Saturday, March 8, 2008
Can we say Pork Chop and Rice? Nice Time Deli is one of my favorite places for it in Irvine. I have been to the one in San Gabriel, but it's just not as good as the one here. The irony is that this is a Taiwanese cafe, but they just changed ownerships and I believe it's owned now by a Korean person. Makes me a little skeptical of the authenticity now. It seems like they maintained the same staff so the food still tastes almost the same.
I started out the day with Stinky Fried Tofu. Anything fried is always delicious! I usually hate stinky tofu, but when fried it's pretty good. Unfortunately my friend Tofu found it totally disgusting. So my advice would be that you order this only with people who are Asian or at least exposed to a lot of Asian culture or they might be grossed out by this dish. For all you Asians out there, I love the spongy chewy texture that the stinky tofu gets when it's fried. They also give a spicy yet sweet sauce to dip it that really brings out the flavor of the tofu. Normally I don't eat the vegetables that it comes with but I decided to try it out this time and it's pretty flavorful.
One of my favorite dishes is the Pottage, Chitterlings with Thin Noodles. Usually it has oysters in it, but I typically like the ones with only chitterlings. Be careful when you eat this because it's always steaming hot and you can burn your tongue easily so be sure to let it cool off. The soup here was very flavorful and much better than the A&J or whatnot next store. Each bite I added the soup first then noodles and a piece of chitterling. Delicious!
My favorite dish to get is always Pork Chop Rice. There's a nice big piece of fried pork chop atop a medley of steamed rice, ground meat, lightly flavored vegetables, and braised tofu. Be sure to mix the ground meat into the rice so that the taste spreads throughout. I actually really like the vegetables. The cabbage was tender and flavorful in it's own way. The pork chop was good as always, but note that the size may be deceiving at times because it looks big but they were pounded very thin.
All in all I still really like this place once in a while as to change the pace of Chinese food choices in Irvine. For a Taiwanese cafe they are pretty good in my opinion, but that can also be because I have been going to this place for years and my taste buds are just so accustomed to their taste. Their goose meat is always good but as always it's kind of expensive. When you come here, just take a look around or watch what people order and you will see they mostly get the pork chop rice. That should tell you something. It's always my default choice because it's cheap and filling!