The 11 in 11 Food Marathon is 11 restaurants and/or bars in 11 hours. I didn’t create this marathon but I participated in this year’s Nocturnal Edition. It ran from 11pm Saturday night to 11am Sunday morning. As I groggily type this post, I’m confident it was the most intense food marathon to date.
The agenda was mapped out, and like any food marathon was bound to be changed on the fly.
1st Stop: Animal
Still crowded at 11pm on Saturday night, 40 of us invaded Animal for pork belly sliders. We rotated through our table of twelve so everyone could get a bite before the insane trip began. I jumped in the car with Matt from Dig Lounge and his prettier better half and we were off… (11:38pm)
2nd Stop: Masan Restaurant
We shuffled into a private room int he back of Masan. This Korean seafood restaurant is famous for their live octopus. So we ordered them up, tentacles still sticking to our tongues as we swallowed the bland, chewy sea creatures. The uni was sweet, fresh and a terrific pick me up after the shock value of the squirming octopus. The monkfish soup had a good spicy bite, with boney fish and vegetables. Before they knew what hit them we were on our way out. We got to try the nastiest food in the restaurants- sea squirts on the way out and it left a terrible taste in my mouth. (12:43am)
3rd Stop: HMS Bounty
The sea squirt flavor was nothing a Red Bull and vodka couldn’t conquer at the HMS Bounty. We took over the back room, slowing our pace as we’d reached the one destination that would close while we were there. (1:38am)
4th Stop: El Taurino
This bustling taco truck parks outside El Taurino’s brick and mortar restaurant. Fifteen of us chose the truck while the rest opted for the indoor dining option. I ordered and ate my carne asada and lengua tacos before our group had even ordered inside. (2:25am)
While waiting for our tacos we notice an amazing mullet.
This guy had literally taken his friend’s girlfriends hair extensions and stuck them on the back of his head. He was the hit of the night.
5th Stop: Original Tommy’s
While the indoor orderers at El Taurino waited forever for their food, we moved on to Tommy’s. I had a chili burger, which I didn’t finish. The patty was literally gray but the chili was as good as ever. This stop was pretty painful. (3:03am)
6th Stop: Nak Won House
Nak Won was our first real, un-rushed meal. We ordered grilled beef, bulgogi, bi bim bap and kimchi fried rice. We enjoyed most of it (the beef was whatever). Overall it seems like a decent Korean drunk stop, but by no means the best in K-Town. (3:32am)
7th Stop: Pal Cabron
As an added bonus Bricia and Fernando from Pal Cabron had joined us at HMS Bounty. They invited us back to their restaurant for a special cemitas y clayudas fiesta. The drive over was rough and I was starting to doubt my late night food marathoning abilities. (4:50am)
8th Stop: The Original Pantry Cafe
The Pantry is famous because it’s old and it’s always open. The food their is unbearable. I didn’t even take a picture of the pre-re-repeat-heated bacon. I don’t drink coffee but this one did the trick. We were making it over the hump. (5:38am)
9th Stop: Rooftop at the Standard Downtown
We watched the sun rise on the roof of the Standard Downtown. It’s a great location, was a special part of the night and I’m glad Jeff was able to pull it off. Bloody Marys christened the daylight. (6:20am)
10th Stop: Sapp Coffee Shop
Our breakfast of champions consisted of Sapp Coffee Shop’s famous boat noodles. This is noodles with animal innards and broth thickened with blood. The spicy, salty flavor makes me wonder how cereal became the staple American breakfast. I’ll take Thailand’s ten to one. (7:37am)
11th Stop: Huckleberry
For a more civilized (read: boring) breakfast we traveled towards the sea to Huckleberry. We actually didn’t look that bad at this point. They don’t have bagels and cream cheese so we went with the salmon sandwich on a baguette. It did the trick, but couldn’t compare to the next sandwich…. (9:14am)
12th Stop: Bay Cities Deli
For the last food stop of the marathon we got a party sub from Bay Cities Deli. I’ve written about the Godmother many times so go read about it there. (10:19am)
13th Stop: The Joker
Last and certainly close to least was Santa Monica’s dive bar, The Joker. The place is dark, dank and full of older men who were very surprised to see us. We talked about the best ’11’ related drink (Tanqueray #10 + 1 shot?) but I just went with a good old fashioned Budweiser. (11:22am)
It was a monumental food marathon and Jeff, Jason, Noah, Mark and everyone else involved deserve huge accolades for organizing and finishing it. HC also lived up to his position as hardcore all powerful foodventurer with the Great Walk in the morning, the full 11 in 11 and then a chocolate boutique opening in Malibu.