You’re Supposed to be a Porky


Met the Tolucan’s theatrical reviewer Pat Taylor the other day, and she expressed surprise that ‘a foodie writer’ could also stand a trim; six foot, 155 pounds. “You’re supposed to be a porky” Pat insisted. It’s not an unusual reaction but staying in shape goes beyond an active metabolism… to a disciplined life-style. I long ago came to terms with my avid appetite. Decline second servings and resist gorging just because there’s ample temptation on the buffet. It’s also okay to leave a few forks of surplus calories on the plate, despite all those hungry kids in China. This is still the land of abundance…
Like many who consult this column, I am far more interested in dining out than working out but I favor a hike to and from the menu. Never leave the table hungry but enuf is still enuf. It’s gluttony to ladle butter on a crust of white bread when nutritional needs have long been sated. The current compunction for greasy, sugar-loaded fast foods has created an unprecedented era of gross obesity that‘s killing our kids with misguided indulgence. Saturated fats are only preservatives without nourishment. Decline the processed slice of American cheese on that burger, and pass on the fudge brownie – a la mode and all.
Fletcher Drive is not a popular, or particularly picturesque, stretch of mostly small service businesses at the edge of Silver Lake. The Astro Family landmark does tasty fare including breakfast 24 hours a day. The very American Home Restaurant has caught on big time but there’s an array of interesting, intimate and ethnic cafés, and I’m enamored with the nifty, neat and nautical Guatemalan Puerto Barrios snuggled on an unlikely corner just below San Fernando Road. Authentic to a fault, the kitchen prepares tamales, tacos fritos, empanadas, nihtas various fresh mariscos, platillo specialties and caldos, all to order, plus an array of breakfast egg dishes served until 11am. There’s a beer bar where singles mingle, and all dishes are packed to travel. Prices at Puerto Barrios are modest, and the service is warm and willing.
The Oyster House Saloon Newman family partners spent their summer creatively by converting the familiar ‘cement beach patio’ to a far more attractive and inviting food and cocktail lounge and smoking patio  (outdoor restaurant smoking is a-okay in Studio City) that seats up to 40 guests. Moving with the times for nearly four decades, the Newmans have now introduced a budget-wise three course $14.95 dinner with choice of entrées available Monday thru Thursday eves. Scott Newman hints that a bar menu is in the works at 12446 Moorpark Street.

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