Monday, May 31, 2010

r.i.p. pioneer chicken

memorial day.

another one has fallen.

r.i.p. pioneer chicken. although you weren't as tasty as i remembered you from my childhood, i still felt sad when i saw the fence come up a few months ago. after all, even though my palate has changed, we were still old friends afterall. perhaps i can find your cousin up north when i want to reminisce.

Pioneer Chicken
4376 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
323) 663-2441

Friday, May 28, 2010

so kong dong does not go wong with its soon dubu

not sure why man invented fire when all we do nowadays is eat things in its raw state. i, for one, do not shy away from raw things cuz i LOVE the simple, somewhat cleansing taste of uncooked dead meat. muhahahha. sashimi, tartare, carpaccios...oh yum. as long as it's not too bloody of course or make a noise when i fork it. so when i heard about a korean style spicy raw crab, i was all over it...not to mention they have a good pot of bubbly soon dubu (spicy silken tofu stew) to boot which i was eager to try since the last salty bcd tofu disaster.

so kong dong is located in a plaza right behind hodori. going for a late dinner meant parking was not an issue though i imagine that it would be rather hellish during the daytime. the space itself was very clean and bright which immediately notified my inner grubber that this place was strictly for chowing and not yapping. you eat, you bounce, ya hear?

we settled down and perused a very short, succinct menu. it was clear that you HAVE to order their soon dubu or consider yourself a tard. as a matter of fact, we witnessed our server give this other table a raised eyebrow when they only ordered mandu (dumplings). "no tofu?" she said in bewilderment. no tofu lady....besides, they looked a bit out of their element.

in certain situations when i'm given full control of the ordering...i the horror of my dining companions who probably wouldn't stuff face as much as i do on any typical dining occasion. i immediately ordered the beef soon dubu, spicy raw crab, and the beef bulgogi. it didn't seem right not to order some meat when my dining partner is a dude.

banchan while we waited. typical fare.

the first item to come out was a bubbly stone pot of beef soon dubu. i ordered it "mild" though the heat level at so kong dong seemed to veer on the milder side. i could probably have upped the heat factor a bit. my dining companion did not think it was spicy at all, though this is coming from a man that can down sriracha like a tequila shot. anyways, this soon dubu was gooooooood. it wasn't salty like bcd and definitely retained delicate flavors which persevered even though your tongue and tastebuds gets scorched from the lava-like temperature during the eating process.

the raw crab was CRAZY FANTASTIC. the gochujang sauce was atypical and had a burst of peppery notes that drove me nuts. i would have drank/dipped many other things into that sauce if given the opportunity. although overall, it was quite delicious, my companion did not want any of it so i ate as much as i could before i got squeamish with the idea of raw crab because raw crab texture in large doses is nasty. i don't like eating mushy things, i really don't. i would most definitely order this dish again as long as i had someone to share it with...then again, if i had a korean companion, i wouldn't have to order it at all because apparently, they give a small portion of this spicy raw crab as part of their banchan for their korean customers. boo!

delicate and delicious.

the beef bulgogi was tasty. i appreciated the slices of shiitake mushrooms that adorned the pile of cooked meat. a great way to add more meat into your meaty diet.

all in all, the meal was pretty yummy and a great place to get your soon dubu fix. i would totally go back as long as i can find parking of course.

So Kong Dong
2716 W. Olympic Blvd.
Ste 104
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-3737

price: $
verdict: tasty, try it!
So Kong Dong on Urbanspoon
So Kong Dong Soon Tofu in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Sunday, May 23, 2010

world fare bustaurant parked in the middle of serious jubilation

from junction to jubilee, i think silverlakers are always ready for some sort of celebration, whether it be for music, art, diversity, or eco friendliness. never the party pooper, i took my usual suspects which included my ultra cute four legged doo doo, to the silver lake jubilee today. it was a rather mellow affair, being less crazy than saturday (so i heard) which was fine by me cuz the last thing i wanted to do is to set charlie down in the middle of a clusterfuck (<--my new favorite word. i want to use it all the time!). trust me, he can't handle it. although it was rather tame, there was more than enough people at the jubilee to keep it hopping.

one of the best parts of the jubilee were the zero waste initiatives and the emphasis on eco friendliness because being aware of your environment and what you can do to be greener in your consumption choices is a cause for serious jubilation. come on peoples, our planet is CHOKING.

i made a cool little planter out of a sprite bottle while i was at the eco village. what a great project for kids and big kids like me to remind ourselves to reduce, reuse, and recyle. it's hanging out on the porch of my wee house as i type. hope the basil seeds take root and i can harvest it for my pesto.

the jubilee also had a ton of food trucks, though the lesser known ones outnumbered the more noteworthy ones. i did spot a few that i recognized; frysmith, coolhaus, world fare bustaurant...ohh, world fare! gotta try it!

i decided to order the "bunny chow" combo ($10) which gave me a choice of two bunnies (short rib, bbq pork, curry chicken, or vegetarian chili). being the carnivore that i am, i opted for the short rib and bbq pork. the combo also came with a cookie and i was able to substitute the side of fries for the mac & cheese balls. oh score!

we went to the top level of the bus to eat and dogs were welcomed (i promised i asked for permission).

so bunny is definitely not chow for bunnies.

it's more like a small loaf of hollowed out bread that's subsequently filled with meats and curries (origination of this dish has been linked to migrant indian workers in south africa per wikipedia). think of it like a clam chowder bread bowl if you will...except that it's totally not :)

both the short rib and bbq pork gave great meaty bites with a suprising kick of heat, but the bread was rather disappointing. although i normally discard the bread bowl when i heif down clam chowder, in this situation it was a bit silly to eat only the meat and discard the carb shell because it's small so you eat it all damnit, you just do. i wish world fare would look into other breads since it's such a critical part of the chow and these current ones were stale and unappetizingly dry.

the mac and cheese balls on the other hand were sheer yum...particularly the ones with the truffle oil. i LOVE me some truffle oil and the truffle aroma hits the back of your throat and rises to your nose in the most delicious way. mmm, i would get these again for sure!

so all in all, it was a good day at the jubilee and now for my rant....

(insert rant)

i check out yelp once in a while and i find it hideous when folks try to correct people in how to spell "silverlake" by emphasizing that it is two words even though i and many long time residents continue to spell it SILVERLAKE...i've lived in SILVERLAKE for over 25 years and went to elementary school in this neighborhood. i grew up seeing business signs and print spelling "silverlake" as one word. is it spelled correctly according to the city? nope. is it spelled correctly according to the long time residents of this area? you bet. so if you see/read me, don't correct my spelling because i've lived here all my life and know this is how it is before spellcheck and bitchy folks that want you to divide silver and lake.

(rant over)

World Fare Bustaurant

price: $
verdict: it's aight
World Fare (mobile restaurant) on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 17, 2010

strawberry clusterfuck

my penchant for clusterfuck events brought me to the oxnard strawberry festival this past saturday. what isn't there to like about crowded spaces, long ass lines, and disorderliness? to top that all off, you get oodles and oodles of strawberries to do as you please....mmmm, delicious. i think i will stick them in my pie hole, thank you.

we started off our day with a brisk stroll through the arts and crafts portion of the festival which housed endless knick knacks that will one day make it to a garage sale near you. check this crap out, the "savings socks." really?! they're literally socks decorated with puffy paint willed into creation by a first grade artist...the funny thing was that it actually had a lot of business! again, i'm convinced that the average american will buy anything.

music box bags. why? you can't even open the bag to store things in! double why?!

marshmellow blowguns made out of plastic tubing. crapola.

circling around all these knick knacks getting squished by people wearing fanny packs drove me to drink...yes please :) i had to try the strawberry wine so i did. um...four words: boone's farm wine cooler. the alcohol content was non existent but it was refreshing nevertheless.

then it was time to get our grease on which meant consuming all manners of fried evils. the food lines are usually pretty daunting at clusterfuck events like these, but the drive to eat badly prevails so you just wait. i especially admire the folks that just plop their booties down right in the middle of traffic to start eating. excuse me sir, but i might step on your hand cuz you're SITTING RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF FOOT TRAFFIC.

garlic fries. OOOOF COURSE. a festival never seems quite complete without a tray of greasy garlic fries. i love them thin and crispy and piled high with garlic bits, enough garlic to leave a heavy presence of stank in your mouth. this tray was particularly delicious....mmmm....

fried zucchini, so heavily breaded that a cop adorned with this batter can withstand 20 bullet shots. man it was yuck.

fried artichoke hearts has got to be my new favorite greasy eats. i loved the tartness of the canned artichoke hearts with its greasy shell.

then it was time to buy a crazy amount of fresh strawberries to pass out to our families and of course for me to consume until i lay down on my kitchen floor convulsing from a strawberry overdose, complete with foaming red bile and spit. oh how i love strawberries and lots of it!

as we headed out of the clusterfuck ready to hop on the freeway to go home, a sign at one of the farms offered folks a novel opportunity to pick our own strawberries. whoo hoo! we made a sharp right and found ourselves in the middle of strawberry fields forever.

i recognized the snooty privilege i had harvesting strawberries for fun when other folks did it as their full time job (and believe you me, it was somewhat difficult). that's why i cringed at the utter waste i saw as i stomped about wondering why people left perfectly fine strawberries to be trampled on or to rot. ugh.

because if left alone, those poor premature strawberries would eventually ripen into beautiful red gems, gems in which a whole weekend of festivities were created in order to celebrate its existence. ahhh i love thee.

California Strawberry Festival

Friday, May 14, 2010

not quite loco for local

god did not gift me a set of itchy balls cuz if he did, i would have had the balls to send back some sub par eats when i was grubbing at local in silverlake a few nights ago. MAN i admire people who could do that...or perhaps i admire people who don't mind getting spit in their food after they do that. whatcha think?

so my evening started off like any other evening when my hunger pangs pang it up and i open my fridge only to realize that it's empty once again. this usually prompts an emergency call to my eating buds and luckily, i found one that had an equally pathetic fridge. i quickly suggested local since it's errr...local to me.

the service there was lackluster at best that night, but i had walked there and didn't want to turn around and walk home while my belly grumbled. hoping for the best, both my friend and i plopped our butts down and promptly ordered enough food to feed two fat people.

we started off with a promising wilted baby russian kale salad with poached pears, goat cheese, in a creamy vinaigrette ($9). i really enjoyed this salad because poached pears and goat cheese makes a delicious combi. besides, it gave me a good helping of fruit for the day. i would order this again.

then our entrees came. i ordered the roasted leg of lamb on an almond, currant, wheatberry salad with pickled carrots and fennel ($16). oh HELL NO. this poor lamb wasn't just dead, it was overcooked! the lamb leg was one day away from becoming lamb jerky and the sourness from the surrounding veggies was just plain odd. in what universe did these taste profiles work?! i took a few bites and abondoned ship. i was so disappointed.

i thought i could just munch off my friend's entree, the sea bass with snap peas, fennel, grape tomatoes, greens, topped with some toasted almond yogurt ($16). holy shit, that fish was OVERCOOKED TOOOOOOOO! dry, jerky-like fish is soooooo effin' wrong. i wished we had gone to mcdonald's instead. i'm sure their fish filet sammich wouldn't have been THIS dry!

the only saving grace were the two sides that we ordered which we promptly devoured. the old school mac & cheese ($7) was DIVINE. crunchy crusty cheese was mixed into the whole darn thing, providing great textural contrast to the velvety smooth elbow macaroni. as i forked a delicious mouthful into my pie hole, i looked over to the table right next to us and discovered that the patrons there only ordered the mac & cheese and a glass of ice tea for dinner. wow. i would have too if i'd known how hard the entrees sucked.

and here's their spicy fries ($5) which were super crispy with a good dousing of mesquite bbq powder. i warn you though that it will taste rather salty after a few handfuls, but tasty nevertheless. a small pot of watered down ranch dressing is provided for your dipping pleasure.

anyways, i REALLY, REALLY wanted to like this place because of their emphasis on local and organic. i really do! it's so close to me! perhaps i'll check them out for lunch because paying them for another suckass dinner is just plain stupid. if they disappoint me again, then it's clear this relationship can go no further. in hindsight though, i should have just sent my dish back huh? now i'm just whining like a little bitch. *sigh* oh well, no balls, no spit in my food.

2943 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 662-4740
price: $$
verdict: it's aight
Local on Urbanspoon
Local Restaurant in Los Angeles on Fooddigger

Saturday, May 8, 2010

ricky serves up a mean ass fish taco

most folks come to silverlake because it's eclectic and hip. but if you're a food enthusiast, you probably come to silverlake because of ricky and his infamous fish tacos. ok, hello yum! that is still a super plan you guys! come on over!

depending on who i talk to, when folks find out that i live in silverlake, i am inevitably asked whether i've eaten a ricky's fish taco. until today, i've always uttered a sheepish "no" because i typically find myself outside of my hood during my weekends. but FINALLY, for once, i can say YAY, i paid ricky a visit and the man is da bomb. holla.

ricky rents a little spot inside the mi alma collective, a wonderful space filled with odds and ends, knick knacks, and knick knacks with succulents growing in them. it makes for a rather wonderful spot to sit down and enjoy a fish taco or two while getting your sunburn on.

my crew of eaters got there right when ricky opened shop so there wasn't much of a wait to order. as we stood waiting for ricky to fry up some mouth watering pescado morsels, i got the opportunity to yap with him and watch him do his thang. during the course of our short convo, i learned that he might have to relocate, depending on an impending agreement that was yet to be made with the mi alma collective. but all hail to technology, any changes in location will be tweeted by ricky and he will continue to fry up these wonderful battered fish fillets for all to enjoy during the weekends.

excuse my tangent....but i love his mustache!

the fish taco ($2.50) is served with shredded cabbage sprinkled with diced jalapenos to add some heat. you have your choice of sauces but i decided to get saucy with the tomatillo one cuz i love my sauces mean and green.

omfg, HELLO! call me. YUM. wow. OOOOOOOOK....yes! the fish taco DID NOT disappoint. the batter mix he created was infused with herbs which added a pleasant fragrance to the taco. and the best thing about the batter was that once fried, it became the perfect casing for the fish fillet since it was thick enough to keep the delicate fish moist without any risks of overcooking AND it still retained a slight crunch to it when you bit into it. if it wasn't for the fact that i had already nibbled on something prior to ricky's, i could have probably inhaled another one or hundred more fish tacos.

flaky, crunchy, and moist, just what a fish taco was meant to be.

man he's good.

before i left, i wandered through the mi alma space and picked up this cute little dish holding a succulent fringed in red. i hope mi alma and ricky can continue their partnership because of their symbiotic relationship. look at me, i went in for a fish taco and walked away with a belly full of it AND a plant. hell yes i'm coming back again!

Ricky's Fish Tacos
4016 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
price: $
verdict: omg, i love it!
Ricky's Fish Tacos in Los Angeles on Fooddigger
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