I think I like retroactive New Year’s Resolutions the best.
This way, I feel pretty confident about telling you guys that I’ve been researching my neighborhood’s food scene for the past three weeks and the results are pretty positive! Culver City is heavy on vegan/vegetarian Indian (for whatever reason? lots of Sikhs?), but it’s got so many other diverse, cheap places that I’ve been able to feed myself every weekend without ever having to repeat a meal.
Johnnie’s Pastrami (gringo pastrami/diner): Est. 1952. Picked up a pretty great pastrami sandwich with onion rings here one morning after setting off an industrial fire alarm the night before at a warehouse loft in downtown Los Angeles. It’s a big, thick pillow of pastrami on a soft roll. Not Langer’s, but man, it kills a hangover dead.
Tito’s Tacos (gringo tacos/burritos): Est. 1959. Tito’s are famous for what I call “gringo” tacos: hard-shelled, with lettuce and shredded cheese. You love them or hate them — or, actually, you feel like I do about them, which is that they’re good for addressing a certain kind of hangover. The burritos aren’t bad, if you love goopy beans, stringy cheese, and shredded beef. (I do really love goopy beans.) Go before 11am if you don’t want to wait for half an hour.
Jasmine Market (cheap Burmese): I just checked out this teeny hole-in-the-wall market-cum-restaurant today to pick up some keema curry and the lentil-tofu salad recommended so highly by J-Gold. The tofu salad is FANTASTIC, but not for vegetarians, since it’s liberally sprinkled with shrimp paste or fish sauce. I’ve also just spent the past 15 minutes shoving the keema curry into my mouth and I need to lie down some more.
Yamadaya Ramen (tonkatsu-style ramen): Yesterday’s lunch was the Spicy Tonkatsu Ramen at Yamadaya. It’s nowhere near as decadently pork-fatty as Tsujita’s tonkatsu, and the noodles are a bit thinner than I like, but it’s closer than the Sawtelle district if I’m in a ramen mood. I would have taken a picture of it yesterday but I was too busy hoovering it into my mouth. Then I had to lie down for a while because pork broth can really take it out of you, guys.
Super Pho & Teriyaki: Kind of crappy neighborhood Vietnamese/Japanese fusion place that’s probably run by Koreans, but the pho and banh mi are good in a pinch. I ain’t complaining.
Ugly Roll Sushi (Japanese/commuter sushi): SO WEIRD! Cheap weird sushi that makes no sense but I love it! It’s right by my work and I can get at least two meals out of about $12-worth of weird cheap rolls and salmon-skin salad!