Thursday, October 27, 2011
So what does Ti Couz mean? It means "The Old House". Their culinary creation comes from Brittany in Northern France. Traditionally they use buckwheat flour and only the privilege get to enjoy wheat crêpes. Here, they serve wheat flour crêpes and with stipulations. They only want their customers to enjoy the best and freshest taste so they refuse to let anyone take out or take home any of the crêpes. Be sure to be ready to enjoy a tasty snack, a meal, or a dessert and you can always bring friends. They would never dare dream of letting their customers walk away with a soggy or cold crêpe that does not live up to their standards, so take a seat and enjoy.
Even though Ms. Lin and I were fully stuffed with sushi nearby, we had to stop by for another treat. Despite it all, Ms. Lin still chose a savory treat. This was my first time, but she is a veteran here and she definitely chose the better crêpe. At first I was a little skeptical to her choice of Saucisse & Fromage (Sausage and Cheese). The crêpes are very thin but they do have an even filling inside. I enjoyed the subtle flavor and texture of the wheat crêpe. It's much better than the ones I got in Paris, France. I like the delicate texture yet maintaining a resilient chewiness.
I made the wrong choice to get their Citron-Sucre (Lemon and Sugar). Not sure if it was because the last crêpe they made was a savory/salty one because I felt my crêpe had an awkward salty flavor. Maybe it is the butter that they use, but I didn't like that the salty flavor overtook the sweetness and the lemon masked any sweetness as well. I started to monopolize Ms. Lin's crêpe. Odd enough, I always want what the other has and I am lucky enough that she will succumb to my demands and give me the goods ^_-.
The moral of the story is to always go with someone who will be willing to share the yummy goods and definitely order the savory crêpes here. If and when I come back, I am sticking to my love for meat and cheese or at least make sure that someone else there gets it and is willing to share or split.
3108 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94103
If you know me, I am all about Taiwanese food and drinks. I have been meaning to go to Pa Pa Walk for some time to try out a new place and add to my repertoire. Alas, I don't know why but all Taiwanese places are not open on Tuesdays and somehow I end up going to San Gabriel Valley on Tuesdays only to be turned down! lol They are located right across from San Gabriel Square and their restaurant entrance is behind the wall so it may be easy to miss.
My default dish for Taiwanese restaurants is Fried Pork Chop with Rice, $6.95. It's a simple and comforting dish. Although I felt that the pork chop itself was just only okay. I wished the batter was a little more flavorful to match the rice. However I did enjoy the different side dishes they served here. They had your typical light cabbage. I liked the egg and tomato scramble to add some sweetness and the bean sprouts were just alright since I am never a fan of bean sprouts. As pork chop rice goes, the one they serve here is definitely nothing to write home about. I feel that it is getting harder and harder to find a tasty pork chop rice to become part of my daily diet. =*(
The best part of the meal was their drinks. Ms. Lin has gotten me on the yogurt drink craze. So very Taiwanese! I must admit that I get a chance to try the real thing out in Taiwan! Here, they make it with powder versus the real deal in TW. They are $3.75 each and I thought the drink was pretty tasty the first time around, but when I went back recently it was a little bland. We tried the Yogurt Green Tea and the Yogurt Lemon Juice. I think that the yogurt complimented the green tea best. The subtle fragrance and bitterness of the green tea is enhanced by the tangy sweet flavor of yogurt while the lemon juice just drowns out the flavor. Still, not a bad place for yogurt drinks when you have a craving.
Ms. Lin had to have their Pork Rice Cake with Cilantro, $5.25. If you have never had this before, I think it is important for you to know that this is made with pig's blood. Their menu labels it differently, but these pig blood cakes that many Asians enjoy. They attempt to serve it like how they do in Taiwan but I think the flavor was lacking. Needless to say, there were quite a few left over that we took home to add into our hot pot. I don't think Ms. Lin got what she quite wanted.
Even though this was only suppose to be a snack stop, Ms. Lin was being super greedy and wanted to have an order of Sole Fish and Cilantro Dumplings, $6.75. These were pretty juicy and light. I thought the flavor was just alright. Personally, I prefer the dumplings at Luscious Dumplings but I guess they were something new. I was surprised that she would actually order the fish dumplings because she has never been a fan of cooked fish.
My friend was there and decided to have an Organic Brown Sugar Konjac as her snack. She actually changed it up and it ended up just being konjac and condensed milk. Uh... ewww.... a little too healthy for me. To me, konjac is a little bland and boring for me. The normal texture is very similar to agar.
For my dessert, I had to have the Mango Snowy! I was hoping that it would be the like one you get at Class 302 in Rowland Heights. It wasn't quite what I had hoped it would be either. Their snow was not as flavorful and aromatic or as smooth. The mangoes were fine and plentiful but I was still let down. It made me pine for Class 302 even more.
All in all I wasn't too impressed and feel I can get better elsewhere. I almost feel like I am comparing a new boyfriend to an ex at this point, but sadly they just don't measure up! Pa Pa Walk just isn't going to cut it to be on my repertoire when I am in SGV. I need a man who can fully satisfy me and bring a smile to my face! Well at least they did make me laugh since I was facing the bathroom sign where it shows a man peeping in on a girl in the bathroom. I thought it was just a sign, but it turns out that the top of the door is slanted and their really is a hole for people to possibly peep in! Lol (don't worry it's too small to see but you can see it when you go to the bathroom)
Pa Pa Walk
227 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Friday, October 21, 2011
In this tiny little food truck there is a magical surprise waiting inside for you! Being that we live in So Cal, every day is a perfect day for ice cream. Coolhaus really gets around because I see them at almost every food festival these days. Tucked inside your cookie of choice is a gigantic delicious scoop of fun and imaginative ice cream concoction that's encumbered in an edible wrapper. Step 1 : Choose your poison! **Cookie of choice** Step 2 : Choose your ice cream. Step 3 : EAT EAT EAT! =)
First decision, which cookie to choose. I am going to go with the Chocolate Cookie for the first pairing. One flavor that I always have to get is the Brown Butter & Candied Bacon Ice Cream. They had me at BACON! I don't think there has been a time that I have gone and not gotten that flavor. Whenever I come across a piece of candied bacon, I close my eyes and savor the moment. Mmm, I am imagining it right now!
Time to change it up, next we are going to go with the Snickerdoodle Cookie. For the bacon ice cream, I wanted a heavier cookie but the other ice cream flavors are lighter and I want the ice creams to be the main star of the show. The Balsamic Fig & Mascarpone Ice Cream was light, smooth, and creamy. Here, they had me at Mascarpone. Mmmm, I love cheese.
When I saw that they had Red Velvet Ice Cream, I was elated. Sadly, the ice cream was not quite what I suspected. It tasted fine, but I was thinking that it would taste more like the cupcakes that we are used to. My friend chose to try their Lemon Ice Cream, which had real lemon zests inside to give that extra oomph. Personally, I like enjoy the crazier flavors but I am glad we go to try the different flavors.
All in all I love the idea and I love that they sort of come to me or happen to be at every event. Mobile ice cream fun! They have some fan favorite flavors that is usually available, but keep in mind that they may rotate or test out new flavors that are always fun to try for those who are adventurous. One time they had a Strawberry and Jalapeño ice cream, which sounds better than it tastes. As long as they keep bacon on there, I will be there!
Monday, October 17, 2011
This is a long overdue post about Platine Bakery. There are very few places that I trek far and wide just to get some sweets. The main motivation here was Groupon! They have a pretty sweet deal with Groupon for people to try this place out or people like me that is just waiting for a deal to make it worth the trip. I have seen them on Groupon for at least two times, so I am sure they will rotate around and be offered again.
What really got me hooked are the Caramel Top Brownies. Hands down, the best thing here for me. I love that it has a thick layer of flavorful caramel mixed with nuts on top a moist brownie. Will you get a cavity from eating this? OH I AM SURE, but isn't that why it is so good? After I came here the first time a long time ago, all I thought about was getting more brownies and to share this treat with Ms. Lin Guide. The caramel top is chewy, so it is like having a tasty salted caramel on top of a brownie. I have tried to find similar brownies online so that I don't have to drive or leave the comfort of my own house, but so far none are comparable.
Another tasty treat here is the Maple Bacon Cookies. I can't pass up any treats that contain bacon in the title. The cookie base is soft and light so the flavor of the bacon isn't overshadowed. Overall, the cookie is not overly sweet and easy to munch down a dozen really quickly. Although this can be an expensive habit if you don't have a Groupon for support since each cookie starts at a dollar and up.
They have Chocolate Baby Cakes with Fleur de Sel that integrate a nice combination of sweet and savory. Tiny treats to boost your energy for the day. Be sure to check out all the different treats offered in the case because it tends to rotate some new treats that are fun to have. They will have seasonal items as well as new creations.
All in all I like Platine Bakery and would recommend it but there are a few things that make me dislike this place. Normally I love these small bakeries where you can feel the heart and soul in their creations and support local small businesses. The first time, I really liked this place so I came back even without a Groupon. Of course when I saw that it was offered again, I bought some for myself. I have been there where the owner was there and was stopped from taking pictures. This did not happen on my first visit, but on my last visit and has turned my positive thoughts to sort of negative. I have only went back one time after because of the Groupon and of course she didn't remember me but talked to Ms. Lin Guide with a friendly attitude to contact her about the review... nonetheless... my positive review had already been tarnished a while back and I will have to state what happened here. Regardless of the negative experience, I do think they have good confections here that are slightly on the pricier side.
10850 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Los Angeles Magazine's The Food Event 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
31727 Mulholland Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Ticket Price :
$95 for entrance, $100 for entrance and 1 yr. subscription to Los Angeles Magazine
Description : The Food Event 2011 is Los Angeles magazine's sixth annual culinary extravaganza. The day features great chefs, culinary experts, sommeliers, plus lots of food, wine, and other treats -- all for one price. Watch celebrity chefs in the demonstration kitchen and participate in panels with the experts in the Conversation Lounge. The icing on the cake that sets this culinary event above others is the incredible rural setting, the Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, home to Semler and Saddlerock wines. The ranch boasts acres and acres of natural beauty, vineyards, rolling hills, animals like llamas and zebras, and space to spread out and relax for a true escape from the city, but with just a short drive.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
In the city of Garden Grove there are tons of Vietnamese restaurants to check out but what makes Pho 54 stick out? Apparently you get a free drink with your purchase of an entree, which is not too bad! The drinks loom around $2 and the dishes range from $5-$7, which is very reasonable when you get a drink that's 1/3rd of the cost for free. If you are really hungry or really thirsty, I believe you get a free drink with each dish you get or you can definitely ask because it never hurts.
For my dish, I chose the Bun Tom Thit Nuong Cha Gio ($6.50). Normally I am not a fan of noodles but I have a soft spot for this dish now. It's Vermicelli with Charbroiled Shrimp, Pork, and an Egg Roll. A good combination of everything in one dish. I always make sure to drench the dish with the sweet fish sauce for more flavor. The mixture of textures from soft noodles, crisp vegetables, to flavorful grilled meat/seafood come together nicely in one bite.
My aunt decided to try the Mi Xao Don Thap Cam. It's crispy fried Chow Mein (Egg Noodle) with sauteed Shrimp, Squid, Beef, and Vegetables all for $6.25. The noodles were nice and crispy. I thought the portion was very generous. The flavor was not bad and I liked breaking the crisp noodles to dip back into the sauce.
All the food was not bad, but nothing out of the ordinary. The biggest perk is the free drink of course! We all chose the Iced Vietnamese Coffee with Condensed Milk. Nom Nom. With that said, there are a lot of affordable eats around here so it makes it hard for me to return often but I will definitely keep them in mind because of the free drink! ^_-Pho 54
8932 Bolsa Ave
Westminster, CA 92683
Friday, October 7, 2011
With fusion being all the rage since Kogi first made its appearance. It's no wonder why many people seek Namu out for their own version of the Korean taco with a twist. I love going to the Ferry Building every Saturday in San Francisco just to experience the culture, fresh farm to table produce, crowd, and great mixture of food. Make your way to the back where all the food stands are set up together to grab a bunch of different munchies to nibble on while you peruse around the whole Farmer's Market.
Namu offers their infamous The Real Korean "Tacos". Wrapped inside a Toasted Seaweed are Seasoned Rice, chunks of Kalbi Short Ribs, Kimchee Remoulade, Teriyaki sauce, and topped with a Daikon & Kimchee Salsa. Caution, eat this fast before the toasted seaweed becomes soggy and everything just falls apart. Open wide and attack it like you are Godzilla! Rawr! **crunch crunch** The flavors mix well together. You have salty, sweet, and spicy all mixed in one. There are also many textures across the board to keep your teeth guessing. It's definitely a fun treat to share with your friends as they are standing in the other long lines to get more yummy goodies! ^_-
That day's special was Tonkatsu, which is Panko crusted and deep-fried Pork Cutlet. The pork was nicely fried but this dish was seriously all over the place and definitely not worth the $10. If I knew, I would have tried some of their old favorites or just have more tacos! The runny egg and heavy gravy was a little off on the rice. There wasn't much flavor overall, even though the dish looked very heavy. I rather have something where the flavor completely pops or excites your mouth.
Overall, it is fun to check the new dishes they will probably rotate in and out. Don't forget to grab a taco while you are at it.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I know that a lot of people respect Jonathan Gold and his opinion on food, but to be honest... I don't really even know who he was or is. Many other bloggers have made fun of me about this but I don't really care. I eat the way I like and don't really care about what others say until I try it for myself. Everyone has different standards and experiences. As for me, I try to express what I had and it is up to the readers to decide if this place sounds like something they would like to try by giving an in-depth view. I was doing last minute research on what was opened late at night in Alhambra and not too pricey. To my surprise, I saw his name on many people's review about Gourmet Island and I thought to myself... this could be either really good or really bad... can I trust him to really know my "hood" and be authentic?
Well... this place is definitely cheap and they had the drink I like. For some odd reason I am super addicted to Hong Kong Lemon Tea. The best part is that at night they somehow regress to their lunch menu and the special prices! Score! You can add a drink from the selection given for only $0.99 more. Word to the wise, don't be shy to ask for a refill.
Since this was just really a late night snack before the long drive back home, I picked out a few dishes to reward myself for camping out in Alhambra just to accompany my aunt. I was hoping for more authentic Chinese food, but here it is more Cantonese than Chinese. Still, you can find a good hybrid of both cultures that you find at many Asian restaurants. There really wasn't anything that special here that I have not seen in a million other places. The good thing is I can always find something I like and for the low prices, I am okay with that. One of my favorite lunch dishes is Pan-Fried Sole Fish, $5.99. Fried and battered fish with some green onions and soy sauce to top it off. Most of the time, I like the green onion flavor to be infused into the soy sauce for more flavor. The taste was fine, but nothing that sets Gourmet Island apart from the hundred of other restaurants in this area.
After a long debate, I wanted to get something with intestines. I chose their Pork Intestines with Black Bean Sauce, $6.99. This dish was a bit on the disappointing side for me as it was mostly huge chunks of white onions and other veggies. If I had knew this ahead of time, I would have rather had another helping of the sole or the BBQ combo plate. Luckily I had others at the table who could finish all the veggies as I noshed on the intestines. Again, the flavors were fine but nothing that stands out.
For the same price as the intestines, you could get a decent plate of meat. I chose the BBQ Combo Rice plate with Roast Pork and Roast Duck, $6.99. This felt like a better deal for the same amount of money. The meats were flavorful. They even garnish with some Chinese broccoli, "gai lan". This would make a nice meal or a nice late night snack. I am a sucker for roast meat. Mmmmmmm.
All in all I don't think this place is that special but not a bad choice for a place that is open late and can satisfy my Hong Kong lemon tea craving. Out of all the years that I have been coming to San Gabriel Valley for my Asian fix, I have never come across this place nor have anyone I know ever mentioned about this place... that should tell you something. For me, personally, I like to get down and dirty with the authentic Asian cuisines in this neighborhood that are hard to find elsewhere. Gourmet Island was really just another typical Cantonese restaurant for me in this vast city. Prices are fair but for lunch, you can definitely find the same deal all over town. Not sure if you can find it for late night, but good to know that they offer it hear and $0.99 to add a drink.
203 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Sure, it might be cold in San Francisco all the time but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a nice big scoop of ice cream! After a nice filling meal, the best way to end the night is a sweet treat. I am always up for trying a new place so that I can write about them and happen to come across Joe's Ice Cream that offers some tasty treats. In the populous and cultural city of San Francisco there is a plethora of tasty ice cream shops. So what does an ice cream shop need to do to stand out? Well....
Offer some unique flavors like Thai Tea! The flavor was subtle and fun. It's always fun to try some tasty new flavors. To top things off, the prices are very reasonable and affordable and they don't skimp on the serving size too. They serve a variety of homemade ice creams.
As for me, I wanted some good ole fashioned ice cream. I couldn't stay away from the Peppermint. Sure, it isn't unique but I just love the minty freshness mixed in with the crisp bits of candy embedded into each scoop. **Lick Lick** **Munch Munch** One scoop is plenty and will fill you up for an after meal snack, but if you are in a jolly mood then double it up! =D
Joe's Ice Cream
5351 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94121