Sunday, October 4, 2015

Goodbye Summer, Hello Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Since we don't experience any sort of seasonal climate changes here in L.A., the only way I know that summer is coming to an end is the sudden influx of events at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and the arrival of that evil Jezebel (The L.A. County Fair) with her alluring cabinet of fried curiosities. Who doesn't love turning up at the cemetery and/or the fair?! That's why I use these events to trick people into hanging out with me in public. 

My friends and I went to the Miguel concert at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This cemetery doubles as a concert and outdoor movie venue in the summertime. Yes, it is creepy as fuck walking through all those grave sites and you run the risk of having a disturbed spirit follow you home, but I like to protect myself from this by stuffing my bra with crystals and cloves of garlic. If you were there, you may have recognized me there as the girl with the jagged boobs drinking from a bottle of sunscreen. 

As grownass women (lazy people), we opted to sit as far as possible because we cannot be bothered to stand up and had some serious snacking to do. It's also imperative to sit as far away from the stage as possible at a Miguel concert if you want to avoid getting your face kicked in when he attempts to do an aerial splits. 

The beauty of the cemetery is that you can B.Y.O everything...blankets, Cheetos, vodka minis, wine bottles, reefer, dog biscuits, cigars, Egg McMuff's, bulgogi, etc. My friend brought a fake sunscreen bottle as a concealed flask for our vodka. I saw this drinking tactic used on an episode of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and I've always thought it was genius. Even though you can drink openly here, it was still fun to drink from a sunscreen bottle and pretend that we were being sneaky. 

BEST CONCERT VENUE EVER. Shout out to Miguel for putting on a hell of a show and the friendly staff for humoring us and giving us a 30 ft ride to the porta potty's in a golf cart. 

They've finally started promoting my biopic at the local movie theater. I am so excited for its release!! 

Now for the L.A. County Fair. This is the perfect place to go if you can't decide between spending your Friday night at a Dave and Busters or a Big Lots. Lynard Skynard was performing at the Grandstand that evening, but my boyfriend and I were not chic enough to be ticketholders, so we went on the hunt for scary hybrid foods on sticks instead. 

Seeing a sign for "BIG FAT SAUSAGE" and "BACON WRAPPED PORK BELLY" resulted in a lot of uncontrollable weeping on my part, but I managed to hold it together long enough to offer these people all of the money in my bank account.

BACON WRAPPED PORK BELLY. I made the staff lineup so I could run through and high five everyone for doing such a wonderful job. Then we smothered this thing in BBQ sauce and shared it while riding the people mover, as I waved it around chanted, "PORK ON PORK ON PORK!" above the fairgrounds. Or actually, the only accurate part of what I just said was "we smothered this thing in BBQ sauce." 

I would lay on top of this if it didn't mean third degree burns and permanent grill marks on my face. 

I found an alarming amount of photos on my phone of this man posing with this smoker full of meat. I asked him if he wanted me to send him some so he could make one his Facebook profile picture but he told me to get lost. 

Next stop was this gelato barn for this beautiful creation...

A MINT CHIP GELATO CHURRO SANDWICH!!!!!! I had a full on anxiety attack when they asked me to choose a gelato flavor and I haven't quite recovered from not having chosen them all. I want these people to make me some churro ear muffs out of these buns because come wintertime, I'm gonna want me some edible headwear. 

All I wanted was a corn dog, so I bought this BACON CORN DOG. At this point, it was pointless to even order something with more bacon, as my mouth was already permanently coated with bacon grease from the bacon covered pork belly. Still finished it though...

The "Chi-Chee Fries" is pretty accurate because that's what it sounded like when I ordered these while having my third stroke of the evening. 

I was filled with disgust after all that eating and decided to ride the ferris wheel so that I could yell, "PACK YOUR SHIT AND LEAVE!" to the fair. Unfortunately, it listened. That's what happens when you hastily yell out hateful things you don't mean. Whatever, that bitch will be back next what the fair said about me as I was escorted out by security.  

If you think I learned my lesson or felt some kind of remorse after eating all that junk, you are sadly mistaken. My family and I went to Churro Borough in Los Feliz the next day and had my SECOND churro ice cream sandwich of the weekend. This one was kinda superior because they had horchata ice cream and the churro ear muffs were thinner and easier to eat. I need to go back for their milk shake and churro fries combo ASAP or like at least after I get a colonic. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Eating My Way Through Japan: OSAKA

The next stop on the Back Fat Express was Osaka.We had great expectations for Osaka since we heard many tales about all of their fried specialties and it's fame for their takoyaki (fried octopus dough balls).

But obviously, our first stop would be the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum. What kind of people would we be if we didn't pay homage to the founder and creator of Cup Noodles, Momofuku Ando?? We also heard a rumor about free admission and the opportunity to customize your own Cup Noodle, which is something every woman should take advantage of at least once in her life.

We began to notice that the majority of the museums visitors were children and the only other adults there were either employees or people accompanying children. I don't know who these children belonged to, but I do know neither belonged to anyone in our party, which would explain their impeccable style. I should probably alert The Sartorialist about them. 

Upon entering, we found a long majestic wall showcasing every Cup Noodle product ever produced. We spent around an hour furiously vogueing and holding an impromptu photoshoot in front of this wall. 

This Cup Noodle Drama theater showed a compelling educational film about the company's history. We watched about 5 seconds of this and walked out to look for a better photo op.

There was no shortage of groups of children on field trips. Please excuse my shameless photographing of strange children, I couldn't help it since they were the only other kind of people there. 

We finally approached the Cup Noodle customization line and we were met with yet another vending machine. For the low price of 300 yen, we got a styrofoam cup and access to a myriad of savory powders and dehydrated vegetables. My finger also insisted on making a cameo in this photo...that bitch. 

Filling the cup was a lengthy and somewhat stressful process. You surrender your cup to the young ladies screaming into their headsets at each station, where they manually crank on machines and fill your cup with noodles and such. I took the exotic/confused route and did a curry powder with bacon, fish cakes, green onions and red pepper. 

Once your cup is filled and sealed, they release you into a room full of cafeteria tables supplied with markers so that you can decorate your cup. As women in their late-twenties, we took this step very seriously. 

Again, this is an absolute must-see experience in Japan. That reminds me, I still have this in my pantry and need to see how much it tastes like an armpit considering the fucked up combo I chose.

Our next move was to the Osaka Owl Family Cafe. Yes, an OWL CAFE. This Japanese animal cafe trend was very alluring to us because we are all city dwellers whose interactions with animals are limited to yelling at our neighbors chihuahuas and cursing at seagulls that steal our corn dogs at the beach. 

I have to admit that it was upsetting to walk into a room full of beautiful owls and seeing them all chained down. I think my dumbass forgot that they are wild animals and thought they would be flying around freely and harmoniously amongst a room of strangers. As awful as I thought this was, I was already inside and could not resist the chance to contract bird flu on top of the fever I already had. I also had never met an owl before, so I figured this was my chance. 

This is Mimi and Momo. Mimi was delighted to share her head with Momo, the 10 lb owl who is clinging to her scalp for dear life with his claws. We all took turns placing owls of various sizes on our heads and and things got weird when I tried to make out with the largest one. Again, there is no reason to have owls and humans confined together in a room. 

We also encountered a species of alcohol that is extinct in America. The only alcoholic beverage on the menu at this place was ZIMA. I believe Smirnoff Ice's have long replaced Zima's as the pussiest drinks on the market since its departure from America, but it looks like Japanese owl cafes are still all about it. 

In conclusion, I would have preferred to have met an owl under more Harry Potter-esque circumstances where I would be gifted an owl that would deliver my mail, but once again, beggars can't be choosers. 

My friend Jess found a comprehensive list of must-eat places in Osaka on a blog that is much more informative and helpful than this one, which can be found here. We referenced this list as a guide to help us find the best fried goodies in the city. 

The first stop on The Great Takoyaki hunt was Creo-Ru

Cooking takoyakis is on the same level of difficulty as ice road trucking. It requires serious focus and and finesse to flip dozens of balls around with two tiny sticks. So hats off to all the takoyaki artisans around the country for their skill and dedication to making sure drunk folks have a delicious way to burn their mouths. 

Voila! Luscious octopus balls. I recall these being squishier and more gingery than the ones we had in Tokyo, but still delicious. 

After this snack, our fat asses walked directly over to Kimukatsu, where they are famous for their pork tonkatsu. 

Tonkatsu was pretty much the only thing on the menu, so we got three different kinds to sample: original, garlic and CHEESE. 

The special thing about this place is that they layer paper thin slices of pork on top of each other and delicately fry them. Look at how gorgeous those layers are. It's details like this that count the most when you are eating fried foods. 

THE CHEESE TONKATSU!! Look at that meltedass cheese peeking out from there. I believe this has the same allure that cleavage has on boob lovers. 

From there, we walked around 100 feet to Dotonbori Konamon Museum to get MORE TAKOYAKI. 

You cannot miss this place because there is a massive octopus attached to the front of it. 

Very talented people who are in my opinion eligible for canonization as saints. 

This was the final takoyaki of the trip. I don't know when I'll get to experience this again, but I challenge someone to open a takoyaki place here in LA. Probably on Sawtelle...SOMEONE?! PLEASE!!? 

And after that, the only thing I consumed was water, vitamin C, ibuprofen and heavy doses of cold medicine because I was sick as a dog. Japan, you almost killed me, but I love you. Keep being weird and cranking out some of the most delicious food on the planet. 

Love, Neko Lover (Cat Lover) 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Eating My Way Through Japan: KYOTO

Sorry it's taken so long to continue this multi-part blog post, but I wanted to build anticipation and the LA County Fair has been occupying all of my attention with all of it's fried miracles beckoning me from afar. I finally gave in last night and it only took several corn dogs to clear my writer's block. 

So before leaving Tokyo, my friends Angie and Jess insisted we visit McDonald's to introduce me to this magical discovery they made before my arrival. As an intellectual, I am certainly not one to turn down an invite to a foreign McDonald's. 



I once claimed my friend, Daichi was Japan's national treasure, but I now believe that this tempura fried shrimp patty sandwich is. This is hands down, the best anything at any McDonald's that I've ever experienced. I even snuck one back into America so that my boyfriend could try it. I also had a very intimate and sad goodbye with one of these at the Haneda Airport before I left Japan. Who knew I would ever have such a turbulent love affair with a McDonald's sandwich? (Everyone) 

We made the hour long trek on the Shinkasen high speed railway to the Grand Sumo Tournament in Nagoya. 

The entrance to the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium included a walk through what looked to be jousting grounds. That was until we saw real life SUMO WRESTLERS walking in and out. It took every ounce of restraint to not run up and ask all of them for hugs. I was basically the equivalent of a THOT hanging around outside of an NBA All-Star game, only I was wearing a culotte jumpsuit and not a bodycon dress from Bebe.  

We had box seats, which apparently are just sectioned off mats on the floor. This was wildly uncomfortable, but the beers and oversized men hurling themselves at eachother made up for this. Our neighbors were all these old Japanese men getting wasted and yelling, so we fit in quite nicely. I highly recommend attending one of these tournaments at least once in your life because it is FUN AS FUCK. At the end of the tournament, everyone in the gymnasium stands up and throws their seat mats at the wrestling ring, so they all end up falling on all the old ladies sitting up in front and I would be lying if I said that wasn't hilarious. 

On the train ride to Kyoto, it was becoming very clear to me that I was coming down with some sort of illness, so I self-diagnosed myself with MERS. No trip abroad is complete until I've contracted a local virus and require the help of several pharmacists to keep me sufficiently drugged. 

My friend, Mimi had been living in Japan for a year and insisted that we not miss out on izakaya, which is pretty much just bar food. So once we got in, she Yelped the nearest and best izakaya. She found this hole in the wall spot that belonged on Kitchen Nightmares, but it was AMAZING. 

The karaage chicken was just unbelievably good fried chicken. Take note, Popeyes. Just kidding, I love you're perfect the way you are. 


After finally getting more than an hour of sleep, my MERS was on and poppin the next morning but that did not stop ya girl from putting on that maxi dress and running around in the rain. 

After visiting some gorgeous temples, we happened upon a HELLO KITTY CAFE. This was a big deal for all of us since we were all at one point little Asian girls and pretty much still are, so we ran inside and got giant boners for everything in sight. 

We decided to have a light snack here, so we ordered the set meals because they looked goddamn ADORABLE. I have no effing clue what this was, but it was some kind of cold soup and possibly tofu? WHO CARES...look at that little green bow made out of that mystery powder! 

That is matcha green tea soba noodles with regular soba noodles and it was actually really delicious. That rice cake thing was the cutest thing I've ever eaten and yes, those are Hello Kitty pickled what's its. 

My matcha green tea latte had a tiny hello kitty marshmallow drowning in it and I would have helped save her, but I ate her face instead. It was equal parts cute and morbid. 

Look at how beautiful Kyoto be lookin with that pagoda and the cobblestone streets. If I wasn't stricken with ebola, I would have been prancing from rooftop to rooftop like a ninja. Well, like a Chris Farley-esque type of ninja. 

Found this glorious vending machine full of Japans finest beers. I love a country that allows you to freely walk around drinking a can of beer, because let's be real; that's what life is all about. 

Mimi brought us to what she considered to be her favorite bowl of ramen in all of Japan. The stakes were high and so was I (off them cold meds), so we were excited as hell for this. This place was called Gogyo located right by the Nishiki Market.

They're famous for their burnt ramen, but we got the Tonkatsu ramen since we can't say no to a porky broth. This had the burnt oil in it too, which looks strange but it added a rich smoky taste to the broth. I LOVED this. Everything about it was perfect between the porkyass broth, THAT EGG and the thick chewy noodles. 


The Nishiki Market was an amazing place to find street food and chachkies. These sea creature sticks doubled as both food and chachkies. Threw some in my purse to bring home to my friends and family. Just kidding, I am not Andrew Zimmern. 

Went to the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine and did an extraordinary amount of walking, but it was worth it because this place was gorgeous. I also scored an orange with a straw in it at the entrance. 

Since my friends are nice, they very reluctantly agreed to go to a Cat Cafe with me after I told them it would make me feel better. My friends hate/are allergic to cats, so I'll love them forever for this.

First off, this was not even remotely a cafe. I actually think it was just the waiting room area of a veterinary office that someone decided to monetize by letting a bunch of cats loose in there and charging admission. This happened to be exactly what my dreams are made of, so I instantly lost my mind and chased all the cats around until they were all terrified of me. 

This is a cat that had zero respect for me. 

As my friends were wheezing and crying in the corner, I purchased a tube of fish glue from the cashier lady/cat keeper because a cat's affection needs to be bought, not earned. These very kittens were initially running away and hiding from me and the instant I busted out the cat glue, these bitches were all up on me. I was CAT RICH for half an hour of my life and it was MAGICAL. 

As we were walking out, I learned that these were all feral cats available for adoption. No wonder they were so vicious. 

We decided we needed shabu shabu so we went on an epic hunt for it. Sometimes Google Maps is a son of a bitch and will lead you nowhere, which is a lesson we learned a thousand times on this trip. We finally found This Place near the Kyoto Station. I have no idea what the real name is. Once again, I win at food blogging. 

This is the closest thing we had to a vegetable the entire trip. Japans idea of a leafy green is limited to cabbage, green onions and seaweed. I'm not really sure how anyone in that country takes regular shits. 

ALL YOU CAN EAT PRIME BEEF BRISKET!!!! I wiped my face with these like a cleansing wipe because I just wanted my pores to experience what a fabulous flap of beef tastes like. 

We spent the entire morning the next day getting GEISHA MAKEOVERS. I shit you not, we spent 4 hours getting dressed up in kimonos and getting makeup put on us and being professionally photographed as geishas. I'd put up photos, but they are hilariously scary and traumatizing to look at. 

We hit up a place called Chojiro for some sushi. This place has a conveyor belt AND an iPad menu at each table that you can order off of. We went nuts and ordered a dangerous amount of sushi and it was shockingly good for a conveyor belt place. I think I got mercury poisoning?

Three cuts of TORO. Ugh, god I cannot even stand looking at how sexy this looks right now. 

This was the first of around 30 rounds of sushi. 

The tableside matcha green tea saved my life. I should note that matcha is Kyoto's signature export and is available for purchase at every turn. 


I cannot stress that enough. 

So then we went to this MONKEY PARK.....

This is the Arashiyama Monkey Park, where you hike up a mountain and stand in a cage while you feed wild monkeys peanuts. I love good park where humans are in cages. 

And I got to experience this romantic sight. It was quite adorable to watch a monkey (whose eyes I was advised to not look directly into) pick and eats bugs off another monkeys ass as it gazed into a coy pond. This is why I travel. 

The lovely view of the Arashiyama river. I have to savor natural sights like this because I have to look at the LA River regularly, which is river with no water at all and is just a backdrop for Dodge commercials and Chris Brown videos. I actually just found out it was a river, I thought it was a raceway for years. 

The Bamboo Forest of Arashiyama. So precious. 

Stay tuned for how I contracted Avian flu on top of my MERS and ebola in Osaka!