Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It is my favorite time of the year again! I have my lobster claws/mitts ready from last year to break out and play with while I enjoy some of the freshest lobsters around. Time to break out those seafood crackers and wet naps as you come down to Port O'Call for some massive amount of steam lobsters. Although I want to try and eat more lobsters each year, I think 5 lobsters is the max for one day! lol That doesn't mean I can't come back on another day to have another crack at it!

This year will be bigger than ever. I can't wait to stroll around the grounds and shop for some fun goodies as well as stuff my stomach full of great treats. First things first, grab your many plates of lobster and then start trolling the stalls for your next fix! I have my eye on the yummy roast corn as always! Be sure to mark your calendars this year. Lobster Fest will take place from September 16-18. Bring your family and friends to share in the delight of lobster!

Event :
The Port Of Los Angeles Lobster Festival

Date :
Friday, September 16 - 5PM - 11PM
Saturday, September 17 - 11AM - 11PM
Sunday, September 18 - 11AM - 7PM

Location :
Ports O’ Call Village, San Pedro Ca
Free Parking at W 22nd St & Sampson Way
Website :

Ticket Price :
General Admission - $10.00 , but don't worry there is always a coupon! Click Here for $2 off!
Children Under 12 Admission is FREE

Lobster is purchased separately:
$19.00 for each Lobster or...

First Class Tickets with special line privileges is $25.00 without Lobster and $41.00 with a Lobster.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A great new place to set your mouth on fire! Who doesn't love a flavorful savory dish at a reasonable price? Upon a friend's recommendation, I sought out the Lucky Noodle King for their infamous Fagara Spicy Pot. It's hard to imagine that I would find a new tasty dish that can turn my head. I enjoy that it is a small mom and pop shop offering lots of tasty traditional Sichuan dishes.
They have a simple decor and limited seating so it is best to go during down time to get seated easily. First off they serve some starter snacks, Roasted & Salted Peanuts. Great to much on and begin the savory journey.
To start off, we had to have my current favorite spicy dish of Boiled Fish and Intestines. You can always choose one item or have a combination of items. I normally get fish but my love for chewy fatty intestines has been rekindled and I just have to have them in every dish. Ms. Lin concurs with me that the intestines were super tasty in this particular dish.
I thought the spicy flavor was there and it had a nice kick. The fish was not bad but the intestines were definitely the star of the show. Overall it was definitely a solid dish. Normally I would think that this would be my favorite dish until their infamous Fagara Spicy Pot came out.
At first I didn't know what to expect. I only heard the name Mala Tang (麻辣燙) and I was sold. Sounds like a fun new dish to try and who can turn down eating spices that will numb your tongue! Little did I know that it was an assortment of unexpected vegetables, meat, and seafood.
Who would have thought to put real seaweed with potato slices and making it work?! Well, it does and I like the funkiness of this dish. They also have tender pieces of shrimp that is boiling away as the dish is brought out to you. Be sure to take the out and soak in the flavor fast because you don't ever want to eat overcooked seafood. My only qualm is that they are not peeled but I guess that preparation has its own special flavor. I peeled all the shrimps with my teeth only since I was lazy and didn't want to get my hands dirty.
While the fire is still going, be careful of the popping oil from the heat. Constantly stir up the dish a little bit to make sure that nothing burns on the bottom. Take each bite carefully because the items tend to be piping hot and may burn your turn. You have to keep those tastebuds functioning until the end. Full of flavor and spice, this dish is definitely their signature dish! Worth the drive just to try this new spicy culinary concoction. We brought the left overs home for the family and they reveled in the taste. Going to be back this Wednesday to satisfy the craving again!
We started off with the best dishes of the house, so we got a bit greedy. Other dishes that people recommend here is the Pot Stickers and I didn't think they were anything special. They looked pretty but not quite the way I would want pot stickers to be pan fried. The skin was not quite right and the stuffing lacked flavor. I prefer the ones at Luscious Dumpling a lot more.
Before the pot stickers came out, we thought that everything spicy here must taste really good since the first two dishes were so superb. Don't fall for this deception by ordering the other highly recommended dish, Authentic Sichuan Dan Dan Noodle. Normally we'd enjoy a super flavorful dan dan noodle but the one here really fell short. Maybe the first two dishes gave us too high of an expectation that this dish fell FLAT.
The noodles were a bit overcooked and lacked the al dente touch. It wasn't spicy at all and lost the savory essence that dan dan noodles should have. We barely touch this dish and took it home. I say stick with the Mala Tang (麻辣燙) and Boiled Dishes. Those were the stars and if you can only choose one, then take the Fagara Spicy Pot that is number 39 on their menu. Be sure that you plan to get a nice milk tea or shaved ice to finish off a spicy meal!

Lucky Noodle King
534 E Valley Blvd Ste 10
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 573-5668
Lucky Noodle King on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What must you do while you are in Europe and especially in Italy? Well beside the tasty gelatos, you must take some time to grab a piping hot cup of espresso! As we were cruising down the busy streets of Corso Buenos Aires in Milan, Italy we happened to pass by Torrefazione Il Caffè Ambrosiano. They had an eye catching outer display that was beckoning me to stop in for a drink. The first time around we didn't stop off to do anything, but I couldn't resist on the way back.
If I weren't in such a rush, I would take my time in this beautiful and classic store. There were tons of jars full of candy that were so enticing. I loved the motif and elegance that permeated through the air.
How you enjoy espresso in Europe is very different from the Starbucks or Coffee Beans we see in the US. Most people who come in just relax and sip their espressos at the counter. There aren't any chairs inside for you. It's really a stop and go place to get your caffeine fix.
For those who enjoy people watching, you can take your drinks outside on the street and slowly enjoy your drink as you watch the bustle of Corso Buenos Aires. After all, people watching is a huge hobby in Europe. You need to enjoy life and moments like these.
The first picture above is espresso feel while drinking at the counter and here is when you take your drink outside. Even the pictures have a different feel. I feel the antiquated elegance of being inside the establishment while you enjoy the espresso, but when you take it outside you feel the modern world seeping in.
Of course with all the candy laying around, I had to pick up a piece to try. Be sure to eat it after the espresso to offset the bitter and sourness of the beans. Ironically, I think this was more than a cup of espresso! How much was the espresso, 1 euro! Got to love Europe and the fun of sipping a bitter aromatic cup of espresso. Drink up and enjoy!
Torrefazione Il Caffè Ambrosiano
Corso Buenos Aires, 20
Milan, Italy

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It has been a while since the Italian Tomato closed down inside Costa Mesa's Mitsuwa Food Court. They have replaced part of it with Don Don Tei so I had to take the opportunity to try out the new addition. I was hoping and praying that they had Negi-Toro Don on their menu because I dream and drool about the one at Maru Ichi Japanese Noodle Shop. The one here is $6.95 and $7.49 with tax, which is a little pricy for the portion. I personally still like the one at Maru Ichi more because it is a lot more plentiful and more like toro than here. The toro felt more like regular maguro, tuna, than the fatty part. Hence the picture is so reddish rather than a marbleized pink.
The picture they had on their menu wasn't too tempting but the taste was not bad. I like combination of mayo, lemon, seaweed strips, and sprouts. Although you can buy more negi-toro from Mitsuwa and just put it on some rice for a lot cheaper, it is convenient to just order and eat while you are here. I asked for extra soy sauce and wasabi. For me, I wished there was a lot more wasabi for a bigger kick. Still, the flavor was refreshing and light.
I had a nice, quick, and enjoyable meal with the family. It's always good to have more options to switch it up. Will this place become one of my common repertoire there? Most likely not because I don't think it is that unique or outstanding since there are so many better choices there, but they will be good for when I don't feel like the usual.

Don Don Tei

665 Paularino Ave Suite 150
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 557-1145

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