Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Reuben Returns!

Greeting's Readers!

As long as I have lived in Los Angeles (and we are coming up on five years this fall), I have passed by Paty's numerous times as I frequented Toluca Lake for Priscilla's Gourmet Coffee and Tea cafe over the years. Even with this, I have never once stopped into Paty's before this past weekend.

Wanting something close to home that was low key and offered diner food, Paty's was one of the first places to come to mind. A retro looking diner out on Riverside Drive on the main strip of Toluca Lake, Paty's has been a stop for many a celebrity and hungry local for many years.

One of the first things I noticed after entering the diner was how incredibly friendly the staff was. I mean, I don't normally talk about the staff at all of the restaurants I go to, but I just have to mention this one. From the second we walked in until the second we walked out, the staff was always courteous and very kind. This place is worth going to just for the service.

But this isn't a food service industry blog, so I looked at their incredible sandwich selection. While I wanted to try a few other sandwiches that I never had before, I found myself in the mood for a Reuben which I hadn't had for quite some time.

The sandwich was excellent. It was hot and the corned beef was piled high, tender and full of flavor. Stacked on rye bread with swiss cheese and sauerkraut, the bread held together incredibly well and offered that strong rye flavor even over all of the other competing flavors.

Honestly, it's an amazing example of a Reuben and makes me feel like there is incredible promise n the other sandwiches offered at Paty's.

I will definitely be returning again soon.

Lastly this week, we are now only 2 weeks away from my 100th post and to do something special for the event, I thought I would go back through this massive amount of reviews and pick my top 10 favorite sandwiches and rank them all for you (thanks to reader Anderson for the suggestion).

Do you have any favorites from the ones I've reviewed?

Don't worry though, LA won't be the only city represented on here as one from at least every city I've been to over the course of this journey will be represented.

Even you, Cleveland.

Until next week, Readers...

The Reuben
**** Stars
Paty's Restaurant
10001 Riverside Drive
Toluca Lake, CA 91602

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Burger Time!

Greetings, Readers!

I've lived in the Toluca Lake/Noho Arts District area for a little bit and I have consistently been pleased by the number of great eateries that are available in this fun little pocket of the Valley. One place I have always been interested in trying, yet have somehow avoided for months, is Jack's Classic Hamburgers.

Even more odd is that we share a name and I somehow didn't jump on going there.

Jack's is a tiny burger stand crammed onto the corner of Tujunga and Camarillo/Riverside right up against the 170 freeway (sounds like a lot of directions if you're not from LA). Even though the shop may be small, the servings are quite large.

I've tried a lot of burgers in my time, so this place had a lot to live up to, but I was quite satisfied with what Jack's had to offer.

Now let's get something out there first: Jack's is not reinventing the hamburger. You won't find ostrich meat or alligator bacon with some obscure cheese on top. What they do is present to you the stripped down original version of this sandwich. They just happen to do it very well.

The cheeseburger combo that I ordered had a large patty topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, onions and tomatoes with a side of fries. The one thing that caught me off guard at first was the deceptive thickness of the entire sandwich. I thought the patty took up more room than I originally though, but it's actually the large stack of vegetables they pile on. There is a ton of lettuce and onions (which you can ask them to leave off) that make each bite a mouthful.

This doesn't take away from the sandwich though, as it adds a nice crisp and fresh contrast to the greasy burger underneath.

 Greasy and delicious.

The cheddar was perfectly melted on top of the delicious beef patty, completing the classic cheeseburger taste.

So if you find yourself in the W. Toluca Lake/Noho Arts district area, whether it be by visiting our local park, or by stumbling out of a bar late one Saturday night, Jack's is definitely a stop you should make.

Cheeseburger Combo
*** 1/2 Stars
Jack's Classic Hamburgers
11375 Riverside Drive
W. Toluca Lake, CA 91602

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Quick Moment of Thanks

Hello, Dear Readers!

I wanted to make only a quick entry this week to reflect on something that came to mind when viewing both my entry count as well as yesterday's occasion.

This entry here is number 98. I never would have thought when I wrote my first post where I laid down my guidelines that I would make it this far.

Not for lack of sandwiches, but mainly I thought I would find myself moving on to another project to write.

Now, while I have written other projects in the meantime, I find myself unable to discontinue writing to you each week. You all, my dear Readers, have continually shown your support either through praise, mention of visiting inspiring eateries, or by suggesting new places for me to review. You've been with me for quite some time, and so from a writer to his readers, I give you my love and gratitude.

Another reason, besides all of the amazing sandwiches, that I have not been able to stop writing is because of the experience of sandwiching. You've all heard me say this in the past about the fun and joy of exploring the local eateries with someone, well that excitement has yet to wane.

Whether it has been friends, family, or my significant other joining me on my journey for The Danger Sandwich, it has been an engaging, enlightening and absolutely enjoyable experience.

So for those who have joined me so far, and for those who may be jumping into this journey a little late, I welcome you and thank you now for your love and support.

Without you, there is no Danger Sandwich.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

North Hollywood's Hot Dog Heaven

Greetings Dearest Readers!

I've lived in a little neighborhood here in the valley for about 6 months called the North Hollywood Arts District. For those that don't know what it's like, it's kind of this, well, artsy neighborhood lined with shops, boutiques, theaters and amazing restaurants.

This great little nice neighborhood has grown so much over the past few years that it's sometimes hard to keep track of all of the great new places that pop up.

Recently, while walking home from our new Laemmle Theater, I noticed a place called Otis Jackson's Soul Dog and the food pornography (aka menu) posted in the window quickly drew my attention.

While I wasn't ready for dinner that night, I swore that I would return.

And return I did.

Taking the time to choose between the numerous delicious sounding hot dogs, i settled on the Original Soul Dog. This "standard" hot dog is covered in collard green cucumber relish, sweet potato puree and handfuls of bacon crumbles.

The hot dog itself had a little bit of "pop" to it with every bite. Normally I am not a big fan of this characteristic of certain hot dogs/sausages, but it wasn't as prominent here and therefore didn't bother me as much.

The collard green cucumber relish was delicious. It was a bit sweet, very fresh and an incredible contrast from the rest of the heavier/meatier flavors. The sweet potato puree added a nice subtle flavor to the mix and worked better than any mustard or ketchup could hope to contribute.

And come on. Bacon crumbles on top of a hot dog? Do I even have to explain why this is a good idea?

Overall, Otis Jackson's Soul Dog is an excellent addition to this growing neighborhood and hopefully will be there for a long time to come. If you're in the neighborhood for a show or a night cap, definitely stop by and check out their creative creations as soon as possible.

Until next week, Readers!

The Original Soul Dog
**** Stars
Otis Jackson's Soul Dog
5166 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Just Follow The Golden Road...To Deliciousness!

Greetings, Readers!

Feelinjg inspired by last week's entry with Tony's Darts Away, I decided to try out another local beer themed locale. This week I stopped by Golden Road Brewing.

Also run by Tony Yanow, this massive micro-brewery opened up on a small stretch of land between train tracks and the I-5 in Atwater Village.

I had been wanting to visit Golden Road when they originally opened late last year, but I my plans were continually thwarted. I had even tried their Golden Road Hef before even stepping into their brewery because of its availability at many local bars (canned, not bottle btw).

Finally making a stop at the brewery this past week, I was not only excited by their enticing beer menu, but after having sampled the food at Tony's Darts Away, I was eager to find a sandwich that would appeal to me here.

It didn't take long to decide on the pulled pork sandwich. The shredded pork was braised in the aforementioned Golden Road Hefeweizen, and stacked high on the bun along with shredded Napa cabbage and whole grain agave mustard on a croissant.

Yes, a croissant.

When I first got my food, I was a bit confused. Maybe I was given the wrong sandwich. I had never been given a pulled pork sandwich on a croissant before, or even anything after breakfast hours, so this was a bit strange.

But did it taste so good.

The buttery, flaky croissant really contrasted amazingly with the sharp mustard and strong flavors from the barbecued pork. The cabbage joined the party and added some crunch to the mix, which was definitely needed to contrast with the soft croissant.

Overall, this may be the best pulled pork sandwich I have ever had. Combine it with some potato salad and two pints of Golden Road's own draft offerings, and you have a delicious meal.

I cannot wait to go back.

Until next week, Readers!

Pulled Pork Sandwich
**** 1/2 Stars
Golden Road Brewery Pub
5410 West San Fernando Road
Los Angeles, CA