After arriving and settling in to my hotel for the week I got a car and headed out. The notorious LA traffic lived up to it's reputation and I had some thoughts about turning around but then decided I'm here so why not!
I headed into downtown LA to an area known as the Grand Central Market. This is a very cool place almost a city block with restaurants and markets with all types of cuisines.
|Grand Central Market in historic downtown LA|
|Inside the Grand Central Market|
|Love the market's Neon Wall!|
Many of the restaurant stands have small seating areas, which seemed unusual from what I have seen at other city markets. About halfway inside the market I found "La Tostaderia" a Latin themed food stand with a small counter of about 10 seats. I took a seat and looked over the menu board. I decided to try the Crispy Fried Shrimp tacos. While waiting I heard the staff talking about my picture taking and I told them about my travels and the manager signed my book. The two tacos were huge and looked to be one massive mound of taco! The shrimp sat atop two corn tostada's with lettuce and a very spicy sauce. The shrimp were huge and perfectly fried. The tostada's made for a great way to cool down the heat of the sauce.
|The "Guy Ate Here" pan at La Tostaderia|
|2 Fried Shrimp Taco's at La Tostaderia|
The staff came by a few times to make sure I was happy with the meal and I was. I said my goodbye's and headed out. Just a few steps away on the back side of the market sits "Horse Thief BBQ". They have a small stand where you order and then there is a picnic table area where Horse Thief patrons can enjoy their meals. I was lucky to fine a table with an umbrella cover as it was a typically warm and sunny day in LA! I looked over the menu and decided to try what Guy had during his visit, the Fried Chicken Sandwich along with Sweet Tea.
|Horse Thief BBQ in LA's Grand Central Market|
I got my sandwich after a short wait and it was delicious! The chicken was crispy with honey mustard slaw, mayonnaise and pickles on the side. It was very juicy and after my first bite the juices were flowing. As I looked around at the other diners, they were really enjoying their meals and with a full bar on the side this is a popular after work destination.
|Horse Thief BBQ's Fried Chicken Sandwich with pickles on the side|
|Juicy and delicious!|
The next morning I headed out to try a few more places and made the 40 minute drive from the LAX airport area to Long Beach. I ended up in a very quaint neighborhood of Long Beach. "The Starling Diner" is a breakfast and lunch place, very popular with the locals. I arrived just before it opened at 8a and there was already a small group waiting for it to open, I think they were regulars by the way the staff greeted them when they opened the door. I took a seat at a small corner table and was warmly greeted by my server. He explained the menu and their specials and we chatted a bit about my travels. I decided to try one of their Baguette based French toast dishes, for which the Starling is known. I chose the Apple French Toast and was surprised how quick my meal was delivered. Two huge baguettes stuffed with apples and mascarpone cheese in a brandy butter sauce and topped with fresh whipped crème and powdered sugar. The meal looked huge and heavy but it was surprisingly light and delicious. The place filled up while I was there and they even have outdoor seating, which was being used, too. My server signed my book and I headed out. This is a place I can highly recommend if you are in the Long Beach area.
|Long Beach's Starling Diner|
|Inside the quaint Starling Diner|
|My Apple French Toast - Mascarpone stuffed Baguette with Apples and Bandy Butter sauce|
Leaving Long Beach I headed back into the LA downtown area and the notorious LA traffic on this Saturday morning was beginning to rear it's ugly head, which for me was not a problem as I had some time to kill before my next stop would be opening. I got to what seemed to be the LA Arts District and I was glad that I had some time because finding parking would be a problem. The area has a lot of condos and apartments but not too many parking places! I finally found a spot and walked a few blocks to my next place. "ediBol" is a place that specializes and Asian fusion cuisine. They also have some interesting sides and sandwich choices. I decided to try two of their smaller plates, rice fritters and grilled cheese bites.
|ediBol in the LA Arts District|
|ediBol's version of the Guy Ate Here poster|
|ediBol's small dining room area|
|ediBol's Rice Fritter's small plate|
|Grilled Cheese bites|
|Grilled Cheese with grilled onions, stone ground mustard and Cheddar and Havarti cheeses|
I headed back to my hotel to take care of some things. I headed out later in the afternoon to the area near West Hollywood. My first stop ws a place that when it was on the show was in the Compton area but had moved to the Hollywood area and was less then a block from a legendary food landmark. Pink's Hot Dogs, a place that I have visited several times and had a huge line. I went to "Bludso's Bar and Que". I was seated at a small table and looked over the menu. They serve everything ala carte. I chose to try the 1/4 lb. Rib Tips along with the brisket baked beans and sweet tea.
|Bludso's dining area in West Hollywood|
The rib tips were big and meaty, they would pass at regular ribs in many restaurants. They were rubbed with a slightly spicy and salty base. The beans had a chili-like taste and was pretty good. They also brought mild house made BBQ sauce which was ok. The meal was really good and it was very reasonably priced. The service was excellant, too!
|Bludso's Rib Tips and Baked Beans|
|Very meaty Rib Tips|
I headed out to my last place on the trip to the very cool Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood. This area has a lot of restaurants and shops. The trendy clothing shops seemed to be the most popular with lines of 20-somethings waiting to get in.
"The Golden State" is a small place that serves bugers, sandwiches, salads and hot dogs along with local microbrews on tap. I walked up to the counter to check out the menu and order. The guys at the counter saw my book and we chatted about my travels and they were really interested and gave me the popular fist bump. I chose a hot dog with grilled onions and house made relish along with a micro green and cucumber salad.
|The Golden State on Fairfax in West Hollywood|
The meal came and the hot dog was definitely a knife and fork type of meal. The relish had a spicy kick and the grilled onions made it very tasty, the hot dog had a Coney Island snap to it. I really enjoyed the cucumber salad, they were thinly sliced and crispy. Before leaving several of the staff signed my book.
|My Golden State Hot Dog with Cucumber Salad|
|Knife and Fork Hot Dog with Onions and Relish|
I met a couple who were also dining there who are friends with Chef G Garvin and have met Guy before and they frequently go to the Golden State and didn't even know it had been on the show! They were a very charming couple and we talked about the show and the different places that I had visited both in the area and around the country.
I headed back to my hotel to get ready for my work week. My Tripe D total was now at 710.