Seated Street Food Marathon
The naming of a food marathon is not a simple act. Sometimes geography plays a major role (as with the F#@K the Westside Food Marathon). Sometimes the type of food is the dictator (like the Big India vs Little India Food Marathon).
This time there were a number of factors. It could have been called The Blogger Food Marathon because I was joined by Food GPS and Mattatouille. At one point it was the Gentrified Food Marathon because each place was an upscale version of it's more ghetto predecessor.
Finally I went with Matt's suggestion- the Seated Street Food Marathon- because the marathon consisted of street food; hot dogs, tacos, shawarma and Thai street stall fare. The seated part was added as every restaurant we visited was a step above their street counterparts because they had seating- some even took our order and served us. Whether the food stacked up against it's street-side originators... not quite, but definitely a close relative.
First stop was Skooby's... on a Sunday in July on Hollywood Blvd. It's dirty, there's traffic, there's hooker stores, stripper stores, electronics shops, tour guides, bums, junkies and all the other crap that crap that Hollywood is world renowned for. I had a chili cheese dog,fries and a lemonade.
The dog was good but small compared to Pinks. Carney's chili is better but overall it was an enjoyable experience. The fries weren't crispy enough and their seasoning salt/dipping sauce were good but not amazing. The lemonade was fantastic.
Next was Loteria Grill. It's located kitty-corner to Skooby's making it one of the closest one-two punches on any food marathon. We opted for the taco sampler platter
which are basically silver dollar tacos. My favorite way to eat is one bite of each flavor so this was an ideal dish. It leaves you wanting more but can't compare to a good LA taco truck.
I like the new Loteria and think they've done a great thing for their franchise. Hollywood Blvd needs more upscale lunch/dinner places that aren't aiming to draw the douchebag freeway & canyon crowd.
It's comfortable and spacious with a full bar, outdoor seating and solid food.
This is where the marathon switched from the gentrified food marathon to the seated street food. 8 oz. is closed on sundays.
And although it could have been the foot traffic food marathon (between the tourists on Hollywood and skaters/shoppers on Melrose), we shifted gears towards Falafel-Arax and Spicy BBQ.
We had a delicious Shawourma sandwich and a lamb tongue sandwich. Both were very good but couldn't compete with the real thing in Israel. That said the tongue was extremely tender and flavorful- much better than I expected.
How two phenomenal places like Arax and Spicy BBQ can share a wall is a geographically perfect miracle. Before the lamb had even cleared my esophagus we were eating delicious Northern Thai chili sauce.We ordered three dishes that I hadn't tried on previous visits:
Glass noodles with chilis, eggplant, shrimp and overflowing with flavor,
Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside sausages,
and superb pork patties with fried mint.
This was my favorite dish of the day. The mint is what makes it.
Finally the marathon came to an end and I was quite full. Now that I have some serious eaters on the team we can do some major marathons in the future. Next time Teenage Glutster's invited too.