Archive for November 2011

My (Short) Order at Hole in the Wall Burger Joint


I wanted to go to Short Order. I really did. How could I not?  First off, it’s a burger joint party conceived by the queen of Mozza.  Secondly, I have always wanted to find a decent lunch in the “Original Farmer’s Market” and this seems to be the best shot.  And thirdly… did I mention it’s burgers made by Nancy Silverton? Who wouldn’t be excited for this? Answer: nobody. And then I saw the prices.  Burgers $11-14. $4 fries. $6 shakes.  Not outrageous by any stretch, but not a Midtown Lunch.  I’m sure eventually I’ll cave, just like I did for Mozza To Go (I do love a good patty melt), but not this week.  So, with burgers on the brain (thanks for that blogosphere!) I decided to burger it up in West L.A. at a place I’ve been meaning to try for almost a year now: Hole in the Wall Burger Joint.

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PROFILE: L.A. Lunch’er “Farley”

As is customary on Midtown Lunch, every Tuesday we profile a random reader to get their recommendations for the best spots to lunch near their work. This week it’s Farley, a taco lover who’s looking for pupusas in West Hollywood.

Name: Farley

Age: 27

Occupation: Freelance Writer

Where in L.A. do you Work?: I write taco reviews for Serious Eats and do all sorts of things for LAist. More specifically, I work from an iMac in West Hollywood.

Favorite Kind of Food: I love anything cooked simply where the star of the show is meat. Tacos, burgers, gyros, fried chicken sandwiches. GET IN MY MOUTH.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Anything fussy, really. If it’s too gelatinous or chewy, I’m out.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch: I’m not afraid to take a lunchtime drive, which really opens up the possibilities. I’ll always love the gryos at Papa Cristo’s on Pico Blvd. or the simple deli sandwiches from Mike’s Deli on Slauson. I can count on Capitol Burger on Pico to deliver a great So Cal-style double cheeseburger and a mound of greasy, delicious fries; served out of a cut up beer box, of course.

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Yang Ban: Does Downtown Sport L.A.’s Best Korean Soup Spot?


When bragging that Los Angeles is one of the best food cities in the country, bringing up all of our ethnic enclaves is my go-to argument.  The Thai food in Thai Town, Chinese in the San Gabriel Valley, Mexican food in Boyle Heights, and Vietnamese and Japanese food in the South Bay are unrivaled in San Fran, Chicago, hell, even New York.  Sorry America.  L.A. has the best, most diverse, ethnic food neighborhoods in the country, possibly even the world.  But as great as each area of this city is for its own specialty, for those of us who live here there is something exciting about discovering something regional removed from its region.  Whether it’s ramen in the valley (hello Jinya!) or dim sum on the westside (still waiting!), we seem to be willing to sacrifice a bit of “authenticity” for a bit less driving.

So when Lunch’er Dylan recommended Yang Ban, a Korean soup place in the garment district of Downtown L.A., that tinge of excitement came up again.  Surely it wouldn’t be as good as the places in Koreatown, but even a decent Korean option for people who work in DTLA would be welcome- especially as the days start to get shorter and the air starts to get colder.

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Lunch Links (The “Only Turkey Burger That’s Ever Looked Good to Me” Edition)

Go Burger’s Thanksgiving Burger. Photo courtesy of Grub Street.

PROFILE: L.A. Lunch’er “David”

As is customary on Midtown Lunch, every Tuesday we profile a random reader to get their recommendations for the best spots to lunch near their work. I don’t get up to the Valley too often, so today we’re turning to David for some good recs north of the typical Midtown Lunch’ing area. Plus he loves turkey burgers, which makes him the perfect Thanksgiving week profile…

Name: David

Age: 30

Occupation: Marketing and Promotions for motion pictures and I run a little cupcake blog for kicks.

Where in L.A. do you Work?: Universal Pictures in Universal City , CA

Favorite Kind of Food: Burgers….but oddly, I don’t eat red meat. But I love a great turkey burger or veggie burger. Oh, and I love fries. Oh, and I love cupcakes. Yeah…I love those things, but not in that order.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Seafood. I’m deathly allergic.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch: The Counter ( 12117 Ventura Blvd. ), Pitfire Pizza ( 5211 Lankershim Blvd. ) The Griddle (7916 Sunset Blvd.) The Artisan Cheese Gallery ( 12023 Ventura Blvd. ) and Mr. Cecil’s Rib ( 13625 Ventura Blvd. )

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Hokkaido Seafood Buffet is the Perfect Thanksgiving Warm Up


Thanksgiving is just days away, so food blog readers should probably prepare themselves for a bunch of “Here are my favorite turkey sandwiches in L.A.” posts. (Lord knows I’ve been guilty of this in the past.)   But that’s just food blog filler.  After all, who wants to eat turkey before eating turkey?  Oh… you do?  Well, not me.  I try to limit my turkey intake to once a year, followed by a day or two of leftovers. Of course everyone has a different way of preparing for Thanksgiving.  Since we’re in Los Angeles, I’m guessing starvation is a go-to strategy for many.  Then again, for those people not eating is probably a default setting so the lead up to Thanksgiving is really just an excuse to make their eating disorder acceptable.

But don’t those people know that eating less is probably the worst thing you can do the prepare yourself for the carnage of a properly eaten Thanksgiving meal!  Stomach shrinkage?  No thanks.  We need stomach expansion.  That’s why I like to all-you-can-eat-buffet it up in the week leading up to turkey day.  And what do you know?  A new one has just opened up in West L.A.!

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Lunch Links (The “Can Roasted Be Better Than Fried!?” Edition)

Mendocino Farms WEHO’s “Not So Fried” Chx Sandwich. Photo by Food GPS

  • DTLA The owners of Mendo Farms are opening a new concept in Feb. [Eater]
  • DTLA Shin Sen Gumi is only good when Daikokuya is too busy [The Minty]
  • DTLA You might want to lower your expectations for Baco Mercat [Darin Dines]
  • FAIRFAX Sadly Short Order isn’t a Midtown Lunch [Squid Ink]
  • HWOOD A place called “Vegas Seafood Buffet” is opening soon! [Eater]
  • HWOOD Ikemen uses the same water filter as NASA [LAT]
  • SAMO Milo & Olive will be open for lunch December 1st [Unemployed Eater]
  • WEHO ink.sack has extended their hours again [Grub Street]
  • WEHO The new Mendo Farms makes a roasted version of Bakesale Betty’s fried chx sandwich [Food GPS]
  • WEST LA You may want to wait for the crowds to die down at Tsujita [Darin Dines]
  • WESTWOOD The osh is the best thing at Attari (although we’ve never been inclined to share it!) [Squid Ink]