Joyce Kim & Miye Sugino
Popular for his easygoing attitude (but not as much for his “celebrations of knowledge” exams), Chemistry teacher Mr. Geckle is arguably the most well-known for his mania over food. Whether it be his disgust for pineapple on pizza (they just don’t go together), or him gushing about ramen in Little Tokyo, not a day goes by where his favorite topic fails to be mentioned.
So, for five minutes on a pleasant Thursday, we pulled Mr. Geckle aside, aiming to provoke his inner food enthusiast. It did not take long–with just the first question, Geckle was on a roll. From the “passable” food in La Cañada to an odd combination of donuts and fried chicken in downtown LA, his answers left us drooling to eat at his favorite places. And so, here it is, the slightly abridged interview with Karl Geckle.
The Spartan: What do you think are some misconceptions that La Cañada students have about food?
Mr Geckle: That there is good pizza in La Cañada — that is preposterous. If you have New York pizza standards, La Cañada pizza is…
S: Then in downtown LA, what is your go-to place?
G: [rubbing his hands together] Oh my God, how long do you have? I have a LOT of them, but my go-to place depends on my mood.
One of the best places to go in Downtown, especially if you’re a student exploring, is Grand Central market because there’s just so many good choices. There’s Pupusas, a Filipino rice bowl place called Sari Sari, a good sausage place, a good falafel place, a good pastrami place, a good ice cream place. There’s just so many good places, and if you go with a group, you can all get whatever you’re in the mood for.
Tacos are always good, like if you want a couple for $5-6, you can just go to Guisados, Tacos 1986. I think the best tacos place I’ve been to in LA is Sonoratown, and if you go more towards South Park, there’s a place called Birdie’s and they have really, really good fried chicken and donuts.
Anonymous student: Fried chicken and donuts together? Really?
G: YEAH, it’s a winning combination.
S: What kind of donuts are there?
G: Well, they have fairly simple ones, but most of them are kind of elaborate, very flavorful, very complex and ornate, but they are also very well made, so it’s not just for show. But I actually like to go there for breakfast and get their bacon-egg-cheese fried chicken sandwich, which is, like, 8,000 calories, but it’s tough to beat.
S: If you had to eat in La Cañada, where would you go?
G: If I HAD to, I’d go to Honeybird, but people always tell me that it’s too expensive. But the chicken is better. You have to have a nice quality bird that you put into the frier, otherwise it’s just not going to be good. If I have to eat fast food in La Cañada, I go to Panera and get a salad and a little ice tea, and not feel gross afterwards. And it’s decent–like, it’s passable.
S: Do you have a favorite dish at Honeybird?
G: I just get fried chicken and watermelon salad.
S: Okay, I think that’s good! Thank you!
G: Wait, that’s it? I have so much more!
S: [laughs] We can do a part 2.