Saturday, October 10, 2009

La Playita - Marina Del Rey

Seems odd that we have not found a good truck in Van Nuys. It's Saturday lunch time so in Venice it's La Playita time. They are found near the storage rental place on Glencoe just south of CostCo. The truck can be found six days a week there. Its' run by a bunch of fine fellows. La Playia is mobile arm of the La Playia stand on Lincoln Blvd up from Whole Foods. We've been fans of the Lincoln stand for years, but the parking is tough and there is always a line of taco hounds on Lincoln.

It's always the same - two asada tacos, two carnitas tacos, two ceviche. Seven bucks for the whole deal (no drink). The ceviche comes with two regulation fried torillas for scooping.

A lot people lack the huevos to eat truck ceviche in any form at any location. Some of the more courageous truck reviewers have paid a heavy price when sampling truck seafood. We've done this run 15 or 20 times and have never gotten sick.
The tacos are standard issue truck tacos. Quality is very high. No nasty stuff in the asada and the carnitas are first class. La Playita is a full menu truck with all the "exotics" buche etc. We stay away from the connective tissues and the organ meats so you are on your own in this area.

Final pix here shows two of these puppies ready for consumption. $1.35 a shot and nothing more to add but the call for dos mas.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Finding good BBQ has always been a challenge here in LA. There have been some good finds. The Rib Nest, the long lost and much lamented "Pig" on La Brea, the hard to find "Spring Street Smokehouse" down near Philppes. Baby Blue is a popular Venice hang out but their sides are a bit fancy for our taste. At present the current gold standard is the absolutely fantastic "Johnny Rebs" in Long Beach - but that's a long haul for pork.

We were coming back from another - yes 4 times in 5 days - Taco Mexico run when Mom's pops up on the radar. Set back in a strip mall near Hazeltine and Van Owen. We made it there today.

Here the crew is sizing up the offerings. This is a full boat BBQ operation. Pork, beef, chicken and fried fish with the usual sides.

NA went for the pork slice sandwich with a mac and cheese side. Excellent.

HD and RD went for the beef ribs - $10 and change gets you 3 monster ribs, two sides, some sliced white bread and a drink.

I went for the pork ribs. But the picture from my cheap Iphone knockoff was awful.

Ok - all restraint is lost - Mom's is the best BBQ place in LA. J Reb is still my favorite for chicken and pulled pork - but Mom blows away every rib place in town. And I bet the chicken and fried catfish are world class too.

Guess the "yeah it's good but Maurice's Piggie Park in West Columbia SC is the real thing". days are gone for good. Sorry Maurice.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mercardo Buenos Aires

Every now and then you run across a place like this. "Bay Cities" in Santa Monica, "Taco Miendo" and the fabulous "Aljeos" in Venice come to mind. Typically family owned and run - and it shows. Our friends from Argentina have been raving about this place for weeks now. So we go...

About 25 of us showed up - here is a rare picture with actual faces revealed. We generally do not publish recognizable images to be assured that we don't get any special treatment as known reviewers. We must remain independent even if it means having to go full fare.

We open with the empanadas - very tasty - light weight - not greasy at all. We did the meat and spinach and both were very good.

NA went full boat on the melanesa - check out the double barreled fried egg topping. Not for the faint of heart.

The ticket here are the combo meat platters. We show both in all their meaty glory. We got both varieties the sausage one and the other with ribs etc. Both were killer. Dos Mas all the way - but they leave no room for Dos Mas. One tray serves 3. And it's all good.

MBA is open until 10 Fridays and Saturdays. Sepulveda and Saticoy in Van Nuys. This is one of those places you wanna tell people "JUST GO". To be included with the likes of Tacos Por Favor, Taco Miendo, Beer and Salsa and Aljeos is high praise indeed and well deserved. I suspect the flank steak may even rival the best offerings of Monty's or the legendary "Chez Jay" pepper steak near the Rand Corp in Santa Monica. A great find thanks to our friends from Argentina.


Ahh Panos - one of the first places we went after I came on board. Not much to say other than it is fully sanctioned. Not even sure of the address. It's a typical Valley Srip Mall place - been there since 1962 and quite reliable.

We generally go for the standard gyros/fries/soft drink combo. Comes in around $7 bucks ( #2 on the white board by the order window ).

Ahh the treasure is revealed.

We go here about every two weeks or so. Never a let down, the same guy's always at the counter, the same guy is always at the grill, the food is always the same. Good quality, good quantity and it's not too far from the studio.