Friday, January 4, 2013
actionfoodnow:

Being a Southern Californian, I find myself immune to the wonders and spectacles while meandering along Hollywood Boulevard. After the first stroll or two, the sights start to lose their pizzazz. Let’s examine, there’s Grauman Chinese Theater. Wow. There are also the statues of celebrities in front of the wax museum. They’re awesome, really they are. And it’s nearly impossible for the raunchy guy with stilts and assless chaps to go unnoticed. I usually try to pretend I don’t see him, but strangely I can’t look away. 
No matter how typical or strange a day in Hollywood might seem, Pink’s Hot Dogs will always be Hollywood’s most popular attraction. It’s not hard to find, just look for the long line on La Brea Avenue. I didn’t expect to be one of Pink’s daily 2,000 customers but a couple of factors lead to my visit on this day.  First off, I have a severe distaste for hot dogs and if I was ever going to give myself a shot at enjoying them it may as well be at a world famous hot dog stand.  This had also not been my first Pink’s experience. My first encounter was at the San Diego County Fair. I ordered bacon ranch fries. The fries were lukewarm and soggy, but worst of all; too much ranch and a wimpy sprinkling of bacon. No, extremely wimpy. 
Luckily, I believe in second chances. However, the long line wasn’t helping any shot Pink’s had at redemption though no one else seemed to mind. Perhaps they didn’t care because they knew a treat was in store. Maybe they came too far to turn back. Perhaps they came in hopes a celebrity might stop by for lunch. An event that is not uncommon in Tinsel Town. Whatever the reason, I wanted to know because patience is no virtue of mine. I turned my attention to the menu I received upon arrival.  It features not only hot dogs but also burgers, fries and onion rings. All of which have potential to be smothered in chili, nacho cheese, bacon or ranch dressing.
In the section marked “Super Specials” Pink’s takes advantage of its Hollywood locale by listing movies and celebrities as names for its hot dogs. The Lord of the “RINGS” Dog appropriately intertwined with onion rings is so cliché to the point that it inspires a slight chuckle. 
Aside from The Pat Morrison Baja Veggie Dog—-topped with guacamole, tomatoes, and onions—- little thought is given to the dietary demands of vegans and vegetarians. They should not be discouraged from attending because the world’s herbivores can easily gain access to the whole menu by substituting vegan dogs for the traditional meaty variety. An accommodation the cooks are happy to provide.  Their brains are also impressive as they have all been trained to have photographic memories.
I approached the window with a laundry list waiting for the manager to write down my order. She only gazed at me intently and simply responded, “It’ll be ready in five minutes.” I stood patiently by the grill and the science of Pink’s began to tease my senses. Caramelized onions, mushrooms, and buns sang with a sweet sizzle on the grill while meaty aromas filled the air. 
Pink’s hot dogs are nothing like the processed plastic wrapped dogs in the freezer section. They are not skinny, nor are they ridden with preservatives and the unpleasant flavor of saline. Pink’s hot dogs, manufactured by the Hoffy Corporation, are plump and juicy. They make a slight cracking sound when bitten and out oozes a smoky and natural beefy flavored liquid.
Everything came as soon and accurate as promised: a Spicy Polish Dog covered in onions and green bell peppers, a Turkey Burger with mushrooms, light mayo, and lettuce, bacon ranch fries, and a large Sprite without ice.
The standout was the redeeming crispy and hot bacon ranch fries topped with a mountain of slightly charred bacon. Much improved from my first Pink’s endeavor. The Spicy Polish Dog is juicy, smoky, peppery and so tasty that it puts the pathetically processed Oscar Mayer Weiner to shame.  
The food however is not solely responsible for making Pink’s the legend that it is. Celebrities not only make their marks on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard, but also in Pink’s modestly decorated dining room. It holds only nine tables covered in white cloth and the walls are adorned with photos of Hollywood’s Elite: Demi Moore, George Lopez, Tom Hanks, Bill Cosby, Pink etc. More interesting, the restaurant serves as a good luck charm for struggling actors. They simply visit Pink’s; place their photo on the wall and then they make it big. It’s magic.
Tourists should take note. When in Hollywood do as the Hollywood people do, save the Boulevard for last and stop by Pink’s for the quintessential Hollywood experience.

actionfoodnow:

Being a Southern Californian, I find myself immune to the wonders and spectacles while meandering along Hollywood Boulevard. After the first stroll or two, the sights start to lose their pizzazz. Let’s examine, there’s Grauman Chinese Theater. Wow. There are also the statues of celebrities in front of the wax museum. They’re awesome, really they are. And it’s nearly impossible for the raunchy guy with stilts and assless chaps to go unnoticed. I usually try to pretend I don’t see him, but strangely I can’t look away.

No matter how typical or strange a day in Hollywood might seem, Pink’s Hot Dogs will always be Hollywood’s most popular attraction. It’s not hard to find, just look for the long line on La Brea Avenue. I didn’t expect to be one of Pink’s daily 2,000 customers but a couple of factors lead to my visit on this day.  First off, I have a severe distaste for hot dogs and if I was ever going to give myself a shot at enjoying them it may as well be at a world famous hot dog stand.  This had also not been my first Pink’s experience. My first encounter was at the San Diego County Fair. I ordered bacon ranch fries. The fries were lukewarm and soggy, but worst of all; too much ranch and a wimpy sprinkling of bacon. No, extremely wimpy.

Luckily, I believe in second chances. However, the long line wasn’t helping any shot Pink’s had at redemption though no one else seemed to mind. Perhaps they didn’t care because they knew a treat was in store. Maybe they came too far to turn back. Perhaps they came in hopes a celebrity might stop by for lunch. An event that is not uncommon in Tinsel Town. Whatever the reason, I wanted to know because patience is no virtue of mine. I turned my attention to the menu I received upon arrival.  It features not only hot dogs but also burgers, fries and onion rings. All of which have potential to be smothered in chili, nacho cheese, bacon or ranch dressing.

In the section marked “Super Specials” Pink’s takes advantage of its Hollywood locale by listing movies and celebrities as names for its hot dogs. The Lord of the “RINGS” Dog appropriately intertwined with onion rings is so cliché to the point that it inspires a slight chuckle.

Aside from The Pat Morrison Baja Veggie Dog—-topped with guacamole, tomatoes, and onions—- little thought is given to the dietary demands of vegans and vegetarians. They should not be discouraged from attending because the world’s herbivores can easily gain access to the whole menu by substituting vegan dogs for the traditional meaty variety. An accommodation the cooks are happy to provide.  Their brains are also impressive as they have all been trained to have photographic memories.

I approached the window with a laundry list waiting for the manager to write down my order. She only gazed at me intently and simply responded, “It’ll be ready in five minutes.” I stood patiently by the grill and the science of Pink’s began to tease my senses. Caramelized onions, mushrooms, and buns sang with a sweet sizzle on the grill while meaty aromas filled the air.

Pink’s hot dogs are nothing like the processed plastic wrapped dogs in the freezer section. They are not skinny, nor are they ridden with preservatives and the unpleasant flavor of saline. Pink’s hot dogs, manufactured by the Hoffy Corporation, are plump and juicy. They make a slight cracking sound when bitten and out oozes a smoky and natural beefy flavored liquid.

Everything came as soon and accurate as promised: a Spicy Polish Dog covered in onions and green bell peppers, a Turkey Burger with mushrooms, light mayo, and lettuce, bacon ranch fries, and a large Sprite without ice.

The standout was the redeeming crispy and hot bacon ranch fries topped with a mountain of slightly charred bacon. Much improved from my first Pink’s endeavor. The Spicy Polish Dog is juicy, smoky, peppery and so tasty that it puts the pathetically processed Oscar Mayer Weiner to shame.  

The food however is not solely responsible for making Pink’s the legend that it is. Celebrities not only make their marks on the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard, but also in Pink’s modestly decorated dining room. It holds only nine tables covered in white cloth and the walls are adorned with photos of Hollywood’s Elite: Demi Moore, George Lopez, Tom Hanks, Bill Cosby, Pink etc. More interesting, the restaurant serves as a good luck charm for struggling actors. They simply visit Pink’s; place their photo on the wall and then they make it big. It’s magic.

Tourists should take note. When in Hollywood do as the Hollywood people do, save the Boulevard for last and stop by Pink’s for the quintessential Hollywood experience.

Friday, June 29, 2012

My Recipe For Taco Pizza


Ingredients: Ground Beef, Pizza Dough, Prego Sauce (tomato, Garlic and Onion Flavor), Taco Seasoning or Pizza Sauce,  Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Cumin, Cayenne, Pizza Crust (Rhodes self rise dough is great), Bell Peppers (Red and Green), Spinach, Red Onions, Cilantro, Black Olives, Sour Cream, Pico De Gallo, Mozzarella Cheese and Queso Fresco (fresh), ½ tsp Sugar or 1 pack sugar substitute

Brown grown beef (Drain excess fluid) with red onions, add your preferred choice of taco seasoning. Follow the directions on the package.

Roll out your pizza dough (Vons, local pizzeria, frozen bread loaf or make your own). Once the dough is rolled into the desired shape, prick the dough all over with fork prongs (this helps crust to become crispy). Drizzle crust with Olive Oil and sprinkle with garlic and salt (to your taste). Bake crust at 450 degrees for ten minutes. Now! It’s sauce time.

Combine your sauce on the stove with your seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, cumin (generous amount) and sugar), cayenne pepper (season to taste), and heat the sauce until warm.

Remove pizza crust and ladle the crust with the sauce (to your taste). Add your taco mixture (meats and cheeses and place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes.

Now,  sauté’ spinach, red onions, and sliced bell peppers in a pan with a hint of olive oil; Drain excess liquids. Remove pizza from oven and add spinach mixture (scatter around pizza), add black olives and more cheeses (to your taste).

Continue baking the pizza until it is crispy and brown (or to your liking).
 

Monday, June 25, 2012
I’ve been craving a good taco for the past few months and if it wasn’t for Shane I wouldn’t have found out that it was hiding at the Old Town Mexican Cafe.
Pictured above is a Grilled Mahi Mahi Taco and  Lobster Taco. It’s contents are buried in a tangy white sauce and a heaping pile of fresh cabbage. 

I’ve been craving a good taco for the past few months and if it wasn’t for Shane I wouldn’t have found out that it was hiding at the Old Town Mexican Cafe.

Pictured above is a Grilled Mahi Mahi Taco and  Lobster Taco. It’s contents are buried in a tangy white sauce and a heaping pile of fresh cabbage. 

Friday, June 22, 2012
I was captivated by the hypnotic flame blazing inside the lobster tail. I love a little element of danger at dinner time.

I was captivated by the hypnotic flame blazing inside the lobster tail. I love a little element of danger at dinner time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Frozen Treats with a Touch of Bubbly

I was watching Everyday Italian as I usually do when I’m in the mood to drool at the T.V. Giada had scooped a mound of Raspberry Sorbet into a goblet and then followed a foamy stream of Prosecco right over the top. I found this to be incredibly brilliant so I have been trying as many Frozen Treat and Wine combinations as possible.  The image which I captured shows a mound of Mango Sherbet floating in a glass of White Zifandel. The sweetness of the sherbert tones down the sharp bite which is common with most fruit based alcoholic beverages.

A little something new to try if Ice Cream is starting to bore you.

P.S. Rasperry Sorbet with Arbor Mist is really grea as well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
This cake was nowhere to be found. I’m arresting this fortune cookie for food perjury.

This cake was nowhere to be found. I’m arresting this fortune cookie for food perjury.

Food For Thought

Gazing at a fine looking plate of food shoots endorphins through my brain, much like how a teenage boy’s hormones go crazy when he flips through the Victoria Secret Catalogue.  Seems like an odd comparison but often times I’m bothered by the fact that we view attractive people in the way we view delicious looking food. So the next time a hot gal or guy ask if you think he or she is a piece of meat you may want to consider this food for thought.

Sunday, June 3, 2012
The Zorba at Studio Diner. It’s served with a side of hasbrowns and toast.

The Zorba at Studio Diner. It’s served with a side of hasbrowns and toast.

Studio Diner: A Place Where the Food is Center Stage

Studio Diner almost seems out of place amid the corporate offices of San Diego’s bustling business district, but its purpose became clear when I stopped by after a hectic day at the office nearby. The eatery is an escape to the 1950s, a decade where poodle skirts have been left and will hopefully never return. The mood is easy and the tensions of the outside world seem to dissipate. The waitress brings my milk to the table and I begin to sip as I gawk at the decor.

At first glance the restaurant resembles every other diner, it is decked out with chrome and neon, but sadly the jukebox is missing. In its place are stage lights and movie reels that serve as holders for napkins and condiments. The movie motif further continues from the wait staffs’ clapboard shaped name tags to the orange statue (a prop from the film I Married a Monster) on the balcony where I was seated.

The menu, also surprising, features dishes native to New England. Although not typical of diner cuisine, the departure from the usual burgers and flapjacks provides a refreshing perspective. We have Stu Segall (the owner) to thank for that. Segall expressed nostalgia for his east coast roots and opened Studio Diner on his movie lot to fill the void. This would explain why the kitchen’s arsenal is jam packed with seafood classics like Maryland Crab Cakes and clams imported from Cape Ann, MA. The crowd favorite I hear is the Lobster Roll. I decided to give it a go. Its preparation is simple; Maine Lobster is bathed in a mixture of light mayo and crisp celery. The lot is then stuffed inside a toasted white roll. I recommend. Next, I turned my sights to the second half of the menu which offers more traditional options for those who dare not to deviate from the norm. This is the portion that contains the usual burgers and flapjacks. This, however, does not mean they are not worth honorable mention.

My next edible victim was a giant stack of blueberry pancakes. Blueberries were crammed so generously into every crevice that some had no choice but to roll off the plate, a flaw one should consider as being a very good problem. The pancakes are thick and fluffy and the tartness of the fresh blueberries provides a nice contrast to the maple flavored syrup. This alone was enough to satisfy, but I refused to leave without first devouring an omelet. I narrowed the menu down to two choices, The Improv and The Zorba. The decision process was agonizing.  Was I to choose the Improv, an omelet that gave me the power to choose my own ingredients or the Zorba, a Greek inspired omelet prepared with feta cheese? I eventually found the Zorba to be the most enticing; the feta cheese was the deciding factor.

It arrived to my table in a quick fashion. It is stuffed with tomato, onion, and spinach with chunks of feta crumbled on the inside. The combination of veg is savory and the feta provides a bitter, but pleasing flavor. I was half finished when the waitress returned to my table.  She noticed my plate was missing a sauce and politely asked if I would like some. It is an offer that should never be refused. The pureed sauce has a flavor that resembles Pico de Gallo and it gently warms the palate. Alas, the meal was complete. I contemplated dessert but timing did not allow.

Studio Diner’s location is the perfect solution to the bad day at work blues. Not to mention its location is almost too convenient, a laid back diner with a retro vibe situated in the middle of a business district. If there ever was a sign to take advantage this is probably it.