My Thursday Lunch

January 22, 2013

Moving day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — brucedumes @ 2:13 pm

I’m moving over to my own site at brucedumes.me.  See you there!

December 20, 2012

Curry two times, girl

Filed under: Thai — brucedumes @ 8:38 pm

Northern Thai CurryCurry one time
I could not speak
Curry one time
Yeah, my knees got weak
But curry two times, girl
Last me all through the week

— stolen from The Doors Love Me Two Times written by Robby Krieger

I returned today to a place I’ve already written about, though I’d forgotten that I had.  And what’s more disappointing/predictable, I ate the same thing as last time:  the amazing Northern Thai Curry at Spicy BBQ Restaurant.  Not that I regret eating the same thing, it was AMAZING as always.  But it’s just not as interesting to write about.  You can always read my prior review of the curry, though it did have an added twist.  They are now putting peanuts in the curry, and it’s a delightful addition.

But I did have a very pleasant lunch and met a few nice people too.  The Spicy BBQ Restaurant is tiny, and the little table they sat me at had me facing another table, which was so close that I might as well have been sitting with them.  I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation about their favorite restaurants in LA.   They were two guys and a very pretty girl; I got the impression the girl was from out of town and they were showing her around.

The guys are clearly Very Serious Foodies.  Being that I was sitting by myself and looking straight at them, they started including me in on their conversation.   The guy who came across as the Most Serious Foodie of the two said to me, “It must be tough coming here by yourself.  How do you pick just one of the 10 things you want to eat?”  “That is indeed the only downside of eating here”, I said, or at least something like that..

Foodie Guys and Pretty Girl

I asked them if they’d ever been to Taqueria Los Anaya.  I really need to write about that place — it’s become one of my very favorite places on earth.  My wife and I go there every Saturday morning.

They asked me if I was a food writer, or just love food.  I replied that I just love food, but write a food blog that nobody reads.  They asked me for the URL and looked it up on their phone and noticed that the last post was 2 years ago.  Pathetic, that’s what it is. Pathetic.  So they said if I wrote something, they’d read it and maybe even comment.  So let’s see what happens.

We spent a fair amount of time talking about our favorite places in LA:  Western Doma Noodle, Ruen Pair, Sapp Coffee Shop, Pa Ord Noodle, Soot Bull Jeep, Jitlada, even discussing some of our favorite dishes at these places:  the mussels at Jitlada, the boat noodles at Sapp, etc.

So Serious Food Guys and Pretty Girl, if you ever want to meet up somewhere for a Thursday lunch, let me know!  I’d certainly be up for it.   Sorry the photo of you is a little blurry.  For some reason, I just couldn’t get the camera in my phone to behave itself today, even after trying three times.   But trying three times is a different song.  Robbie Krieger only got up to two.

October 29, 2010

Bloody clams? Bloody delicious!

Filed under: Guatemalan — brucedumes @ 9:43 am

I’ve been meaning to try La Cevicheria for the longest time after reading Jonathan Gold’s review.  But there are so many place to try and only so many Thursdays.

But today, being a reasonably warm day in LA, was the day for ceviche.

La Cevicheria is owned by a simply delightful couple from Guatemala. While Guatemala isn’t as well know for ceviche as, say, Peru, these folks put their own stamp on it. It is knock-your-socks-off delicious. And since “some like it hot”, they offer a special habanero sauce that you might need to ask for. Be careful! This stuff really should require you to wear a radiation suit. But it tastes amazing and is a different kind of hotness than other chilies. At first it’s not hot at all, but rather sweet and refreshing. Then a few seconds later, you feel something interesting happening. 🙂

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October 14, 2010

Vietnamese Soup – Friend or Pho?

Filed under: Vietnamese — brucedumes @ 2:35 pm

Of course purists will be quick to point out that it really should be not be pronounced so that it sounds like “foe”. It should rhyme with “duh”. But that doesn’t stop a plethora of new Pho restaurants in LA using Pho in a cutesy way in the name. Today I had lunch at one such place, Simply Pho You, in Koreatown.

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December 17, 2009

Jja Jang Myun – Black noodles – good as Gold

Filed under: Korean — brucedumes @ 7:06 pm

I happened across a youTube video of someone named Maangchi making a Korean dish called Jja Jang Myun (pick your own favorite spelling) which is basically a sauce of pork & veggies with a fermented black bean over noodles. There is also Jja Jang Bap, which is over rice instead of noodles.

It looked like something fun to make, but I decided it might be interesting to try it first so that I’d know what I was shooting for.  I asked LA’s own beloved Pulitzer prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold where to go for Jja Jang Myun and he said that the Mandarin House in K-Town has always been the standard. My Thursday Lunch must investigate! (more…)

November 27, 2009

You say Oaxacan, and I say @#$%^&….

Filed under: Oaxacan — brucedumes @ 2:00 pm

It’s a special Friday edition of My Thursday Lunch, since yesterday was Thanksgiving. So today I had the pleasure of my wife joining me, since we both have the day off work. One of the interesting benefits of doing these Thursday lunches is seeing parts of LA that I normally don’t see, since my normal routes through LA are quite predictable. But LA is a big place, and even though my wife has lived in the LA area all her life, some of these neighborhoods are new to both of us.  My wife *loves* public transportation, and was very excited to see some bus routes in the neighborhood that she’d never seen before.  Whatever turns you on, I guess.  🙂

Anyway, I selected Restaurante Guelaguetsza, which is an  Oaxacan restaurant.  You might ask yourself, “What in the heck is Oaxacan”?   And moreover, if you’re like me, how in the heck do you pronounce it?  Fortunately Wikipedia does provide a history and an audio pronunciation of Oaxaca.  Even with that, I still have a hard time saying it, but it took me months to be able to properly say Здравствуйте, so all things in good time.

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November 20, 2009

Mangia a trois

Filed under: Korean — brucedumes @ 8:57 am

I was joined by my friends Yasmin and Stefan for my Thursday lunch this week. Yasmin and I exchanged ideas about where to go, finally deciding on the Chung Dam, because I think it’s the best all-around Korean restaurant that I’ve been to.

There are so many specialty places in town: noodle shops, soup, BBQ, even a place that specializes in goat dishes. Yasmin and Stefan say they definately want to try the goat place next time! 🙂 Stefan hasn’t had a lot of exposure to Korean food and Yasmin has had plenty of bibimbop and bulgogi and wanted to be exposed to new stuff.   So that was our initial goal: “Always go for the new experience”, as Dame Marjorie Chardin advised. 

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November 12, 2009

The curry is dead. Long live the curry!

Filed under: Thai — brucedumes @ 3:22 pm

For today’s adventure in eating, I chose a Thai restaurant, but one with a unique twist.  It’s one of the few Thai restaurants in town whose specialization is in Northern Thai cuisine.  Northern Thailand has been historically somewhat isolated from the rest of the country.  They have their own dialect called Kham Meaung (or Kham Muang; คำเมือง).  Some remote hill tribes have their own language.  However, standard Thai is widely understood.

The cuisine of Northern Thai has been influenced by it’s neighbors to the north, Myanmar (Burma) and Yunnan (China).  The coconut milk curry base we are so accustomed to in standard Thai cuisine is not part of Northern Thai vocabulary.

I went to “Spicy BBQ” at the corner of Santa Monica and Normandie, right on the border of “Little Armenia”.  Their menu says, “Thai & Chinese Cuisine by Nong and Family”.   It has the feel of a family-owned place.  It’s small.  There are 6 tables with seating for 18.   It’s cash only, but this seems like not much of a hassle with the ubiquity of ATM machines these days.  It’s tucked away in a corner strip-mall — easy to miss, but well worth looking for.

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October 30, 2009

Chung Dam, that’s fine BBQ!

Filed under: Korean — brucedumes @ 12:30 pm

I had, after much study, selected a Korean restaurant from Yelp for my most recent My Thursday Lunch, but as luck (good or bad) would have it, they were closed.  So I decided to keep on traveling down that lonesome highway — well, Wilshire Boulevard, which is neither a highway nor lonesome — and I ended up going back to what is becoming my favorite Korean BBQ restaurant in LA, ChungDam Korean BBQ.

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October 17, 2009

Never underestimate the power of sugar

Filed under: Korean — brucedumes @ 4:29 pm

Lettuces.jpg
My son Jeff is in town visiting, and we were trying to decide whether to go for Thai or Korean for our Thursday lunch. He decided that Korean would be much more of a new experience, so we went to one of my favorite Korean BBQ places, Si Gol Ssam Bob in K-town.

Most Korean BBQ places give you some lettuce in which to wrap the meat. One of the things I love about this place is the range of lettuces they give you. There is your basic romaine, parboiled cabbage, mizuna, even some seaweed!

I tend to always go for the spicy pork bulgogi at Si Gol Ssam Bob, so I wanted to try something different. I decided to go for the spicy squid bulgogi and Jeff got the beef bulgogi.

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