

He closed the back doors to the van & walked me around to the side & slid the door open.

“These bottles go for $40 in the store but I can let you have them for $15.  And this case – by the guys that produce Lynch-Bages – these are $10 each.  Probably go for $25 in the store.”

Hmmmm.  Now – with my $717 month grocery habit – I can’t start drinking $15 bottles of wine – and I certainly can’t be buying by the case.

“Can I buy one one of each & taste them before I commit to a larger order?”

Yes, yes I could.  So – I slipped him $25 cash, he handed me two bottles of wine and I walked to my car feeling kinda bad-ass and street smart – like I had just been involved in a very shady but successful drug deal.  Here is the wine:


Some research revealed that the Arcane – which was alleged to be a $40 bottle is more like a $25 (or less) bottle of wine – available HERE for $24.99 – but $15 still seems a fair price.  The other – the Luna Benegas – for which I gave the man $10 – appears to be — WAIT FOR IT — a $10 bottle of wine – as seen HERE.  So – I got $35 wine for $25.  Still not too bad – especially if I LIKE the wine.  That remains to be seen.

Anyway – home again – it was time for dinner & I had romaine lettuce to use.  So – I made the dressing – a twist on the traditional Caesar with avocado, jalapeno & cilantro added.

I was going to make this completely from scratch – including making the mayonnaise – but I decided against it for fear of using raw eggs.  I wanted to make a dressing with a longer shelf life than a few hours and raw eggs are like 90% likely to have salmonella.  I don’t need nor do I recommend salmonella poisoning – despite its benefit of rapid weight loss.

This dressing couldn’t be any easier to make.  Feel free to up the garlic and/or jalapeno ratio if those flavors appeal to you.



Avocado Caesar Salad Dressing with Jalapeno & Cilantro


2/3 cup mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves – chopped or pressed through a garlic press

juice of half a lemon

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 large jalapeno (or more) seeded & chopped

1 ripe avocado

handful fresh cilantro

S&P to taste



Blend everything in a food processor.  Add more olive oil or WATER if you feel it is too thick.