Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Hot Burrito number 11

For those of you who don't know Growler yet, you will... he's a regular growl about town and he was so awesome on our LA trip, he played bass and guitar till the cows came home and then he ate those cows wrapped in a flour tortilla and covered in guacamole, I've been saving his burrito diaries for you (11 burritos in all; he fizzled out writing the blog as we neared day 9). Enjoy! xx P

Hot Burrito no. 11
The single-minded culinary pursuits of a hungry English man in the City of Angels

Day 1 – Rambos Mexican Truck, Eagle Rock
Order: Pollo Burrito

Pro’s: This was the maiden voyage into the LA tortilla zone, and I am pleased to say it didn’t disappoint. Looks can be deceiving – to purchase food from a truck I think has different connotations in the UK, ie a hot dog outside the football ground. But this was in a different league altogether – quality chicken, good consistency - we’re off to a flying start!

Con’s: I got the fiery hot red salsa in my eye. However, I accept full responsibility for this and is not a reflection of the proprietors of Rambos

Day 2 – Armon’s Diner, Eagle Rock (morning)
Order: Mexican influenced brunch: Sausage and Hash Brown served with refried beans, flour tortilla’s and fresh salsa.

Pro’s: My first breakfast of the trip, and the sight of Tabasco and hot sauce waiting on the table as I sit down re-assures me. By no means an exclusively Mexican order, but my insistence on having tortillas and refried beans means it qualifies for the run down. Let me just say, the hash browns were out of this world – a singular mass of crunchy goodness, as opposed to the service station filth I have come to expect.

Con’s: A slight communication barrier between myself and the waitress. I tried ordering a diet coke several times, and she thought I was asking for eggs

El Arco Iris Restaurant, Highland Park (eve)
Order: Quesadilla verde and tamal

Pro’s: The Quesidilla was simply delightful, lovingly topped with stringy cheese and guacamole. As part of the ‘combo’ deal I went for I could also choose another item and so I went for a beef tamal which was juicy and tender, and a welcome departure to some of the more traditional staples. The restaurant was a charming family run place too - perfect way to unwind after day one in the studio with Team Piney.

Con’s: Margharita’s were a touch on the weak side in my opinion. And also the verde sauce on the Quesadilla could have been just a notch hotter.

Day 3 – Misc food truck opposite Brannigan’s Cantina, Echo Park
Order: Pollo Burrito

Pro’s: Um. That I’ll never eat here again?

Con’s: I don’t even know where to start, alright? It was just a COMPLETE CATASTROPHE! After the glory that was Rambo’s on the opening night, I was lulled into a false sense of security when dealing with mobile eateries. After ordering my burrito, the wait for it to be prepared dragged on, which led me to believe they were rustling up something truly special. Alas no, it was a gloopy mess. Tonnes of onion and rice, barely any chicken. To make matters worse, my other half in the rhythm section seemed keen to get going before I had had the chance to at least mask this atrocity with hot sauce.

Overall rating: 2/10

Ranking: 11

Day 4 – Good Neighbour Restaurant, Studio City
Order: Breakfast Burrito with Soy Chorizo

Pro’s: We wandered for what must have been a mile in the blazing heat down from the studio, looking for a suitable diner and our prayers were answered when the Good Neighbour slid into view. I went for a breakfast burrito with soy chorizo – not because I’m vegi, but because of my morbid curiosity to witness a soy approximation of chorizo. And let the record state that I was very impressed indeed – great texture to the burrito, and served with crunchy golden potatos on the side. A popular diner with some of the glitterati who frequent the nearby studios so I hear – and I can see why. These guys would be great neighbours.

Con’s: I cannot think of one…okay I experience some toilet related difficulties shortly after but it was worth it.

Overall rating: 7/10

Day 5 – Diner, Mar Vista, Breakfast Burrito

Order: Breakfast Burrito with Tofu (no eggs)

Pro’s: Heading over to the ‘Westside’ with my good friend Alex we stopped in one of his local diners where I opted once again for the Breakfast Burrito. Now normally this dish relies predominantly on eggs which I don’t eat, so I substituted for tofu. The result was a perfectly tasty but not mind blowing burrito.

Con’s: Whilst there was nothing particularly bad, in the scheme of some of the incredible. A bit too much tofu which is was quite tasteless, so plenty of hot sauce needed to jazz this thing up. Also, the waitress seemed somewhat frazzled, possibly having already cashed in her life’s fun tokens – she forgot to bring me my drink.

Day 6 – Swingers, Santa Monica, Breakfast Burrito

Order: Breakfast Burrito with Tofu (no eggs)

Pro’s: This particular diner is well renowned, and has a sister restaurant over in Hollywood which was the first place I ever dined when I visited LA for the first time nearly a decade ago. So this felt like something of a homecoming for me, and was not disappointed. The waiting staff were on the money, and the presentation of my burrito was immaculate – sat there with a dollop of salsa and guacamole on top for a king. I didn’t know whether to eat it or marry it! And it didn’t disappoint in the flavour stakes either – so much better than yesterdays effort. Tofu to rice and beans ratio was just perfect.

Cons: Hmmm. A very mild sense of self importance pervaids amongst the clientele of this place – I know I’m in LA as opposed to Preston, but just slightly more tangible in here. No bad things to say about the food though.

Overall rating: 5/10

Day 7 – CafĂ©, Echo Park, Breakfast Burrito
Order: Breakfast Burrito, no eggs

Pro’s: This particular breakfast burrito was served up to me by a lovely guy who knows Rob Campanella, and as he handed it over he said ‘made with love.’ Such sincerity and warmth I was yet to encounter in other eateries on this excursion. Whilst by no means the most substantial burrito, it was perfectly delicious and I particularly enjoyed the way it was toasted to perfection. I had a vision that Costa Coffee should try and invent an approximation of this particular style of burrito to serve at service stations across the UK.

Con’s:No sides with the burrito as standard, and a little toilet trouble afterwards. But otherwise good.

Poquito Mas (?) Studio City
Order: Pollo Burrito

Day 8 – Pinches Tacos, Sunset
Pollo Tacos x4

Day 9 – Foxy’s Resturaunt, Glendale
Order: ???

No comments:

Post a Comment