Anthony Bourdain was at it again this week, delving into the surprising culinary scene of Melbourne, Australia. But unless you have a bunch of highly-skilled chef pals with access to local Aussie ingredients, you're probably not going to be able to recreate that charming little rooftop potluck. However, for much of Monday's episode of No Reservations, the focus was on Melbourne's ethnic diversity-- something we in Los Angeles have a lot of too.
There are endless versions of kebab sandwiches in LA, but for the shaved varietal, usually in a beef/lamb combo, you can get your fill at King's Kabob in Culver City, or döner kabob outpost Spitz, in Eagle Rock and Little Tokyo (order it on lavash). If it's a spicy brat with sauerkraut and mustard you're after, your arteries and conscience can rest a little easier by grabbing one with "devil sauce" at Let's Be Frank. Later in the episode, Bourdain seemed quite pleased to be eating Armenian pizzas and other such baked goods, and you can too, by heading to Arax Bakery in Little Armenia for a version that may not be as thick and crusty, but should be equally impressive in its own right.
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The episode also raved about the Sichuan cuisine of Melbourne, and for that, head to long-time favorite Chung King in San Gabriel, where you can clear out your sinuses with loads of spicy red chilies. Bourdain also found the time to sidle up to some deep fried lamb brains, and while nothing exactly like his version comes to mind, Eddie Lin of Deep End Dining points out that you can get some nice fried beef brains (and testicles) at Alcazar in Encino. So remember, you may not be the host of a travel/food show, but you can still eat like one.
King's Kabob, 5500 Sawtelle Blvd Culver City, (310) 390-1599., Spitz, 371 E 2nd Street, L.A., (213) 613-0101., Let's Be Frank, Helms Avenue, between Venice and Washington boulevards, L.A., Wed-Fri: 11:30-3:30, Weekends: 11:30-4:30 and open at another location Thursday nights from 5-10:30 p.m. in front of Silverlake Wines, 2395 Glendale Blvd., Arax Bakery, 4871 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A., (323) 666-7313., Chung King 1000 S. San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel, (626) 286-0298., Alcazar 17239 Ventura Blvd. Encino, (818) 789-0991.