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Best college-age cholesterol hangouts?

I started a conversation with some friends about some of the heinous things we used to eat as kids. I'm talking about things like the Oki Dog (which is two hot dogs, chili, pastrami, onions and cheese wrapped in an enormous steamed flour tortilla; chicken and waffles from Roscoe's; kimchi burritos at Jose Bernstein's after a long night of drinking in the apartments in Westwood Village; the disgustingly huge "pregnant" burrito at El Nopal in Palms.

They don't believe me. They want a list. A list of the places you go at 2 AM when you're hungry, everyone except the driver is drunk, and you're young enough not to give a damn what you're putting inside your body (ah, for those heady days again...).

I won't, I'm sad to say, be sampling any of these. I'm too fat as it is eating things that aren't cholesterol and calorie bombs... but I'm curious.

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  1. A gigantic mystery burrito (seriously, I have no clue what's actually in it; we called them "cat burritos") from El Tarasco in Manhattan Beach.

    "Death Dogs" (hot dogs wrapped in bacon with lots of peppers and onions) from those carts on street corners.

    Just about anything from Del Taco.

    1. In'n'Out, then around the corner to...
      Diddy Riese

      Tito's Tacos
      IHOP/Norm's/the like (Swinger's now that we can afford it :)
      Tommy's
      Fatburger
      Mongolian BBQ
      Pink's (I don't get it, even though I'm related to Bert Pink... why the line? I'll never be able to tell ya...)
      El Gran Burrito
      Aunt Kizzy's or Pann's if down that way
      Johnnie's Pizza
      Jack in the Box (Chicken Supreme, Curly Fries, and an Oreo Shake... I think I gain weight just thinking about that now...)

      12 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        At either Shack location (on Wilshire in Santa Monica or on Culver Blvd. in Playa Del Rey a block from the beach):

        "Double Shack Cheeseburger A 1/2 LB. behemoth of a Burger with spicy Portuguese Sausage or Lousiana Hot Link and all the fixins."

        1. re: Emme

          While you're in Westwood, you forgot...

          Lamonica's NY Pizza (near Mongols BBQ) and Headlines! (near Fatburger)

          1. re: J.L.

            And "Buck-Fiddy" the sandwich shop next to Tommy's, where you used to be able to get a terrible sandwich for $1.50. I always ordered the philly cheesesteak sandwich (nothing authentic or healthy about it, just meat and cheese and bread). Ordered one during the day, and it was inedible. But at 2:30 am, it was awesome

            1. re: I got nothin

              I liked "Buck-Fifty" (which officially is The Roll Inn) when the subs were indeed a dollar and a half. I'd get the grilled "steak" and spring for the extra fifty cents for double meat. With their chopped cucumber-tomato-onion in Italian dressing topping, it made a good, filling sandwich. But now sandwiches start at $3.50, the additional meat is much more (and is necessary), so it isn't a value anymore, which was its main and only virtue. A double-sheeseburger from the Tommy's hut next door is fresher, hotter, bigger, and more satisfying, and is cheaper besides.

              1. re: nosh

                oh yeah, I forgot about the veggies and dressing on the sandwich. There was more to it than I remembered. My memory was clouded by too many late nights at Madison's (gone), Maloney's (different name now), and Westwood Brew Co (?).

                The Westwood Fatburger was also open late night. A King Burger w/ cheese, bacon, and egg, and onion rings and a shake = your RDA of cholesterol for a few days

                1. re: nosh

                  "Buck-Fiddy!!" Do people still call it that? Even though it hasn't cost that since... 199?. I still cruise by there every once in a while, if it's late at night in westwood and iI'm jumping out some co-ed's apartment window. lol j/k XD

                  1. re: rameniac

                    Dude, it was $1.75 in 1999 but we still called it "buck-fiddy". My first introduction to banh mi, such as they were. It was not a happy introduction, amongst the greasefest that was the other sandwiches.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      When I graduated and left Westwood in 2002, everyone still called it Buck-Fiddy, even though the sandwiches cost $2.25. I vaguely also remember eating late night empanadas at an Argentinian place that was open very briefly in 2001'ish. It was in the strip of shops in between Tommy's/Buck-Fiddy and In'N'Out on Gayley. The empanadas weren't too popular w/ the 2am crowd, so it didn't last long.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        damn i'm old cause when i started at ucla, it was truly a buck fiddy. lol.

                        and when i graduated, i think it was $1.75ish.

                        1. re: wilafur

                          Ahhh buck fiddy. Good times. Don't forget about Stan's Donuts and Diddy Reese (after Madison's, Maloneys, Brew Co and the best view--Monty's). The best was the hangover mornings at Headlines! Go bruins.

                          1. re: jturtle

                            The dearth of bars and fun places in Westwood Village is a loss not only to UCLA students, but to the entire westside. I believe Maloney's may be taken over, before that the nondescript Madison's, and a couple of incarnations prior to that a decent pizza place. None of them could hold a candle to Stratton's as a fun bar, with that impressive oval bar and upstairs seating as well...now some Good Earth that is going to fail. Baxter's was fun and inexpensive, on the lower level of what is now the Whole Foods Market. What is Chili's used to be Yesterday's, with space for music and a good happy hour, before it became that collosal failure of a dance venue without proper permits. What is now Tanino was for decades Alice's Restaurant, a gorgeous venue, somewhat on the quieter side. And while it drew an older crowd, how shortsighted of those idiots who remodeled that office building to put Napa Valley Grille on the bottom but to waste that fantastic view that used to be Monty's on the top. The UCLA Business School should use the metamorph of Westwood Village as a case study of stupidity, shortsightedness (in more than two decades, they still haven't solved the parking problems), and waste. The former Hamburger Hamlet, a large prime restaurant space with parking in the back and only a block from campus, still remains empty almost a decade after they served their last burger... How sad.

                            1. re: nosh

                              Didn't Stratton's close down/become Madison's?

            2. Twenty years ago there was this donut shop in a mini-mall on the NW corner of Platt and Vanowen in Canoga Park. The owner was a guy named Jeff, who my friends and I surmised worked a 20 hour workday because he was always there. Anyway, he made a donut sundae, which was a glazed donut cut in half, with three scoops of ice cream across the two halves and then topped with hot fudge and whipped cream. Very healthy!

              I wonder if it's still there?

              1. Tommy's in Eagle Rock was a common destination, and so was the In-N-Out on Colorado since they were open until 1am-ish. Also The Pantry and Canter's.

                1. Well I went to college in OC and we couldn't go very far b/c we were carless. So of course, there was Del Taco. When we did have transportation, went to a mexican place called Alberto's in Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley. The special was... Carne Asada fries w/ guac/sour cream.
                  Only $5.50.... and 550 calories per bite.

                  My college staple was a 'chili dog'. generic hot dog + bun + mayo + sriracha. it was good but also strange at the same time.

                  My friend told me down by UCSD, there's a place that does the quesaburrito. A full carne asada burrito with the works, which is then wrapped with a quesadilla like it's wrapping paper. What the....