Archive for July 2013

7 Reasons to Hate L.A. Lunching (The “Most Controversial Thing You’ve Ever Read About Doughnuts” Edition)

I try to be positive here on Midtown Lunch… and I freakin’ love this city.  The food is amazing, and there’s no better place to be a “Midtown Lunch’er”.    But as much as I love most of the food in L.A. (and will defend it to the death against any outsiders, or natives with an inferiority complex) there are some things about lunching in this town that really annoy me.  Here are 7 of them, LAist style, for your enjoyment…

1. There is so much about this photo that gets me super excited.  Finding a gang that I would truly want to be a member of?  Check. All you can eat? Check. Under $10?  Check!  The bad news?  The “order whatever you want off the menu (minus seafood dishes) for just $9.99″ doesn’t start until 3pm.  Is it too late to get my dues back?

2. Is there some kind of electromagnetic field that exists between Downtown and Santa Monica that makes it impossible for Vietnamese restaurants to do the simplest things right. I can spot at least 5 things wrong with this bún.  Can you?  (Spoiler: it’s not the spring rolls.  They’re actually the best part about this new place…)

More haterade, plus the most controversial thing you’ve ever read about doughnuts, is after the jump…

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Food & Wine’s Where to Eat in Los Angeles

Hart & the Hunter. Photo by Rick Poon

This might surprise some people, but not all of my meals are eaten between Noon and 2pm and cost less than $10.  I also enjoy the great over $10 restaurants that Los Angeles has to offer, and to prove it here’s a piece I did for this month’s issue of Food & Wine Magazine that highlights 10 places to eat in L.A. right now. Enjoy!

Genwa’s New La Cienega Location Has a Few Little Surprises


Let me be the first to say thank you to Gyu Kaku for your years of service.  While your food has never been worth going out of the way for, your branch on La Cienega provided a fun option in Beverly Hills to people who like grilling their own meats and grilling their own smores.  Thank you, that is, but your services are no longer needed.  Here’s your engraved watch, enjoy your retirement.  Because now that Genwa has opened up their second location across the street, there is really no reason for anybody to ever go to Gyu Kaku again- unless you really are some kind of smores obsessed maniac.

Seeing as how Genwa’s first location is located on Miracle Mile, just outside Koreatown, and its decor and menu is decidedly inviting to white people,  it’s no surprise to see them expand into Beverly Hills.  But their quality meats and unreal variety of banchan make it a genuinely great option for Korean food lovers of all levels.  In other words, Beverly Hills is really lucky to have this place.

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Adam Perry Lang’s Backlot BBQ Brings Serious Barbecue to Hollywood


I don’t know exactly when this happened but at some point in the last year NYC barbecue chef Adam Perry Lang (founder of Daisy May’s BBQ) quietly moved to Los Angeles! Apparently he’s got a lot of different ideas for potential permanent projects here in L.A., but our first taste of how lucky we are to have him here is a lunchtime bbq pop up that opened two weeks ago in the parking lot behind Jimmy Kimmel’s studio.  APL set up a smoker in the shadow of Jimmy Kimmel’s outdoor stage and is serving “Serious Barbecue” Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11am to 3pm.  Each day he only offers one option, but that option will change each week.  Last week it was beef ribs w/ Texas toast.

Check it out after the jump…

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Lunch Links (The “We Were Nominated by L.A. Weekly for Best Food Blog!?!” Edition)

A little bit of quick news before we get to this week’s lunch links.  Midtown Lunch: LA has been nominated in the Best Food Blog Category of the L.A. Weekly’s 2013 Web Awards!  Our competitors are all awesome, and a few are hugely popular sites we link to on a weekly basis, so we don’t give ourselves much chance of a victory. But if you love us enough to vote (or hate one of the other blogs we’re up against so much you want to keep them from winning) you can do that here.  Thanks.  Now onto this week’s lunch links…

  • CULVER CITY Honey’s Kettle makes some good fried chicken [Mattatouille]
  • DTLA Horse Thief BBQ is now open in the Grand Central Market [Squid Ink]
  • DTLA 3 new food spots are coming to Figat7th [Eater]
  • PALMS New Vietnamese spot Phorage is now open [Eater]
  • WEST LA Daikokuya is soft open but probably won’t open for lunch until Sept. [Eater]
  • VENICE Pork Belly’s Sandwich Shop is now open [Squid Ink]
  • EVENT Luckyrice returns next Saturday w/ food from Starry Kitchen, Spice Table, Night + Market, and more [Luckyrice]

Top Round Roast Beef is One of Mid-City’s Best New Lunches


It will probably surprise nobody to learn that there was a time, before my lunching was professionalized, when hot roast beef sandwiches served with fries from a beachside shack was one of my once a week go-to lunches. Kelly’s Roast Beef on Revere Beach was about a ten minute drive from the radio station I worked at, on the north shore of Boston.  And we made that drive often.  Not just for roast beef sandwiches of course. On the days you were feeling particularly rich there were also lobster rolls, whole fried clams, and pretty much everything else you’d expect to find at a New England seafood shack. Some days it was cold and windy, and keeping the pelicans away from your fries was a constant struggle.  But sitting out on the beach on a work day eating a roast beef sandwich is still probably one of my top 10 weekday work lunches of all time.

So imagine how excited I was to hear about Top Round Roast Beef, the new roast beef sandwich place on La Brea and Olympic.  In the month or two since they’ve opened I’ve heard a lot of talk of it being a “better version of Arby’s”.  But I have no love or nostalgia for the bologna of roast beef.  I was hoping it would return me to the beach.

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Talking Quesaritos and Shophouse w/ Nate Appleman: Remember when I kind of went off about the Chipotle's off the menu quesarito a few months back?  Well, last week we had Chipotle's Culinary Manager Nate Appleman on the Food is the New Rock podcast, and even though we normally talk music with chefs I couldn't help but bring it up.  Hopefully I made it up to him by talking about how great Shophouse is.  Hopefully.