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Mar. 7th, 2012


mattifer

New MFD blog!

Hey Friends, I am migrating to blog spot to continue my Meat Filled Dough adventures.  Check me out there!

http://meatfilleddough.blogspot.com/

Jan. 22nd, 2012


mattifer

Fish Tacos from Ricky's Fish Tacos!!!

Ricky's Fish Tacos
1400 N Virgil Ave  
Los Angeles, CA 90027

(323) 906-7290

I was so excited after having eaten here this afternoon that I had to rush home and write this review.  My gal and I have been on a quest for the best fish taco in Los Angeles (among many other foods of course.)  Before today I think we both would have claimed that either Senor Fish or Cacao Mexicatessen held that honor.  But I'm happy to announce there is a new champion.  Meet Ricky and his fish tacos.

I've heard good things about this place for a while now, but the effusive praise was always accompanied by a caveat:  The place is practically "not there."  I wasn't sure what they meant, but on our way to find the place we very nearly passed it up.  "Ricky's" is basically a small parking lot with a crudely made counter, a register, a canopy, two large round grills for the fish and shrimp and a handful of tables and chairs scattered around the lot.

Upon approaching we were met by a genial man with a fancy moustache and stylish hat.  Must be Ricky, I thought.  We ordered two fish tacos a piece and he gently encouraged we try the "Spinach and Cucumber" agua fresca.  We reluctantly agreed and he ladled the toxic green concoction into two plastic cups.  It was surprisingly delicious and refreshing.  A perfect beverage for this warm, winters day.

His sidekick was hard at work on the tacos and had them ready for us in a few minutes.  For sauces we had our choice of roasted tomato salsa, Mexican crema, Verde salsa and chipotle.  I spread the sauces out across my two tacos and dug in.  Upon the first bite, I nearly cried.  Everything was perfect.  The batter had a little kick to it and was perfectly crispy.  The fish inside was tender, warm and flaky and it had the perfect amount of cabbage and pico de gallo.  It's places like this that remind me why I love L.A. so much.
Fish Tacos from Ricky's Fish Tacos
Fish tacos from Ricky's:  4.75 out of 5 fancy moustaches.
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Nov. 14th, 2011


mattifer

Lamb and Feta Sandwich from Papa Cristo's

Papa Cristo's
2771 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 7370-2970

I've been checking out my new neighborhood restaurants since I moved but only ended up at Papa Cristo's after Mr. Bento turned me away for not having cash.  This turned out to be a fortuitous turn of events as on my way home to make a sadsack turkey sandwich I happened upon Papa Cristo's.  It was as if the fog on the Aegean Sea lifted and there was the parthenon shining like a beacon.  Only this parthenon was only slightly in ruins and was filled with all the olives and yogurt you could ever wish to consume.

They also had a little deli and restaurant inside, so I hurried in looking for something to satiate my George Popadopolous sized appetite.  When I saw the lamb and feta sandwich, of course I couldn't resist.  My taste for sheep babies is unrivaled.  I zipped home and tore into that sucker, and though the sandwich only really consisted of some slabs of lamb and some melted feta on sourdough bread, what more could I have asked for?  It was simple, satisfying and delicious.  And it also came with some vinegar infused side dish of cauliflower and olives.

I am looking forward to returning and sampling one of their insanely delectable baklava and pastries (so I've been told)  If I would have run into Papa Cristo himself, I would have rubbed mustaches with the gentleman.


lamb_sandwich
Lamb and Feta Sandwich from Papa Cristo's:  3 mustache static parties out of 5

Oct. 21st, 2011


mattifer

Tom Kah Dumplings from the Edendale

Edendale
2838 Rowena Ave 
Los AngelesCA 90039
(323) 666-2000

The first time I went to the Edendale, I found it to be a fancy-pants type of establishment.  I still feel that way, but after having visited for the second time last night to celebrate East of Borneo's first year as a magazine, I now have a slightly different take on things.  

First of all, the bartenders, despite possessing absurdly trendy haircuts and facial hair, are some of the nicest guys you'll meet, genuinely kind and accommodating.  One bartender even ran two blocks down the street to our car after leaving to ask if the jacket he was holding was ours.  (it wasn't)

Secondly, they have pretty good beers and a very tasty menu.  As it was happy hour, we ordered the Tom Kah Dumplings and my lady friend ordered a sweet duck sausage dish.  Hers was delicious, the sausage was so sweet and rich it was almost a dessert.  The Tom Kah Dumplings were also fantastic.  Five dumplings doused in that indescribably sweet/sour/tangy Tom Kah sauce and topped with carrots, lemongrass and spicy peppers.  My only complaint is that there weren't enough! (I'm a fat ass.)  


They have brunch on Sundays!  So I will return.

tom_kah dumplings
Tom Kah Dumplings:  4 fancy-pants out of 5

Jul. 5th, 2011


mattifer

Fattractive!!

this is a shameless plug but I believe in this blog.  http://fattractive.com/  Consistently interesting, frank and provocative, this beautiful lady writes from her gut about her gut.  Check it out and subscribe!!

mattifer

Pastrami Sandwich from Punalu'u Bake Shop in Hawai'i

Punalu'u Bake Shop
Route 11
Naalehu, HI 96722
(866) 366-3501 


When on a perfect vacation in Hawai'i it is important to do and eat as the locals do.  So, of course that mean eating pastrami sandwiches on Hawaiian sweet bread on the way to Volcano's National Park.  Before watching Kiluauea do it's crazy thing we stopped for some lunch and unnecessary Bismarcs (a modified eclair) and Malasadas (Portuguese donuts).  

The sandwich was simple yet effective (I've never written that sentence before).  In addition to the required cow navel meat, it came with a little lettuce, mayonnaise and an onion slice.  It was satisfying though not mind blowing.  The post lunch dessert however was gut blowing.

Then we watched the earth blow!  Perfect.

Pastrami Sandwich from Punalu'u Bakeshop
Pastrami Sandwich from Punalu'u:  3 Pele's out of 5

Jun. 10th, 2011


mattifer

taco, sope and mulita at Tacos El Gavilan in Los Angeles

Tacos El Gavilan
1900 S Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90011
(213) 742-6677

While waiting for the concert to start at the Natural History Museum last Friday (a rock concert in a museum??  What's next?  Paintballing at the Opera??) My comely companion and I needed a bite to eat and Tacos El Gavilan across from USC rated high on Yelp.  What we encountered when we walked through the door was the Walmart of Mexican Restaurants.  The dining room resembled a giant, sterile warehouse  and the employees looked a bit like efficient automatons taking and delivering food orders without any wasted movements.  At 5pm the setting seemed a little sad and bleak, but I'm guessing that at about 7 or 8 in the evening (or after bars let out) this place is pretty hoppin'.

I couldn't decide what I wanted so I decided to arrange a kind of sampler platter of delicious Mexican dishes.  First, the classic Asada taco.  Next, the Pastor Sope (meat and toppings on a thick corn tortilla) and finally uncharted territory (for me at least) the legendary Mulita:  a kind of sandwich taco topped with Oaxacan cheese.  Behold the glory of these delectable treats basking in the fading light.

I worked my way from the tried and true (taco) to the new and exciting (mulita).  The taco was fairly uninspired; Cubes of beef with no dressing or sauce.  I quickly devoured that and moved on to the pastor sope.  The sope tortilla is always satisfying, not unlike eating meat off of a pillow, and then eating the pillow!  The bbq pork was adequate, but not quite as flavorful or spicy as I am used to. Finally, the main event:  The Mulita.  I'm not sure why the mulita gets showered with all the attention in regards to sauces, cheese and assorted toppings but it definitely was the most appetizing looking of the bunch. 

I bit into it and was not disappointed.  The textures were well balanced with the tender, rich texture of the pork offsetting the crispness of the tortillas.  The cheese and cream really enhanced the experience and I left the place satisfied with my decision, though not entirely full.  This is how it is to be me...hungry all the time.


taco_sope_mullita
taco: 2.5 out of 5, sope: 3 out of 5, mulita: 4 out of 5

May. 21st, 2011


mattifer

Chicken and Vegetable Meat Pie from Lucky Baldwins

Lucky Baldwins
17 S Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 795-0652
http://www.luckybaldwins.com/iweb/ 

Lucky Baldwins just recently opened up a third location on East Colorado Blvd. In Pasadena but my allegiance lies with the original location on Raymond.  It remains a beacon of authentic, divey british pubishness in a sea of douchey clubs.  It also smells weird and has its share of toothless patrons, which just adds to the charm.

I went here last night after my art reception as we were hankering for some comfort food and drink, and they have a pretty extensive menu, complete with Cornish Pasties and Bangers and Mash.   I decided to go with the ol' reliable meat pie.  More bang for your buck I figured.

And boy was I correct!  As you can see by the photo it arrived looking like a delicious mushroom cloud made out of dough (appropriate given the end of the world prognostications).  One stab into the puff pastry dough and steamy, delectable aromas wafted into the night air.  The bowl was packed with carrots, potatoes, assorted spices and about three chickens to my estimation.  it really was a tremendous amount of food, and it also came with chips and peas.  

I was thinking about peas and how useless they are, and how I never eat them.  But when you're eating british pub food, it kind of goes with the territory and I enjoy eating them in those situations.  There's something about them mixing with the gravy from the meat and the grease and the vinegar from the fries that makes them much more appetizing.

Everything was delicious and really hit the spot.  I kind of feel as pub fare goes, it doesn't get much better than this.  Especially if you're a little tipsy and you have low standards already.


Chicken meat pie
Chicken and Vegetable Meat pie from Lucky Baldwins: 4 out of 5 puff pastry jazz hands!

Apr. 12th, 2011


mattifer

(no subject)

 LAMILL Coffee
1636 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 663-4441

I try to avoid this place as often as possible.  For one thing, it's quite expensive.  For another, the place is always filled to the brim with the most beautiful people you've ever seen.  Not good for one's self esteem.  That said, the coffee and chai are both excellent.  I realized the other day that i had never eaten there, though.  So I met up with my friend there for lunch and ordered Elia's sliders...three Niman ranch ground beef sliders with a sweet pickle, tomato, arugula and artisan cheddar on a house-made brioche bun with skinny fries.

I was warned by my friend that she had had them before and they weren't that special.  But I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful they were.  You can really tell the difference between sliders made with average beef and average cheese and sliders that are made with the highest quality ingredients.  I was slightly disappointed that given the time and energy devoted to the meat, cheese and bun, that they were served with Heinz ketchup and French's mustard.  I do think that homemade condiments (like they serve at Umami Burger and other gourmet burger joints) would have been a nice touch.

I washed the burger down with a Mr. Woods, a combo of lemonade and plumberry black tea.  As I was drinking it I was wondering if I was enjoying a vaguely racist beverage and the name of the drink was a reference to Tiger Woods' mixed ethnicity.  Then I realized maybe I was vaguely racist to even make that connection.

Overall, pretty good, if not completely filling meal.  And because I sat outside and not inside with the superior looking folk, I left with my self-esteem pretty well intact!

sliders

Elia's Sliders from LAMILL:  3.75 woeful condiments out of 5 (look at them, they even look like they're thinking "Do I really have to be paired and devoured with this crap?"

Apr. 2nd, 2011


mattifer

Pork Belly Sliders from Animal

Animal Restaurant
435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

So many animals.  We ate so many of them.  They were all delicious, from the hamachi salad to the chicken liver on toast to the foie gras biscuit, but I was especially looking forward to the pork belly sliders.  What's not to love about the fattest part of one of the fattest creatures in miniature burger format?

Our waiter was a kind of food service sorcerer, following a precise delivery sequence, and replacing each dish with a new one immediately upon finishing.  It was such a beautiful dining experience, helped by two bottles of wine and amazing company, that topping it will be next to impossible.

The sliders came with cole slaw on a brioche bun and it was almost too much after having already put away four or five dishes.  I am a little like a wolverine, able to continue piling the food in my belly until it bursts.  Luckily no ER visits necessary this evening. We were even able to consume two delicious desserts, the homemade chocolate bacon candy bar and the tres leches cake, both exquisite!

My only regret is that I would have eaten the sliders earlier in the meal for optimal enjoyment.  But it was really about the entire dining experience, and it was spectacular.  WEll worth the 300 dollars I didn't have to pay.  Thanks, Barclay's mom!!

pork_belly_slider
Pork Belly Sliders from Animal:  4.5 out of 5

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