In the ongoing glut of media attention on our corner of Los Angeles, the New York Times ran a piece yesterday covering the receding tide of gentrification in Eagle Rock. The prospective shuttering of storefronts is sad, but the silver lining is that the original allure of the neighborhood is still here: low crime, a good public school, and a close community. Home prices dropping into the range of possibility for working couples isn’t a bad thing either.
Also, if you’ve ever wondered what Auntie Em’s puts in their Oatmeal Cookies, look no further.
The second commercial this week to show two guys surrounded by beautiful women at Oxy is currently running on TV. This one is for the new BK Burger Shot. For all prospective applicants, this is a veryaccurate representation of your chances with beautiful co-eds. Enjoy.
Seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong continued his comeback just a few miles up the road last weekend. The Amgen Tour of California’s penultimate stage brought riders down the Angeles Crest Highway. Here are the leaders with Armstrong on the far left in the yellow helmet.
Armstrong at the Rose Bowl
Congradulations to the Flying Pigeon for its write-up in Sunset Magazine’s March issue. Between bicycles and Taco Trucks, I think the writers over at Sunset are starting to develop a bit of a crush on our neighborhood. We’ll post a link when Sunset puts the article online.
Los Angeles Magazine ran a story on the distressed real estate market. The writer recounts her three attempts at buying homes in Eagle Rock and Highland Park. The good news is that while asking prices are low, there is still plenty of demand for real estate in our neighborhood. Again, they haven’t posted the article, so you’ll have to buy your own copy.
Wednesday night I finally caved into the L.A. media blitz and submitted to the cultural phenomenon that is the Kogi BBQ taco truck. In case you haven’t seen the story in the Times, heard the NPR broadcast, or read the LA Weekly review, Kogi (pronounced with a hard g) is the latest evolution in the Angeleno mobile culinary institution. I was expecting a scarf and fedora filled line outside the Golden Gopher downtown, but the crowd seemed pretty normal. About 25 people in front of us translated into about 20 minutes for us to simply place our order. Then, we shuffled off to the side where we waited another 15 minutes for our food to come out. Was it worth it? In a word: No. We ordered the Korean short rib and spicy pork tacos which came out on a corn tortilla that wasn’t quite as hot as I usually prefer. The pork was tender and both meats had a sweet marinade that combined well with the cabbage, onion, and cilantro dressing. The short ribs wouldn’t do well on their own, but in the taco they performed nicely. Ultimately, the food was unique, tasty, and affordable (but about twice what you would pay at any other taco truck). Still, for those of us who live within a five minute drive of dozens of delicious and cheap taco trucks, the wait just isn’t worth it. I’m happy to have tried it once, but I doubt if I’ll be returning soon. The good news is Kogi is expanding to meet the raucous demand for its food. They’ve opened a second truck, and are now going to take over the kitchen at Culver City’s Alibi Room.
It’s this last point that I want to dwell on for a moment. Kogi parks on city streets, and while they move locations pretty frequently, (you have to follow their locations via their website) the proposed laws the Board of Supervisors was pushing last year would have made this type of entry-level capitalism very risky for chef Roy Choi. Instead, our city has another unique culinary institution that is quickly maturing beyond paper plates and tin foil.