Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not in My House: Samosa House

Samosa House isn't just a vegetarian Indian fast food place.
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It's also a market where suspicious women give you the stink-eye for taking a photo during their produce perusal.

Samosa House was not our intended destination this night. We and our pals, the Cruisers, wanted to go to A-Frame, but A-Frame was packed.

We then headed down the street to this place full of spicy aromas, Indian groceries, and vegetarian hipsters with unkempt hair under thrift store hats.
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When you partake of the "deli" section, it's like you're at a high school cafeteria that serves only vegetarian Indian food. Combination plates cost $7.99 and include three mains, rice, and naan.

If you live on the west side, don't eat meat, and have no taste buds, this is the perfect take-out food for you!

Here was our stash. In addition to combination plates, we got samosas ($1.50 each), pakoras ($2.99), and one of the least appetizing desserts that I've ever had in my life. The combination plates were unexciting, and everything tasted the same after about five minutes. The samosas and pakoras were decent. The naan was fine.
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But this dessert? Blech! It was like eating almost flavorless butter with a perfumey tinge. I am gagging just looking at this photo. Bad memories.

The love for Samosa House baffles me. I expected more flavor from a place that smelled so strongly of spices. I also expected amazing samosas, given the restaurant's namesake. I got neither.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Unmemorable: The Burger Kitchen


The Burger Kitchen wasn't terribly special. I'm told that it will be featured on Kitchen Nightmares in the future. The place has probably already revamped its menu since my visit, so this review may be fairly useless to you.
The Kitchen Nightmares appearance was kind of weird news to me because, while I didn't find The Burger Kitchen terribly special, I didn't find it especially terrible either.

Margo's Bark Root Beer ($2.50).
It had bite! Yum!

The one thing that was kind of terrible at The Burger Kitchen was the pricing of some items, but the burgers are purportedly made of special 40-day-dry-aged Pat La Frieda meat.
I guess Pat La Frieda is burger code for "you can charge a shitload." I suppose it didn't hurt that this particular burger also had lobster on it.

Fear not. We did not die and go to heaven $50 poorer. But we did spend a decent chunk of change on some other offerings.

The Natural Burger -- butter lettuce, grilled tomatoes, caramelized onions, white cheddar ($26).
It was fine, but it didn't make me sing the praises of Pat La Frieda. This makes me wonder what The Burger Kitchen may have been doing wrong because Pat La Frieda supplies the legendary Minetta Tavern, right? Or would I be unappreciative of Minetta, too?

These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.

BLT -- maple-glazed bacon, arugula, breaded sliced tomato, herb aioli dressing ($8.50).
I'm not really sure why Mama Monkey ordered this. I guess she didn't feel like having a burger. It was a BLT. Nothing more to say beyond that.

Capitol Burger -- lettuce, glazed apples, bleu cheese ($11). We added bacon to it, too.
Now here's a burger that's better priced! This was made of non-Pat La Frieda beef. I honestly couldn't tell the difference in the meat. How sad for me.

Beer-battered onion rings ($4.50).
Less batter would be better!

I didn't hate The Burger Kitchen, but there are certainly better burger places in L.A. Perhaps Kitchen Confidential has since whipped this place into shape. I know, if Gordon Ramsay were yelling at me, I probably wouldn't spear my burgers with stupid eye-poking skewers.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Can't Believe It's Not Deserted: Desert Rose

If it weren't for Blackboard Eats, I never would've gone to Desert Rose.
My deal allowed for 30% off a total bill for up to a party of six. Sold!

The six of us had a fun time. The patio is very group-friendly. But, if you're looking for food that wows, Desert Rose falls short.
I'm surprised that Desert Rose has lasted this long with its mediocre fare.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It Lived Up to Its Name: Mas Malo

Who names a Mexican restaurant Malo? And who follows that up by naming a second Mexican restaurant Más Malo? Funny enough, if you don't speak Spanish, this probably doesn't seem odd to you at all. But, if you do speak Spanish, do you not share my bewilderment?
Más Malo is the Downtown sister restaurant to the original Malo in Silver Lake.

Medicina Latina -- Gran Centenario Reposado, lime juice, agave nectar, ginger ($11).
Great drink. The drinks are something that this place does well.

But, sadly, the restaurant is aptly named for its food. Some people rave about this place. I don't get it. I really don't.

The first thing that pissed me off? You have to pay for your chips and salsa. What?

Here are the damn chips. They are "chewy" chips. Again, people rave about these. And, again, I don't get it.
Accompanying salsas are $4 each, or you can get a "flight" of salsas for $12.

They are not worth $12. I promise you.

Carnitas marinated with Coca-Cola and fresh orange juice ($14).

Enchiladas and carne asada in a mild savory salsa roja ($15).

I don't even remember what this was. Giggles ordered it and gave me a bite.

The one food item I liked was this dessert of fried bread with powdered sugar and honey.
Bueno! Finalmente!

The Mexican hot chocolate was palatable, too.
Phew. At least we ended on a decent note.

I can walk to Más Malo.

But, after this meal, I haven't had any desire to return.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Royal Waste of Time and Money: XIV


You're probably wondering, "If this place is closed, why are you still posting this?"

Because now I get to say that XIV totally sucked with impunity!

Ah, XIV, your beautiful Roman numeral bushes and gorgeous bar couldn't save you. You cared more about the douchebaggy scene than about your food.
No meal should elicit this reaction.

You should be thankful that this place failed, Michael Mina. It wasn't worthy of your empire. Please try harder in L.A. next time. You can (and should) do better.
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