Most Monday mornings when catching up with my fellow Napier team members, I find myself stealing the phrase ‘I spent the weekend eating as if I were going to the electric chair.’ It’s shameful, since I value healthy practices of all kinds, but I also give myself some slack since visiting different areas and their restaurants has been a great way to get comfortable in Los Angeles. Anyway, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! A couple notes on the food scene out here:

KBBQ is a religion; my brother-in-law is the Pope

For reasons unknown to me, there are seemingly no authentic Korean Barbeque restaurants on the east coast, which is a bummer since I argue that the KBBQ food (not necessarily the experience) rivals a top-tier steakhouse food– sides and all. For years my wife’s family has taken us to KBBQ when we’d visit, and now that we live in the area, it seems as though we have a bi-weekly date at our preferred restaurant, Shik Do Rak. Kuya (Filipino/Tagalog word for respected older brother) will order for all 9 of us as if he’s the only one able to read the holy scrolls of the beaten-up menus. Not long after, the grill in the center of the table turns on and large overflowing trays of shaved brisket, beef cheek, short ribs, ribeye – all sorts of cuts are brought out to be prepped and cooked by you, the patron (or Kuya in our case – “always be good to your Kuya” is the saying; it rings particularly true since he also serves the food). Along with the plethora of red meats, KBBQ typically serves radish soup, rice dishes, kimchi, noodles, sprout salads – not the staples a guy from Syracuse, NY is used to, but delicious nonetheless.

You’ve been told lies about In-N-Out; there is something far better

West coast fast/fast casual food is synonymous with one chain: In-N-Out Burger. If Ivy-league marketing researchers aren’t already looking into how this underwhelming chain has captivated the nation, they really need to, because the hype for the questionable quality of product is shocking. What is equally as shocking is that California is also home to a fast/fast casual chain that actually deserves the fanaticism that In-N-Out cultivates. That is, California Fish Grill. Imagine Chipotle for responsibly sourced fresh grilled fish with two exceptional sides (rice, corn, glazed/roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potato fries, etc) to accompany the fish. It is healthy, delicious, consistent, competitively priced and prepared quickly. It’s only a matter of time before they blow up in popularity and venture east.

As well (or unwell, you could argue) as I have been eating, I still find myself not fully satisfied at the ends of these meals. I expect this void to linger until 1 of 2 bites are taken: that of the famous chicken cutlet sandwich with all the fixings from Monica’s Mercato in the North End or a hefty lobster roll from the Green Harbor Lobster Pound. I intend on eating both later this month.

Until next time…   

Meat Tray for Kbbq

By Thomas Schulte CFP® Director of Financial Planning Read More