Category Food & Drinks

Border Grill Truck

Yesterday ended up being one of those non-stop days so to regain a little bit of sanity I decided to walk down the street to the Farmers Market at Barnsdall Park where the Border Grill Truck was parked. Los Angeles has a food truck for every type of food you can imagine, but most of the time they don’t come near where I live, there’s really nothing around me that would draw them. So I took this as an opportunity to try some yummy food!

I ended up getting three items. The Yucatan Pork Taco, the Cilantro Chicken Taco and the Carne Asada Quesadilla. My favorite of the three was definitely the Yucatan Pork Taco which has “braised achiote pork, black beans, pickled onion and orange jicama slaw.” It was a crazy mix of flavors and overall was delicious and at the time wished I had 4 more. To wash it down I ordered their Iced Mexican Coffee which has cinnamon, star anise, orange zest and piloncillo syrup. It was also delicious.

My only problem was the price tag. I ended up spending $13 at a taco truck. It’s definitely above and beyond a normal taco truck, but it still stung a little. Nonetheless I’d definitely suggest checking them out.


The Smash Burger at Umami Burger

About a month ago Umami Burger, a local Los Angeles burger joint, opened up around the corner from me where Cobras & Matadors used to be. I’d been wanting to check out since then, when a few days ago I was alerted by Tasha over at Blackburn and Sweetzer that they started a new Happy Hour special. Between the hours of 3 and 7 PM you can get a Smash Burger, one that’s similar to what you East coasters would find at Shake Shack, plus all of their beers on tap for $4 each. Great deal.

So I walked over and had a seat at the bar, and dug right in. I grabbed an Alagash Black, a satisfying darker beer that had a nice crispness to it. I ordered the Smash Burger as well as some malt liquor tempura onion rings to go along with them. The burger looks kind of small in the photo but it ended up being a perfect portion size. The burger itself is simple, just buns, beef, cheese, caramelized onions and homemade pickles. I’m a big sauce guy, but after sinking my teeth into this burger I realized it wasn’t necessary. The meat was grilled well done on the outside but was quite rare on the inside, leaving the plate dripping with deliciousness. It was honestly one of the best burgers I think I’ve ever had. The onion rings were great as well, nice and crispy all around and the onion was still crunchy enough to bite into. I hate when you get an onion ring, bite into it and the whole onion comes out, leaving you with a deep fried husk.

As I was eating, someone who worked there, maybe a manager, was explaining some of the details that I couldn’t help but overhear. I guess the buns are all hand formed by a local bakery, they make 1000 buns a day and serve just Umami Burger, so you can guess how delicious they tasted. The onions and pickles are all prepared in house. They also have a veggie burger that costs $14, which a lot of people complain about, but what he said is that it takes 3 days to prepare, though I’m not sure what goes into that time period, but it certainly sounded worth it.

All in all I loved my meal, and for $13 I got a delicious burger, a good helping of onion rings and a pint of beer. So if you’re in the mood for a delicious meal I’d suggest hitting up Umami Burger.


Forest Milk

It’s a fact, I drink god awful amounts of milk. When I go out for brunch, I order milk with my food, and people stare at me. So when I came across this beautiful packaging for Forest Milk, well, I kinda’ got thirsty. Forest Milk is produced in Japan from cows who get to roam around in a forest all year long, trimming the grass and keeping the forest looking nice. It’s also supposed to make the milk taste better, cuz’ happy cows make tastier milk. I don’t know if this is true, but I love the logo and the old fashioned packaging, I would pick this up in a heartbeat.

Found through Spoon & Tamago


Domo Invades 7-Eleven!

I usually have no reason to stop into the 7-Eleven down the street from my house, but soon, this will all be changing. The kitten eating monster Domo will be invading 7-Eleven stores across the country, gracing the fronts of slurpee bottles, cofee cups, and even eating up hot dogs.

I think this is such a clever and silly idea, but there’s something about it that’s really charming. Domo is such a cute character and seeing him in coffee cup form makes me want to go down there every morning to greet him. And I love the Spice Pumpkin Latte image (which is under the cut) and how he’s holding a pumpkin. Be sure to check out more images under the cut.

Found through Eat Me Daily

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La Charcuterie Business Cards and Stationary

I saw this wonderful example of branding on swissmiss a few weeks back but I came across it again and had to post it. Lisa Nakamura created business cards and stationary for a meat shop called La Charcuterie using images of sliced meat and butcher paper, which makes so much sense it’s silly. It’s such a simple idea that’s executed amazingly well, like the business cards coming strung up like salamis. Cute and perfect.


Sketch Ice Cream

Back in 2003 or so I came across a little ice cream shop in Berkeley called Sketch. It was the first time I had ever seen a “gourmet” ice cream shop. They served ice cream in these bright plastic cups, with bright plastic spoons, and they had crazy flavors like lavender and avocado. They had a giant wooden spoon with Sketch burned into it, the design of the menus was perfect and I was in heaven. Being a kid who grew up in the suburbs of Sacramento this was something that I had never encountered before, and it was just one of the many reasons why I left my little suburban town.

So it’s with much sadness to say that they closed their doors on July 26th of this year. They recently had a beautiful baby girl (the owners were a married couple, I remember talking to them about their honeymoon way back when) and they’ve decided to go a different route with Sketch, possibly selling online.

The reason this all came up is that I found the company that helped design their store, a company called Passing Notes. They did a great job of cataloging all the wonderful branding and design work they did on their site, and it totally filled me with a ton of great memories. Be sure to click here and check out more pictures of Sketch.


Milk Packaging by Tripple Red

I drink a freakishly large amount of milk, so I definitely feel like a bit of an expert on milk packaging. So this packaging by Tripple Red studio is definitely on par with some of the best I’ve ever seen. The minimal red on white printing is beautiful and the pattern used to create the word milk is subtle but still really beautiful. Why can’t brands do more simple and beautiful work like this? Packaging doesn’t need to be boring!

Found through The Dieline


Hillbilly Truffle

There’s a great article in the September issue of GQ which explores the world of Tom Michael’s, a man who grows Tuber melanosporum, aka black truffles, in the hills of Tennessee. Black truffles are normally known to be collected in France, but Michaels is changing all of that, mining “black gold” as you could call it. I knew absolutely nothing about the truffle business before this, but it’s a good read and author Alan Richman does a great job of making me quite curious about trying them one day.

“The black truffle found in Périgord and Provence, and now Chuckey, Tennessee, has dozens of fungal relatives, some of them used in cooking, a few of them not bad at all, none of them its equal in beauty or bouquet. Once cleaned, the black Périgord truffle glitters. Cut open, the veins resemble mica. (When they are cooked, the marbling disappears.) Although the truffle possesses a pleasant crunch, it is treasured not so much for its taste or appearance but for its aroma, which has been likened to bedsheets after a night of abandon, slatterns who disdain to bathe, all that is dark and alluring about the human body and soul.”

Click here to read the full article.