Friday, April 30, 2010

kob kun kaa to nakkara on beverly

i knew when i received an invitation from kevineats for a media dinner at nakkara on beverly that he had seen the picture of me gripping two thick sausages and had wanted to meet the woman behind that iron fist. don't lie.

but in all seriousness, an invitation to a blogger's dinner? of course! i was more than happy to flex my strong fingers to meet fellow food fanatics and eat some good thai food to boot.

nakkara on beverly is a cute, cozy little place with the hugest floral arrangement in the center of the room. the good ambience lends itself to being a good date place especially if you need to crank up the spice level with the one you are wooing.

being the good host that he is, kevin brought libations for us to wet our lips as we stuffed face. nothing like yummy alcohol to bring out the asian glow peoples. love it!

we quickly commenced on our 13 course tasting menu which began with one of my favorites items of the night, the nakkara mieng kham. think of it like a lettuce wrap stuffed with toasted coconut shavings, cashew, dried shrimp, and a small piece of lime, skin and all. you might feel a tiny urge to pick the lime out and squeeze it, or even worse, to toss it out altogether due to the skin, but DON'T. that burst of limey-ness is the best part of this tiny package. i also recommend that you take it in one bite or you will miss the complexity of this divine little starter. and why should you believe me? i know cuz i use to eat this stuff at my thai friend's house all the time and only stopped when my belly ached! in fact, i thought of them as the familiar flavors exploded in my mouth once again. however, if you're not a coconut fan, i warn you that the sweet mieng sauce is entirely muddled with it. delicious though, delicous.

the spicy filet mignon skewer was small and compact. if you don't have a gag reflex when stuffing long things down your throat..ahem..then you can possibly take this whole skewer at once. not to name names, BUT i saw one person that was able to do that. i won't reveal who, but i was sure impressed! the green curry sauce that accompanied it was rich and thick. i would have loved some rice for that yummy curry.

garlic lamb chop with deep fried crispy garlic bits. i don't eat lamb often, but this one was nicely executed and lacked the gamey smell. i also enjoyed the lamb fat, now who would have, yes, it makes sense. i like fat PERIOD.

peking duck rolls. i LOVE duck, but this particular duck roll did not have enough duck presence...a lackluster quack if you will.

oh boy, the BIG SUPRISE! first off, i love suprises (as long as they're good of course and there's no dick hiding inside just love the name for the dish! it came undercover like alien technology....

and then suprise! little portions of steamed calamari and shredded crab meat in coconut milk and red curry paste. i really enjoyed this as well and and totally worth it for you to drop by nakkara for a taste. superb.

a duo of soups, the shrimp tom yum or the chicken tom kha. i preferred the tom yum because the tom kha was very rich and thick in coconut milk. especially at this point in the night, it behooved me to go a little lighter.

green papaya salad dressed with chili lime juice. this papaya salad definitely reminded me of the vietnamese version but without the liver jerkey that usually accompanies it. this salad had a great heat too which was spicy, lingering, but not overpowering. now THAT is my kind of spice. i never understood spicy till you sweat and cry, i really don't. go ahead, you can call me a crybaby.

the soft shell crab panaeng was lightly battered and deep fried with deep fried basil leaves and a panaeng curry paste. i thought the soft shell crab was a little too delicate for this strong curry abuse. perhaps the curry could have been served on the side as a dipping sauce.

the crying tiger was another rather delicious dish. the flame grilled rib-eye steak had a chili pepper sauce to it. i really loved the limey presence in the sauce.

911 catfish was also quite delicious. i love how a deep fried fish can still retain such moistness!

seafood pad thai which was a bit TOO MOIST for me. the seafood on top was wonderfully cooked though and snazzed up your typical pad thai dish.

another delicious dish, the surf and turf fried rice. first off, fried is just plain popular as a food item, but pair it up with some well cooked filet mignon and shrimp, then you get a winner's winner.

the fabulous dinner was rounded out with an iconic thai dessert, mango and sticky rice. i thought the flavors of the sticky rice were coconutty and sweet ,but not overpowering, a thankful departure from some super sweet ones i've had in the past. and riped just gotta love them.

kob kun kaa (hope i spelled that right) to chef kevin sukcharoen and sous chef supannee noochoo at nakkara on beverly for a delicious dinner and OF COURSE kevin for the invite. and also thanks to all my fellow food fanatics, food je t'aime, diana takes a bite, kung food panda, and the food ledger for a night of good laughs and inside foodie info. without you guys, i would not have gained another 5 pounds. damn yous!
Nakkara on Beverly
7669 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it!
Nakkara on Beverly on Urbanspoon
Nakkara on Beverly in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Monday, April 26, 2010

l.a. kings and tenderless chicken tenders

very rarely do i witness dreams getting crushed, but yesterday i did. although my grown man friend has a cool exterior and a placid face, somewhere inside, his inner child cried because the L.A. Kings lost to the Vancouver Canucks. BAM, POW, out of the playoffs they went, just like that. it was so sad.

the sad story began with the kings herd making its way towards the staples center. the kings pride was pretty palatable and everybody donned their kings gear ready for a victory riot if it were to happen....but of course it wouldn't *tears.* i also saw a lot of hoochies and after a second of reflection decided that OF COURSE there would be because it's a testosterone laden event which means it's the perfect venue to have many men google at perky boobs and big hair. no seriously, how come you ladies ain't cold? i literally covered myself like i was going to the antartic.

(even magic johnson donned his kings outfit in support)

as i beeped through the security line with a security wand at my crotch, there was no denying the hunger pangs that i felt. after all, it was dinner time so i beelined for the nearest eatery that served anything remotely fried cuz we all know that sporting event + hunger = a fistful of obligatory fried eats. skyline grill was such the place for greasy eating.

i got myself some chicken tenders with fries. the chicken was so heavily breaded that it did not retain even a semblance of chicken or tenderness. and the ranch dressing that i use to dip everything including my fingers had a sweetness to it which i found completely strange and unappealing. peoples, what is up with putting sugar in everything?!?!

my friend, who was obviously unaware of the greasy sporting eats formula, went the sophisticated route and got a pastrami sammich at cooke's corner. i did not see a deep fryer anywhere.

(carving some pastrami for his sammich)

although pretty to look at, it was none too tasty either. if your tongue has been spoiled by langer's pastrami sammich or anything similar to that caliber, then you would be better off saving a few dollars and eating a few dried up chicken tenders with yours truly.

we settled down and the L.A. Kings scored the first goal of the night. i got so excited that i almost catapulted my chicken tender through the air.

but the momentum did not last. the score eventually tied at kings: 2, canucks: 2.

at this point, i definitely needed a sweet pick me up. i recalled the last caramel apple i had here was delicious, but this apple really sucked....just like the canucks. the caramel was one degree shy of tasting burnt. i should have returned the darn thing, but i didn't.

well, just like the chicken tenders and the caramel apple, the game was a total loss. although i enjoyed rooting for the kings, i did not enjoy hearing the collective groan expelled from the spectators at the staples center when the canucks won 4 to 2. although my friend would not admit it, i'm sure his inner child along with countless others cried a little that night.

oh well boys, there's always next season. the end.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

a feast fit for a lioness at soowon galbi korean bbq

once in a while, my inner lioness bares its teeth and i find myself craving red meat...and lots of it. this usually happens when i watch too much national geographic. when i find myself in this carnivorous situation, korean bbq is probably my most favorite way of satiating this hungry lioness. where else can you find piles and piles of savory meat grilling in front of you? and the smell...good god *wimper* it only makes my belly churn in hungry anticipation at the mere thought of it. lucky for me, soowon galbi in koreatown fitted the bill and delivered a most delicious meaty meal to my inner lioness...grrrrroowl......

i went there with another meatatarian for dinner and felt relieved that we were quickly seated with a beautiful banchan laid out for our dining pleasure. i enjoyed the variety of sides they offered, ranging from their hometown buffet-esque pasta salad to cubes of sweet korean tubers. each dish tickled a different tastebud on my tongue and left me wanting more.

we quickly ordered their soowon specialty galbi and bulgolgi to commence the carnage. their short rib was pretty unique because it's one big bone with a long strip of meat attached to it. it's presented to you in a rolled up state, but once unfurled, you will see that its length rivals gene simmon's notorious tongue. but UNLIKE gene simmon's tongue, i felt this strong, uncontrollable urge to stuff it in my mouth.

(the tender galbi was marinated to a fetching sweetness and the charcoal grill that cooked this luscious pile of meat gave it the perfect char. mmmm...dead cow).

i suggest that you dip the spanking hot galbi pieces in one of the seasoned dips provided for you. my favorite was the simple concoction of sesame oil and salt. once dipped, i placed the galbi gently on the rice wrapper (very similar to vietnamese ban cuon) and then very crudely smushed it into my mouth so that my set of pearly yellows could grind it down to a fine meaty pulp. that night, all i did was stuff face in this fashion. forget the bowl of rice. kbbq perfection for me comes in this package ONLY.

the bulgogi was also sweet, tender, and delicious though it got somewhat burnt as i neglected it in favor of the galbi. besides, i'm a lioness, not a cook.

the service was quick and attentive. the atmosphere bright and lively. the meal finally ended with a refreshing sip of barley tea. as i rubbed my belly happily, my inner lioness purred in contentment, scheming the next opportunity for another soowon carnage. ahhh, thank god for red meat :)

Soowon Galbi Korean BBQ
856 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 365-9292

price: $$
verdict: omg, i love it!
Soowon Galbi on Urbanspoon
Soowon Galbi Korean BBQ in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Sunday, April 18, 2010

x-rated eatings at mario's italian deli and market

i've never understood the allure of a "bad boy." what's there to like about rude dudes that make you worry and feel disrespected all the time? i've known friends that ONLY date bad boys, but the end was always the same...lots of tears and therapy sessions at a bar. good thing i like my guys straight-laced and nice...that is, until i met mario.

i was first swept off my feet by mario's sausages. they are thick and spicy, just the way i like it. if you love a good sausage, then believe you me, mario's sausages are quite the mouthful and will leave you clamoring for more, and clamor you will, i guarantee it.

then i went back because i discovered his other offerings (click on the pic if the small print fails ya).

i already knew he had a good sausage, but i discovered he was a "bad boy" as well. although it was against my nature to even associate with one, the honey maple turkey and avacado description seemed too entincing to deny. against my better judgement i ordered one and took a bite.....

the bad boy sammich came to me so very thick and glorious.

an awakening occured within me when i wrapped my mouth around that toothsome sammich. the only noise i made was "omfg!" did the heavens sing?! YES! better yet, was it orgasmic?! HELLS YES! the symphony of flavors that stormed on my tongue swept through a heavenly spectrum of sweet, savory, and tarty flavor profiles. each component of the bad boy sammich was critical for an absolutely heavenly explosion in my mouth. omg, i love you, you bad, bad, bad boy!

there are most certainly many other things to try at mario's, being a delicious deli and whatnot.

BUT when i'm there, i only have a one tracked mind because even though i never thought i would want a bad boy, it was only after meeting mario that i discovered that that’s all i ever need OR want….

Mario's Italian Deli & Market
740 E Broadway
Glendale, CA 91205
(818) 242-4114

price: $
verdict: omg, i love it!
Mario's Italian Deli & Market on Urbanspoon
Mario's Italian Deli & Market in Los Angeles

Thursday, April 15, 2010

1.5 viets at the viet noodle bar

if you don't pay for $10 sammiches, then i sure as heck don't pay for $10 pho....until my friend made me do it. it was not by gunpoint that i went, though her sweet voice can definitely pierce my soul like a gunshot through my heart. yes, she's so nice that i get guilted into doing things, like eating at viet noodle bar in atwater heifing down $10 pho. man, she's good.

so we go and i see why it might be $10 for a bowl of pho ga (chicken pho). brick walls cost more than $10 right?

and long communal tables with lots of chairs cost more than $10 right? the environment looks cool, hip, and ready to take advantage of your wallet, it really does.

we started with the jackfruit appetizer. i wanted to try this dish because i always think of sweet yellow jackfruit in vietnamese che (a sweet that stuff!) and was curious what a savory version might taste like. when the plate came out, i immediately nabbed a piece of the jackfruit which tasted blanched. the flavors of this dish were actually sourced from the other items cooked with it such as the fried shallots, tofu pieces, and shitake mushrooms. the jackfruit did not have much of a taste presence at all which was a shame...what a misleading name for the appetizer.

you scoop the jackfruit concoction with a piece of the black sesame rice cracker. after a few scoops, i gave up because it was neither innovative nor mind blowing. this belly doesn't need more junk. meh.

here's the $10 bowl of pho ga which my friend loved and i felt compelled to order. i rarely eat pho ga outside of my momma's home because she's a fantabulous vietnamese cook so when i dipped my chopsticks in, i was ready to unload tons of criticism.....

but i didn't. whut?! first off, the noodles were just perfect. i found out from my friend, who is a viet noodle bar groupie, that the owner had spent 5 years in vietnam learning how to make these pho noodles from scratch. now THAT is dedication to your craft. the soup base was sweet and clear which is always a good sign and the chicken pieces were tender. it was simple and delicious and did not disappoint. yum!

although i probably wouldn't come back for another $10 bowl of this pho ga because i have a cute, older, round vietnamese woman cooking for me for free, i don't think this place is a bad place to turn to AT ALL for some pho long as you don't mind paying $10 for it of course.

Viet Noodle Bar
3133 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 906-1575

price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it!
Viet Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon
Viet Noodle Bar in Los Angeles
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