Getting Coffee at the ‘Most Depressing Starbucks in America’

This is what folks are calling a “horror show” and the “most depressing Starbucks in America”:

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Newly opened this month, it’s located on York Boulevard in Highland Park and as fate would have it, it’s right on the route from my place to our YOMYOMF offices in South Pasadena. So on a blazing hot sunny afternoon (aka yesterday afternoon) I paid a visit after gorging out on 1/3 pound burger and chili fries at nearby Oinkster working out strenuously at a nearby gym.

Why is this Starbucks so bad? Many are comparing its design aesthetic and atmosphere to that of a prison. As one reviewer on Yelp wrote: “THIS IS THE WORST STARBUCKS EVER! Where is the warmth? Where is the interaction between the employees and customers? This location looks like a jailhouse and is less than what we deserve as a community!”

Yup, the Panda Express Orange Chicken Burrito is a Real Thing & I Ate It

Panda Express Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena. Opened July 2014.

Panda Express Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena. Opened July 2014.

I know I’ve dissed Panda Express before, but I’ve also admitted that I do enjoy it every now and then. So when I heard of the recent opening of the Panda Express Innovation Kitchen and that it was just miles from the YOMYOMF offices in Pasadena, California, of course I had to try it (as far as I know, this is the sole location so far). But what clinched it for me was knowing that the menu included an orange chicken burrito.

Yup, you heard that right—a Panda Express orange chicken burrito.

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So my fellow Offender Anderson and I headed over there for lunch today. The first thing we both noticed was that this was the cleanest Panda Express we’ve ever been to. There’s even a lounge area where you can sit in comfy chairs and watch TV while you’re eating.

Around the Horn: The High Cost of Food

Vintage Cave, Hawaii

Vintage Cave, Hawaii

How much is too much for a meal? How much would you pay for food? In Hawaii, Vintage Cave has a set menu price of $295 and Sushi Ginza Onodera has a omakase set menu price of $250. Would you pay this much for just one dinner (drinks not included)? How much do you value what you eat, and the way it is prepared and presented? What’s the most you’ve paid for a meal?

ALFREDO: For the meal itself, I have no idea what I would be willing to pay. I like good food, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not really a “foodie,” so it comes down to the overall experience for me – yes, what I’m putting in my belly, but more importantly, who I am with, my state of mind, the million and one particulars of that moment. For a great food “experience,” I don’t mind opening my wallet. I have one dear friend who always makes me laugh no matter what kind of day or week or year I’m having: with him, ridiculously overpriced sushi or cold pizza out of the fridge are pretty much the same to me.

You’ve Been Kimchi Slapped!

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Here’s a gif that’s bound to make your Tuesday a little brighter:

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Yup, that ajumma is administering the purest form of Korean frontier justice: the kimchi slap.

The above gif comes from the Korean drama series entitled Everybody Kimchi, which is set against the backdrop of the kimchi industry. Now, I don’t know anything else about the show and, frankly, I don’t care. All I know is any show that includes the little-known and little-seen kimchi slap is alright in my book.

And what can Everybody Kimchi teach us about the kimchi slap?

American Fast Food Chains Serving Expired Chinese Meat and…So?

JUNK_FOODNews broke today that China-based Husi Food Co. has been selling expired beef and chicken to American fast food giants McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut. They allegedly did this by repackaging the stale meat and putting new expiration dates on them. Of course, reps for the fast food companies have announced they are no longer purchasing meat from Husi and are launching their own “investigations.”

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Here’s all I have to add to this—is anyone really surprised by this news? And does anyone really believe that the fast food companies are genuinely surprised by this either?

The Great KFC Anti-Phil Conspiracy

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Damnit, I’m just a red-blooded American man and as such occasionally I feel the need …the need for some KFC original recipe chicken and biscuits. Which is why what I am about to share with you is so disturbing. Up until very recently, there were three—count them three—KFC locations within a short distance from my home in the Los Feliz/Silver Lake area. Now, there are zero.

I repeat—zero.

The KFC on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood—CLOSED:

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The KFC on Virgil—CLOSED:

The Kobayashi Maru of Hot Dog Eating

FOURTHHere in the U.S., tomorrow is the Fourth of July aka our Independence Day and with that brings picnics and fireworks and the infamous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, which is arguably the Super Bowl of competitive eating. But once again, the king of this “sport,” Takeru Kobayashi will not be “officially” competing.

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For the past few years, Kobayashi has been “banned” from the event for refusing to sign an exclusive contract to be Nathan’s food bitch work for the folks who run the annual competition as their food bitch and apparently that’s a big no-no.

Now, some have said the real reason Kobayashi has refused this offer is because he’s afraid he will be dethroned by competitors like professional douchebag Joey Chestnut:

Penis+Food=The Perfect Combo?

If you ever visit the South Korean city of Pocheon City, you might want to visit the Deolmusae Restaurant. What makes it so special? Well, apparently, it’s a restaurant that pays tribute to the penis:

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From the pathway leading to the front door:

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To the host greeting you at the entrance:

Why Japan is Awesome #793: Caramel Marshmallow Pizza

Once again, we have additional proof that fast food is just more awesome in Asia and particularly in Japan. Behold, Pizza Hut in Japan is offering the Morinaga Milk Caramel and Marshmallow Pizza:

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It’s all a promotion for the candy’s 100th anniversary and is available only in Japan until the end of this month.

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Why Japan is Awesome #66: Caramel Banana Sushi

You heard it right, folks. Caramel banana sushi is a real thing and starting this week, it is now available for that party that’s about to happen in your mouth courtesy of Japanese sushi chain Kura:

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Apparently, this is the same sushi chain that has previously offered up such delights as chocolate sauce banana sushi:

The Great Curry House Question

Some of us at YOMYOMF World Headquarters went out for a nice dinner at the nearby Curry House to kick off the end of a busy work week and the start of a long holiday weekend when we were confronted with this:

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It’s one of those kids’ placemats that have “fun” activities to keep children occupied while you eat. Usually it’s filled with “simple” puzzles and questions that aren’t too difficult for most kids, but the question above had us all stumped.

Do you know the answer? If you know what number goes into the box, write it in the comments section below (and if you’re really smart, with an explanation for the answer). If no one’s been able to figure it out by then, I’ll post the answer later next week.