Category Archives: Food Trucks

Clam, You’re Good Lookin’

I was first introduced to the awesomeness of fried Ipswich “whole belly” clams as a student in Boston. Prior to this initiation, my experience with fried clams was limited to the fried clam strips I often ordered as a kid at Howard Johnson’s. Fresh fried Ipswich clams are an acquired taste and totally different from the strips, which are often frozen before being fried and are missing the best part — the plump succulent belly. A good basket of fried Ipswich clams will have sweet, briny and juicy clams, which have been dipped in a delicious seasoned batter and fried to perfection until crispy and golden. When accompanied with wedges of fresh lemon and a good tartar sauce, there is nothing better in the World. Unfortunately, they’re extremely difficult to find in LA. Here are four local places I’ve found where you can actually get the elusive shellfish treat:

Blue Plate Oysterette

Blue Plate Oysterette (1355 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica) This is a cool looking place and reminds me of some of my favorite oyster bars in New England. I was excited to see they had fried Ipswich clams on their menu, but I was ultimately disappointed with the dish. It was a very small portion for $18 and I didn’t like the taste of the batter they used or the fact that they fried their clams along with lemon slices.

The Hungry Cat Fried Clam Roll

The Hungry Cat (1535 N. Vine St. in Hollywood and 100 W. Channel Road in Santa Monica) Although their menu changes daily, The Hungry Cat has a Clam Roll made with fried Ipswich clams which seems to be offered most days. For $20, you get a toasted traditional split top roll filled with fried clams and cole slaw, along with a side of really excellent fries. It’s a pretty good sandwich, but I prefer my clams straight up.

Sonny McLean’s Irish Pub

Sonny McLean’s Irish Pub (2615 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica) This Boston-themed Irish Sports Bar totally surprised me by having the best fried clams in the city. The clams are so amazing and reminiscient of the clams you get in Boston that I wanted to jump up and shout “I PAHKED MY CAH IN HAHVAHD YAHD”! Plus at $14, their generous-sized appetizer of clams, which is pictured at the top of this post and served with tartar sauce, lemon and really delicious coleslaw, is the best deal in town. Since it’s a Boston-themed pub, I suggest enjoying these clams with a Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Roll ‘n Lobster Truck Fried Clams

Roll ‘n Lobster Truck If you don’t live near one of the few LA restaurants serving fried Ipswich clams, you can wait for the clams to be brought to your part of town. Roll ‘n Lobster is the newest LA food truck specializing in lobster rolls (I believe there are at least four of them now), and the only one that serves fried Ipswich clams. For $18, you can get a clam basket with fries. Although it’s not a huge portion and a little on the oily side, I found the clams here exceptionally plump and juicy.

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Sonny McLean's Irish Pub & on Urbanspoon
Blue Plate Oysterette on Urbanspoon


Filed under Food Trucks, Hollywood, Santa Monica

14 Best Peanut Butter Treats In LA

I am a peanut butter fanatic, a peanut butter fiend, a peanut butter junkie. I am nuts about peanut butter and I love it more than almost anything else. If a restaurant or bakery has a peanut butter dessert on the menu, I automatically order it. And I always keep a jar at home in the fridge for snacking or adding to other desserts. After years of dedicated research, I share with you my 14 favorite peanut butter treats in Los Angeles (in no particular order).

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cream Cookie from Xtreme Desserts

1. Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cream Cookie from Xtreme Desserts (11990 Ventura Blvd., Studio City) A peanut butter cream cheese filling sandwiched between two soft chocolate chip cookies with chocolate ganache drizzled on top. One of the best things ever!

Peanut Butter Meringue Pie from Pie 'n Burger

2. Peanut Butter Meringue Pie from Pie ‘n Burger (913 E. California in Pasadena) This is one awesome pie. Creamy and delicious peanut butter pudding in a delcious butter crust topped with meringue. They serve it every other day, alternating with Butterscotch Meringue Pie.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream from Mashti Malone's

3. Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream from Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream (1525 N. La Brea Ave. in Hollywood) Rich and creamy with chunks of peanut butter and chocolate. It’s surprising that a store famous for their Persian rosewater ice creams and sorbets would make the best peanut butter ice cream in the city, but they do!

The Huell from Stan's Doughnuts

4. The Huell from Stan’s Doughnuts (10948 Weyburn Ave. in Westwood) Stan’s actually makes three amazing peanut butter doughnuts: a Peanut Butter & Banana Doughnut, a PB&J Doughnut and “The Huell,” with chocolate chips and peanut butter, named after local TV celebrity Huell Howser.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Macaron from 'Lette Macarons

5. Peanut Butter and Jelly Macaron from ‘Lette Macarons (9466 Charleville Boulevard in Beverly Hills, 333 S Alameda Street in Downtown and 14 S. Fairoaks Ave. in Pasadena) The exciting marriage of a simple childhood favorite with a refined French pastry. Tastes really good too!

Peanut Butter Chip Cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes

6. Peanut Butter Chip Cupcake from Sprinkles Cupcakes (9635 S. Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills) My all-time favorite cupcake. Chocolate chip-studded peanut butter cake with peanut butter frosting covered in chocolate sprinkles. They only have them on Tuesdays and Sundays.

Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cakewich from Cake Monkey

7. Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Cakewich from Cake Monkey Bakery (available in all Umami Burger locations as well as other restaurants and gourmet shops) Yummy yellow cake sandwich filled with peanut buttercream, housemade marshmallow and coated with bittersweet chocolate.

Pnut Butter Puff from The Groovy Gourmet Pnut Butter Bar Truck

8. Pnut Butter Puff from The Groovy Gourmet Pnut Butter Bar Truck Los Angeles has its own peanut butter-themed gourmet food truck and this sinful confection is their speciality. It’s like a large fluffy peanut butter beignet and is topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwich from Down Beat Cafe

9. Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwich from Down Beat Cafe (10202 N. Alvarado St. in Echo Park) This funky hipster coffee shop bakes the best crispy peanut butter cookies in the city. They take two cookies and make a sandwich with a filling of peanut butter. Super delicious.

Peanut Butter Icebox Pie from Magnolia Bakery

10. Peanut Butter Icebox Pie from Magnolia Bakery (8389 W. 3rd Street in Mid-City) This is one of several peanut butter offerings from one of my favorite bakeries in the city. It has a super light, creamy and delicious filling which sits atop a denser crust. I can devour a slice in about five seconds flat.

Peanut Butter Stuffed Mochi from Fugetsu-Do

11. Peanut Butter Stuffed Mochi from Fugetsu-Do (315 E. 1st St. in Little Tokyo/Downtown) This sweet shop has some of the best mochi in town and my favorites are these soft and chewy mochi disks stuffed with peanut butter. It’s the Japanese equivalent of an Abba Zabba bar!

Deep Fried Fluffer Nutter with Fresh Bananas from Black Market Liquor Bar

12. Deep Fried Fluffer Nutter with Fresh Bananas from Black Market Liquor Bar (11915 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City) Top Chef’s Antonia Lofaso has created this dessert sandwich of peanut butter, marshmallow and bananas on sweet brioche, which is covered with panko bread crumbs and deep fried until golden. It’s wicked good!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar from Joan's on Third

13. Peanut Butter and Jelly Bar from Joan’s on Third (8350 W. 3rd St. in Mid-City) Joan’s on Third makes amazing baked goods and this dense peanut butter bar with jam on top is no exception. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty, and excellent with a cold glass of milk.

Peanut Butter Pinkberry

14. Peanut Butter Pinkberry (numerous locations) Pinkberry hit it out of the park with their rich and luscious peanut butter flavor! Try it with the peanut butter crunch topping, strawberries and a dollop of jelly. They don’t carry this flavor at all locations (what’s with that?!), so call first.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

HONORABLE MENTION: Diddy Riese Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich (926 Broxton Ave. in Westwood) There always seems to be a line outside Diddy Riese, which bakes up delicious cookies. I love their ice cream sandwich made with Dreyer’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream and peanut butter cookies. At $1.75, the price can’t be beat!

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Diddy Riese Cookies on Urbanspoon

UPDATE: The Groovy Gourmet Pnut Butter Bar Truck is no longer on the streets. Xtreme Desserts closed their Studio City store, but you can find their Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cream Cookies at many LA locations including Crave in Sherman Oaks and Studio City.


Filed under Beverly Hills, Downtown, Echo Park, Food Trucks, Hollywood, Mid-City, Pasadena, Studio City, Westwood

Foie Gras “PB&J” Served From a Truck

The Vizzi Truck is the gold standard of gourmet food trucks.  I usually refer to the whole new wave of ethnically diverse food trucks as gourmet, but the Vizzi truck truly is gourmet. The menu changes seasonally. The Vizzi’s chef describes his cuisine as the result of taking French cooking techniques and mixing it with coastal flavors from around the globe, and finishing each bite with subtle Pacific flair. I would describe it as the food truck equivalent of Las Vegas’ Wynn and Encore Hotels, which are unique in a strip of over-the-top themed resorts in that they have no specific theme other than pure luxury and sophistication. The truck itself is the grandest of all mobile food vehicles with two flat screen televisions so you can watch movies or sports while you wait for your food.

My favorites on the truck are the Braised Wagyu Beef Sliders (maple-balsamic bbq beef with chimichurri-creme on soft Hawaiin rolls; they also have a great vegetarian version made with organic chickpea “cutlets”), Venison Burger (with maple-dijon aioli, charred sweet onion, queso panela and bacon), and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich (with blu-bacon fondue, carmelized onions, swiss cheese and tomato). All of the foregoing are served on top of Pimento Spiced-Yakima Salt Popcorn. My family also loves the White Truffle Popcorn mixed with sea salt and chopped dried figs. But the piece de resistance is The Foie Gras “PB&J,” a deconstructed sandwich consisting of toasted butter brioche, seared foie gras, homemade almond butter and truffled fig jelly. This playful take on an American classic is spectacular and it’s hard to believe it comes from a food truck. It does, however, come at a high price, literally. At $21, I believe it is the most expensive item I have ever seen sold from a food truck. But I thought it was well worth the price.

The best way to find the Vizzi Truck is the schedule on their website.

Foie Gras "PB&J"

Braised Wagyu Beef Sliders

White Truffle Popcorn

Vizzi (food truck) on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Food Trucks

The Maine Event

The Kennedy’s are back in the news! Time for a little taste of Hyannis Port (it was either that this week or my recommendation for Austrian food in LA and I’m still in search of a good place for Schnitzel). So I headed over to the Lobsta Truck and waited in line for over a half hour.  Was it worth it?  Hell yeah! It’s Wicked Awesome!

The concept is simple:  The Lobsta Truck serves succulent Lobster Rolls and Crab Rolls with your choice of butter or seasoned mayo on traditional split top buns.  The lobster and crab are flown in from New England a few times a week, as are the split top buns, so everything tastes really fresh.  The also serve Clam Chowder, which was good not great, fresh squeezed lemonade, Maine Root sodas, packaged Cape Cod Potato Chips and Whoopie Pies.  This is one of the more expensive food trucks in town.  The Lobster Rolls are $12 each and the Crab Rolls are $11 each and they are not huge, so you are probably going to want at least two.  But they are mighty tasty and, as Ahnold says, I’ll be back!

The best way to find The Lobsta Truck is the weekly schedule posted on their website.

The Lobsta Truck

Lobsta Roll with Mayo

Lobsta Roll with Melted Butter and Cup of Clam Chowder

I love the simple menu

Lobsta Truck on Urbanspoon


Filed under Food Trucks

Don Draper Ice Cream!!!

This food truck was a real find!  Lake Street Creamery is a Gourmet Ice Cream Truck with really delicious and unusual flavors.  The regular menu includes such flavors as “Pancake Breakfast” (made with flapjacks, maple syrup, bits of real bacon and a sprinkling of fresh-ground Peaberry coffee; “not for vegetarians or the excitable”); “Donut” (tastes just like a cake donut), “Aztec Sacrifice” (spicy chocolate made with chiles and cayenne pepper), “Black Jack” (“It’s Black Licorice.  Deal with it.”)  and “Holiday Chocolate” (made with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger).

The Ice Cream is served in tasty waffle bowls (“in a futile attempt to save the planet”) and they serve you really generous scoops as well as very generous tastes of any flavor you want to try.  I tried them all!  They also make special Ice Cream Floats such as “Jelly Donut” (Donut Ice Cream with Black Cherry Soda) and “Coffee and a Donut” (Donut Ice Cream and Iced Coffee).  When I visited the truck recently, they had a special flavor called “The Don Draper.” Its ingredients include vanilla, caramel, bourbon and smoke.  It was great to be able to enjoy my favorite tv show about mid-century ad execs in the form of a frozen dessert!   How to find the Lake Street Creamery Truck:  they post a calendar on their website


Lake Street Creamery on Urbanspoon


Filed under Food Trucks