Course blog for CSP 11 (Fall 2012) @ Occidental College

Noms, broken down into helpful subcategories:

OXY ADJACENT

  • The York: Gastropub fare, the fried garbanzos are a great snack.
  • Huarache Azteca Restaurante: The huaraches are INSANELY good, and cheap to boot.
  • Schordorf’s Luncheonette: Great, cheap place for sandwiches (the half size is plenty, they’re huge) and salads
  • Cafe de Leche: Excellent Stumptown coffee, bagels, etc.  Cool environment to read/write in.
  • Auntie Em’s Kitchen: I have yet to have a bad meal here, but it can be on the pricey/crowded side.  The cobb salad is good, as are all the brunch options.  Get a chocolate chip cookie to go!
  • Casa Bianca Pizza: This pizza joint routinely has a 30+ minute wait for a table, but if you’re into breaded eggplant on your pizza (or just…you know…pizza), it’s worth it.
  • Oinkster: The name says it all.  Yum.
  • Spitz: Run by former Oxy students, delicious and massive kebab sandwiches/wraps and fries.
  • Four Cafe: If you’re into the “seasonal” and “local” ethos, this is your place.  The menu changes with the seasons, but everything is always excellent.  The white chicken chili on their summer menu is the current standout.
  • Fusion Burger: Widely considered an Umami knockoff, but who cares when it’s this nearby and this delicious.  The tosos are fantastic, and there’s no such thing as a bad burger here- the ahi delight is especially good.
  • Scoops: Just opened, incredible ice cream with unique flavors (salted dulce de leche, balsamic vinegar and honey) along with more classic flavors that change daily. Cheap, huge portions.

BRUNCH

  • Foxy’s: The cinnamon roll french toast is a revelation (though the leaning tower of Mexico comes in a close second)
  • Millie’s: The scrambles (or “messes”) are all great, as are the berry pancakes and biscuits.
  • Home: Two locations, both with great outdoor seating (and rainy day specials) and equally great breakfast burritos.
  • Little Dom’s: Great hearty Italian dinners here (especially the Monday night supper deal), but it’s easier to get in for brunch.  The ricotta blueberry pancakes and french toast souffle are both delicious. Expensive, but worth it.

BURGERS

  • In-N-Out Burger: Believe the hype, and peruse the secret menu.
  • Original Tommy’s Hamburgers: For chili lovers.
  • Umami Burger: Higher end, but worth the money.  I will personally vouch for the manly, carnitas, and hatch burgers, plus truffle cheese fries.
  • 26 Beach: If you happen to be in Marina Del Rey (say, picking up family at LAX), it’s worth a detour for the “sushi” burger dubbed LA’s “best.”  Highly recommend the spicy tuna burger, and the garden patio eating area is really charming.  It should be noted that they have amazing brunch and salad options too.

COFFEE/DESSERT

  • The Alcove:  Are you into insanely large slices of cake?  This is the place for you, with a bonus of being a good place for celebrity spotting.
  • Fred 62: Most of the desserts here are sort of awful, but the chocolate milkshake is mindblowingly good.
  • Coffee Table: Close to campus in Eagle Rock, massive cups of coffee and decent cupcakes (great place to work/study, lots of table space).  And speaking of cupcakes…
  • Frosted Cupcakery: The cupcake wars in LA are intense.  Some align themselves with Sprinkles, you might be temped to become a Crumbs person because they’re in Glendale (and their spin on a Hostess cupcake is actually pretty damn good), but for my money this is the best.  If you’re in Hollywood, go!
  • Porto’s Bakery: This is an institution, and close by in Glendale.  The cheese rolls are incredible, and nearly every variant of cake they create is amazing.  Be prepared to wait on line if you attempt to brave Portos on the weekend.

FOOD TRUCKS AND STANDS

LA food truck culture has exploded over the past few years.  You’ll find a useful LA food truck tracker here.

  • Tacos Arizas: Tacos, obviously, but really incredible tacos, especially the carnitas and lengua.  Words cannot adequately express how amazing the green salsa is here.
  • Kogi truck: Korean/Mexican fusion…people queue up before it even arrives.
  • El Siete Mares: Hands down, the best fish tacos in the city.  There is an attached restaurant, but you want to eat at the stand.  I’m also told that the ceviche is worth the trip.
  • Grilled Cheese Truck: This is an elusive truck, but from friends’ reports, worth tracking down
  • Sonja’s or Leo’s Taco truck: Word on the street is that eating at these trucks is a rite of passage for Oxy students.  I’m fuzzy on the details, but this couple is no longer together, and accordingly “Team Leo” and “Team Sonja” have formed.  Regardless, the veggie burrito comes highly recommended.
  • Lobsta Truck: Expensive (for a food truck), but it is lobster, after all.  The lobster roll is delightful.
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