My new home


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What the Dilly-Yo?

I subscribe to all kinds of food related newsletters and one that I am particularly fond of is all about spirits and cocktails.  Most of the recipes I try to replicate from them are spin-offs because I don’t have a fully stocked bar.  I try to make due with what I have and for the most part, I’d say I’m successful.  The latest cocktail I shook up is vodka based with cucumber and fresh dill bringing the flavor.  The recipe called for straight vodka but all I had was vanilla-infused vodka.  I remember buying this flavored vodka a year ago or so when a dessert cocktail recipe called for it.  For whatever reason, when a recipe asks for vodka  I use this and quite honestly, I think vanilla infused vodka tastes better than straight vodka.  To my palette, it is rounder in flavor and more subtle in cocktails.  So for my cocktail, I substituted vodkas and I also swapped agave nectar for simple syrup.  I never did like to follow instructions.  Cheers!

What the Dilly-Yo?
2 oz Vanilla-Infused Vodka
1 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2-3 Cucumber Slices
1-2 Sprigs of Fresh Dill

Muddle the dill, cucumber and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add the remaining ingredients and fill the shaker halfway with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass or coupe.  Garnish with a cucumber wheel and Dill.

What the Dilly-Yo?
Posted in Cocktails, Homemade, Vodka | Leave a comment

Chichen Itza Restaurant (Los Angeles – South Los Angeles)


Signage above the counter inside of Mercado La Paloma.

Kibi – Ground Beef, Cracked Wheat, Mint & Pepper Patties Topped with Pickled Red Onions.
Salbutes – Fluffy Corn Tortilla,Topped with Lettuce, Shredded Charbroiled Turkey, Pickled Red Onions, Cucumbers, & Avocado.
Codzito – Five Mini Rolled Crispy Chicken Taquitos Topped with Roma Tomato Sauce & Cotija.
Panuchos – Crispy Grilled Corn Tortilla Stuffed with Black Beans, Topped with Lettuce, Shredded Charbroiled Turkey, Pickled Red Onions, Cucumbers, Tomato & Avocado.
Chile Kut – Homemade Habanero Salsa. 
Papadzul – Rolled Corn Tortillas Stuffed with Hard Boiled Eggs and Layered with a Sauce of Ground Roasted Pumpkin Seeds & Epazote Sauce.  Topped with Tomato Sauce & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds . 
Cochinita Pibil – Pork Marinated With Achiote, Sour Orange Juice and Spices then Wrapped and Backed in a Banana Leaf.  Topped with Pickled Red Onions and Served with…
Refried Black Beans, White Rice & Tortillas. 
Posted in Los Angeles, Mexican, South Los Angeles, Yucatecan Cuisine, | Leave a comment

Tom’s Burger’s #11 (South Gate)

   South Gate Eatery #1

As far as I’m concerned, South Gate has slim pickings when it comes to food.  Up until now, I have pretty much scoffed at the idea of dining out in the city that I see as being devoid of any culinary creativity or inspiration.  Bottom line; Nothing enthuses me here.  As anybody that knows me can attest, I can be stubborn.  Yet, when it comes to food, I’m wide-the-hell open.  So why then, had I turned my back, for the most part, on my hometown’s offerings?  Was I so set in my ways that I refused to eat anything in South Gate?  It sounds immature when I think about it.  Conversely, maybe there were [and still are] legitimate reasons for why I have felt this way about South Gate my entire. life.
I am on a mission; to find out, firsthand, if I am correct in my assumption that South Gate is indeed a generic gastronomic abyss…or if I have been completely askew about my initial thoughts about my stomping ground.  For as long as it takes me, with an open mind and an empty stomach, I will try to eat my way through the entire city of South Gate (major chains excluded).  I hope to discover a few gems but I fear I will encounter more fugazis.  We shall see.                 
You would think that the restaurant I have frequented the most in the last couple of years would be amongst one of my all-time-favorites.  Well, it’s not.  Tom’s Burger’s #11 just happens to be located a couple of street lights away from me.  The food is okay, relatively cheap and the portions are usually enough to fill me up. 
My go-to meal here is usually a plain ole burger and fries combo with a bag of pickled carrots and banana peppers.  The burger is nothing spectacular.  In fact, the patty is thin, not very beefy and at times dry.  What I do like about these fast food joints is that the patty is actually charbroiled or grilled rather than microwaved (or whatever it is that they do at major fast food chains).  I like the flavor it imparts and what can I say, I’m a sucker for grill marks.  Anyway, I’ve also had their chili cheese fries but I get tired of them pretty quickly.  Additionally, I have also tried a few breakfast items as well as their fried chicken dinner that comes with bread, re-fried beans, onion rings and a cheap-ass side salad of lettuce and tomatoes.  Again, the portions are big enough for a hungry guy to be satiated.  Most females, on the other hand, will probably get full and still have plenty for leftovers.     

This is a no frills restaurant and that’s okay with me.  I much prefer to support this kind of establishment rather than major fast food chains.  Aside from my yearly McDonald’s Fries fix, this is the sort of fast food that I prefer to eat when I get hungry and have little or no time to prepare a meal or think about which restaurant to go to.     


To-Go Bag.

Cheeseburger & Fries.
Cheeseburger Close-up.

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Louks (Orange County)


The truck.

Spicy Feta Fries.

Beef Gyro – Beef, tzatziki, Tomatoes, Fries & Red Onions.

Loukoumades with Nutella & Bananas.

Posted in Food Trucks, Fries, Fullerton, Greek, Gyros, Orange County | Leave a comment

Crêpes Bonaparte (Orange County)


 Cool truck with clear view of the cooks in action.

 Participants and subsequent losers in round 3 on the Food Network show.
 In Da Club Crêpe – Bacon, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Mozzarella & Avocado.

Traditional Lemon & Sugar Crêpe.

Damn Frenchies.

Posted in Crepes, Food Network, Food Trucks, Fullerton, Orange County | Leave a comment

Los Angeles Shave Ice Truck (Los Angeles)


It always seems like I run into food trucks when I least suspect it.  But whenever I’m actively looking for one, they’re usually farther out than I’m willing to drive.  Funny how that happens.  In any event, I stumbled upon the [peculiarly named] “Los Angeles Shave Ice” truck over the weekend while walking down Melrose.  The menu is straight forward with no apparent departures from your typical shaved ices.  Sorry, but no bacon ice cream, bacon bits or bacon syrups to flavor your ice here – and that’s probably a good thing!  But I digress…

I ordered a Tiger’s Blood Shaved Ice with a base of  Pistachio Ice Cream, all topped with Chimoy.  For my taste buds, I can best describe Tiger’s Blood as having a predominant strawberry and watermelon flavor with slight undertones of banana and coconut.  I liked the shaved ice just fine but I must say I prefer Get Shaved.  Their ice is softer and smoother – almost creamy.  I would still return to this truck in a heartbeat, however.  At about $4 per ice, you really can’t go wrong.           

The Truck.  
Their Menu.

Tiger’s Blood Shaved Ice with Pistachio Ice Cream & Chamoy.

Posted in Food Trucks, Los Angeles, Shaved Ice | Leave a comment