North Italia

North Italia is in a fancy promenade like mall in El Segundo called The Point. It is right on the edge of Manhattan Beach, California and about 15 minutes along PCH from LAX Airport.

They have a beautiful restaurant with a great bar and you can view into their pimped out Italian kitchen.

The cocktails are classy borderline craft. The pastas are fresh. The sauces amazing. Its a nouveau rich Italian place, but a good one.

Even though its a concept restaurant and there are many locations, I don’t care. It’s really good.

One more amazing place to take my friend Phil on his 8 day journey in Los Angeles area. North Italia does not disappoint. Go there and eat and drink and be merry. Philippe had the MARGHERITA pizza which was really good. Why he didn’t order the “Bacon and Egg” or “The Pig” I will never know, but it was still an excellent choice.

SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS  is really good here, but I resisted this trip and ordered the Grilled Branzino which couldn’t have been better. We also got the meatballs as an appetizer which did not disappoint.

The BURRATA TORTELLONI btw is also excellent but the Wife got the BOLOGNESE (house specialty)  which is accurately advertised as having a traditional meat sauce, tagliatelle noodle & grana padano cheese . in the past I have also had the SHORT RIB RADIATORI which rocks your brain and belly.

They have a pretty solid wine list and my QUIET ITALIAN GENTLEMAN and LAST GREAT WINE THIEF cocktails did not disappoint. They have Peroni and Moretti here so I am always happy when I can choose between these two Italian beers. There were also some local craft-y beers on hand that Philippe drank. The wife is 100% all in on bubbly, so there was really something for everyone.

North Italia, 840 South Sepulveda, Suite 110, El Segundo, California 90245


Bigmista’s Barbecue & Sammich Shop

BBQ. Real bad ass BBQ. That is what Big Mista’s is all about. I had to bring my friend Philippe from Montreal here. What kind of a host would I be if I did not? A selfish one, that’s the kind of host I would have been.

This place has been on TV and for good reason. I saw it the first time on some show on a flight from NYC to LAX and realized- that place is in my neighborhood.

If you know me then you know I am serious about BBQ. I think it can cure cancer, bridge racial divides and heal the world.

Big Mistas has some bad ass BBQ equipment. The legendary smoker is no longer on site because he lit it with an actual blow torch and well… it was a towering inferno. Apparently the neighboring stores didn’t like it. Like you cannot make this up. He has promised to some day take me to the smoker and show me but in it’s place is a $10,000 bad boy that brings each individual hunk of tri tip, pork or ribs to the perfect temperature and juicy goodness.

One time I went and I thought Big Mista’s had shut down. The front door was all boarded up. I checked angry at the universe for this injustice and actually… someone just broke the front glass. It had apparently been this way for a while. I called my glass guy who fixed the front window at our house when the cats smashed through. True story. Now Big Mista’s has a front door again that isn’t plywood and the universe is back in order.

Big Mista’s has it all. Amazing Ribs, Amazing pulled pork, hot links and brisket. The sides are insane. I am not a mac n cheese freak, but I love his mac n cheese. The best I’ve tasted (without lobster in it that is). The pineapple slaw is friggin stupid good. Corn bread? he’s got that too.

If you haven’t eaten here, you need to. The ribs are the absolute best, the most perfectly cooked. I’m not BS’ing when I say they are perfect. Juicy with a beautiful outer layer. I am also forced to wash this all down typically with a Shasta cream soda. Go to Big Mistas. Eat. Be ready to sleep afterwards.

Wait? There is not just one, but TWO Big Mista’s?? They’ve been holding out on me I have been to the Sammich shop but clearly I have to go next to the Morning Wood. Clever play on words there big mista.

Sammich Shop
3444 N Los Coyotes Diagonal
Long Beach, CA — 90808
562 452-6565

Morning Wood
4331 E Carson Street
Long Beach, CA— 90808
562 452-7300


Lola’s Mexican Cuisine

Lola’s is a great Mexican restaurant on Retro Row in Long Beach, CA. My favorite thing at Lola’s WAS their shrimp ceviche which WAS their signature dish in my mind. I can eat a bucketful of it. I say WAS because they replaced it with a far inferior Mango Halibut ceviche. Despite this they have great food and craft cocktails including of course margaritas.


Now as you will realize quickly I am not going to rate these places with some typical 5 out 5 or 10 out of 10 scale. I’m just telling you go to Lola’s. Have a margarita. Have the guacamole with your spicy home made salsa and whatever that crazy cheese dip is for tortilla chips they have.

Treats like homemade taquitos, street corn and jalapeno bacon wrapped scallops are supplemented with mains like BUTTERNUT SQUASH ENCHILADAS and BRAISED SHORT RIB ENCHILADAS. Everything is farm fresh and home made. They have awesome Tijuana Tacos, ENSENADA FISH TACOS and don’t forget the Pork belly Tacos.

They have really good Mole if you like Mole. I personally think Mole tastes like dirt mixed in with salsa but I am a bad person. Everyone else who is normal likes it. I’ve eaten mole at Lola’s and its pretty good so take that for what it is.

The brunch on the weekend is amazing. Pumpkin Spiced Hot cakes? Mexican French Toast? THE MIKEY PEREZ SPECIAL. A MEXICAN CONCHA SWEET BREAD STUFFED WITH SCRAMBLED EGGS. Mmmm yea. Wash it down with a Michelada or a Bloody Maria with Milagro Silver Tequila.