How to Get Two Chipotle Burritos For the Price of One on Every Visit (An Addendum to the Now Famous ‘Apartment List’ Hack)

image

There is nothing more I love than a good Chipotle hack.  Sure, I’ve had problems in the past with their burrito construction, and called bullshit on their calorie counts, and their off the menu “quesarito”. But I also see a lot of the good in Chipotle, and none of my past run-ins have deterred me from wanting to find a personal go-to order. Aka, the perfect combination of items that will finally get me to embrace Chipotle, with no caveats.  And this week, I’m proud to say, I think I’ve finally found that order. It started with this incredible Chipotle hack article by my new hero Dylan Grosz on a website called Apartment List.  In it he details, with a FiveThirtyEight level of scientific analysis, how to get Chipotle to give you 86% more food than you would get in a normal burrito for the same price as a normal burrito.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a read… but the gist of it is this: get half and half of everything in a bowl (half black beans/half pinto beans, half white rice/half brown rice, half chicken/half steak) plus all the free add ons, including corn and fajita vegetables, and you end up getting way more food than what goes into a normal burrito.  And the best part is, they’ll give you a tortilla (in fact two tortillas) for free so you can roll your own burrito. I went to check this out for myself, with one major change at the end that solidifies this as not only the best Chipotle hack in the history of Chipotle hacks.  But possibly the best fast food hack ever invented. (Can you see where I’m going with this?)

Read more »

SGV Dumpling Crawl Now Available in Audio Form

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 8.35.49 AM

Been waiting awhile to announce this big news… super excited to be a part of HOWL, the new premium audio content service from the folks behind Earwolf & Wolfpop.  The service, which launches today, features access to old Earwolf, Wolfpop, and Marc Maron’s WTF podcasts plus new original shows from Paul F. Tomkins, Lauren Lapkus, Jermaine Clement, Joel Stein, Comedy Central, AV club, and little old us!  Jason Stewart (aka DJ Themjeans) and I turned that Lucky Peach dumpling crawl of the SGV from a few months back into a fun show about dumplings that doubles as an audio guide that you can use as you do the crawl.  It features writers Lucas Peterson and Clarissa Wei, plus a mini episode of “Yo, Is This Racist” w/ Andrew Ti.

The service costs $4.99 a month, but use the promo code CRAWL and you can get one month free. Download the HOWL App on iTunes or sign up here to listen online>>

ADVERTISEMENT

My 10 Favorite Grand Central Market Mash Ups

If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve recently been obsessed with mashing up stuff at Grand Central Market in Downtown L.A.  Think: adding GnB espresso shots to horchata from Ana Maria, or stuffing Belcampo fries into Madcapra’s falafel sandwich.  If you’re interested in getting a full window into my grossness, all 10 of my creations are can be found on Thrillist.  Warning there is a grand finale featuring smoked salmon from Wexler’s, brisket from Horse Thief, a pizza from Olio, a carnitas taco and a sandwich from Egg Slut.  Aka, you’ll probably want to go with friends.

Oh, and you prefer hearing the sound of my voice rather than reading my words, I’ll be on KCRW’s Good Food this Saturday at 11am PST going over the list with Evan Kleiman.

THRILLIST: 10 Ways to Hack LA’s Grand Central Market

Sincere Apologies to Apple Pan…

imageimage

I was asked to be one of the judges in L.A. Weekly’s Burger Bracket and ended up drawing Apple Pan vs. Pie n Burger. Went to both  around July 4th weekend and while I know that Apple Pan has a ton of fans, I really think Pie N Burger makes a better burger. (And before you shit on me, go to each and try a plain cheeseburger with nothing else on it.)

Next up: Pie N Burger vs. Father’s Office.  Anyone care to chime in?  This could actually be a tougher one than it appears on paper…

Add Dune and Madcapra to Your L.A. Falafel List

Apparently today is International Falafel Day (who knew!?) and our good friends over at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded us of this great falafel round up we posted last year.  If you’re looking for some lunchtime falafel action today, all of those places are still rolling strong.  But here’s two new spots that have opened since then that could both lay claim to serving the best falafel in L.A. right now.

Attachment-1-19

When Dune first opened in Atwater Village at the beginning of this year a very specific kind of food writer induced hype commenced, and for good reason.  It’s good.  Really good.  This tiny storefront with less than 10 stools serves up the kind of the things you might expect from a new school Mediterranean take out spot in Atwater. There’s a beautifully simplistic blood orange salad with black olives, tabouleh with organic gluten free quinoa, and a pickled beet sandwich with sheep’s milk feta, an 8 minute egg, and shoestring potatoes.  But the insanely good flatbread makes the two pita sandwiches the thing to order. The lamb meatball one is surprisingly great, especially considering that Dune’s owners also own the vegetarian Elf Cafe.  But today isn’t National Meatball Day.  It’s National Falafel Day, so you’ll want their green falafel sandwich topped with house made pickles, tahini, hummus, tahini, and shoestring potatoes.  Did I mention the flatbread is amazing?

Even newer is Madcapra, a falafel stand that opened recently in the Grand Central Market cut from the same cheffy cloth as Dune.

Read more »

Cube Replacement Pizza Romana Will Far Exceed Your Expectations

Pizza romana

Dominoes atrocities aside, pizza and fried chicken are not exactly two things you might associate with each other. New York style pizza and buffalo wings? Sure. But individual size, quick fired Italian style pizzas alongside southern style spicy fried chicken doesn’t necessarily feel as simpatico.  After all, you wouldn’t expect 800 Degrees to turn out a delicious fried chicken any more than you’d expect Popeye’s to start selling a perfectly cooked margherita. And yet that’s exactly what you’ll find at the newly opened Pizza Romana on La Brea.

Formerly Cube Marketplace and Cafe, and still owned by the same people, this new fast casual pizzeria is clearly meant to compete with the new wave of quick serve pizza joints that have sprung up all over L.A. in the past 3 years. The pizzas are mostly $9 and $10, and come out quick with ingredients like proscuitto, broccolini, and buffalo mozzarella. But there is one important Cube holdover that differentiates Pizza Romana from 800 Degrees, Pitfire, Blaze, and the rest.

Their fried chicken.

Read more »

Here’s Everything You Want to Know About L.A. Poke

IMG_7278

If you follow me on Instagram than you are probably worried that I’m giving myself mercury poisoning know I’ve been obsessed with poke, the Hawaiian version of tuna ceviche that has been spreading through Los Angeles like it’s food trucks in 2010. Nobody knows exactly what has led to this #pokexplosion (see what I did there?) but it’s likely a combination of the ease with which poke can be Chipotle-fied, and the inevitability of the idea.  While nobody wants to officially confirm it, it’s likely that a lot of different people had been contemplating the idea of a modern, fast casual poke chain, and once one person announced that they were launching, everybody else kicked their concepts into high gear.  Since serving poke doesn’t require an enormous kitchen investment (no cooking = no hood) it was easy for all of these concepts to open in such a short period of time. So, there you have it. #pokexplosion.  As a lover of poke, it’s best not to think about it too much and just enjoy our good fortune!

When most people ask me which of the new places is the best, I usually answer “Whichever is closest to you.” I kind of love them all, for different reasons. And, surprise!  You do get what you pay for.  I made a map of all the new poke places for Eater so you can find the one closest to you. I pretty much haven’t met a poke I didn’t like, but if push comes to shove (and by that I mean “If DineLA is going to pay me money to pick my 10 favorites”), here’s a list of the 10 Best Pokes in Los Angeles, new and old, according to yours truly.

And if you're too lazy for all that reading, and would prefer to hear me talking about poke, I'll be on KCRW’s Good Food talking about all of this stuff on Saturday morning at 11am.