2013 came and went, and with it came dozens of new food trends that surfaced around the world. This year, people around the world saw a resurgence of traditional foods resurrected in another form, in one way or another. For example, the cronut fad (croissant doughnut) got everyone talking about this hybrid of a pastry, and soon social media networks like Instagram exploded with tons of posts featuring said pastry. This year, we also saw the revival of ramen, both traditionally and modernized. Ramen places like Shin-Sen-Gumi sees lines of people for hours, while any place daring enough to craft the infamous ramen burger will see lines for days. Some past food trends have managed to persist up until now, such as breakfast any time of the day, juice cleanses, food trucks, locally sourced ingredients, “housemade” foods, and especially kale. In any case, just like time itself, tastes and flavors constantly progress, leading to the progress of menus at many different restaurants. People go out to eat all the time, but sometimes certain foods really stick in their heads. Observe below five eats from Southern California that really stuck in my head this year.

5. The Griddle Café‘s Red Velvet PanCAKE

People truly cannot get enough of their breakfast foods. The world does not tote breakfast as the most important meal of the day for no reason. Breakfast provides the necessary jump-start of nutritional fuel humans need to tackle the day. The nutrients in a person’s breakfast dictate how that person may feel the rest of the day. Eat a protein & vitamin-packed breakfast, and go on with the energy of a race car. Sometimes, one just wants to indulge for breakfast. In that case, look no further than The Griddle Café in Hollywood. This iconic breakfast spot always has lines out their doors for hours, and not merely for breakfast. The Griddle Café looks at traditional breakfast items, and takes them to a brand new level. For example, their Red Velvet PanCAKE combines horizontal progression with vertical progression. Not only do you get the charm, visual appearance, and flavor of red velvet in a pancake, but it comes out thick like a cake. Just for the thrill of it, they top it off with swirls of cream cheese icing and powdered sugar. Not surprisingly, diners may not orders this for take-out. How could anyone attempt to carry this thing out? Freshness should mean something to anyone dining out, and Griddle Café does not skimp out on freshness. For the best breakfast in town, give yourself some time to wait for The Griddle Café.

4. Lazy Ox Canteen‘s Pig Ear Chicharrones

When reading a menu, the product description does more than paint a picture of the item. In some basic cases, the name of the item sufficiently states the nature of the item. For all other times, consumers require an accurate product description to understand the item. In rare cases, the name could potentially turn off some customers. In a classical “do not judge a book by its cover” moment, we take a look at a particular dish from Lazy Ox Canteen in Downtown Los Angeles. Not to knock on Lazy Ox – as one of my favorite restaurants in Downtown Los Angeles, they bring some of the most amazing dishes to the table that I have ever seen. One time, I brought my sister here, and the moment we saw Pig Ear Chicharrones on the menu, I immediately ordered it, while she turned away. No one should feel disgusted by seeing the word “ear” in the name, as the dish tastes like pork, not ears. These fried goodies come with tomatillo salsa and harissa sauce. For as thin as they appear, these chicharrones pack quite a bit of meat in every bite. Better yet, anyone can score these chicharrones for 50% off during Happy Hour. Do not let the name fool you – pork still tastes like pork, but the way Lazy Ox prepares it, your taste buds will thank you for this delicacy.

3. Scott’s Restaurant‘s Calamari

Ever come across something so butchered across America that people immediately draw a picture in their minds when they hear the word? For example, when people hear “burgers,” they usually picture the small dinky burgers from fast food chains, not the gourmet burgers from some restaurants. When people hear “pizza,” they picture large pepperoni pizzas, not the individual-size Neapolitan pizza found at Italian eateries. When people hear “calamari,” they picture small onion rings. We must teach ourselves to shed these preconceived notions and open up our minds to new visions while dropping our expectations. Now in 2013, we should expect to drop all of our expectations, and observe food the way it should taste, not how it appears. When you find yourself in Scott’s Restaurant, expect to receive a fantastic meal unlike what typical restaurants may serve you. The level of quality behind Scott’s exceeds that of conventional “steak & seafood” restaurants with their use of ingredients direct from local farms. As such, their prices match the effort they go to serve you such tasty meals. For a tasting that will not break your bank, check out their appetizer menu, which lists a handful of seafood appetizers like their Calamari. Whereas regular restaurants serve calamari plainly fried, Scott’s gives you a plate of calamari lightly fried, but dressed with lemon, garlic, shallots, and a spicy provencal sauce. This creates a combination of tastes that require no additional dipping sauces, as all the flavor you need comes right there on that plate. Feel free to have a seat on the bar/lounge side to order this and a drink, as you receive the same service there, but at a quicker response rate.

2. Spring Street Smoke House‘s Burnt Ends

Certain regional dishes often get imitated, but never successfully duplicated. For example, the Philly Cheesesteak does not gets its name simply from its origin – only the real thing comes from Philadelphia, and nowhere else in the world can anyone obtain an authentic cheesesteak other than Philadelphia. Many other types of food receive some attention from places far from its origin, but sadly cannot compete with the original. Many people believe they understand true southern-style BBQ, which, in the United States, originated on the east coast. Sadly, tons of “southern BBQ” restaurants exist in California that come nowhere close to the real thing found in the originating regions like Memphis, Carolina, or even the midwest. Once in a while, a true gem shines out of the pack, such as Spring Street Smoke House in Downtown Los Angeles. As one of the few BBQ restaurants in Southern California doing BBQ right, Spring Street Smoke House takes what we love about southern-style BBQ and applies it to a Southern California setting, complete with a fine selection of local craft beers on tap. Among the menu of smoked meats like pulled pork and brisket, Spring Street Smoke House features specials like their Burnt Ends plate. Diners may choose a 1/2 pound or full pound of these crispy trimmings from the ends of their smoked brisket, and these come smothered in BBQ sauce along with a pickle and a choice of two sides. In one dish alone, anyone ordering this will experience crispy, meaty, tangy, smokey, salty, crunchy, and lots of other words that can describe the perfect BBQ plate. Head on in to Spring Street Smoke House soon and order this baby up, along with a nice cold pint of your favorite local craft beer.

1. Crazee Burger‘s Muddy Pig

Places with the craziest ideas often receive labels from the public. Depending on how unconventional things appear to the public, the public may embrace it or question it. As long as a strange concept gets marketed properly, the public generally will keep an open mind to it. When Slater’s 50/50 first described their concept of a burger made of half bacon and half beef, the public initially started skeptical, but soon came to embrace it. Other fads like cronuts and ramen burgers relied on the internet to virally market those concepts. The right marketing can quickly turn the tide for any business, regardless of how much effort the marketing receives. If the locals love it, the locals equate to free marketing, and locals love Crazee Burger. This small burger shack in North Park, San Diego has garnered quite a following of fans that has stretched across the nation with their penchant for exotic, unconventional burgers. They embrace their given name of Crazee with the odd quirks found only here, such as a Happy Hour that runs from 2:23 to 6:19, instead of the traditional “on the hour” start and end times. Even more crazy lies in their menu of over 20 burgers, which features odd combinations and exotic meats. So far, the craziest burger I have tried, the Muddy Pig, comes with Nutella, bacon, and caramelized plantains. Breakfast burgers definitely exist, but none have come close to this sweet deal of a meal. Unfortunately, Crazee Burger currently does not list the Muddy Pig on their menu anymore, so if you seek this burger, I suggest calling them to see if they can still create it. Even if they no longer make this burger, the rest of their menu contains plenty of other great choices, so pop on in soon, especially during Happy Hour, and order up a burger and beer, and experience Crazee for yourself.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. […] …resurrected in another form, in one way or another. For example, the cronut fad (croissant doughnut) got everyone talking about this hybrid of a pastry, and soon social media networks like Instagram exploded…See all stories on this topic […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s