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


Road Kill Roasted Cauliflower & Hominy Tacos with Homemade Corn Tortillas & Spicy Peach, Pineapple & Mango Salsa

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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.


Roadkill?  Caught your attention, didn’t it?  Silly!  I don’t eat meat.  But I did buy some Dean Jacobs Road Kill Grill Rub because of the promise that it “Makes all critters taste great.”


I bought it in Gilroy (the garlic capital of the world) for my boyfriend, Miles, who lives almost as exclusively on meat as zombies do on brains.  Whenever I think of zombies, and these days – what with their resurgent popularity – I think of them quite often – I think of my favorite zombie chant.  (I stole the image below from Google.)


The monomaniacal nature of zombies can sometimes be quite endearing.

At any rate – I bought the Road Kill rub in Gilroy on a road trip that led to my vagina-centric post about Elsy’s Antojitos & my Shrimp & Cheesy Grits post which got into my pug, Memphis, and his tooth removal & the drunken, loopy slob he returned home as – still wobbly from getting put under.  Look how drunk he looks in the pose he struck!  🙂


That was last September (when I bought the Road Kill Grill) & Miles has never used it so I decided to bust that shit out.  It has a very smokey salty flavor & it worked AWESOMELY for this dish but, if you cannot find it, any taco seasoning or other grill rub would likely work.  Even a homemade blend of spices would work – and you can Google a zillion options for that.

The recipe for the corn tortillas is HERE.

The recipe for the Spicy Peach & Pineapple & Mango Salsa is HERE.

You can use pre-made corn tortillas and any kind of salsa you like.  The real magic here is the roasted cauliflower & hominy filling.  I have been long obsessed with each of those ingredients & the threesome we had last night was – well – worth repeating.  Much like my Vegan Pozole, and any taco recipe, the toppings are up to you.  Here are a few ideas:

IDEAS for the toppings –

Grilled or fresh corn cut from the cob

Chopped tomatoes

Chopped cilantro

Sliced avocado

Sliced radishes

Lime wedges

Chopped cabbage (red or green)

Red onion – diced

Lettuce – chopped

Feta or Cotija (or other) cheese

Sour cream or yogurt or Mexican Crema

The only thing you need from me here is the recipe for the roasted cauliflower & hominy – so let’s get to it!  I found myself devouring it right off the roasting pan.  Try to use a high quality spice mix – and not something that has been in your pantry for 6 years & requires a fork to break it up.  OK?  I can’t take responsibility for your old, ashy spices!  🙂


Roadkill Roasted Cauliflower & Hominy

1 head cauliflower – broken into the tiniest florets

2 cups hominy

3 tsp Road Kill Grill rub (or rub/spices of your choice)

olive oil




Heat your oven to 425.

Place your tiny cauliflower florets on a greased cooking sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil & toss TWO (reserving one) of the tsps of spice rub in.  I tossed this with my hands to get a good even mix.

Roast for 15 minutes.  In the meantime – toss the other tsp of spice with the hominy with a teensy bit of olive oil (not more than a teaspoon).


When the cauliflower is done, add the hominy to the pan & roast all of it another 15 minutes.


Take out of the oven.  Try not to just stand there & eat that shit.

Now – you simply have to assemble your tacos!



Fiesta Martin Mexican Grill in Inglewood, Ca

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

I hate the airport.  Going to the airport in LA – for me (and likely you, too) – means that I am about to face too many hours hours in a too-small seat with too little to do, read, eat & drink and that I am likely to do these things to the dulcet tones of screaming babies.  Or – it means (half the time) that I am dropping someone off – someone I am sad to see going.  Today – it was the latter.  Today – I dropped off my boyfriend at the end of his Thanksgiving visit so he could head home to Little Rock.  😦

One thing that has made the airport run business more fun, though, has been seeking out little restaurant gems down in that neighborhood – areas I typically only ever drive through (over) on the freeway.  It was an airport run that helped me discover the INCREDIBLE soul food dished up at  The Serving Spoon and the awesomeness that is Pepy’s Galley (A diner AND a bowling alley?  Hey, what the…?).  Today resulted in another incredible find.

Let me introduce you to Fiesta Martin!!!  Mexican food, really good Mexican food, is abundant in Los Angeles.  I can’t believe I let myself squander decades pacified by adequate-at-best Mexican joynts like El Coyote, Mexico City & Mexicali – places that left me saying, “Ooof, OK.  Fine,” with disappointment and some irritation any time anyone insisted we go Mexican for dinner.

Tacos Delta in Silverlake always stood out as the best of what I’d experienced but lately – it seems amazing taco stands & trucks & shacks are popping up everywhere & dishing out incredibly fresh & clean Mexican fare.

Fiesta Martin is a full-blown restaurant with a decent selection of beer & margarita’s – one served with a mini bottle of Corona upended in it like this (images pilfered from Yelp):


I’m not sure what a margarita tastes like with a mini-beer poured into it & I was unable to sample one today – but they sure look cool.  And check out the festive interior there:


It would appear they do a $1 Taco Tuesdays thing – which it seems everyone is doing lately.  These never work for me because I do not eat meat or chicken & these $1 taco days always exclude the fish & vegetarian tacos.  But full price tacos are $2 – so what the fuck?  I can swing that.

Today I ordered both the shrimp & fish tacos (soft tacos) and a crunchy potato taco.  Miles, my boyfriend, ordered a chicken quesadilla.  I’d love to show you a picture of him enjoying his traditional Bud Lite & his massive quesadilla – but he isn’t one to be happily photographed.  So – I will just show you how he looked as we waited outside the vet for my pug, Memphis’, nail trimming appointment.


Aren’t they a cute pair?  Miles looks distinctly suspicious & Memphis looks a bit concerned – but everything, I am happy to report, turned out delightfully there.

While we waited for our food, a huge basket of hot corn chips was delivered along with a salsa that was spiced to perfection.  Then the food came.  Miles’ quesadilla – huge and THICK with cheese & chicken:


And my three tacos:


also HUGE (on full-size corn tortillas) and outrageously good.  The two seafood tacos had battered & deep fried seafood in them & were doused with pico de gallo, Mexican crema & thinly shredded cabbage.  The potato taco was simpler with a crunchy taco casing & simply tomato, cabbage & shredded cheese on top with what seemed to be steamed, sliced potato inside.  I am a huge fan of the potato tacos at Senor Fish and the potato taco here was no match for those but, in fairness, it was no match for the two incredible fish tacos that I tried before it, either.  I’m not sure I’d be so impressed with the Senor Fish potato tacos either – if I tried them right after a few bites of a Fiesta Martin shrimp taco.

The other impressive thing about Fiesta Martin is the pricing.  Miles’ quesadilla was $5.99, my tacos were about $2 each and beers were $2.99.  Our bill came to $25 with three beers & a diet Coke on the tab.  Ridiculous!  Just awesome!

While there – I checked in on FourSquare & noticed that someone had mentioned giving the art by the front door a close inspection.  From where I sat in the back, they looked like standard sorta fantasy portraits of old men.  Up close – they are much more.  Take a peek:


At any rate – our experience here was pure pleasure.  Some folks on Yelp mentioned this place used to have bad service – but that is no longer the case.  Cheerful ladies tended to us very carefully.  The place is lively with all its traditional decoration & music & everything looks very clean.  Yelpers complained the taco bar on Tuesdays can get crazy – but I cannot comment on that.  What I can say is that this place is CHEAP and delicious & I wish it was MUCH closer to my house because I would eat there on a weekly basis.  I recommend it VERY highly as a stop for anyone on the way to drop off a traveler at LAX – especially if that traveler prefers to travel well-fed & content.