L.A. Eats – Day 1 Burgers Beers Tiki Drinks Fish Tacos Banh Mi

Umami Burger
Every time I go home, LA, I always carry a mental list of restaurants and bars I want to visit. Of course once I get to LA all of my plans changed or became nonexistent. Things happened or most of the time I get damn lazy. Though I can guarantee you I will get my In-N-Out. It also helps that my parents’ place is walkable to an In-N-Out but who really walks in LA? Yes it takes 2mins to drive over in my jam jam thru the drive-thru.
My friend Matt from NY was also in LA visiting his bro, Chris, that recently moved to the Los Feliz area. I’m preeetty familiar with the streets of Los Feliz because The Gastrobus parks at the Los Feliz Farmers Market every Sunday and you know everytime I’m in LA I take a quick visit to the truck.

Around 1pm I got to Los Feliz and parked my car on a side street close to Chris’s place. We said hello and didn’t waste much time with chit chat and walked over to Umami Burgers for brunch since we were all starving. I have heard a lot and read a lot about Umami Burgers. My friend Sophie loooooves the place. Great thing about Los Feliz is that everything is so close to each other so we just walked over.


Umami BurgerUmami Burger
We sat down at Umami Burger and looked through the menu. Matt recommended the Umami burger, thats the name of their burger also, since it was my first time there. I ended up getting the kombu #1, umami burger, fries and a beer. When my burger came I was a little disappointed with its size. It’s waaaay too small man. I was wondering if I should order another burger. It had a piece of baked parmesan in it.
Umami Burger
The fries looked and tasted pretty good and it came with a housemade ketchup. What was truly delicious were the tater tots with a spicy dipping sauce. I love tater tots! Damit! What about the burger? I know you’re DYING to know. Well eh…..it was delicious. The bun that they used was similar to the bun Japanese bakery use for their sandwiches. And I love those slightly squishy buns.
Umami Burger
Umami BurgerUmami Burger

After lunch we took a short walk over to The Drawing Room because Tiki-Ti wasn’t opened it. This bar was dark and divey. Pretty much a neighborhood bar where only locals would go. We all drank bottled Pabsts. When it was 4pm we walked over to Tiki-Ti for tiki drinks. According to their website they have been serving drinks for 45 years! AAAANNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDD their drink menu is insanely looooooonnngggggg. There were descriptions on the menu so you either order blindly or use your fancy iPhone to look up the drinks on their website. 1st I got the Tiki Gold then after that I got the Hong Kong. Both drinks were delicious but sorta tasted the same. I think thats 1 problem of tiki drinks. Eventually if you drink enough they will all taste the same.
Tiki-TiTiki-Ti
After a good hour and a half at the bar we left to go find us a food truck. But on the way we walked by a fish taco place, Best Fish Taco in Ensenada. I wasn’t sure what to make of this place. Where IS Ensenada? If its the best fish taco in Ensenada, is it also the best fish taco in Los Feliz? Chris said it was pretty good. I wanted to try it but we were on our way to Mandoline Grill. You know what? I maybe a bit full but it was going to be a while before I’m in LA again so I turned around and walked in. I walked in and noticed nothing but LA hipsters hahahaaa. For $1.50 you get a nicely fresh fried piece of fish on a tortilla. On the side there were bowls of different stuff that you can put on top of your taco. I like that. I can add as much or little stuff on the taco as I want. I went with a little with of salsa and some pickled stuff. I took a bite and it was total bliss. Not sure if it was the best (may have to do a fish taco crawl later) but it was cheap and good. I may need to move to Los Feliz.
Best fish tacos in Ensenada
Best fish tacos in EnsenadaBest fish tacos in Ensenada

Best fish tacos in EnsenadaBest fish tacos in Ensenada

After a quick potty break back at Chris & Katy’s place we head over to where my friend’s food truck, Mandoline Grill, was parked. They were just a block away from the apartment. If you’re not familiar with Mong Skillman and her food truck go check out the interview I did with her last year and her website and the truck! It was awesome to finally meet Mong in person. She’s totally cool and nice! What’s also cool were the banh mis! Chris got the grilled tofu, Matt got the Hawaiian bbq chicken and of course I got the pork.
Mandoline Grill
After loading the Lord of the Rings on the tv, we sat down and started eating the sandwiches back at the apt. OMG. Every bite Chris and Matt took from their sandwiches they would say “WOW best banh mi ever, so good.” I would have to agree too. The pork had such great flavors and combined that with the cool tangy pickled carrots and daikons with the crusty yet soft bread. Delicious! Next time I’m going to have to try the bun, I love noodles.
Mandoline Grill
Mandoline GrillMandoline Grill

Umami Burger 4655 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles (plus multiple locations)
Best Fish Taco in Ensenada 1650 Hillhurst Ave Los Angeles
Mandoline Grill on Twitter

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2 thoughts on “L.A. Eats – Day 1 Burgers Beers Tiki Drinks Fish Tacos Banh Mi

  1. Oh wow, I didn’t know you were originally from LA.

    I know what you mean by veering from your ‘to eat’ list. I always make one when I travel, but you know, when you’re on the go, unless you make a special effort to schedule in the restaurant, I just eat along the way to save prevcious sightseeing time.

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    1. True but when I’m traveling I tend to stick to my schedule just because I know I wouldn’t be back for a very long time. So if there’s something I HAVE to eat I’m make sure I eat it. But I know I’ll be going home a lot and I tend to be a lot lazier when I’m home HAHAA.

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