Tag Archives: Oak’s Gourmet

Feb. 12, 2010

12 Feb

10 am

1 bowl of Chocolate Cheerios

1 pm

1 bottle of cranberry juice

6:30 pm

Oaks Gourmet

cheeseburger

side of cole slaw

1 20 oz. bottle of Coke Zero

LAist recently listed what they thought were their top five burgers in Los Angeles, and I was surprised to see my neighborhood store Oak’s Gourmet on the list, at #5. I’ve worked my way through 1/3 of their lineup, but haven’t gotten to Oak’s burger, and since I skipped lunch today, it was a good a time as any to try it. I have to say, that burger is pretty good. They take the formula standardized by Father’s Office (prime beef, stinky cheese, grilled onions and bacon) and pump it with steroids. Oak’s burger doesn’t use just any cheese, they go with Cambozola, a hybrid of triple creme and gorgonzola that’s both fatty, pungent and overwhelming. When melted it has a pronounced musk typical of moldy rinds. It takes a lot of flavors to cut through Cambozola, and Oak’s throws in bacon, grilled onions and a pineapple/jalapeno compote, that can also overwhelm. The only way you can actually taste the beef is by offering a lot of it, and they use a monstrous 1/2 pound dry-aged beef patty where the quality shines through. Sometimes, this burger is too pungent, or salty, or sweet. But there are bites when all the strong flavors come together, and those moments are great. This burger is both exhilarating and exhausting. I do crave it again, but don’t know when I’ll be able to get myself to tackle it . It’s an experience you’re better off sharing.

11:30 pm

3 mini cupcakes

2:30 am

1/2 slice Tombstone’s pepperoni pizza

My friend Tim was baking two frozen pizza and I asked if I could have some. “Is this going to appear on your food blog?” he asked. “Of course,” I replied. “OK then, take a piece.” So here you go. A shout-out. Thanks for the pizza, my good man.

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Dec. 4, 2009

4 Dec

9 am

1 bowl of Total 100% Raisin Bran cereal

12:30 pm

Oaks Gourmet

BLT sandwich

side of peppadew cole slaw

1 can of Coke Zero

2 pm

Starbucks

1 tall nonfat mocha

8:20 pm

Don Dae Gam

Pork neck meat

various banchan

1 Hite beer

2 shots of rice liquer

2 shots of raspberry liquer

You might’ve noticed that I ate half a pig today. Sweet, sweet porcine goodness. As much as I would like to go on and on about how much I love pork, I simply can’t wax poetically about the pig’s heavenly goodness as well as this classic Simpsons clip: Vodpod videos no longer available.

I blame my neighbor who cooked bacon that morning. TEMPTRESS! How can I resist your siren call. I immediately walked down the street to get a BLT from Oaks Gourmet. Look at those bacon slabs. It’s 1/4 inch thick. None of that flimsy Oscar Meyer shit for me. BUT, Oaks Gourmet overcooked their bacon. It’s extremely dry and leathery. No fat or flavor. Hell, it was actually jerky. I love jerky, but not if I want bacon. Too bad, because the rest of the sandwich, with heirloom tomatoes, avocados, camembert cheese and aioli, was delicious. You drop the ball there, Oaks.

No time to be disappointed though, not with dinner at Don Dae Gam planned. The sign outside has a fat, happy pig. That’s nice knowing that your meaning in life is to be eaten, bringing joy to others in the process. Don Dae Gam, run by the same people who own the heavily-hyped Park’s BBQ, specializes in pork. Awesome. Pork belly, pork spareribs (which are prepared just like kalbi) and the favorites for my friend Bobby and his wife Frankie, pork neck. The meat from that area is barely pink and opaque. “That’s the fat,” Frankie marveled, “It’s just like toro.” And it truly is a beautiful sight. When you slap it on the grill, the pork neck pieces curl up as the fat oozes out. But there’s still enough fat in there to remain juicy. Bobby, Frankie, their friend Marian and I plowed through three platters-worth. We didn’t opt for the spareribs and the pork belly, both of which I’ve had on a previous visit. They belly’s sliced thin and cooks quickly. Most other Korean BBQ places gives you thick slabs, which is more reminiscent of the bellies that are in every other restaurant now. I prefer thick slabs but it’s a matter of personal opinion. Whatever. We ate more necks than… no, I can’t make a vampire reference. It’s all “Twilight” right now and that’s pretty gay.

11:30 pm

2 glasses of Saurus malbec wine

handful of Pop Secret kettle corn

1 piece of German advent calendar chocolate

It seems that I spent five days in Berlin this past summer without going to the largest chocolate store in all of Europe because I was unaware of it. GAH!


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Nov. 24, 2009

24 Nov

8:45 am

101 Coffee Shop

Rush Hour Special (2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon, 3 silver dollar pancakes)

1 cup of coffee refilled 3 times

Here’s another meal I ate a lot when I didn’t work two years ago: the $5 rush hour special from 101 Coffee Shop that’s only available from 7-10 am on weekdays. Two eggs, two bacons and either three pancakes or one French toast, all indifferently prepared. Coffee is over $2, and that’s how those bastards get you back for a cheap breakfast.

I used to grab an LA Times and inhabit a booth at the 101 for an hour or two, literally reading every single article and plowing through 5-6 refills of coffee. Remember newspapers? It was just like a website, except it’s printed on paper and you couldn’t flame people in the reader comment section with racial insults. For nostalgia’s sake, I wanted to read the paper and made a point to grab two quarters for the vending machine. But the LA Times is now 75 cents. It seems that they raised their prices way back in January and since I haven’t bought or read a physical newspaper in over a year, I had no idea. I remember back in 1995, the LA Times doubled their cover price from a quarter and the city almost rioted again. Now, the price 300% more expensive from only 3 years ago and no one cares. Why should they, if anyone can get the same information online instantly. And this is why my journalism degree led to a blog on wordpress that generates zero revenue.

Anyways, because I was a quarter short, I read my morning newspapers on my iphone and got syrup all over it. Newspapers do absorb syrup better than phones, and I miss that.

12:45 pm

tuna melt

8-10 pita chips

1 can of Diet Pepsi

2:00 pm

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

1 small mocha latte

8:00 pm

Oak’s Gourmet

1 spare rib French Dip sandwich

1 bottle of Harp’s Lager

1 cup of Dreyer’s cookies n’ cream ice cream

Ah, larders. A concept seemingly invented for Stuff White People Like. If one is in your neighborhood, you’re probably living among rich and uppity folks. If you tend to buy salts and cheese with proper nouns like Maldon and St. Andre, then you’re probably a snob who shops at one of these establishments. And if you call a gourmet food store with an attached kitchen a larder, then you’re probably a douche. Mozza2Go, Tavern, Bottega Louie, Oaks Gourmet and the Mercantile, those are some of the new ones in LA that opened this past year. And Cube is expanding to a second store downtown in 2010. If it’s going to be a trend, I might as well jump on board and douche it out.

I live in Beachwood Canyon, so it’s inevitable for a place like the Oaks Gourmet to open here last month and for it to be constantly busy with customers. This is probably the most schizophrenic food shop in LA. They have a cheese shop, a wine store, a bakery, a coffee shop with eight grinders filled with exotic-sounding whole beans, some top-shelf booze, a meticulous beer selection that’s probably the best I’ve seen in LA, a couple of random shelves with oils, vinegars and random snacks, unknown brands of sodas, cutlery, and some space-age water pool that chills wine in 3-5 minutes. They even write out their choice of energy drinks on a chalk board, which is spectacularly douche-y. Yes, they try too hard sometimes, but I grew to appreciate this place. My beer-drinking habits has certainly gotten classier. There is a kitchen that turns out sandwiches, salads, pizzas and breakfast until closing. The sandwiches I’ve tried are just OK, my French dip was a bit dry. I know, it comes with a side of jus, but I don’t like to drench my sandwich. Previously, I had the lobster club, which would’ve been great if it didn’t have too much tarragon. The pizzas are much better and the duck confit version is especially good. I have yet to try breakfast, which is next on my list to try, and salads, which isn’t because it’s a fucking salad.

The best thing about living so close to this place? I can buy whatever Thanksgiving sides I don’t plan on cooking this year. It’ll be chestnut and sage stuffing for my family.

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