Colorado Chow

(including Glendale, Eagle Rock, Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia)

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Oinkster
2005 Colorado Blvd.

Another new place that recently openned their doors in Eagle Rock is Oinkster. "Slow Fast Food" is their tagline. The place is the concept of fine-dining chef, Andre Guerrero. Taking over the old Jim's Burger joint, they rightly kept the old school architecture and the A-Frame signage. But I do feel like some of it is a little overdesigned and does not feel comfortable to me.

The specialty is house cured pastrami, twice-fried belgium fries and house made dipping sauces.

I went to Oinkster on their second day and have been back several times. On my earlier visits, I thought the portions were on the skimpy side and the staff kept forgetting the sauces, but a lot of the kinks have been worked out by my subsequent visits and the portions have increased. The pic is the Oinkster Pastrami - with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onion and red cabbage slaw.

So how was the sandwich? The Oinkster pastrami was tasty - smoky and peppery. How was the fries? The belgium fries were nice and crispy. But, I wouldn't recommend the fries to go because they are no good when soggy.

The Verdict? I really want to love this place, but it wasn't love at first bite - like Spitz. And even after going back a bunch of times, I can't tell people to drive accross town just to try this joint as a desitination spot. If you are around Eagle Rock and have a craving for pastrami, then Oinkster would definitely fit the bill. Luckily I'm in Eagle Rock, so I'll be by from time to time and support a local eatery.

2005 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock CA (323)255-OINK -

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Elements Kitchen: Off Colorado - Pasadena

If I'm not late or trying to get someplace specific, then I'm usually a cheap bastard when it comes to parking. I hate going into those big lots because you basically walk around and see the same thing everybody else does. When I'm exploring, I just drive around and park off the beaten path, walk around, and see what's there. And sometimes it pays off. That's how I discovered Elements Kitchen. Though the address is Fair Oaks, the entrance is on the side off Dayton.

This is really a catering company but they have a couple of tables set up outside on Dayton for maybe 6-8 seats or so and serve food from noon to 6pm (at least that is what they told me - the website may say something different). The staff was very friendly, and their dessert display case looked great too! It's an open kitchen so you can see what's going on back there.

Before going into my lunch, let me first start off with their water - cucumber infused with a cucumber slice - totally refreshing!

The sandwich I got was their Grilled Serrano Ham with Red Pepper Jam on panini'd bread. Along with it came paper thin house made potato chips, home made pickles and an edible flower. The sandwich was delicious - a perfect balance of salt and sweet. I'm not the biggest fan of pickles, but these suckers were great. I took in a few of the petals from whatever the flower was - kinda minty.

I did do some cookies - Ginger cookies and a triple chocolate chip cookie - with an edible rose.

They change up their menu depending on the season, so it should be fun going back to see whats going on.

And how about this - by the front door there were some blankets. You can take one of the blankets and take your food accross the street to the park! That's pretty cool.

elements kitchen
107 South Fair Oaks Ave, Suite 110, Pasadena, CA 91105 (626) 440-0100