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Oinkster + Black Boar + Pitfire Pizza Company

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The Skinny: In one night, I went to a gastropub in Eagle Rock called The Oinkster and stopped by The Black Boar, a no frills bar.  Then on whim, I ended my evening at The Pitfire Pizza Company that’s located in between Culver City and Venice Beach.

Oinkster is popular hipster-ish restaurant that got spotlighted by Guy Fieri on his show Drives, Dives, and Diners.  The establishment is known for their Pastrami and BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches.

The Black Boar is an Irish style pub I Yelped and went to after eating at the Oinkster.

The Pitfire Pizza Company is a relatively new and trendy place that had a live DJ, wooden decor, Sangrias, and really good Pizza Bread.

The High:

The Oinkster: Since I went here with some friends, I was able to trade one half of my BBQ Pulled Pork for his “Oinkster Pastrami.”  The sandwiches came as a combo with Belgian Fries, a nice dill pickle, and my choice of a hoppy Eagle Rock beer on tap.  The BBQ Pulled Pork is described as being brined in Soy and Honey and then slowly roasted and smoked.  It came packaged with a Red Cabbage Slaw, Caramelized Onions and BBQ Sauce.  While my friend preferred the Pastrami that came pretty much built the same way, except without the BBQ Sauce and with Gruyere Cheese, I liked the Pork more.  It could have been because it was the first thing I ate while it was still hot, so all the flavors just felt that much more comforting.  When I got to the Pastrami, it was cold and falling apart and it didn’t have the same flavor impact as the Pulled Pork did.  It was still good, peppery and full of fatty goodness with the Slaw complimenting everything else.  The Belgian style Fries came with Garlic Aioli, and they were pretty addictive.  I also love the fact they have an outdoor seating area where I can drink beer openly during a nice Spring evening.

The Black Boar: The Black Boar is a pub not too far from The Oinkster.  Inside it the interior and vibe is that of an Irish bar, with dart boards, a Foosball table, old Celtic letterings everywhere, and left over St. Patty’s Day whiskey promos still hanging from the ceilings.  I liked the place and the indie rock music they had playing on the jukebox.  It’s the kind of bar I wish I had near my house so I can be a regular.  However their mixed drinks were watered down, but it’s forgivable because my friend had ordered a girly one in a seemingly no frills kind of bar.  Plus, the dark haired bartender girl with a nose ring was hot!

The Pitfire Pizza Company: I wasn’t really expecting to go here, but my friend decided on a whim to try it out for the first time after we talked about pizzas we had and loved in Los Angeles.  When we got there, the atmosphere reminded me of my design school years with the interior being in a big open area and the kitchen in plain view sight.  While we were waiting in line to order, the DJ was playing Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”  as industrial lights guided us to the cashier lady.  It was cool, the atmosphere made me feel young again.

My friend and I ordered a pitcher of Sangria and two small Pizzas, one with Wild Arugula and the other with Pumpkin Squash.  Both were delicious. The Arugula pizza seemed to have very few ingredients, even with the haystack size greens on top.  The Burrata Cheese, Tomato Sauce, Caramelized Onio, Hazelnut , and Pesto Drizzle that were on it, all worked well together (or at least I thought since I was kind buzzed) on the light and airy Pizza Bread.  The Pumpkin Squash Farmers Market special had the good kind of cheese that actually stretched as you pull away from a bite.  These days, in order for Pizza chains to deliver 5 dollar specials, they opt for the cottage cheese kind that is texturely mushy even when hot.   Pitfire Pizza’s seems to be doing it right, with their fresh hippie like ingredients, that delicious pizza dough formula, and their art student music playing in the background.  Oh…and the Sangria was a bit too fruit punchy, but good enough to make me stumble as I walked out.

The Low:

The Oinkster: None really.

The Black Boar: The only thing that doesn’t really bother me is the watered down mixed drinks.  No biggy though, since all I was drinking was Jameson.

The Pitfire Pizza Company: While the Pumpkin Squash Pizza was tasty, the special ingredient was hardly noticeable.  It was a bit too subtle.  I think maybe if they caramelized the pieces of Squash a bit before cooking the pie in the oven, it would’ve tasted just a little bit better.

Would you come back again? Sure x 3.

More Info: TheOinkster: 2005 Colorado Blvd. Eagle Rock, CA 90041 | Expect to pay about 15 bucks for a Sandwich with a Beer and Fries.  |  The Black Boar: 1630 Colorado Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041 | The Jameson cost me 7 bucks per order | The Pitfire Pizza Company: 2018 Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 | Expect to pay 10 bucks for a Small Pie & 15 for a pitcher of Sangria.


Los Angeles Kings + Kike’s Tacos

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The Skinny: After a four game winning streak on the road in a tight race to make it into the NHL playoffs, the LA Kings are back home at the Staple Center.  Everyone was dressed in green because of St. Patty’s day and for 25 bucks, I got to watch the Kings get shut out by a team that lost the previous night.  But hey, at least I was in the box seat area that has it’s own open bar.

Kike’s is a taco spot that’s in a parking lot on 2nd St & Beaudry Ave.  It started off as small street stall with just a fire pit, lawn chairs and tables.  Then years after good fortune and loyal customers, they got enough money saved up to buy a truck.  But accordingly to Spreewell of Ramen + Tacos, there was a fallout between the workers and now there are two different locations not to far from each other.  

The High: I was at the Staple Center and I got to watch the Kings lose while sipping on Jameson, nibbling on Staple Center bar food, and saw some old roller and ice hockey teammates from my High School years.

After the game, some of us went to Kike’s Taco Truck and from there I ordered the Buche.   Of all the ones I had before, Kike’s version was actually the cleanest tasting one so far.  Texturally, it was perfect, like tender calamari.   And because of a mix up order, the sweet girl working by herself in the truck, gave me an extra one for free.  So for only 4 bucks, I technically only paid for 3 tacos and a can of Fanta Pineapple. Ramen+Tacos guy Spreewell and a cousin of mine who were both there, ordered the Pastor and Carne Asada.   They were both happy with their selections as they talked about stories that will only stay out of Vegas for that moment in time.

The Low: The Kings lost and while I have stopped following them since the addition of purple in their jersey colors, the new owner, and players being 10 years younger than me….it was still a bummer.  Also, the cooks at Staple Center must be getting lazier and their waiters walking on cruise control.  We ordered Chicken Wings, but they came out lukewarm. The whole Organic White Carrots that came with them still had that unclean outer layer on.  Along with those wings was a “where’s the Pulled Pork?”….Quesadilla.  No bueno!

As for the Buche Taco, while texturally it was good, it was kind of bland.  The Salsa Verde didn’t really add much to it either, it was just cold.

Would you come back again?
Yes, just because the Buche was lacking in seasoning doesn’t mean their other stuff are too.  They also have sweet breads (throat glands), something I’ve grown to like after trying them at King Taco.

More Info: 621 S Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90005 | Cash Only | 1 dollar Tacos | They also serve Danger Dogs if you are in the mood.

MJ