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Spot Check! Gochujang Sourdough, Cher’s Gelato, Beef Belly Bulgogi Inari, and Ribeye Steak Hummus In Gardena

There's also a place for East Coast chopped cheese sandwiches, plus Nutella quesadillas, and Sonic the Hedgehog ice cream with a side of shawarma.

8:55 AM PDT on September 1, 2023

Spot Check! Welcome back to L.A. TACO's newest column, where we bring you the latest and most exciting openings, pop-ups, and food events around all of Los Angeles to check out over your Labor Day weekend.


Atoyubu is now open in Buena Park, Orange County, specializing in inari sushi, aka yubuchobap, aka yubu sushi, in which ingredients are enrobed with rice in a base of fried tofu. Options include grilled eel, lemon pepper salmon, beef belly bulgogi, fresh ginger tuna, Koran pork, avocado bombs, and buldak, or "fire chicken."

7041 Western Ave. Ste. B Buena Park, CA 90621. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 460 - “Beach/Orangethorpe.”

Alessandro Jang, owner and baker at Out of Thin Air

Out Of Thin Air is a small batch bread baker popping up around town with rustic baguettes, salt-and-pepper fougasse, black sesame seed-covered and multigrain loaves of sourdough, rosemary polenta country loaves, focaccia, and a gochujang loaf made with garlic confit, onion puree, and gochujang. Baker Alessandro Jang began making sourdough during the pandemic. You can find him tomorrow at the Downey farmers market and Sunday at Atwater Village's market.

Tacos El Buffalo

Tacos El Buffalo is setting up most nights in West L.A.'s Sawtelle neighborhood, on the increasingly appetizing stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard between Bundy and Barrington Avenues. The restaurant claims to serve Mexico City-style dishes which, in this case, means huaraches, alambres, vampiros, mulitas, tortas, burritos, and tacos with your choice of suadero, buche, asada, lengua, pastor, chorizo, cabeza, y mas.

Barrington and Armacost Avenues, Los Angeles, CA 90025. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 4 - “Santa Monica/Barrington.”

A Class Mini Market Food sort of has it all in Van Nuys. Sonic the Hedgehog ice cream bars and Pokemon cards. Lottery tickets. A recycling center for your bottles and cans. Oh yeah, and a menu of Armenian kebabs, including luleh, pork, and chicken, available on plates and in wraps, along with jamaica to drink and fries to crush.

6826 Kester Ave. Van Nuys, CA 91405. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 165 - “Vanowen/Kester.”

Five close friends united to create FireZilla Quesadilla, opening tonight in Van Nuys. The menu is centered on quesadillas, available in pork, shrimp, beef, chipotle chicken, and cilantro chicken, using fresh meats and housemade sauces, including roasted sour cream and spicy, smoky chipotle. There are also sweet, crepe-esque versions with Nutella and peanut butter and jelly, as well as sides of cheese and vegan quesadillas and elote. Unless you prefer to design your own...

7251 Woodman Ave. Van Nuys, CA 91405. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 158 and 162 - “Sherman Way/Woodman.”

A halal Syrian restaurant named Borjstar Shawarma House is now open in Gardena, promising to run the shawarma, falafel, and rotisserie chicken game with two hearty, lemon-topped trompos. In addition, expect the Rotterdam-invented, meat-topped-French fry creation known as kapsalon, sides of kibbeh and fattoush, and hummus topped with ribeye steak.

1330 Rosecrans Ave. Gardena, CA 90247. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 125 - “Rosecrans/Normandie.”

New York-style chopped cheese "with an L.A. twist." That's the promise at CheeseSmack, which is popping up Thursdays through Sundays in Northridge. Options include the OG with beef patties and bell pepper, and the Rodeo with bacon jam.

10200 Balboa Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 91325. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 158, 235 and 236 - “Balboa/Devonshire.”

Hellenic chain Nick the Greek is now open in Marina Del Rey. So you can get your souvlaki, gyro, and bifteki on.

4254 Lincoln Blvd. Marina Del Rey, CA 90292. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 108 - “Admiralty/Bali.”

And since you're potentially getting the benefit of a day off on Monday, why not treat yourself? Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse at the Century City mall is offering a $67 Labor Day prix-fixe menu of some of its favorite dishes, including your choice of starters like wagyu meatballs and lobster bisque, entrees including pan-roasted salmon and Jidori chicken with porcinis and black garlic, and for dessert, delights like strawberry hibiscus cheesecake and coffee toffee bread pudding, available through Sept. 5.

10250 Santa Monica Blvd. Ste.1700 Los Angeles, CA 90067. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 4 and 28 - “Santa Monica/Century Park West.”

Jermtown at Pali Wine Co.

Pali Wine Co. is throwing a party with hip-hop artist/producer Jermtown on Sept. 7 in the Arts District, celebrating the former's new album release alongside a celebration of Pali Wine Co's natural wine label, Neighborhood Winery. There will be pours of its natural Sangiovese, eats, and live music from DJ Vivalatin. And it's free to join. You don't have to RSVP, but you can, if it makes you more comfortable.

Sept. 7, 7-10 P.M., 811 Traction Ave Unit 1A, Los Angeles, CA 90013. Closest Metro lines and stop: Metro A and E Lines - “Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.”

Cher has an ice cream truck out there on L.A.'s streets. It's called Cherlato. All of the above is true.

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