Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pho Vinh Ky II in Garden Grove

Yesterday, I waited to the last minute to decide if I was going or not. The traffic looked horrid on Sigalert and of course, it was day one of Carmagedon the sequel. But, I knew in my heart that I would regret not seeing this performance at the Carpenter Center at CalState Long Beach; Karen Finley and John Fleck. (Holly Hughes and Tim Miller performed the night before) Sound familiar? Yup, it's the NEA Four, that bleak return of the McCarthy Era witch hunt but in 1990, lead by the monster, Jesse Helms. This lead to the decrease in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts while globalization and the corporatization of our economy accelerated in this Congress assisted smoke screen. I invited my son, who is a Junior at CSULB and we watched history in the making or re-making. Afterwards, my son showed me a Pho place his entourage frequents. It's a 24 hour place in Garden Groves Little Saigon. It was so delicious and the spring rolls ginormous. Pho Vinh Ky II, 14390 Brookhurst St, Garden Grove CA 92843. What a great evening, hanging out with my son.

Coffee Bar in Downtown LA

So yesterday, Gronk posts a photo of an inviting interior of a cafe. The caption was something like, "finally opened, 6th and Spring", there's another pix of him in front of his painting. So, automatically, I think he's got a cafe with his painting in it on 6th and Spring. So for lunch, I take the subway, walk to 6th and Spring and as i get closer, I start to feel really stupid. It's a Starbucks, a new Starbucks. No Gronk paintings inside. What was I thinking? I scan the corner and catch a cool looking coffee place with a sign in front that says "lunch menu". The servers were very sweet and my eye went straight to the menu item, "Pork Belly and Jelly, $8". What? the pork belly is intense, almost evil good. The jam is homemade in house and there's a spread of almond butter. The toasted bread is kind of caramelized but I forgot to ask what it was. This is a delicious sandwich. It comes with little dills. My espresso was delicious. You could really taste the roast, the heated water and that lemon like after taste. Coffee Bar, 600 S Spring Street, LA CA 90014.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Street in Hollywood

Finally made it into Street, 742 N Highland LA CA 90038, just north of Melrose, entrance-parking around the back alley. Rickshaw Noodles, Pea Shoot pork belly, Chicken and waffle croquette and Wood roasted asparagus, our table was filled with dishes. All delicious but what my son and I really loved the Kaya toast. This toast, eggs and sauce dish is simple, messy and nostalgic. It really hits your memory buttons. I kept hearing how this is overpriced street food. Yeah, maybe but what a fun eat. My son and I spent nearly $60 and that's without "drinks". I'm glad I went but I don't think I'll be going regularly.

Beijing Pie House in Monterey Park

Driving from one meeting to another in the San Gabriel Valley today, I remembered my friend telling me about a place that served Chinese Meat Pies in Monterey Park. Beijing Pie House is located at 846 East Garvey, Monterey Park CA 91755. I ordered the Mixed 3 item Pie (shrimp, egg and pork) and the Pancake Beef Roll. None of this sounds like what it actually is. I'm sure it would be better if they educated us to what the Chinese word for this food is but alas, it's even written this way in the menu. The "pie" is amazing. It's presented as small discs, under whelming and humble...until you bite into it. I burned myself. The hot soup explodes and all of a sudden it's a party in another land. This is amazing. I got four of them and could only finish three. The Pancake Beef Roll doesn't look anything like a pancake. it's more of a wrap. I don't think I ever had anything like this before. It's a cross between a pot sticker and a spring roll and a quesadilla? It's equally as wonderful. I couldn't finish that one either. Thank goodness for take out boxes, however not good for the environment.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Swingers Hollywood Dine, West Hollywood

I have passed by this place so many times for decades but Wednesday night, I finally stopped in for dinner on my way from a bunch of art gallery openings at the pacific Design Center and on my way to Ear Meal. Swinger's is a 50's style diner. The service is great and people are super cool. Swingers is located at 8020 Beverly Blvd, LA CA 90048, just west of Fairfax. Very nice menu but I opted for the classic, the Swinger's Burger with grilled onions and cheddar and a side of fries. I topped it off with a root beer float. The float was outstanding. The burger was pink and juicy. The fries were perfect gold, crunchy outside with a delicious inside.

Ozzie's in Commerce CA

Hi drove to Commerce for work and when my meeting was over, it was lunch time. A block away, I had eyed this 50's looking diner along the 5 Freeway. Ozzie's is located at 7780 East Slauson Ave, Commerce CA 90040, 323-726-0300. People are super friendly and welcoming and the interior is clean and retro. They had an extensive menu with even a B Split. I ordered the "East LA", chicken enchilada, beef tostado and a chile relleno. I ordered an Arnold Palmer to wash it down. The food was alright, good, yummy. It wasn't the best Mexican Food I ever had. i had a burger the day before but I sensed that would have been a better choice. I would like to go back to try the B Split ($8) one of these days.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Island Fresh on Pico near La Brea

Delicious fried food. I wasn't exactly sure what made this dish Jamaican but it was delicious; crunchy outside and tender inside fried catfish, fries and "Festivals" which were fried sweet bread like doughnut style sides. People are very nice and there's small intimate seating at this corner cafe. I didn't order the jerk Chicken our ginger shake but that's what I'm getting next time. Island Fresh, 5101 W Pico Blvd, LA CA 90019, 323-936-9778
Cameron's Seafood, 1978 E. Colorado, Pasadena CA, is a very visible and inviting seafood restaurant east of pasadena City College. I was happy to see that they had Lagunitas IPA on tap. I ordered the oyster sample; Fanny Boy (Vancouver Islands BC), Blue Point (Chesapeake Bay, Virginia) and Chef Creek (Bay Sound, BC). I have no idea which was which but I enjoyed every single piece. The fish taco, a baked halibut in garlic and butter was yummy. The best part was the beer, though. It's really delicious.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Daily Dose in Downtown LA

This is a fun place. Daily Dose is at 1820 Industrial Street, LA CA 90021. It's in this alley way that once upon a time was a narrow rail way. It's also next to what once was the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions before they moved to Hollywood. I ordered the special, a ham sandwich and the white drink (almonds & vanilla). The sandwich was wonderful, excellent toasted baguette and the ingredients rich and tasty.I would definitely go back and give some other items on the menu a try. They have a sandwich called the Jive Turkey, that's hilarious.

Conservatory for Coffee and Tea in Culver City

Photographer Elon Shoenholz raved about this place. In fact, he said this is his favorite coffee, so of course I had to check it out. When a coffee drinker, who's a foodie says he has a fav spot for coffee, I listen. Conservatory for Coffee and Tea is located at 10117 Washington Blvd, Culver City CA 90232. I ordered a big cup of the organic French. It was complex, rich and slightly bitter and then it's sweet with this melon taste, and then it gets mild. It was a magnificent coffee drinking experience. I am definitely going back.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Proof Bakery in Atwater

Located at 3156 Glendale Blvd, LA CA, Proof Bakery is an awesome find. It has the feel of a neighborhood coffee shop but it's baked goods is anything but average, they are extraordinary. I first learned of Proof while at Handsome Coffee in downtown LA. I couldn't believe the quality of the croissant. It was so brilliant, fresh, with a flaky but crunchy series of thin layers surrounding that tender, butter cooked center. More than anything, it was just an incredibly lush of a croissant. My visit to Proof; quiche (corn, kale, cheddar, caramelized onions), Valoronia Chocolate Croissant, and a cappuccino. When you start a day with a meal of this mastery, everything is possible.