January 2017 Weekend Rundown


Sorry, I thought Aesthete was referring to Sante Adairius Rustic Ales (my glassware in the picture) when he asked about the sours. I do love Monkish’s IPA and pale can releases that they have been doing lately, though. And yup, Highland Park is damn good.


Beijing Pie House

Lamb & green onion pies:

Beef rolls:

Beef noodle soup (They were apparently out of lamb for the lamb noodle soup, which is what I usually get, so I got beef instead. It was ok. I like the lamb one a lot better.):


I was asking about Sante Adairius rustic ales haha

Monkish ok, but when it comes to beer I am largely a sour person. Always looking for new exciting stuff.


Not super remarkable but if you’re in Huntington Beach this place called Silk Thai does a Crying Tiger that is $13 at lunch, and is a legit charcoal-grilled hanger steak that you would pay $26-$34 for on most restaurant menus. It’s $19 even at Silk Thai for dinner. Unfortunately the sauce is not really properly spicy even at a 10 but the steak is cooked remarkably well. Even spending a couple min in the car for delivery it tasted pretty damn good.

Drunken Noodles asked for a 10 and Pet Pet to no avail, but an acceptable level of spice for most probably. A somewhat higher caliber of veggies than typical Thai places in Thai Town. The food feels remarkably light and almost healthy, but at the same time sort of short on the powerful flavors of Thai Town joints. I wish Thai Town joints used the same quality of tomatoes and steak though, sigh.


Oh good. I am also a sour person. Favorites are from Sante and also de Garde Brewing up in Oregon.

Ok, I’m done derailing this thread. :grin:


I don’t think it’s possible to derail this thread, it is a catchall lol

My favorite sour in the world is Lost Abbey Cuvée de Tomme, which is impossible to find sigh. You know of anything similar? I also like good old Rodenbach Grand Cru, but you’ve got to branch out. Cascade stuff usuallly awesome as well. I need to try de Garde stuff.


Have you tried the Love Child series by Boulevard Brewing? Somewhat easily found and it’s phenomenal.


Yeah, that is a good series. I like Bruery sours a lot too.


My husband and I picked up dinner from Gjusta tonight. The rapini was insanely good, outrageously smokey, earthy, and vinegary.

The kippered salmon was swoon-worthy, so very rich.

I loved my falafel sandwich, but it was spicier than I anticipated.

My husband’s chicken banh mi.

The chocolate avocado mousse was pretty good, but a bit monotonous.

My husband’s kabocha-chocolate cake had lots of warming spices and was moist.

Apologies for the ugly pictures, but I was hungry; and there wasn’t any natural light.


Gjusta Gjusta Gjusta

Lovely meal, @MaladyNelson I could go for a falafel sandwich right about now.


Ah, it was such a damn fine meal, @A5KOBE! Honestly, I could probably go for another falafel sandwich myself, but just out of sheer greediness. :yum:


We can all be a little greedy when the situation calls for it.

Gjusta is usually one of those situations. :grin:


Speaking of Gjusta, I finally got their huevos rancheros.

I am not sure if the dish totally deserves the name or not. The tortillas are crispy and fried, not warm and soft fresh off the griddle, the beans are whole and white, and there is chard in the dish. All that being said the saline piquant salsa and earthy ranchero sauce as well as the orange yolks of the cojita covered eggs are spot on. The soul of great huevos rancheros is captured, and it is nice to be able to eat a version of the dish that is shockingly light. The white beans and chard probably help a lot in that regard. The salty astringent chard also gives the dish a new dimension that traditional preps lack. The crunchy tortillas make the dish more like chilaquiles in a good way, though I prefer the fresh soft tortillas at Anaya. I personally wish they had a hotter salsa and I needed extra, but it’s a highly respectable salsa nonetheless. I realize Gjusta is expensive but I don’t get why the dish is $15. It seems overpriced even by Gjusta standards. Their steak and eggs is only like $17 and contains the same two eggs plus bread and veggies… one would think just two eggs and tortillas with beans and chard would be more like $10 in comparison. Still if you can easily ignore the price and want a light version of huevos rancheros it is a pleasant enough plate.


Their pastries leave a lot to be desired though.

Their Baklava Croissant is terrible. It looks good but has the quality of a shorty store-bought croissant, basically lifeless. Stuffed with 3rd rate baklava tasting of charred mush. Hard to believe something this bad could be made. I actually tried one of these before and it wasn’t great but I thought they might’ve improved… somehow they have actually made it worse, as the baklava used to at least be palatable.

The Kumquat Cheese Danish was better because the pastry was actually crisp and buttery with fine flaky layers. But somehow the cheese and kumquats didn’t work at alll. The ratios were way off. Felt like eating a pastry designed to be cool rather than flavorful.

I offloaded the pastries to someone happier to have them than I on 3rd street outside, and took off for Howlin Rays and Burgerlords feeling good, but with a mental note to never get another pastry from Gjusta ever again, no matter how good they look. I kept a loaf of Sourdough for myself though; the best sourdough Ive ever had for my tastebuds.

How does a place that does bread so right do pastries so wrong?

February 2017 Weekend Rundown

Another great meal at i-naba. Highlights were the squid, anago, scallop, shiitake mushroom, and persimmon. New year’s resolution to eat more fried foods, check.
I was disappointed they were fresh out of the shirako tempura, perhaps if i waited 15 minutes they would have had it again #gotmilt

pumpkin, sweet potato


squid - softer than the LA ram’s defense



shiitake #hotshiitake



squid and uni shiso rolls


bread and fried shrimp
Do not order this. I thought it would be some kind of shrimp toast tempura but it was literally shrimp wrapped in slice of white bread.

second round of squid

shiso with minced shrimp and “private label” sausage
The sausage tasted exactly like a jimmy dean breakfast sausage, not what i was expecting

shrimp kakiage



So good @PorkyBelly. :slight_smile: Nice pics and report. I have to go back soon. :slight_smile:


I agree that a lot of their desserts are misses. The banana cream pie is just there. Much worse than Apple Pan’s. Their various mousses and other sweet items are pretty one note, though I do like their cookies. I stick with savories at Gjusta.


Had one of the great meals I’ve had in LA today at Szechuan Impression. Arrived at 1:30 and was able to get a table right away. There were three of us; we ordered a feast of 8 dishes, some assorted teas/drinks, and dessert, and it came out to about $35 a person. This was honestly shockingly good. The finesse in the cooking was at a level above Chengdu Taste. I will be back. A lot.

We started with bamboo shoots in chili oil. This was a theme, but the chili oil was deftly used. This was a crisp, refreshing start with a small kick. Forgot to picture this one so took the pic from LA times; ours looked exactly the same.

Next up we got “potato strips on street corner” and sauteed veggies of some sort. These fries were fucking great. I wouldn’t be surprised if these are just frozen crinkle cut fries from a market, but it doesn’t matter, they were hot, perfectly cooked, and just loaded up with spice. Guy Fieri would say this is where we entered flavor town. Greens were nice; as the meal went on they were a good reprieve from spice.

Wantons in chili oil–the best wantons I’ve ever had. The skin was magnificient, the filling smooth and tasty, and the skins were wonderful. And then the chili oil sauce had a sweetness that was different from any other chili oil sauce on the other dishes. I really wanted this whole plate to myself.

Fried chicken with chiles and ginger. The best version of this dish I’ve had. The chicken was fried perfectly, and was just so damn hot and tasty. An addicting dish.

Fish filets with green pepper. This has become the standard bearer dish for Szechuan food in LA. In my view, this was better than the one at Chengdu Taste. The fish was meltingly tender, and this is one of those dishes that just gets incredibly spicy if you eat the serranos and get an occasional peppercorn or two. It was about this point that my water became useless, as the numbing effect turns your water into garbage. Man this was good. Also, the bottom of the bowl had a surprising array of mushrooms. The fact that this was like $14 made me have some second thoughts about paying $42 a pound for red cod at Sea Harbour that did not taste as good as this.

Toothpick lamb with cumin. I never tried this at Chengdu Taste. It was good, not great to my taste. I am admittedly not a cumin lover, and that is the dominant flavor profile here. Very gamey, so you have to be into that.

Mother’s hand cut noodle soup. This was how we finished the savory part of the meal, and man was it a welcome, non-spicy sight. Filled with delicious hand cut noodles, this soup had a sesame flavor profile. Just really good.

We ended the meal with “Cindarella’s pumpkin rides.” It’s pumpkin mixed with some kind of starch and then fried, with a bean paste inside. Like a lot of desserts at Chinese places–it just ain’t my thing, but I eat it anyway. Forgot to picture.

Anyone else have some recs for must-have dishes next time I go? I think the wantons and the chicken are probably “musts” for me on any visit, but many other things on the menu looked great. Has anyone tried the Golden soup?


Pork Kidney with Chili and Pepper
How to eat kidneys:

  1. Boil the piss out of them
  2. Eat

“Finger-lickingly Juicy” Sauteed Spicy Crab

Boiled Fish Fillets in Chili Sauce

Fried Rice Cake With Black Sugar


Yeah, but their carrot cake is randomly like the best carrot cake ever. I guess I keep hoping I might find another one. From now on I have to stick to just getting carrot cake or no sweets at all haha



So is the crab dish similar in seasoning to the fried chicken with chiles dish? Seems similar., just with crab, from the pictures.