August 2018 Weekend Rundown


IMO, their XLB is not as strong as their other dishes. I much prefer their pork buns to their XLB.


Chicken soup. The best.


My kiddo mainlines this stuff.


We’re heading back to Seattle soon. Maybe we’ll try DTF. We didn’t have their pork buns. Thanks.

ETA: Just Googled images. That’s not the kind of dough I generally like but I’ll keep an open mind :slight_smile:


I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my love for the Korean fried chicken at Honey Dress Fried Chicken in Torrance before, but I’ll mention it again because it’s SO good (well, to me anyway). I always get their Super Spicy flavor which while not that spicy, still has a decent amount of heat. The skin is always crispy and the meat, even the breast, is always juicy. I like to get extra super spicy sauce on the side because I like the chicken to be very saucy like at Kyochon. My only issue with this place is that the sides suck, so sometimes I just go across the street to H-Mart and get something.

A whole chicken is $21 and comes with pickled radish.



Was it good!!!???


My weekly lamb and chicken biriyani fix from Zam Zam.


It was great!! I wish it John Williams conducting though.

Dave’s Hot Chicken.

I am biased because I have loved Howlin Rays since it was a food truck in Silver Lake. I’ll try and be fair.

Flavor/spice: It is nicely seasoned. The difference between mild and medium is less in comparison to Howlin, which the medium can bring moisture to the eyes and nose.

Crust: Meh. Not crisp at all.

Chicken: Not dry but not juicy.

Other: Pickles do not seem to be handmade.

Atmosphere: No energy here when compared with Howlin. Workers are not extroverted, hospitable, and charismatic like the team at Howlin.

But also no line. I’m glad to have tried it but I probably won’t be back tbh.

Salt and Straw, Larchmont. I know it’s pretty basic but the Sea Salt Caramel is one of my favs. Maybe tied with the Bourbon Coffee. Bits of salt, and pieces of caramel really make it a perfect blend of sweet and salty.

FYI the Rite Aid on Larchmont has Chocolate Malted Krunch!!!


LaoXi Noodle House

Kinda quiet in this part of town, located in a small strip mall. There is a KTV joint here btw if you are into that!


Pig Ears, Cucumbers, and Wood Ear Mushrooms. My favorite was the Wood Ears, great stuff. The pig ears were a little too thick for my liking.

Wifey Noodles!
On top is tomato egg, ground pork, and pork belly. Mix it all up. Noodles as expected were perfect. This will remind you of a lighter Bolognese. Very tasty bowl. I think next time I’ll just get tomato egg. There is a very cute story as to why this is called Wifey Noodles.

Mom-n-Pop were just friends. Mom made this bowl of noodles for him. Pop thought wouldn’t it be nice to eat this everyday. So Mom and Pop got married and now they own their own restaurant in the 626.

This dish kinda showcases how Chinese do leftovers (ditto with fried rice). The owner said to me this is just a basic home dish in its essence.

Pork and Leek Dumplings. Handmade. Yes you can buy a bag home.

Cats Ear. These little cats ears were perfect in texture. The dish as a whole though is slightly bland, so a little vinegar and chili oil can spruce it up.

Service was great from the owner himself. Didn’t see the Wife. Next visit I wanna try the Knife Cut Noodles.


Don Churros.

Minutes away from the Mouse House and just off the 5. This parking lot is lively! There is also a basket tacos specialist here when I went. Maybe next time but I’m here for the Churros. Handmade churros. From a family that does churros. Not just a churro you can get from Disneyland, Mr Churro at Olvera, a street churro at Olympic Mercado or in front of Wilshire/Vermont station. No no. This is a very rare Jalisco style Churro. To my knowledge no one else is doing. Even in LA.


Don Churro style. Right away the shape is the major difference with the traditional ones. There is cajeta in the inside. Don’t eat it vertical because that cajeta will drip out. Freshly made, warm, slightly more dense, and not covered in cheap sugar. This is some good stuff. Better than that Loop crap with rainbow sprinkles and kids cereal. You are eating a family recipe and a style of churro that is not found elsewhere. I regret not getting a Chocolate Mi Abuelita with it.


We’ve had several weekends/weeks of from-out-of-town visitors; dining out has been fairly conservative due to less adventurous folks and that’s fine - we’ve had good to great food and excellent company.

Among the places we’ve been:
Spumoni in Sherman Oaks - not high-end, fancy Italian, but welcoming atmosphere, great service, and solid options. The gnocchi is always a hit.

Di Pilla’s in Rosemead - in a similar vein as Spumoni, it’s good food in a friendly environment and usually excellent service. (Also, I’m addicted to the complimentary garlic bread squares/things - warm, salty and garlicly carbs will be my downfall!)

Zelo Pizzeria in Arcadia - not big on atmosphere (though it’s fine), am addicted to their beet salad and vegetable calzones (beyond their wonderful pizzas). And their vegetable lasagna is a surprise delight. (Btw, does any other place in the LA area serve Zucotto cake?)

Pizza of Venice in Altadena - Still of two minds about this place; the food is very good, though it doesn’t scratch my “I’m craving pizza” itch (the same is true of Zelo, though). However, I do crave specific pizzas from there - the OG Popeye and the Fungi - plus the beet salad is quite addictive and, when piping fresh, the Belgian fries are quite marvelous.

The Nano Cafe in Sierra Madre - this is reasonably safe dinerish food: usually great service, large enough menu that most people can find something they like. It’s solid and reliable.

Diner on Main in Alhambra - another diner, this one owned by the same folks who own Canoe House (used to be Wild Thyme) and Shakers in South Pasadena and Central Grille (formerly Central Park, I think) in Pasadena and also Glendale. Again, reasonably safe choices with a ranging menu and usually good service.

Yang Chow in Pasadena - Yep, Slippery Shrimp, Sweet and Sour Shrimp, and a couple of probably-not-actually-vegetarian veggie dishes.

Lee’s Hoagie House in Pasadena - Great service, very good food, and they are always willing to customize our weird orders without a blink (and they get those orders right!).

Sahara Middle Eastern Restaurant in Pasadena - A great “intro” place for people new to anything that falls into the rather generic “food from the Middle East” category. Plus, I really like their hummus, babaganoush, and falafel. Pitas, though, are those thin ones from a bag - so we try to remember to grab better(ish) ones from TJs or elsewhere if we’re getting takeout.


Wow, hard to believe Lee’s, diner on main or Yang Chow are still around, much less all three. Thanks for the rundown.