Category Archives: Beef

The Bucket, Eagle Rock

Since 1935 The Bucket in Eagle Rock has been serving humongous grilled burgers to LA fanatics. Burgers that are big and reasonably priced, therefore a review is but germane to the cause of keeping this old legend alive and kicking.

I was a customer a few times but was never really impressed. On its new owner, it is but time to give it another go and see if there’s an improvement that may assist to its waning viability. The 80’s music, high stools, wooden tables, surf boards, neon lights, and flat panel TVs looked like hybrid of a Manhattan Beach joint/a Rock and Roll club/a Sports Bar. Guard against the wooden tables and high stools, crossing your legs may leave you with a few scratches here and there. But then isn’t it all about the food? Let’s leave the facade behind and dig further inside The Bucket.


Burgers come in different styles (no veggie burgers here though). The Bucket Burger is a 1/2 lb. plain Jane, just with the usual lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc. There’s the mushroom burger with, well, grilled mushrooms. They also have a Freddy, their green chili burger. The Julio (name of former owner) comes with grilled onions, cheddar cheese, added with Julio’s sauce (a tangy cayenne, garlic, and mustard concoction) and it becomes dinner on your shirt. Then there’s the Mild Cardiac or Cardiac that is indeed heart attack waiting on a plate: two 1/2 lb patties, shaved ham, grilled onions, sauteed mushrooms, and the usual burger partners.

Their burgers have always been a dilemma. Sometimes dripping juicy, sometimes cardboard dry. Sometimes they go overboard with the seasoning, sometimes you need to ask for the salt and pepper shakers. Common ground though is that they’re all messy. Genius is the one that put rolled paper towels on each table.

The Julio sauce is always overly mustardy, if you can describe it as that.  I didn’t like the overuse of it on my burger, my fries, or my shrimp. Damn this Julio. The fries were reinvented from the usual strips to the potato chip topped with cabbage and smothered in Julio sauce, but also inconsistent. Soggy or crispy, I understand they’re hand-cut  and it takes a while to fry but if you make people wait then make sure you make the wait worth it. The fried shrimp were crispy, breaded lightly, but tiny (size and portion).

A little more consistency will definitely make this place live up to its legend again. Because during the times when they were good, they were really really good. Maybe the next few visits will be a different experience, and this place will lend itself a new reputation for good comfort burgers.

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Filed under Beef, Burger, Fries, Sandwich

Kogi, Anywhere in Southern Cali

It started with a mere rumor that became an interest that became a goal then finally a chase. I didn’t really chase the Kogi truck everywhere but I did follow it on twitter, if only to put a notch on my belt and say…”yah foos, I just did kogi”. I was actually more annoyed at the fact that for a proud foodie, I was last in Southern Cali to have one. UGH. Fudge that.

4374 Eagle Rock blvd., YES, it was in my neighborhood. As we pass the “Roja” Kogi truck, all that was running around my tiny brain space was PARKING SPACE!!! But luckily we parked near Rambo’s (another famous late night taco truck), got out, and went in line. Surprisingly it was not as bad as I expected. It was slightly a family affair, even mothers taking pictures of their kids in line and in front of the Roja truck that just parked. We had a conversation going with a former Korean local that has a Mexican restaurant in Vegas (how ironic, huh). We were both in line to try the hype, to test the popularity, and to taste the fad. So here we go.


“Azul” (the truck-in-training) pulls up, parks, and the prep time begins. Roja did start taking orders first and the menu was simple enough. If you have twitter, they do post the specials of the day including dessert. Yum. I was surprised that parking to prep to order and service was not a wait at all, in fact we did wait longer in line than to order and get our food. Short rib tacos, spicy pork tacos, kimchi quesadillas, and tofu burrito. I will come back in line for the Kogi sliders (short rib burgers with a spicy sauce) and the Kogi dog (hotdog, mexi-korean style). Those made my mouth salivate and my tummy rumble a little bit. But I wanted to try their popular and more interesting dishes first.The food comes unpacked, if you want it to-go (as we did) pull a couple of pieces of foil, get a bag, take your utensils, which are all available at the front of the truck and bag the food yourself. I didn’t really mind. They were nice enough to give us extra radish, lime, and orange wedges. So off we went.


The short rib tacos were tender, a little spicy with a little bit of tang. It was a little too much on a tiny piece of tortilla but I didn’t mind. I picked up fallen pieces of short rib on my plate and enjoyed the moment. The spicy pork taco was not spicy at all, given the mexi-korean style I was expecting explosion and an immediate need for a diet coke extinguisher, but was disappointed. The pork was tender and mild at best. Both tacos came with the same veggie slaw and sauce, which were alright. Slightly different from the original Mexican flavor but did work well with the meat. The kimchi quesadilla was a nice surprise. Interesting but in a very, very good, delicious way. The tortilla was perfectly cooked, the kimchi was excellent, the sauce was a little spicy but not to complain about. But my best bite so far was the tofu burrito. Silky tofu, melted cheese, a sweet yet somewhat spicy sauce inside a huge tortilla, definitely worth more than the 5bucks I paid for it. I can’t wait to go to Costco one day to find these in the frozen section, ready for my microwave otherwise I would like to petition for Kogi to follow me everyday just in case the craving hits.

The tacos did under deliver, probably because the hype made me expect so much that the disappointment was very much expected. I would order the short rib again, but only because of the “I waited in line for Kogi so I better get a taste of it anyway”. But the highlights were the quesadilla and the burrito. So next time I wait, I know what my purpose would be. Not for the rumor, the interest, the chase, or the hype but more of the food. I mean, really now, isn’t that what we should be after in the first place?


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Filed under BBQ, Beef, Burrito, Fusion Food, Mexican Food, Pork, Taco, Tofu