Friday, November 30, 2012

Tenno Sushi in Boyle Heights

Tenno Sushi, I know there's one in Little Tokyo and another in Pasadena but I'm not sure if it's a chain or one owner? This one is directly across the street from the Metro Soto Station. The address is 2321 East First Street, LA CA 90019. I ordered the Galbi Taco combo and Mexican sushi roll (How could I not) The rice in the sushi was soft. Too soft. I loved the jalapenos on the Mexican roll. The galbi taco was decent but the galbi had a lot of that tough fat so it was chewy. Looks like a good place to go drinking during an NFL game on TV. They have nice screens. They also have karaoke.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pipers in Koreatown

I hooked up with a friend yesterday who I hadn't seen in over a decade, costume designer Sybil Mosley, who introduced me to a long standing cafe in K-Town, Pipers. How have I never been here? It's located at 222 N Western Ave, LA CA 90004. Pipers has been open since 1964 and was originally more like an old school diner but recently has had a "face-lift" and looks more like a Norms. Sybil said she missed the large suit of armor (there's still a smaller suit of armor) and the ancient ship steering wheel that hovered over the back dining room. The menu is fun. It's mostly a typical-ish American diner list but there's a small section of Korean inspired dishes. We were there for lunch but it occurred to me that breakfast would be equally a good time to eat there. It was Wednesday so I chose the Daily Special, Lasagna. Sybil got the Reuben. Later that evening, she text me that she had no desire for dinner, she was still full. The food here is like upscale cafeteria food, which I love. They have lots of parking in the back. I especially like the fact that they call Happy Hour, Crappy Hour. Fun stuff!

Best Fish Taco In Ensenada on Hillhurst

Pretty gutsy name for a taco place in Silver Lake. Best Fish Taco in Ensenada is located at 1650 N Hillhurst Ave, LA CA. The exterior has a pacific-theme. The interior is a lot smallr than I thought it was going to be. the first or second thing I noticed was the array of salsas. They had the regular reds, greens, pico de gallo but they also had a mango salsa and a pineapple salsa as well as a dispenser with crema and think shaved lettuce. The tacos are delicious. The fish and the shrimp were fried, so they have that highly seasoned batter and with the crema, lettuce and salsa, it's good stuff.

Restaurant No Q No

Another Mexican Food place near my house that I've been eyeing for a while. Restaurant No Q No is located at 3224 Venice Blvd, LA CA 90019. It's between Arlington and Crenshaw Blvd. It's got a good size parking lot but the interior is small with a fex tables. there's seating outside as well so this may be a good place to ride your mike to but not today, it's raining. I ordered the torta and a quesadilla, which eneded up being just a little too much for one person. I finished it, of course, but I could have easily done as well with one or the other. The torta was really REALLY delicious. On that UFO shaped bread, the carne/bean mixture was so incredible, I loved it. The quesadilla was alright. I got to it next so by then the cheese wasn't as melty. I also had no idea I was getting a salad and beans with it. The beans were excellent, some of the tastier re-fried beans I've had in a while. On the TV set, they had the Spanish-language news on and they were talking about Macho Comacho. It so sad. I didn't understand the details but he was shot. What a crazy world.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fat Spoon in Little Tokyo

There's a valley that connect synchronicity and serendipity and I landed right in it today. So, I have been working on phasing the non-profit arts collective, Collage Ensemble Inc. The last art event took April 7, 2012. Today is the day we closed the bank account. On my way to Union Bank in Little Tokyo, I wanted to get the bento at Hazuki. Hazuki is no longer there, so, I walk over to Focus for ramen and Focus is gone, no longer there. At Union Bank, I close the account. I'm walking out to First Street and eye Fat Spoon, 329 East First St, LA CA 90012. I sit down and order the Crab Curry. They don't have it anymore, in fact, they're closing this Friday (11-30-12). I ordered the Ground Beef Loco Moco Curry with brown rice and a side of the Sweet Potato Fries with Truffle Soy. The server said they'd been there for two years but they just couldn't get enough tables filled each day. Mostly likely location but anyway, they are closing Friday. I really enjoyed my loco moco. Oh well.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Big Wang's in Hollywood

Two people told me the food at Big Wang's was really good. My assumption of this sports bar chain was just that average salty gotta buy a beer to wash it down type of food. My sister Dana or SISTA Dana wanted to hook up so I can get my annual Thanksgiving pie (oh yeah!). She's not my actual sister but we've known each other since high school so we go way back and her family and I are quite close; I'm uncle Alan. So anyway, the moment you open the door and that beer mist hits you, I wasn't too sure. The server was super nice and funny. I was getting a kick out of dragging Dana there. Let's just say it would never have been her first choice. She got the wedge salad. They should call it a wedgie salad because it's super sized. My Big Wang Burger was delicious but nothing particularly big about it. The wings were really delicious. Over all, fresh, huge portions and filling. I really enjoyed my pint of Long Hammer IPA, delicious. Oh, the Laker game was on but I missed it because we were talking, catching up and stuff. I can't believe we've known each other for over 30 years. She's a great friend.

USC Galen Center

USC played CSULB a couple of weeks ago. I came from work and didn't have time to eat so I got my dinner at the Galen Center concession stand. A cheese pizza and a hot dog. I hadn't had a hot dog in while, since Pink's I believe, but this was pretty decent. The one slice of pizza was gigantic! I was so hungry so I scarfed it down. It tasted great. CSULB got slaughtered. The game was pretty ugly. I bought my one ticket online and ended up sitting in a chair that is evidently never occupied as was told to me by all of the USC season ticket holders around me. They were very nice to me and I appreciated that. Sometimes, when you're at an away game and you lose, the other team fans can get very cocky but these season ticket holders were very calm and welcoming.

Guelaquetza in Koreatown

Mole, mole and more mole. I was told about this place by my friend, Alessandra Moctezuma. She knows her food. It's a very festive atmosphere with a huge interior of several large rooms, live band, and even a fountain room with video and light projections. I went with my kids who love mole so we were pretty happy when we opened up the menu. I highly recommend reservations. The place was packed and we ended up waiting for about a half hour. Great service, though. There were a lot of families, people on dates and some business groups. Everyone was having a good time.

Men Oh Tokushima Ramen in Little Tokyo

Composer Robert Crouch text me "I found the best ramen in LA". HMmmmmm.... Best? Definitely on my top 5 but I'm not sure about best. Men Oh Tokushima Ramen is located in Honda Plaza, 456 E. 2nd St, LA CA 90012, 213-687-8465. I ordered the Tokushima, naturally. It was delicious but I wasn't sold on the noodles, a moderately thin al dente type ramen noodle. The soup and the ingredients were amazing. That soup is rich and delicious, pact with fat and liquified pork, as Robert put it. I would most definitely go back and I hope you have an opportunity to go as well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sultan Chicken in Downtown LA

I wasn't super hungry for lunch today so I grabbed a book and headed over to the Pershing Square area. What to eat? I remembered a Mediterranean place I used to go to in the 90's. It was still there, Sultan Chicken, 311 W 6th Street, LA CA 90014, 213-235-0604. The thing I remember about this place is it was great food and still is and we could never finish the meal; huge portions, always a to-go bag. The chef here is a CHEF but the atmosphere is low-brow fast food. That is, until you get past the threshold. What threshold? When you walk in at lunch, the place is packed, there's businesses ordering 25 lunch specials to go, so there's all this commotion and semi-kitchen yelling. Lot's of folk sitting at the counter or tiny tables with no food. For the novice, it feels like you'll never get your food. Like the place is unorganized. The kitchen staff, who are front and center, won't make idle chit-chat. They may not even acknowledge you for a long time. They are focused on the chaos of discerning the orders and cooking in this cramped grill area. You have to go to the back and place your order, grab you drink, pay and then find a place to sit. They'll call you. The moment you commit to waiting it out, you've past the threshold.That's why I bring a book. Eventually, you'll find out why the place is packed, why orders of 25 or 40 are frantically going out the door, why the place has been open for so long and most importantly, why customers keep coming back.

Eatalian in Gardena but east of the harbor freeway

My buddies Rick Alpers and Hiromi Sato have been praising this place for a while now. "Alan, you have to GOooooo!". You know how food passionate people are? Well my daughter and I planned to go to the North Carolina VS CSULB game last week and so I thought this would be a great opportunity to stop by for dinner on our way to the game in Long Beach. Eatalian is located at 155000 South Broadway Street, Gardena CA 90248. It's located in an odd industrial area just east of the Harbor Freeway. BTW, that new "Express Lane" is still an HOV Lane. The signage is a little confusing and I think people are paranoid that it's only for those who have the little sensor. The HOV lane was empty and it was a Friday night. The interior of Eatalian feels like a culinary institute/ school; high ceiling, almost no decor & industrial lighting but the service is wonderful and dissolves all of those first impressions. Our server was very friendly and welcoming. Evidently, she used to be a lobbyist. From politics to handmade pasta. I'd say that was a step in the right direction. My daughter and I ordered the special, Seafood Linguini. We shared a house salad and Cecco for desserts, the house cake. This is wonderful, high-end Italian food but affordable. Fresh, heartfelt, absolutely delicious pasta, delicate sauce and fun atmosphere, Eatalian is a must for pasta lovers in LA.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Little Flowers Cafe and Bakery in Pasadena

I went bike riding with my friend, poet Alicia Vogl Saenz this past Saturday in Eagle Rock. We rode to the Gamble House. It was a little cold and windy but there's nothing like a bike ride and some hills to warm the body up. (for my friends on the east Coast, sorry about this) On our way back, she wanted to introduce me to Little Flowers, located at 1422 W. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena CA 626-304-4800. Holly TOLEDO! What a wonderful place. It's got such a great vibe and the food is outstanding. They make their own marshmallows. THEIR OWN MARSHMALLOWS!!!! I had a coffee and a Bread Pudding. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! They also make their own caramel, so, guess what's trickled onto the bread pudding? yes, caramel... I highly recommend this place.