Archive for 'Westwood'

Wakasan Now Open For Lunch; Serving Ramen and More in Westwood


If you like the chef’s choice style of Japanese omakase (me!), you’re a mildly adventurous eater (also me!) and you’re a cheap bastard (guilty again!) chances are you’ve heard of Wakasan in Westwood. Nobody would call it the absolute best omakase in a city that houses Nozawa, Urasawa, and Kiyokawa but it is without a doubt the best value. For $35 you are treated to a tasty mix of raw and cooked izakaya style small plates, exquisitely presented in a laid back setting that could just as easily be serving spicy tuna rolls and chicken teriyaki. Sure there are more expensive options available ($55, $75, $95) but those must be ordered a day in advance. In other words, the chef isn’t looking to up-sell and sticker shock is not a concern. This place is meant to be a bargain, and it really is.

So you can imagine how excited I was when my buddy Sam told me that they recently started serving lunch, and it turns out, unsurprisingly, to be just as much of a steal as their dinner. Wakasan’s take on ramen and the bento box… after the jump.

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Fat Sal’s Brings a Bit of Rutgers Grease to Westwood


As you may or may not know I am a big fan of putting fries on gyros, on falafel sandwiches, or in burritos.  So it’s not to hard to imagine that I would also like a sandwich with… say… onion rings on top.  Makes sense, right?  And if I liked french fries and onion rings on a sandwich, it would also stand to reason that chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks would also be a welcome addition.  I didn’t lose you did I?  Because that’s precisely what you get at the grease trucks, a Rutgers institution that has been serving up over the top, appetizer-samplers-as-a-gigantic-sandwich for almost 15 years.  It doesn’t take much of an imagination to know why a chicken finger + mozzarella stick + french fries + marinara sandwich would appeal to a college student at 2 in the morning, but I don’t see why this can’t be enjoyed during daylight hours!

So when I heard that Fat Sal’s in Westwood was serving up their version of the sandwiches you get at the famous Rutgers grease trucks, I was pretty freakin’ excited.

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Do I Need to Eat All the Chili Cheese Fries in Westwood? Because I Will Do It.

Yesterday the L.A. Times reported that two UCLA basketball players got food poisoning from “late-night chicken chili cheese fries” in Westwood, and I couldn’t help but wonder what place they ate at!  Early theories have centered around Tommy Taco (aka the new Buck Fiddy), which is known for their dream fries… but they don’t have “chicken chili cheese fries” on the menu.  Ditto for Maloney’s, and Jose Bernstein… and The Stand isn’t open late so they’re out.  One possible culprit? Fat Sal’s, the sandwich shop homage to the Rutgers grease trucks on Gayley.   They’re open late, and have something called “buffalo chicken cheese fries” on their menu- although I guess technically that’s not chicken chili, is it. Regardless I might have to go… um… sacrifice myself over a plate of their buffalo chicken cheese fries.  You know… for science. Of course I’ll also have to eat one of their delicious sounding roast beef sandwiches topped with mozzarella sticks, onion rings, fries, and brown gravy as well. You don’t think that will compromise the integrity of the “experiment” do you?

Attari Opens Sit Down “Grill” Next to Sandwich Shop


Big news in the world of Westwood Persian food! Attari Sandwich Shop, the (not so) hidden gem on Wilkins Ave. just off of Westwood Blvd., has opened up a sit down restaurant just to the right of their cozy courtyard. Attari has long been famous for their unique sandwiches (kuku, kotlets, or tongue anybody?) and delicious kebabs, but the two month old Attari Grill gives them a chance to showcase a more upscale menu- featuring a whole host of stews more similar to their incredibly popular ab goosht (which is only served on Fridays at the sandwich shop.)

And you know what the best part is? Despite a way pricier menu, the “Grill” has a bunch of lunch specials for under $10. Naturally, I had to try all of them.

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Gushi Makes Me Wish I Went to UCLA


A few weeks ago Bibigo opened in Westwood Village to much fanfare, and while I mostly liked the food it didn’t make me as excited as it would have had it been… how to put this… dirtier. So when I saw Gushi (“the long standing beloved Korean shack on Gayley”) casually mentioned in this review of Bibigo I knew it had to be my next Westwood lunch.

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Bibigo: Your First Look at Westwood’s New Korean McDonald’s


Oh, kooky fast food concepts imported from Korea!  I wish I knew what to think of you.  Sometimes you are so amazing you change the way we look at a classic food we thought we knew well (Kyochon anybody?).  Other times, your eccentricity is part of your charm (hello, School Food!)  But often you make us just step back and say “WTF?” (Isaac Toast, I still still don’t know what to make of you.)   So when Eater reported that Bibigo! was opening in Westwood Village last week, hoping to be the “”McDonald’s of bibimbap” I didn’t know what to think.  Claiming to be the McDonald’s of anything is not a plus in my book (it’s like saying you want to be the Taco Bell of Jamaican food.) And if you  in Koreatown across the street from, say, this place or this place or this place you’d have no need for Bibigo.  But if you work in Westwood, a fast food Korean rice bowl place sounds like a pretty great idea.

Check it out after the jump…

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Sak’s Teriyaki is a Zillion Times Better Than I Expected (and My New Favorite Westwood Lunch)

Los Angeles - Sak's Teriyaki

Westwood has no shortage of teriyaki.  Whether it’s for the office workers on Wilshire, or the students of UCLA, if you want some cheap chicken covered in a sweet and goopy Japanese(ish) sauce, you are totally in luck in this part of town.  San Sai and California Teriyaki Bowl are the most visible in the heart of Westwood Village, but for the old school anti-chain hole in the wall Midtown Lunch seekers there is only one option: Sak’s Teriyaki!  I first heard of this place back in April, when Lunch’er Steve recommended it as not great, but “a great Midtown Lunch”.

I finally made it to Sak’s yesterday, and I don’t know if it was the low expectations or what- but great is precisely the word I would choose to describe it!

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