Tour de Food: Los Angeles (LA Eats 2010)

3:00 pm: Padres Game
ILMN group outing for work! Closest to the field I’ve ever sat at Petco and in the all you can eat section. Downed two wienerschnitzel hot dogs as soon as I got in but decided to save some space for the adventures that would go on later tonight. Sadly the Pads were getting spanked by the D-backs when I left around the 5th inning.

Tour de Food: Los Angeles

7:30 pm: Boiling Crab (Garden Grove)
A series of rather unfortunate events had me reeling and scrambling to unload a few ISA tickets as soon as possible. On the plus side, 12-14 year old girls are willing to pay quite a fee to see Wong Fu, Far East Movement, and Jay Park. On the other hand, because they are 12-14 year old girls it means they can’t really meet half way or anything to exchange, so we had to take a short trip up to a few places in the southern California region. Joining me on this adventure tonight would be John Yao of SimplyTwo and Project Resonate, Chiyori Angevine, and Joshua Wu.

You wouldn’t believe how many times I have been asked, “are you scamming me?” in the last week while trying to sell my tickets.

First up, Garden Grove. Dropped off a ticket and decided to hit up a local favorite. Cajon sauce slathered shrimp! The first time you go to this restaurant you will be shocked by the masses congregating outside. The wait is excrutiatingly long (45min+). However, if you walk just 3 stores over to the right you will find a To Go shop where the wait is only 10 minutes. The only downside is finding a place to eat this glorious mess.

Tour de Food: Los Angeles
[left] Boiling Crab To Go. [right] C.Angevine, J.Yao, V.Ho, J.Wu, L.Hui having dinner in Cerritos

9:00 pm: The Hat (Alhambra)

Tour de Food: Los Angeles
Pastrami Sandwiches and Chili Cheese Fries

If you are a fan of pastrami and you haven’t had this, it is an great experience. The sandwich itself will become a standard that you measure all future pastrami sandwiches to. Many places have better quality pastrami but none in my experience have challenged the Hat’s sheer quantity of meaty goodness. I find myself always comparing any pastrami, reuben, or corned beef to this place. First timers beware. Do not try finishing a sandwich and a chili cheese fries on your own. You simply can’t.

11:00 pm: Wurstkuche (Downtown Los Angeles)

Tour de Food: Los Angeles
800 East 3rd Street,Los Angeles, CA 90013

This was a recommendation by one of the artists mentioned a few posts ago (Stephen Lee of Feats in Inches). When I had brought up Pinks both Daniel and Stephen shook their heads and named Wurstkuche and Skooby’s as the LA local’s place of choice for their hot dog fixes. I decided Wurstkuche would be our next location upon hearing that they offered rattlesnake meat hot dogs.

The place is right next to little tokyo in downtown LA and this is definitely a happening spot for the mid-20’s crowd. It resembles a modern beer hall with cafeteria-like long tables that really facilitate meeting new people. You’ll find yourself bumping elbows with strangers, shouting over loud music, and eating in a dimly lit room at night. Yet all of this contributes to an experience that is rather enjoyable.

exotic selections in the front

photo stolen from
beer hall style dining area

Tour de Food: Los Angeles
left to right: rattlesnake and rabbit, alligator, buffalo

Not quite the exotic meats connoisseurs, we were unable to clearly distinguish the different meats. We could definitely taste that it was different but had the names not been written on a serving sheet, we would not have been able to tell you which was which. The atmosphere and the beers on tap (we didn’t have any) seem to be one of the reasons locals keep coming back.

The dogs themselves are a novelty and there aren’t many places like this. I happily concede that this place is better than pinks, both in food quality and the wait. Definitely the highlight of the trip! Thanks LA for being a great host. Until next time…


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