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LA Cheap Eats Food Tour--The Aftermath...

film_score | May 7, 201210:25 AM

Well, the LA Cheap Eats Food Tour 2012 is complete, and it was pretty epic. The four of us hit more than 75 places(!!!) in three days and we even did sightseeing as well (walking around in Santa Monica on 3rd street and the pier, checking out the La Brea Tar Pits, going to Griffith Observatory, driving to right underneath the Hollywood sign, etc.)

The main thing that allowed us to eat at all these places was that the schedule was arranged so each place was only a few minutes drive to the next place (for the most part). Sometimes we’d get in the car and 20 seconds later we’d be at the next location. We intermixed every kind of food and interspersed savory with desserts (milkshakes are a big thing with us so you’ll definitely see a lot of those). We were also very strict about not over-ordering, and I also carried a cooler filled with ice in the back of the car to take home leftovers (otherwise, I feel bad about buying a whole plate of stuff and throwing half of it away). So, the participants knew not to overeat at any one place, even if it was good, in order to save themselves for future treats. And despite two minor instances of a participant feeling slightly not-so-great, everybody was at 100% for most of the tour (and some guys were still ready to eat more even after the whole day of eating).

We started about noon on Thursday (after everyone’s planes arrived). The other days we started around 9:30am. And pretty much every day we went until around midnight (except on Sunday because everybody left around 10am).

Of course, we didn’t stop at every possible place we wanted to because logistically it’s just not possible (like we missed a lot of Chinatown favorites because they were closed by the time we got there). But we really did hit about 85 percent of the places we wanted to go.

The hands-down favorites definitely included Dino’s Chicken, Porto’s, Ricky’s Fish Tacos, tarna sandwich at Zankou, Baklava Factory, Kogi Truck, the red velvet cupcake at Auntie Em’s Kitchen, Big Mista BBQ (and a big shout-out to Big Mista himself for treating us extra nice when we stopped at his place), Mexicali Tacos, Papa Cristo’s, the burger at Father’s Office, Pazzo Gelato, Brian’s Shaved Ice, The Godmother at Bay Cities, #7 Ramen at Santouka, assorted desserts at the Trails Café, and more.

We did have a few disappointments. Langer’s just didn’t deliver. We just got some really fatty pastrami and it just wasn’t great (and I’ve had it numerous times and know how good it can be). Similarly, the potato taco at El Atacor #11 just wasn’t great this time (and, once again, I’ve had it before and know that it can be good). That’s just the nature of this kind of thing. Sometimes, places are just gonna have an off-day for whatever reason.

And now for the list of every place we stopped and what we ate there (the guide to the assorted markings is at the bottom of the list).


Dolce Monachelli (Italian butter rum bundt cake)

***Cemita Truck AKA Angelica Food Truck (milanese cemita [Mexican sandwich] with papalo)

***Zankou (tarna [chicken schwarma] sandwich, extra-crispy bread with extra garlic sauce
and mutabbal [baba ghanoush] with extra-crispy bread)

^^^###Rocket Fizz (Bacon Soda & Grapefruit Soda)

Diddy Reese (Espresso Chip Ice Cream Sandwich with White Chocolate Macadamia & Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies)

Kogi BBQ Truck (2 Korean short rib tacos)

Blockheads Shavery Co. (Strawberry Snow Cream with Fresh Strawberries, Almond Jelly, and Sweetened Condensed Milk)

Brian’s Shaved Ice (1/2 Passion/Orange/Guava, 1/2 Pina Colada Hawaiian shaved ice filled with Macadamia Nut Ice Cream Topped with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Li Hing Mui Powder)

^^^Beard Papa (Green Tea-Filled Cream Puff with Cookie Crust)

Huckleberry Bakery & Café (Maple Bacon Biscuit)

Bay Cities Italian Deli (Large Godmother Sandwich—1/2 mild peppers, 1/2 hot peppers)

^^^Hot Dog on a Stick (Hot Dog on a Stick & Mango Lemonade)

Cha Cha Chicken (Coconut Fried Chicken)

Mitsuwa Marketplace
Hamada-ya Bakery (chicken curry doughnut)
Santouka (#7 Special Pork Ramen)

***Father’s Office (burger)

Coolhaus (Molten Chocolate Cake Ice Cream Sandwich with Oatmeal Raisin Cookies)

Flavors of Belize (chirmole soup)

Umami Burger (Umami Burger and Manly Burger)

Jack in the Box (Large Java Cookie Shake with extra coffee syrup and extra Oreo cookies)

- - - - - - - - - - -

FRIDAY: MAY 4, 2012

Jack in the Box (bacon shake—stored in my freezer from a few months earlier)

Bob's Coffee and Donuts (glazed donut)

Papa Cristo’s (gyro sandwich and baklava + chocolate baklava)

***Dino’s Chicken and Burgers ($5.50 half-grilled chicken + French fry plate)

Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars (Mango Chili and Mamey Zapote Paletas)

***El Taurino (al pastor & carne asada tacos)

***Langer’s Deli (1/4 pound pastrami with slice of rye bread)

Berlin Currywurst (paprikawurst with Jambalaya Level 2 sauce)

Pazzo Gelato (hazelnut chip, salted caramel, and banana pudding raspberry gelato)

***Ricky’s Fish Taco’s (fish and shrimp tacos + hibiscus drink)

China Express (taro boba and mango boba)

The Trails (pear walnut scone, lavender vanilla shortbread cookie, apple pie)

Mush Bakery (lahmajun [Armenian pizza] and za’atar flatbread)

Zankou (soujouk [Armenian sausage] sandwich)

***Sapp Coffee Shop (Thai boat noodles)

Bhan Kanom Thai (taro corn fritter and grilled coconut sticky rice stuffed with banana)

101 Coffee Shop (Waffle Brownie Sundae)

Skooby’s (barbecue-spiced Fries with Red Pepper Aioli)

Street (Kaya Toast)

The Foundry (Grilled Cheese with Tallegio, Raisin Bread, Apricot Puree and Short Ribs)

Milk (nutella ice cream bar and Banana Peanut Malt [banana dulce de leche ice cream, malted milk, and roasted peanuts])

The Counter (Caramel Apple Crumble Shake)

***El Chato Taco Truck (2 al pastor tacos, 1 carne asada taco, and 1 chorizo taco + horchata)

***Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n’ Waffles (1/2 fried chicken and 2 waffles)

Jack in the Box (large strawberry Oreo ice cream shake)

- - - - - - - - - - -


^^^Farmer’s Market at the Americana (Three Berry Agua Fresca)

***Big Mista BBQ (assorted meats, pig candy [caramelized and smoked bacon])

***Porto’s (cheese roll, guava cheese strudel, coconut strudel, medianoche sandwich with pickles)

Baklava Factory (baklava)

***Elena’s Greek Armenian Cuisine (falafel)

Auntie Em’s Kitchen (red velvet cupcake)

Cacao Mexicatessen (duck carnitas)

Oinkster (ube shake and sample of pastrami)

Huarache Azteca (huarache [flat, hard taco] with al pastor)

La Estrella Tacos Truck (carnitas taco)

Galco’s Soda Pop Shop (honey cream soda)

My Taco (barbacoa de borrego lamb tacos)

***El Atacor #11 (crispy potato taco)

###Grand Central Market (tamarind candy)

Wurstküche (Rattlesnake & Rabbit Sausage)

^^^Pie Hole (Mexican hot chocolate pie)

Mikawaya (mochi ice cream)

^^^Mitsuri Cake (red bean cake [imagawayaki]

Frances Bakery & Coffee (souffle cheesecake)

Phillipe’s (1 beef French dip with blue cheese, double-dipped and 1 beef French dip with Swiss cheese, double-dipped)

Olvera Street (champurrado—Mexican hot chocolate-type drink)

Mexicali Taco & Co. (vampiro taco [quesadilla-like with garlic sauce] & cachetada [tostada])

Churro Borough of Los Angeles (churro ice cream sandwich with vanilla custard and churro ice cream sandwich with mexican hot chocolate ice cream)

Fatburger (1/2 pound burger and strawberry/banana Oreo shake)

Oki’s-Dog (Oki Dog: two hot dogs on a flour tortilla, covered with chili and pastrami)

Crazy Fish (Kinta Sushi Roll)

Animal (Poutine with Oxtail Gravy and Cheddar)

In ‘N’ Out (1 cheeseburger and 1 cheeseburger with extra grilled onions)

- - - - - - - - - - -

SUNDAY: MAY 6, 2012

Bouchon Bakery (kouign-amann [caramelized buttery pastry])

^^^The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. (toasted marble bagel with cream cheese)

Primo's Donuts (buttermilk bar, maple donut, crumb donut)

Spudnuts (apple fritter, maple sour cream donut)

^^^Randy’s Donuts (buttermilk bar and jelly donut)

*** indicates one of my absolute favorite places
^^^ indicates this location was not a scheduled stop on the LA FOOD TOUR
### indicates a non-scored stop on the LA FOOD TOUR

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