Food blogs went all abuzz recently with the release of the "Douche Burger," a culinary monster created by a New York City food truck, 666 Burger. It contains: (1) a foie gras-stuffed Kobe patty, (2) Gruyere cheese that's been melted by champagne steam, (3) lobster, (4) truffles, (5) caviar, and (6) a BBQ sauce from Kopi Luwak coffee beans. Oh yeah, and then (7) it's wrapped in six sheets of gold leaf. The debacle can be had for a mere $666.
But if you're in the mood for an over-the-top and insane meal, you don't need to get on a red-eye flight to New York. L.A., not surprisingly, has quite a few of its own extreme and ridiculous meals to choose from. Before heading out to try these, however, make sure to check your charge card limit and lock your shame sensors deep down inside.
Mélisse's Macaroni and Cheese
A three-pack box of Macaroni and Cheese from Kraft costs roughly $8. The version from Mélisse in Santa Monica costs a whopping $95. Sure, there's a slight difference between the box of crunchy cheap noodles/sauce powder combo, and fresh pasta, Parmesan cheese, brown-butter truffle froth, and shaved white truffles. But, still. It's Mac 'n' Cheese. (Note: This is only available between October and December, when white truffles are in season. So start saving now!)
Sushi Delight's Godzilla Challenge
There's a special place in my heart for food challenges: It's a place where you separate the men from the boys, the contenders from the pretenders, the people with class from... those who don't mind vomiting in public. So there's got to be a place on this list for the Godzilla Challenge at Sushi Delight in Lomita. Order the challenge and you get an hour to devour the Godzilla Roll, which features six pounds of sushi topped with a special house sauce blend. Once again, that's six pounds of sushi. Complete the challenge and you get your name on the wall, a T-shirt commemorating your "success," and your meal is comped (a $35.95 value). Also, presumably, a high chance of getting mercury poisoning. Just like Hollywood person Jeremy Piven!
Bazaar's "Just Shrimp Cocktail"
Bazaar's known for their outlandish menu items, but this one from a 2009 tasting menu in the Saam room sticks out in particular: The "just shrimp cocktail" is a large prawn coated with lime juice and sesame seeds. Seems pretty straightforward, almost earning its laid-back title. Oh, that is until the chef sticks it with a plastic pipette filled with "shrimp essence" you squeeze into your mouth as you devour it. Whole thing seems a bit... wait for it... fishy to me!
Urasawa's Just About Everything
Everything about Urasawa in Beverly Hills is ridiculous. (To give you a taste, the image on the sushi restaurant's Yelp page is simply a bill for $1,693.44.) To pick just one dish to highlight is the equivalent of closing your eyes and throwing a dart -- pretty much all of them, from the caviar to the truffles, are topped with gold flakes to add that little extra bit of color and flavor-less pretension.
Grill 'Em All's Behemoth
This burger from the Grill 'Em All truck seems normal at first. It comes with cheddar, bacon, beer-soaked onions, pickles and BBQ sauce. But then it takes a ridiculous turn in the bun arena -- instead of normal bread, the entire thing's served on two buns made of grilled cheese.
The Rivera's Cabeza de Oro
Head into the Playa Room at the Rivera Restaurant downtown, sit yourself down, wave the waiter over, throw the menu on the ground with disgust, say "no need, good sir or madam," and tell them to bring you the Cabeza de Oro, post-haste. For $26, they'll bring you an amuse-bouche containing lobster, scallop, truffle, jamon Iberico, caviar, and edible gold leaf. (It used to also feature foie gras before the ban, so it's a little less ridiculous now.) Highlight your meal by popping open your iPad, hooking up some speakers, and rocking out to the music from the restaurant's home page. Congratulations. You just won life.
Norma's Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata
While it's a bit away from L.A. proper, if you ever find yourself craving a late-night snack down in Palm Springs -- and are in the mood to be reckless with your dough -- stop into Norma's at The Parker and get yourself a Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata. You have two options from there: A wimpy one-ounce topping of sevruga caviar, which will run you $100; or a "super-size" variety, which will fill you up with 10 ounces of caviar for $1,000. That's a buying-in-bulk saving of absolutely nothing, but I will gladly slap you in the face for free.