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weekend chowing: Malo, Nishima, Blue Beet

Chowpatty | Jan 26, 200411:30 AM

Friday nights, I fight traffic to get home to Silver Lake and I usually want a quick liquid refreshment. So we went to Malo, which is almost, but not quite walking distance. This could easily be a regular Friday night stop, I think. At 7:00, most of the fashionable folks had babies and toddlers in tow, and the music was still soft. We enjoyed the chocolate salsa which was the hottest, although like last time, some of the chips didn't get fried all the way. The carne asada tacos were excellent, even better than Barragan's, and my b.f. enjoyed the ground beef pickle tacos, although both tacos were extremely greasy. He overordered some chicken enchiladas which we barely had room for; they seemed a little dry. By 8 most of the babies were gone and both rooms filled up with even younger, more fashionable folks. Service was friendly and relatively prompt, although the concept of no salt on the margaritas seemed to befuddle both servers. I like this place just fine although I'd advise arriving before 8 on a weekend.
Saturday we were exploring Japanese DVD stores and such on Sawtelle and it was cold and drizzly. We needed soup, but ramen didn't seem hearty enough. I needed nabeyaki udon so we found the Nishima branch on Wilshire near Barrington. It was just like Mishima on Third, except prices seemed a dollar or so higher for the Westsiders. An extremely satisfying cauldron of assorted things on a cold day.
Sunday the weather was nicer so we took an excursion to Newport, and tried the Blue Beet at the pier from a Chowhound rec. I like a dark pub on a Sunday afternoon and the Blue Beet has been there since 1912, so it had the historic integrity. The bartender was kind of boisterous and the burger was just ok but the beer selection and atmosphere made up for it. Then we had a walk on Balboa Island; my b.f. from back east had never had a chocolate dipped frozen banana, the horror! We righted this wrong with a butter brickle coated banana from Dad's, and now he's eternally grateful.
All in all, a satisfying, if not earthshattering weekend of eating.

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