Another week, another episode of No Reservations. Bourdain, inspired partially by HBO's critically acclaimed series “The Wire”, (a fact that seemed to concern some locals), set out on a Rust Belt episode, highlighting the local fare of Buffalo, Baltimore and Detroit.
Baltimore “lake trout”, which is famously neither trout, nor from a lake, is not common in Los Angeles. But we do have oysters and crab cakes (though good luck convincing a Baltimorean to agree with you), and you'd be best served to eat them both at The Hungry Cat.
Next up Buffalo, and hardcore Bills fan transplants seem to enjoy Buzby's in Santa Monica for their in-season game day needs, thanks to the option for batter-free wings. But if you're looking for 'beef on weck' (short for kummelweck, a kaiser roll topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds), no local version, sadly, seems up to the formidable task.
But in Detroit, Bourdain bit Belgian staples like moules frites, with some much-needed Belgian beer, and for that you'll need to drive to neighborhood favorite Brussels Bistro in Laguna Beach. He also dined on Lebanese, and the soon-to-be-moving Sunnin is a great option for your café style consumption. Yet if you want a slightly more refined experience, and particularly some of that kibbeh nayeh (tartar, veal in this case), then you'll want to take a seat at Marouch in Hollywood. Then if it's that casual, Detroit Polish food you're after, you can skip the slightly-more-upscale Warszawa in Santa Monica and eat at comfort food destination Polka. Now get out there and enjoy your city, Rust Belt style.
Brussels Bistro, 222 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, (949) 376-7955., Sunnin Lebanese Café, 1779 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, (310) 477-2358., Marouch Restaurant, 4905 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 662-9325., Polka Polish Restaurant, 4112 Verdugo Rd, Los Angeles, (323) 255-7887., The Hungry Cat, 1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, (323) 462-2155., Busby's Restaurant Bar, 3110 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, (310) 828-4567.