Tag Archives: burger

I ate this stuff.

Here is a post dedicated to some of the stuff I have eaten but never got around to posting. I don’t even remember when or where I ate some of this stuff, but I did my best to write down what I could. Hopefully it gets you all excited for lunch.

Burgers & Beer: Lots of Both

I was lucky enough to win tickets to one of The Taste Los Angeles events. Courtesy of City Tavern and Eagle Rock Brewery, I got two tickets to the Burgers & Beer event on Friday night in Beverly Hills. Michelle and I went all out. There were burgers, wines, and beers everywhere.

Please forgive me if I get some of the descriptions wrong. I was trying to take note of which burgers were which, but there were so many it got confusing.

While that photo gallery of burgers I got to eat looks overwhelming, there were quite a few burgers I could not try due to my stomach quitting on me. The list of beers I drank was even longer than the list of burgers I ate. Some of my favorites include Brouwerij West’s Belgian Tripel, Firestone Walker’s Union Jack, TAPS’ Pumpkin Ale, and Oskar Blues’ Gordon, served by The Bowery.

While I couldn’t get to all the burgers or beers, I had a great time getting to as much as I could. Check out the full list of vendors below.

RESTAURANTS

25 Degrees | Restaurant
BLD/Grace | Restaurant
Blue Palms BrewHouse | Restaurant
BOA Steakhouse | Restaurant
Bru Haus | Restaurant
City Tavern | Restaurant
Delphine | Restaurant
Ford’s Filling Station | Restaurant
LA Market | Restaurant
Mickey Fine | Restaurant
Oliverio at Avalon Hotel | Restaurant
Osteria La Buca | Restaurant
Rosewood Tavern | Restaurant
Rounds Premium Burgers | Restaurant
Rustic Canyon | Restaurant
STK | Restaurant
Tasting Kitchen | Restaurant
The Bowery | Restaurant
The Cake Mamas | Bakery
The Cheesecake Factory | Restaurant
The Counter | Restaurant
The Glendon Bar & Kitchen | Restaurant
The Gorbals | Restaurant
The Green Teaist | Cafe
The Misfit | Restaurant
The Spice Table | Restaurant
The Yard | Restaurant
Waterloo & City | Restaurant
Westside Tavern | Restaurant
Wilshire Restaurant | Restaurant

WINERIES & SPIRITS

14 Hands | Wine
Black Star Beer | Beer
Blue Moon | Beer
Blue Moon Seasonal | Beer
Brassfield Estate Winery | Wine
Brouwerij West | Beer
Chang Beer | Beer
Coppola | Wine
Craftsman Brewing Company | Beer
Cupcake Vineyards | Wine
Deschutes Brewing Co. | Beer
Duvel | Beer
Estrella Damm/ Inedit | Beer
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. | Beer
Grolsch | Beer
House Wine | Wine
Justin Vineyards & Winery | Wine
Maredsous | Beer
Ommegang | Beer
Oro di Milano Beer | Beer
Peroni | Beer
Pilsner Urquell | Beer
Rosenblum Cellars | Wine
Royal Wine Corp. & Herzog Wine Cellars | Wine
Sierra Nevada | Beer
Singha Beer | Beer
Stone Brewing Company | Beer
TAPS | Beer
Victoria Beer | Beer

OTHER EXHIBITORS

Fiji
Kerrygold
Green & Blacks
Infiniti
The Chew

Cooking with bacon is cheating. I will look the other way for these guys.

The restaurant Slaters 50/50 is named after one of its signature menu items, a burger patty that is 50% ground beef and 50% ground bacon. You’d think with a patty like that you wouldn’t need anything else, but they offers ome nice treats to go along with the burger.

Here is the burger with an over medium egg, avacado mash, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayo. Do you hears the angels singing?

When you bite into this burger it holds together well. I was expecting the thing to melt into oblivion. It’s so deceiving to get so much bacon flavor but no bacon texture. While I do miss tearing into an actual piece of bacon, that normally ends up with me pulling the whole strip out during the first bite and having no bacon for the rest of the burger. This keeps the bacon coming the whole time.

If you do need that bacon kick but want something different, definitely check out the Peanut Butter and Jealousy. It’s a ground beef burger topped with thick cut bacon, creamy peanut butter and strawberry jelly. I was offered a bite of this one, and holy smokes is it good! While the jelly doesn’t come through very much, the creaminess of the peanut butter is the perfect compliment to the salty bacon. I think the next burger I grill at home might have to use peanut butter instead of cheese.

Slater’s 50/50 is a long way out for those of you not living on the far east or west side of Orange County, but it’s definitely worth a trip to try a burger. To sweeten the deal, Slater’s offers a great selection of beer, including some harder to find beers like Firestone’s Parabola. Get your bacon on!

More San Pedro Eats

Pavich’s Brick Oven Pizzeria. Half Meat Lovers. Half Croatian. I remember not liking the Croatian before, but I guess my taste buds have evolved. They make a fantastic pie.

Nachos with chicken at San Pedro Brewing Company. I’d pass on these next time and go with the calamari again.

Ortega Burger at San Pedro Brewing Company. So far I’ve had a perfectly cooked burger every time, always enjoyable.

Wings at 710 Grille. They have a sign up that says they win for best wings every year. I’m not sure who else is in the contest, but these are some fantastic wings. These are the Spicy wings. Good  heat to them. There are three levels on top of this. Scorching! Extra Scorching! Ring of Fire! I have had Scorching, and I will stick with Spicy. I’m sure Ring of Fire is referring to the after effects.

Kangaroo Burger at 710 Grille. It’s probably just the meat from this particular animal, but it’s a little bit tough for a burger. Doesn’t quite have the fat content you want in a patty.

San Pedro, you’re all right.

G Burger: G stands for awesome and huge.

After spending some time with Michelle’s grandpa, we needed to get something to eat in Northern Orange County. Michelle recommended G Burger. They have a variety of sandwiches and burgers to choose from, but they’re known for the burger for which they’re named.

Behold the G Burger. It stands the height of my hand from the bottom of my palm to the tip of my finger. It starts with a  hamburger patty with your choice of American, Cheddar, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Goat, or Bleu Cheese. Then toss on teriyaki glazed onions, mushrooms, grilled pineapple, a fried egg, deli pastrami, avocado, chili, bacon, and remember that first hamburger patty? Toss on another one.

Yes, it’s a large burger, but don’t judge it by its size alone. The meat is perfectly seasoned and grilled to perfection. I would say that it’s not just the hamburger patty itself that makes this burger. It’s greatness is the sum of each individual topping, equally as good. If you take a look around this place, you’ll see the fresh ingredients they use. When you bite into this behemoth of a burger, you won’t find yourself trying to gnaw through a layer of chewy mushrooms or pineapple slices from a can. They really go the distance in preparing this burger.

Add some chili cheese fries to your meal, and you will be a happy camper. Their chili reminds me of Tommy’s, a place whose chili is one of my favorites.

For those of you that venture outside Los Angeles County, make this one of your stops. There are some awesome burgers east of the 605, and G Burger is one of them, proving good burgers don’t have to be tiny.

The Summer of Beer & BBQs Has Begun!

Although the weather hasn’t been notified, summer is upon us.

Friday I brought home a grill I bought and told Tim, “If we can put it together fast, we can grill tonight.” Two hours and only five “that’s what she said” comments later, we were grilling in the dark. Fortunately I have some good flood lights in the backyard.

Looks like a pretty standard burger.

Wrong! Inside the patty lurks a burst of melted, cheesy goodness.

After having a bite to eat at another BBQ, Saturday evening found me at Beer Belly once more. Food and beers were excellent like the first time, but this time Michelle and I were convinced to try to Deep Fried Twinkie. I don’t think these appear on the standard list of food pairings, but it goes well with beer. I’d even suggest trying it with their root beer flight.

I hold in my hand, a glass of Black Tuesday. The reality of this beer is every bit as awesome as the speculation that surrounds it. It is incredible. Each sip goes from the very beginning all the way to the very end, full flavor enduring the entire time. Cherries, chocolate…you’d never guess this beer is near 20% ABV. Big tip of the hat to The Bruery for making their event run so smoothly.

So summer has begun for me, but not the type of summer that will have me sporting the banana hammock anytime soon. I’m fat and happy.

Southern Food

Nope. There will be no talk about grits and fried catfish here. I’m talking about food I’ve found since we moved to the South Bay. Michelle and I are looking for a spot to call our local eating joint.

Although I’ve been here before, Ramen Yamadaya deserves another mention. This is easily is my top five ramen joints after just the one visit. The second time we went back, I decided to try some other things.

Curry and rice. Nothing to write home about. It’s barely even worth writing about here on my blog.

Their friend chicken is nicely done. It’s light and crispy.

Their pork chop did not have the same light texture as the chicken. This just felt heavy.

While their side dishes are hit or miss, the main attraction is always superb. Ramen is what they do best. I can’t wait to make a trip back here.

One of the first joints we checked out was Nelson’s at Terranea. We know people in the area are always stopping here for food and drinks. It’s a great location, right along the cliffside overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately the food and drinks are not cheap and mediocre as well.

This is their burger. It tastes like a cafeteria burger.

This is Michelle’s portobello mushroom sandwich. It’s a lot better than the burger, but it’s nothing special. Since it was Cinco de Mayo, she also ordered a margherita. It just tasted like nothing but mixer.

Nelson’s gets a big thumbs down from me. I won’t be coming back except to enjoy the view on a warm summer night.

Another place we checked out was Coco Ichibanya, a curry house in Torrance. I originally thought it was going to be just like the well known chain, Curry House. I was surprised by how many options they had for their curry dishes.

I decided to order the mushroom curry and went for a level 3 out of 10 for the spiciness. I was surprised about how much heat this dish had. Their menu notes that they won’t let you try level 6-10 unless you’ve eaten a whole plate of level 5 first. That’s probably a pretty good idea.

Since this was a first time for me at this restaurant, I decided to gorge myself and try another dish. I ordered the mini keema curry with naan. The naan was fluffy and light. It went well with the curry.

A newly opened joint, 1321 Downtown Taproom Bistro Restaurant, was my stop this weekend. I’ve been meaning to check this place out but with the move of my office, I’ve had zero time to do it. The place was busy when I showed up, always a good sign for a new restaurant. I took a seat at the bar to wait for my friends. The bar staff was very friendly. I was pleased with the wide selection of beers available, and for a double bonus the beers weren’t all priced at ten bucks a glass like some gastro pubs.

Meatball appetizer. Not sure what kind of meat they used. It seemed a bit spongy, almost the consistency of tofu. Other than the sauce, I was not into this dish.

Chicken and waffles, definitely not the traditional take on this dish. The waffle portion was a blue cornbread muffin, very donut-like. The chicken was perfectly fried and the crispness of the skin went well with the soft texture of the “waffles.” I did wish that the chicken would have been slightly saltier. It’s sweet with a hint of mustard in the taste, but coupled with the “waffle” portion of it, it was a bit too sweet.

Other dishes that we scarfed down but forgot to take pictures of include the Mod Burger, Turkey Burger, and Hot Link. Both burgers were solid. I opted for the turkey, because it said something about hot. I was in the mood for some heat. The heat on this burger was very minimal, but definitely enough to satisfy my craving. I normally don’t like sauerkraut, but the kraut they were serving with the hot link was not too sour, a great compliment to the wiener.

Last on our new discoveries of the South Bay was Inka Wasi, a casual Peruvian joint that is owned by the same guys as El Polla Inka. This storefront in the Peninsula Center in Rolling Hills Estates is aimed at people who want a quick bite or even something to take out. I figured we should try this since the local pho restaurant is across the plaza from this place and I’m sure I will have plenty of that in the future.

It’s pretty apparent this restaurant runs under the same group as El Pollo Inka with their chicken soup to start off the meal.

Michelle’s seafood dish. The noodles here were a bit overcooked, but overall the dish was pretty tasty.

Chicken Saltado. I remember this dish being very salty at El Pollo Inka, but it was good this time around.

Don’t mistake that compliment to mean that it stacks up to Mario’s in any way. Mario’s is the de facto standard to which I measure all Peruvian restaurants. Even the special green sauce here isn’t the same, probably not enough crack in it. I would come back to this place again, but mostly because I want something other than pho.

There you have it. We have exhausted all the restaurants in the South Bay. Kidding. While it doesn’t have the smorgasbord of choices that Los Angeles area has, I’m sure we will discover some more treats. If you have any recommendations, please share.

Is it hot in here? Sriracha Cookbook Release Party

It’s like Randy Clemens wrote a cookbook made just for Michelle. The Sriracha Cookbook! The book release party was at the Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. It was elbow to elbow, standing room only.

There were some recipes from the book being served that night, and we decided we need to try a lot of them.

Short ribs. My guess is there was a lot of demand for this and they were hurrying them off the grill. The flavor was good on this, but it could have used a little more time on the grill to char the edges. Plus these thin cuts get cold so fast. That’s why you should cook it in front of yourself.

These are the jalapeno poppers. I didn’t try these until they end, because I didn’t know how hot they would be and didn’t want to kill my taste buds. These had the seeds and pith removed and were filled with a creamy Sriracha sauce. Delicious.

Then I turned around and realized there was a light on the table behind me. The pictures get better.

Corn chowder. This was delicious. The fire-seared corn with Sriracha was nicely balanced out with a creamy texture that brought down the heat a little bit.

Mac N’ Cheese. The corn chowder before this had quite a bit of heat on it. Unfortunately it muted the flavor of the mac. I could tell it was cheesy with a hint of spiciness, but I can’t say how good this dish was, because I was suffering from numb tongue.

My mouth cooled down enough to try the burger. It had bacon, people! If you made this burger without Sriracha I would be a happy camper. It was just a solid burger, but the added flavor from the hot sauce was so well placed. It didn’t take anything away from the flavor of the beef or bacon.

Wash it all down with Eagle Rock Brewery‘s special Sriracha spiced beer. This was so weird. It tastes like you ate something really spicy and were trying to cool, but the heat isn’t up front. It’s at the end of each sip.

I know all of you signed up for that Amazon $20 gift card online yesterday, so if you like your food spicy, do yourself a favor and go buy this book.

Have an awesome weekend.

We were at In-N-Out pretty late when we saw a cab pull up in the drive-thru. I thought for a second the cab driver was craving a burger, but then the guy in the back seat rolled down the window. He looked blitzed out of his head.

Hope your weekend is as awesome as this guy’s weekend.

Second Round of Michelle’s Birthday Eats

Michelle’s been pretty busy with her new job and trying to balance her schedule, so we weren’t even going to have dinner together. Fortunately she got to finish up and come home earlier than she thought, so I made her some dinner. That’s really not picture worthy though, so instead we will go on to last night’s dinner with some friends at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale in Costa Mesa.

I enjoy a good fry, and they cook up some nice fries here.

Their Kobe Sliders are well put together as well. They don’t try to get too fancy with sauces or glazes. It’s just a good piece of meat.

Bacon wrapped dates with bleu cheese.

Mussels. It tastes like the ocean in a good way, not the BP oil spill way.

Sweet bread. Doesn’t look like bread? Google it.

Pork belly.

Ice cream and something.

Happy birthday, Michelle! Creme Brulee in vanilla, salted caramel, and tres leches.