Tag Archives: tacos

Beer Belly: The Good Kind

I’ve put myself back onto a diet starting today. For the wedding and for a fun competition at work, I lost about thirty pounds last year. Since the wedding I’ve gained about fifteen of that back already. I can feel my body being sluggish.

I only have one rule about my diets. Never cut out beer or whiskey. That way if I drink a little too much one night and expel my dinner, it’s a drinking problem and not an eating disorder. Much more socially acceptable.

Knowing I would soon be on my low-calorie intake plan, I decided to check out Beer Belly, a craft beer bar. It’s a welcome addition to Koreatown where Hite is the standard beer and the cohesiveness of the community means everyone else follows suit. Not here though.

The beer selection is great from breweries all over Southern California, and I even found there is a brewery fifteen minutes from my home.

Since there were four of us visiting the place, we decided to go nuts and order lots of stuff from the menu.

Duck fat fries with rasberry aioli dipping sauce.

Artichoke chips with rosemary aioli.

Meatballs. Nothing mind-blowing about this particular dish, but it’s a good meatball. Sprinkling some cheese into the meatball mix might work out for this dish.

Beer Belly Grilled Cheese. This is the McGriddle v2.0.

Asparagus. I’m not a fan of vegetables in general, but I enjoyed this with the lightly sprinkled Parmesan cheese and vinaigrette.

Filet Mignon Steak Tartare. This was my favorite dish, nice subtle flavors

Smoked White Fish Mousse. My second favorite dish I tried. Whoever is in the kitchen is just matching up to my palette very well.

The menu will probably be evolving a little bit as Beer Belly finds its sweet spot, but they’re headed in the right direction. There are some light flavors that won’t over power the beer flavors, and then there are some greasy items that speak of comfort as much as beer does itself.

Not everything is on tap. Don’t forget to try some of the other beers they have in bottles. They’ve got some great selections in bottle form.

I was fortunate enough to get to try this beer at The Bruery when they had their release party. It’s definitely an acquired taste.

I liked this beer a lot. Hopped up Belgian.

After a night of beer, we decided to head out to King Taco, followed by this taco stand.

This is how you know it’s legit. There is a television showing the news in Spanish, and a box labeled “OUR BEST LARD.”

Diet is so on today.

Komodo Truck

The craze has died down somewhat for chasing food trucks. If you happen to be near a place where the food trucks show up, it’s definitely a convenient meal, but the awe is gone as the market got over saturated. Still I haven’t eaten at 90% of these trucks, so I’m still up for trying them out if they’re close.

One day when I was working from home, I noticed Komodo was going to be at NPR. It doesn’t get much closer to me than that so I decided to take a look.

While I was in line I saw something that caught my eye.

That’s never a good sign when the people serving you food stopped at McDonald’s before they showed up to work, but at least it’s an Egg McMuffin. Everyone loves those.

The garlic fries with Parmesan cheese and truffle oil are good. Lots of garlic and cheese, two things that I can’t get enough of in my diet. They could have put that on a tin can and I probably would have eaten it.

Asian Marinated Chicken Taco. This tastes like soy sauce eggs, which I’m not a fan of so this is nothing special.

This is the Java Taco. Cucumber salad to top this one? Some peppers work better in my mind. This tastes too fresh.

Blazin’ Shrimp Taco. Look a look at the picture they have on their website versus what I have here. There’s nothing blazin’ about this shrimp whatsoever. Big thumbs down on this one.

So it doesn’t look like all I do is nitpick about food, I saved the best for last. This is the Komodo Taco. The steak is nicely cooked and corn salsa they have topping this one is delicious as well.

While they only had a success rate of 1/4 for their tacos, their fries were delicious. Still when the hunger comes calling, you won’t find me at the Komodo Truck. You’ll find me at the local taco truck that serves real tacos for a dollar. I’ll be saving money and going 4/4 on the delicious scale.

New Toy

I mentioned a few weeks back that I ordered a Canon S95. Well it arrived a couple weeks ago, and I love it. To have manual control over settings in such a small form factor is great. I’m still trying to learn how to use a lot of the functions more quickly, but it’s a slow learning process. Here are some of the images I’ve taken so far with the camera, mostly of food.

This last one was taken at night, under an outdoor light. Taking this shot during the day is a no brainer, but I’m quite impressed with the camera’s ability to handle low light situations. I’m still trying to figure out which settings work best for food when in dive bar lighting, which is pretty much no lighting at all.

Dollar tacos? What a ripoff!

We’ve been looking for a new building for next year when our lease is up. Our search has taken us all over Los Angeles County. One of the places we’re looking is Bellflower. In doing some research with the city hall and the police substation, I saw this.

“Tacos for less than a dollar,” I thought. “I have a company luncheon in a couple of hours. I’d better just get two.”

Their menu is much like those in any number of burger joints that have evolved to serve breakfast, hot dogs, burritos, shrimp, and steak. I wasn’t here for those things though. I was here for tacos!

The first one I tried was chicken. This was just okay except for the sauce. The salsa on this is delicious. It has the very slightest hint of heat and a sweetness to it that would make me eat my shoe if it had this salsa on it.

The second taco I tried was the carnitas. This again was just okay, nothing spectacular going on with the meat, but the salsa covers a multitude of mediocrity.

If we decide to move the company to Bellflower, eating tacos will be part of my financial investment plan. Lunch for less than $3/day? Yes, please.

Also, I ate tacos.

Thursday night Michelle and I were trying to figure out what to eat for dinner. She mentioned a taco place on the way the her place from my work. When I pulled up I couldn’t figure out where there was a restaurant. It was a Mexican market and carniciera, and tucked to one side of the place was Los Paisas.

Carnitas, asada, al pastor, and cabeza.

Tacos are one of the world’s greatest foods, wrapped in an edible container, and it comes in so many different styles. However, carnitas is an overrated style of meat when it comes to tacos. Generally it’s overcooked and dry because of the way it’s prepared. Give me stewed cabeza or lengua over asada or carnitas any day. Plus it sounds so much cooler when you say you ate head and tongue.

It’s Like Vacation

I have spent the last seven out of nine nights in a hotel. The first four nights were in New York. That was fun. These last three were spent in the middle of California for work. I decided to treat it as a little vacation. During every vacation I try to get out of my comfort zone and do something I normally wouldn’t do, but it has particularly been tied to food. Eating adventurously is something I like to try.

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Taco Lengua a la izquierda. Taco Cabeza a la derecha. This was after I finished Taco Carnitas, Taco al Pastor, and Taco Chile Verde. All were delicious, washed down with a couple Modelos.

With delicious eats like this, I’m still glad to be coming home today.

Talk About Keepin’ It Real

I stumbled across a website that “keeps it real.” How much more street cred can you get than if you write about graffiti, tacos, and other cheap eats? This site is legit. It’s got my attention.