Chalupa

Last month I worked at a summer school program and I didn’t take lunch because I had these expectations that this college in Los Angeles would have many ethnic restaurants around.

There was a pizzeria, a sushi restaurant and………..Taco Bell.

It was Taco Bell fused with KFC, so customers could order fried chicken and liquid cheese (no by itself, but as an integral component of many Taco Bell dishes).

Okay, i was in Long Beach and the lunch situation was grim. I didn’t have much time so I went into the Taco Bell-KFC hybrid.

Taco Bell was something I dreamt about during my sojourn in Singapore. 

The fantasy version of Taco Bell is much better than the sad truth. 

The chalupa sounded promising. 


In lieu of a taco shell a fluffy pita-like bread substance was used. The pale iceberg lettuce and tomato chunks made this a healthy lunch. 

The meat was the traditional Grade D beef used by Taco Bell chefs for ages.

The jalapeños were the soft olive colored pickled ones that cost $2 for two quarts. 

Sadly the cheese wasn’t liquid. 


The Doritos taco was pretty good. I devoured it before I even thought about blogging this elegant repast. 


Adding to the ambience were dirty tables and filthy floors. 

Sooo Cali Hot Dog 

On my way to the FYF Festival I stopped off at Dog Haus, a restaurant apparently specializing in hot dogs. 


On this beef hot dog were fried onions, tomato slices, avocados and a spicy basil aioli.

The toasted bun was decent bread. 

It was good, albeit messy. 


I went to the FYF Fest to see MGMT and they put on a good show. I bought a ticket from a scalper for $200. Ouch!

In N Out Cheeseburger

At one time in my life I thought In N Out was the Alpha and Omega of fast food burgers. At one time I guess it has. But the burger Renaissance which began about a decade ago, has left In N Out behind. Don’t get me wrong- it’s much better than Wendy’s or McDonald’s or Burger King. 

But Five Guys is better. 


The bun is light, similar to challah or a brioche. It was not greasy at all and I could have easily eaten two of them. Vegetables are an afterthought and the thin leaf of lettuce was sad. 


The fries were too dry. 

It’s over between me and In N Out. I’ve moved on to better cheeseburgers. 

Spotburger with Cheese

A few weeks ago I found myself in Carpintería, California.

Since The Spot appeared to be a local institution, lunch there would mr the most blogworthy, I reckoned. 


It was a decently cooked cheeseburger served with romaine lettuce, a slice of tomato, ketchup and mustard. I believe there were pickles in the sandwich, of the sour variety. The patty had a nice char on it. The bun was toasted perfectly. 


They had a minimalist condiment bar and I availed myself of sport peppers, the provenance of the name both eluded me then and now. 

Baconator 

I don’t remember if I had ever eaten this cheeseburger from Wendy’s long ago or not.

Coming back from a family event with my brother who lives in Hollywood we pulled off somewhere around Huntington Beach to get something to eat.


While I prefer steak to be cooked rare, the charred well doneness of this burger pleased me. The cheese was waxy, the bacon cheesy, but I devoured it. It wasn’t great by any means, but hunger is the best spice, as they say. 


There were no vegetables at all in the burger, not even the idea of iceberg lettuce. 

Poutine (加拿大的起司炸薯条)

I can’t remember the time before this I had had poutine, but it might have been eight years or so ago on a pub crawl through San Diego.

If not then, then it would have sometime in the late 20th century in Windsor, Ontario.


It had been a long time. I was hanging out with one of my brothers and I thought why not and we went inside this place, apparently a chain, next to Danny Trejo’s taqueria. 

I was impressed. The fries were hand-cut (or appeared that way to my amateur eye) but more importantly were fried twice, so the outside was crispy and the interior light and almost fluffy.

The gravy tasted like it was made with fresh ingredients. I appreciated the black pepper. I had ordered the classic poutine and I thought that they served a generous portion of cheese curds. 

I wouldn’t exactly call this junk food as it was made with good ingredients, but a case could be made that this is.


I recommend this place for an occasional indulgence, unless you don’t worry about your weight and or are bulking up.