Tuesday, May 26, 2009


At long last, I ate at the glorious establishment that is Daikokuya, ramen mecca of pork broth lovers. And baby, it was damn good.

daikokuya 003

I ordered the signature ramen "kotteri" style, which means extra fatty pork broth (I may start calling it "with extra love"). Daikokuya is known for its put-your-name-on-the-list waits, but I lucked out because after a couple minutes, I was directed towards a single seat at the end of the counter (to those of you who do not go out to eat solo: you get seated quickly most of the time, one of the many reasons I like being a lone diner!).

When my ramen arrived, I zoned out into dazed-and-delicious mode. The broth: amazingly rich and comforting. The icing on the cake: slices of falling apart pork, a "soaked-in-a-special-sauce"* hard-boiled egg and a mess of green onions (the crowning glory of any bowl of ramen). In short: a life-altering substance for under $10!

I've officially seen the Daikokuya light. Its reputation is absolutely well-deserved, so if you haven't been yet, don't put it off any longer!

327 E. 1st St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-1680

*according to their website where you can see their menu items and locations.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My First Banner

A huge thank you is in order to my best friend, Mary. She is responsible for the lovely banner you see above-- my very first non-default one! Mary was sweet enough to surprise me with some sample banners just because she felt like it (cue "That's What Friends Are For"). After a few tweaks, we had the final product and I have to say, I feel like I've arrived in style. Please show her some love and check out her fantastic hats at Pretty Good Things and her blog. Thanks a million, Mary!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Yu Chun and Scoops with Delicious Coma

This milestone snuck up on me, but lo and behold: this is my 100th post! Writing this blog has been very rewarding and has helped preserve my sanity in the face of life's monotony and drudgery. Thank you for reading and I hope you'll stick around for a hundred more! Moving on...

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Anjali of Delicious Coma. We had lunch at Yu Chun, a Koreatown naeng myun hot spot. I had never eaten there, but chose the place based on its street cred and it was a winner (what a relief)!

Yu Chun kimchi mandoo
Their famous kimchi mandoo: these babies were big! The filling was surprisingly full of flavor, which I appreciated (I hate it when mandoo are lackluster and unmemorable).

Yu Chun naeng myun
Naeng myun: I loved their version. Glorious broth and ice chunks to keep the bowl delightfully cold. No wonder this place was packed when we went. I wholeheartedly endorse Yu Chun for naeng myun cravings!

And for dessert, where else but Scoops?!
Peach red wine and mascarpone Oreo gelato
Anjali chose peach red wine and mascarpone Oreo.

Coconut green tea and brown bread gelato
I had coconut green tea (would be great at the end of a sushi meal) and brown bread (the Grape Nuts really work and I liked it, but I didn't fall in love with it).

It was so lovely to dine and gab with Anjali, can't wait to do it again!

Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myung
3185 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 382-3815

712 N Heliotrope Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 906-2649

Monday, May 18, 2009


Last Saturday, I got to kill two birds with one stone: we ate at Boho (a recent short term goal) and saw The Brothers Bloom (a movie I've wanted to see for at least 2 years)! Trying to park was an absolute zoo, but finally we were seated and enjoying beers (despite their drink menu being extensive, I got hit by a wave of indecision and chose Stella, which is one of my go-to choices, so did not experience anything new)! What we ate:

Boho pizza
I ordered fennel, bacon, caramelized onion and gruyere pizza: good, but the onions were not caramelized, which was disappointing. Although the fennel was devoid of that licorice essence I adore, the pizza was solid and I'd order a pizza here again.

Boho burger
Charles had the burger: can we agree that he might have a burger addiction? He approved heartily of the burger and though he offered me a bite, it was messy and I didn't want to get involved in all that.

Boho burger inside
And the interior shot.

I don't go out for dinner much during the week, but Boho's half-priced Tuesdays are very tempting. Ditto with their Sunday brunch bottomless cocktails! Looking forward to more meals at Boho, particularly as an affordable option for out-of-town guests (it's hip enough yet not so chaotic that you have to yell to hear each other).

6372 W. Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 465-8500

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Twitter is an ever-evolving beast, isn't it? Although I first joined to stay in touch with friends, I now use Twitter for a whole lot more. Case in point: Bar*Food, a new bar in Brentwood, landed on my radar via Twitter and I am so glad Charles and I finally made our way over there on Friday. Hans took great care of us and we also got to meet the owner, Jason; they are super friendly and approachable, say hi if you stop in!

To drink, we both had the Mighty Arrow beer. Good stuff (sorry, should've paid more attention so I'd have more to recall than "enjoyable"). Hans was nice enough to give us a complimentary taste of Black Butte beer (now that I'm typing it out, I have to say it's an amusing name), which was very chocolatey and almost velvety (like Newcastle times 5). He gave us cute little glasses that were the size of gargantuan shots; maybe there is a name for these things?

To eat, we ordered: grilled cheese with tomato soup (sandwich was good, but I liked the soup even more), mussels with the garlic and white wine treatment (fine and a hearty portion), fries (they weren't mushy! nothing makes me happier than crispy fries), calamari (crunchy batter and a great spicy dipping sauce) and bread pudding (we enjoyed the dessert the most, very good). Sorry, no visuals. It was dim inside and my photos didn't turn out very well. Just use your imagination!

Full disclosure: this visit was unusual for me because I don't normally introduce myself or engage in a lot of personal conversation with a restaurant's owner/manager/or staff in general. I can't call this post a review since a) not anonymous at all during our meal and b) it was more social and like making new friends (we even got a beer comped, which drives that point home even more)!

I will say that I'm delighted to find a low-key bar with an affordable menu and good ambiance. Since one of my favorite things to do is have a beer and nibble on drinking snacks, Bar*Food will definitely be an establishment I will be frequenting.


12217 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 820-3274
On Twitter: @BarFood

Saturday, May 16, 2009


My friend Carrie lives in the OC, but when she's up in LA, we meet for dinner in the valley. Finding good restaurants in that area is always an exercise in web research, but I have done okay so far. Last week, we met up at Gangadin in Studio City (My Last Bite is a fan of theirs, so I felt confident that we were in for a treat).

Gangadin samosa
Vegetable samosas: the potato and pea filling was underseasoned, but with the condiments (a spicy one, a sweet one and a minty one), it was fine.

Gangadin chicken korma
My chicken korma: great flavor and depth and I ordered it medium spicy, so it had some kick to it.

Gangadin chicken makhani
Carrie's chicken makhani (sorry for the blurry photo): I was too preoccupied eating my korma to try it, but she seemed to like it!

Gangadin rice
Basmati rice with peas: we ordered two side orders, but it came out on one plate and was larger than I expected (don't you hate it when places require you to pay for rice, but it's like one small bowl's worth? I eat a lot of rice, don't be cheap!). By the way, I like that Indian cuisine gives peas some respect and is very inclusive of them in dishes.

Gangadin naan
Garlic naan: blistery garlicky goodness. So good. I want to try one of their parathas next time (never had one, but it seems to be a flatbread of sorts).

Gangadin mango pickle
Mango pickle: boy, was this salty! Like my brain could almost not process how salty these babies were. I've had lime pickles before and liked them, so either I have had weak-sauce versions or Gangadin's version is overzealous.

Both of us enjoyed our meal quite a lot. The quality of the food does mean higher prices, though, so I don't think I'll be eating here regularly. We ordered the above, a Kingfisher beer and a glass of Riesling; the bill was $50 something. Their menu is also vegan/vegetarian friendly, so I'd love to try their paneer dishes (Indian cheese is just wonderful, isn't it?).

12067 Ventura Pl
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 509-0722

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sam Woo BBQ and Tapioca Express

I don't get to Alhambra or its surrounding deliciously Chinese areas on a regular basis. Therefore, my working knowledge of the best spots for roast pork or soup dumplings is a big mess of names from local blogs to Jonathan Gold anywhere from two years ago to last week.

When I recently felt a roast duck craving coming on, I was overwhelmed by the immense possibilites (read: impatient and unmotivated). So, I asked Kung Food Panda for his expert opinion and that's how I ended up at Sam Woo BBQ with a beatific smile last Sunday (thanks Danny!). Before I embarked, I found Wandering Chopsticks' post, which was helpful particularly in the noodle department as revealed below:

Sam Woo 1
Roast duck plate: the skin was not crispy, but I didn't care. I was too busy losing my mind eating roast duck for the first time in months! It was just the right portion for us. And to think, my original inclination was to order the half duck.

Sam Woo 2
Deep fried fish fillet with sweet and sour sauce: big portion! And sweet and sour sauce that didn't look Simpsons hued. Not amazing, but then again, I wasn't expecting the quality of the fish to blow my mind here.

Sam Woo 3
Shrimp crispy chow mein: I love pan-fried crispy noodles and their version was pretty good. I think they have a BBQ pork one, which I've got my eye on for next time!

Then we stopped by Tapioca Express for some boba.

051009 7
Charles had a strawberry "icy." Only for those with a severe artificial flavored sweet tooth.

051009 8
I had a Thai tea milk tea. Refreshing perfection.

And that is how I like to do Sundays.

Sam Woo BBQ
514 W. Valley Boulevard
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 281-0038

Tapioca Express
228 W. Valley Blvd, #105
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 289-9735

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Naeng Myun Nara, Patisserie Eguchi and Scoops

I woke up on Saturday with a Maggiano's food hangover. What can I say, the Grove's options are severely limited. I originally set out for some sul-lung-tang (beef bone soup is how I'd describe it), but a sign for Naeng Myun Nara caught my eye (nara means country or land, so obviously I had to investigate a place that brought visions of meadows and rainbows dotted with bowls of naeng myun).

5.9.09 1
Naeng myun with cucumbers, Asian pear and half an egg. Only $5.99! Yes, there was one slice of beef, but I still found it tasty and straightforward enough for that price.

Located inside Rodeo Galleria, the restaurant is one of the few food spots inside the shopping center, which reminded me of Mercado La Paloma near USC (any SC folks know what I'm talking about?). It's a big building with individual booths or shops (like an enclosed marketplace with AC). After I finished my bowl of deliciously chilled noodles, I stopped at Patisserie Eguchi and picked up a kimchi koroke (crispy fry bread, maybe you've bought some at Famima!! and eaten them in the car like me?).

5.9.09 2
Kimchi koroke. Better in theory than execution.

I bit into it with anticipation, but was sorely disappointed. The filling was very lackluster and missing that puckering zing that is kimchi's calling card. And the bread tasted faintly sour. I was so let down that I tried to go to Paris Baguette afterwards, but there was some serious construction going on that deterred me. I guess it was not my day for Korean pastries. But, I did make it to Scoops for some Korean-genius-gelato later that night with Charles and Seve in tow.

5.9.09 3
My scoops of Kahlua white chocolate and mango white wine. Both very good, but I liked the Kahlua more. Because it was nearing closing hours, they were out of many flavors; I really wanted to try salty caramel! I don't have pictures of what the guys had, but Seve stuck with all Kahlua white chocolate and Charles got Kahlua as well as cinnamon/cheddar cheese, which was surprisingly excellent(or maybe not so surprising, considering the source). I raise my gelato cup to the shop's owner, Tai Kim! And that was my Saturday amongst my people.

Naeng Myun Nara
Rodeo Galleria
833 S. Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 365-1699

Patisserie Eguchi (next door to Naeng Myun Nara)

712 N Heliotrope Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 906-2649

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sapp Coffee Shop

I have heard good things about Sapp Coffee Shop forever, so was very pleased to finally make my way there on a Sunday morning. And as I found out, the tiny parking lots in Thaitown have plenty of spots open at 11am!

sapp 001
Boat noodles special: beef, tripe, fish balls (think meatballs, not... balls), beef liver and a couple other things I couldn't identify. I added a healthy dose of hot sauce and vinegared chiles to spice it up. Breakfast of heat champions!

sapp 005
Thai iced coffee: Not my fave, the coffee didn't taste great to me. I think I should've gotten the iced tea instead, but it was still nice to have something cool to combat the spicy broth.

I was prepared for a very dingy experience based on online chatter, but they had the door propped open and it was bright and breezy. The server was very friendly and overall, the place had a homey vibe. Yes, the interior and tables are old, but for prices this low (my breakfast was under $8), who cares?

Sapp Coffee Shop
5183 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-1035
Cash only