The LA Marathon Food Marathon
I've said it before and I'll say it again, a food marathon is the only kind of marathon I will ever run. 26 miles is about 21 miles too long. I could run for a short distance... maybe- No, I don't like running. I played baseball through my formative years. I kickbox. Those are sports that don't require copious amounts of running and those are sports that I like.
We began the food marathon in Hollywood, not far from where the runners started their their four hour tour of pain. They ran endlessly while we sauntered lazily towards the Hollywood Farmer's Market. We figured with the distraction and road closures the farmer's market would be less crowded and I finally could try the famous pupusa stand. We were right. No line at 10am is a rare occurrence. We ordered pork and cheese pupusas with strawberry and pineapple lemonades. We sat on the dirty curb and enjoyed a salty breakfast of champions. Not far away real marathoners were jealous, whether they knew it or not.
Next up was Hollywood's newest breakfast spot, The Waffle. With the success of places like The Griddle, Toast, Swingers and the Alcove, combined with a prime location, The Waffle shouldn't have any problems getting business. It's too bad their decor, music and food sucked. We had a bacon infused waffle- yes, a waffle with bacon in the batter, AND IT WASN'T GOOD. You won't hear me say that a lot, but the bacon wasn't flavorful enough. The waffle (as in the namesake of the restaurant) wasn't hot, wasn't light, wasn't airy... It didn't matter whether the side of hash browns with jalapeños and cheese was good or not, because they screwed up the waffle and wasted bacon. They're dead to me. Throw in Shawshank Redemption-looking uniforms, a country-pop version of Raspberry Berret and twelve clashing colors on the walls and you have the recipe for hot plate of suck.
Luckily we were redeemed tenfold at our next stop. Evan Kleiman's Good Food is always a good source for local restaurant info. She has great guests including Thai correspondent Jet Tila. He suggested a northern Thai-specializing hole-in-the-wall called Spicy BBQ. I was intrigued because I love Jitlada's Southern Thai menu, and looked forward to comparing the Northern with the Southern. Like all the best restaurants in LA, it's located in a strip mall. It's next to Falafel Arax which will definitely be on our next marathon. The tiny restaurant actually plays Thai music (as opposed to Jitlada and Torung which play weird covers of oldies). The owner took our order than ran in back to prepare the food- just like eating in someone's kitchen. We had the egg noddle and spicy jackfruit (jackfruit on back to back food marathons). Both were phenomenal- the egg noodles were like the Thai version of Fettucin Alfredo.
They even have a rotating spinner of spicy sauces.To all of the people who ran the marathon, I'm very proud of you. I hope you built up an enormous appetite and ate something really good after.