Part 3 – Sixty or More Los Angeles Restaurants for Your Consideration

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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.

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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.

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GUISADO’S – East Los Angeles, CA

Best fucking tacos in LA & lots of vegetarian ones!

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HOME RESTAURANT – Silverlake, CA

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HUNGRY CAT – Hollywood, CA

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IN AND OUT BURGER

That is the secret menu “Grilled Cheese” below.  It is basically a cheeseburger with everything & the meat patty removed & not replaced with anything.

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JAMESON’S IRISH PUB – Hollywood

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KETTLE GLAZED – Hollywood

Clearly – I go here every day.  DEFINITELY try the Cruffin!!

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KITCHEN 24 – Hollywood

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 L.A. ROSE CAFE – Hollywood

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LA SIRENA AZUL – Inglewood, CA

My blog about La Sirena Azul is HERE.

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LARCHMONT BUNGALOW – Larchmont Village, CA

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

And don’t forget about my book!  www.BathingBook.com.  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.

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

 

 

Part 1 – Sixty or More Los Angeles Restaurants for Your Consideration

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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

images (1)download (1)

~

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.

~

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Hi everybody!  That is me just above.  And this is the first entry in a several part recap of restaurants I have visited around Los Angeles.  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.   The images above are from Millie’s in Silverlake.   The beer below was at La Poubelle – a spot that is too dark to photograph with much success.  There isn’t a spot in this list that I do not recommend highly.  They span the city from East L.A. to Inglewood and all over Hollywood.  I included two spots in Santa Barbara.   It is just too fucking hot to cook this week – so I am using this heat as an opportunity to reflect.  I hope you enjoy this photo retrospective and maybe try out a few new places yourselves!

 

My blog about MILLIE’S is HERE.

My blog about LA POUBELLE is HERE.

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OK – here we go!

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3 DOG CANTINA – Hollywood

3 DOG CANTINA – in my blog HERE.

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33 TAPS  – Hollywood

 

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54TWENTY – Hollywood

54Twenty in my blog HERE.

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101 COFFEE SHOP – Hollywood

My blog about the 101 Coffee Shop.

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BENNY’S TACOS VENICE

My blog about Benny’s Tacos.

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BIRDS CAFE – Hollywood

My blog about Birds.

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BLUE PALMS BREWHOUSE – Hollywood

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CHEEBO – Hollywood

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CHI DYNASTY – Los Feliz

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DAVEY WAYNE’S – or – GOOD TIMES AT DAVEY WAYNE’S – Hollywood

My blog about Davey Wayne’s.

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OK!  There are the first ten.  I hope you try some of them out!!! And don’t forget about my book!  www.BathingBook.com.

 

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

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desano Pizza Bakery – East Hollywood, California

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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.

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Apologies!  I have been a REALLY naughty blogger!  Or rather – a very distracted one.  My badass boyfriend was in town for the last two weeks & that is always distracting.  But, add in the work I am doing for Waterfront Film Festival & auditions I have as an actress & trying to promote my new novel – well, the blog took a back seat so far back – it was like a can dragging behind a wedding car.

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The book (for sale HERE) is doing well.  Check out the reviews on Amazon!  I am very flattered!

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OK – so – while I do have a few recipes I mean to spring on you soon, my first post back will be about this AMAZING pizza place – DESANO – that I discovered out in the no-man’s land that is Santa Monica Boulevard east of Normandie.  It is all car parts & body shops & little huts that look like places to buy all the bits required for a Santeria ritual.  It is as run-down & vacant-seeming as Santa Monica Boulevard gets and hardly the place one might find amazing & authentic Italian pizza.  Miles & I were greeted by the owner in his thick & charming Italian accent.  What a delight!  No hipsters in too-tight baby T’s or facial hair from the cast of a Wild Bill Hickok biopic.  Just a regular person peddling pizza that is anything but regular.

Now – know that this place was suggested to us by our bartender, Stephanie, from one of our favorite watering holes & she sold this place so hard – that Miles suggested we have dinner there even though – EGADS! – they have no liquor license!  Know that Miles drinks beer with his eggs & bacon in the morning so – his agreeing to a booze-free dinner is epic.  We did inquire about the liquor license, however, as I, too, am wont to guzzle some (lots of!) vino with my meals & we were informed that they expected it soon.  Whew!

So – once parked in the ample parking lot, we entered through the door here –

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and entered this room –

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and then sort of wandered over to this open kitchen area –

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where we were informed that we had missed the real entrance entirely.  We were led to the place where one orders & we saw these crazy cannoli & the gelato bar.

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We were directed to order from a menu that reflected these selections –

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Miles got the Desano (I believe) and I got the Verdura.  We grabbed our beverages –

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and waited eagerly for our pizzas.  They arrived very quickly – maybe 5-10 minutes & they were glorious!

There is a little condiment bar with the expected pizza toppings – if you want to customize a bit.

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I made the mistake of getting a bit heavy-handed with that salt there – as it turned out to be THE saltiest salt on Earth but it did not dampen my pleasure much.  The pizzas were incredible & bizarrely filling.  Despite only being about 12″ personal pizzas – neither Miles nor I could eat more than half of one.  So we got boxes & had some for the next night.

People – this place is GREAT!  Run – do not walk – to East Hollywood & commence the gorging!

Desano PIzza Bakery!

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Asian Flavors at Bamboo in Sherman Oaks, Frontier Wok in Burbank & Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, California

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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.

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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.

~

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My boyfriend, Miles, has a confusing palate.  At times it is confoundingly conservative & inflexible – expecting each restaurant to serve a standard dish (fried chicken or green pepper beef) exactly as he has come to expect it at his favorite Little Rock haunt.  The tiniest variation can inspire him to push his plate away.  He hasn’t tried arugula and regards it with suspicion.  Goat cheese?  No way!  Vegan food?  He is burned out on it – despite living in Arkansas (not exactly famous for pioneering vegan food) and despite the fact that he is a degenerate carnivore.  Still, he eats sushi & oysters on the half shell and other things like that – things you would never expect him to enjoy.

That said – he is still wary of Thai food – though he eats it.  It is CHINESE food he always requests.  Now, I live on the edge of Thai Town.  In Los Angeles, Thai food is everywhere – especially in east Hollywood – and it is typically cheap & almost always pretty good.  Chinese food, on the other hand, is often expensive & seldom good.  Chinese food in Hollywood is most commonly found in strip malls at establishments that boast serving “Chinese food!  Donuts!  Hamburgers!  Tacos!”  Panda Express is the high end of the Chinese fast food world.  Ew.

Still, frustratingly, Miles’ response to my query, “Whattaya wanna get for lunch?” remains, “Chinese?”  And, something in me tells me that Miles will more likely respond positively to an average Chinese restaurant than a really good Thai restaurant.  Standard beef & broccoli?  Yum, says Miles!  But a Thai mint leaves beef or some such – will be unfairly compared to its Chinese counterpart & likely disappoint.  Mint?  With beef?

So frustrating.

Ugh.  So – I hunt & hunt for decent Chinese that doesn’t require a trip downtown.  Chi Dynasty (in Los Feliz) is very good but it is costly.  In fairness, their portions are enormous but I like to mix it up a bit & try new things.  Especially as I am always feeling pressure to find content for this blog.

I took him to Frontier Wok in Burbank once.  It was pretty crowded at lunch, despite the bizarre frontier-like exterior of the building & this seemed a good sign.

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Miles has incredibly bad food karma in that – his order gets fucked up most of the time.  It really does.  I need to start placing his orders for him because, of all people, he is least likely to roll with an incorrect side dish & he doesn’t like to remind a server if something he ordered didn’t show up.  His standard order at his local Chinese joynt is – green pepper beef, beef sticks, egg rolls & hot & sour soup.  He placed that order almost exactly (Szechuan beef instead of green pepper beef & less the beef sticks) at Frontier Wok.  They never brought the spring rolls.

Here is the menu.

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I ordered a veggie soup & Kung Pao shrimp.  I find Chinese immensely uninspired as a food group but the soup was pretty tasty.  Miles approved of the hot & sour soup.

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Here is the beef dish.

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It looks pretty good to me but Miles was unimpressed.  My shrimp was really good, though, as a Kung Pao dish goes.

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The little salad was barely more than a garnish but there was lots of food & we both took some home.  Personally, I’d recommend Frontier Wok to a person looking for predictable but good Chinese – though I don’t think I will get Miles over the threshold again.

Next effort at Chinese?  Bamboo in Sherman Oaks.

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Bamboo has two large dining rooms & the interior is far prettier than Frontier Wok.  I didn’t bother with the menu as it looked like any menu at any Chinese place.  Miles ordered – wait for it – egg rolls, hot & sour soup & beef & broccoli.  I got Kung Pao scallops or something.  The hot & sour soup was vegetarian so I got to have some.  It had been years since I’d had it at a restaurant.   (I make a veggie hot & soup soup.  You can too!  My recipe is HERE.)

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Here is the food at Bamboo.

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They offered brown rice which I appreciated.  And they served tea – another Chinese restaurant staple I have not had in years, if not decades.  Miles seemed to like the beef & there was enough there for two, easily.  My scallops were right on par with the Frontier Wok shrimp  – though both of us found the dishes a quite a bit less spicy than they could have been.  Hilariously (to me), Miles declared the side salad seen here:

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to be “almost insulting,” and he pushed it away.  That cracked me up – maybe because the little salads are never more than a decoration and also because it just seemed very Anthony Bordain of him.   Taking offense at a Chinese gesture at salad just hit my funny bone.

So – the only real success I have had with Miles & Chinese (so far) has been Chi Dynasty.

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With Miles safely back home, I was free to try something a tad more adventurous.  My friend Dave has been prodding me forever to try Highland Park’s Good Girl Dinette so, this Sunday, I joined Dave & his wife Rose there.

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Good Girl Dinette is a modern take on Vietnamese food – meets diner food – two of my favorite things!  And even better, these hipster joynts seldom disappoint with their vegetarian & vegan options.

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My only complaint is ANY PLACE with bare walls.  I have so much great art that I cannot hang due to lack of space that when I see a place like this – I feel it in my gut.  I get surges of anxiety just looking at those white expanses.  But the menu was really interesting & pulled my attention away from those taunting bare walls.

Eventually, I opted to try the mini-size pho & the mushroom banh mi with spicy fries & a side of (I think) cilantro aioli.

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All of it was fantastic!  The fries were wonderfully heavily dosed with garlic & herbs & the aioli was awesome!  The bread for the sandwich was as good as it gets & Good Girl serves a far better veggie banh mi that they do at the wonderful Golden Road Brewery.  The pho was tasty & substantial, despite being the mini-sized version.  I ended up taking the soup & half the sandwich home.

Dave got a white nectarine hand pie & some roasted pork hash.

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I tried the nectarine pie & it was buttery & flaky & delightful!

Rose ordered one of their homemade sodas.  The soda of the day was pink grapefruit juice – which they basically just carbonated & Rose loved it.  She also got chicken curry.

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I couldn’t try that either but Rose seemed quite pleased.  Then – the kitchen brought us two free desserts!

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Those top two images are a dose of Fosselman’s ice cream with and OUTRAGEOUS caramel sauce & some crunchy stuff in the CUTEST glass Weck’s jars.  Just stupid awesome.  And the other is an orange bread with oranges & whipped cream.  It was lighter & far more delicately flavored – more along the lines of what I would generally prefer as dessert (as I am not a sugar freak).  But that ice cream – and the presentation in those lidded jars – just made us all crazy.

And finally, I spotted these for sale in the corner.

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In a bizarre coincidence, just the evening before, I had been searching for pasta recipes using ether arugula or avocado.  I came across one which I have since tried (see below)

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and which I will soon post – but that required this special fish sauce.  I had another brand already & sniffed it & could not IMAGINE wanting it as a primary ingredient in a pasta recipe so I just made a pasta with both avocado & arugula.  But when I saw this at Good Girl the next day?  I could not resist.  And I made the pasta with it.  And it was crazy good so when I post a recipe using it – TRUST ME!  And – in all honesty – I think any fish sauce will do but this Red Boat is the fish sauce equivalent of a high end balsamic vinegar.  Some can tell the difference – others not so much.

So there you have it.  Now I am going to pick my mother up at the airport!  Have a great day!!!!

Benny’s Tacos & Chicken Rotisserie in Venice, California

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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.

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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.

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I am a Hollywood snob.  An east side snob.  Driving west of La Brea gives me the vapors.  The words “Beverly Hills” are greeted with a roll of my eyes.  I go years without seeing the ocean.  It is pretty twisted actually.  Matters are made worse by the fact that Miles’ favorite LA meal & favorite bar at which to linger – is Birds – right within walking distance of my home.  Here is Miles’ favorite meal there.

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That is a half chicken, loaded baked potato & baked beans.  Birds can be pretty limited in its selection if you are a pescatarian, like me.  But they added this new flatbread with mozzarella & jalapenos & I have become mildly obsessed with it.

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I love Andrew & Brooklyn, the bartenders at Birds, and so I can easily have my arm “twisted” and agree to Birds – sometimes EVERY day that Miles is here.  It has happened.

But, sometimes, when he is in town – I find occasion to venture out – sometimes even out past La Cienega.  Recently, we found ourselves in Venice.  Before I headed out there, I scoured Yelp for out best lunch options & came up with Benny’s Tacos.  It is difficult to guess what to expect from the exterior but there was parking & I am all about that.  Here is the exterior (image stolen from Benny’s site).

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On the left of the image, you see their al fresco dining area.  We meant to eat out there but the tables all seemed very unstable so we moved inside.  Here is the interior.

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And look at that cool tortilla heater thingy back there!  It rotates.

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The greatest thing about Benny’s (for me) is their wide selection of seafood & vegetarian options.  I ordered a lobster & a fish taco – grilled not fried – and Miles got some massive chicken burrito.  We got drinks, chips & some salsa from the salsa bar & chose a table.  Benny’s also serves beer & wine!  There is a little three-seater bar in there, too!

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If I lived close to Benny’s – I can promise you – Miles & would make that bar our own.

Chips & salsa were good.  Beer is served in frosted mugs.  Always a nice touch.

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Then my tacos arrived.

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That is the lobster taco on the left.  And let me tell you – that was the best Goddamn taco I have ever had in my life!  I don’t typically eat lobster because I feel really bad for them.  Seeing them in those tanks at the supermarket or in restaurants – claws bound & crawling all over each other waiting to die by being BOILED ALIVE – moves me to tears.  But, hypocritically, so did that lobster taco – as I washed it down with ice cold beer.  I kept photographing it in an effort to prolong the pleasure.  The fish taco was delicious, too, but that lobster fucker was a revelation!

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Miles was served a burrito nearly the size of a football.

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Miles pointed out that serving a burrito that size – largely filed with rice & beans (and TONS of chicken) – with additional rice & beans might be considered a rice-n-beans overkill but that is a minor complaint.  Especially for Miles – who can be very finicky about food minutia.  We both found our meals to taste fresh & clean & to be quite substantial.  I wanted to go right back up & order every other taco they offered that fit my diet but – alas – we were both stuffed.   My only complaint about Benny’s is that it is all the fuck the way in Venice – I place I have gone to more often than Venice, Italy – primarily because I have never been to Venice, Italy & that number (zero) is hard to beat.

But if you live anywhere near there – I cannot recommend highly enough that you give Benny’s a try.   They do a whole rotisserie chicken thing there, too, that we never even got into.  The menu – HERE – is far more varied than your average taco stand.  You could eat there every night for a week & never feel like you are ordering off the same menu.  And you can get likkered up, to boot!  What is stopping you?  Go there now!  And save me a seat at the bar!

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Te’Kila Mexican Restaurant in Hollywood, California

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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.

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Te’Kila is right smack in the middle of the most touristy part of Hollywood Boulevard.  I don’t tend to spend a lot of time on the boulevard there but, frankly, this blog is forcing me out of my comfort zone – always looking for something new to write about.  Te’kila has a surprisingly pleasant environment, situated as it is on the alley that leads back to a big Victorian house that is a historic landmark now – and allegedly the oldest building in Hollywood.  I stole these pictures from Google:

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HERE is a little history on the place.

At any rate – here is the alley:

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And here is the outdoor seating at Te’Kila:

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The prices are not too bad.  Here is the menu:

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Notice the $30 burrito?   Nobody at my table ordered that but from the looks of the stuff we did order – I bet that burrito is, indeed, gigantic.

Miles ordered fajitas which, at first, seemed pricey – until they showed up.

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They arrived sizzling away & were served with pico de gallo, guacamole, tortillas, black beans & rice.  Miles asked for the cheese.  There was easily enough food there for two so, at $16, it was a pretty good deal.

My friend Mike ordered the $8 garden burrito which also was huge.

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And I got the $11 shrimp tacos (pictured at the top, too):

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and they were fresh & delicious.

Chips & salsa & some cold beer & we were very pleased with the whole thing.

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Still, despite the food being ample & delicious & pretty reasonable, the bill (with 4 beers added) came to about $65 – plus tip.  I hate when you think you are being good & then get hit with an $80 lunch tab!  Worse yet, I had parked at a 2 hour meter & paid for, I THOUGHT, 2 hours with a credit card.  I thought I got two hours for $1.  Turns out, I paid $2 for one hour.  Those fucking electronic meters can be really hard to read in bright sunlight.  Anyway – after absorbing the $80 lunch – I came back to my car to find this:

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Fucking OUCH!  It really sucked because I genuinely thought I’d paid for two hours.  I even set an alarm on my phone to alert me after and hour & 45 minutes.  Grrrr!!

Anyway – despite the drama & the parking ticket, I’d still recommend Te’Kila as a great spot to eat lunch outdoors on a pretty day.

Pimai It’s Thai – Hollywood, California

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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.

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Pimai.  It’s Thai!!  That name cracks me up.  It is hard for me to ever venture into any Thai restaurant other than my luhvah – Torung – but Torung doesn’t open until 5pm & I wanted lunch so I went to the Thai place nearest to where I live – Pimai It’s Thai.  I have eaten here before & have enjoyed it a great deal.  Their brown rice is actually a shade of purple & has a nuttiness that is really nice.  I forgot to ask for that rice yesterday – and maybe the lunch special doesn’t even offer that but the food we got yesterday was pretty great.  I had the Basil & Chili Shrimp Stir Fry (pictured above) & Miles had the same but with beef.

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I actually ordered scallops – but they were out.  The specials at lunch are $6.50 for veggie or tofu items, $7.50 for chicken or beef & $8.50 for shrimp or scallops.  The special includes rice, a little salad with a honey mustard dressing, a bowl of a consomme-like soup with spinach & some mystery (but tasty) bits in it:

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and a fried dumpling that I did not try because Miles believed it was pork-filled.   Both of us were impressed with how clean and how genuinely spicy the dishes were.  And the perfect amount of food for a good lunch.

There is outdoor seating – which is nice – and bizarrely uncommon in city that has nice weather 99% of the year.  Boston & NY offer far more outdoor dining options, I find.  Perhaps because everyone wants to enjoy the far less frequent fair weather there while they can.

Anyway – we sat outside & I neglected to photograph the interior.  Sorry.  HERE is their website, though, so take a peek.

And for your amusement – here are a few images of the ever Mercurial Miles B. Miller, my beer-drinking BF – and a picture of his frosty beer!

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And here are some pretty flowers that were nearby.

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Pimai It’s Thai (please ALWAYS use the full name when referring to this establishment) is located across from the Gelson’s on Franklin in the same strip mall with my new morning haunt – Tang Donuts.  I happen to be the FourSquare mayor of Tang Donuts – FYI – as I am (and will now likely always be) mayor of my now defunkt donut spot – Alex Donut.  At any rate – the strip mall isn’t especially appealing but the food at Pimai It’s Thai is & I highly recommend their exceedingly affordable lunch special.  Here is our bill:

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Much like at Sushi Stop – it is the inclusion of cocktails that ratchets the bill up.  If you have a handle on your day drinking – you can do much better than Miles & I do. At keeping the bill down, that is.  Without alcohol – we could have gotten out of there for about $20, including tip.

So – yeah.  Give Pimai It’s Thai a chance.  I don’t think you will regret it.

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