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Name: Gutenberg

Location: Somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Occupation: BRPR (Bunrab public relations.)

the BUNRAB blog spot

Do you need to answer back? You can send me comments if you want to.

If I want to, I'll post 'em in this very blog.



February 9-15, 2007


go to next week's blogs



Thursday, February 15, 2007

Joachim Splichal (of Patina fame) opened up eat. on Sunset  to replace Pinot Hollywood.

The modern, dimly lit dining room is the backdrop for their American/European/Asian style chow.

I had the citrus salad ($11.50):

...with toasted cashews, shaved Vela Jack and a citrus vinaigrette. The ingredients were all good, but this particular cheese and citrus combo didn’t meld for me.

Chubby got a handsome plate of albacore tuna carpaccio ($16.00):

...which was sprinkled with embryonic  arugula to accent this tasty sashimi starter.

Slow baked salmon ($25.50):

...came on a bed of melted leeks. Three rings of tempura battered, onions triple haloed this non-monk fish. Onion jus circled the perimeter of this well rounded dish.

Chubby’s order of rock cod a la plancha ($21.00):

...levitated over beluga lentils and sautéed rapini. The fish was moist and flavorful and partnered happily with the legumes and veggies.

Veal pot roast ($28.00):

...was tough from undercooking. The veal was flavorful, but required some extra molar activity. The accompanying root vegetables were very nice (and less of a workout than the meat.)

Apple turnover ($8.00):

...was a little too dough dominant for my taste. The precisely diced apple and currants tucked inside had to struggle for attention. The ice cream helped to add interest to this boomerapple.

The service was friendly and able to have a sense of humor over some wine bottle opening difficulties. Eat. doesn’t compare to Patina, but to be fair, this casual eat-ery isn’t aiming at the same type of cuisine.


Eat. on Sunset
1448 N. Gower St.
Los Angeles, CA






Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Going out for breakfast is one of my favorite luxuries. No morning dishes to do, no coffee grinds to clean up. The only downside is that there is no Marmite involved when you leave the hutch.

We hopped over to Fred 62 for our a.m. meal.

I requested my usual soft scrambled and extra crisp bacon on my 2x4 ($8.49):

...and they delivered the goods as ordered (except they swapped my breakfast meat with Chubby’s sausage patties which we easily remedied.) I savored my crunchy fat strips and embryolks with round pieces of wheat toast and tomato slices.

Chubby’s 2x4 ($8.49):

...came with one of the overeasy eggs punctured but this rupture didn’t detract from anything but aesthetics. The sausage patties were light on the seasonings, but still stacked into a tasty breakfast sandwich atop the toasted English muffin and tomato slices.

Usually the servers are friendly and efficient, but I think we caught ours on an off day. Fred’s is a reliable comfort food pit stop with good chow and a big crowd on weekends.

Fred 62
1850 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA






Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I hate to say it, but Los Angeles has better sushi than San Francisco. Sure, the Bay Area has a smattering of top notch sushi bars, but in L.A. you can go to a random strip mall:

... and have some decent brain food without having to go out of your way.

We pulled into Kazu Sushi:

... and had a couple bowls of miso:

... followed by a crunchy seaweed salad with a caliente kick:

... a tako salad with cukes, carrots and daikon sprouts hiding the tasty octo-strips:

... hotate, uni and Spanish mackerel nigiri, hamachi sashimi and some fantastic organic salmon:

Kazu is good, but not our favorite strip mall sushi. But to put things in perspective, if it were in the Bay Area it would  have a line out the door.

Kazu Sushi
11440 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA





Monday, February 12, 2007

We went out for a morning walk and decided to breakfast at Paty’s.

It had been years since our last visit, but the place hasn’t changed.

The chicken livers with two eggs ($7.99):

...sounded like it had my name on it, but I liked the idea of this dish more than the reality. The scrambled eggs were fine, but the organs were overly cooked for my taste.

Chubby got the Paty’s original scramble ($8.69):

...with ground beef, spinach and onions. This proved to be a better choice although the onions could have used a little more griddle time (but that’s just being picky.)

The real reason to come to Paty’s is to sit in a booth and hear the drone of film business conversations while having an old school meal. You may not get the tastiest meal, but it will be 100% transfat free and unpretentious.


10001 Riverside Dr.
Toluca Lake, CA






Sunday, February 11, 2007

Freeze Relief

Many top Los Angeles eateries participated in an all day benefit to help small local citrus farmers whose crops were devastated by the recent freeze.

The Hungry Cat generously pledged all of today’s profits towards this cause and we were lucky enough to be able to snag a table at this popular seafood-driven eatery.

There was some carefully salvaged citrus in my blood orange screwdriver ($10.00):

... which infused my blood with vodka along with a touch of honey and kaffir lime. The blood orange juice lent its hearty aroma and flavor to this colorful and quickly drained, beverage.

We were told that Zachary’s “poke ribs” ($16.00):

... were a special item for today’s event. As Chubby sat down to peruse the menu he was influenced by the smoky wafts poking at his nose. These ribs were like little pork chops. Their savory rub and visit to the grill created a gnawingly satisfying meal. The potato salad was made from fetal spuds and had a nice tang to the dressing.

I got the BBQ shrimp and grits with braised greens ($16.00):

These little treif guys on a stick were perfectly cooked. They verged on raw in the center, just the way I like them. The sauce had a nice caliente kick and offered collateral flavoring to the cheesy grits and toothsome cavalo nero. 

We hungry bunrabs loved our meal at this casual bar and restaurant. The service was friendly and efficient and the chow was stellar. To insure this high quality, the pregnant co-owner  was present over sea-ing that the food was up to cat standards.

Hungry Cat Restaruant
1535 North Vine
Hollywood, CA







Saturday, February 10, 2007

Road Trip

It was lunchtime when we pulled off I-5 and went to a restaurant called the Apricot Tree.

The thing that set it apart from the other diners on our route was their lunchbox and thermos collection that lined the walls:

Chubby went with one of their Mexican selections. His carne asada burrito ($6.49):

... was belly ballast for our long trip. It wasn’t impressive for unplanned road food and to be fair, you can’t expect a Mission-style wrap this far out of San Francisco.

I decided to play it safe with bacon and eggs:

... which I requested extra crispy and extra soft. The bacon was done to specifications, but the eggs were firmer than my preference.

A futon of hash browns authenticated this diner meal. Nothing special (and it’s not meant to be.)

The service was friendly and efficient and the lunchboxes offer a museum experience while you wait for your order.  Better than a Jack in the Lunch Box.

Apricot Tree Restaurant
46272 Panoche Rd & I-5
Firebaugh, CA


From our bunrab email Ahna writes:


Where is a really good Dim Sum spot in Marin?


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Ahna,

I haven’t had any dim sum that I would categorize as “really good” in Marin. I think that it’s always a good bet to hop over the bridge to San Francisco for sum.



Anne writes about Sol Food’s lack of a sol mate:


Re: the Sol Food color-criticizing letter. I had read about this in Leah Garchik's column in the Chronicle, and it makes me embarrassed to be a Marin Countyite! I'm glad Sol Food had the good humor to put it in the window.

Angelo - get a life!


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Anne,

I would think that such a violent aversion to the exterior color scheme would be a reason to run inside and take refuge with cold beer and a plate of beans and rice.

Maybe Angelo should take some of his green inside to check out the chow and he would reconsider his boycott.


And i writes about another San Rafael eatery:

Hi Gutenberg!

I hop on my computer everyday to check your culinary adventures. Thanks for the great site. Just curious, have you checked out the "hole in the wall" Panama Hotel restaurant on Bayview St in San Rafael yet? I drive by it often and it looks inviting- especially at night. And, thanks for taste testing the scary Choxie chocolates I suggested years ago.

Andi in Greenbrae

PS: How's your cholesterol?

Gutenberg replies:

Hi Andi,

Thanks for being a regular visitor to our cyberhutch.

It has been many moons since we last visited the Panama Hotel (where we had an unremarkable meal, but that was a while back.)

We have a man, a plan to even out this palindrome and check it out (but not anytime too soon due to our current whereabouts.)

My cholesterol level is a beneficiary of a no-choxie diet.



D writes:

After reading Bauer's top ten bay area restaurant pick's, I took a group to Terza after the Fancy Food Show. It was confusing at best. Small plates - pan Mediterranean was their explanation. When questioned about the inspiration for the chicken skewers, they said Portugal. Pretty big pan! Although the extreme heat was not piri piri, they could not answer what it was that was Portuguese. Anyway, very inconsistent and poorly executed. As a matter of fact were so intrigued by the serving of burnt, grilled bread that we asked for a plate of grilled bread. Every piece burnt! Nothing to hide it under; a whole plate of burnt bread served. We even checked the lighting in the exposed kitchen to see if they couldn't see. In addition to wine there is one beer and one cider, they were out. My hope is that you will review them and let me know if my experience or Bauer's is more representative of what they are trying to do.

Thank you.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear D,

I don’t blame you for being twice shy after your mesquite toast. Toast is commonly the entry point into the world of cooking (just before mastering blue food coloring tinted, scrambled eggs) and it’s a bummer when the basics are ruined and allowed to make it to the dining room.

We have had better luck at Terzo than your group but we want to go back a third time (as their name charms us to do.)  When we do, I hope that the briquettes stay out of the bread basket.

Thanks for the heads up,








Friday, February 9, 2007

Check out this rather unsupportive letter:

...from someone who hates the color of the restaurant Sol Food.

There was a line out the door at the smaller Sol Food up the street so we headed to the newer, bigger, greener, outpost:

I got the pollo sandwich ($7.25):

...which is a generous French bread roll pressed around roasted free-range chicken, ham and Swiss cheese with slices of tomato and lime mayo binding it all together. It was a good (and enormous) midday meal.

Chubby got the pork chop special ($.9.95):

...which is two, thin cut, fried chuletas. They are okay on their own, but they really needed a dose of the housemade, vinegary hot sauce to give them oomph. The rice with beans and olives happily soaked up some of this puckery goodness. I like the chewy bits of rice, pink beans and stuffed little olives that are mixed into this rust colored, starchy, pile. A mesclun salad offered relief from the rich flavors.

The tostones were better than the last time that I had them because they were fresh out of the frying pan with a hot, crusty exterior to this smooshed banana and garlic combo. Very tasty this time around.

There isn’t any instructional signage, but you enter, check out one of the plastic coated menus on the table next to the door, pull your drinks out of the ice filled sinks that line the wall,  order and pay at the counter. Place your number stand on your table and your food will find you. Root through the utensil can for a fork and knife and you are ready to chow down.

Come here if you want a colorful meal (or you can just stand outside and look at the building if you prefer.)

Sol Food
901 Lincoln Ave.
OR (just a block away)
723 Fourth Street
San Rafael, CA

From the bunrab email bag, Steven writes about how restaurants need to chip in:


Is Eccolo that wonderful a spot to not include fries or any other side with that burger for $13 ? I've been to some very high-end places that charge less and include fries.


Gutenberg replies:

Dear Steven,

I know what you mean, it’s like selling someone a car and asking if they want to spend extra for the steering wheel.

Burgers should come with fries (or salad to sub out if you are all Atkinsy.)

And at Zuni, you have to order a side that is as big as a supersized QM2.







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