by Mikey Beats

2218 Cable St., San Diego   »  Neighborhood: Ocean Beach   »  (619) 450-6868   »  OBnoodlehouse.com

In this episode of Beats & Eats, I find myself at the new OB Noodle House & Bar 1502 with Erik Trogisch and Ben Palmer of San Diego’s very own, Sunny Rude. Gale Hopping sat in at the interview and helped identify the eats while Erik Felix gets an honorable mention for linking it all together.

Mikey Beats: You know the drill.

Erik Trogisch: My name is Erik Trogisch and I’m originally from Paris, France, and my father was an international school principal, so I traveled around the world when I was a kid. I grew up in the Caribbean and lived on the the East Coast [of the U.S.] for awhile after I got out of the Marines in 2003 after a tour in Afghanistan. I moved out west to the Bay Area, where I’d do poetry slams and karaoke battles. I did a lot of spoken word and I liked to write so when I moved to San Diego and I met Piers Windebank, Jasha Besniez and Jay Crew, we started a band called Bad Neighborz. We played a few shows as Bad Neighborz and six months later we started Sunny Rude. Over time, Pierce left to go sail around the world. Mason Proud, who is now recording our second album, played in the band for about six months. We had Jeremy Miller from Stepping Feet and 40oz. of Freedom for awhile, and we recorded our first album with Dan Milican on bass. We’ve had many changes to the lineup but now we have Ben Lee on bass, Kevin Sokol on drums and my man Ben Palmer on the guitar.

Mikey: Hello Ben, state your name and your business.

Ben Palmer: My name is Ben Palmer and I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. I’ve been playing music since I was 10. I started singing and playing both the bass and the guitar. I ended up moving to Sacramento, where I met Dustin O’Reilly, Nick Hein and Nick Cantelmi and formed the band Full Blown Stone, which was together for about 10 years. We moved to San Diego in 2008, made a record and did some touring in California, the Southwest and Colorado and Nevada. I moved to PB after living here for about a year into an apartment complex and we were worried we weren’t going to be able to jam anymore because we had downstairs neighbors. We met them and they were like, ‘Hey guys, we’re in a band too. Let’s jam!’

Mikey: This story sounds familiar …

Ben: Yeah, it was J. Gawlik of the Broken Stems! Everything got rad, real quick! Our two garages were also right next door to each other with each band set up in each garage. After practice we’d walk over to the other garage and hop on the bass, guitar or the drums or vice versa and jam out with whomever. It was jam central for about a year and a half!

Mikey: That sounds like a damn good time. When did you link up with Sunny Rude?

Ben: When Full Blown Stone broke up, I got the call from Erik Trogisch saying they were looking for a new guitar player, so I tried out.

Mikey: Who are the other current band members?

Ben: Brian Herritt, our extremely talented keyboardist, is a classically trained pianist with an amazing ear. Rich Saldibar is our tenor sax player who went to school in Philly as a performance major. This guy has so much expression on the tenor sax. On the alto sax, we have Steve Carter, who likes to write down the music and wants the harmonies worked out. It’s cool to see those three guys working together.

(The server drops off some drinks.)

Mikey: Gale, what’s this one?

Erik Felix: That’s the Roseville. That’s the new Whiskey Wednesday feature. It’s basil and strawberry with smoky whiskey. … We do a craft cocktail feature every week.

(I take a sip and pass it to the guys. Both release nods of approval.)

Sunny Rude and Mikey Beats like the Roseville. There’s enough flavor here to make you smile and enough alcohol to make you giggle.

Erik Felix: Cheers fellas!

(Ted Wigler, who is the owner of Winston’s, walks by the patio and says hello to us right as we say cheers. He is a big part of OB music and both guys from Sunny Rude are fishing for gigs; I love the hustle. Then the server comes out with the garlic wings and I jump on the wings like they were going to fly away.)

Mikey: Oh, my. Spicy garlic wings on my hands and in my mouth. Mmm …

Gale Hopping/Erik Felix: They were featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

(I hadn’t seen that episode before the interview but I did check it out afterward and I must say that these were some of the best wings I had ever had. Look up the video on the Food Network and you will see why. These wings are dynamic. I could type about oral orgasms and all that, but you the reader are way better off dropping what you are doing and getting these wings in your mouth, right way.)

Gale: The Yeng brothers are very successful but humble. When it comes to the family food secrets, they don’t really trust anyone to handle it. Scott takes care of the wings. Steve is involved with the pho broth and brisket. Kyle is pretty much the mastermind behind all the food in this restaurant. They are a pretty cool family and have a huge story to tell.

(Waiter brings out a lot of food.)

Mikey: These are Korean short ribs?

Gale: It’s one of the best dishes in the house, but the wings … I personally love the wings more than everything.

Mikey: I’m putting some serious work into the Korean short ribs that came out on a skillet on a bed of grilled onions with cilantro on top. Everyone else is taking their time with the rice and noodle dishes, but these caramelized onions are fantastic and the short ribs are very juicy.

Gale: This is the house special fried rice. All of the vegetable ingredients are procured right here in Ocean Beach at the farmers market here every Wednesday. There’s kale, carrots, onions, Asian sausage, beef, pork and shrimp in that dish. It’s the bomb fried rice.

Mikey: I’m so food horny right now. This rice dish must be amazing because it’s almost gone.

Gale: The Asian sausage is a key ingredient.

Mikey: The consensus is that there is cocaine in the house fried rice. I would snort this meal, it is very tasty. … Gale, what is that one right there?

Gale: That is crispy noodles with chicken. It’s in a brown sauce with lots of veggies, like bok choy, cilantro, corn, cabbage and water chestnuts. I’ve seen some of the aficionados order double noodles on this dish because the gravy doesn’t soak up the noodles as quickly.

(Someone asks about the Pho 20 Challenge.)

Gale: In the OG Noodle House there’s a picture wall dedicated to The Pho 20 Challenge. You get your name put on the wall and all that. Most people when they try the Pho 20 Challenge, they get it down but don’t keep it down.

Mikey: Now what is so challenging about it? How big is it? What’s in it?

Gale: I believe it’s a pound of meat, a pound of noodles, a huge bowl of pho. I’d guess it’s 420 ounces of pho.

Mikey: I’m a big dude, but I couldn’t do that. I’d hurt myself.

Gale: I’ve witnessed many people hurting themselves while doing it.

Unless I smoked a massive blunt.

Gale: And then not eat for at least a day.

Ben: And then go into a coma for a week.

(Laughter all around and the server puts down more drinks.)

Mikey: So what is this? Thai tea?

Gale: I believe it is a Thai tea martini.

Mikey: Well, I’m drinking this Thai tea martini that is absolutely delicious. I’ve hogged it all to myself and I don’t care, it’s really good! (Hiccups.) Makers Mark, bourbon, condensed milk and Thai tea … that’s what I just drank. That’s the Thai tea. Absolutely wonderful. We had the Eats, it was all outstanding, let’s do some Beats. What’s your website?

Ben: SunnyRude.com.

Mikey: And do you have shows in October?

Ben: October 31 at Gallagher’s on Halloween. It’s gonna be slamming.

Erik Trogisch: Hopefully our album will be out so that we can give it to people on Halloween.

Ben: We’re getting so close to finishing our next album. All that is left is the mixing and sending it for mastering and compiling the artwork. Ten brand new original songs. There may be a secret 11th bonus track, but we won’t talk about that too much now because it’s a secret.

Mikey: FYI, this magazine prints tens of thousands of these issues.

(Awkward pause and silence.)

Mikey: Anyways, we are hoping by 2015 Sunny Rude will have a new album.

Erik Trogisch: We are shooting for October 2014 and I’m really proud of this second album. We put so much time and effort into it. It’s been a big struggle for all of us.

Ben: It’s been about a year now of making this record. Mason from Proud Productions has been patient with us, but even he at times was fed up with the project. A big part of that was that our bass player moved to Texas right in the middle of the recording. We had about seven of the 10 down at that time and not everything was even done. So much work goes into it that even if it doesn’t blow up, as long as we get it out into the world, it just feels good.

Erik Trogisch: Then we’ll be out there in the universe forever!

Ben: Yes! That’s how I think about music. … I think I’ve been watching too much Cosmos.

Erik Trogisch: We are thinking about calling it …

Ben: … The Good, The Bad and The Rude. The first album was called Rudimentary. So we’re thinking about continuing that theme with having the “rude” in the CD name, but we’re fooling around with a couple other names, too.

(For the readers of 4L magazine, if you’d like to name Sunny Rude’s next album, you can hit up the editors and they will send the suggestions to Sunny Rude.)