Sunday, September 28, 2008
I don't know why I do this to myself all the time! Yet again I stand outside the Legendary Pink's in LA waiting for a freaking hot dog! If you have ever been you will KNOW that the line is freaking LONG ALL THE FREAKING TIME! I am not kidding you! The first time I came at lunch and imagine how long that was! Recently during X-mas we came when I was deathly ill around 11PM to Midnight and yet we waited an hour or so! On Thursday night we went around Midnight after Ms. Lin and I both had a nice dinner/event... we waited 50 minutes. When is there NOT a wait????? If anyone knows, tell me! lol
Before I get to the food review I have to disclose some really bad news right now. I don't know what happened, but on Sunday during dinner I somehow seriously injured my back. These pas few days you might be wondering what happened to me... I will probably be in bed resting and not moving at all for a week or so. Sorry, so bare with me. =*( Catch up by reading some old posts! ^_-
After the first time I came here I realized that I don't like the hot dogs nor the chili on top. So why do we come back you ask? Luckily the first time I came here I was nice enough to buy Ms. Lin a Jalapeño Dog and that was delicious! So now we come just for the Jalapeño Dog and we always wonder if it's really worth the extraneous effort! Well we still love the flavor or maybe we are a glutton for punishment? You can feel the snap when you bite in and boy is that chunky dog filled with jalapeños! YUM YUM! I am normally not a fan of spicy things but this was one of the things that got me started. No pain no gain right? lol
While we were waiting in line we kept debating on if we wanted more! Of course we are greedy so we ordered a third dog, even though we already had a bunch of food that night. O=) We both unanimously agreed on America The Beautiful Dog! It's a 12 inch Jalapeño Hot Dog topped with Pastrami, Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomatoes! The pastrami was actually very tasty and well flavored. They were very generous in the toppings and I really enjoyed the bacon. *drool drool* Maybe I will get some Pastrami sandwich next time. That's how good it was. Darn! Then I will have to wait in that freaking line! Boo! Well I guess I am a glutton for punishment! ^_-
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Saturday, September 27, 2008
If you are in LA Sunday, be sure to check out the Italian Festival on Hollywood and Highland. It's open late so you can go any time Sunday. I believe it goes until 10PM so it should be a lot of fun!
The lady, Terry, working at Paulette told me about it and it seemed fun. Unfortunately I have to escort Ms. Lin all Sunday and take her to the airport so I don't think I can squeeze it in. I thought I would share the information so that others may enjoy it!
For more information go to So Cal Italian Festivals web page by clicking the link.
Buon Appetito! Feel free to let me know if you enjoyed it! ^_-
Recently I have been on a huge Ethiopian craving and I was wondering where I could take my best pal E to for dinner that would be cheap & good. What better way than to introduce her to Ethiopian food because it is not costly, a new experience, and good. I mapped out if going to Little Ethiopia would be very far from Lobster Fest, but one day I happen to see that there was one in Anaheim! I was so excited and eagerly awaiting the chance to take someone with me to try it! So of course on our way back from Lobster Fest I had to stop by Merhaba for a quick bite!
The restaurant is tucked away in the corner of a strip mall. We were both still VERY FULL from Lobster Fest since all we did was eat Eat EAT! O=9 So we decided to just order 2 dishes. Normally I would be very greedy and be compelled to try a bunch! Also I debated a long time about ordering the Ethiopian coffee but I was afraid it would be like the one we had at Messob. Eventually after a long debate I decided not to since it would be a huge waste if I don't like it and E doesn't like it. That would be $12 down the drain. At Messob it wasn't as bad because there were 8 of us. For our main dishes I decided to get the Zel Zel Tibsy and Kelwa Bighe Tseada. The tibsy is home grilled Beef Strips Seasoned with Assorted Spices and tossed with Onion & Green Pepper. It's not really that spicy but it was seasoned well and the meat was decent. The kelwa is mild saute of Lamb. I liked this more than the beef because it was more flavorful and the meat was more tender.
As usual, there are no utensils provided in Ethiopian/Eritrean food. You use the Enjera/Injera to pick up all the food to eat. I don't think E really enjoyed the dining style and found the enjera/injera a little awkard. The food tasted decent, but to her they were nothing out of the ordinary or distinct to make her think it's Ethiopian. I told her that I ordered the safer foods because she would probably never eat the Kitfo, which is raw meat, or other more adventurous dishes. Personally, I thought the food was decent and the service was fine. Would I seek this place out? Most likely not, but then again it is slim pickin's in the OC for Ethiopian food. We will see in the future! ^_^ It's definitely not the best Ethiopian/Eritrean I've had but it's solid still.
Anaheim, CA 92804
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Ms. Lin and I will be going to a taping of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Friday, September 26th. See if you can spot us! ^_^ Oh wait... for my readers who don't know me how are you going to do that?!? But for those of you who know either one of us, I expect you to tune in for the slim chance of seeing our goofy faces! =P This will be my second time coming to see his show live. It pays to go to UCLA because we get to do fun things! **one of the very few perks** This will be Ms. Lin's first time and she wants to see him before he leaves NBC, which will be so sad. I think NBC really f@-ed up by letting him slip away! He will be missed, but at least now Ms. Lin can say she has seen his show live and I can say I have seen it twice now. =9
So be sure to tune in at 11:35 PM in So Cal on NBC or find the time and channel on your TV for this Friday! ^_-
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
So this is from Ms. Lin's last visit when we were in LA. We decided to try out Boule in LA/Beverly Hills. Since Ms. BumbleBee and HoneyBee highly recommended this place, how could we not go? We had a long packed day of food, which I will get to eventually! ^_- I lived in LA for almost 5 years and I never really saw this place. When I saw the address I had a gut feeling that it must be located near Trashy Lingerie. I must say the "location" is very questionable. Whenever I drove down La Cienega and passed this area I always try to avert my eyes because it's kind of dingy... and scandalous... How interesting to find a high-end bakery/patisserie and soon Sprinkles next door. Hmmmmmm lol
This is definitely not a sit down place to enjoy the desserts. There wasn't anyone there when we went and we found parking easily. At first I was a little agitated because it was nothing like I imagined and the prices were a bit high. Since it came so highly recommended I had to give it a shot. I think luckily I write reviews later on because I will end up writing nicer reviews. So Ms. Lin and I hovered over the Macaroon area debating on what to try. They didn't have a LOT of the flavors, which kind of upset me! All the ones that I wanted to try and was unique were not in stock! BOO! They only had the regular boring ones. Below is the Lavender and Raspberry. The macaroons texture were pretty nice and had a good taste. I thought the lavender one was decorated beautifully and was flavorful. Ms. Lin insisted on getting raspberry against my wishes. Now that I was editing the photos I noticed that it was cracked! If we did it then I can't say anything but if it came that way... perish the thought that they sell imperfect macaroons! lol The raspberry macaroon has gold dust on top. I thought the texture was good, but I was just okay on the flavor since I don't like raspberry.
Below are the Meyer Lemon Macaroon, Passion Fruit White Chocolate, and Coffee Macaroon. Both macaroons were only so-so in flavor but I do like the texture and taste. Ms. Lin thinks that it is one of the best or better ones in the U.S. I guess I agree too because I liked the shells. Although I told her that Bouchon in LV was not bad. **don't worry I will post that up too!** The chocolates were expensive, but I guess normal for high-end, for what you get. There wasn't anything that special to the flavor and chocolate combo. I'd rather go to Chuao for their Parchita.
We wanted to try some of their pastries so we picked up a Fleur de Sel Eclair. I loved how it was decorated. The iridescent molded chocolate just attracted my eyes. I thought the flavor was good, very sweet. The texture was slightly crisp and moist inside. It wasn't bad, but pretty small for the price.
All in all it's a nice modern place. I thought the macaroons were good but we didn't get to try any flavors that would win me over, hopefully they will have some of the ones I want Thurs or Fri! We picked up a few more items but I can't seem to find the photos. I will be sure to photograph the Fleur de Sel Caramels that they sell. At first I was skeptical because they were quite pricey, but they did look good. We only bought a few and I was tempted to turn around to buy more but the price stopped me. Now that I will be up in LA again I think I will pick up a box of 20! Screw the price! Yum yum in my tummy! ^_^ They were a little bit too salty but I like the balance of salty and sweet. It really brings out the flavor and essence of the sweet flavor. When we went I told Ms. Lin that we HAD to have some of their ice cream, but she convinced me not to. Everyone says I should try it still. I blame her! Of course this week we will be eating salted caramel and some ice cream from here! ^_- I am putting my foot down! lol
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Even though I have caught a bad cold, I still had to come to Lobster Festival in San Pedro! Mind over matter, but in my case... Stomach wins all! ^_^ Also I made plans with a bunch of friends so I have to keep my promises and show up. Luckily I convinced my best pal E to come with me or I would be super mad at Burumun for being so late. Next time I am going to start charging you when you are late! >=P
E and I arrived a little behind schedule and showed up around noon. There wasn't a lot of cars in the parking lot on 1st street. We took the shuttle to the event. I really hate that there is an admission fee because you really only go there to eat, which you pay more for! Admission is $8, but there is always a $2 coupon on their website to print out. Be sure to print them and bring it! They are pretty stingy about it. If you don't have one then you will be forced to pay the full price. The cost for 1 lobster has remained $17 and for 2 lobsters is $31.
There wasn't much of a line to buy tickets and we got in pretty quickly. Surprisingly there was NO line at all for the lobsters. We just strolled in picked it up and immediately lined up for them to be chopped. Hopefully you can see my small collage of them hacking away. I think this year they have a better system versus last year you had to grab almost everything separately, which made no sense. This time around the Cole Slaw, Butter, Bread, and Lemons were on the plate with the Lobsters.
They offered Watermelon as well, but when we went to get it they would point to another place. Not that we needed the watermelon, but they were still very disorganized. E only wanted one lobster so of course I bought a plate of 2 lobsters and took the extra one! ^_- Can't get enough lobsters! If I had more money to waste I would get a bunch and scare everyone around me. My cholesterol might sky rocket, but I would die happy!
Normally I eat really slow and delicately, but in today's case... forget it! The lobsters this time were actually hot and pretty fresh. I tore into them rather quickly! Before leaving home I told my Mom that I never eat the heads or the cholesterol-filled eggs. Of course being the good kid, I asked if she would like me to bring them home. Hey, I am Asian... I can't waste food! It's a sin! Normally I am lazy about cracking or peeling, but when it comes to something I love... watch out as I dig in! O=) I finished all 3 lobsters before E finished 1! That's right! Of course this is because she was eating every nook and cranny. I only ate the tail and the claws. The good parts with meat of course! ^_-
Since it was pretty hard to find a seat in the blue tent in front of all the lobsters, I had E stay there as I walked around to buy more food. I guess I never learn and I don't have that great of a memory. Hopefully with this blog, I will learn my mistake for next year. So I walked around checking out all the food stands. It's all really just fried food with a few varieties and repeats. I went to the stall with the most people. They also had me when I saw the words Cajun. At Shabazz's I ordered their huge Fried Combo Platter. I asked if there was wings in it and they apparently didn't quite get what I meant, so I thought there were no chicken wings inside. I ordered another huge Chicken Wings Platter as well.
BIG MISTAKE! I shouldn't have been so greedy. Those 2 things alone cost me $23! I should have just gotten another 2 lobsters at that rate! There was only 3 small Shrimps in the platter and they were the best tasting too. It was mostly Fried Catfish that were kind of flavorless. Of course it turns out that it came with wings. I had a bunch of wings and fried food in front of me. I blame Burumun! We just kept eating and eating because we had nothing else to do as we waited for almost 2 hrs for her arrive. We can't resist to munch when all the food was just sitting in front of us! Also I wanted to meet H.C. but by the time Burumun got there he probably left. =*(
This year they didn't give away free bottled water at the entrance. I only brought a small one to take my cold medicine. I decided that we are here to have fun so I gave $5 to E to go buy a Strawberry Lemonade to share. It was extremely cool and refreshing. Of course the drinks were really watered down, but this drink really complimented the fried food. That's why when Burumun finally got here I recommended that she get one too.
Finally the piece de la resistance... I usually never get a Corn on the Cob, but since Burumun got one... I needed one too! ^_^ I can't be left out of course. It was delicious as usual. Kudos to Burumun for knowing that I would want mine buttered! The unhealthier the better! It was sweet and crisp. **drool drool** I love my corn, but I hate how it gets stuck on your teeth.
All in all I had a great time with E and Burumun when she finally showed up. She did ruin my plan of trying a new patisserie... grrrr! Oh well... next time! Maybe I will stay with Burumun for a few days and she can drive me to the patisserie and get some authentic Japanese food too! Of course we will be back next year for Lobster Fest again too!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Since MMP and TP could not make it to the party on the weekend, we all went out together on Monday. I wanted to try something new and I had my eye on Trabuco Oaks Steakhouse. Little did I know that this place is located far Far FAR away in Boonieville! It was a long arduous drive that was scenic but really long. We were all looking at each other in the car wondering how anything could be out here in the boonies! Eventually we got there and it was truly desolate. I am attaching a photo to show you what the restaurant faces!
You park on gravel and there is only a tiny General Store next to the place. We often joked that they must raise their own cattle and everything. How do they get anything out here? I say they have their own farm and land that they manage out here. The restaurant is so in touch with the land that the ground is built around trees so the floor is not very flat. TP really liked the decor of the ties everywhere. It really gives it an extra touch to see all the ties that people leave behind.
Bread and Salad came with our meals. The bread is nicely grilled and lightly buttered. It has a simplistic but savory taste. They make their own salad dressing that is really light and simple on the fresh greens. I think I was hungry so this all tasted pretty good.
All of our dishes are broiled over Bob Kittleman's mesquite charcoal fire pit, no gas or electricity. TP ordered the Chicken Brochette. It's 8 oz. of skinless Chicken Breast chunks on two skewers with Bell Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, and Special BBQ Sauce. TP liked the chicken.
MMP ordered the Li'l Wrangler. It's 8 oz. Top Sirloin broiled. MMP said that she thought the meat was only so-so. I think that sirloin is usually a tougher meat and texture. The piece she had was quite tiny and definitely would not have filled me up.
For my main dish I decided to get the Rustler. It's a 12 oz. Filet broiled. I asked for it Medium-Rare and it was cooked nicely. The meat was thick and tender. I actually really enjoyed the filet mignon. Lately I have been eating filet mignons at top restaurants and I have not been that impressed. The filet here was tender and flavorful. It could use some more seasoning, but I just used their special BBQ sauce. The Fries are pretty tasty and fried nicely.
All in all I enjoyed my steak and the service was fine. I don't know if I would ever drive THAT FAR again for food. At least we had an adventure and enjoyed each other's company. The only thing I found disgusting was the behavior of the people sitting next to us. This family next to us was spitting on the floor in our direction. I am sorry but that is just totally unacceptable. If that is the uncouth clientèle they have then I wouldn't want to be dining in the same facility. I know the restaurant is not to blame, but what they attract or accept bothers me a little. Food-wise, it was not bad but nothing I'd die for or be willing to drive so far for.
Friday, September 19, 2008
I know this might sound weird, but I actually think that Pavilions have pretty good dessert. Since I am not feeling well and I don't really believe in starving a cold and feeding a fever... I fed myself! I might just have cold and I don't want to starve myself, nor do I wish I had a fever... so the best option is just to not listen to any saying and just make myself happy! So I popped by Pavilions near my house for a quick 1-Layer Carrot Cake. It's only $7 and I love carrot cake, so why not. The cakes there are usually pretty moist and flavorful. Out of all the grocery stores around I think Pavilions has the best pastry/desserts.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I was led under false pretenses to Cerritos/Artesia with TP and crew. We were suppose to meet up that Friday because I had to go to BlackMarket Bakery for my cake. Of course nothing went as planned and she asked if I would like to join her and her friends on an excursion to get some great Indian food. I thought why the heck not because TP always raves about the food up there and since I wouldn't have to drive. She totally tricked me! As soon as I saw the restaurant said Vegetarian I stopped and asked how come we are going here. They all answered that almost all South Indian cuisine is Vegetarian. I told them I did not sign up for this! =*( I decided to go with the flow, but I am making a black mark next to TP's name from now on! "Udupi cuisine is a world-renowned cuisine. It takes its name from Udupi, a place on the southwest coast of India in the state of Karnataka. Udupi cuisine includes an entire school of South Indian vegetarian cuisine. This is 'pure' vegetarian food. The ubiquitous Indian dish Masala Dosa has its origins in Udupi. Rasam, a spicy pepper water, is another essential part of the menu.Udupi's sambhar has its own unique taste."
For those of you who don't know me, I am a total CARNIVORE! Vegetables? Yuck! lol We were with 2 people who were vegetarians. I judge those who only eat veggies. They now have to try meat since I was open to eat their veggies! lol At least I got my Mango Lassi to start off the night. It was sweet and flavorful.
We decided to share the Assorted Hord'oueres containing Medhu Vada, Samosa, Cutlet, Mysore Bonda, and Vege Pakoras. My favorite part was the Vegetable Pakoras which are sliced Vegetables Breaded and Deep Fried. Anything fried tastes better! Even veggies. =P The Samosas are Crispy Crust stuffed with Spiced Potatoes and Peas. This was not bad, but I still like TP's homemade samosas better. Medhu Vada is Lentil Flour Deep Fried in the shape of Donuts. I thought this was not too bad, but apparently everyone else did not like this. You dip everything in the Sambhar provided to add more flavor. The sauces give the food an extra kick. The Cutlet is Minced Mixed Vegetables with Spices and Deep Fried. This was not bad in flavor and had a different texture from the rest of the pack. Mysore Bonda is Golden Brown round Lentil Dumplings. Leave it to South Indians making supposedly healthy food unhealthy by frying everything. =P
Luckily I stopped TP from ordering 4 order of the Udupi Palace Special because there was just way too much food. The special comes with Idli, Medhu-Vada, and your choice of any Dosa or Uthapam. TP loves the Idli and since we already had the Medhu-Vada we decided to just substitute Idli. It's Steamed Rice and Lentil Patties. Everything apparently comes with Sambhar and the Coconut Sauce. Little did we know that she is the only one who likes Idli. Lets just say she had plenty to take home that night. It really had no taste and a mushi texture. TP told me to soak it in the Sambhar for flavor, but even after that... nope sorry. We all gave up, but that is okay since TP can have the rest!
Everything was shared and we decided to try the Butter Masala Dosa. It's a thin Crispy Crepe made of Rice and Lentil Flour stuffed with Mildly Spiced Mashed Potatoes made with Butter Ghee. This definitely was something different. It really is like a crepe in many senses. The potatoes inside are seasoned well. I think while I was at the restaurant I was not very pleased with the food, service, and ambiance. After having the leftovers I think that this place isn't as bad as it seemed. At least the flavor was good and it's something different. TP ordered the Tomato & Peas Uthapam. It's a large Indian style Pancake made with Rice and Lentil Flour. This really came out like a pancake with veggies stuck in the batter. I think the dosas were better and had more flavor because of the mashed potatoes stuffed inside. The pancakes were too one-dimensional in taste and texture for my liking.
The only main dish we were able to finish was the Special Rava Masala Dosa. It's made of Cream of Wheat and Rice Flour with Onions and Potatoes then stuffed with Spiced Mashed Potatoes. I liked this texture and presentation best because it's different from the other dishes. There was a lot more flavor in the crisp skin with the onions and potatoes that was only enhanced by the mashed potatoes inside. They should really put more mashed potatoes inside to make the whole dish better because it becomes lacking when it's only the skin.
All in all the food was decent and prices were reasonable. The service was questionable, but you can't really expect too much from places like these. They really should have turned on the AC because TP and I were dying of heat. Luckily I had leftovers that I ate later that night or I wouldn't have given this place a good review. I mulled over the food again and gave it another chance. If only it had meat! This still was not what I expected when TP said we were going for Indian food in Artesia. Next time she better get me some meat! ^_^
Artesia, CA 90701
Savor the Season is all the buzz these days. Come join everyone in this superb LA event for a great cause. Celebrate Break the Cycle's life-saving work with youth to prevent and end domestic violence. Buy your tickets now!
Why not enjoy an evening of fine food and wine as well as supporting a great cause.
CHEFS & RESTAURANTS
Michael McDonald & Renee Ward
Lisa Field & Corinna Conti
They have an amazing list of Chefs participating at this wondrous event. For tickets click on the link. General Admission is $100 and for the VIP Package it is $250. The event is on Sunday, September 21st from 6-9PM. It will be held at Vibiana, 210 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I have been so lazy about doing this post, but it's one of my habits while I am up in the Bay Area. Hog Island Oyster Co. is always on the top 100 restaurants in the Bay Area and rightly so! ^_^ This is one of the few places where I can be satisfied without having meat in my main dish! Yes, I said it... I can live without having any type of meat or fish in my main course here! Of course that doesn't mean I don't fill my tummy with some nice raw oysters first! ^_- Ms. Lin and I always come on Saturdays because of the Farmer's Market. Kill two birds with one stone you might say. Although if you come during any of the Farmer's Market, it's always a long wait. Sometimes I am willing to not go on a busy day so that it will be a much more coming and relax meal.
They have been expanding their small menu a lot. We were very tempted to get their Frutti de Mare. They always have very fresh seafood displayed and shucked right in front of you. We always start off a meal with a Dozen Oyster Bar Mix. It usually comes with the Hog Island Sweetwater and Kumamoto for sure. Then the other 4 are what is in season at that time. The ones shown are the Sabavi from Samish Bay, WA (Atlantic); Kusshi, Deep Bay, BC (Pacific); Island Creek, Duxbury, MA (Atlantic); and the Penn Cove Flats, Discovery Bay, WA (European). My favorites are usually the Sweetwater and Kumamoto. They both have a distinct sweet flavor. Of course you can drive far Far FAR away to pick up real fresh Hog Island Oysters and shuck them yourselves at home. We were tempted the one time I went up there, but I rather pay more to have it done here. ^_^ Besides the Mignonette is already made here and goes great. We are both too lazy to do our own work. =P
Since they do change their menu based on what is available, I was delighted to see a new item. Normally Ms. Lin doesn't eat cooked oysters but since her beloved sister wanted it... and the fact that truffles were involved... we ordered it! ^_- The Oyster Winter Truffle with Truffled Butter and Shaved Winter Truffle was SUPERB! As soon as they brought out the dish you could smell the aromatic essence of the truffles. My mouth is drooling just thinking about it. Each bite was infused with truffle flavor! It was seasoned to perfection. I had to use the yummy Acme bread to absorb the remaining sauces!
Okay here comes the reason why I love this place. Of course after the Oysters with Winter Truffle making its awesome debut, I will be coming back often praying that it will be on the menu! ^_^ I come here solely for the Grilled Cheese Sandwich! It's $11 for a cheese sandwich. I know you are all thinking that's a ridiculous amount to pay and I would agree with you... Until I tried it! Now I dream about it! I have turned Burumun into a fan as well. Man I want one right now! ^_^ It's Cow Girls' Mezzo Secco, Cave-Aged Gruyere, and Fromage Blanc served with House Made Pickled Vegetables. Ms. Lin and I often think about going to the Cow Girl Creamery in the same building and making our own sandwich. Sadly, laziness wins out. =P
All in all the food here is great and service goes up & down, but I am willing to ignore all that as I want the yummy food! ^_^ Usually the service is fine. It's worth the wait and it's a tradition! I think people who go up to the Bay Area needs to check out the Farmer's Market on Saturday and to go to Hog Island Oyster Co.! If you have never been, then you have never really experienced SF. It's about time you head on over and join in the culture, fun, & great food!
Whenever I am up in the Bay Area I have to go to the Farmer's Market on Saturdays at the Ferry Building. It's just tradition! I love picking up the awesome and delicious Indian food! The sauces are wonderful. All the samosas and paratha are great too. It's a little bit on the expensive side, but hey we are in SF after all! ^_^ They have tons of fresh fruits, cheese, fish, meats, and MORE! It's great, but be sure to bring lots and lots of cash! There will be tons of samples there too.
I always stroll to the far back to get my favorite Salmon Jerky Sticks. They have pretty good Smoked Salmon, but this place really costs a FORTUNE. I picked up two pieces of tiny salmon one time and that cost me almost $80. I mean they tasted good, but not THAT good. ^_^ So I will stick with my $3 salmon sticks. All in it's just great to walk around when it's sunny and cool. You can pick up snacks, produce, and great food inside... which will be the next post!