Picking up from where I last started as I felt that this fast food expedition would be too much for one post.
What visit to America would it be without having Mexican food, greasy hot dogs and outrageous food? Nothing really…
When it comes to the best tacos in LA, there is a debate amongst my cousins as to which joint they think is best. According to one of them, King Tacos serve up some pretty good tacos so we decided to check it out after a day of shopping. King Tacos started off as a taco van but today, 36 years on, they now have expanded to 20 different locations throughout LA. The one we visited was the first restaurant established and is open 24/7.
As soon as we got there, I saw a big sign up claiming that it is “The best in town”. Wow! That’s a big call, since there are many taco places in LA. I haven’t had my fair share of burritos so I can’t really compare, I would just have to take my cousin’s word for it.
I ordered the carne asada burrito which included rice, beans, onions with cilantro and salsa. You have the option of two salsas (red or green) and to include the salsa in the burrito or have it on the side, as a warning from my cousin we decided to have it on the side. The meat is tender and falls apart easily with just the right amount of spice. This and the combination of rice and beans definitely makes it a filling meal. I’m glad I didn’t opt for the salsa being included in the burrito as it was quite hot (even for someone like me who can take chilli food).
My cousin had the chicken tacos which were loaded with onions. I didn’t get to try any of it as my burrito was so filling but it sure looked tasty and fresh.
Pink’s Hot Dogs
One of the first things my cousins told me when I arrived at their place was that they HAD to take me to Pink’s. Pink’s is a fast food joint specialising in hot dogs (they also do burgers and burritos), it is a place where celebrities are seen getting their hot dog fix (the week before I went Michelle Obama and her girls paid a visit here). In fact, there is a whole wall inside the restaurant dedicated to the many signed celebrity photographs acquired over the years.
There are items on the menu that are named after the celebrities that have made special orders and some hot dogs are named after various pop culture references; for examples include “Lord of the RINGS” – 10 inch (25cm) hot dog with BBQ sauce topped with onion rings, “Three dog night” – 3 hot dogs wrapped in a giant tortilla, 3 slices of cheese, 3 slices of bacon, chilli (con carne) & onions and “Martha Stewart Dog” – 10 inch hot dog, relish, onions, bacon, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut & sour cream.
Usually there’s a long line of customers waiting in front (the wait could be for about an hour) so we decided to set off early to avoid the crowd as we feared waiting around hours for these hot dogs. We arrived at Pink’s at about 9am to find about a dozen or so people lining up. The wait was about 15 minutes, which was plenty of time to decide what to order and have a look at the ladies prepare our breakfast. Yes, I’m having fat greasy hot dogs for breakfast!
There’s 4 of us and we ordered 5 hot dogs and 2 servings of hot chips. In the above picture, we have (clockwise from left) the Mullholland Drive Dog, Bacon Chilli Dog, 2 Chilli Cheese Dogs and the Ozzy Spicy Dog. I really enjoyed the chips, they were like beer battered chips; crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. YUM!
I ordered the Mullholland Drive Dog which is a 10 inch hot dog in a 8 inch bun, topped with grilled onions (omitted), grilled mushrooms, nacho cheese and BACON! Let me remind you again that this was my breakfast. Talk about instant heart attack to start off the day right? The nacho cheese did make it feel heavy but besides that, it was ok to eat. I wouldn’t have this frequently though.
After finishing off my massive hot dog there was 1/3 of the Bacon Chilli Dog left over; a hot dog topped with cheese, chilli (con carne), 3 strips of bacon and chopped tomatoes. I was forced to finish it off so I did. I managed to fit it in but OMG, I felt like I didn’t need to eat anything else until dinner. I also manage to try a little of the Ozzy Spicy Dog; a spicy polish hot dog with nacho and American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole and chopped tomatoes. I didn’t find the sausage to be spicy at all, it was an interesting combination of flavours.
Looking back on this, I can’t believe I had what I had for breakfast! I had my serve of heart attack for that day..
Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
Another night goes by and my cousin, Richard and I are left wondering what to eat. On this particular night we were planning to go to his favourite fast food joint (some soup/salad bar which I forgot the name of) but it was closed so we decided to make our way over to Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. At Roscoe’s, their specialty is chicken and waffles. Together! I was browsing the website before we went and it was funny to see a video of Snoop Dog endorsing Roscoe’s by taking David Beckham and Larry King to this restaurant.
It took us a while to decide on what to order but we knew we just had to have their chicken and waffles. What is it with weird sweet and savoury food combinations that seems to draw people to it? So between the two of us, we ordered the Scoe’s; 1/4 of a chicken prepared southern-style with 2 waffles and because we thought that it might not be enough food (seriously!) we also got the Country Boy which has 3 wings with a choice of waffle, potato salad or french fries.
I was intrigued yet slightly confused when I saw “biscuit” on the menu and felt slightly silly asking my cousin what a biscuit was. He did look at me weirdly, like as if I was from outer space or something. We tried our best explaining what we both thought biscuits were, so in the end we settled it by ordering one.
In the above picture (clockwise from left), we have the Scoe’s, biscuit and the country boy. I looked at the biscuit weirdly and declared that it was a scone! As expected, my cousin defended my remark but it turns out that there are two definitions for biscuit. I still standby it by my remark as it was very similar to a scone but not as sweet, it was more like a soft bread roll. The wings were lightly coated and seasoned well, and the fries were slightly soggy.
The waffles were served with whipped butter and maple syrup and the chicken was crispy, well seasoned and wasn’t too dry. Possibly the only way to eat this was to smear some butter and syrup on the waffle, tear up shreds of chicken and encase the waffle around it. I thought this combination was a little odd but it worked strangely enough when eaten together.
We struggled finishing everything as there was just way too much chicken and carbs for us to have.
Another thing that I had to do was try a fish taco as we hardly have them in Sydney. My cousins took me to a place they thought served the best and freshest fish tacos. As I walk into Senor Fish I couldn’t help but notice the vibrancy of the restaurant, there was an outdoor dining area which provided a very casual and relaxed vibe, so we settled to have lunch outside since it was a nice and warm day.
I ordered the lunch special; at US$6.95 you get 2 tacos served with rice, beans and a drink, which is pretty good value in my opinion (food has been so cheap here). There was at least 7 different fishes you can choose from but you could also have other meats in your taco. But what’s the point in going to a place specialising in fish tacos and have a chicken taco?
Inside the restaurant was an array of salsas and condiments for you to serve yourself. I grabbed most of them minus the jalapenos and found them to be mild and refreshingly tangy. The taco was keep simple with a helping of shredded cabbage and tomatoes for crunch, the fish was slightly seasoned and succulent; I really enjoyed the freshness of the tacos along with the mild spicy and tangy hit from the salsa, which was balanced out with a small dollop of sour cream.
This would definitely be a nice place to chill out with good company, a few beers (they have a decent selection of Mexican beers) and fresh fish tacos.