Roy Choi is my hero. After being laid off from his then-current chef position, classically-trained Choi did the unimaginable: he and a couple friends leased a food truck and began selling tacos filled with Korean BBQ in the streets of Los Angeles. Choi’s Kogi BBQ truck launched the modern food truck movement, which now has thousands of food trucks across the country tweeting their whereabouts and introducing people to all kinds of creative dishes and exotic cuisines. Not one to rest on his laurels, Choi has built a food empire in three short years that consists of five Kogi BBQ trucks and four amazing Los Angeles restaurants: The Alibi Room, Chego, A-Frame and his newest place, Sunny Spot in Venice.
I visited Sunny Spot recently with friends and fellow bloggers Angela and Mark from I Flip For Food and was blown away by Choi’s latest creation. Sunny Spot is a Caribbean-inspired “roadside cookshop.” Think hipster cocktail bar meets kitschy Caribbean beach shack, but with amazing food. It’s a festive atmosphere. The bar serves up rum-based cocktails such as the Dry Harbour (pot still rum, lime, absinthe and habanero pineapple shrub) and the San Juan Sling (white rum, cherry brandy, Angostura, Benedictine and lime), while the kitchen serves up small plates of sweet and savory goodness.
We started our dinner with Pineapple Lollipops, sweet spears of fresh pineapple liberally sprinkled with chili salt; a simple but tasty appetizer that I will no doubt replicate at home. Because of the name alone, I knew we would have to order the Muh-F*K*N Mofongo, a stew made with overripe plantains, bacon, garlic and black pepper. Plantains and bacon are two of my favorite things and not surprisingly, I absolutely loved this dish. Another winning menu item was the Sugar Cane Fried Pigs Feet, which were deliciously crispy, salty and fatty. The Sugar Scotch Bonnet Short Ribs (pictured above) were finger-lickin’ good!
Any respectable Caribbean-themed joint has got to have goat and Choi’s Slow Roasted G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) with Lettuce Wedges and Pickled Mango was pretty tasty. But my absolute favorite dish was the Cuban Torta with Pork Terrine, Prosciutto, Provolone, Pickled Jalapeno and Mustard. It was one of the best sandwiches I have ever had and I’ve craved it often since my visit to Sunny Spot. To end this incredible meal, we had an awesome dessert called “We Be Yammin,” which was a sweet potato tart with a walnut crust and toasted marshmallow ice cream, as well as a plate of decadent and delectable Housemade Caramels sprinkled with Maldon salt and crushed toasted cashews. Good stuff, Mon!
Sunny Spot is located at 822 Washington Blvd. on the Venice/Marina del Rey border.