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Sunday, May 31, 2009

LA Magazine's 101 Cheap Eats - Ranked!!

It was only a matter of time with the economy in its current state that we temper our Michelin studded taste buds and are forced to become acclimated to how the other half lives. Los Angeles magazine knew we were out there and perhaps too ashamed to admit it, but we were in desperate need of a guide to the gang-infested eateries and C grade establishments in the city.

The May 2009 issue of Los Angeles magazine gracefully toured us through, at my count, 116 of the best Cheap eats around. Broken down by cuisine, they included a few taco trucks, required institutions, and chefs' picks.

So I'm putting down my Riedel, picking up a spork, taking off the coat, lacing up the pumas, and if I still don't feel like one of the locals, I may curtail my showers. Yes, I've taken it upon myself to eat through all of them, a few at week, and ranking them 1 to 116.

Out of all the restaurants and dives featured, it was the cover pic that had readers salivating the most. And it wasn't even offered at any of the joints. It was actually created in a photo studio and intended to resemble a burger at 8 oz. If I was 8 oz., I would have replicated it and marketed it as the LA Mag cover burger and they would have been sure to get press from the magazine itself.

(Updated weekly)

1 Nickel Diner
2 Wurstkushe
3 Langer’s
4 La Casita Mexicana
5 Umami Burger
6 Cook’s Tortas
7 Shin-sen-Gumi
8 Baby Blues BBQ
9 Shamshiri Grill
10 El Tepeyac
11 Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant
12 Loteria Grill
13 Atch-Kotch
14 Skaf’s Grill
15 8 oz. Burger Bar
16 Kokekokko
17 Falafel Arax
18 Veggie Grill
19 Pollo a la Brasa
20 M Café de Chaya
21 Otafuku
22 Casa Bianca
23 Nanbankan
24 Café Brasil
25 Papa Cristo’s
26 Pho 79
27 Din Tai Fung
28 Los Balcones del Perú
29 Philippe The Original
30 Daikokuya
31 The Park
32 Spitz
33 Zankou Chicken
34 Tasty Garden

Sunday, May 3, 2009

How Hot Dogs Are Made

After watching Food Inc., a documentary taking an unflattering look at the American food industry, I became curious how some of nature's most unsuspecting gifts are made. Take the purity we know more commonly as a hot dog.


If you're not grossed out yet, note that Joey Chestnut finished off 68 hot dogs at the 2009 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest to win the competition. That's over 20,000 calories of mechanically separated mush.