Friday, October 30, 2009

thai me to the moon

wat dong moon lek noodle. hi. i came to eat you because my friend read about you in the l.a. times and wanted us to go try your offerings. boy, you're a tiny space. tiny. your decor reminds me of my art projects in high school. by no means was i any good at it, but i tried and i can tell that with your home made decor that you're trying as well. cute space and i really like that personal touch you bring.

wall of stuff. menu items, collages, bruce lee?!

menu in a staples protective cover. apparently, the l.a. times article has generated an overwhelming amount of business for them. they are slammed silly on a daily basis and are ill prepared to deal with it. i warn you that your wait may be long, the food may never come, and you might have to flag down your server repeatedly. if you can deal with those little annoyances, then there are a few gems to be eaten here.

our meal started off with my iced coffee and my friend's thai ice tea. i'm always tempted to order them when i'm near any thai food so unless someone fixes that kink in my brain, i think ordering these drinks will always be a pavlovian move. these particular ones were way too sweet though. no thanks!

rambutan salad with shrimp. sweet little buggers these rambutans were. the shrimps were grossly overcooked, but this dish has the potential to be amazing. i would have liked a little bit of acid in it and a little more heat from the chilis. i would order this again.

the bite.

larb tod. limey kernels of fried chicken paste. high in salt but strangely alluring. popping a few of these in my mouth gave me a strange hankering for beer...and to watch baseball and scratch my crotch! hey wait a minute, these tods will turn you into a boy!

we shared a small bowl of pork noodles, their signature noodle dish. this bowl reminded me of a much diluted version of the boat noodles at sapp. they were still tasty though.

crispy pork belly with green beans and rice. DELICIOUS. it is an out of this world, chicharrones kind of meal since the pieces of bite sized pork belly are deep fried to a crisp. crazy bad for the heart but damn yummy for the tastebuds. i enjoyed this a lot and most definitely would order it again though i may have a heart attack mid forkful. a perfect example of a fried dish willed into creation by god.

crispy taro which was a no no for me. julienned taro wrapped up in what appears to be dry tofu skin and then deep fried. the taro itself was mushy inside and the fried outer layer did not provide enough texture to break up the mush. the sweet, probably tamarind sauce, did not add to the dish at all. i would not order this again. you shouldn't either.

greasy eats but the potential is there for some delicious happenings. i think once they perfect their dishes and can handle their sudden surge in business, i think wat dong can be a nice little hangout for this hood.

Wat Dong Moon Lek Noodle
4356 Fountain Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 666-5993

price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it!

Wat Dong Moon Lek on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 23, 2009

mas masa por favor

cold weather must mean staying in doors, which means bowchickabowwow for you folks lucky enough to find someone that would allow you to touch them. that's right. don't get insulted. like i said before, folks must make mucho whoopee during the january/february months because 9 months later, there are a ton of october birthdays to celebrate. yes, october shows a spike in birth rate in the u.s.

another friend had her celebratory bday dinner at masa of echo park. she loves this place cuz it's close to her house (don't lie friend, you know that's the truth), and because they have a great croissant bread pudding. i love this place because of the atmosphere, good service, and the yummy food and price points. sshhhh...don't tell anyone this, but this use to be my "go to" place when i went out on dates. why? 1) good parking 2) close to my home (to make a quick ass getaway when needed) 3) inexpensive menu items (yup, i'm not one of those girls that will use you to feed me) 4) cute, chillaxin atmosphere 5) dark enough so i couldn't see every pimple on the said dude's chin. it is a fine place to date, but i digress......

the decor is "farm house meets gay pride parade" with all them colors and knick knacks. but i like it. homey feel to it.

after two bouts of masa lovin' in the past 2 weeks, i decided it's time to post, so keep in mind it's a compilation of a lot of food from two different events lest you call me a fatty and make me cry inside.

my all time favorite manchego salad. i LOVE it. it's definitely a sweet salad with sweet dates, granny smith apple slices, manchego cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette. this salad is a regular in my book.

greasy side of fries. it's not like you need a pic of fries cuz you don't know what they are, but yeah, not so tasty here. i prefer mine thin and crunchy. thicker ones soak up oil like these suckers did.

the five cheese pizza. it was a "special" that day and boy was it cheesy and tasty and oh so specially. there was a suprising spiciness to it and the mound of cheese in the middle tasted like a cheesy hummus. i really liked it and would order it again if it ever came around again.

the douglas pizza. italian sausage, green peppers, and red onion slices with marinara sauce. it tasted like a typical hearty pizza to me. good but not noteworthy. i love how it blends with the table cloth.

the santa ynez pizza. proscuitto, pineapples, and jalapenos in marinara sauce. this sucker you better watch out for. a few of the jalapeno slices were pretty potent and shocked a few of my grubmates.

the bonnie brae. sundried tomato pesto, sundried tomatoes, and spinach. i liked this one too. i enjoyed the tartness from the sun wrinkled tomatoes and the bed of spinach made me feel like popeye with his deformed forearms. but in my case, my arms are gorgeous.

and of course, you MUST round out your masa experience with the chocolate croissant bread pudding. although you may develop another chin roll or another dimple on the buttocks, this dessert is rather worth it. simple, dignified, and remarkably delicious....don't we all enjoy simple desserts that make us happy?

masa is a cute spot for chillaxin eating. they are also known for their chicago deep dish pizzas which takes about 30 minutes to make. oh hell no. i would rather not wait if i can help it. maybe you can try it and tell me what i'm missing out on...or maybe you can't wait just like me.

Masa of Echo Park
1800 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 989-1558
price: $$
verdict: omg, i love it!

Masa of Echo Park on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 18, 2009

i'll drag you to drago

the best kinds of happy hours are the ones that you have when you're on vacation. this past friday was such a day. i collected a group of borkers (buddies/coworkers) and reminded myself that even though i'm not currently working, i still deserve to reward myself with some yummy drinks. mmmmm.....

drago centro is such a place to reward oneself with drinks. the space is modern and sleek for loungers, workers, or bums with change in their pockets like me with time to chillax.

happy hora goers have a communal table for drinking and eating inside, or seats in their covered patio for comfortable lounging purposes. we decided to seat ourselves at the communal table though it reminded me of my hong kong travel abroad days when i was forced to share table space with strangers ALL THE TIME. it's not like i can't do it, but i like my own space bitches! besides, communal tables means odd seating arrangements and fitting in where you can. do i look like a puzzle piece to you?! i don't like that.

i immediately started off with their delectable passione drink (all cocktails are $5, beers at $4, and wines were $5-$6). yummmy lychee, vodka, and peach flavors swimming in a martini glass. sweet, fruity tastes that makes you feel fuzzy like a peach. i didn't even work that day but i felt like i deserved it. actually, i always deserve vodka.

we shared a few things amongst us borkers for nibbling purposes. a due of kobe sliders with mushrooms ($7). so cute to look at, i just wanted to pinch their buns. tasty.

the summer truffle and mushroom pizza ($4). crispy.

fried boobs circa madonna's "vogue" days also known as saffron risotto fritters ($5). they were not popular amongst my borkers. i thought they tasted aight but they won't be repeated again.

bruschetta di mare ($3). an odd piece of anchovy sits on a bed of sweet tomato marmalade. i did not enjoy this. the diced tomatoes were way too sweet and the anchovy was too fishy to cut the sweetness effectively. it's like swishing a goldfish and jam in your mouth. does that sound pleasant to you?

i round house kicked the end of happy hora with the messicano which has a tequila base, lime juice, and orange bitters. loved this as well. i have yet to meet a glass of tequila that i didn't like, but then again, tequila has always been quite friendly to me.

i have a feeling that drago will lure me back with their cocktails, so delicious they were. although the food was a hit or miss, there were some nice nibblies to accompany the tasty drinks. and again, happy hour with validated valet is always a plus, plus in downtown l.a.

Drago Centro
525 S Flower StSte 120
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 228-8998

price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it!
Drago Centro on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

jessica is iron chef!

Jessica Koslow (Guest Chef)
3219 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 666-7133

price: $$$
verdict: omg, i love it!

once in a while, you discover someone you know who can cook fantabulously and all you can do after that is camp by their door, hoping that you will get invited over for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert...heck, all of it!

hey jessica! i know you! now i know you can cook! let me in *knock, knock, knock.* *crickets*

jessica koslow, fellow silverlaker and blogger (of was the guest chef at canele last night.

her tasting menu was outright delicious and thoughtful, utilizing locally sourced produce and meat. if pictures are worth a thousand words, then allow me to communicate to you my feelings about what i ate last night through my pics.

first course, cavolo nero salad with preserved meyer lemons and fingerling potatoes. the sourness of the preserved lemon dressing reminded me of my grandma and her jars of pickled lemons. delicious, tangy, tart taste but with a good punch to the tastebuds.


the second course was handmade poppy seed pappardelle with braised lamb and wild mushrooms in porter ragu. the pappardelle was delightful and oh so addicting! i had fleeting thoughts of a poppy seed pappardelle ribbon that kept going on forever like the yellow brick road except that at the end of this pappardelle ribbon is my big ole mouth and not a con artist of a wizard. the lamb was oh so so tender too. delicious.


the last course, the dessert, made my belly stretch like no other! a valrhona 66% caribe torino with homemade vanilla bean ice cream and pumpkin seed brittle. holy crap i should have worn a skirt and not my pants. the jeans is going to get tight after this one!

still working on it girl, still working on it. decadent chocolate with delicate vanilla ice cream. and that brittle, man it blew my mind. i loved it and i was told by our server that i got "extra" brittle in mine. woot woot! my dining partner looked at me with jealous eyes....and did i share the extra brittle? NOPE. thanks jessica!

done. pulverized. ready to roll home.

jessica did a great job with her tasting menu and canele is a sweet little space to enjoy good food. *sigh as i rub my belly*

Monday, October 12, 2009

getting rusty

Rustic Canyon
1119 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-7050

price: $$$
verdict: it's aight

last night, my friend celebrated her 34th birthday! whoo hoo! we took her to rustic canyon for some rusty eating. besides, she enjoys seasonal eats and rustic canyon prides itself in farmer market eats and utilizing sustainable foods in their menu.

the dining area itself reminds me of a chic, contemporary log cabin up in big bear. since there were a lot of *cough* mature people around, i didn't want to ruin their dinner experience with flashing camera lights. i would have liked to take a pic though.

instead of bread for you to nibble on while you decide on your entrees, you are provided with olives soaked in olive oil. a small container to place the olive pits is furnished for you so you can practice shooting the pits from your mouth into the container. i missed and the pit bounced off some senior citizen's head. KIDDING.

here's my friend holding up a container with a pit. i told her it looked like a roach.

i started off with a glass of malbec and ordered the niman ranch burger cuz i always do burgers. besides, my other friend was planning to order it too and i would hate to have to covet her burger if i got something else. the burger has grilled onions, gruyere cheese, arugala, and buttered pickles (which basically means more fatness for your fatness them evil delicious buttered pickles are). the hand cut fries were EXCELLENT and the aioli dip for them was unneccessary but appreciated. i generally don't care too much for ketchup. after a few bites, it's quite clear the burger was salty. :( my friend confirmed this as well. the birthday girl ordered the market vegetable ratatouille. she thought her dish was delicious.

we sweetly rounded off the night with the cinnamon sugared doughnuts with hot chocolate. not knowing what that tiny cup was for (the dessert did not come with a manual), but in hindsight, it might be for drinking! doh! but we drizzled it on the doughnuts anyways which was actually a very tasty move!

the donuts were not particularly airy or fluffy and had a crustiness to it. reminds me of a round churro. drizzling the hot chocolate introduced a bitter element to these sweet sugared donuts. it also gave some smoothness to the hard edges. overall, yummy, but i was greased out with the fries and only allowed one doughnut into my belly.

so another october birthday down! man, there's a lot of october babies out there. counting my circle of friends, there's already 4. people must like to get busy during january or something when it's cold....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

once in a while, i shave :0

Get Shaved
(818) 439-1053

price: $
verdict: it's aight

when i see a kogi truck, i think of the movie "joe's apartment," not cuz it's a roach coach, but because a swarm of twitter trucks usually tries to follow it which leads me to think of a swarm of roaches. i know, i make the weirdest connections. since the kogi truck has a bigger following amongst nomadic feeders, it's advantageous for other twitter trucks to go where the crowd goes especially if they have problems drumming up business on their own. at least then, they can sell some of their wares to some kogi fans. yup, that's what i think.

today kogi showed up at the silverlake flea market. my sis said they had a great tres leches dessert and charlie needed a walk anyways so we headed in that direction. oh my, what did we see?! three twitter trucks in a row: get shaved, kogi, and coolhaus ice cream truck. it was such a bizarre sight.

anyways, kogi ran out of dessert (boo!)...since last night. OH COME ON NOW...lame. since i didn't want to eat any savory items from them, we decided to check out "get shaved" instead. a-ha! another twitter truck to check off the list. this truck specializes in hawaiian style shaved ice.

hi there lady! she works for the dude that you see in the 1st pic wearing shorts. he was being interviewed by a usc student about the twitter truck phenomenon. i do not want to project my own feelings about this, but i thought he sounded a bit annoyed. kudos to him for answering her questions even though intermittently, i heard her say "oh, i forgot what i was going to ask you....." fail.

my sis decided to get the "root beer dream" ($3.50) which was root beer syrup over soft (FREAKIN' SOFT. SOFT LIKE A NEWBORN BABY'S BUTT SOFT) shaved ice with vanilla ice cream and condensed milk. she didn't think it tasted root beerish enough and everything overall tasted too sweet. when i took a bite, i concurred. too sweet!

i ordered "monkey brains" ($3.50) which was strawberry and banana syrup over soft shaved ice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and condensed milk. this one tasted A LOT better though STILL way too sweet. once it was mixed with the vanilla ice-cream, the sweetness diluted a bit, but methinks not enough.

they also had a mysterious brown bottle of powder at their counter. i did not know that cocaine went well with shaved ice. after some inquiry, i found out that "LHM" stood for "Li Hing Mui" which in chinese means "white people you're not going to like this."

it has a very distinctive sour preserved plum taste to it like japanese umeboshi so unless you like those taste profiles, i strongly suggest you don't do it. perhaps you can squeeze some on your palm and give it a lick before you dump it on your shaved ice like i did. *squeeze* actually, i love umeboshi so i enjoyed the sourness on this mountain of sweetness. not the greatest combo ever, but the sweetness needed to be cut with ninja swiftness and LHM was called upon to do the trick.

i'm definitely impressed by how finely shaved the ice was, but in general, the sweetness of these syrups just KILLS ME. ack! i don't plan to follow "get shaved" on twitter nor will i patronize it again. but if you like sweet shaved ice and have gone to hawai'i recently, then perhaps this will bring back fond memories of coconut bras and tropical island nights. i've read that their shaved ice is as close as you can get to the real deal back on the big island. anyways, aloha food fans.

Get Shaved on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

komasa inspires pop chart hits!

351 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 680-1792
price: $$
verdict: omg, i love it!
i would like to resurrect an old song that i wrote because of my complete adoration of komasa. here it goes:

(read my review to the tune of sir-mix-a-lot's "baby got back")

oh, my, god. becky, look at is so small. *scoff* it looks like, one of those hole in the walls....
i love komasa and i cannot lie
you other sushi eaters can't deny
that when you walk into this itty bitty place
and you get tuna in your face
you get sprung, wanna pull out your gut
'cause you notice that sushi roll was stuffed
sitting at the sushi bar i'm staring
i'm hooked and i can't stop swearing
that "oh baby, your food's the best"
let me take some foodie pictures
my homegirls tried to warn me
but that spicy tuna roll you got makes me so hungry
ooh, rump-o'-salmon-skin
you say you wanna feed my friends?
well, feed me, feed me
'cause we ain't your average sushi groupies
i've seen them rollin'
and here i sit just droolin'
komasa's da shit, da best,
got it goin' like a turbo 'vette
i'm tired of trying other things
and hearing people sayin' other sushi places have the best thing
take an avid sushi eater and ask him that
we say "other places are just plain whack"
so, foodies! (yeah!) foodies! (yeah!)
do you like to eat some sushi stuff? (hell yeah!)
then go shake it! (shake it!) shake it! (shake it!)
shake your healthy gut to komasa!
komasa's NOT whack!

when i first chanced upon komasa about 5+ years ago, it was love at first bite. to me, it epitomized what i called "the sweet spot," not the "g-spot" you nasties. a sweet spot is sweet because pricing is just right and you get great food to boot. for many years, komasa was a sweet, sweet, sugary sweet sushi spot for me. although i always ate a lot and waddled out with only a few bucks left in my pockets anyways, i knew it was a great deal. quality was tip top and the fish you were served were thick fish slabs...ridiculously thick to the point where i look at the owner a.k.a. sushi chef from time to time and wonder if he's making any profit.

hi owner! me likey your sushi!

for many years, i went once a week. eventually my consistency petered out in the name of food blogging and going on food hunts. the last time i went to komasa was about 5 months ago and after going this past friday, i see that komasa has suffered from the economic downturn as well. the sushi...are finally regular sized now :( i miss my ginormous komasa slices. :( sushi quality is still great though. delicious. well, into my belly went:

albacore salad. seared albacore, avacado, gubo (japanese root), shredded iceburg lettuce, shredded cabbage, bean sprouts, sliced cucumbers, and seaweed in a delicious, tart (probably ponzu) vinegrette. it is quite a hearty salad and super yumtastic.

blood red maguro (tuna) so deep in its coloration that it looks magenta. holy freshness it is! uni (sea urchin), and scallop sushi (fresh scallop pieces mixed with mayo and smelt eggs).

let me take a quick second to write a love note to the great sea urchin since i heart it so much:

roses are red,
violets are blue,
when i stick you in my mouth,
i taste the ocean, yes i really do.

ok, perhaps i'm not an emily dickenson with my words to my beloved sea urchin, but my god thank you poseidon for offering such a lovely silky sea tofu that is the sea urchin. a sushi dinner is never complete without it. and thank you komasa for keeping it under $6 and not at mp (market price) like other bastards.

and OF COURSE, i get their spicy tuna and lots of it! of all the spicy tuna rolls i've eaten ever, komasa reigns supreme. perfect spiciness to this kewpie mayo concoction.

spicy tuna cut roll. mmmmmm...

spicy tuna handroll. told you i love this shit and eating it in different ways DOES make a difference :)

two orders of lovely albacore. do keep in mind that i came with a friend. sheesh.

unagi (freshwater eel). one for you and one for me? i like the sweetness to it and the crispy edges.

topped it all off with a mixed tempura chaser and we have a winner here folks. it always feels so right when i grub at komasa.

there's always a cute toothpick holder that accompanies the bill. it appears that christmas cheer has already seeped into this sushi dwelling.

i always order everything that i've just shown you and i'm as regular about it as your bowel movements. komasa is pretty popular and during peak hours starting from 6:30-7 p.m., you can expect about a 45 minute to an hour wait. if you're not THAT hungry, you can always stroll around the vicinity and grab a few japanese snacks while you wait.

Sushi Komasa on Urbanspoon

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