I’m not sure if this is a sign of Bistro Laurent’s impending doom, or a brilliant case of two savvy restauranteurs helping each other to survive, but an all you can eat Indian restaurant called Mama’s Indian Kitchen is now sharing the Bistro Laurent space on Sepulveda in Culver City. I suppose it makes sense. Owned by brunch specialist(?) Laurent Triqueneaux, the bistro never seemed to be open for the first half of the week anyway, so why not turn the space over to an Indian buffet concept on the days they’re closed. It’s a fool proof scheme! And the best part is, it’s $9.95 all you can eat lunch and dinner (during the half of the week they’re open.)
Archive for 'Culver City/Mar Vista'
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…
In a terrible blow to Food Court fans and Westside Korean fried chicken lovers, the Kyochon in the Fox Hills Mall Food Court has closed. As a food court fanatic and Korean fried chicken fan who lives on the westside, it’s a double blow. It’s hard to believe that, with all the complaining people do about the lack of authentic Asian food on the Westside, Kyochon couldn’t survive. What’s even more upsetting is the realization that if Kyochon couldn’t make it, what chance does 101 Noodle Express have. And, really, what chance does any great food court in L.A. have. Fox Hills Mall was supposed to be that beacon of light, showing the path to other crappy mall food courts (I’m looking at you Beverly Center.) It’s enough to set a guy off…
6 more things I hate about L.A. right now, are after the jump.
The popular Colorado burger chain Smashburger has invaded Los Angeles, generating the requisite amount of excitement from this burger obsessed city. And while there are some who may have enjoyed a BBQ, bacon and cheddar burger on a trip to Denver, the chain is mostly foreign to these parts. So when a new location popped up in my home neighborhood of Culver City (on Venice and Overland) I entered with a completely open mind, and a hungry stomach.
When your walk in, your eye is naturally drawn to the “Our Favorites” menu, which contains what one would assume are the most popular or recommended menu items. But here’s the thing. The first two items on that menu (the “Classic Smashburger” and the “All American Bacon Cheeseburger”) are for total idiots. After two visits and some serious menu studying, I believe I have discovered some pretty large menu loopholes. Now, mind you, I’m not saying Smashburger is bad. On the contrary, it’s actually pretty great. They get a great crust on the burgers by (you guessed it) smashing them on the griddle and their menu features the kind of toppings that have made Five Guys and Fatburger so popular. But I’ve checked and double checked the numbers, run the stats through various ordering models and come to the conclusion that ordering one of those two burgers might be the dumbest move at Smashburger (despite being recommended as a “favorite” by the menu.)
It looks like Zam Zam Market isn’t the only South Asian restaurant in Culver City with some big news these days. Thanks to this comment we were tipped off to the fact that Bawarchi, the great Vegetarian steam table famously run by a serious “Soup Nazi” Chef of sorts, is now offering meat options on their previously veggie only menu. We have long contended that Culver City has the best Indian food in Los Angeles, and Bawarchi is far and away the best of the point to what you want Vegetarian places that seem to be ubiquitous on Venice and Washington Boulevards these days. The only thing that could make it better? Meat. Or so I thought.
As amazing as the food at Zam Zam Market is, even I’ll admit there are a number of things holding it back from becoming a go to spot in L.A. for Pakistani food. First, the food is too amazing. Well, too authentic anyway. (Aka, not made for white people.) Most Angelenos are probably not interested in picking through a biriyani minefield, trying to avoid bones, cardamom pods, whole peppercorns and red chilies (although I’m proud to say my 3 1/2 year old son is not one of those people!) They’ve also got the weirdest hours- for anybody who isn’t intimately familiar with the prayer schedule at the mosque just up the street whose congregants make up the bulk of the customer base at Zam Zam. Aaaand there’s the big Dept of Health “C” on the door, the overrun by zombies decor, and the lack of a fixed menu. Did I mention the food is really freakin spicy?
Well, it appears as if a few of those issues have been fixed! As of last week Zam Zam Market is now open 7 days a week from 11am to 9pm. And they’ve added a bunch of new menu items, including a ridiculously huge $9 mix plate that you have to see to believe.
If you are a fan of ten-don but haven’t been to Hannosuke, the new tempura specialist in the Mar Vista Mitsuwa, what the hell is wrong with you!? Seriously. You need to go ASAP. And if your excuse was “I don’t really like eel or fish” or “I’m a vegetarian”, that’s not going to hold water anymore either because Hannosuke has added two more ten-don bowls to their menu. One replaces the fish with extra shrimp for $8.95, and one is all vegetables.
Check out the new vegetarian bowl after the jump…
It has been my long held position, and the position of Midtown Lunch, that dipping something in batter and deep frying it will always improve the original item (hot dogs I’m looking at you.) Sure, even I will draw the line at candy bars and sticks of butter- after all, I’m not a Republican. But even the most progressive of crunchy, granola bar eating vegetarian liberals will have to admit that treating vegetables to a spa-like batter treatment, followed by a hot oil bath, is the most humane death you could give to something that grows out of the ground.
So, naturally, when Grub Street announced yesterday that Tokyo tempura specialist Hannousuke was now open in the Mitsuwa Marketplace I became as excited as a… well… a fat guy who likes things that are battered and deep fried.