Monthly Archives: July 2012


To start things off at Wild Mango’s, The Monster orders up an Ambergis Caye Lime Freeze, coconut rum, lime and pineapple all frozen up and served with the lapping ocean only feet away.

Under the canopy and ringed by trees, this is a perfect place to cool off at lunch or sit under the lights at night and explore the terrific menu of local specialties.

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Filed under Reviews, Wild Mangos (San Pedro Belize)


Like most of Belize, Latitudes Cafe is a beachfront shack with views of the ocean that isn’t much to look at from the outside.  It’s a few rickety tables, a high bar with stools and a cool ocean breeze.

The Monster spies a lobster wrap special and has to stop.  It’s his first taste of Belize outside the fishing resort he’s staying at.  Here’s hoping it’s good.

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Filed under Latitudes Cafe (Ambergis Caye Belize), Reviews


A Frame is A-OK.

Unique food, modern picnic.

Lot of flavors here.

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Filed under A-Frame, Reviews


Two Boots Pizza makes….

Decent slices for hipsters…

For their pizza fix.

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Filed under Reviews, Two Boots


Tlapazola is one of the small westside Oaxacan contingents The Monster finds himself stopping by when the mole bug hits and East LA is a pipe dream.

Not much to look at, it’s clean and pleasant with knowledgeable and friendly servers and the lights dimmed low at night as the salsa plays.  It’s half date night and half local grab bag clientele.

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Filed under Reviews, Tlapazola Grill (Closed)


Occupying the old Barefoot space on 3rd comes Duplex, a lovely looking bar and restaurant that has maintained much of the bones of former space (the wonderful canopied patio especially) while adding a fresh and hip (Soho House-ish) vibe to the two story space (natch, the name).

Will this turn out to be just another pretty spot devoid of much else besides a place to grab an over-priced drink or should LA mark this on their to-go restaurant list?  That’s what The Monster’s come to find out.

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Filed under Duplex, Reviews


The Monster heads to The Counter with burger on the brain.  It’s been years since he’s visited and he honestly can’t remember if the food is good.  Here’s hoping.

The build your own burger joint has occupied this corner in Santa Monica for years so business must be brisk.  Be it turkey, beef, chicken, bison or veggie, you add on your toppings and select your bun (because who really goes bunless?)

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Filed under Reviews, The Counter


Disappointment comes in many forms.  The Monster was once sure he’d won the lottery to find out he didn’t have one number right.  Damn it.  The Monster thought he’d have a career as a rock god until he remembered he lacked any all musical talent.  Oh well.  There were failed relationships and career false starts and the time when The Monster’s hair just didn’t work.  It happens.

Which brings us to Sycamore Kitchen.

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Filed under Reviews, Sycamore Kitchen


Two wine related items today:

1) For anyone interested in a last minute getaway The Monster received word about ten discounted #3 VIP promo passes for this weekend’s annual beachside California Wine Festival in Santa Barbara—  they provide entry to two events at a deep discount.

*The romantic July 20th Friday evening champagne reception gets underway at 6:30PM and features live jazz, gourmet foods and tasting of extremely rare reserve wines under the stars.

*The Saturday July 21 VIP beachfront event offers a 90-minute early entry at 11:30AM-4PM, a separate VIP pavilion with table seating, rare reserve wines, unlimited food, and the main festival with over 350 wines, live music, a celebrity chef ‘Guacamole Throwdown’ cooking show—with contestants selected from the 2,500 attendees. The winner takes $10,000. in prizes including a cruise along the Mexican Riviera! And much more.

The ‘gate’ ticket price for both events is $255. Your price is $50 per ticket or–$500 for all ten. Please note: All attendees must be 21+photo ID must be presented at event entries.   For more info email Suzanne at to learn more.

2) Talk and Wine Tasting at the Getty Villa – Drinking in the Greek Manner: A Brief History of the Symposion –  Saturday, July 21, 5:00-8:00 p.m. | The Getty Villa, Admission: $60. Call (310) 440-7300

 In ancient Greece the symposium was a social institution for men of status to meet, converse, and drink wine. Learn more in a lecture by Oswyn Murray, then taste wines inspired by ancient wine making techniques in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Villa.

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Filed under 7/18 N&N, News and Notes


Rubino’s Pizza is The Monster’s idea of heaven and if he had to pick a last meal it would be here.  So there’s this place that has no atmosphere, not much functioning air, doesn’t even so much as offer a menu (since it’s on the wall and everyone knows what they want) yet it’s perfect.

Is it the Ms. Pacman along the back wall?  The pinball machine the kids in little league jerseys jockey over?  The fact that the place hasn’t changed since Papa Monster used to come as a child?  Or for that matter since they opened in 1954?  That prices reflect the Nixon administration moreso than now?  That they only take cash and the register is older than The Monster?  It’s all of those things and more.

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Filed under Reviews, Rubino's Pizza (Columbus Ohio)