Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SCOOPS AND POOPS



TO LIVE AND EAT IN LA – PART 2

Temecula, CA – Question. What happens when a planned article veers off topic? You get a Part Dux. That’s what happened with Comin’ Round Mohawk Bend. So let’s get back on track and talk of the scoops on eats in LA. For that, we start with a delectable ice cream/frogurt [frozen yogurt] spot called SCOOPS, which is located around the corner from the Ukrainian Culture Center on Melrose [712 N Heliotrope Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90029, to be exact]. I know what you’re saying; frozen yogurt places are not news and haven’t been since Pink Berry. Wrong-o.
What makes SCOOPS a subject for this report can be put into two scoops. The first scoop is of course the flavors. If you’re looking for vanilla, strawberry, mint chocolate, or even cake batter, stay at your regular frogurt stand.

The flavors carried if they were colors would be termed as a relish of pastels. Consider the following sample list: Chocolate Wasabi, Pistachio Maple and Riesling Cherry, Fois Gras and Sweet Cream, Black Truffle with Honey, Strawberry and Balsamic Vinegar, Bacon and Maple, Pea and Tahini, Green Tea and Figs, Lemon and Basil, and Blackberry Mint.
The second scoop is that beyond the flag ship flavor, Brown Bread, which is available every day, the other 17 flavors change every day. To date over 700 different and unique flavors have been created because owner Tai Kim isn't an ice cream maker, he's an experimental artist. For that reason Tai encourages you to try each flavor before making your choice. And now the hidden track.
A single scoop order yields a choice of two flavors (two scoops). Bon appétit

The first ‘poop’ here takes on what happened following the tweet I sent out about seeing Silent Bob (Kevin Smith: Clerks, Mall Rats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back) and Jay (Jason Mewes: ditto) at the Laugh Factory on Sunset Blvd. The show was a live two person revue with neither actor taking questions but being candid about their lives, including Jason Mewes opiate addiction from which he has been clean for close to one thousand days. The poop here is that the two actors skipped without the anticipated fan session after the performance as was promised at the box office. Lesson learned for next time.
But like the poop you get from red hot Texas chili when you have finished the meal with a half gallon of ice cream, this poop had a very cool ending. After the show I ran into head nurse Cha Cha VaVoom and her sultry-eyed redhead companion nurse. My wingman, who has heard me remark about the 420Nurses kept asking on the ride back, "Oo man, who was that redhead?"

Our next scoop comes from seeing an evening crowd always at a place called Big Wangs. As my wingman and I tooled around Sunset B. waiting traffic to die down on the roads leading back to Temecula at the end of the 6-day leg which started the book tour, our original food stop was to be FuKu Burger but they were opening an hour later than we were there. Seeing the latest reviews of FUKu Burger it seems Dame Fate smiled on us, or perhaps we were just drawn to like company in having Big Wangs.

The Hollywood location that we stopped by was a very spacious sports bar with elevated window seats and thick wooden tables. The restaurant actually spills over at a 45 degree angle into a smaller bar area which butts next to another restaurant called District 13. Certainly this little area of Hollywood is very interesting being complete with a small shop where eye-of-newt could be purchased for mixing up love spells if one is into that sort of thing. But we were in Hollywood for the food, not the atmosphere.

Again taking the high ground, my friend and I ordered two separate styles of food from our window seats. My friend got a delicious (he said) Big Wang styled hamburger combo and I got pizza. Some of the best pizza, the greasy type, is found sometimes at a bar. This proved to be the case at Big Wangs. Best pizza NOT from a pizza joint. My custom pizza of choice, pepperoni, red onion, and chopped green peppers, had our attractive waitress remarking about the mouthwatering smell.

The next poop was the first poop I got shortly after getting into town the next day. Taking the 2 (bus) down Sunset to the appointed stop to go and eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant, I trudged back up the hill slightly noticing that the place seemed to have gotten a fresh coat of paint. Getting closer I saw a big new sign and a different Mexican name, though no less easy to pronounce than the old name. By now I was mentally screaming at the obvious – my little hole-in-the-wall-family-owned restaurant was gone. The old business had ‘lost their lease’ I was told by the MIC (man in charge) of the new restaurant now in that location. Big city gentrification.

The line out the door of patrons who looked out of place in the neighborhood were the first wave of hipsters frequenting the location that once housed the most down to earth Mexican food I had ever tasted at a south of the border price. Now the MIC of Guisados, straight Outta Boyle Heights, listened and replied to my questions about the former tenants. When he remarked that his place also had home cooked taste, I rebutted that the old family place had a $4.90 lunch special “and that ain’t you”, he just had to smile as I left a place that listed no prices, just what you could order. This is a hipsterville scoop for ‘traditional braises on fresh handmade tortillas’. Also all places reviewed in this report have more than one location so if you are in the LA area, look for the spot closest to you.

(Additional background story source BlackBookMagEd)

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