Archive for 'Culver City/Mar Vista'

East Borough’s Lunch Menu is Expensive and Pho-less, But Pretty Great


If you live or work in Culver City and greeted the news of East Borough’s arrival with a healthy dose of skepticism, you are forgiven.  After all, we’ve been through this before.  Chef with a pedigree, taking on Vietnamese food from a fresh angle, and using quality ingredients are all things we heard back in July when Phorage took over the space left in the hooptie exhaust of Chego’s move to Chinatown. Phorage has turned into a reliable neighborhood option for a decent lunch or take out dinner, but its  food is just a few garnishes short of making it a real destination restaurant, leaving it in the worst purgatory possible- not interesting enough to warrant the prices or the hype, but not authentic enough to keep you from craving that drive down to Westminster.

So the big question is, will East Borough be any different?

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Guerrilla Tacos Now Serving Breakfast Burritos (and They’re Pretty Amazing)

You can get a lot of good food news following our Instagram account @midtownlunchLA.  Like, for example, this… 

If you haven’t been to the Guerrilla Tacos Truck recently (or ever), the gourmet taco slinger that’s been outside of Handsome Coffee a few days a week since last year, here’s a pretty great reason to check it out: they’re now serving breakfast burritos during their 9am to 2pm service!  There’s one $10 burrito option per day, and the filling will likely be familiar to anybody who has had Wes Avila’s gourmet tacos before.  Think, chorizo and sweet potato, lamb shank with pickled onions, and braised oxtail. Some will think it’s a tad bit pricey for a breakfast burrito that is admittedly large, but doesn’t come with a drink or chips or anything on the side, but one bite and you’ll likely forget about all that.  And the best part is, there’s great coffee just steps away from both of their breakfast/lunch stops.

For breakfast and lunch the truck can be found on Wednesdays parked outside of Cognoscenti Coffee in Culver City from 9am to 2pm.  And Handsome Coffee Roasters in DTLA on Tuesday and Fridays from 9am to 2pm, and they’re adding Saturdays and Sunday starting on November 2nd.

  • Cognoscenti Coffee, 6114 Washington Blvd, Culver City
  • Handsome Coffee Roasters, 582 Mateo St,  Los Angeles

Your First Look at Kimukatsu’s Layers of Pork

What is it about layers that makes people go insane? Some pastry guy in New York layers croissant dough and deep fries it, and the country goes bonkers. Idiots, I say! They’re losers, right? Why would anybody wait in line for that? And yet… when I heard about Kimukatsu, a famous Japanese pork cutlet chain opening its first two locations in Los Angeles, I had a cronut moment of my own. Maybe it wasn’t as twee as what Dominique Ansel has wreaked, but it was a moment nonetheless. And why was I so excited for the news of this chain? What makes this breaded and deep fried pork cutlet more excited than the excellent pork cutlets you can get at Hurry Curry of Tokyo, Wako Donkasu, or Myeongdong?  Layers.  It’s all about the layers.

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Bistro Laurent Now Sharing Space w/ AYCE Indian Buffet


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.)

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The Fox Hills Mall Kyochon Has Closed (And 6 Other Reasons to Hate L.A. Lunch’ing)

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.

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The Smashburger “Favorites” Menu is For Idiots


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.)

Here’s why.

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Bawarchi Adds Meat to Their Menu And It Makes Me Surprisingly Sad


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.

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