Sincere Apologies to Apple Pan…


I was asked to be one of the judges in L.A. Weekly’s Burger Bracket and ended up drawing Apple Pan vs. Pie n Burger. Went to both  around July 4th weekend and while I know that Apple Pan has a ton of fans, I really think Pie N Burger makes a better burger. (And before you shit on me, go to each and try a plain cheeseburger with nothing else on it.)

Next up: Pie N Burger vs. Father’s Office.  Anyone care to chime in?  This could actually be a tougher one than it appears on paper…

Add Dune and Madcapra to Your L.A. Falafel List

Apparently today is International Falafel Day (who knew!?) and our good friends over at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded us of this great falafel round up we posted last year.  If you’re looking for some lunchtime falafel action today, all of those places are still rolling strong.  But here’s two new spots that have opened since then that could both lay claim to serving the best falafel in L.A. right now.


When Dune first opened in Atwater Village at the beginning of this year a very specific kind of food writer induced hype commenced, and for good reason.  It’s good.  Really good.  This tiny storefront with less than 10 stools serves up the kind of the things you might expect from a new school Mediterranean take out spot in Atwater. There’s a beautifully simplistic blood orange salad with black olives, tabouleh with organic gluten free quinoa, and a pickled beet sandwich with sheep’s milk feta, an 8 minute egg, and shoestring potatoes.  But the insanely good flatbread makes the two pita sandwiches the thing to order. The lamb meatball one is surprisingly great, especially considering that Dune’s owners also own the vegetarian Elf Cafe.  But today isn’t National Meatball Day.  It’s National Falafel Day, so you’ll want their green falafel sandwich topped with house made pickles, tahini, hummus, tahini, and shoestring potatoes.  Did I mention the flatbread is amazing?

Even newer is Madcapra, a falafel stand that opened recently in the Grand Central Market cut from the same cheffy cloth as Dune.

Read more »


Cube Replacement Pizza Romana Will Far Exceed Your Expectations

Pizza romana

Dominoes atrocities aside, pizza and fried chicken are not exactly two things you might associate with each other. New York style pizza and buffalo wings? Sure. But individual size, quick fired Italian style pizzas alongside southern style spicy fried chicken doesn’t necessarily feel as simpatico.  After all, you wouldn’t expect 800 Degrees to turn out a delicious fried chicken any more than you’d expect Popeye’s to start selling a perfectly cooked margherita. And yet that’s exactly what you’ll find at the newly opened Pizza Romana on La Brea.

Formerly Cube Marketplace and Cafe, and still owned by the same people, this new fast casual pizzeria is clearly meant to compete with the new wave of quick serve pizza joints that have sprung up all over L.A. in the past 3 years. The pizzas are mostly $9 and $10, and come out quick with ingredients like proscuitto, broccolini, and buffalo mozzarella. But there is one important Cube holdover that differentiates Pizza Romana from 800 Degrees, Pitfire, Blaze, and the rest.

Their fried chicken.

Read more »

Here’s Everything You Want to Know About L.A. Poke


If you follow me on Instagram than you are probably worried that I’m giving myself mercury poisoning know I’ve been obsessed with poke, the Hawaiian version of tuna ceviche that has been spreading through Los Angeles like it’s food trucks in 2010. Nobody knows exactly what has led to this #pokexplosion (see what I did there?) but it’s likely a combination of the ease with which poke can be Chipotle-fied, and the inevitability of the idea.  While nobody wants to officially confirm it, it’s likely that a lot of different people had been contemplating the idea of a modern, fast casual poke chain, and once one person announced that they were launching, everybody else kicked their concepts into high gear.  Since serving poke doesn’t require an enormous kitchen investment (no cooking = no hood) it was easy for all of these concepts to open in such a short period of time. So, there you have it. #pokexplosion.  As a lover of poke, it’s best not to think about it too much and just enjoy our good fortune!

When most people ask me which of the new places is the best, I usually answer “Whichever is closest to you.” I kind of love them all, for different reasons. And, surprise!  You do get what you pay for.  I made a map of all the new poke places for Eater so you can find the one closest to you. I pretty much haven’t met a poke I didn’t like, but if push comes to shove (and by that I mean “If DineLA is going to pay me money to pick my 10 favorites”), here’s a list of the 10 Best Pokes in Los Angeles, new and old, according to yours truly.

And if you're too lazy for all that reading, and would prefer to hear me talking about poke, I'll be on KCRW’s Good Food talking about all of this stuff on Saturday morning at 11am.

Your First Look at Ramen Champ’s New Lunch Menu


After weeks of random on again/off again lunch service testing, and a two weekend Coachella pop up with sister restaurant Egg Slut, Ramen Champ is now officially open for lunch in the same Chinatown mall that houses Pok Pok and Chego.  The menu is pretty simple. For $10 you can get the vegetarian shitake shio ramen, topped with scallions, roasted mushrooms, and a seasoned egg.

Read more »

Sponsored: Score a FREE Zagat Guide for Rating & Reviewing L.A. Restaurants

Know Los Angeles restaurants like the back of your hand? Zagat is looking for local experts to review L.A. Restaurants on their site. Not only could your comments be quoted in an official Zagat review, but everybody who reviews just one restaurant will get 8 weeks of free access.  Complete 10 or more reviews and you’ll receive a free copy of Zagat’s 2015 Top Restaurants guide. You need to submit your reviews by June 11th, 2015. So what are you waiting for?

Click here to get started>>

5 Reasons L.A. Should Be Excited For Shake Shack

“If Shake Shack doesn’t announce this year that they’re opening in California, that is a huge slap in the face to Los Angeles.”

- My friend Garrett, 2 weeks ago

Well, crisis averted.  My friend can put away his satisfaction demanding white handkerchief, because this morning New York burger chain Shake Shack announced that it will be opening its first Southern California location in West Hollywood at some point in 2016.  Having lived in L.A. and New York for a practically equal amount of time I have much love for both In N Out Burger and Shake Shack.  I’ve even argued that comparing the two is a silly exercise.  In N Out Burger is half the price and a west coast staple whose awesomeness will never be diminished. But Shake Shack is objectively better. It’s also twice as expensive. You don’t have to like it more than In N Out (there’s no arguing with personal taste), but take the price and nostalgia out of it and Shake Shack is kind of better.

Don’t believe me?  Here are 5 reasons even the most hard core In N Out fan should be excited for Shake Shack…

Read more »