for December, 2012
Order one grubby thing and one (relatively) sensible thing, then split both. That’s the way my husband and I usually navigate menus. This best-of-both world’s tactic works well at a place like Dave’s Chillin-N-Grillin, where there are plenty of options of either persuasion. The Eagle Rock sandwich shop has a big, but not overwhelming menu of melts and subs made with locally-sourced produce and unprocessed meats and cheeses. Not to mention malts, smoothies and sherbert coolers. It’s a real Northeast LA gem.
In addition to favorites like their famous Tuna Melt and Italian Sub (made with a delicious housemade red pepper spread), Dave–the likeable Bostonian behind the counter–also serves up daily specials. The week starts with a Grilled Reuben on Rye, giving way to the Pulled Pork with Bourbon BBQ Sauce midweek. On Fridays, it’s the Meatball and Sausage Combo, stuffed with Italian meat and made sloppy with spicy tomato sauce. This sandwich is of the classic hoagie variety, made with high-quality ingredients. If you miss it, you can get it sans sausage every day of the week.
While vegetarians get the shaft at most sandwich shops, Dave’s puts real effort into their veggie options. A good one is the Hott Hippie, an avocado sandwich with hummus, tomato, and cheese. Pepperoncini give it the oomph it needs while grilled rosemary bread makes it extra special. It’s not one of those contemptuously thrown together lettuce and tomato sandwiches that leave you wanting more.
But if you do want more, seriously, get a shake.
2152 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, 90041
A reader recently tipped me off to the charms of Hot Red Bus in Alhambra, and I thought I’d pass the word on to you. The new British-Indian restaurant comes from the creators of Ma Jasmin’s, a mainstay prepared food booth in the Alhambra Farmers’ Market.
The decor of the Main Street location is Brit kitsch while the menu presents references to The Clash and a perked-up selection of Indian and British staples, re-imagined in some cases—stuff like pakora poppers, thick cut “chips” drenched in curry sauce and heaped with beef and lamb doner, jalapeno pakora and somewhat-controversial samosa that are rolled instead of triangular.
The biggest standout for me, though, was the most tradional dish on the menu: the Fish & Chips. Made to order and wrapped in paper (but not newspaper), this giant portion of cod (it comes in half-portion, too) is battered to golden perfection. Like the texture of Pioneer Chicken in the 80s, and I mean that in the best way! The crunch gives way to a moist, flaky piece of fish, and if you like your fries thick with a fair amount of crispiness, this will be your jam.
I’m just going to come out and say it: Hot Red Buses’ Fish & Chips just might be the best in LA. But, there are no pints to be had, so don’t get too excited.
Hot Red Bus
31 E. Main St.,
Alhambra, CA 91801