Celebrate Kobe’s Final Game With Food Puns and Lakers-Colored Cheese

Both Plan Check and Taste on Melrose are getting real creative with Mamba’s retirement

There was that time when he dropped 81 points. There was that time when he hit the game winning put-back to beat the Spurs in the Western Conference semis. There were those five times he brought NBA championships to the city of L.A. There was even that time he unsuccessfully tried to convince us all that he was a rapper. Whatever your favorite Kobe Bryant—AKA Black Mamba, AKA Kobe Wan Kenobi—moment was, his final game after a twenty year career is worth commemorating. And what better way to do so than with strangely-colored-albeit-appropriately-themed foods?

Plan Check is celebrating the occasion with their “Lakers Pride” burger, loaded up with two three-ounce patties, pig candy, red wine reduction, habanero mayo. and a cheesy duo of port-infused gruyere and Americanized dashi cheese, transforming an otherwise ordinary burger into a kaleidoscope of team colors. The burger will be available from April 13-April 17, and if you want to be super on-the-ball (basketball!), head down tonight to catch the final game at 7:30 PST. It costs $14, but you can’t put a price on nostalgia-induced fanatacism.

Upping the baller ante, Taste on Melrose has put together an entire menu full of Kobe puns. There’s the BBQ Kobe Meatballs made with American wagyu (you see, Kobe has a double meaning here, referring to both the basketball player as well as a luxury cut of beef from Japan) along with similarly punned Kobe sliders. There will also be the potato cakes with creme fraiche and chives dubbed “Mamba Cakes,” which, unless we’re really, really missing something here, seem to have little to nothing to do with Kobe Bryant. But, hey, who cares? Potato cakes are great, especially when washed down with a bourbon-filled Cocktail#24 (Kobe’s jersey number since 2006) that also doesn’t have much to do with basketball.

Taste on Melrose’s Atrium Bar will be showing the Spike Lee documentary, Kobe Doin’ Work at 5:30 to get you all riled up before the Jazz game immediately after. At the very least, go celebrate the fact that Kobe’s retirement means the Lakers might actually win more than 16 (maybe 17) games next year.