Archive for December 2011

Every Lunch I Ate in 2011 in One Gigantic Photo

And now… the MOMENT YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR (?) It’s become an annual custom here on Midtown Lunch for me to show what a fat fuck I am (I’m only fat for L.A.!) scare the shit out of my family (well, yes, but that’s not my intention) gross out the entire city of Los Angeles (not the ENTIRE city, some people here do like food, even though we’re in the minority) show off to the fatties of the world (that sounds about right) by posting a photo of every single lunch I ate for the entire year.  This year’s is quite a doozy, so prepare to be grossed out amazed.

After the jump, every single lunch I ate in 2011, from Shawarma Palace to Kabab Mahaleh, in one gigantic photo…

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Kabab Mahaleh is a Lunch Best Enjoyed by 4


Remember the days when you had to drive all the way to the valley for fresh baked Persian sangak? Now there’s not only Naan Hut in West L.A. (which also serves sangak pizza!?) but Kabab Mahaleh as well, a casual Kosher spot on Pico discovered by Squid Ink’s Elina Shatkin back in September. When I first visited a few months ago, the tables were mostly empty and the menu consisted of a few kabab options, printed out on a piece of paper, along with a rice dish and a salad option on display on the counter. Tasty, no doubt, but still a work in progress.


Fast forward to this week, and you’ll find a packed house during lunch, ordering off a printed menu hanging above the register. In other words, the word is out. This place is awesome.

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The Food Courtification of 101 Noodle Express is Complete


Back in July the Westside was cautiously optimistic extremely excited about the opening of 101 Noodle Express in the Fox Hills Mall (sic). The original branch has been on JGold’s essential restaurants list for 5 of the past 6 years, and to be able to get their beef rolls without driving to the SGV is good news for those of us who live and work west of La Cienega. Of course excitement quickly turned to indifference when the branch turned out to be less than essential. The beef rolls are there, and pretty delicious (if you’ve never had the original) but too much other food court nonsense (and a menu in obvious flux) kept anybody from declaring it a worthy replacement of the original.

Well, I was back at the mall again last week doing some holiday shopping and it looks like they have finally settled on a menu, and are offering 15% off to celebrate their official “Grand Opening”. The changes are shocking but inevitable in equal measure… and let’s just say, there’s good news, bad news and more good news.

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Lunch Links (The “If You Like Eggs, and You Like Sluts” Edition)

Eggslut: Bacon Breakfast Sandwich
Bacon & Egg Sandwich from the Egg Slut Truck. Photo courtesy of Guzzle & Nosh

  • MOBILE The Egg Slut Truck makes a great bacon and egg sandwich [Squid Ink]
  • DTLA The sandwiches at Daily Dose look pretty damn good [Squid Ink]
  • KTOWN Guelaguetza’s mole negro is so good [Amateur Gourmet]
  • MID CITY Short Order’s bakery opened this morning [Eater]
  • SAMO Shaka Shack (!?!) is now open and slinging burgers [Grub Street]
  • WEHO You can get piroshki at Stolichnaya Bakery [Squid Ink]
  • MOBILE Steel City Sandwich Truck brings Pittsburgh to L.A. [Pitt Tribune Review]

5 Reasons to Pick Young Dong Over Han Bat For Sul Lung Tang


A few weeks ago I was pretty excited to be turned onto Yang Ban, a sul lung tang specialist in Downtown L.A. Not only was it exciting to find such a great Korean place in such an unlikely place, but flu season is in full effect. And sitting in that warm little restaurant, slurping down ox bone soup, actually had me considering giving up chicken soup with matzoh balls as my go to penicillin. No joke, Yang Ban makes a damn good bowl of soup. But I had to stop short of declaring it the best in L.A. because (and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this) I hadn’t actually been to any other sul lung tang places in L.A.

So on Monday, with the weather cold and rainy (aka sul lung tang weather), I decided to head to K-Town for a double dose of soup… hitting up two places recommended in the comments by my buddy Matt.

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Manna Korean BBQ Opens Banchan Buffet in DTLA


If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a bit obsessed with all you can eat buffets.  Whether it’s Chinese food in Hollywood, Japanese food in Little Tokyo, Brazilian meats in Culver City, or Japanese/Chinese seafood in West L.A., I’m always down for a good challenge.  I like all you can eat Korean BBQ as well (obviously), although I do enjoy the standard steam table set up of a good buffet. The quantity.  The variety.  The challenge.  It’s like a 3 round UFC title bout. Me vs. The Buffet. It’s why I was willing to pay an unheard-of-for-me $17 (!!?!?!) to eat at Hansong Buffet in Koreatown.  It was a lot to shell out, but I can confidently say that place has not made money on me.

That being said I’d rather not make a habit of eating at $17 all you can eat Korean buffets… so when my good buddy Matt told me that a new Korean BBQ place had opened Downtown with a $9 all you can eat lunch buffet, only one thing came to mind.  Oh baby, you know what I like!

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Lunch Links (The “Chicharrones Make Everything Better” Edition)

Banh Mi from ink.sack. Photo courtesy of Adam Roberts.