Category Archives: Los Angeles Area

Mikey Eats Authentic Lebanese

So, with a wounded back, I laid on the couch watching Deadliest Warrior re-runs and pondering if a Ninja really could beat a Spartan.  After seeing the evidence, it was clear and I was damn hungry and unable to go anywhere.  Long ago, I hurt myself stopping a greyhound bus from blowing up.  See, if the bus went over 50mph it would explode and if it went under 50mph it would explode.  So I had to get to work, jump some freeway gaps, do a few tricks with the camera and then get all the people off the bus. Anyway, I hurt my back while doing a double take at how Keanu Reeves became a popular actor.  So I’m laying here and since I had a friend coming over I begged and pleaded for her to bring me something to eat.  I actually didn’t have to beg all that much.  She’s really nice.  So she brought me food from…..wait for it……wait for it….. Jabal Lebnan.

Jabal Lebnan – On Sunland Blvd in Sun Valley

So this was my first taste of Lebanese food.   I was excited.   My friend brought me Beef Shawarma, rice, the house salad, garlic sauce, and hummus.  I also got to try the falafel, fresh pita bread, and some of their chicken.  I love throwing everything in a pita and eating it like a taco.  You can easily do it with this stuff and it’s really good.  I loved the flavor in the beef.  Though it was a little drier than I normally like it, it was still very good.  I know almost nothing about middle eastern cuisine so it was a real education for me.  I was trying to pick things out and garlic was very prevalent along with lemon juice and maybe some allspice.  There was a sauce to try and it tasted like it was yogurt-based.  It was also very good.  I loved the long rice and the veggies too.

Sorry just a menu this time

The falafel was not for me.  I’ve heard that they are very popular and I say have fun.  I’d rather get in a falafel ball fight with them.  I’d love to get a gun that could shoot them. I guess I’m just not into hard crunchy fava beans and chickpeas.

I’ve had hummus before at a couple Greek places and theirs was pretty good.  It seemed to have all the basics: garbanzo beans, parsley, lemon juice, tahini.  It was good. But just like mashed potatoes here, I imagine if you can’t make hummus over there then you need to move to New York and live with Zohan.  So Lets Go!

Just a side note: tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds.  The seeds are hulled and roasted.  This stuff is big apparently (not Oprah final episode big, but at least American Idol Big).

From the look of the menu they have plenty of dishes, a wide range of prices, and they even do the Hookah thing.  I’m a cigar man myself, but if you people enjoy it, Hookah yourself crazy.

For those of you who are really into Mediterranean, middle eastern, and cuisine from that part of the world, hopefully you can give some more insight.  The only thing I can do is tell you I liked it.  I’d go there for sure, and I would love to try some other dishes minus the falafel.  I think they buy their pita bread rather than make it, so maybe someone else who has been there can confirm that for me.

If you’re in the area and want to experiment give Jabal Lebnan a try.  Maybe my friend Bernadette can give you some more insight on the customer service, because this was simply delivery for me.  It was brought right to me with a smile and it allowed me to contemplate why Keanu Reeves is still getting work.

Thanks again to Bernadette for bringing me dinner (and great customer service).  I’m hopin’ she becomes our sideline reporter for EMC so we can really start widening our turf.

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Filed under Sun Valley

Kitchen Nightmares: La Frite

Gordon hits Ventura Blvd to take on La Frite, a french restaurant in the Valley.  38 years after La Frite was opened,
the owner is now trying to pass it on to his kids who get along as well as me and big words.  From what we learn
at the beginning, the son feels like he should be sitting in the driver’s seat running the joint and the daughter has no business being there.  It seems pretty much nobody wants the daughter there.

Continue reading

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Filed under Everywhere, Los Angeles Area, On TV

Choices Buffet at the Pala Casino

by Mikey

I thought that it would be a good time to add buffets to the wide array of food on EMC.  On a trip to Huntington Beach, my Uncle took us out through Temecula to the Pala Indian Casino to try out the newly remodeled Choices.  How can a fat guy pass up on all you can eat?

Choices Buffet – Pala Casino near Temecula

Choices is to the right of the main entrance to the Casino.  It’s actually a really well lit and beautiful dining area.  The food is spaced out, giving you lots of elbow room, and the food is categorized pretty well.  It’s definitely had a very modern facelift and resembles more of a high end Vegas buffet rather then the Laughlin spaghetti oh’s and mashed tater buffets.

Choices has one of the coolest features in a restaurant that I’ve ever seen: a steak bar.  A place where steak exists in different forms and cuts.  It’s just like how heaven should be.  All I need now is Megan Fox asking me if I want mine medium rare.  Let’s just go ahead and say “Yeah, Mike had him a few steaks.”  After the third one, my heart kinda started to slow down a bit, but I hurried and got a taco with hot sauce to get it up to speed again. Continue reading

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Filed under Temecula

Taverna Tony – The Man, The Myth, The Restaurant

by Brian

I don’t have a ton of experience with Greek food.  But I can honestly say that Taverna Tony is the best Greek restaurant that I’ve eaten at, so far.  I mean no disrespect to the Greek at the Harbor.  You guys are great and make us feel welcome whenever we drop in, but the meal I had the other night absolutely knocked my socks off.

Taverna Tony – Just off PCH south of Pepperdine, in Malibu.

The location of this restaurant is great.  It’s in a cute little shopping center, full of metaphysical bookshops and boutique clothing stores.  It’s quintessential Malibu.  Plus it’s just across the street from one of my favorite bookstores and the infamous Malibu Starbucks.  It’s down a sidestreet though, so it’s not as susceptible to the noise of PCH traffic.  It’s also a fairly large restaurant, with a nice little patio for evening dining.

The best thing about the restaurant, besides the delicious food, is Tony, himself.  I’ve never been to a restaurant which said so much about the character and charisma of one man, like this one did.  I got the opportunity to meet the man and find out a little bit about what makes Taverna Tony such a special place.  One of the first things that I found out was that much of the decor had been hand-picked and imported directly from Greece.  This includes the rustic tables and chairs which give the restaurant and authentic, yet comfortable, feel.   Continue reading

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Filed under Los Angeles Area, Malibu

Toi on Sunset – Rockin’ Thai

by Brian

It had been a while since I’d had some good Asian food, and since my Asian food guru, Adam, has been busy lately, I decided to hit a really cool Thai spot on sunset that a couple of my coworkers had suggested.  Actually, they came with me and it was awesome.  Also, it’s been quite a while since I wrote about a restaurant on the night I went, so maybe this post will be better than most because everything is still pretty fresh in my mind.  Maybe I’ll even eat the leftovers while I write…

Toi on Sunset – On Sunset Blvd., west of Vine in Hollywood.

TOI

There was so much to like about this place that I hardly know where to begin.  The last Thai place I reviewed was the perfect spot if you’re coming over the hill from Hollywood.  This place is the place you go when you’re too drunk to drive over that hill. Continue reading

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Filed under Hollywood, Los Angeles Area

Urth Caffe – The Center of the Coffee Universe

by Brian

All this bad eating has been catching up with me lately.  All the ribs, burritos and desserts have left me in a food coma that has pretty much taken away my will to write.  But still, we soldier on, because there are so many more places that we need to try and places that you need to know about.

In the next month, I will be moving to San Diego and hopefully giving you guys some great insights into the food down there.  Mikey will continue to hold it down in the Ventura/L.A. areas and we may even be looking to add on some freelancers.  I’ll leave that last part up to Mikey, since he’s the brains of the operation.  Instead, I’ll just tell you about a little coffee shop I visited last weekend in Santa Monica.

Urth Caffe – On Main St. in Santa Monica

I think there are a few of these around, but it’s not a big chain so I figured I could review it for the site.  This place is like a bar, except instead of booze and drunken wannabes it has organic coffees and caffeinated wannabes.  It’s actually a pretty cool place and I stopped in with some friends to grab a coffee and some dessert.

This is in Santa Monica, right on main, so it’s a trendy spot.  They even have a valet to park your car for you.  I really wish Mikey and I had pulled up in his fly hoopty instead of showing up in my buddy’s tricked out truck.  But maybe it was better that way.  I felt like we only got into the place due to the coolness of my friend’s ride. (Thanks, J)

This place is hipster central.  It’s swarming with emo kids and their Risky Business Ray Bans and cute girls meeting their “producer” boyfriends.  But if you can get past all that, I think it’s worth a visit.  First off, their coffee and teas are excellent, but the main reason I’d go is just to eat some more of their awesome desserts.

urthdesserts Continue reading

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Filed under Los Angeles Area, Santa Monica

Bondi – Australian for BBQ

by Brian

I recently got the opportunity to check out a nice little BBQ place in Venice.  My buddy Jason told me about Bondi BBQ and graciously offered to help me eat their food last weekend.  I also got the chance to meet his awesome fiance, Angelica, and I must say that as far as girls go, she’s pretty rad.

Bondi BBQ – On Windward Ave. right by the beach in Venice

Bondi BBQ

Because this place came so highly recommended, I had high expectations going into the meal.  This was also my first trip to Venice as an adult, so I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect.  Turns out that it’s pretty much the same as it was when I was a kid, with plenty of awesome people watching to be had.

The restaurant, itself, is not very impressive.  It’s pretty much all bench seating and the tables you see out front are where we ended up eating.  The weather is usually pretty good down there, so sitting outside is a great option because it can get a little stuffy inside.  They also have a back patio, but when we sat down back there, to look at the menus, we quickly noticed that there were way too many flies hovering around to risk eating there.  I really hope they get that sorted out, because if it were a little cleaner, it would have been a nice place to enjoy the meal.

We ended up ordering a combo meal called the Tail Gator, which included one pound of tri-tip, one BBQ chicken, a full rack of ribs, two sides and two loaves of garlic bread.  The total, with soft drinks and tax, came out to about 90 bucks.  So it’s obviously not super cheap, but considering the amount of food we got, I thought it was fair.  They say that the Tail Gator serves 3-5 people, but I think you’re probably stretching it a bit to feed 5. Continue reading

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Filed under Los Angeles Area, Venice