Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chego - Let's Go Bowling

3PM meatballs - Korean-fried, shaved green onions, sesame, polenta patty.

Before we talk about food, lemme start by saying good luck on finding parking.  It's not hard, but more towards impossible to find one on their tiny lot. Secondly, good luck hustling with some fierce people who sometimes don't have mercy on getting an open table. 

Kogi trucks sure are making some serious cash and Roy Choi knows how to milk more money by opening a new sit-down restaurant, Chego. Remember how you like your hot stone Korean bimbimbap? This place has a fun twist on rice bowls. The key here is mixing everything on your bowl to get maximum flavors. Despite I hate the parking and waiting situations, this place is worth the try. Now, let's go bowling!

kogi fries. give me this and I'll shut up!

Tiny's prime rib rice bowl - chili-rubbed, with fried egg, water spinach, creamed horseradish,  fried shallots. my least favorite, the rib is so chewy and fatty. But I'm loving the rice mix.

spam bam thank you mam - kimchi rice and avocado chunks. pretty good combo.

one chubby pork belly bowl - kochujang-lacquered and lovingly glazed over 12 times, with fried egg, water spinach. my favorite! burst of flavor in one bowl. next time I'll add extra pork belly.

buttered kimchi bowl - hot and buttered with fried egg, gaenip, red tofu, chicharrones. the rice is so good. spicy, sour, and more crunchy chicharrones wouldn't hurt.

rock yer road - chocolate ice cream, smoked almonds, caramel, brownies, melting marshmallow fluff. I kinda like this simple dessert, again mix this before you enjoy.
3300 Overland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BLD - Eggstraordinary

braised pork & poached egg benedict. grilled pain de mie, citrus hollandaise, and spanish chorizo home fries. the citrus infused pork tasted so tender - with the help of oozing yolk, delicate sour hollandaise, and crispy toasted bread, this is the best benedict dish ever.

Mama says the most important meal of your day is breakfast. Well mama, if you can make breakfast the way BLD does, I promise to wake up early everyday and never skip one. BLD takes eggs so seriously that every egg dishes on the menu will make you fall in love with eggs all over again.  

Another advice from a potato lover, whatever you order from the breakfast menu, get the spanish chorizo home fries as your side dish. Hot dang, slices of Spanish sausage among so tender and yet  so crunchy skin potatoes. Talkin' about breakfast you wish your mama could make everyday!

fried egg sangwich. toasted sourdough bread, nueske's thick cut bacon, gruyere cheese, aioli, spanish chorizo home fries. not your average skinny bacon! this bacon is not only thick, it's so greasy scrumptious amazing. say hello to the perfect breakfast.

ricotta blueberry pancakes with berkshire maple syrup. hands down the best blueberry pancakes! imagine delish fluffy pancakes with every bite of fresh blueberries and the most luscious maple syrup you ever tasted. 

7450 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 930-9744

I Left My Tummy In San Francisco

As crazy as it sounds, My friends and I spontaneously decided to drive from LA all the way to San Francisco to eat and went back, all in 24 hours. Sleep deprived, food comma, and non-stop driving might not be good a combination, but to maximize the 6 hours drive (x2), let's make it worth it.

5 a.m. 
After 6 hours drive, we finally made it to SF

8 a.m. - Zazie
941 Cole St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 564-5332
French Toast Tahiti:  Pinkie’s challah stuffed with caramelized bananas and walnuts. Extremely scrumptious... thickly breaded, sweet, and bursting flavors. I want it now!

After 6 hours drive, we desperately need some good hearty breakfast.  Zazie is no stranger when it comes to pancakes and french toast, and so do I. This place is so cozy and cute, especially their little garden patio in the back. Breakfast was pretty solid and I'm hooked with the tahiti french toast, what's better than maple drizzled banana and thick breaded toast?

  La Mer: with fresh hand picked dungeness crab, green onions, and haas avocados. one of the best crab benedict I've tasted. the egg is so juicy, the yolk drizzled all over crunchy english muffin and non-chewy crab chunks.

 Gingerbread Pancakes:  with bosc pears and lemon curd. Not my cup of tea, too flavorless. I'll stick to blueberry pancakes next time. 

9.30 a.m - Japantown 

Murata Cafe Hana
1737 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94115 
mochi green tea ice cream sundae. green tea ice scream, red bean chunks, and mochi is a sick combo. I scream, you scream, we all scream for green tea mochi ice cream!!!!

 Sophie's Crepe
1581 Webster St
San Francisco, CA 94115
 nutella & strawberry crepe. thin and crispy crepe, freakin' good. next time I'll make it a la mode! 

1747 Buchanan Street
San Francisco, CA 94115 
 kinako mochi. red bean and soy powders. pure indulgence! thank goodness we don't have this in LA, unless I'll be 10 pounds heavier from munching mochi everyday.

2 p.m
1230 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 986-8612

Mi casa su casa. If this is my house, then I'll never do any take out or delivery, I'll have lunch and dinner at home, repeat that everyday. Surprisingly, this hole-in-the-wall has big flavor to offer. It's asian food not being too asian and far from traditional. Everything is mouthwatering and bang for the buck!

 deep-fried salmon roll with chinese hot mustard. crispy outside and slightly cooked. superb!

 warm wasabi house noodles with grilled salmon. noodles offer unique hint of spicy. uber yummy.

 unagi avocado sandwich. with so many good items on the menu, I think this one is not a crowd favorite.

 grilled sea bass with garlic ginger soy and udon. winner of them all, it will melt right in your mouth. the sea bass is so buttery, perfectly cooked to tenderness. the udon is comparably delicious. 

 600 Guerrero St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 487-2600 
 bread pudding. the legendary bowl might be moist and soft but I'm not a fan.

 banana cream pie. super duper rich and smooth blend of whipped cream and banana custard. it's crusty, rich, and filling. out of this world lusciousness. 

 WOW! This is the bomb. Tartine desserts are so lip-smacking and bold with flavors. No wonder this place packed and the chairs never empty. If only San Francisco is not up, up, and away, Tartine will be my favorite hot spots.

 chocolate mousse pudding. amazingly silky rich but not overly sweet. I love it. SO much. 

6.30 p.m - Thai Cafe
3407 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118
  fish cakes

 crispy calamari.

With too much food already inside my tank, I feel like dinner at Thai Cafe wasn't enjoyable as usual. My taste buds were numb and all the food taste was just okay. I remembered the last time we ate that duck fried rice was so appetizing and finished so quickly, this time it tasted bland and leftovers remained on the plate. The calamari used to be crunchy and has tangy flavors, somehow become too salty and not so crispy. Either we ate too much earlier or the food was inconsistent, this was the least memorable cuisines of my SF trip. 

 duck fried rice.

8 p.m - Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
 2790 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA 94110

secret breakfast & blue bottle vietnamese coffee. 

Before we hit the road for another 6 hours drive back to LA, we went for some desserts recommended by some locals. As if we still have some room in our tummy, for last one for the road sake, two scoops wouldn't hurt. We had the secret breakfast, rum and cereal, which has crunchiness and sweet never taste so good. Second scoop is blue bottle vietnamese coffee which I think the best coffee ice cream I've ever tasted, strong coffee flavors formed in creamy texture. Strange thing though, along enjoying these, my tongue went numb and it felt so weird...oh well maybe it was just me.

So in conclusion, this is how you gulp 3000 calories and gain 5 pounds in a day... woohoo!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Amandine Patisserie - Little French Corner

chicken baguette. chicken breast, tomato, grilled onions, mayo, dijon mustard, greens, provolone, french dressing.

croque madame. sauce bechamel, sunny side up egg, gruyere.

gateau fraise. strawberries, whipped cream, sponge cake. "light" dessert can be so deceiving.

I always want to drag my sleepyhead bum for breakfast at Amandine, so far mission unaccomplished. Breakfast is only served to 11.30 am on weekdays and with tons of excuses later, I guess I'm gonna keep enjoying their lunch.

The moment you walked in, a whole array of desserts are welcoming you, and how you can say no to those beautiful looking cakes and cookies. They have some delicious pastries as well, the french croissant was so crispy and buttery layer after layer. Either you go with the sandwiches, coffee, pastries, or desserts, you can't go wrong. Feel free to bring your laptop and enjoy their free wi-fi. The only cons of being in the business district, Amandine tends to get very busy at lunch hours and parking is annoying.

Amandine Patisserie 
12225 Wilshire Blvd 
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 979-3211

Shake Shack - The Lines Don't Lie

shack stack. cheeseburger and 'shroom burger topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and shack sauce.

When it comes to burger, I pretty much have an In-N-Out burger standard, simple and fresh ingredients. In NY, Shake Shack has similar concept, simple burger with more fun. Their Shack Stack burger is addicting! Bun + lettuce/tomato + deep fried mushroom filled with cheese + more cheese + beef patty = crack. If you have some room, try some frozen custard, their jolly way of milk shake.

It's a tough call to compare Shake Shack with In-N-Out, but as far as their regular burger and fries, obviously I-N-O is the winner. The only thing so special about this burger hut is the Shack Stack and their beautiful open air location. But when you see those super long lines at SS with freezing or raining NY weather, I'll pass.

fries. So disappointed with these. In-N-Out's so much better!

frozen custards

shack burger and shack stack.

Shake Shack
Madison Square Park
E 23rd St & Madison Ave

New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-6600 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh! Taisho - Yakitori, Beer, And You're All Set


I have mixed feelings about this place. Maybe it was because how much I love beef tongue yakitori, like loooove it, but this place had the worst beef tongue ever. Like yuckkk it was so chewy I couldn't even swallow it 'coz it took forever to chew that rubber thing down. Other than that, this place has awesome variety of menu and taste just like street food: greasy yummy! This place is always a busy bee, but if you come at non-peak hours, you'll sit just fine.

Highlight on the tables: okonomiyaki, takoyaki, cheese fries, chicken meatballs yakitori, garlic yakitori, and salmon cream spaghetti. Their yakitori didn't knock off my socks, especially when they specialize in that department, rather than Oh! Taisho it's more like Oh! That's it?!!

cheese fries

chicken meatballs 
enoki wrapped in bacon
salmon cream spaghetti 
green tea creme brulee

Oh! Taisho 
9 St Marks Place
(between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 673-1300

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kyotofu - Tofu Is The New Dessert

Two things: matcha green tea creme brulee and sweet tofu!!!
I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of tofu. I mean look at that miserable thing: soggy, pale, and tasteless, just blah. But when I heard there's a Japanese dessert bar in NY that infuse soybeans to your sweet treats, anything for my sweet tooth fix. We decided to get the prix fixe menu so we can get taste little bit of everything on the list.

signature sweet tofu. white sesame tuile, kuromitsu black sugar syrup, dried apricot. Officially my favorite tofu dish. the syrup aroma and taste were wonderfully rich and divine. the creamy gelatinous tofu was equally amazing.
matcha green tea creme brulee. lychee sorbet, vanilla bean tuile. a little cup of heaven. amazing texture and strong green tea flavor. too bad it's only sampler size :(

chocolate miso cake. salty finish, nothing special.

crispy banana cake. dense pound banana cake with sesame tofu puree.

complete second course of the Kaiseki prix fixe.

green tea chocolate

705 9th Ave
(between 48th St & 49th St)
New York, NY 10019
(212) 974-6012