My Favorite Mom and Pop of the Week + Chego Rumors

FIRST some mood music:

(I’d share the vimeo version, but it’s a bit NSFW.) Is anyone else as ecstatically excited about their album release in March?

::waves:: I know. It’s been a long time. ::hides from @dana_WHAT:: Please forgive me. I love you. I’ve missed you!

ANYway, here is hoping that everybody had a great time loving (but I love LOVE!) or hating (couples should DIE!) February 14th last week.

photo courtesy of

Lessons Learned:

  • L.A. has a lot of great restaurant deals every February 14th, for single girl friends and couples alike.
  • Sometimes it’s better to forgo the deal on February 14th to celebrate a meal of quality on February 15th, 16th or whatever V-Day weekend day of your choice. Why? Well, the wait to get a table (even with reservations!) can be bad news bears AND because the restaurant has to serve so many friggin couples and starts concentrating on sheer volume that the quality of food suffers (think mushy squid ink pasta, overcooked sea bass, lukewarm soups drizzled apologetically in truffle oil). Unnecessary wait + subpar dinners + harried service does not equal the most romantic night of the year. (I’ve actually encountered a few other couples who insist on celebrating V-Day on any day BUT February 14th to avoid the above situation.)
  • Skipping V-Day dinner and heading straight to an unconventional adventure can be TONS more fun than a dinner and a movie on a holiday funded by the candy corporations.

Case in point: my favorite mom and pop L.A. find of the week. (You like how I say it like I do this thing regularly?)

Tourific Escapes is a bubbly, neighborhood tour van-bus geared toward appealing to the inner tourist in you.  (And no, they are not paying me for this plug.  And yes, I really believe that what they’re doing is genuinely cool!)

Granted me and some dude had decided on a touristy Hollywood tour somewhat ironically (don’t tell me you never judged the camera snappers on the tops of those red TMZ tour buses!), but we actually learned a thing or three about L.A. that we’d never known about as locals. And that’s saying something, coming from a gal who majored in film studies and hence had to study the early Hollywood industry back in the day.

L.A. has ROOTS, peoples. Which is something I tend to forget in an age run by the increasingly short attention spans lovingly molded and raised by the culture of celebrity and the speed of the Internet. It made me sad to think that my 3-year-old niece won’t even find the names Betty Grable and Cecile B. DeMille vaguely familiar by the time she’s 11. Much less Britney Spears. It’s almost quaint to plod past one of Michael Jackson’s elementary schools or Norma Jean Baker’s orphanage. Or to realize the amount of thought that went into the architectural planning of the Dolby (née Kodak) Theatre so that you could be hit by the Hollywood sign at JUST the right angle. Or to remember the long line of club-happy Asians snaking around the entrance of Highlands just a handful of years ago.

Because our tour was food-based, after meeting at the swanky and movingly beautiful body of Roosevelt Hotel’s lobby, we picked our way through Grub, Greenblatt’s, STREET and Mashti Malone’s all while our tour guide Trish pointed out the who’s who of Top Chef and where Marilyn Monroe and F. Scott Fitzgerald liked to eat their pastrami sandwiches. And for those of y’all worried about hitting food coma before Destination #2, the tour’s been artfully curated to give you just a taste of the best stuff with plenty of history-laden digestion time in between to get you ready for the next spot.

As for our tour guides, Matt and Trish, they were winsomely awesome.  And in love!  Yes. I have a soft spot for pull-em-up-by-the-bootstraps mom-and-pop stories (Trish got let go by the corporate world when our economy tanked real hard for the first time and Matt had lost his job as an airline pilot when they met, fell in love and started this business together.) I also really loved how happy the store owners and fellow tour guides were to see them both, greeting them with hugs and kisses.  They both really did go the extra mile to make sure everybody in their comfy, cozy, air conditioned tour van was having a great time and knew the dish behind Hollywood’s historical facade.

So, yeah, it’s definitely something I’d recommend for locals, couples and even bridal parties that want to do something other than a weekend in Vegas. Sometimes becoming a tourist for a day can help you feel that much closer to and appreciative of the city that raised you.  Ya know, if something old timey and unconventional is how you want to spend your day in the L.A.

It makes me hold hope that one day they can extend their tours to places I’d be super interested in getting to know — Downtown, Venice and Chinatown — INTIMATELY.  ::licks lips in a creepy manner::

Speaking of which… yes, we’ve heard the buzz and the rumors regarding Chego and Chinatown. Here, there and just about everywhere.

And while we would love, love, LOVE to confirm or deny something, it’s really hard to say when there are so many moving parts behind the scene and nothing is completely settled. Did you know that most of Chego’s menu was finalized but a 3 short days before we opened to the public the first time? Such is the life of a mom and pop restaurant that is pressed to set up shop at warp speed!

But I will have you know that we love and appreciate each and every one of you who continues to patronize our happy, humble Chego truck. And I am really bending over backwards to get some news out to you in regards to Chego.

Here are the most common questions we hear:

  • Is Chego moving to Chinatown?
  • Will Chego be leaving the West Side?
  • Will Chego now finally have an East Side location?
  • What will happen to the Chego truck?
  • Will Chego be open on BOTH the East Side and West side?

And just know that I will be happy to answer EACH and EVERY ONE of the above questions — if not next week, then most definitely long before Leprechaun Season hits its stride. In the meantime, we’re still VERY much open, truckside. Same bat times, same bat channel, 3300 Overland Ave.

You have all been so amazingly patient so far that I feel like a d-bag asking you to be patient just a bit longer. YOU SHALL HAVE YOUR ANSWERS. AND I KNOW YOU DESERVE THEM SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.   >__<   And I shall get them to our Chego fans and buddies as SOON as it is both legal and legit to do so. (Right now would be the worst time to face a Chego snag or shut down due to something as small and simple as telling you news while it’s still half baked.)

IN OTHER NEWS — ::shakes bag:: — Lay’s Chicken and Waffles! They’re here! And for some reason, I’m only spotting them at the central L.A. CVS’s. Once I get down to the South Bay, I really don’t see them in stock.


YOUR MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: Does it REALLY taste like Chicken and Waffles?




After passing around a bag of them in the Kogi office, here are some of the most immediate responses the bag received.

“What IS this?”

“I’m so… confused!”

“Potheads are gonna go lose their sh*t over this!!”

Though it’s not AS accurate as Lay’s venture into the BLT potato chip (oh, where ART thou???) and though it will definitely NOT give Roscoe’s a run for its money, it does taste like chicken and it does taste like a stack of syrup-soaked, buttery waffles.

Actually it reminds me of that chewing gum in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — the one that changes flavor over time.

First the maple smell of pancake syrup hits you. Then a flash of butter. And then the taste of chicken. But not the fried chicken of Roscoe’s or even the rotisserie chicken of KFC. More like the Knorr chicken of really good bouillon. So while it does technically taste like “chicken” and waffles, I wish the chip concentrated more on the taste of fried chicken skin than Cup O Noodles chicken stock. So, no, it won’t be winning any gold medals from me, but it does taste strange enough to keep me eating the whole damn bag.

In other words, TRY IT. IT’S WEIIIIIRD.  In a good way.  For most people.  Like whenever hearing the TV sing ♫livin on the dance FLOOR♫ makes me feel good.  In a weird and terrible way.

Love you guys!

Love and tacos,

P.S. RANDO: OMG, you guys. Have you seen this aptly-timed conspiro-documentary on Kubrick’s The Shining? I haven’t even seen the actual film from start to finish and this trailer had me sh*tting my pants. And let’s hope I meant that figuratively, folks.

P.P.S. Speaking of creepy and mom-and-pop, for all those who are into Walking Dead, World War Z and all things survivalist plague and un-dead related entertainment, TheVerge did this super interesting piece on a new video game called Death Inc. It’s such a smart, relevant and happy-time-looking concept, let’s hope it gets the funding it deserves.

Death Inc. Teaser from on Vimeo.

P.P.P.S. Sorry this blog post took so long, you guys! I can’t even explain why it took so exasperatingly long! (Actually I could, but that would be a whole other blog post altogether.) Love you!


One Response to My Favorite Mom and Pop of the Week + Chego Rumors

  1. naraytor says:

    i wanted to see that doc at afi fest, but saw ginger and rosa instead which was really good cause i sat by elle fanning’s mom and got to tell her i was sorry for asking dakota for her autograph at her graduation. she was unaware i got fired for that. chego can’t leave! i proposed to my fiance in that small corner room! we wanted to tell our children! if anything don’t change the logo, otherwise i will have to get another tattoo.

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