Pete's Cafe & Bar. Meh.

Okay. I understand that the Historic Bank District in downtown Los Angeles is all about Pete's Cafe & Bar...as are all the downtown boosters like the Downtown News. So I had to take a bite out of the hype myself.

I went with a dining buddy for lunch. The place was crowded but I made reservations anyway cuz I plan like that. We were seated promptly at a table that was literally abutting another two people's table...ergh...too intimate with the strangers. So we requested another place. (strike one)

Service overall was friendly though.

Now on to the food. I thought I'd try their "famous" comfort food staple, their cheesy mac and cheese. Well. Too cheesy and too salty. I mean I like my cheese but it just turned kinda goopy and gross. To add insult to injury, the side salad was overdressed a little wilted by the time I got my food. Ack. You see that little rammekin in the picture? Not so big but I could only bear to eat a fourth of it. (that also is gonna set you back more than 10 or 15 bucks...I forgot the price...apologies)

Then I thought to myself. Okay. Maybe I can save this meal by mooching off of my dining buddy's blue cheese fries (specialty of the house they say). That TOO was too salty and cheesy. What's the deal, you might ask? Well. Perhaps it was poor menu choice you might say.

I say, NO. A mark of good grub is that nearly anything on the menu should hit its mark, especially if it's supposedly a specialty of the house.

Pete's on 4th and Main. I'm unimpressed. I'd go to Good Microbrew & Grill in Silverlake or Baccali Restaurant in Alhambra ANYDAY for some better-than-Meh comfort food at comparable prices.


I believe everything deep-fried is yummy, but...

.... a Krispy Kreme Fried Chicken Sandwich is just gross... although I have to admit that I would like to have a taste!

At the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, you will find deep-fried Twinkies, deep-friend Oreos, deep-fried avocados, deep-fried pickles, deep-fried olives and more.

Yummy or Yucky? You decide.

Check out the article in today's LA Times.


El Tepeyac

Originally uploaded by illewminator.
One of the biggest advantages of living in Los Angeles is, in my view, the ready accessibility of great Mexican food. When you're hungry and just want to get your grub on, Mexican food is THE way to go and El Tepeyac does not disappoint.

Family owned and operated, El Tepeyac is an LA institution that now has two sites: the orignal in East LA, next to Evergreen Cemetery, and the other further east (is it San Gabriel? Rosemead? Montebello? not quite sure... ) on Potrero Grande, across from Resurrection Cemetery (hmm.... what's with the cemetery-adjacent locations??)

On this occasion, having just returned from a trip to Thailand and India, I was jonesing for some good homestyle Mexican grub, so went to the Potrero Grande location. After all the various curries and being semi-veggie, I was so ready for some meat, cheese, beans, and guacamole topped off with a refreshing horchata. As always, the grub was tasty and the portions huge. El Tepeyac is consistent, authentic, and doesn't disappoint. My personal faves include the homemade guacamole and the tacos which are buried in cheese, as you can see in the photo.

If you're *really* hungry, you challenge yourself with the Hollenbeck burrito or the Manny's Special (one -- i forget which one -- is literally the size of a 9x12 casserole pan; the other is half that size) but I don't think I have ever seen one person actually finish one of these monsters.


Official GrubClub Outing: Chibcha Colombian Cuisine

The GrubClub recently made its first official outing to Chicha Colombian Restaurant on Sunset in Silverlake. Lured by the promise of a plethora of fried pork as so deliciously described in J's previous post, several of the GrubClub members gathered one summer evening to check it out for ourselves.

We started out with a round of fruity beverages, some made with milk and some not. This was the cause for a rather extended and convoluted negotiation process with our waitress/chef/owner (this is a family-run establishment, after all), but ended up in a colorful assortment of delicious drinks -- just don't ask me what was in them or what they're called. All I remember is the white one was guanabana and it's made with milk. Just close your eyes and pick one from the menu -- they're all good.

Next up was a plate of empanadas. Good stuff. Fried pie shells with meat inside -- who doesn't love that?? Then, our main dishes: the specialty of the house seems to be the combo plate pictured here. This was the plate so aptly described by J in her original post, complete with the crown of chicharon at the top. 'Nuff said.

Pictured above is a glorious pile of fried pork riblets, deep fried chicharon chunklets (is that a word? if not, it should be... chunklets is the perfect way to describe these mini-chunks of bacon-like pork) and grilled beef, interspersed with fried plantains, fried yuca, and potatoes. Whew! This would be the perfect accompaniment to a pitcher of beer and a ball game on a warm summer night.

Final analysis: good, stick to yer ribs, meat 'n potatoes comfort food. Not the place to go if you're trying to watch your cholesterol, that's for sure. But it's tasty and a great value -- which is, after all, what we GrubClubbers are all about.