Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles (Long Beach, CA)

wpid-wp-1443285914148.jpgRoscoe’s is an iconic Los Angeles restaurant that serves some of the most delicious fried chicken around and accompanies it with butter drenched waffles. Open until 2:30 am on weekends, this is the place to go for late night munchies or post drinking. The parking was kind of tricky at first, but we eventually found the right lot.  With a group of three at 10pm on a Friday, I expected some sort of wait.

Fortunately, we were in and out in less than an hour. Anything you get here will be filling and delicious. Most dishes range from $11 to $18. Don’t expect wpid-wp-1443285923313.jpgto be refreshed and energetic after this meal.  You’ll be in the hurt locker for a minute and asking yourself “WHY?!? WHY?!” but shit, it’s totally fucking worth the delicious crispy spices and batter over the juicy chicken. Add the hot sauce for some extra volcano ass.

730 E Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 437-8355

4stars1

Shin-Sen-Gumi Yakitori (Gardena, CA)

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The first thing you will notice about Shin-Sen-Gumi is how freaking loud it is. A cacophony of loud Japanese, drunken patrons, and the slight crackle of the grill provide an atmosphere that’s uniquely it’s own. It’s almost so loud you can barely hear yourself talk. Shin-Sen-Gumi has various locations and each serve different types of Japanese food (ramen, yakitori, shabu-shabu). This particular location featured yakitori, The wait time on a Saturday at 9:00pm was around 30-40 minutes.  Parking lot is large but can filled when it’s busy.  Definitely avoid weekends or prime dining hours, as they don’t flip tables fast here.

You order your food on a piece of paper similar to a sushi bar. It comes out on tiny skewers containing 3-5 pieces of grilled protein. The flavors were excellent throughout, the grilled Kobe style beef and pork belly were the real winners. Although it was $wpid-20150828_220808_hdr.jpg10 for two tiny kobe skewers, it was well worth the delicious juiciness. Bill usually ends up around $60-$70 for two people without drinks.  It can get pretty expensive for anyone with a monster appetite.

18517 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 715-1588

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4stars1

Bombay Tandoori & Banquet (Torrance, CA)

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While Bombay Tandoori might not be the best Indian food around, it’s a nice place to have a dinner date while enjoying some decent curry. When it comes to Indian food, unless in Hollywood, you’re not going to get a fancy dining experience. Here you’ll get lap napkins, LED lights, and a comfortable dining setting. Located next to a Days Inn, the parking isn’t plentiful but it’s free.

Tandoori chicken and Vindaloo chicken were ordered with a side of rice and garlwpid-20150823_191825_hdr.jpgic naan. I ordered the Vindaloo specifically because South Park had an episode called Grounded Vindaloop, where Butters thinks he’s living in a virtual reality. The sauce was decent and the chicken was good, but it just didn’t hit me in the gut like I wanted it to. The Tandoori chicken was the saving grace of the meal.  It was charred, marinated, and juicy.  They also provide lunch buffets, which is the way to go in my opinion.

4111 Pacific Coast Hwy
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 303-3185

3-star

Gyu Kaku (Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, CA)

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Gyu Kaku has the best happy hour on the block.  This Japanese yakiniku chain is all over Los Angeles and they all provide the same quality at all the locations. Every table is provided with a grill that you will cook on yourself. The specials, however, vary from each location so make sure to check your local specials. Having a shitty Monday? Or just hate Mondays? Solution: Happy hour all day at Gyu Kaku. $2 draft Sapporo in a frosty glass mug, specials on just about everything, and legit food.

On this trip, my buddy and myself ordered the garlic fried chicken, yaki-shabu, pork belly, and pork sausage.  My favorites being the pork belly and sausage.  The pork belly is marinated perfectly and doesn’t come out as a piece of frozen meat. Legit spot for groups to drink as well, plenty of sweet fufu drinks to straight sake. Unfortunately, when it’s not happy hour, they’re just mediocre.  Expect to spend $20-30 per person.

163 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 659-5760

4stars1

El Jacalito (Lomita, CA)

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El Jacalito is a locally owned shop that provides authentic Mexican and Oaxacan food. This small hole in the wall seats 15-20 people comfortable. Unfortunately, the parking is a mess. Nothing but limited street parking available.  Never having had Oaxacan food before, I had to give the Tlayuda Tres Carnes a shot.  It came with pork, sausage, and beef? over a bed of cabbage, string goat cheese, and beans on a crispy tortilla.

The flavors, however, were a big miss.  The meats weren’t grilled and had a very funky taste to them.  I actually enjoyed the beans, cheese, and cabbage, but everything else was forgettable.  Even the delicious looking wet burrito was disappointing.  Tons of fatty, flavorless meat with questionable vegetables tossed in. (corn, green beans, wtf?)  If anyone has a legit burrito spot to suggest, I’m all ears as this was a big time let down.

24609 Narbonne Ave
Lomita, CA 90717
(310) 325-6429

2 stars

The Kroft (Anaheim, CA)

wpid-wp-1439141016723.jpgLocated in the ever so popular Anaheim Packing District is The Kroft.  They specialize in elegant sandwiches and poutines.  Poutine is a Canadian dish composed of fries, cheese curds, gravy, and some MEAT.  The line was long, but the people were enthusiastic.  The clamor all throughout the line was about the short rib poutine ($10).  I decided to be a sheep and ordered the short rib poutine with a cucumber mint lemonade ($3.50).

The first sip of the lemonade made me feel like there was a party in my mouth and everyone was invited.  Super sour, very cucumbery, and a hint of mint.  A bit of a small size for $4, but it’s worth a try.  The poutine was massive.  I was expecting a tiny box of fries but it’s big enough to share.  Within the tiny box lies a variety of flavors.  The slightly sour pickled unions, creamy cheese curds, rich gravy, and crispy fries were delicious.  However, the braised short rib was nothing to write home about.  The meat was stringy and a little too fatty for my taste.  The loco moco poutine sounded like a better idea in hindsight.  Could have been a 4/5 if the short rib was executed better.

440 S Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 635-5900

3-star

Cali Comfort BBQ (San Diego, CA)

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BBQ combo; tritip, 1/2 rack pork ribs, cornbread, beans, and fries. ($20.99)

Since Phil’s BBQ is already so well reviewed I decided to hit up Cali Comfort BBQ for some ribs and fights. UFC 190 was going down and I felt like having some USA chants while destroying some ribs with my bare hands like a savage. They charge a $5 cover for the fights and the crowd seems a bit more sketchy than I’m used to but I had no problems.

Parking was insane because of UFC 190, but the staff got us a spot in no time. The tritip was beautiful.  Smokey, juicy, delicious, and tender.  Everything a smoked tritip should be.  The ribs, however, were a bit disappointing. It fell off the bone nicely and was not dry, but the BBQ sauce was lacking and the flavor didn’t amaze.  For the value, you get a lot of food and a good atmosphere to enjoy with friends.  Although, it’s not the best BBQ in the city.  3.5/5

8910 Troy St
San Diego, CA 91977
(619) 337-0670

4stars1

Tita’s Kitchenette (San Diego, CA)

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BBQ chicken, pancit, and rice combo. ($7.50)

Talk about bang for your buck.  On a recent trip to San Diego, a buddy of mine recommended Tita’s for some legit Filipino food.  Upon arriving, it seems like your typical turo-turo style restaurant, nothing fancy or visually stimulating. However, it became the game changer once I took my first bite.  The BBQ chicken and pork here is absolutely phenomenal.  It’s lathered in the delicious marinate, skewered, grilled, and charred to perfection. Easily some of the best BBQ you can get around. I’ll be daydreaming about these BBQ sticks when I’m back home in LA. Their pork adobo was also an absolute winner. The perfect tenderness of the pork and the ubiquitous adobo sauce slathered over white rice is something special.  Amazing flavors for even the uninitiated.

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Pork adobo combo ($6.50)

For $7.50 you get a 2 item combo, and at most places that’s usually enough for myself.  At Tita’s, a 2 item combo is enough for 2 people and you’ll have left overs. In other words, they hook it up FAT.  I ended up coming back here the next day for food for the trip back. They also cater for big parties and even do the whole roast pig.  Definitely check out Tita’s for some cheap delicious food that will hit you right in the dick.  And no, they aren’t family of some kind. wpid-wp-1438536303346.jpg

2720 E Plaza Blvd
National City, CA 91950
(619) 434-3879

4stars1

Asian Garden Night Market (Westminster, CA)

s5uzo7Craving South East Asian street food?  Look no farther than the Asian Garden Night market.
Night markets seem to be on the trend now a days and for good reason. (626, OC, Ktown night markets) Maybe it’s due to the increase of late at night munchies (thanks marijuana decriminalization) or the fact Asian countries have been doing this for centuries, regardless, it’s awesome to know I can get some balut at 10:00pm on a Sunday.

One thing to note, almost all of these “Night markets” have a shit load of generic food trucks.
Sorry, but in my opinion these have no place in an Asian night market.  Legit food vendors here, no bullshit Grilled Cheese trucks in sight. I prefer my food vendors to look like my elderly asian grandmother rather than some bearded hipster telling me about bulgogi.   Also, unlike the other night markets, I can try everything for under $25 and be out in an hour.  Small lines, no entrance or parking fee.
Please don’t fuck this up by crowding it up with all of your hipster friends.  If you can’t hang with Duck fetus’ and chicken guts, move along!

I had all kinds of shit to turn my ass into a volcano of devastation.
Crawfish, balut, avocado shake, bbq pork sticks, chicken hearts and liver were on the menu.  Don’t come too late, as they usually stop “cooking” food around 10-10:30.  Nothing worse than eating up reheated seafood 0_o
The Crawfish and balut were on point and delicious.  Would come back for those alone.  Open from Friday, Saturday & Sunday 7PM – 11PM.  June 19 – September 6, 2015.

9200 Bolsa Ave
Westminster, CA 92683

4stars1