Sunday, August 30, 2009
On a last minute decision I decided to come up to LA after I was invited by a friend for dinner. It just happened that it was a rainy day as well! I met up with Burumun and Rum Dood earlier for ice cream where they told us about the “Soup Kitchen” at The Edison. I guess on Thursday nights they have this special deal where you get a choice between 2 drinks for 35 cents. It is an awesome deal especially in this lavish vintage bar. With the drink you can also can get I believe a grilled cheese sandwich for some more change. I would recommend trying this bar out during the special to get more bang for the buck. O=9
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
A rare day indeed. For Mother's Day, I took my Mom and Dad out for dinner. Those of you who know me, know how rare and scary this is. As always, they wanted to head on over to Rowland Heights for some Chinese Food. First we did some massive shopping at the newly opened Hong Kong Market at a new location, then we moseyed on over to VIP Chinese Restaurant. It's an Islamic Chinese Restaurant. They are located at the corner plaza, near the Yoshinoya side. The interior is your typical simple Asian design with booths and tables. I think they have changed ownership. It is now owned by Koreans I believe. Makes you question the authenticity of the food... but honestly we know the kitchen barely has any Asian cooks in these kind of places.
They start off by bringing you little snacks to snack on. Sometimes you have to be careful in places like these because they tend to charge you for the side dishes they bring you. I know it might not make sense, but it happens! So always be a little wary if you are not into the side dishes. I don't think we were charged this time, but the previous owners did.
So in Islamic cuisine they do not serve pork and they are known for their big Sesame & Green Onions Pancake. My parents like the thin type because it is suppose to be crispy on the outside, yet maintain a chewy texture on the inside. You use this instead of rice with the meal to tone down the strong flavors of the dish. My Dad did not like the pancake here anymore. It didn't have the same texture and "oomph" as it used to. I thought it was a bit bland and only had hints of salt flavor and nothing else.
My family is a huge fan of lamb so I chose Mongolian Lamb for the first dish. This was the best dish of the night. There was a lot of green onion flavor nicely infused into the dish. The sauce was a good combo of salty with a slight sweet essence from the onions. I wish we ordered 2 of this dish rather than the other ones. The portions were not too big but at least there was a good meat to veggie ratio. My Dad decided to get a spicy lamb dish, Hunan Lamb. It was not what we thought it would be. I rarely see slices of tofu skin in a Hunan Lamb. Not a big fan of leek so I avoided them. O=) The flavor was only so-so, but once I finished off the lamb on the other dish... I resorted to picking off of this dish.
I made the mistake of ordering the Hand Made Noodles with Lamb since I really liked them the first time I went to Fatima up in San Jose. The one here was not that good. I felt that the noodles were a bit flat in texture. They must have over cooked the noodles because they were very flimsy. The sauce was a bit too salty. I didn't enjoy the egg since it was over salted as well. My bad for wanting this dish. Maybe I should just stick to the meat dishes and avoid all carbs! O=P
The reason why I agreed to come to this place was for their dessert, as well as to please my parents. Even though it is under different ownership, I still had to have the Red Bean Pancake. if you know me, you know that I abhor red bean. So if I willingly order any dish with red bean, you know it must be good! I love the thin crispy texture of the pancake. The sweet flavor of ground red bean meshes well with the toasty outer texture. It was still good here. Maybe not as good as it used to be, but I got my fix. ^_^
All in all my parents weren't too pleased and they won't be back. At least I didn't drop too much for dinner but it would be nice if they actually enjoyed the meal... oh well... my parents are always like that. At least we made it through the meal without killing each other! ^_^ It's kind of funny, but they were more critical about the food than I was this time. =P
VIP Chinese Restaurant
18331 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Upon KFP's recommendation of Snack Pop in SGV, I tried my best to go many times and finally made it one day. As I was trying to look for Ambrosia Hot Pot, I lost my way and happen to come across Snack Pop so I pulled over for a snack. O=9 It's in a small strip mall where parking can be a pain but it was an off-meal time where it was not overcrowded so I was able to find a spot easily. KFP has warned me before that the people there can be a bit persnickety and short on patience. It must be my charm O=) or KFP's lack of ( ~^_~~ ) that has given him bad service. They were very nice to me and I ordered everything I wanted.
First off, I ordered the Popcorn Chicken that he recommended. It was a bit different from what I am used to for Taiwanese style Popcorn Chicken. The flavor was a bit more curried than a direct garlic, salt, & pepper taste. I still think Q-Cup makes the best. The chicken was lightly battered and for the most part tender. There was quite a bit of small pieces and big crumbs in the bag. Still, not a bad place to grab a quick snack to try out. It's only $2.99, so definitely not a bad deal.
As always, when I see any place offering Durian Shakes... I start getting excited and order it without a second thought! Who cares if it stinks and will make those around me suffer thereafter. O=9 The drink was more expensive than the chicken! lol The one here was so-so. I didn't think that the flavor of the durian really came out, but at least I got a quick fix. It's really much better just to buy frozen durian at the market and make the shake at home. At least you can control the flavor and density of the durian. Beware, durian is an "acquired" taste! lol
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
TP & Veggie Girl love this place/chain, so it was not surprising that they wanted to go there again. This time we went to the location that TP really likes and is closer to her house. It's a small location located in a big shopping center. There were plenty of empty seats so we sat down immediately. They gave us a bowl of Edamame to snack on as soon as we sat down. Good thing too because I was hungry. lol It was a little awkward in the beginning because there was this guy that was trying to chat us up and kept staring at us. Eventually we just moved past this because we were really there for the food! ^_^
This might shock some people but I have been turned a fan for the Idaho Roll that Niko Niko Sushi offers. All of us ordered a roll for ourselves! ^_^ No sharing here! It's a vegetarian roll. Inside is a Sweet Potato Tempura and Avocado all rolled up. I don't know why but it works! lol The crunchy texture of the tempura is only enhanced by the luscious flavor of the avocado. As taste goes, it's pretty simple but the flavor pops. I am making myself hungry now, maybe I should go back for more! lol The best part is the it's pretty reasonably cheap, $4. For some reason though, every location has made the roll a little different so beware.
Of course I was a bit hungry so I opted to add an order of Hamachi Sushi, Yellowtail. The fish was fresh and it did hit the spot. I could have had 20 orders of this but it could get quite expensive. The prices are not bad but I could get the same or better at Mitsuwa down the street for a lower price. Next time, I think I will get 2 orders of the Idaho Roll instead. O=)
Niko Niko Sushi
2300 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Here is a sneak preview of the SF Chefs, Food, and Wine Event in Union Square. A lot of you might not know this but I am not that fond of children so if I put up a kid’s photo, you know I must have really thought they were cute! ^_- This was so endearing to see at the event. It was at the Zuppa station where I got to witness this adorable scene. Chef Joseph Manzare was super friendly and his whole family was there behind the station working hard. He was super friendly and we had a nice discussion with him.
It was soooo cute to see that his son was working behind the scenes to help out in any way. We were all speculating that he will be the next generation of wonderful chefs! ^_- So cute! He looked so angelic and he was really into his craft. Can’t wait to see his future restaurant! lolI admire that they were trying to grill fresh Chicken Skewers with a Jalapeno sauce to a huge crowd. They were working diligently as well as socializing with the public. The chicken was very tender and the sauce was a nice touch. Having met them at this event makes me want to visit them again at their restaurant. I never knew that it was so close to where Ms. Lin lives. As we were driving home from the event that day I happened to see it and pointed it out to everyone.
All in all this only just added onto the joy of flying up last minute to check out this event. We really need this kind of event down in the OC. I also need to look at ones in LA because it was fun coming up randomly just to attend the event. We got to have a whirlwind weekend full of great food, wine, and meet & greets! Can’t wait for next year’s festival!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
After being ill so long, I decided I needed a drastic change of scenery and what better way than to do something for my site! Although my body and stomach are not a 100% still after a month and half of resting... I am going to risk it! lol I blame Foodbuzz and their banner! One day I happened to see the banner about the SF Chefs, Food and Wine that I had to inquire about it. This was really short notice because I only saw it last week! The event is happening right now from August 6th to August 9th. Each day will have different morning and afternoon sessions as well as different chefs displaying their talents inside the grand tasting tent. Tickets are $150 for 2 sessions and the tasting tent. There are also side events that you must purchase the tickets for. If you would like to attend or check out the details then click on the following link, SF Chefs Food Wine Event. The events will be held at and around Union Square in SF.
This is how crazy I am... I have Anibel and Richard's wedding today in the morning.... in less than an hour actually lol... hmm maybe I should get ready... lol and right afterwards I am going to rush to the airport to catch a flight up to SF to attend the event on Sunday! lol Wish me luck! Hopefully I won't get sick again and my body will be able to keep up with me!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
A new place has opened up to replace the old noodle place. That location never lasts. We will see how long Chong King Chinese Restaurant can stay. So far they still have a good flow of business since they are brand new. It is a spicy restaurant. When you walk in, you can smell the spicy flavor ruminating in the air. It's a small space and the tables are pretty close to each other so it can be very packed. They also only take cash, so beware. That day we already had lunch but I wanted to check them out for my site of course. ^_^ I also really love "Fu Chi Fei Pian" so I had to see if they had that at the cold snacks bar. The prices here are a bit heftier than SGV, but that is most likely because of the high rent in Irvine. Luckily, I got Ms. Lin to pay that day. O=) Maybe that is why it tasted better? lol I thought the flavors were pretty good. The spice was very aromatic and well-enhanced with the sauce. I don't know if that day was a fluke but I have gone back again since I really liked it the first time but was really let down the second time. Maybe the third time is the charm?Chong King Chinese Restaurant
14805 Jeffrey Rd
Irvine, CA 92618