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Offbeat Eateries

RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK: KAZOKU SUSHI

Kazoku Sushi 5259 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90027

I recently moved to Hollywood and luckily, I moved across the street from this delicious sushi haven. While walking my dog, I noticed a bright sign promoting Kozuku Sushi's daily Happy Hour and thought to myself, "Why not check out what this place has to offer?" So, I decided to check out this eatery with my boyfriend. Located next to the Thailand Plaza, this restaurant is surrounded by countless tasty Thai restaurants including Thai Patio. Inside, the restaurant offers a huge plasma television, attentive waiters and deliciously creative sushi rolls. While the eatery is not huge, the food makes up for it.

Notable rolls include the Rock N' Roll sushi platter consisting of baked scallop, avocado with mayo for $6.95. Another tasty treat is the Red Dragon sushi roll for $9.95, which consists of tuna laid upon a roll filled with shrimp termpura and asparagus, topped with scallion and drilled with spicy ponzu sauce.

While the special rolls range between $9 to $13, the restaurant also serves inexpensive but equally delicious rolls including classic favorites such as the California Roll for $4.95, Spicy Tuna Roll for $4.95, and Salmon and Avocado Roll for $4.95.


The Santa Monica Roll is a tangy delight consisting of salmon laid upon a roll filled with shrimp, crab and asparagus; topped with smelt egg, cream cheese and scallion; served with lemon and ponzu sauce all for $11.90.

All I have to say is, this restaurant is clean, hip and offers fresh dishes. If you're lucky enough to live within a three mile radius of this restaurant, enjoy free delivery with a minimum purchase of $15. If you're like me, you crave food from this restaurant on a weekly basis and order-in while enjoying a nice bottle of wine to unwind from a hectic week.

Pros: Delicious, Valet Parking and Freshly made sushi

Cons: Certain dishes can be pricey but it's definitely worth it if you're looking to splurge.

Definitely give this place a try. You'll get hooked, like me.

For questions or ideas, contact: Christybuena@yahoo.com.
For more info: Visit www.kazokusushi.com
Kazoku Sushi
5259 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 817-1002

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TASTY MEXICAN TREATS ON THE CHEAP

Despite the fact that stocks are plunging and gas prices keep rising, we can be glad that there is no shortage of deliciously cheap eats around Los Angeles. Just because we're feeling the economic recession pinch in our wallets, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the tasty dishes we’ve grown to love. If you're looking for Mexican eateries on the cheap, these restaurants will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

For tasty tacos and authentic burritos, stop by the 24-hour no-frills eatery, Lucy’s on La Brea and Pico Blvd. Don’t be fooled by the run down yellow-painted exterior, the food inside consists of large portions, flavorful options and prices that are easy on your wallet. Try the Machaca burrito for under $5 and opt for freshly squeezed orange juice.



Another notable Mexican restaurant would be Chabelita on Western and the 10 freeway. If you’re looking for fat tacos, hearty taquitos and spicy ceviche, this 24-hour restaurant is definitely worth a try. Their menu items are also less than $5.

If Mexican food is not your cup of tea, then you’ll have to tune in for the next feature on where to go for inexpensive sushi spots.

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CHEAP EATS: CHICKEN AND FRIES FOR UNDER $5

Known for their chicken and fries, Dino’s is a no-frills, hole in the wall located on 2575 W. Pico Blvd in South Los Angeles. Guests not only flock to the food stand for burritos, hamburgers and tacos, but for the large portions.

Don’t let the picnic tables scare you. What the restaurant lacks in appearance and ambience is redeemed by its hearty food, cheap prices and quick turnaround time. I highly suggest ordering half a chicken, fries, cole slaw and corn tortillas for $5. Make sure to opt for their deliciously spicy salsa, which complements the chicken and fries. Additionally, you can't go wrong with ordering a medium sized Orange Bang.

While the restaurant may not be located in the safest of spots, the eatery is certainly a bustling location. However, beware of a few gangstas reminiscent of thug life music videos and homeless individuals who come up to you while you’re dining. Fear not, just try to remember that the delicious food brings all sorts of individuals together for the common goal: Dino's delicious chicken and fries!

The food here is definitely worth trying and did I mention that they offer hearty breakfast platters for dirt cheap prices? Parking is limited at this eatery so you may need to park on the street. Bring a friend with you before you go.

Heads up: Outdoor seating is available on picnic tables and the restaurant is less crowded on weekdays.


For more info: Visit Dino's Chicken and Burgers
Neighborhood: South Los Angeles
2575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-3554

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GET YOUR GRUB ON AT ZANKOU CHICKEN


Combine good, quick and cheap Mediterranean food and you've got Zankou Chicken. With six locations in the Los Angeles area, the fast food eatery offers deliciously roasted chicken, falafel, shawarma and hummus, to name a few.

Oh, how I remember the days when the Hollywood Zankou eatery was crampt with a maximum capacity of 25. The smell of roasting chicken, filled the small eatery as long lines made it out the door. Of course, this was almost 10 years ago.

Since then, the Hollywood restaurant has expanded and has now doubled in size. Thankfully, the same flavors still remain throughout the years and now, more people are able to taste the goodness that is known as Zankou Chicken.

My all time favorite is the 1/4 chicken plate for just about $6.00. The plate comes with hummus, diced tomatoes, pickles, pita bread and a slow roasted juicy rotisserie chicken. Order a side of tabbouleh and don't forget their famous garlic sauce! It's a must! (I can eat this garlic paste by itself!)

FYI, many have tried to concoct their own versions of Zankou's garlic sauce: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/60530

Nevertheless, I've noticed that no matter what time of day, there's always a line of hungry Zankou enthusiasts waiting to appease their appetites. Trust me, their food is worth the wait and you get portions enough to keep you full for a long while.

Heads up: I typically go to the Hollywood restaurant located on 5065 W. Sunset Blvd. at Normandie. Parking in the lot can get crowded so, opt for street parking if you must.

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WOW BENTO & ROLL: CHEAP SUSHI NEVER TASTED SO GOOD

If you're sick of eating expensive sushi that doesn't get you full, then head over to Wow Bento & Roll. Think budget prices, large portions and an assortment of rolls, salads and sides. Despite being located in the Glendale Galleria, the eatery is also located in Downtown L.A. and La Crescenta.

I ordered the spicy tempura tuna roll (Combo #2) for $6, which consisted of teriyaki chicken, tangy zucchini salad and huge chunks of sushi. Surprisingly, two combos came out to less than $20!

Unfortunately, the California rolls that accompanied (Combo #1), contained less rice than the tuna rolls but, for the price of $5, who can complain? More filling is better anyway, right? Fortunately, the tempura vegetables and green salad made up for it.

Beware, the ambiance is not like your typical sushi haven where nice decor, dim lighting and bamboo fill the interior. You will not hear soothing Japanese music and you will not have a waiter or waitress bring your food out. Don't expect a Sake with your meal either. Then again, I'd trade flavor and price over ambiance any day.

Do expect a quick turnaround time, inexpensive sushi rolls, Japanese favorites and a few extra bucks in your wallet. Wow Bento & Roll is a definite try.

Check out Wow Bento & Roll at these locations:

Glendale

1142 Glendale Galleria

Glendale, CA 91210

(818) 240-0703

La Crescenta

3231 Foothill Blvd #201

La Crescenta, CA 91214

(818) 957-3636

Los Angeles

710 S Hill Street

Los Angeles, CA 90014

(213) 489-3636

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GREAT FOR GROUPS: ROSALIND'S ETHIOPIAN CUISINE

Every now and then, I crave Ethiopian cuisine so, I call my two brothers, Sean and Steven, and we head to our favorite little spot on Fairfax Ave. called Rosalinds Ethiopian Restaurant. This restaurant and bar offers combination plates, fresh injera (bread), tasty meat and vegetable dishes that you can easily share with a large group of people for a little over $20.

The best part of eating at this restaurant is the fact that minutes after stepping into the restaurant, you feel like you've been transported across the sea as you're surrounded by huts and cute tables and chairs, not to mention you get to eat with your hands and enjoy large portions at an affordable price. On sunny days, ask to be seated on the patio.

I highly recommend ordering a huge plate with the Vegetarian combination consisting of "A combination of three items from the following items: "Vegetable Alicha", "Collard Greens", "Lentils", "Split-peas Alicha." A great addition would be "Yebeg Siga Alicha," which is a mild lamb stew, delicately spiced with garlic, ginger and other spices and is served with injera. If you want to go all out, order the "Yedoro Wot," which is a tasty spicy chicken stew in red pepper sauce with an assortment of spices.

Don't just take my word for it, gather your friends and enjoy the Ethiopian decor, music and have some African beer!

Heads up: There's metered street parking.

BTW, the injera bread takes some getting used to. Expect a slightly sour pancake.


For more info: Visit www.rosalindsrestaurant.com/index.html
Rosalind's Ethiopian Restaurant - (323) 936-2486 - 1044 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019


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DRINK UP AT EL GUAPO MEXICAN CANTINA

If you're looking for a new happy hour spot, check out El Guapo Cantina at 7250 Melrose Ave. (3 blocks west of La Brea) in Hollywood, CA 90046. Featuring more than 40 TV screens, sports fanatics can watch a variety of games at the same time. El Guapo prides itself for its 42", 50" and 63" Hi-Def Tv's, so you can see every game from any seat all at once.

While at the bustling Cantina, enjoy starters, soups and salads, sandwiches and wraps, as well as burgers. El Guapo also offers budget-friendly party platters, "Hollywood Martinis," frozen cocktails, margaritas, "Fun Shots," and specialty drinks. The health conscious can opt for food from El Guapo's"Low Carb Section," which features, "Lettuce Cup Tacos" consisting of one chicken, one steak and one shrimp wrapped in a lettuce cup with shredded cheese and Pico de Gallo for $8.95.

Did you know: El Guapo was the first bar in Los Angeles to have and play Beer Pong? If you're in the area on any given Tuesday, step inside and enjoy $1 tacos, $2 shots and 50% off beer pitchers!

I love the fact that this bar offers a large patio with heaters, two separate bars and a diverse crowd. Despite its Hollywood location, you will not get a pretentious crowd, snobby bouncers and overly priced drinks. Every time my friends and I have stopped by El Guapo, we've always had a fun time and the Beer Pong competitions alone, make it worth the visit!


Pros: There's valet parking for $5, two bars, a large patio and Karaoke!


For more info: visit www.elguapocantina.com

7250 Melrose Ave # 1
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 297-0471


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