Tonkotsu Ramen @ Daikokuya, West Los Angeles. This bowl of ramen contends for the best bowl of ramen that I’ve ever tasted. I still have a strong allegiance to Ramen Dojo in San Mateo, but Daikokuya is equally sublime, if not a bit more simple. The perfectly-cooked egg reveals a keen attention to detail, and the broth is amazingly good. I ate ramen almost every day when I was in Los Angeles, but this bowl (my first of the trip) really resonated with me, and it continues to do so.
I’ve finally uploaded my photos from my trip to Los Angeles earlier this month. It’s a little strange to go back to a place where I once lived for about 10 years, now that it’s also been about 10 years since I’ve lived there. Though the city’s main infrastructure remains familiar, the details have become a [… read more …]
The 1/4 chicken and two waffles @ Gussie’s, San Francisco (this combo would be known as ‘Scoe’s Special #1 at Roscoe’s in Los Angeles).
When I was producing talk radio back in my early days in Los Angeles, a stop at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles became a weekly Sunday night ritual. Having Roscoe’s as a late-night dining option was truly a godsend, especially since their Pico-La Brea location was midway between K-Town (home of the KLSX studios) and the Los Angeles Westside (where I lived for more than 10 years). Having visited Roscoe’s well over 100 times in my life, I’ll always remember that restaurant as the very model of consistency — always perfect — with devastating fried chicken. The waffles at Roscoe’s were also brilliant, totally by the book, served with the right kind of whipped butter, and accompanied with warm maple syrup.
Since I’ve relocated to [… read more …]
Possibly the best fried chicken ever. Click the photo to almost taste it.
Don’t you just love it when something exceeds your expectations? How often does that even happen anymore? Perhaps cooking professionally has jaded me just a bit. Ever since I’ve been held to high culinary standards — Michelin-star standards — mistakes tend to glare at me, especially when I know that they’re easily fixable. Over the years, I’ve developed a list of pet peeves, but the most common transgression, at least for me, is unseasoned french fries. After all, what are french fries without the salt? Bland, greasy potatoes, that’s what. I know there’s usually salt at the table, but here’s my problem: Any cook who sends out a batch of french fries without seasoning them either just doesn’t care, or they just don’t know any better. And then I jump to ugly conclusions. Well, if [… read more …]
Gateway Market, Emeryville: Adorned with a fantastic mural alongside its parking lot, the Gateway Market is tough to miss on San Pablo Blvd. The artwork has a definite graffiti vibe, but the details are fantastic. Luckily, it hasn't been tagged over. The "W" in Gateway is pictured above (each letter has its own theme). Click on the photo to reveal all of the great flourishes.
Most of these pictures have never appeared on this site, although a couple did appear a few years ago, long before I sharpened my photo-editing skills. Many readers have emailed me about my approach to photography, and I must confess, my only real secret is to simply seek the best lighting possible. Truthfully, I’ve never had any formal photography training, but I did develop an eye for proper lighting while I was working (briefly, almost 15 years ago) as a grip in Los [… read more …]
The Cheeseburger @ Super Burger, Santa Rosa. I snapped this picture at sunset, and the burger itself looks like the setting sun.
If you’re like me, then you’ve seen “Pulp Fiction” dozens of times, and you may have wondered, at some point, where the set designer sourced the film’s infamous Big Kahuna burger. As far as I know, having lived in Los Angeles for years and years, there is no actual Big Kahuna Burger. Too bad, because the burger does look mighty tasty on film. And so the question remains: if, in fact, Big Kahuna is fictitious, then what real-life restaurant provided that delicious-looking cheeseburger? I still have no idea, but I’ve pondered it plenty, enough to have given the burger its own back-story: In my own private mind-garden, Big Kahuna Burger is an old mom-and-pop-style joint in the San Fernando Valley, one of many post-war businesses to [… read more …]
Jack Kleinberg, Gene’s Po-Boys, 1991-2006
I don’t know much about Jack Kleinberg, but I found these images while reminiscing over Gene’s Po-Boy the other day. From the date of his work, I assume that Kleinberg relocated to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina. I find it strangely fascinating that one of Kleinberg’s Los Angeles subjects is Tito’s Tacos, which was one of my guiltiest pleasures as an Angelino. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though Kleinberg has an official site for his work, but he does have a gallery, if you click here. Although Tito’s and Gene’s are nearly 2,000 miles apart, both spots are located just a few blocks from the 10 Freeway.
Jack Kleinberg, Tito’s Tacos, 2007