The Skinny: I was surfing the net looking for places to eat with a few of my friends. I came across this place called Buldogis. I read an article saying that the hot dogs were like the ones from LA’s food truck Kogi. I was SO excited that this place is right by my house and I finally get to try Korean infused hot dogs. I love hot dogs & Korean food so this was a definite treat. I walked in and it was like walking into a subway, but with the smell of bulgogi cooking in the air. I ordered the Buckeye dog, Bulgogi beef dog & angry fries. I wasn’t that hungry but definitely had to try a bit of it all and save the rest for lunch the next day. It took about 15 minutes for my food to be ready for take-out which I’m fine with because that just means everything is made fresh and to order. As much as I loved it, it’s not something I can eat every day. The best part of it all is that the hot dogs are 5 bucks. You definitely get a bang for your buck here.
The Good: The Buckeye dog is delicious!!! It starts off with 100% beef frank with pork belly bacon, corn relish, cheddar & garlic mayo on top. Who can resist?! The Beef bulgogi dog is good too, but it was just way too much meat for me. It was topped with asian slaw (carrots & radish), green onions, sesame seeds, bulgogi mayo. I definitely needed a fork to finish this the next day. I think this dog would probably be better on top of rice.
The Bad: The Angry fries. It’s not really a bad, but just not something I’d order again. It was good for 2-3 bites, but then it was just too much. One order is huge! It’s sweet potato fries topped with spicy pork bulgogis, kimchi, give cheese blend, fried egg, green onions & jalapenos. Your behind will be angry at you after you eat it lol!
Would you come back again? Yes I will, I saw a euro special on their menu I’d like to try. I don’t think I’d order so much food again though. I do love that buckeye dog though.
More Info: 2291S. Fort Apache Las Vegas, NV 89117 | (702) 570-7560 | Mon-Thur 11am-9pm; Fri & Sat 11am-10pm; Sunday 11am-5pm | Very reasonably priced. Nothing over $4.95.
– Sniper Tam
So I went with that, along with some Shoestring Fries and 15 Minute Wings. As for beers, I ordered the Monkey Knife Fight Pale Ale and a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. I also had to finish my brother’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout since he later remembered that he was on antibiotics.
The Good: The medium well done Bacon Blue Deluxe was juicy and delicious. I usually don’t like Bleu Cheese but it wasn’t too overwhelming in the burger. But what I really liked about the burger overall was how the bun managed to soak up all the juices flowing from the beef patty and still maintained it’s form. It was just a tasty and well built burger.
The 15 Minute Wings were also good. They were crispy, messy, salty, sour, sweet, and had a nice heat that crept up on you later.
The Bad: The chopped up Candied Bacon didn’t seem candied at all, it was just salty.
Would you come back again? Yeah, I think I would, but parking is a bitch.
More Info: 229 Manhattan Beach Blvd | Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 | www.simmzys.com
The Skinny: I went to a birthday get together at a Cheesecake Factory in Irvine and I haven’t been to one of these restaurants in over 3 years. When I got there I ordered the Farmhouse Cheeseburger which has a Runny Egg, Beef Patty, and a smoked Pork Belly packaged into one meal.
The Good: The Pork Belly was delicious, and as my brother would say, “it’s very hard to fuck up Pork Belly.”
The Bad: The Farmhouse Cheeseburger was dry, the cheese was the shredded version you find at the Sizzlers salad bar, and the Beef Patty wasn’t seasoned well if at all. The Fries also sucked ass. After reading the menu’s nutrition handbook provided by the Cheesecake Factory at each table, I was even more pissed that I wasted 1530 of calorie intake on that piece of crap. I now officially hate the Cheesecake Factory.
Would you come back again? Fuck no.
More Info: www.thecheesecakefactory.com
The Skinny: Beer Belly is a relatively new pub that opened up in the center of Koreatown. It’s like a “where everyone knows your name” kind of place and is a welcoming hang out for the non-Koreans living in K-town. It’s owned by a young couple who for some reason, seems to know everyone, even my co-workers and cousin! The beer selection is solid and meant to pair up with the items found on their good size menu and daily specials. While they do offer full steak meals to justify having dinner there, they also have fried Twinkies and Oreos; so you don’t have to wait for the county fair to get that fried lard induced heart attack.
I went with Echo and my cousin Wendy, who works at Beer Belly, and we ordered:
Citizen Garlic Tapatio Wings (which uses the Cismontane Citizen Steam Lager),
Duck Fat Fries w/ Raspberry Mustard and Duck Skin Cracklings
Cornbread Fried Okra w/ Frankenstein Ketchup
Mac n Beer Cheese (w/ Bacon, Orzo Pasta, and a Sunnyside Egg on top),
Grilled Cheese (4 decker w/ Asiago, Gruyere, Goat cheese, Bacon, Maple Syrup Drizzle)
Lamb Meatballs (on Baguette w/ Red Curry Marinara, Tzatziki, Dill).
And we drank:
Bootleggers Spring Ale
Ladyface Blind Ambition
Craftsman Triple White Sage
Taps Irish Red
The Good: Everything was solid and the beer we drank did match well with the food we ate. The Cornbread Fried Okra were tasty Hush Puppies that were complimented with the A1-ish dipping sauce which gave them a nice bold kick and zing. I didn’t really notice the Okra, but I guess it kind of balances out the guilt since it’s a vegetable hidden in fried corn breading. The Duck Fries were really crispy and the scent of Duck Fat was quite noticeable, but what really helped the fried strips of potatoes taste good was the Raspberry Mustard. It helped cut through the fat with it’s play on salty and sweet. I just wished the Duck Skin Cracklings were a little big larger and more noticeable. If you’re going to make a guilty pleasure even more guilty, then you might as well go all the way. The Citizen Garlic Tapatio Wings were good too and had a nice heat that creeps up on you after your done eating them. The Mac N Beer Cheese with Bacon and a Sunnyside Egg was as gooey, creamy and salty as it should be. I just wished I had some Tobasco sauce to dot that runny yellow eye for good measures.
By the time we got to the Grilled Cheese with Bacon & Maple Syrup, I was pretty much tapped out on space in my stomach. I can’t say I liked it because of the state of mind I was in at the time, but I do think it’s a nice play on the Montecristo. The slices of Bread used to make that sandwich were actually pieces from a Grilled Cheese Sandwich. I did have to force myself to try the Lamb Meatballs, and while they were tasty….I kind of wished they were in a bowl of Chili. mmm…Red Curry Marinara Chili with Lamb and Tzatziki sauce!
Of the beers that I had, the most memorable one was the Bootleggers Spring Ale. It was herby, a bit spicy, and had a nice hint of Honey. I think it would be the perfect Autumn beer to have since it reminded me of Pumpkin Spice ice-cream. I do remember liking the Ladyface Blind Ambition Ale, but at the moment I don’t remember what it tasted like. However, the Craftsman Triple White Sage was….well….SUPER SAGEY. It wasn’t bad and it did pair up well with the Lamb Meatballs, but it wasn’t my favorite.
The Somewhat Bad: They don’t have a burger and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be having one any time soon. I think a good quality burger at an affordable price with some unique creative touches would be well respected and garner a loyal following anywhere.
Would you come back again? For the prices they offer and the friendly staff that works there, I can see myself being a regular there. I think I’ll have everyone call me “Norm.”
More Info: www.beerbellyla.com | 532 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90020 — (213) 387-2337 | food prices range from 5 to 20 bucks | beer on tap range from 5 to 9 bucks while their bottled selection can go up to about 20 or so. | The place is Iphone friendly, so if you have a playlist you want to share, you can do so at Beer Belly. Just DL the app. | Ask for Wendy, she’ll help you figure out which beer goes well with what.
The Skinny: Went to an Irish Bar & Grille in Down Town Los Angeles for a quick dinner before a night of heavy boozing at a friend’s birthday. Casey is a place that has a full bar, pool tables, television sets all over the place, and a menu with actual Irish food.
I got the Shepherd’s Boxty, Irish Pub Fries, and a pint of Bass Pale Ale.
The Good: Casey’s Shepherd’s Boxty is pretty much like Shepherds Pie, but it is made with ground Lamb, celery, onions, and carrots. It is served rolled up in a savory Pancake and with some gravy on top. The dish itself was tasty and the subtle gaminess of the Lamb added some nice depth to the flavors and whatever seasonings they put in it. The warm pillowy Pancake was nice too, even though it didn’t really taste like anything.
The Bad: The Irish Pub Fries weren’t bad, but it wasn’t as crispy as I wanted them to be. Since they were pretty big Potato wedges, I think they weren’t fried long enough and was steamed up from the inside while in the fryer.
Would you come back? Yeah, I’d like to try the Fish N Chips that cost $16.50.
More Info: www.caseysirishpub.com | 613 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017 | (213) 629-2353
The Skinny: Echo, a friend known as Jazzy, and I went to Dino’s for lunch. Actually, at first we wanted to go to Pollo a La Brasa on 8th and Western, but for some reason it was closed. So we all headed to Dino’s Chicken and Burgers for our very first time. The flame broiling poultry pit is best known for their signature dish, which is the charred and vinegary chicken that comes in halves. At the time we went, there were no wall menus to order from, but we knew what to get. If you get the chicken, which we all did, you get it in a styrofoam box with some coleslaw and a bed of french fries.
The High: The flame broiled Chicken was pretty tasty and it did have a distinct flavor. As we ate we all speculated what they marinaded the chicken in. Echo mentioned Tandoori because we saw a bunch of uncooked ones covered in something thick, vibrant, and very red. Personally, I can’t remember the last time I had something Tandoori so I couldn’t make the flavor connection, but I do remember looking at photos of India where you see mounds of colorful spices used for Masala. The pants-staining red used to marinade the chicken reminded me of that. The Chicken was also pretty sour, which we all assumed came from vinegar and not citrus juices. There was also a nice heat to it and seeing how there were red pepper flakes all over the place, I guessed they used the chili oil you find next to the Sriracha at Pho places. The char on the outer part of the chicken was good and the moist inside was welcoming, but my favorite thing about the meal were the fries. The way they soaked up all the extra sauce and meat juices was pretty addicting. It was like eating soft pillows of salt and vinegar potato chips that was drizzled with charred chicken bits.
The Low: Dino’s Chicken is a solid meal, can’t really complain too much about it. Although, I do have to admit that it was a bit too sour and I think it would’ve tasted better if I was drunk.
Would I go to again? Not really, it’s too out of the way and if I had other choices, I’d go there. However, if I was drunk, those sauce sucking fries would be worth the drive by a designated driver.
More info: yelp | 2575 W Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90006 | Credit Card Friendly | About 8 bucks for the Chicken and large drink
The Skinny: A popular burger hub that’s been voted as one of the top 10 places in Los Angeles by the Huffington Post. Their signature dish is the Korean influenced Kalbi burger.
The High: The Kalbi Burger itself lives up to the hype. It’s juicy, messy, delicious, and everything The Counter is not. (:-X) The greens in it had the same vinaigrette at those $19.99 all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ places. The flame broiled short rib and ground chuck patty was flavorful thanks to the Kalbi aioli; even though it tasted more like Bulgogi. The toasted bread stayed together well despite my sloppy way of eating it. It also served as a piece of sponge to soak up all the delicious juices that tried to escape. The fries were crispy and tasty thanks to them being fried twice.
The Low: I remember the first time I went to Kalbi Burger I made the mistake of getting the Saigon. I was expecting it to taste like a Bahn Mi….but it didn’t. The pickled veggies needed more pickling.
Would you come back again? Yes! I got to try the Seoul Dog.
More Info: www.kalbiburger.com – $9.95 for a combo meal that has the Kalbi Burger, Fries, and a drink. $7.95 for just the burger.
The Skinny: The Counter is a build-your-own Burger chain that has locations all over America. You can either individualize your own burger using “Market Selection” produce or simply pick something from the menu. They also have beer on tap and burger bowls, which are pretty much salads with condiments.
The High: Building your own burger is always fun, so that’s a plus. The place I went to is in Torrance and they have an outdoor seating area, which is good for nice warm California days. They also have Arrogant Bastard on tap and some tasty french fries and fried pickles.
The Low: My first visit to the Counter I picked the 1lb burger of beef topped with horseradish cheddar, jalepenos, grilled onions, mixed greens, garlic aioli, and a runny egg. You would think all that stuff would be a burst of flavor, but it wasn’t. For me, the biggest problem was that the cooks didn’t season the meat, and if they did, they didn’t season it enough. The beef was beefy, but how could it not be? It’s a pound of meat! Even still, all the extra toppings didn’t really add depth to the overall burger, they seemed to be muted. Maybe conceptually, the Counter creators thought subtle notes of flavor is best, but to me it was just bland. On top of that, the cold hamburger bun was completely demolished by the meat juices and my burger ended up being a knife and fork steak meal. Maybe it could have been the choices I made, like the patty size being too big and the toppings I picked just didn’t work well together.
So I went a second time and I had the same problems. Even though I got the 1/3lb beef patty with a chili theme, the meat was still under season and the cold wheat bun I picked wasn’t able to hold itself together. And to add insult to injury, the Parmesan fries I got that time were cold and way too salty.
Would you come back again? Only if I’m with a group of people and I get out voted on where we want to go eat. Then I’d ask the waiter to have the cooks toast the bun a little with some fat and to salt and pepper the meat well.
More Info: www.thecounterburger.com
The Skinny: Apple Pan has been around since 1947 and has been hailed as one of the best burger havens to reside in Los Angeles. The old institute of high quality fast food is known for quick orders, unchanged decor, and the Hickory and Steak Burger. For me, it was my first time being there.
The High: The quarter pound Hickory burger was clean to the taste and the toppings were generous. The hickory relish complimented not only the beef patty but the pickles as well. In a way, the sweet tang reminded me of the McRib but made with better and fresher ingredients. The bun was nice and squishy too.
The Low: The fries were warm and tasty but as I was leaving Apple Pan, I happen to see a Sysco truck delivering boxes of french fries in the back. While I understand that part of Apple Pan’s charm is the fast service, freshly cut and twice fried fries would have made the overall burger experience better. I can’t deny that the Hickory Burger was good and the size of it didn’t make me feel greasy after-wards, but I left feeling unsatisfied.
Would you come back again? If I’m in the area just to try the Steak Burger. However, I wouldn’t go out my way to go there again.
More Info: 10801 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90064. Cash Only. Expect to pay about 10 bucks for french fries, a drink, and the Hickory Burger. They also serve fruit pie and sliced bread sandwiches.
Song: I Seen Beyoncé at Burger King – by Cazwell feat. Jonny Makeup
The Skinny: A burger grill shop that uses certified Angus Beef on a flat top grill. Also has alternative options to red meat, like Tuna, Veggie and Turkey patties.
The High: I had the “The Works,” which is a burger topped with Pastrami, Chili and my choice of American Cheese. Every component of the burger stood out on it’s own. The Pastrami was peppery and savory while the chili wasn’t laid on thick. There was just enough of it to compliment the beefiness of the patty. The toasted bun held everything together nicely and the veggies were fresh. I also got the Chili Cheese Fries, twice fried for that extra crispness and topped it off with yellow mustard for my own enjoyment. The Turkey Burger, aka “The Flyer,” was also tasty and satisfying.
The Low: Does not serve beer.
Would you come back again? – Yes, and I have many times. They have been consistently good. Plus, they have flat screen TVs all over the restaurant for the latest updates in sports.
More Info: 2064 Pacific Coast Highway Lomita, CA, 90710. Credit Card Friendly. No Alcohol.
Song: Hamburguesa by One-T