Wednesday, March 30, 2011

phuoc loc tho for snails and duck fetuses, yay!

food court food usually turns my tongue flaccid, but phuoc loc tho's food court in westminster does the complete opposite by perking up my tastebuds while inducing wild vietnamese spasms in my mouf. yes, it does.

as i mosey through all the knick knacks and future garage sale items at phuoc loc tho, the food court at the center always beckons me with its plethora of delicious vietnamese treats. and NOTHING makes my tongue wiggle as wildly as THIS treat, trứng vịt lộn (a fertilized duck egg with a nearly formed duck fetus nestled inside). here is a batch of eggs sitting in a warm water bath, awaiting for a lucky pie hole like mine.

to crack one of these suckers open for consumption, one must possess a gentle touch. first, you take a good look at your egg and make sure the tapered end faces upwards. you then make soft taps with the back of your spoon and carefully peel off the pieces of broken shell from the top, being cautious not to spill any of the duck juices that has brewed so potently within its shell. take an initial slurp and you too, will relish in the pure concentration of this duck juice. a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and vietnamese mint sets the stage for a most wonderful bite.

we quickly followed up our ducky mouthfuls with these snails cooked with lemon grass. it was delicious and tangy. my only regret was not ordering more.

these paler versions were cooked in a light, gingery broth. when they were brought to our table, our toothpicks were poised and ready to fish out the meat from these coiled shells. a light dip in the fish sauce gave this gastrapoda just enough zing for consumption. loves.

the bánh cuốn was not as masterful ;) as my mom's homemade version, OF COURSE, but it was delicious nevertheless. the fish cake and the mung bean patties were very filling components to the dish.

and we rounded out our feast with an order of bánh bèo which were delicious individual saucers of steamed rice cakes topped with a bit of dried shrimp. i could have eaten them all if it wasn't for the fact that i HAD to share. BOOOOO.....

and before i headed home, i HAD to grab a box of goi du du, a vietnamese style green papaya salad. what makes this food stall particularly memorable is their beef AND liver jerky on top. i never leave phuoc loc tho without a beloved box of shredded green papaya from this place.

heavenly. the textures and flavors are just amaaaaazing.

man i love this place. phuoc loc tho...where it tastes phuocking great!

Phuoc Loc Tho
9200 Bolsa Ave.
Ste 1148
Westminster, CA 92683
(714) 903-2550

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

Monday, March 14, 2011

liquid pork at ramen yamadaya

this is how you make LIQUID PORK. you take ms. piggy, pull off her dress and pearls, then boil her in a vat of water for days. the water will then be infuse with her porky juices, thus making a heavenly pork broth for your consumption. OR, you can drop by ramen yamadaya in torrance to treat yourself to some of their heavenly tonkotsu ramen broth. holy oinkster batman, i want to drink a vat of that liquid pork!

to start the meal off in this intimate ramen shop, i chose NOT to go light. i ordered the combination special which came with ramen and two sides. the first side was a crispy set of gyoza quadruplets. oh how i adore these crispy pan fried gyozas with their silky, meaty innards.

the second side, the kimchi fried rice, was stellar as well. each crimson bite revealed a bit of kimchi and chasu. if it wasn't for the fact that i had a big bowl of ramen to look forward to, i would have consumed every single grain of rice in that bowl.

my eating partner chose the kimchi fried rice and the kara-age chicken for his combination special. each piece of kara-age was a plump nugget of breaded chicken bliss. the cabbage slaw was tangy which minimized the greasy bites.

...and the ramen. oh dear lord, the ramen. i chose the yamadaya ramen with the "thin" noodles which had two types of chasu pork, menma (fermented bamboo shoots), nori, and a seasoned egg. oooohhhh emmmmm geeeee DELICIOUS. the broth was full bodied, creamy, savory, and wonderfully hearty. and if this was even possible, each slurp of the noodles tasted even better than the last (i may have just drooled on myself as i type this) and slurp away i did until my whole bowl was dry as a bone.

on the other hand, my friend decided to get their kakuni ramen with the "thick" noodles. an alarming slab of fatty pork belly adorned the bowl and although i am a fan of both pork and their fat bellies, the unctuous nature of this particular piece was just too much. due to the thickness of this fat, it was not "melt in your mouth." it was more like "i bit the thigh of a fat man and now it's in my mouth." *shudders*

but whichever ramen style you decide to order, don't forget to ask for their garlic press and squeeze a few cloves of garlic through. the aromatic raw garlic was a great balance to this slightly greasy broth and truly makes a difference in this gustatory experience.

this soup was the quintessential LIQUID PORK and will pop your tongue with the most satisfying savory flavors. if it wasn't for the fact that ramen yamadaya is located in torrance, i guarantee to you that i would have become a regular pretty quickly. lucky for you westsiders, a second ramen yamadaya storefront will soon open its doors in culver city. so dang delicious and DO check it out when you get the chance.

thank you panda for introducing us to ANOTHER delicious meal!! and as always, we enjoy noshing with you and the other dude :) good times!

Ramen Yamadaya
3118 W. 182nd St.
Torrance, CA 90504
(310) 380-5555
price: $$
verdict: omg, i love it!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

ichimi-an for a cold soba awakening

cold soba noodles on a hot day is the best savory way to cool down. imagine them snaking towards your belly while leaving a cooling effect on your body temperature. even better yet is if it's made fresh daily! and there's no radder place (yes, i used rad) to have a savory cool down than at ichimi-an in torrance.

if you get the $15.95 sushi dinner combo, you get to nibble on a bit of everything. the four pieces of fresh sushi i got was a great way to start off the meal.

the set meal also came with the mixed tempura. i'm not one to say "no" to crunchy fried foods and this set was perfectly crunchy.

but the freshly made soba noodles was the star of the show though. borrowed from their website for a little 4-1-1 on soba 101:
The buckwheat for the soba and flour for the udon served in Ichimian are shipped directly from Japan on K-Line vessels in refrigerated containers to keep them fresh as possible. The Buckwheats are milled daily and noodles are made daily. Freshness is the main ingredient that keeps the soba and udon noodles so chewy, healthy, and full of fragrance.

the springy noodles had a nice chew to them and one mouthful quickly lead to the next and the next until i bid my last strand of soba goodbye. refreshing and utterly pleasant for the pie hole.

after the cold soba consumption, the sobayu (the water in which the soba noodles were cooked in), was mixed with the leftover tsuyu (dipping sauce for the soba).

i thought it tasted like diluted soy water...i did not finish my cup though the concept was interesting.

sadly, ichimi-an is located in torrance or else i would make it a weekly visit. seriously, freshly made cold soba noodles when consumed on a hot day is an utterly fantastic gustatory feeling. wowzers.

2537 Pacific Coast Hwy
Ste A
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 784-0551 price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it!
Ichimian on Urbanspoon
Related Posts with Thumbnails