Truxton's Bistro

Hits-your-nose-when-you-bite-it-sized Burger (The Gilly) and Garlic Fries
Truxton's Bistro
1329 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, California 90404
Phone: (310) 393 - 8789

If Truxton's didn't stand for "everything and then some," I'd be amiss. Having opened in July, I've eyed the transformation from vacant corner cinder block to quaint and optimistic second location (the original Truxton's is in Westchester) and have finally matched my vow to stop in.

As you should. And don't procrastinate - Truxton's is a multi-option menu that offers three meals a day plus a full bar of beer, wine, and seasonal cocktails to satisfy any taste wish on the westside. With such an eye-catching variety of appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, pastas, and pizza, the sooner you go, the faster you'll get through you new "Next time I'll get...- list."

Aside from the warm brick walls and attentive, intuitive staff (when I asked for extra aioli I was given two additional to sample), I'm super digging Truxton's because the flavors and combinations are over the top of what you'd expect.

Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower
Starting with the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower, Rachel and I savored the house-made Taro chips and totally cleared the plate of the fresh tuna standing heartily on a bed of avocado. Light and gingered with green onion and yuzu, we noted that this could make for a simple dinner for one, all on its own.

As a gluten-free diner, Rachel went for the Apple Chicken Burger on a GF Foccacia Bun (Grilled Freshly Ground Chicken Mixed with Sautéed Apples & Onions. Topped with Smoked Gouda, Caramelized Onions, Mayonnaise & Onion Sprouts), and said the bun tasted as good as she can remember "the real deal." I chose the Gilly (Caramelized Onions, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Tomato, Shredded Lettuce, Tillamook Cheddar Cheese, Topped with Crispy Onions & Spicy 1001 Dressing) and had a hell of a time trying to wrap my mouth around the medium-rare doublefister.

The garlic-parm fries were crisp and resulted in a dragon-mouth-on-fire type of end result in the way all garlic lovers covet. 

Highly recommended (and the list for "next time"):

Truxton's Monkey Bread
Pull-Apart Housemade Bread with Cheddar Cheese & Garlic 
Dipping Sauce (Marinara, Ranch, Garlic Butter)

11-Spiced Brisket Taco Salad
Our Signature Beef Brisket Tossed with Shredded Lettuce, Black Beans, Poblano Corn Salsa, Cheddar & Cotija Cheese, Tortilla Strips, Pico de Gallo & Spicy 1001 Dressing. Served Over a Crispy Wheat Tortilla

Kicked Up Mac & Cheese
Jumbo Elbow Macaroni in Our Creamy Sauce Made with a Blend of Five Cheeses, Applewood Bacon & Roasted Tomatoes. Topped with Crispy Onions

The Portland
Sautéed Wild Mushrooms, Fontina Cheese, Lettuce, Caramelized & Crispy Onions, Roasted Garlic Mayo. Drizzled with Balsamic Glaze

Chocolate Soufflé Cake (Gluten-Free)
Made Daily with Callebaut Bittersweet Chocolate and Served with Vanilla Ice Cream & Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Fort Worth Breakfast Pizza
Scrambled Eggs, Applewood Bacon, Chicken Sausage, Mozzarella Blend, Cheddar Cheese, Basil, Roasted Tomatoes, Pico de Gallo, Green Onions & Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. Choose From Regular, Wheat or Gluten Free Crust

As you can see...I could probably go to Truxton's for a week straight and not get bored. Safe to say I'll be back, it's hard to say when the habit will end as Truxton's offers brunch, daily specials, sports broadcast...So take a break from holiday shopping and get your grub on!

Pork Belly's Sandwich Shop

Pork belly is just happy to see you.
Pork Belly's Sandwich Shop 
1146 Abbot Kinney Blvd
VeniceCA 90291

Like a cat stalking prey, I've had my eye on this place since I first heard of its pending opening. So today, when I finally made my way through the sea of hipsters and sneering vegans clouding Abbott Kinney in a meatless-induced, pressed-juice haze, my salivating stare at the menu was enough to make chef Paul Mojica let me in on two coveted secrets:
Dip & Fried pickle chips

1. If you love pork belly, get the PBLT (pork belly, lettuce, tomato,mayo, sourdough) since it comes with THREE pieces of luscious pork belly over the signature Belly Up (bbq pork belly, coleslaw, brioche) which only totes TWO.

2. Chop Tots & Slop Tots: Open till 2 am Friday & Saturday, I can't imagine ever wanting anything else. Riddle your drunken self this - tater tots covered in brisket or sloppy joe with melted cheese ($4.99). Your taste-buds savior to anything offered by those hackneyed loitering food trucks.

Dine al fresco!

3. Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies: Your sandwich will come swaddled in brown paper. Inside the first tuck, you will find a mini chocolate chip cookie (also available for purchase, 5 for $2.49). 

If you're looking for a seat, waiter, or salad, this is not your spot. But if you love brisket, pork, taters, potato salad, fried pickle chips, and meatballs, this is absolutely your joint. I recommend bringing beer in a fake-out soda cup so you can cozy up to the counter, curb, or wall and dig in till you see swine and bovine induced stars.

Chef Mojica. If you see him, trust what he recommends!