Archive for 'Salads'

Gjelina Take Away’s Meatball Sando Will Bankrupt Me


My cheap bastard-ness knows no boundaries… but I will admit something to you, provided you never mention it again.  Once, I had lunch at Gjelina.  *Cue shriek, followed by breaking glass.*  It was my cousin’s birthday, and you can’t get all cheap with birthdays, lord knows I’ve tried. (“Hey sweetheart… what do you say we go to In N Out for your birthday! There’s a free hat and stickers in it for you…”)  Plus, as much as I love Poke Poke and Lemonade, sometimes you want a nice sit down lunch in Venice.  So where else are you going to go?  Cha Cha Chicken?  Uh… thanks, but no thanks.


Long story short, the lunch was great.  So when I heard they were opening Gjelina Take Away, a breakfast and lunchtime annex, I got pretty excited.  Surely the prices would come down a little.  After all there’s no seating, unless you count milk crates in the alley alongside the restaurant.  That’s got to be worth a small discount, right!?

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DTLA’s Esaan Thai Gets Me To Eat a Pad Thai Salad!?


Back in January I was pretty excited to read about a new Thai place Downtown called Esaan: A Taste of Thai.  From the sounds of the Squid Ink article (which I now realize I might have only skimmed) it sounded like Essan would be perfect for Downtown lunchers who didn’t want to make the trek up the 101 to Thai Town.  The name didn’t hurt either.  I’m no expert on the regional cuisines of Thailand but “Esaan” sounds pretty authentic- right?  Inclusion in Saveur’s 24 Hours of Thai Food in L.A. sealed the deal- I needed to check this place out.

Sadly, on my first visit I realized the truth.  There is no mistaking Essan for a real taste of Thailand (or even Thai Town.)  It’s a straight up fast casual sandwich and salad place that transforms Thai (and Vietnamese) dishes into yuppified lunches that would be deemed acceptable by the Downtown L.A. lunch crowd.   Case in point?  The “Pad Thai Salad”, a salad featuring “classic pad thai ingredients” tossed with spaghetti (yes, you read that right.)   It could easily be considered an abomination, except for one thing.  I kind of loved it.

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Lemonade Demonstrates the Transformative Properties of Stewed Meats

I remember my very first experience with Lemonade… not the drink, obviously, but the popular picnic themed (?) lunch spot with four locations around Los Angeles (Venice, WeHo, & 2 locations Downtown). I was walking on Abbott Kinney with a buddy, who pointed out their Venice location to me and suggested we poke our heads in. At least I thought he was a buddy. What’s with the salads, friend-o? You know I’m not into the whole “I live in L.A. and love to eat quinoa” bullsh- wait a second. What’s that to the left of the salads? Are those dutch ovens? Filled with various meats that have been tendered up slowly so that the fat actually remains in the dish? And not just one, but 6 different stews?! Alright trendy salad and lemonade place. You have got my attention.

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