Pork Butt, Bom chicka wow wow

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

LA eats

So, the Food Pimp is more than just a fancy personal chef. He's also, a rocking guitar player in our own band, and in another band a well. So, last month, the other band played a show in LA at the Silverlake Lounge. This was a good opportunity to stay overnight - rather than make that awful late night drive back to SD. So we stayed at the Kyoto Grand Hotel in Little Tokyo, for a very reasonable price.

So, for lunch we went to Toshi sushi. It's a small little place, which I like, because I know there's not a sushi factory in the back with little Japanese children being forced to make 6 handrolls per minute. Actually, when we were looking up jobs before we moved to San Diego, I answered an ad for a sushi factory. The job was like 7 am - 1 pm. It didn't pay much, but I thought it would be fun to learn to "make sushi." Of course, when we got here, I didn't follow up. I mean, a job that starts at 7 am!!!! Of course, I ended up working a job later that was 6 - 2 Monday - Friday for 2 years.

So, the menu was pretty standard. The chirashi looked beautiful, but we ended up getting just old school sushi. We never go out for sushi anymore. For one reason, it's expensive. For another reason, the places we've been to in San Diego were just okay or below average. For another reason, the FP sometimes does sushi class and brings home leftovers which are better than most of the places we've been to in SD. The thing we liked about Toshi, was that it had Japanese people running it and making the sushi. So, I'm not dogging Mexicans, but when I go into a Japanese restaurant, I want a Japanese person making my spicy tuna roll. If I walked into a taco joint and saw a Japanese guy in the kitchen... well, I'd probably stay because that would be intriguing to me the first time. But, if it was subpar Mexican food then I wouldn't go back.

Anyway, we got the pickle plate. This was like 5 or 6 bucks. Japanese places can get away with that. So the carrots were incredibly salty. We just couldn't finish them. Everything else was good. I'm not sure that seaweed salad is "pickle", but whatever, the few little strands of seaweed were good.

The sushi. Pretty standard stuff. Salmon, tuna, yellowtail, mackerel, octopus nigiri. Spicy tuna and yellowtail rolls. It was all fresh and tasty. And the rice was nicely seasoned, and it held together. Just lovely. I had become squeamish of octopus, because there have been a couple times in San Diego that it was just gross. And we never get mackerel anymore, but we figured it would be safe there at Toshi, and it was. It was just right.

So, we went back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit before going to the venue. We got there around 7. They set up their gear. This band from Denmark was going to borrow their stuff. Of course, no one had told the drummer this until right then. She was okay with it, but she was kinda pissed that no one had bothered to tell her, which is understandable. This band from Denmark was very high maintenance. More vocals in the monitor, more lead guitar, more drums, more everything, can you pan the guitars? They were playing in a dive bar, for fuck sakes!!!! So, we had a while before the FP's band went on. So we went next door to Cafe Tropical. The drummer and band leader were starving, so they ordered cuban sandwiches. We were dead set on waiting until later to eat, but the place was so authentic that we had to get something. They had a pastry case with all kinds of stuff in it. And they had all the pressed sandwiches. So we split a media noche. Why a media noche? To be different, I guess. It's very similar to the cuban, but supposed to be on egg bread. Anyway, the point is, it was delicious. We gobbled it up
The ham and roast pork, the melty cheese, pickles, yum. Then we had cuban coffee. I had a single - con leche, and the FP just had it straight up, and a double, but he was about to play a show and I was not!

So we went back to the Silverlake Lounge. And sat there. And sat there. This band that went on first sounded pretty good, but I just wasn't feeling them. Then the FP's band played. Our friends who live in LA showed up. That was exciting! They pretty much watched the band, we talked a few more minutes, then they left. It was a "school night", after all, so I couldn't blame them for not staying longer. I was just glad to see them.

Then the Denmark band went on, Foreign Resort. They were actually really good. They had an excellent balance of sound, actually. They kinda were Editorsish.

Anyway, we packed the car and headed back to Little Tokyo. We wandered the streets looking for late night Japanese restaurants. It figured, they were all closed, or open for late night karaoke lounge. No food. So we went to bed.

We woke up early and looked for a place to eat in the neighborhood. No such luck, except for a bakery. So we got in the car. We figured we would head towards home, and exit somewhere hoping to find a place to eat by chance. So we exitted, and there was no restaurants. So then we exitted again. And we drove. And we drove. We found some nondescript Mexican restaurant that was open. So we stopped there. We ate some decent but not exciting Mexican food.

I had some of that weak mexican coffee. The place was weird though. It was huge. It was what would have been a fancy exclusive looking club or restaurant about 20 years ago. Funnily enough, the new owner came over to talk to us. He was getting a petition together, because the place used to be a hangout at night for the local hoods, and the neighbors were trying to fight the restaurant's licensing or something. The owner said, he just wanted a respectable restaurant. Gave us the whole spiel. Then we told him we lived in San Diego. He was quite disappointed. He thought we lived in the neighborhood. So, we headed back down south, back to work.

Toshi Sushi
357 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3901
(213) 680-4166

Cafe Tropical
2900 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026-2128
(323) 661-8391

The Mexican Place - I don't remember the name or the area this restaurant was in... sorry!!!!

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