Wednesday, December 29, 2010

pappaRich has super buttery buns!

destructive behavior means willingly engaging oneself in bad-for-you activities. for instance, like eating candy right before your dentist appointment or smoking crack. if you find yourself in the presence of this man, he will surely enable you in every single destructive way possible. don't let that happy smile fool ya. bad man.

he guards the entrance to his lair of badness....a lair known for especially entrapping people with muffin tops and those that swear that they won't eat badly anymore but end up DOING THE EXACT OPPOSITE. oh man, i confess...i'm one of THOSE. how the heck did i end up with greasy, buttery lips when i promised i wouldn't overindulge on random fats anymore? fail.

for $5.25, this combo snack did me in. their fragrant english tea washed down the buttery evidence left from their signature papparich bun.

and their bun. dear lord. this korean style bun has a layer of mocha cream paste on top which gets melted on the bun during the baking process. the resulting effect is a sweet, somewhat crunchy exterior. once you break into the bun, you reveal soft, pillowy bread innards AND an alarming pat of butter in the center that barely melted through. "holy crap, i just bought bigger pants yesterday!" i exclaimed once i took my initial bite. the sopping buttery middle was a little bit too much for me to enjoy so i ate around it like a beaver gnawing on tasty driftwood. although papparich has oodles of die hard fans, for once, the fatty in me actually thought it was too buttery and just.too.much. go figure.

i will probably give these buttery buns another try and only if they are piping hot. not to mention all the coffee choices that i did not partake in which warrants a second visit. till then, i give papparich a lukewarm high five.

100 W. Green St.

Pasadena, CA 91105

(626) 440-0009
price: $
verdict: it's aight
Pappa Rich on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 24, 2010

robata JINYA for ramen eating wehonians

the last few days of getting hammered by unrelentless rain has thoroughly soaked my soul through and through. my shriveled up phalanges turned into flesh colored raisins rather than their normal plump selves that i use to scratch my calves with....but i digress. the main point is that it's been miserably cold and rather dampening to the spirits.

so as i sat slightly shivering on my dog gnawed forest green sofa, i recalled the time after the eat my blog bake sale when i inhaled a bowl full of ramen which left me feeling warm and toasty inside....ahhh, domo arigato mr. robata JINYA. your bowl of ramen would have been such a blessing during these cold, wet, l.a. days.

while the raindrops pounded my wee roof like pellets shot out of a cloudy bebe gun, i often found myself daydreaming about their hakata tonkotsu ramen ($9.50). the complex broth, al dente ramen, and the slices of chasu (though not quite melt-in-your-mouth like daikokuya) would have lifted my spirits even though it would not have dried my socks. the limited servings of 20 orders per day made it the "must order" choice for me that night, though the other ramen choices sounded just as delicious. if you are nowhere near daikokuya, this bowl of ramen would be a fantastic alternative.

i also ordered two robatayakis (skewered and grilled eats). dipping sauce was provided for your, erm, dipping pleasure. there was a yuzu and sesame oil dip, a cilantro dip, and a spicy mayo dip. my favorites were definitely between the yuzu and cilantro ones which did not coat your bites with shlack as thickly as the mayo one did.

the first skewer up was the japanese pumpkin ($1.90) which i suspect to be the kabocha pumpkin. its subtle hint of sweetness was accentuated by tiny flecks of salt sprinkled on during the grilling process. earthy and unadulturated. i like.

the eggplant ($1.80) was a surprise when it arrived to me under a flurry of bonito flakes. tender from the grill, the eggplant was a tasty mush in my mouth. and the bonito flakes? YUM. if you enjoy the taste of smoke, dried bonito fish, then the marriage between the two was a perfect balance of flavors.

robata jinya is a wonderful addition to weho, allowing wehonians that crave ramen to find a tasty bowl close to home. although i was rained in the past couple of days, the memories of such soul warming food made me long for an authentic bowl as i heifed down a bowl of instant ramen at home. anyways, till we meet again...or more realistically, if you have a spot for walk-ins like me!

merry christmas peeps and have a jolly good night!

Robata JINYA
8050 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 653-8877 price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it!
Robata JINYA on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 20, 2010

ob bear for the chicken win!

i do not advocate drowning one's sorrows in alcohol, but if you MUST haze your memory or dull the pain brought upon you by a disgruntled god(s), then i suggest you drown yourself in a huge pitcher of hite beer at ob bear. that's right, the bitterness of life can be momentarily forgotten here as you experience all levels of delicious excess.

accompanied by danny of kung food panda fame and d, my usual eating partner in crime, we spent a night drinking, chatting, and sweating as the food burned our tongues whilst the beer simultaneously cooled i had remembered, the ob bear menu did not disappoint and was lavish and craveable as usual. but not wanting a food gut on top of a beer gut, we ordered modestly for two lean boy bellies and my very pudgy roaming one.

we started off with the infamous ob bear fried chicken. the chicken skin was fried to such a delicate crisp that it reminded me of savory tissue paper that one finds in a child's art project. the chicken meat itself was moist and slightly salty and did not require any condiments with it. the finely shredded cabbage slaw with the thousand island dressing was intriguingly delicious as well. i found myself plucking strands of cabbage to eat in between my bites of chicken.

the spicy chicken wings were torturously delicious as well. the sweet heat stung my tongue like a million furious korean bees. as i ate, i inhaled and exhaled feverishly to temper the heat, but to no avail. trying to tame that sweet heat was like dousing fire with gasoline...not going to work. as my dining partners sweated the spiciness out of their systems, i just whined "ohhhmyyygoood this is spicy!" but sooooooo good. very craveable and a must order as well when you visit ob bear.

danny then suggested an order of korean blood sausage. since i've had multiple versions of blood encased in a tube from other cuisines, i was intrigued to sample the korean version. once i nibbled on a slice, i immediately fell in bloody love. i absolutely enjoyed the noodles incorporated in the blood sausage. each bite was springy AND spicy. dangit, everything we ate sans the fried chicken were spicy. i was pretty ready for a tongue transplant at the end of this meal.

although my tongue burned slowly from all these spicy eats, the bottomless glass of hite beer momentarily dulled the heat and my worries. ob bear is a place where sorrows do not exist and the only thing i have to worry about is whether there's enough belly real estate to sock down all these delicious spicy eats. what a damn fine meal i had here...and thanks danny for your company!

OB Bear
3002 W. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 480-4910

price: $$
verdict: omg, i love it!
OB Bear on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 12, 2010

it's offally delicious at animal!

nine inch nails might want to "f**k you like an animal," but all i want to do is eat the entire beast one offalicious part at a time. methinks it's less messy that way and definitely way tastier. what better way to do so than at animal.

to eat the beast, one should have a glass of something something to moisten the lips. i chose to wet mine with a glass of silvaner 2009 ($12) which was delicately sweet to my tastebuds and soothed it just right for the intense savory violation of my tongue that was to follow.

our ordering frenzy quickly commenced as all parts of the beast(s) were considered for ultimate mastication. we started with the pig ear ($12) seasoned with chili and lime and topped with a fried egg. the slivers of deep fried porky ears peeked from underneath a blanket of soft, fried egg. once popped, the egg yolk coated the bold limey flavors that made my tongue spasm in a most delicious way. omg.

the sweetbreads ($14) with pickled crosnes and spicy sweet & sour sauce were slightly less successful. the heavily battered, fried thymus lost its naturally creamy texture and the overpowering sweetness of the sauce absolutely masked its flavors. sweetbreads, when treated with a delicate touch are absolutely creamy and sinful.

one taste of the chicken liver toast ($3) may possibly compel you to reach into a live chicken to rip out its raw liver for your immediate consumption. OR, you can head straight to animal and taste their artful preparation of it. this.was.divine.and.i.require.a.dozen.stat.

the bone marrow ($10) with chimichurri sauce and caramelized onions is probably one of the tastiest renditions of this animal vaseline to date. the heavily buttered toast made me speed dial jenny craig to report to her my sins.

the foie gras loco moco ($35) with its slippery piece of foie, thin sheet of spam, a petite round of hamburger meat, and small fried quail egg was a definite crowd pleaser. we continued to pluck the rice off the plate though the main star of this one plate show was long gone.

the poutine ($15) with oxtail gravy and cheddar was heavy and salty. though vastly adored by many food enthusiasts, this dressed up french fry dish was slightly too salty for me.

the one and only green dish of the night, the baby kale ($9) with pecorino, lemon and chili vinaigrette was hearty foliage for our mouth. deliciously prepared and crunchy, i could have eaten another mound of this...and another, and another.

the bbq pork belly sandwiches ($12) with slaw had a heavy hand of sweet bbq sauce. this order was probably the weakest of the night and could have been skipped without much protest.

the hamachi tostada ($14) with herbs, fish sauce vinaigrette, and peanut was weak as well. the delicate hamachi lost its essence as it absorbed the fish sauce.

the night ended sweetly with the sticky toffee pudding ($7) with mascarpone and orange zest. sticky and sweet indeed these jenga-like blocks were dense and moist and were enthusiastically scraped off the plate.

but the best dessert between the two was the panna cotta ($7) for sure. the texture was a cross between whipped frosting and smooth almond jello. delicate and creamy, this was easily the best and smoothest way to end the night.

omg, i may not want to f**k you like an animal, but i give you permission to violate my tongue. without a doubt, animal is a great place to celebrate the beast, one offalicious part at a time. i SHALL return.

435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 782-9225

price: $$$
verdict: omg, i love it!
Animal on Urbanspoon
Animal Restaurant in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Monday, December 6, 2010

sweet successes for the eat my blog bake sale 2010

once in a while, you might get an offer that you cannot refuse. so when cathy of gastronomy blog asked me to join her and the eat my blog committee (consisting of diana of diana takes a bite and laurie of g-ma's bakery) to become the fourth member, i COULD NOT refuse. charity, baked goods, a fried farro lunch meeting with rendered bacon bits at canele? yes ladies, sign me up!

so i did. i quickly found myself swept up in a whirlwind of eat my blog logistics, helping internally and blogging for the sweet cause as needed. i also brought back my one hit wonder, my yummy rummies for my third stab at baking for the bake sale (they were sold out of course, thanks to my shameless promotion of them and empty threats at customers with fists shaking. yes, i'm quite persuasive ;)~

though the day was exhausting, it was a truly wonderful experience to behold. the camaraderie i witnessed between food bloggers, sweet eaters, and plain ole charitable peeps was a warming sight indeed. furthermore, our common desire to contribute to the los angeles regional food bank whose main mission is to "fight hunger" resonated deeply within all of us and we are proud to say that the winter 2010 edition of eat my blog has raised over $3,700 adding to a grand total of over $12,000 for this three timing bake sale.

too many yummy goods to choose from!

watching your waistline? no problem.

the long but successful day ended with a glass of ice cold hard apple cider at the burger kitchen and a ramen dinner at robata jinya (to be blogged). although barely alert at that point, i knew in the back of my fuzzy mind that my participation in the eat my blog planning committee was an offer i truly could not refuse. so glad that i didn't.....

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

happy family restaurant for good faux meats

after watching too many kung-fu movies back in the days, i've always associated vegetarian food with tofu, rice, and bland veggies....well, that's what the shaolin monks were eating before they kicked some serious ass in defensive righteousness. cool, but not tasty.

needless to say, the belief that vegetarian food was flavorless (thank you monks) pervaded my thoughts whenever i came across vegetarian options. why eat bland when i can eat cow? yes, that is a question i ask myself on a daily basis....that is until a few years ago when my practicing buddhist friend took me to happy family restaurant and swore up and down atlantic blvd that it was the best vegetarian eats ever. she was definitely 85% in the right with this one.

i came back a few days ago to their brand new location in the shopping center right off the 10 freeway (the one with the 24 hour fitness). they pretty much packed all their tables and chairs and moved shop, but the food was still as tasty and as righteous as it ever was.

their sweet and sour soup was tart and tangy. this bowl packed as much of a punch as one might expect from the flying fists of a shaolin monk. on a cold day, it immediately warmed my soul and spirit.

the minced squab in lettuce ($7.95) is probably their best selling appetizer and a must order for all. each lettuce cup contained finely minced jicama, marinated tofu, and slivers of fried wonton skins. each ingredient contributed to quite a flavorful explosion of flavors for your mouth.

since we caught them at their "happy hour" prices which occurs between the hours of 2:45 to 5:00, we ordered two additional dishes at recession friendly prices. this vegetarian fish with spicy sauce ($5.95) has a spongy texture, a fishy taste, and will confound your tastebuds because during certain bites, it REALLY did taste like fish even though it's not. weirdness.

without a doubt, my absolute FAVORITE dish is their vegetarian deep fried house chicken ($5.95) which is battered white button mushrooms slathered in orange sauce. hold the presses, this tastes EXACTLY like panda express orange chicken. and if you flirt with the ghetto fast food side of life like me upon occasion because you hanker after eats like mcdonald's french fries or panda express orange chicken, then this will not disappoint. the only disappointment you will feel is when your dining partner robs you of the last piece.

i really love this place because it's flavorful, reasonable, down to earth, and best of all, i spared a few animals from heading towards the great green pasture in the sky. FURTHERMORE, places like these remind me that explosively delicious flavors need not come from michelin stars or celebrity chefs. tasty is tasty. ok, now i need to go meditate whilst i rub my belly.

Happy Family Restaurant
608 N Atlantic Blvd

Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 282-8986

price: $$
verdict: omg, i love it!
Happy Family Restaurant 3 on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 28, 2010

my yummy rummies for the eat my blog bake sale

what do you think vanilla ice, biz markie, and the roaming belly have in common? (other than the ability to rap of course).

we are all ONE HIT WONDERS. yup, that's right! this is my third time baking for the eat my blog bake sale and i've decided that THE ONE baked good that seems to be a hit are my rum cakes. here are a few past GLOWING reviews as i attempt to convince you to come by and purchase a few on december 4th at tender greens in weho.

hari says, "I was one of the lucky ones to get your rum cake. It was really good and reminded me of one of my favourites, the rich plum cake, from back home in India. It was that good!"

harriet b. said, "the BEST rum cake ever!!! bought it at the bake sale and just started in on it today. fabulous topping, not too much rum and cake was velvety moist and delicious. YUM!!!!"

um, if those aren't glowing endorsements for my rum cakes, then i have no future in sales. but seriously, i AM stoked, and i hope you are STOKED, too. not only do you get to satiate your sweet tooth, you can also feel warm and fuzzy knowing that your money will be donated to the los angeles regional food bank! so please come by and say hi, then buy, and then eat...and possibly repeat.

also, visit the eat my blog blog for a complete list of baked goods available for purchase AND sneak peeks of sweets that will make your teeth ache. AND i hear a kitchen aid stand mixer donated by tastespotting and wine shop certificates to domaineLA will be raffled off as well. the whole event is getting tastier by the minute! i'm excited!

see you soon!

Monday, November 22, 2010

furballs and ludo truck's getting rolly-poly up in here

i'm a dog lova, but i recalled a time when i was a cat lova too. in particular, with a white cat that wore a red bow and a frog that had too many syllables to its name, seven syllables in fact. i just counted.

when the opportunity arose for me to check out the sanrio small gift pop-up shop on its last day in l.a., i was stoked...i mean, i was meowed. talk about a walk down memory lane. *sigh*

hardcore fans lined up to do mucho cutsey things. hello, hello kitty! and hello to you too badtz-maru!

after winding ourselves in and around the small space that housed this hello kitty clusterfuck, we promptly headed out to the back where the food trucks were located. low and behold, i spy with my little eye a big red coq. kitties and coqs...this is getting unreal folks. seriously.

although other food trucks were present; manila machine, ahn joo truck, che truck, etc...we were drawn to ludo's bold red truck and the images of crispy chicken balls in our mouths. if it wasn't for the impending gorge fest that involves a turkey, this tale may have a different that involves lots of truckin' good food and one ginormous belly.

we started off with the refreshing basil blood orange drink ($2.28). lovely and refreshing. the hint of basil and the blood orange juice was a perfect compliment to each other. i think they need to start thinking about selling them in big gulp sizes.

the infamous ludo balls, the balls that compell most women AND men to clamor after them. this two piece provencal pepitte combo ($7.52) came with ludo slaw, fries, and a choice of dipping sauce.

as expected, the chicken balls were tender and juicy in the middle. the herbaceous fragrance that were infused into these balls tingled my nose hairs and added an exceptional sophistication to otherwise, err...well executed fried chicken. the bearnaise dipping sauce which i chose was a limey and creamy compliment. for an EXTRA $0.68 (boo), we got the piquillo pepper dipping sauce as well. it reminded me of sriracha....

we also got the two-piece honey glazed garlic wings combo ($7.52) which also came with fries and ludo slaw. they were delicious and sticky and will definitely appeal to those that love the savory/sweet food profile. man they would make terrific snacks during a l.a. kings hockey game!

the entire meal was $19.76 (tax included). although my post may sound riddled with conflicting messages, i would have to concur with other diners that the value was just not there...YES they were tasty, but these were definitely appetizers and not a meal. and peoples, i was looking to eat.

so after the chicken balls and kitty love, we finally left. thank god we came at the time we did because a long line had already formed to get in. bye bye kitties and coq!

Sanrio Pop-Up Tour

Ludo Truck
(213) 973-8839

price: $
verdict: tasty, try it
Ludo Truck on Urbanspoon
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