Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chichen Itza Restaurant (Mercado La Paloma)- Los Angeles (University Park), CA

Chichen Itza Restaurant (Mercado La Paloma)- Los Angeles (University Park), CA: Storefront

Mercado La Paloma, a local community gathering place, is also home to a fine hodgepodge of quality restaurants--Thai, Ethiopian, American, Mexican, and Yucatecan cuisine can be found here. Chichen Itza, the restaurant that consistently has the longest queue of all the restaurants, specializes in Yucatecan cuisine (southeastern Mexican cuisine)--the menu is filled with unique regional specialties.

Chichen Itza Restaurant (Mercado La Paloma)- Los Angeles (University Park), CA: Habanero Sauce

After ordering in person at Chichen Itza's counter, one receives a wooden stand with a number (for the employees to keep track of where to bring food to). Prior to the arrival of the food, an employee will bring over beverages as well as Chichen Itza's house Habanero Hot Sauce. It's a potent, fruity, extremely spicy, and slightly acidic hot sauce.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Jeon Ju Restaurant- Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA

Jeon Ju- Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA: Exterior

Widely known as a bibimbap specialist (their website is "," if it wasn't already understood), Jeon Ju is a venerable place to visit for a Korean meal. Not only is their bibimbap well done, but so are lots of their other items.

Jeon Ju- Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA: Barley Tea

 As we perused the multi-paged menu, cups of smooth, weak barley tea were provided at the table.

Jeon Ju- Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA: Banchan

After ordering, we were presented with a wide array of banchan. There were six common items for the whole table--bean sprouts, marinated potatoes, sweetened, dried shrimp, daikon kimchi, a green pajeon, and napa cabbage kimchi. For each individual was a bowl of noodles in a lightly spicy broth and napa cabbage water kimchi. We found everything to be nicely done, and found the dried, crispy shrimp really fun to snack on.

A condiment of green onions, sesame seeds, peppers and soy sauce was also provided for a larger haemul pajeon and yeong yang dolsot that we ordered.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ma Dang Gook Soo- Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA

Ma Dang Gook Soo- Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA: Exterior

After looking at Ma Dang Gook Soo's handmade noodles and acorn noodles featured on Gastronomy and Buzzfeed / The Actors Diet respectively, it didn't take much more to make our own visit to Ma Dang Gook Soo.

Ma Dang Gook Soo- Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA: Menu

When we visited on a Sunday evening, Ma Dang Gook Soo was operating at system capacity. The restaurant was full, but it didn't take much for us to wait in line before getting an open spot.

Seated down, lots of people were enjoying the noodle options, seasoned spicy rice cake (tteokbokki), and bibimbap. Moreover, the friendly waitresses were eagerly serving the customers. When I wanted to learn more about some items which were only written in Korean on the wall (it was actually soy broth noodles), the waitress took her time to answer, and when I asked her about the soy broth, she even brought a small bowl for me to sample before deciding whether to order it.

Friday, May 22, 2015

California Fish Grill- Irvine, CA

 California Fish Grill- Irvine, CA:

Having read Edwin Goei of Monster Munching's positive review of California Fish Grill and a recent feature on its poke on Stick a Fork In It of OC Weekly and being in the mood for poke and cooked fish while in Irvine, we finally visited California Fish Grill, a fast-casual seafood joint.

During our weekday visit at lunchtime, it was packed, with local employees and families coming in for lunch. Both indoor and outdoor seating were packed except for the bar near the kitchen, people were ordering both take in and take out, and the kitchen's grill was completely filled with fish filets. Talk about good business!

California Fish Grill- Irvine, CA: New England Style Clam Chowder Bowl

We began our meal with the New England Clam Chowder Bowl (4.49 USD), a large bowl for a very reasonable price. It was not jam packed with clams, nor was it very heavy on the clam flavor (instead favoring the cream instead), but it was freshly made, with the potatoes cut into sharp cubes, and veggies cut into small pieces. We also liked that it came with oyster crackers--overall, a positive start to the meal.

Jook Hyang- Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA

Jook Hyang- Los Angeles (Koreantown), CA: Exterior

In search for some healthful Korean food--soups and porridge--I found out about Jook Hyang, a standalone Korean restaurant on Olympic in Koreatown.

Jook Hyang- Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA: Interior

An abalone, chicken soup, beef bone soup (cooked for a week), porridge specialist, Jook Hyang offers a wide range of offerings dedicated to the three items--abalone sashimi, abalone porridge, abalone and chicken soup, and a page full of different porridge items. Walking into the restaurant, you'll see an abalone tank and bucketfuls of cornish hens.

All these quality items and work spans throughout the restaurant and offerings, which also includes bamboo rice entrees, korean barbeque and seafood, banchan, and other items. It also translates into slightly higher costs--lunch is slightly cheaper if you order the sets, but otherwise, expect to spend around 15-20 USD per person, if not more.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pa-Ord Noodle #3- Los Angeles (Thai Town), CA

Pa-Ord Noodle #3- Los Angeles (Thai Town), CA: Exterior

After visiting Bhan Kanom Thai, we decided to follow along with dinner at Pa-Ord Noodle, which has been famous for its noodle soups.

Pa-Ord Noodle #3- Los Angeles (Thai Town), CA: Spice and Sauces

Inside Pa-Ord Noodle was a homey atmosphere, with a small marketplace of imported and locally made snacks and desserts, several warming stations with food, and festive Thai decorations. The staff were extremely friendly, smiling happily and welcoming to offer suggestions and advice on the menu.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bhan Kanom Thai- Los Angeles (Thai Town), CA

Bhan Kanom Thai- Los Angeles (Thai Town), CA: Exterior

Inspired by a post from Wandering Chopsticks, we decided to visit Bhan Kanom Thai--essentially the place to go for Thai desserts in Thai Town.

Bhan Kanom Thai- Los Angeles (Thai Town), CA: Desserts

With a whole host of homemade desserts, as well as a onset of special ethnic snacks, Bhan Kanom Thai truly is a fun place to be. So much so, that its dessert options have been featured on Buzzfeed, amongst other media outlets.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream (Ferry Building Marketplace)- San Francisco, CA

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream (Ferry Building Marketplace)- San Francisco, CA:

While at the Ferry Building Marketplace, one store stood out in terms of a long queue and lots of people enjoying its products-- Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream, established in 2008. After enjoying lunch at The Slanted Door, we decided to check it out.

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream (Ferry Building Marketplace)- San Francisco, CA:
Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream (Ferry Building Marketplace)- San Francisco, CA:

The storefront was quite simple, with a blue, white, and metal theme. The funnest part of Humphry Slocombe are the flavors-- lots of intriguing, unconventional flavor mixes and blends. Samples were graciously offered (through metal tasting spoons), letting you sample a variety of flavors before choosing the ones you want to order.